Management has its share of benefits and rewards. Managers are often in a better position to influence and lead change in various organizations. In most organizations, being a manager means better compensation and involves working in a well-designed office. Most importantly, being a manager is not associated with things like the satisfaction of helping an employee or team to achieve their goals and perform to their best. Although an individual is likely to benefit from various resources compared to the rest of the staff by being a manager, the position comes with various management issues, such as communication problems, which can subject a manager to unnecessary stress.
Communication is an essential aspect that is associated with the success or failure of many organizations across the world. Maiers, Reynolds, & Haselkorn (2005) argue that misunderstandings mostly prompt communication problems experienced in organizations. These misunderstandings often result in hostility and accusations within an organization (Maiers et al., 2005). Thus, managers must recognize the communication issues that prompt various concerns in the workplace and come up with effective strategies to solve them. Maiers et al. (2005) argue that employees ought to be involved in solving the challenges to effective communication. Some problems are directly prompted by ineffective communication techniques adapted in an organization (Maiers, 2009). The techniques may include the use of inappropriate channels of communication and poor message conceptualization. Maiers (2009) argues that the prevalence of ineffective communication escalates to poor communication. Per Harris & Nelson (2018), there exist various barriers to effective communication within organizations. The authors critique that the use of the wrong style of communication is one of the barriers to effective communication. This case tends to happen when managers ineffectively communicate with the employees through the use of wrong communication channels or failing to give detailed information. Confusion among employees and managers follows when the wrong communication styles have been used (Harris & Nelson, 2018). Employees get confused because they might not be able to understand and interpret the message being disseminated. In contrast, the managers get confused because they cannot understand why the employees do not understand a particular message.
Another barrier to effective communication in organizations is workplace differences. According to Mezgar (2006), organizations experience workplace differences when there are distrust and low morale amongst the employees. Organizations can also experience workplace differences when employees from different cultural backgrounds fail to recognize the significance of diversity in an organization (Mezgar, 2006). Besides, poor work ethics amongst the managers can also be a barrier to effective communication. This can be demonstrated when a manager incorporates personal feelings and emotions into workplace communication. Furthermore, ineffective organizational structure and bureaucracy can also be barriers to effective communication. These can be demonstrated when an organization only adapts a centralized approach in its communication system, implying that only the top leadership can engage in various activities, such as policymaking. Unhealthy organizational culture can also be a barrier to effective communication. It can be demonstrated if an organization does not adopt a culture that promotes the exchange of ideas and innovative thoughts amongst employees and between various departments.
Organizations should incorporate appropriate communication strategies to solve various challenges to effective communication. According to Galli (2019), employees often want to be kept in the loop and feel appreciated. Therefore, organizations ought to give employees sufficient information related to their operations and full support to help them achieve their objectives. Thus, engaging employees in a two-way communication environment may help them to achieve their goals. Galli (2019) avers that curbing the challenges to effective communication requires organizations to keep employees informed of their financial performance, department initiatives, and group projects and keep them informed of the policies that might affect them as well as their responsibilities. Halliday (2016) asserts that keeping employees in the dark might create tensions, which may significantly affect a company’s operations. Managers should take their time to listen to the employees to ascertain whether they have the resources they need (Halliday, 2016). Employees should be engaged in various activities related to the establishment of policies and setting up organizational activities (Halliday, 2016). Halliday (2016) also urges organizations to come up with a strategy that proactively asks employees the challenges that they might be experiencing in the workplace and how the management might help.
An example of a company that has effectively responded to the challenges of effective communication is British Petroleum. The company has come up with policies that require employees to be engaged in various organizational processes, such as policymaking. The company has come up with a strategy whereby the management allocates time to meet up with employees to inquire whether or not they have the resources they need, the problems that they might be facing, and how the firm might help to solve the problems.
Numerous research studies critique how organizations can solve the challenges of effective communication. Harvell (2006) argues that to solve the challenges to effective communications within the workplace, organizations should highlight key issues and pinpoint critical areas for action. The issues that need to be solved within an organization are often highlighted by the attitudes that exist and the extent of communications breakdowns that are experienced. Sadler and Lester (2008) assert that to identify these issues, organizations should use advanced statistics. The use of advanced statistics allows organizations to focus on the most critical aspects, whether it is a specific attribute, such as timelessness, and improve these aspects before they contribute to adverse impacts. Anderson, Mullin, Mcewan, Bal, Carletta, Grattan, & Brundell (200 5) argue that organizations should come up with strategies that check whether or not employees’ needs have been met. Thus, organizations ought to establish a communication measurement, which they can use to find out if employees often receive and understand the key messages being disseminated to them and if the communication channels used are effective (Anderson et al., 2005). Incorporating such an approach can help organizations to modify and focus on improving some of the ineffective communication styles or channels that are used.
Organizations should also incorporate various strategies, such as the use of the right communication tools, embrace consistency in communication, follow through to ensure every employee has received a particular message, and ask managers not to mix personal lives with workplace communication to respond to challenges to effective communication in the workplace effectively. Integrating the use of the right communication tools into the workplace is one of the steps to overcome communication problems (Galabuzi, 2012). Some of the communication tools that can be used in organizations include suggestion boxes, surveys, group chats, employee directories, and face-to-face communication (Galabuzi, 2012). The communication tools should be used for the right purpose. For instance, face-to-face communication can be used when an organization needs to share sensitive information with the employees, especially when the company wants to establish policies that might influence workers and their responsibilities. Bissio (2012) asserts that the best way of overcoming communication problems in the workplace is to maintain consistency in communication. Thus, managers ought to disseminate simplified messages to the employees (Bissio, 2012). The managers should not use jargon; rather, they should use simple words that all the employees can understand. Organizations should also urge managers or employees not to mix personal lives into workplace communications (Menon, 2019). Integrating personal communications into the workplace often negatively impacts the morale of workers thus might contribute to high employee turnover.
Organizations should also urge managers to follow through to ensure that the information shared is understood by every employee. According to Menon (2019), managers should follow through to ensure that every employee is aligned with the information that might have been shared. For instance, after a meeting to discuss how to reach sales goals, a manager needs to follow through to ensure that employees’ roles and responsibilities are aligned to the goals. By following through, managers would ensure that the employees have a clear sense of what they have to do to help the organization achieve its goals.
Many organizations, such as the British Petroleum Company, have incorporated various strategies to overcome challenges to effective communication in the workplace. The strategies the company has to incorporate can relate to Lasswell’s (1948) Five W’s model (Hardt, 2008). According to Hardt (2008), the model involves various elements, such as who should be told about something, when should they be told, what should they be told, where should the message be conveyed, and who should control the communication process. British Petroleum has incorporated the five elements of Lasswell’s model. The company has prioritized informing employees about the establishment of policies that might impact them and their jobs. The company informs the employees before such decisions are made to allow them to share their views with the management. Furthermore, the company tends to use the right communication tools, such as face-to-face communication, to ensure that employees are involved in the policymaking processes. Concerning controlling the communication process, the company has set up a communication, integrity, and ethics department that oversees the entire process in which employees are engaged in various organizational activities, such as the formulation of policies.
Organizations should develop communication strategies. They should adopt an approach whereby managers communicate clearly and concisely (Harvell, 2006). For instance, managers ought to disseminate simplified messages to the employees. Organizations should come up with a strategy to ensure consistency in communication. Managers ought to maintain consistency whenever they disseminate messages to employees to ensure that incorrect information is not shared amongst the workers and between various departments (Sadler & Lester, 2008). Managers ought to rely on verbal and face-to-face discussions to establish a strong relationship with the employees. Organizations have an approach whereby managers are needed to maintain a verbal and face-to-face communication approach, especially when communicating brand strategy to the employees through story-telling to deliver change. Organizations should adopt an approach whereby managers are needed to make time to listen to their employees and address their needs and challenges as well (Anderson et al., 2005). Organizations should also adopt an effective culture that embraces the exchange of ideas and communication amongst the employees and between the departments.
Management has its benefits and rewards, as a manager is often in a better position to influence and lead change in an organization. Managers are also in a position to receive better compensation compared to other staff. Despite the rewards of management, it is associated with various challenges, such as situations when communication problems might be experienced within an organization. Managers can incorporate the use right communication tools and involve employees in various organizational activities to overcome challenges to effective communication.
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