University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Poor Communication in Workplace
This project evaluates the problem of communication in organizations. It is based on my experience in Youth Health Partnership Organization. This organization works to improve health infrastructure in order to enhance health outcomes in communities. Communication is key to success of any organization. It determines whether an organization wills succeed in its mission or not. In spite of a lot of effort put to improve communication, some factors still affect and hinder effective communication.
In Youth Health Partnership Organization, there existed differences between the effectiveness of employer’s message and what employees interpreted it. The management normally assume that that the way they communicate is received and interpreted well by employees. However, this is not always the case. RopeASW conducted a survey in 2009; where they found out that 55% of managers who responded to the survey assume they communicate well with workers. 65% of employees said that their seniors do not communicate well (Zaremba, 2010).
In my study I found out that lack of credibility increases the communication gap between employers and employees. Many employees do not believe what they are told by management. This study shows that employees with longer tenure are less likely to belief their superiors than new employees.
This proposal will focus on all causes of communication problem. It will also give recommendation in order to give good solutions to eliminate this problem. It contains a conclusion at the end.
Statement of Problem
Communication is the most important and basic activity of a company. In organizations, communication is becoming more complex because of work activities and multi-cultural environment which is becoming complex at high rate. Availability of high transmission media also contribute to communication breakdown (Zaremba, 2010).
Companies are required to focus more on communication so that they can effectively increase job satisfaction in work place. Lack of good communication leads to actions not completed. Management ends up being out of touch with the staff that it needs to motivate so that the company can operate at full potential. Poor communicate affects even the customer department making the company lose sales. It also makes organizations making poor decisions which affect the progress of the company. The company ends up losing workers and money. Many researchers have researched widely on communication issues. However, there has been few studies in this area.
The need for this project is to explore the effects of poor communication, causes and solutions to the problem. The proposal is important to companies as it will help them put in place communication networks. These networks give different perspectives of employees. It will also assist companies boost the morale of employees as well as increasing job satisfaction. These benefits will be derived from this study.
This section contains my qualification for carrying out project research. It also contains cost incurred. I already books and articles on communication, hence I used most of my time sifting through information, looking for key results. The only cost I incurred was in printing and copying articles. I obtained all sources of literature review from university library. My experience in Youth Health Partnership Organization helped me to assimilate proposed literature review.
I started the project with the understanding that communication is the foundation of any organization. I discovered it is important to evaluate the solutions to communication problems. I reviewed relevant literature to support my study. I used literature related to communication; others expressed the effect of communication on job satisfaction of employees. I other literature showed the perception of both male and female in the organization. Finally, I included literature that dealt with ways of improving communication. Zaremba(2010) argues that there exist differences in the way male and female employees perceive communication behaviors of their seniors. According to Zaremba (2010) managers’ leadership style, conflict management skills contribute to effectiveness of communication.
In this research, different methods were used to collect information and data. Primary sources used were interviews and conversations. Journals were used as secondary sources.
I used formal communication, informal communication and communication climate as my variables. The three variables were affected by various issues.
This is the atmosphere that is created by people who use listening skills, verbal and non-verbal communication skills. It involves how communication takes place in an organization. The environment in which communication is taking place determines if communication will take place or not. Communication climate is affected by various factors and one of them is credibility (Klyuknanov, 2013). Credibility involves the qualification of the sources of information. It also involves the consistency with which knowledge is applied and the overall reliability.
Credibility starts from the top level management and it trickles down to the middle level managers up to operational level. If workers believe that that their seniors lack credibility this contribute to poor and closed communication climate. The second factor that influences communication climate is trust. Trust is a firm reliance on the ability, integrity and character of a person. Whenever employees lack trust in their manager, communication is hindered. This is because lack of trust brings suspicion (Zaremba, 2010).
Openness also affects communication climate. Openness is said to be a free expression of ones opinion and true feelings. It also refers to the ability to receive new ideas, relationships and new experiences. If people are not ready to express their ideas and opinions, then effective communication does not take place. Information cannot be shared where people fear retaliation or being betrayed (Rayundu, 2010).. Another factor the impacts on communication climate is existence of rumors. Poor communication is caused by exaggerated rumors and vindictive ones. At the same time, when rumors are innocuous, good communication climate is enhanced. Rule of assertiveness is the last factor. Enforcement of rules may or may not affect communication. Strict rules frustrate high performers. They also contribute to inflexibility.
These are means of communication that are controlled by management. It involves sharing of ideas that support clear agendas where interaction of employees is structured. Formal communication can be in written or unwritten form. Written forms include newsletter, letter of congratulation, memos, and legal advisories. Non written forms include telephone calls, meetings, interviews and conferences. Problems arises when one caries communication outside the established channels. My research has revealed that if one tries to solve a problem in another person’s area, it leaves people in that areas feeling alienated and taken for granted.
This is spontaneous and casual communication. It involves rumors, casual conversations and grapevines. Information is shared in socializing workers through conversation, text messages, telephone calls and electronic mails. Informal communication does not follow lines of authority. This can be misused to create an atmosphere of fear and suspicion (Rayundu, 2010).
Open communication climate
The management should establish supportive environment where workers can pass information to their seniors without fearing and being certain that the management will accept is the way it is without whether bad or good, favorable or unfavorable. They should also establish participative environment. This is an environment where employees feel that whatever they have to say counts. Best ideas and suggestions that improve productivity comes from workers in assembly line. Employees in customer care department are acquainted with a lot of information that can spell doom to marketing effort.
Employees share information with management when they feel that they are treated as participants who are legitimate in the company. The management should focus in reducing complex reporting procedure, harsh regulatory policies, bureaucracy, and encumbering paper work because they discourage employees from participating actively. Actions should to be taken to encourage subordinates to participate actively. Managers, team leaders and supervisors must learn to listen to grievances, suggestions, complains and respond accordingly. Supervisors must be ready to open up to criticism that is brought by participation of employees and be ready to correct their behaviors and explain them. Management should ensure that supervisors and employees collaborate in order to have an open communication climate.
Parties involved in sharing information must always tell the truth. This improves credibility of information communicated. Management should make sure they do not give contradicting information. For an organization to have good communication climate, it must ensure that information is true and the source can be trusted. This is because the belief in a person to be able to convey correct information is essential. Managers, team leaders and supervisors should lower their defenses in order to encourage sharing of information in an honest way such that truth is promoted. Appropriate action should be taken to follow communication intentions.
During communication process, participants should offer full attention. One should turn and lean forward towards the other party. Eye contact should also be maintained during conversation. To enhance one’s ability, non verbal signals should be incorporated. One should let his colleague know he or she is listening by nodding his head, smiling and by making facial expressions. Arms should be kept folded and fists unclenched. During formal or informal communication, feedback should be given by paraphrasing the other person’s ideas.
Communication is always hindered whenever people of different cultures are involved in cross culture communication. It requires that one understands the potential problem and work on overcoming them. Whenever one is not successful, he should make necessary adjustments in order to succeed in the next period. When different languages are involved, misunderstanding increases due to translation. People need to bee aware that both verbal and non verbal communication has different meaning to different people. Cross cultural communication is hindered by verbal and non verbal communications because having different meaning.
One should be forgiving and patient with others when a problem arises. A hostile, forceful and aggressive employer leads to poor communication. One ought to progress slowly rather than quickly whenever different cultures are involved without assume that you already know. When one is in a heated conflict, he or she should stop and think before he or she acts. Withdrawing gives a chance for one to reflect and think on the best course of action before acting. Having knowledge of cross cultural communication will help one to listen reflectively. One should also develop good behavior at the right place because what is considered as a good behavior may be a bad behavior in another culture. One can decide whether to stand when talking, look someone in the yes or not. Cultures have different ways of expressing emotions during communication. Sme people yell while others cry while angry. Others do not show any emotion. Overcoming these issues is only by being aware of the problem
One should also give a summary of what the other person is saying. I also recommend asking appropriate and effective questions. This may involve simple things such as asking question in order to clarify ideas or points that are not clear. One should also remain open minded. Focusing on ones goals, questions and problems hinders one from listening, absorbing and understanding the other person. Interruptions should be kept at minimum and the speaker should be given enough time to finish whatever he is saying.
The management should use win-win approach in communication. When should concentrates on the needs and interest of speaker. One should not aim to gain victory or gain position over other people. In order to create good will among employees, win-win approach should be used because each person understands the needs of each other in this approach. In order to achieve this, employees should be encouraged to have self disclosure. They need to be encouraged to open up to their colleagues. They should be taught to appreciate and accept themselves first in order to be in a position to share information with other employees. This provides feedback to his or her colleagues on how their behaviors affect him or her. At the same time, supervisors should have empathy. They should try to understand and feel what others goes through. They should learn to respond to what is said, retain distance and objectivity, understand feelings of others in the message and also understand the content of the message. This will ultimately lead to win-n situation that boost communication.
The focus of this proposal is to identify a problem in the work place and develop a solution to that issue. For this purpose, I identified poor communication as a major problem in workplace. I focused on three dimensions to communication. Communication climate can have a positive or negative effect on communication. It should be a supportive and participative climate. The second dimension is formal communication and the last one is informal communication. The recommendations I discussed in this proposal is for companies to maintain open communication climate, have a win-win approach to communication, create trusting environment. Participants should learn the skills of listening actively. This will not only improve communication but also increase job satisfaction.
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