Have you ever wondered what got you your job? Effective communication is where it all starts. From getting you a job it continues to play a key role in your personal growth and your employer’s growth. If you consider the company to be a vehicle, then communication forms its wheels, which can take it either forward or backward.
“For internal communication we leverage our K-Connect Sessions which are held monthly. It is an interactive platform to bring everyone on the same page on our business performance and discuss future plans.”
The pillars of communication which will take a company forward are:
This is of fundamental importance and has significance in both oral and written forms of communication. Every organisation, big or small, needs clear policies relating to all employees and the same should be universally communicated within the company in a language understood by all. This will provide a rock-solid foundation to the chains of command improving individual and group productivity, reduce disputes and enable quick-decision making. There can be a school of thought against this too because of the cost involved, the time-consuming effort required and also the ever-changing environment. The wise have so aptly said that there is no short-cut to success.
Lalit Kar, VP and head-HR at Mumbai International Airport says,” In our company, we have outsourced manpower and most work is at the execution level. We have to deal with the union and the contractors too. We have implemented the Townhall to communicate with the contractor and workers every three months, to bring about clarity and transperncy in our communication.”
If there is no ambiguity in the fundamental employee policies of an organisation it will set the right tone for day to day communication between inter and intra functions, improving employee communications with colleagues, managers and customers. This will lead to better team building and employee satisfaction.
Rohit Kumar, CHRO Kellogg India says, “For internal communication we leverage our K-Connect Sessions which are held monthly. It is an interactive platform to bring everyone on the same page on our business performance and discuss future plans.”
” In our company, we have outsourced manpower and most work is at the execution level. We have to deal with the union and the contractors too. We have implemented the Townhall to communicate with the contractor and workers every three months, to bring about clarity and transperncy in our communication.”
All communications in an organisation are directed towards human beings. Thus, the human factor should play an important role in setting the tone and boundaries of communication. Various factors that influence moral communication within a group are ethnicity, culture, tastes and preferences, varied age groups, economical backgrounds and educational differences. Over the past decade, ethical communication has become a concern among business leaders. The reasons being globalisation, growth of social media and more women joining workforce. Thus, ethics is such an important subject that protocol for ethical behaviour must be upheld in communication.
Kar, who deals with a large heterogenous workforce says, “ As maximum number of our workers are from the base line, our communication system is optimised to suit these circumstances. We organise ‘House-keeping Week’, where we win employee trust and communicate informally with them during a week -long celebration. We also conduct programmes under the Maharashtra Government Welfare Scheme for our workers, and here too, effective communication is the key component. These programmes help to bridge the cultural gap between the leaders and the led.”
A one-way street will choke communication and adversely affect deliveries. Vertical communication within a business cannot fall into the trap of one-way movement, which is top to bottom. The strategies designed by the higher management need definite but agile channels of two-way communication for strategy deliveries.
In his dealings with unionised workforces, Kar uses productive training sessions to give an opportunity to the workforce to communicate freely. This ensures systematic mobilisation of the right workers to the right job. He elaborates that by making them a part of the strategic conversation, they receive good insights that help the top management to plan better. Also, these training sessions are very useful in preparing them to become up-to-date in the execution of work.
Thus, two-way communication helps to achieve engagement and ownership among employees. Disputes can be resolved easily. A leading global retail company, Tesla achieves the same by employing a strategy called ‘Listen & Fix’, where leaders ask employees about the issues they face and then act accordingly. The two-way internal communication made Tesco staff feel listened to by their leaders and has proved to be a powerful tool for employee engagement, leaving everyone in the company better off.
Effective communication can help boost employee morale and supplement the productivity of an organisation’s resources. The last decade has witnessed several changes in the way businesses are run. This has made the employees of today insecure and disturbed. Communication can be a key to counter this problem in any organisation. The leaders are implementing creative strategies that not only get work done but leave the workers feeling more inspired. The lower and mid-levels are acknowledged for their work in good spirit and the attitude is to allow them to ‘fall and get up’. Through inspiring communication, workers’ good work is acknowledged, and success celebrated.
Kumar at Kellogg also uses K- Connect to recognise star performers and share inspiring stories where employees have gone beyond call of duty.
The medium of communication is as important as the communication itself. Technology has changed the way business is conducted, and further changed the channels of communication. Electronic and multi-media are dominating the means of communication. The policy makers have more options today and greater responsibility in choosing the right medium for the audience. Their responsibility has increased by many folds, as each channel of communication comes with certain pros and cons.
Today, companies are taking their internal communications very seriously. They are employing resources to come out with newsletters, monthly or quarterly magazines and employee websites. The employee website can be used to promote career opportunities for employees and keep them updated with company policies.