Employee communication, or internal communication, is the discipline and practice of communicating effectively with employees across an organization. The public relation officer must know the needs, objectives, and problems of his employees. They have to make sure that they do communication in all four layers of an employee within the organization like managerial levels teammate, project mate as well internal corporate communication. An employee is the people who also help a company to get the right masses, completion of work on time. Their involvement in an organization and structure growth of the employee in an organization create a win-win situation for both of them. They are the people who actually share the responsibility with company owner and help them to fulfill their objectives and goals.
According to Redfield (communication in management), whether an organization aims at service, production or distribution, it consists of individuals and groups of people. Their work is related to the work of other groups and individuals as well as the organization.
Deetz (2001) describes two ways of seeing and defining internal communications. The most common approach focuses on internal communication as a “phenomenon that exists in organizations”. In this view, the organization is a container in which communication occurs. A second approach sees internal communication as “a way to describe and explain organizations”. Here, communication is the central process through employees share information, create relationships, make meaning and “construct” organizational culture and values. This process is a combination of people, messages, meaning, practices, and purpose and it is the foundation of modern organizations.
Sources of Employee Communication:-
There are two major sources of communication: Formal sources and informal sources
Involvement of human resource management department of an organization: – they are the people who actually do all the communication with employees and convey them about company policies, structures, growth, their job roles, compensation, resolving of any disputes, suggestions and bring changes accordingly. In short, they are the face of an organization to manage communication internally.
Public Relations Department (PR):- Generally, in a big organization, there is a PR department who helps an organization to manage their relationship with media. The PR system has the capability to project a particular image and emotional tone through their advertising messages. The PR through their emotional appeals play a major role to form the employee’s perception of the organization’s business policies and social values.
Create a culture and schedule an informal communication meeting:-
“Your employees know you make more money than they do,” says Bloomington, Illinois, HR consultant Rick Galbreath. “What they don’t understand is that you take more risk. They won’t be able to understand the risk until they understand the business.” Galbreath further states that it is essential for a supervisor to schedule at least 15 mins meeting with co-workers or key people to check on their progress and identify problems. It helps them to get connect better. This can be done one to one or group to group depending on the necessity. Sometimes, a social gathering with family gives a feeling to employees as if he is a part of the organization and helps them to perform better. It is true that people do not work for institutions, they work for people, therefore, the head of company/co-workers should create a mechanism to deal with their problems and perceptions effectively and create a culture so that their performance level goes up. They should influence co-workers.
Listening to your employees:-
It is important for an organization to know that their employees are heard of properly otherwise they are the people who create another impression about an organization to the prospective employee. Therefore organization should create a formal feedback mechanism, hear their suggestions or complaints, reward feedback and check management attitude and be the representative of an employee if they are on the right side. Many companies failed because of their arrogant attitude towards their employees. Though the employee in an organization works for a salary, but they need recognition, rewards, appreciation and an environment where they can work hard and get the best for an organization. Share with employee’s organization’s culture and capable leader’s vision which will help them to perform better.
Organizing Employee Communication/Role of management in Employee Communication/steps in implementing an effective employee communication programme:-
It is important for an organization to systematically organize employee communication not only to deal with specific issues but for the long-term well-being of the organization. The role of management is extremely crucial to convey their interest and their expectations towards their employees. They also need to follow the systematic steps for its implementation.
- Giving them a close look at the organization: – As I mentioned that people want appreciation and belongingness in an organization where they spend maximum hours. Therefore, a progressive organization should them to set up their goals, help them to make a systematic plan for getting over there. The organization should also empower them and make them feel confident about the value of their contribution toward those plans. The millennials and Gen Z look for instant gratification and feedback. They get restless easily and want frequent interaction and feedback of their performance. They are in the digital era and they want constant information about their organization’s success and current levels. Therefore, a good organization value their employees, their trends and set the goals together to increase the feeling of teamwork and progress. Create great goals that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. As per a global survey conducted by LinkedIn, a social networking website for professionals found that 73% of its participants want a career in which they feel that their job matters. Therefore, it is proved that a well-functioning internal communication system can motivate employees to work toward a common goal. A company can shift their focus from “Why” to “What”.
- Communicate: – A management should use a possible channel of communication to communicate their employees the reality of an organization rather they hear it from outside. Two main ingredients are needed to ensure that information comes from the right source, is timely, and reaches all employees. It is important for an organization to establish a fast, interactive and reliable channel to reach all employees. They also need to create trust and transparency in their approach. This will enable companies to remain in control of the messages they send, instead of leaving information susceptible to individual interpretations.
- Empower and Support Middle Management: – it is important for internal communication to make their chain of communication hierarchy most effective. Everywhere, it is not possible for top people to intervene and sort out the concerns. The middle managers are actually one who gets involved with their staff and make the work done. Therefore, they should be allowed to make certain decisions with less intervention. A goal-oriented, specific and clear communication with people within the organization improves their productivity and create better managers. It is a responsibility of senior staff to guide well to their millennials and help them function effectively. Good internal communication helps an organization to gain a good image also before their customers. It helps customers to get the best from the organization. In a large distributed organization with more than lakhs of employees, communication happens through frontline employees. Great brands are built from the inside out. Start with your employees and their satisfaction and confidence will be mirrored directly onto your customers.
- Limit Rumors and Enhance Transparency: – Informal communication has its advantages and disadvantages. Grapevine word-of-mouth can sometimes help employees to interpret managerial information; it often reaches those who might have otherwise missed the original transmission, and it’s more flexible than formal communication. In addition, the grapevine helps to improve relationships between employees and it spreads knowledge and tips that can make work more effective. Providing both—a rumor-free environment and transparency—is central to a generation of employees (and customers) who are skeptical to the core.
Benefits of Good Employee Communication:-
A 2016 Internal Communication Survey found that Internal Communication budgets are more likely to be growing than shrinking in the years to come. In fact, 87% of the participants expect that budgets will either remain at present levels or increase. With the top-down hierarchy slowly unraveling and younger generations moving in, internal communication and employee engagement are two topics that are here to stay and should be at the top of every company’s list of priorities.
Good Employee Communication gives following benefits to companies and employees:-
- Clarity to purpose: – An employee knows what his role is and what he needs to contribute.
- Employee motivation: – Clear vision, defined job responsibility, structured growth path motivate an employee to perform well in his life and contribute productively to the growth of an organization.
- Teamwork: – Foster confidence, inclusive environment develops a healthy culture and builds a strong team.
Benefits to company:-
- Productive staff input: – All staff gives their best which reach the consumer of the companies.
- Demonstrate integrity – the standard ethics and culture of an organization unanimously create a positive mindset and demonstrate a sense of integrity and honesty in consumer minds and help them to form perceptions accordingly.
- Goodwill and Customer Service: – Clearly-communicated goals, well-trained and informed staff, and happy faces will significantly improve a customer’s encounter with the brand and, consequently, enhance revenue.
- https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/248757 /retrieved on 24th February 2018
- https://instituteforpr.org/employee-organizational-communications/ retrieved on 24th February 2018
- https://www.inc.com/magazine/20100501/guidebook-how-to-communicate-with-employees.html/ retrieved on 24th February 2018
- https://insights.staffbase.com/blog/why-internal-communications-is-more-important-than-ever/ retrieved on 24th February 2018.
Kavita Mishra Pandey
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