Communication is the process of creating, transmitting and interpreting ideas, facts, opinions and feelings. It is a process that is essentially a sharing one, a mutual interchange between two or more persons.
The need for effective communication in an organization
Communication is an integral part of management because it is only through it that a manager can make himself understood by his employees. A manager must receive and give ideas, reports, instructions and give demonstrations.
Besides through communication, a manager keeps the organization in touch with the external environment (customers, suppliers, dealers, government etc).
Communication is therefore essential for affecting organizational performance. Effective and efficient communication results in better organizational performance.
Effective communication helps managers to:
• Establish and disseminate goals of an enterprise.
• Develop plans for their achievement.
• Organize human and non human resources.
• Select, develop and appraise staff.
• Control performance.
• Direct, lead and motivate employees.
How to improve organizational communication
It is the responsibility of every manager to keep improving the process and making it more effective.
Some ways of making communication more effective include:
• Brevity – the message should be as brief and simple as possible. A wordier message has higher chances of distortion.
• Appropriate vocabulary – the words and statements used by the sender should be those known and understood by the receiver. Technical jargon should be avoided.
• Accuracy – Irrelevant issues must be avoided.
• Completeness – the message should be such that it contains all the needed information. Nothing must be left to be guessed.
• Selectivity – managers should send out and receive only that information they require. Information overload can be confusing.
• Use of visual devices – oral communication becomes more effective if complemented with visual aids.
• Timeliness – information must be given at the time when it is required. Untimely information is as bad as no information at all.
• Empathy – the sender should try as much as possible to identify with the position and situation of the receiver.
• Effective feedback system – there should be a mechanism of sending feedback within the organization.
• Economy – the benefits of communication should justify its costs.