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Managerial communication should not only be found in meetings, media relations, corporate presentations or in official correspondence. Employees do not always use formal communication while at the workplace as I discovered while working at an academic library. Compared to formal communication, informal communication is found to be more active. Studies and surveys show that, at the work place, people spend between 25% - 70% of their time conversing face to face. 80% to 93%, however, occupies unplanned communication. This brings enhancement of informal communication within a workplace. Informal communication can, at times, be backed by either spontaneity or opportunity. It can bring solidarity and mutuality. On the other hand, it can overcome formal communication through the spread of rumors. Informal communication can easily bring cliquey functioning of the organization, which further brings clique politics within the workplace. Consequences of this include low morale, low productivity, high attrition, and less sense of belonging. Managers ought to adapt an organization approach, such as “an open eye and ear” in order to overcome these problems. Managers need to get a solution to organizational politics, and informal communication problem within the workplace.
Different methods of managerial communication directly impact on job satisfaction, staff turnover, and employee morale. Two methods of communication exist within the workplace. These include formal communication and informal communication. The two forms of communication should be effectively managed to create a desirable working environment. Proper managerial communication will lead to achievement of desired results. Employees should be made to feel as part of the organization. They should also feel job satisfaction. This can only be achieved if workers get the freedom to express themselves to the management. A sense of purpose, which would lead to job growth, should also be fostered. Employees should be informed of the organizational goals. Growth opportunities need also to be provided to the workers, and, at the same time, managers should seek employee input. This way, the workers will be comfortable while at the workplace. The case study will be academic library administration. While working in an academic library, the researcher found managerial communication to be poor. Workers could not express themselves freely for fear of being fired. Job satisfaction had not been achieved by most workers since opportunities for job growth were minimal. This problem ought to be solved.
Organizational culture must be considered before deciding the managerial communication to apply, as regards employee morale. Managers need to assess the culture of the organization as well as the current climate within the workplace. Organization climate also needs to be assessed. Competing values framework, developed by Quinn and Cameron, should be used to assess the organizational culture. This framework stands out to be reliable to assess the organizational culture. It also helps to come up with an effective strategy to change the workplace culture. The current culture in the National library Administration showed market mentality. The organization needs control and stability since it focuses on external positioning. The desired organization culture would have a high individuality level and a high degree of flexibility. Therefore, a need for creativity in the organization becomes vital to change the organizational culture (Hiam, 2010, p. 14).
Solution and Recommendations.
The library employees need to get involved in the action plan formulation. This will include unit level action plans, as well as individual plans for the work. Commitment building within the workplace will, therefore, be realized. This will eventually lead to development of library strategic directions. Workers opinions combined with their individual input will bring increased employee morale. Employee voice and job growth help in increasing employee morale. People need growth opportunity while at the work place. This makes them satisfied with their job.
Task identity, task significance, autonomy, variety of skills and feedback lead to psychological meaningfulness, knowledge, and experienced responsibility. The above mentioned states lead to job satisfaction and high level of performance within the workplace. There is also an effect on job satisfaction, brought about by lateral, downward, and upward communication. Studies have shown that individual job growth is necessary since all employees value it. As regards job satisfaction and performance, downward communication shows the greatest impact. Employees who have low growth need usually perform well and portray a sense of job satisfaction once expectations and goals get communicated to them (Hynes, 2004, p. 292).
In a library setting, employee satisfaction and performance would be improved through upward and lateral communication. Sharing of ideas in such a setting becomes highly appreciated even though it is not a corporate setting. Many authors agree that appropriate communication is vital in accomplishing goals of an organization. Top-down communication is especially beneficial even though it should not be applied solely. Bureaucracy should be avoided at all cost as librarians and libraries prefer free flow of information. Job growth of high levels would receive appreciation at both academic and corporate settings.
It would be necessary to analyze the communication used by management, as well as the employees. Library employees do not feel free to communicate their discontent at the work place. This happens because they fell that their opinions would not be taken seriously by the management, hence useless and dangerous at times. There is, therefore, need to implement communication systems from the employees to the management. This way, employees would be free to communicate their problems without fear. Lack of communication systems, which are effective, leads to slow exposure of scandals at the workplace. When the workers realize that their views and suggestions receive consideration by the management, their morale becomes boosted.
Managers should use motivational language while addressing their employees/ subordinates. Communication within the organizational structure ought to be well managed. Motivational language leads to goals clarification and reduction of uncertainties. It also leads to decreased ambiguity. Leaders need to use empathetic language while addressing their subordinates. Meaningful speeches would be those addressing the organizational culture, rules, norms, values, and behavior expectation from the workers. These are the unique characteristics of an organization. Motivational language would lead to achievement of the desired outcomes. Motivational language leads to employee retention, which cannot be over emphasized in today’s modern world (Smith, 2009, p. 82).
In an academic library, managers should value employee retention. Motivational language ought to be applied while addressing the library personnel. Staff turnover should be reduced, and this would benefit the academic libraries. Strong relationships between the workers and management are vital as they would lead to employee retention. Many organizations use informal communication regularly as compared to formal communication. Managers should understand the importance of informal communication and grapevine network, for them to run the organization well. Pilot projects are commonly used to harness organizations’ network. Organizations should make sure that they communicate changes in policy, procedure or product to their employees in order to avoid unhealthy rumors. This is so because with such clarity rumors would be few since there would be fewer questions to be asked. Informal teams would also be relevant to help squelch rumor mill since rumors spoil the work environment through distrust and loss of morale.
Workers should be encouraged to work towards achievement of a common goal. In school libraries, informal teams comprising of people who work in different units will help boost morale and create a sense of camaraderie. Such informal teams will boost meeting of people who rarely see each other. Their working together would in turn lead to morale boosting. This informal interaction will also make the employees feel that they are part of the whole library and not only the departments. Informal communication would lead to gossip if not well managed, and we all know that gossips are unhealthy in any organization. Managers should encourage team building activities as a way of managing informal communication. Job satisfaction and employee performance get achieved through management of informal communication within an organization.
The managers should also interact socially with the employees, as a detached intruder. This way the workers will use effective informal communication. This increases proximity, trust, and strengthens relationships in the workplace. Here, the manager comes on at the same level with the subordinates with an intention of reducing rumors in the organization. This method would work well in a library setting, as the manager would be readily available to answer any questions, and to make clarity on certain issues where need arises. Reduction of rumors leads to stress reduction on the workers, hence boosting employee morale. Managers ought to create management which is accessible. Administration, which is accessible, would also help reduce rumors within an organization.
Today’s library workers show some reasonable degree of individuality and flexibility. This brings the unique academic library culture. The presence of flexibility, as well as individuality, brings about increased demand for active participation. Employees are also able to voice their opinions since they know they will be listened to by the managers. The responsibility of the managers would be ensuring that systems are in place for upward communication. Employees should be encouraged to passively or actively air their ideas and opinions. Opinions and ideas would be encouraged through the use of motivational language, surveys or team experiences by the managers/ supervisors. Encouraging employees’ participation in decision making ensures employee morale at the workplace. Finally, managers ought to provide job growth opportunities. This will bring a sense of purpose, which is the main cause for motivation among the employees within an organization (Hamilton, 2010, p. 208).