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Communication in the Workplace

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on 18 November 2013

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Transcript of Communication in the Workplace

Communication in the Workplace
Downward Communication
Communication that flows from an upper level of a group or organization to a lower level
- ex: managers to employees

Examples of Downward Communication
- Providing job instructions
- Explaining policies and procedures
- Feedback about job performance
- Point out problems that need attention
- Set goals

Upward Communication
Information flow from the lower levels of a hierarchy to the upper levels
- i.e. employees --> managers/supervisors/directors

Some examples of Upward Communication
-Employee satisfaction surveys
-Suggestion boxes
-Focus Groups
-Meetings with immediate manager
-Meetings with upper level management

Leads to better customer service
Enhances employee dedication and motivation to the company
Encourages and harbors teamwork
Inspires profitable employee input
Promotes clarity of purpose
Communication in the Digital Age
By Lisa Propoggia
Tess Hack
Hannah Holtzman
Ricki McCarthy
Kerry McGrath
Renan Young

Decreases communication roadblocks and creates an open door policy
- Clarifies organizational directions and expectations
- Relays the importance of organizational goals
- When communication is clear, the organization is more consistent
Downward Communication is one directional meaning that managers often disregard opinions of lower level employees
- A study from the textbook showed that ⅔ of employees are rarely or never asked for advice or feedback from their managers
- If a manager is too demanding or communicates negatively, the feedback or direction may not be taken by the employee. It is important to respect and listen to the employees.
- If Downward Communication is underused, employees may not know expectations or be under-trained for their position

Competing Values Framework
A balanced use of these roles is essential for managerial effectiveness

Downward Communication must be repeated several times through a variety of ways to be truly effective.
- The decision made by the manager must be explained to the employees.
- A study in the textbook shows that employees were twice as likely to be committed to changes when the reasons behind them were fully explained.
- Downward Communication is effective if the communication frame seems realistic, practical, and informative.
- Effective managerial communicators allow ideas to be shared from employees to upper level managers or supervisors.
Effective Downward Communicators

Managers gain insight
Feedback --> helps improve organizational development, employees feel respected
Mutual Trust --> relationship between managers and employees becomes stronger
Evaluation/Creation of Policies --> front line employees can usually tell if something does/doesn’t work
Useful for both parties and necessary for effective corporate management

Filtering --> employee passes message through immediate supervisor
Delay --> employee may hesitate to let managers know of a problem
Reluctance --> fear retaliation
Education/Experience --> communication barriers
Language Barriers
Ingratiation effect --> exaggerating how much employee agrees with management

Downward Communication:
The flow of information from high levels of management to subordinate levels within an organization.
- Manager to employee

Upward Communication:
The process of information flowing from the lower levels of a hierarchy to the upper levels.
-Employee to manager

Lateral Communication (Horizontal Communication):
Communication between individuals within the same hierarchy or level.
- Employee to employee or manager to manager
the ways in which individuals construct and enact their roles in relation to leaders

Followers vary on how they report interacting with people above them
- Silent, supportive, obedient role
- Partner role

Follower Beliefs in the Co-Production of Leadership

Important Measures
Belief in the co-production of leadership
-Beliefs regarding the roles of followers in relation to leaders in organizations
Employee voice
-How they interact with their supervisors
Constructive resistance
-Frequency with which they used resistance behaviors with their supervisors

Followers with stronger co-production beliefs appear to be undeterred by context
Those weaker in co-production beliefs vary their level of voice behavior depending on whether the context is favorable/unfavorable
Communication between employees and employees and managers and managers
Ways to Encourage Communication
Hold annual staff meetings
Have social events that will prompt informal communication among employees
Send out monthly newsletters
Form a group on a social media website
Post notices on bulletin boards
Maintain an “open-door policy”
Activity 1
With verbal communication, line up in the order of your month and date of birth.
Activity 2
Now without talking, line up in alphabetical order of your middle names.
Lateral Communication
Managers' duty to maintain good workplace communications skills, Timmins, F. (2011)

Innovative Work Behavior and Communication Climate among Employees of Advertising Agencies, Arif S., Zubair A., & Manzoor, Y., (2012)
Activity 3
Importance of Detail
Types of Communication
Barriers of Effective Communication
Selective Perception
Information Overload
Communication Apprehension
Interpersonal Communication:
the way in which people transfer meaning between and among each other.

Three main types of interpersonal communication:
- Oral
- Written
- Nonverbal

Oral Communication
Information that is transmitted through spoken words.
Our main form of communication

- Speeches, formal one-on-one discussions, group discussions, and the informal rumor mill (“through the grapevine”)
- Speed
- Feedback
- Potential for distortion

Written Communication
Information that is transmitted through written words or symbols
- Memos, letters, fax transmissions, e-mail, instant messaging, organizational periodicals, notices placed on bulletin boards (including electronic ones)
- Tangible
- Verifiable
- More thought out, logical, and clear
- More time consuming
- Lack of feedback

Nonverbal Communication
Information that is transmitted through wordless cues
- Body movements, intonations or emphasis of given words, facial expressions, and physical distance between people
- Provides added meaning
- Provides the emotion behind a message
- Complicates the message given through verbal communication

Foundations for Good and Bad Communication
Negative Communication:
- Argumentative tone of voice
- Rigid refusals
- Making excuses
Positive Communication:
- Good listening skills
- Displaying open and social behaviors (instills trust)
- Being attentive (expresses empathy)

Text Messaging
Social Networking
Not a suggested form of communication in the work place
- Not as effective for long messages
- Can be distracting

There are 3.2 billion social networking accounts as of 2013

- Business contacts
- Discover professional opportunities and business deals
- Get the latest news and insights

- Remember prospective employer might check your Facebook!
Video Conferences
Busy professionals attend over 60 meetings each month. However, most say they cannot attend all meetings to which they are invited due to the tremendous demands on their time
- Increases productivity
- Saves money
- Saves time
- Reduces face-to-face time deceasing personal relationships
As of 2013, the majority of business communication is done by e-mail
Over a billion e-mails are sent and received per day in the business world
62 trillion e-mails are sent every year

- Risk of misinterpreting the message
- Drawbacks for communicating negative messages
- Time-consuming nature

Word choice, sentence structure, and tone in e-mails on shared message understanding, (Wheeler, Kristine R.)

In-person meeting $5,197.50

Videoconference $1,700.69
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