Importance of Effective Communication in an Organization
Objective of the study
The objectives of this study are as follows:
- To assess the current communication practices within the organization.
- To evaluate the impact of effective communication on organizational performance.
- To identify key stakeholders’ perceptions of communication effectiveness.
- To explore the role of technology and digital tools in enhancing or hindering communication.
REVIEWED OF RELATED LITERATURE
Communication, the heart of business, is the most important of all entrepreneurial skills. An organisation’s ability to transmit information helps both clients and employees feel they can communicate with and ultimately trust the company. Communication is more important today than in previous years partly because the business and market conditions are more complex. The development of a strategic communication strategy and its implementation can provide a number of benefits to organizations, such as keeping employees motivated and engaged, and sharing clear, consistent messages with employees in a timely manner that in turn help with organisational productivity (Charles, 1998).
Definitions of Communication
Ramah (1985) defines communication as “the transmission and reception of ideas, feelings and attitudes verbally or non-verbally to produce a favourable response”. Draft (2000) defines communication as “the process by which information is exchanged and understood by two or more people usually with the intention to motivate on influence behavior”. Communication refers to the exchange of information between a sender (source) and a receiver (destination) so that it is received, understood and leads to action (Obamiro, 2008). Obilade (1989) defines communication as “a process that involves the transmission of message from a sender to the receiver. Folarin (2003) defines communication as “any means by which a thought is transferred from one person to another”. Communication is the process by which any person or a group shares and impacts information with/to another person (or group) so that both people (or groups) clearly understood one another (Soola, 2000) Not just giving information, it is the giving of understandable information and receiving and therefore, the transferring of a message to another party so that it can be understood and acted upon (Ode, 1999). Ugbojah (2001) defines communication as “the process which involves all acts of transmitting messages to channels which link people to the languages and symbolic ……… which are used to transmit such messages. It is also the means by which such messages are received and stored. It includes the rules, customs and conventions which define and regulate human relationship and events”. In its simplest form, however, communication is the transmission of a message from a source to a receiver… or the process of creating shared meaning (Baran, 2004:4). It has been shown that there exists various definitions for communication, as there are different disciplines. While some definitions are human centred, others are not. For example, communication system may incorporate computers, as well as less soplusticated reproducing devices such as photocopiers. A photocopier may see communication as meaning different thing from the way a marketer preconceives it. Similarly, a gospel preacher may think communication is something, which is of course different from what a journalist thinks it is. Therefore, there is no single definition of communication agreed upon by scholars. Psychologists, sociologists, medical practioners, philosophies and communication specialists, all define communication based on their orientations and perspectives. Psychologists defined communication as “the process by which an individual (the communicator) transmits stimuli (usually verbal symbols) to modify the behaviours of the other individuals (communicates)”. This definition describes what many extension workers and change agents hope to achieve. Sociologists see communications “as the mechanism through which human relations exit and develop”. Some people define communication rather narrowly, saying “communication is the process whereby one person tells another something through the written or spoken word”. This definition, from a book written by a journalist, seems reasonable for those in that field. So, there are definitions of communication as there are various disciplines. Communication is from a latin word-communis, which means common or shared understanding. Communication therefore is a purposeful effect to establish commonness between a source and receiver (Schramn, 1965). Whatever is being shared could be associated with knowledge, experience, thought, ideas, suggestions, opinions, feelings etc. For the purpose of this paper, communication is defined as the process of exchanging or sharing information, ideas and feeling between the sender and the receiver.
Organizational performance comprises the actual output or results of an organization as measured against its intended outputs (or goals and objectives). According to Richard et al (2009), organizational performance encompasses three specific areas of firm outcomes: (a) financial performance (profit, return on assets, return on investments, etc.); (b) product market performance(sales, market share, etc); (c) shareholder return(total shareholder return, economic value added, etc.). The term organizational effectiveness is broader. Specialists in many fields are concerned with organizational performance including Strategic Planners, Operations, Finance, Legal, and Organizational Development. In recent years, many organizations have attempted to manage organizational performance using the balanced scorecard methodology where performance is treated and measured in multiple dimensions such as: · Financial performance · Customer service · Social responsibility(e.g. corporate citizenship, community outreach) · Employee stewardship.
Heron (1942) identified certain elements necessary for effective communication. His work outlined goals, attitudes, and criteria for effective communication. Credit is attributed to him for outlining two-way communications between employees and management in the existing organizational communication literature. He suggested that “communication is a line function, a two-way sharing of information. This demands the freedom and opportunity to ask questions, get answers and exchange ideas”. However, Pigors (1949) pointed out that effective communication can only be possible if management and employees collaborate and work together. The findings of his study demonstrated that employees were significantly important to the success of internal communication and internal communication played a great positive role in shaping or moulding employee performance within the organization.
Effective communication can encourage employees to improve their work environment through positive contributions. Antony (2013) conducted a study which examined the impact of effective communication on labour productivity in civil engineering projects at Kampala Central division. A measure of the existing relationship between effective communication and labour productivity, and other explanatory variables included work duration spent in a company, educational qualifications, timely information on changes at work, cooperation at work and adequate training provided to employees. It was discovered that asking for clarity in communication and timely information about changes affecting work are meaningful to labour productivity. Also, to achieve the targeted productivity level, managers should confirm clarity or understanding of instructions, provide enough training to employees, make sure cooperation at work exists by providing incentives and finally, develop a good communication plan for timely information delivery on changes affecting work.
Organizations perform various activities to accomplish their organizational objectives. It is these repeatable activities that utilize processes for the organization to be successful that must be quantified to ascertain the level of performance and for management to make informed decisions on where, if needed, within the processes to initiate actions to improve performance. The research project by Kube (2014) main objective was to investigate the effects of communication strategies on organizational performance at Kenya Ports Authority. It also sought to find out how open-door policy of communication influences organizational performance, to assess how group effort enhances organizational performance, to analyse how organizational structure can improve organizational performance and to identify the roles of formal communication channels on organizational performance. The main conclusion drawn from the research was communication strategies play a central role in high-performance. The research concluded that for any organizational performance to be effective, the communication should be an open communication environment is one in which all members of the organization feel free to share feedback, ideas and even criticism at every level. Inclusive—is one in which explicit steps are taken to decisions that affect their day-to-day work. Organizations with a secretive communication environment shut people out, which can stifle involvement and result in lost ideas and opportunities. Companies whose managers successfully engage employees in conversations about their work, their ideas and their perspectives on issues related to products, services, customers, and the business environment develop a culture of inclusiveness that generates results. Result driven-Business communication should be measurable results. Organizations need to think about what employees need to know to do their jobs effectively, to interact with customers effectively and to serve as ambassadors outside of the organization.
Organizations should try to incorporate effective communication strategies that will help enhance the organizational performance. A case study conducted by Kuria (2008) on the National Hospital Insurance Fund in Nairobi to determine effective communication on organizational performance discovered that lack of proper communication is a challenge to organizational performance. This was mainly seen in the issue of effective customer service. If information was not transmitted by one person to the other exhaustively, the customer was likely to not get quality service which is the gauge that measures employee efficiency and overall organizational performance.
Performance, therefore, can be defined as the evaluation of the constituents that try to assess the capability and ability of a company in achieving the constituents’ aspiration levels using efficiency, effectiveness, or social referent criteria.
Quantitatively, performance and the dimension of scale are interrelated, i.e., it is generally quantifiable in different dimensions. As an example, the performance level can be expressed as a percentage or an absolute value in a way that makes it easy to understand for directors. According to Macleod et al. (1997), the quantitative expression of performance targets is the only way to render them meaningful. Furthermore, performance refers to the nature and quality of an action performed in a company to achieve the accomplishment of its primary functions and tasks to produce profit. Communication is an integral component of any performance improvement approach. Organizations eager to accomplish strategic goals establish well defined communication strategies. A well-defined strategy is one that engages employees and aligns with the organization’s business goals. According to Richard et al. (2009) organizational performance encompasses three specific areas of firm outcomes: financial performance (profits, return on assets, return on investment); product market performance (sales, market share) and shareholder return (total shareholder return, economic value added).
In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries.
Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled. According to Singleton & Straits, (2009), Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e., mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behaviour, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research.
POPULATION OF THE STUDY
According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitutes of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.
This study was carried to examine important of effective communication in an organization. UBA in Uyo forms the population of the study.
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
This chapter presents the analysis of data derived through the questionnaire and key informant interview administered on the respondents in the study area. The analysis and interpretation were derived from the findings of the study. The data analysis depicts the simple frequency and percentage of the respondents as well as interpretation of the information gathered. A total of eighty (80) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which only seventy-seven (77) were returned and validated. This was due to irregular, incomplete and inappropriate responses to some questionnaire. For this study a total of 77 was validated for the analysis.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain important of effective communication in an organization. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing important of effective communication in an organization
This study was on important of effective communication in an organization. Three objectives were raised which included; To assess the current communication practices within the organization, to evaluate the impact of effective communication on organizational performance, to identify key stakeholders’ perceptions of communication effectiveness and to explore the role of technology and digital tools in enhancing or hindering communication.. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from UBA in Uyo. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).
The study hereby recommends that for an effective and efficient organizational performance, management must embrace; more clarity of ideas before communicating; better understanding of the physical and human environment when communicating; purpose of communication must be thoroughly analyzed; when planning communication, consultation should both be top down and bottom up, and all facts must be implicit and explicit; consideration should be given to the content and tone of the messages; the languages must be messages the receiver would find valuable; communication with precise messages and are short run often possess long run importance; all interested parties in communication should be encouraged to be good listeners; immediate actions must be accompanied and accomplished with communication; and lastly effective feedback and follow up mechanism process must succeed effective communication
The effectiveness of communication is determined by both parties; hence it becomes necessary that they must pursue the same objective, which is high performance rate in all affairs of the institution. All cadres of staff should be involved in decisions and issues that affect their performance, for it will lead to organisational development and positive. Every organization endeavours to make effective communication an essential integral; part in effect management strategies to help minimize organizational conflict, less misunderstanding, improving information management and cordial relationship between management and workforce. Change is needed but when it is badly communicated it will likely lead to poor performance and negative outcome. Consequently, all staff members should key into the google programme of the university to enable them be at abreast with the use of the google applications and email address. It should also be backed up with work’s seminar to enlighten them on the important of effective communication, training and retraining to increase their performance in their academic and administrative responsibility. It also suggested that a result driven- communication since it gives room to measure results and performance as it the communication process within the organization and this in turn impacts on decision making, problem solving as some of the issues undergo a bureaucratic process and this slows down the dispute.
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