In today’s marketplace, the key to the success of any type of business is effective communication between all relevant parties within the organization and also out of it. It is extraordinary that very often the poorest communication links within a business are found in organizations associated with communications, such as mobile phone equipment businesses.
As many other small businesses in Cambridge, this business that produces high technology mobile phone equipment, has grown and has become a medium sized organization. Obviously this change has many implications for the four managers of the company, as the staff has become from 5 people to 300 members of staff but the management of this business has stayed the same with the 4 managers being a manager director, a sales and marketing director, finance director and a production director.
The location of the business has also changed 3 years ago, as it has moved in a much more modern manufacturing environment, situated in a purpose built accommodation on a science park, a short distance outside of Cambridge city center. The four directors mentioned above have an equal stake of 20% of the business and the last 20% is owned by the bank, so it is clear that these are the people that make most decisions for the business, but there is also a newly addressed human resource department with a new manager and a full time assistant.
Up to a couple of years ago the business was enjoying spectacular growth, nowadays even though the overall productivity figures have dropped and the growth has slowed down, the company still enjoys some healthy growth, but nothing like it used to. So the management of the business noticed this drop in the figures and together with the human resource manager, they decided and carried out a staff attitude survey in order to find out what is going on within the business.
One of the first things that the human resource manager picked up from members of staff, indicating to him/her that something is not going on as it should was the dissatisfaction between staff that they are not aware of what is going on in the business and that they feel that nobody cares about them or what they do, obviously there are no communication links between the staff and the managers something that has to change. After doing the survey, the comments from line workers verified what the human resource manager felt and expressed as soon as he/she joined.
Staff have complained that the only thing they know about the project they are suppose to accomplish, is the deadline of it and nothing else, they are not involved in any of the other procedures that are followed until the product is produced. This specific problem has been created since the company has become larger, as when the company had 5 members of staff, it was easy for the management to inform them about the whole procedure of the production, but now that the company owns better manufacturing equipment the production of a product may go through 50 or more members of staff and it is very difficult to inform them all about everything.
Also it must be noticed, that now that the company has moved to a modern manufacturing environment, the procedures followed until a product is produced are much more simple, as the machinery do most of the work and members of staff only have to manage the machines, so the production line has probably changed and the staff don’t need to know more about the production, as they may used to know when the company was much smaller.
The survey has also shown that the staff is un-happy working there, people have said that they hate going to work, that they only work because the pay is good and they live close and more or less only the management has been happy during the last years that the profits were maximizing, but the staff have come to a point that they cant stand this situation any more and this is noticeable even in the overall productivity figures.
The survey was also done between administration staff and the findings were also not positive for the company, something that indicates clearly that the cause of the drop in the company’s figures are linked to the bad communication within the business, as the same members of staff were able to maximize profits for the company the last few years but now that they are un-happy they cannot offer the same and the company even though it has moved to a modern environment, with better working conditions its losing market share.
Administration staff have emphasized about how much pressure they feel at work and that even though the managers do communicate with them, they feel that they are not always told the whole truth, they have mentioned a few examples that they were told something by their boss and that later on they either over-heard or were told by someone else that what they were told was not right in comparison to what really was going to happen.
Another bad example of communication, was noticed when a member of the administration staff stated that even though he/she was working there for 7 years they did not know all the members of staff or either knew what they do within the business.
The mobile phone equipment companies are all pride to say that they are happy to bring new technology into our lives through continuous innovation and they always try to offer more than one solutions to a given problem, but in our example this company does not try to find solutions for the problems within the company and if the company workers don’t work as a team then they will not be able to work as a team with their clients, something that has been said to be very important for mobile phone equipment teams, in order to successfully accomplish a project.