The aim of this assignment is to understand and demonstrate the importance of effective communication in the workplace. Although there are many areas to consider as to what makes an organization successful (or not), it is communication that brings all other aspects such as motivation, perception, groups, teams and leadership together. It is the author’s intention through The Human Relations Approach and Classical School Theory to highlight the importance of effective communication in the workplace. The main areas of communication in the modern workplace are verbal and non-verbal.
Verbal is what we are saying and non-verbal could be written communication such as e mails or our body language when face-to-face. The author will demonstrate how effective communication has been a key element in Ascendant Technologies Ltd growth and success since 2003. The Human Relations Approach Although the Classical School gave great thought to the efficiency of the worker and increased productivity for the organization, it did not take into consideration the workers social and emotional needs (Laurie J. Mullins, 2010: 53-56). It believed that the worker was motivated by monetary incentives. The most notable contributor was F. W.
Taylor (1856-1917), whom believed that there was ‘one best way’ for organising workers to perform any set of tasks through experimentation by management with little or no interaction. Human Relations Approach focuses on the social and emotional needs of the workers and that managers can get work done by addressing these needs. Chester Barnard (1938) suggested they were “co-operative social systems, as opposed to machine-like technical structures” (Ian Brooks, 2003: 128-130). Elton Mayo (1880-1949) believed that workers were not just motivated by money and that they would be better motivated by having their social needs addressed at work.
One of the most famous experiments is the Hawthorne Studies (1924-1932) where Western Electric Company in the USA experiments were conducted to study the effects of work productivity when workers were subjected to poor working conditions such as bad lighting and change in working hours. On conclusion of the experiment it was found that no matter what the change of conditions the productivity did not change and in some cases productivity increased. During the experiments, interviews with the workers were conducted as to how they felt about their supervisors and what they thought about the working conditions.
It was soon noted that the workers did not just want to focus on how they felt about their supervisors and working conditions. The interviewers became more open and showed empathy towards the workers and in turn the workers spoke about their true feelings which gave them a sense of worth and importance. Mayo concluded that there was Better communication between manager and worker Greater management involvement in workers personal lives Working in groups or teams, this previously, did not happen . What is Communication and why is it important in the workplace?
Communication is the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium (Oxford English Dictionary, n. d). The way in which communication is conveyed and received is also another factor to consider as in many of today’s organisations there is a diverse workforce from different backgrounds, cultures and religions. “Effective organizational communication, from an HR viewpoint, focuses on openness in communication between senior management and employees, resulting in improved employee engagement and productivity.
In cross-cultural environment, building and maintaining rapport for business relationships depends on the effective use of language and understanding differing communication styles. ” (H R Magazine, 2008: Special section 1-9) The author draws on Mayo’s first finding that improved communication between management and workers being a reason for increased productivity. If a worker is not aware of his or her responsibilities or tasks, this can lead to confusion and work not being completed.
The author relates this to Ascendant Technologies as the three internal staff used to work for a local firm of whom Ascendant Technologies have dealt with and know the people well. The company in question do not treat their workers well and in the author’s opinion, supported by the Classical School approach, their opinions did not count and they were not encouraged to deviate from their roles. One of the workers who was employed as a quality technician, would regularly raise issues with the product quality and was often told to disregard his findings and ship the goods so that they were able to meet their monthly shipping target.
This meant customers receiving incorrect or faulty goods and either being returned or engineers going to site to resolve the issues. This treatment led to unhappiness, low confidence and low morale. When the staff were first employed by Ascendant Technologies, initially they were not confident enough to take initiative and think for themselves. They would not make decisions no matter how small unless they cleared it with management first. It has been the author’s priority to encourage and generate self confidence in the workers so they at least would be empowered to make small decisions.
This has been done through personal interaction giving feedback and inviting them to openly comment without prejudice, on how they are managed. Laurie J. Mullins writes “if your staff do something good, tell them. And then tell them again. And again. Keep it up. Put it in writing. ” By telling staff “well done” or “good job” has had the greatest effect. In the previous companies they were never commended for doing a good job and often taken for granted. Weekly meetings are held to discuss companies performance generally of orders received and invoiced sales.
All members are aware of targets the company must reach and any issues such as quality, customer service, vendors issues or any other business are discussed and if an action is required it is agreed who should take up responsibility to resolve the issue. Feedback is also encouraged on how to better quality systems, dealing with suppliers and general workload so that the company runs more efficient. The management take an interest in workers lives outside of work. They feel that if there are any personal issues this may have an effect on their work.
As Ascendant Technologies are a small company there is one office which everyone including the managing director works meaning management are approachable for any issues and to join in with general conversations. There is a friendly, family atmosphere and everyone wants to work and do well for the company. Personal development is also important to Ascendant Technologies management. Quarterly reviews are held and a performance review is given to the workers with the opportunity for them to give feedback and if they require additional training or would like to improve their skills through learning then this is looked into.