Team Communication in Organizations

Team communication typically begins with task assignments and directives from company and team leaders. Such assignments involve top-down team interactions. Within the team, one -on-one and small group interactions drive information sharing and collaboration on task completion. Teams also share information and back- and forth – discussions through electronic and paper documentation. In a customer service setting for instance, each customer’s account contains call reports so each service team member can see the dialogue that has taken place.

BENEFITS OF TEAM COMMUNICATION

Effective communication is the key to high performance and productivity in a work team. When each person clearly understands his role, listens well to instruction, offers updates and insights, aware of what has been done and what remains to complete.

As far as communication in a team setting is concerned, the following are the benefits derived from it:

1. Identity and cohesion: An indirect result of communication is the development of a sense of identity and cohesion. As team members shares ideas, engage in professional debate and work toward resolutions, they form important bonds that strengthen their problem -solving abilities as a unit.

2. High engagements: Effective communication contributes to high engagement among team members, which leads to happier employees and strong performance. High energy levels and a commitment to look for new opportunities and ideas are tied to high engagement as well.

3. Strong performance: When team members interact regularly, they tend to lay ideas and challenges on the table for group discussion. Doing so allows for piggybacking and building of good ideas into great ones. It also creates opportunities to nip potential problems in the bud.

LIMITATIONS TO TEAM COMMUNICATION

A primary limitation of communication in teams is time. In situations in which time is of the essence, team collaboration can impede a more swift decision made by an individual. Thus, a quick decision by an experienced, autonomous leader’s works better under such circumstances.

Other limitations to team communication are:

1. Office structures: Effective communication typically requires an office arrangement that simplifies opportunities for engagement. An open floor layout without walls and with team members in close quarters works best.

2. Conflicts: Teams go through stages of development, beginning with initial formation. Conflicts between and among employees can occur at any point, but they are especially common during early forming stages before workers build rapport and respect. The ability of team leaders to encourage interpersonal debate and to stifle personal tension is valuable in overcoming conflicts.

3. Communication barriers: Diverse work teams bring broad perspectives, but language and cultural barriers can impede constructive communication. Training on cultural awareness and sensitivity and translators are sometimes needed to overcome these barriers.

External Communication in Organizations

External communication is the transmission of information between a business and another person or entity in the company’s external environment. Examples of these people and entities include customers, potential customers, suppliers, investors, shareholders and the society at large.

A business typically engages in managing its external communications. The approach used will vary by circumstances, purpose, and the intended recipient. A business will communicate differently if it is communicating with potential customers. Every organization is required to maintain a relation with other organizations or people with a view to achieve goals. So when a business organization exchanges information with other business organizations, government offices, banks, insurance companies, customers, suppliers, leaders and general people, it is known as external communication.

This type of communication covers how a provider interacts with those outside their own organization. The goals of this type of communication are to facilitate cooperation with groups such as suppliers,investors and stockholders and to present a favorable image of an organization and its product or services to potential and actual customers and to the society at large. A variety of channels may be used for this type of communications, including face to face meetings, prints or broadcast media and electronic communication technologies such as internet.

So therefore, communication with those outside the organization is an informal exchange of information and message between an organization and other organizations, groups or individual outside its formal structure.

OBJECTIVE OF EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION

The objectives of external communication are as follows:

1. Community relations: Every business organization has to maintain a relation with the common people of the society so as to achieve the organizational goals.

2. Collection of information: The main objective of the communication is to collect the information from outside the organization.

3. Contracts with customers: Every organization should know the taste, liking and disliking of its customers to increase the sale of its products or services. So this communication is necessary to contract with customers

4. Relationship with suppliers: Every organization has many suppliers form that it collects raw material or finished goods to run the business. So there must be a good relationship between the firm and the suppliers.

5. Relationship with institutions: One of the most important objectives of communications is to keep a link with banks, insurance and other financial institutions.

6. Relationship with the government: Every organization should obey the rules and regulations of the government. So, through communication it can keep the relation with government agencies.

Communication in Organizations

Communication in organizations encompasses all the means, both formal and informal, by which information is passed up, down, and across the network of managers and employees in a business. These various modes of communication may be used to disseminate official information between employees and management, to exchange hearsay and rumors, or anything in between.

The challenge for businesses is to channel these myriad communications so they serve to improve customer’s relations, bolster employee satisfaction, build knowledge -sharing throughout the organizations, and most importantly, enhance the firm’s competitiveness. Perhaps the importance is best understood by considering what things would be like in its absence. For instance, if a company has a mechanism for recording and transmitting special order request from its customer, and the employees in the sales and fulfillment areas only interact minimally, there is a good chance that when it receives a special request, the company will have difficulty in delivering what the customer wants.

It may even lose the sales as employees grapple with an unusual request the management has not prepared for, now considering a company going through merger, the top executives at the merged entity proclaim that there will be thousands of layoff to boost efficiency, but the management is slow to say who will be affected.

Furthermore, they must think about the criteria that can be used for who is to be laid off, and what the separation terms will be. To make matter worse, an authorized list of persons facing the ax is rumored to be circulating and specific names are brandied about as being on or off the list. This situation continue for weeks before management comes forward with the full details.

This would be hard to see how such a scenario could be anything but detrimental to employee morale, and it might well lead to valuable employees who were not slated to be let go jumping ship because of the chaos and management thoughtless tactics.

As a final example of poor communication, there might be an imagination of a business with a large, young workforce that is highly trained. However the company is very hierarchical and a premium is placed on seniority over originality and other employee’s traits. A few younger employees have approached management with a new business idea, but their immediate supervisors have not taken the proposal seriously and upper management is largely inaccessible to these employees. As a result, the small group decides to leave the company and start their own firm, which grows quickly and proves to be incredibly profitable.

If these scenarios seem rather predictable some are based loosely on real events, they serve to illustrate obvious communication gaps and missteps businesses must surmount. In each case, not only were employees or customers left unsatisfied, but each incident also could have led to monetary losses for the companies’.In short, communications both internally and externally must be open, timely, complete and accurate to keep a business running smoothly and to maximize its return on its human capital.