Effective managerial/Supervisory communication in one’s workplace
Communication is an important factor in the performance of an organization. When plans and strategies are developed for the management of an organization, the manager has to pass the message on how he/she wants the work done. If in any case the manager needs employees views, he/she has to find a way to communicate to the employees. This paper will discuss managerial and supervisory communication. The case is of a store manager who works in a box retail with three assistant managers and seven supervisors each assigned under each department. The mode of communication adopted is through email.
A manager with seven supervisors. How can communication be effective in this case? For a manager to ensure effective communication, he/she has to work together with the supervisors. It is the supervisors who check on employees, monitor how the work is done and even pass them information about the company. It is not strictly through the supervisors that the communication can be passed to the employees and therefore effective communication (Hepner, 2007).
The role of a manager in this case of ensuring effective communication should be to understand his employees and supervisors. He/she should formulate the goals of the department then pass it to the employees. This is normally done in the form of handouts (Hepner, 2007). Since this store uses email more often, it would be appropriate for the manager to formulate the goals and pass the information to the employees through Internet. Most employees may always be doing the jobs in the company without knowledge of company goals. This introductory part of giving information about department/company goals is important since it will make employees understand subsequent information about how to accomplish the missions (Hepner, 2007).
When goals are not provided and some other information is provided later, it may be difficult for employees to understand the reason for being given certain kind of information later. To ensure that the employees understand more about the goals of the company, the information should be discussed periodically (Hepner, 2007).
Another important issue in ensuring effective communication is feedback. A manager should be ready to provide feedback to the employees and encourage them to participate in managerial issues (Stark and Flaherty, 1999). For example if a supervisor was cautioned about his team’s contribution and made an effort to improve his team’s performance, the manager should be able to tell the supervisor if the output of his group has gone up or still poor. The information should always flow from manager to supervisor to employees and vise versa (Stark and Flaherty, 1999). There should not be any gap. Its just like a bridge, if a bridge is incomplete then there is no way people would pass through to the other end.
Effective communication needs the removal of communication barriers. The manager and the supervisors both should have the ability to understand each other and the employees so that any barriers to communication can be eliminated. Managers should create or develop a culture that enable his supervisors contribute freely to matters concerning the company. This should also be the case with the supervisor to the employees. This then encourages good communication between the people (Stark and Flaherty, 1999). Communication barriers are of different types, just finding out where the communication hindrance is, in an organization and addressing it is a great effort (Stark and Flaherty, 1999).
The other important issue in effective communication which has been noted is the creation of a favorable environment for communication. This is always a factor affected by the way the employees are treated. In the above case, with seven supervisors, the treatment that this manager gives to the supervisors determines how free they are with the manager, hence affects communication. Generally all these effective communication factors should be considered by the manager.
Effective communication also involves organizing and distributing information for completeness and accuracy. The supervisors and the manager in organizing information should ensure that the employees have the notes about what is to be discussed in meetings so that a lot is discussed. This promotes trust and reduces rumors which can be harmful to the operations of management. The flow down process of information should also be checked to ensure that it does not take long for information to reach the employees from the manager and from the manager to the employees too (Hepner, 2007).
This, the manager and the supervisors should have in mind as it retards the rate of growth. Anything not effective has poor results in the end, it is therefore appropriate for effective communication to be ensured in a company or organization as it influences the performance too. The last issue in effective communication is how clear the information is. Clear information reduces frustrations due to misunderstanding. To be clear, a manager needs to; think before speaking, send a message (an email) after weighing the impacts to the other party and know the knowledge background of the receiver, about the information being relayed.
Ways in Which Information is Always Misunderstood
Information is always misunderstood if the sender, in this case the manager or supervisor, has no clear information to send, if the words in the message do not send what the manager means, if information sent through written contradicts that spoken, and if the receiver do not understand or do not want to understand the meaning of the message.
Example of Manager-Subordinate Unsuccessful Communication
This manager always assumed that the employees knew why they were in that company and so did not bother to give the goals of the store department to the employees. The normal routine was to give the supervisors what he needed done and expected it done. The only thing that the manager did was send a message through email and expect result. This manager sent messages complaining about the performance of the employees to the supervisors and expected them to improve, but did not give any feedback to the employees. This lead to so many losses incurred due to doing the wrong things, which the manager did not want done and the company did not perform well.
Example of Successful Communication
A manager decided to send each employee and supervisor emails and handouts with information about the goals of the company and how they are expected to be achieved. The manager then instructed his supervisors to look for an appropriate day, so that the employees could be told more about the goals of the company, and how they are expected to contribute towards the achievement of the goals. The supervisors, since they are the ones who know how the employees do their duties and the periods that there is not much work, discussed this issue with the employees to find the appropriate time.
The Supervisors then got back to the manager who did not accept the date since it coincided with the date he had a meeting with the other managers. The manager then gave his free dates for the supervisors to decide on the exact discussion date. This was done and they came up with a date that all of them agreed upon. The meeting was held and a short session of learning was done for more understanding. The team then decided on specific dates on which they could hold meetings to avoid every day discussing of meeting dates. The employees worked with motivation knowing very well what they were doing their duties for. The result was improved performance of the department of the company.
The explanations given above on effective communication show that a manager or a supervisor should be clear about what message he/she is relaying to the employees. If the information is not clear, then it will be misunderstood and so there will be no fulfillment of the aims of communication or it can lead to losses in the company. The successful communication described above is effective since the manager was clear about what he wanted. He made the employees understand the aims and created an environment that encouraged good communication, if compared to the unsuccessful communication which is characterized by lack of understanding between the manager and the employees.
Improvement of Communication
For the above manager on unsuccessful communication, he should look into issues of effective communication which involves giving feedback to the employees, ensuring that his information is understood by those under him and creating an environment that encourages effective communication. This way, the performance will experience a change due to understanding between the employees and the manager. Effective communication is all about understanding what is being communicated.
Hepner, W. H. (2007). Perceptive Management and Supervision: Insights for Working with People. California: Prentice-Hall.
Stark, P. B. and Flaherty, J. S. (1999). The Competent Leader: A Powerful and Practical Tool Kit for Managers and Supervisors. Human Resource Development Press.