Information about an organization, its environment, its products, its services and its people are essential to management and employees. Effective communication is a necessary part of learning for all organizations.
A company needs to communicate with its employees in order to meet its goals. Otherwise, how do the employees know what to do? Communicating with employees has other benefits:
- It leads to greater effectiveness
- It increases motivation to perform well
- It makes for better relationships and understanding between employers and employees
- It helps employees feel important, involved, and valued.
What to Communicate:
Some of the critical information that requires communication between managers and employees includes:
- Work assignments
- Performance standards
- How well employees are meeting those standards
- Benefits available to employees
- Any changes in benefits
- Company policies
- Changes in company policies
- Significant events in the life of the company that need to be celebrated or that could impact employees.
How to communicate:
Downward communication is information that begins at the top levels of the company and feeds down to the employees to inform and influence them. These Top-down methods are necessary for managers and owners to have their decisions carried out.
A number of methods can be used for this, including;
In-House Publications: Many companies have their own newsletters or bulletins for employees (in both hard copy and electronic formats). The purpose is to inform employees about current developments.
Information Booklets: Employee handbooks are often given to new employees to inform them about company policies and benefits. Other booklets may be given out on subjects relating to human resource activities, such as suggestion programs, occupational health and safety, wage and incentives, and retirement.
E-mail: Managers can use e-mail to quickly and easily send a message to everyone in the organization.
Intranets: Some companies are using intranets (internal communication systems) that function like smaller versions of the World Wide Web). Firms use intranets for a variety of purposes, including providing copies of employee handbooks, policy manuals, and company newsletters. They can also be used to create employee directories, update employee accounts, manage succession planning, and create discussion groups.
Upward communication begins with employees and proceeds up to managers and owners to inform or influence them.
Types of upward communication include:
Manager-Employee Meetings: Meetings between mangers and groups of employees are used to discuss complaints, suggestions, opinions, or questions. These meetings begin with information sharing by management to inform the group about developments in the company. These meetings give employees a chance to have their say and to have input in the decisions of management.
Employee Suggestions: Inviting employee suggestions is a way of getting ideas from employees. A successful suggestion system begins with the employee’s idea and a discussion with the supervisor.
Once the suggestion form is complete, the suggestion system office or committee receives the idea and will inform the employee it has received the suggestion. The idea is then evaluated and the decision is communicated to the employee.
Employee Attitude/Opinion Survey: What do employees think about the organization? Do they understand their departments’ benefit plan? Compensation plan? Answers to these and many other questions can make a useful addition to the human resource department’s information.
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