The business environment is continuously changing, and if the company wants to remain competitive in the global market, it has to develop effective communication techniques. Communication is vital when the company goes through reorganization or change.
Communication has a direct influence on the shaping of organizational culture and creating effective teams.
Communications activities help managers and their subordinates to survive in the period of change and adapt to the new environment much faster. Effective communication can determine the success of organizational change implementation.
When companies are going through a period of change, the following questions become important to employees: what are the new customers, what is the new vision of the company, and what are the company missions. Many organizations have failed to implement change because the new vision has not to be communicated effectively. Employees should be aware of the events taking place within the company.
Moreover, this type of information should be delivered through official communication means. For example, the weekly meetings will help the management to keep employees informed about the changes, new rules, and new objectives.
Communication contributes to the successful implementation of organizational changes. If the company plans to enter the new market, employees should be informed about this move.
If employees are not aware of the coming change, they will not be prepared to react to the new objectives.
In addition, employees might provide valuable advice and solutions to problems. Communication has to be active and official. Employees should learn about the changes from their supervisors, not from colleagues, during the smoking break. If the news is not delivered directly, employees might receive inaccurate information. For example, John has heard his boss talking on the phone about organizational restructuring, and John shared this information with his colleague Mike.
Mike decided that the management plans to fire some of the employees. Thus, information received and interpreted by Mike can be very different from the real situation. To avoid misunderstand, information should be distributed through official means on the regular basis.
When the company is experiencing organizational change, most of the employees might feel uncertain about the coming changes. Their uncertainty is caused by the lack of reliable information and official communication. When employees are not aware of the change details, they feel insecure and may start panicking. To assure employees’ security, managers have to communicate the change details and keep employees informed. The following communication techniques can be helpful at the periods of organizational change: close contacts among managers and subordinates, frequent meetings, clear messages, congruence between messages and actions. In addition, effective communication is about building relations based on mutual trust.
In conclusion, communication plays the central role in helping employees to live through the periods of organizational change. Communication has to be formal, direct, and frequent.
Effective communicate reduced work-related stress and helps to minimize the change-related negative outcomes.
D’Aprix, Roger. Communicating for Change. Jossey-Bass Publishing, 1996.