Communication plays a major role in establishing and maintaining common sense or purpose in an organisation. The nature, frequency, style and the person communicating the message all contribute to establishing that sense of purpose. What, when, why, how and to whom are all important factors and how this is done can affect the success of the communication and generating the shared sense of purpose. Unnecessary communication is a common factor in wasting time and can cloud issues and create indifference to the message, this can affect staff moral and important messages can be lost in translation. To give and maintain a clear sense of purpose the style and manner of communication should be targeted to the people that you wish to reach. These communications should be clear & concise and only say things that are needed i.e. “the story should be adjusted to fit the understanding of the audience”.
How we communicate as managers plays a role in creating job satisfaction for employees. To “buy in” to the message the employees feel that they need the leader or manager to also demonstrate that they too live and work to the same shared values of the organisation “Do as I do NOT Do as I say) is a good lesson to pass on (Be an example). There is also a need for these employees to feel that their views are not only listened to but also acted upon at times, so creating a two-way street, this helps create the trust and bond required for them to feel an integral part of the organisation and that they do matter to the whole organisation and are not just a “number”.
One to one meeting with individuals or team briefs and development reviews are key to creating this togetherness that brings a shared sense of purpose. Top down communication has a major role in conveying direction to employees as well as clear ideas on how the goal may be achieved and how this all contributes to the organisational goal. Listening and accepting bottom up communication is also key to staff morale, making them feel valued and helping them understand the importance of others and other roles within the team. Peer to peer communication is important in building a knowledge base amongst staff and work together more effectively (team building) this also allows them to test out and fine tune ideas, so this must be encouraged. Communicating as described above will inspire others and convey an infection passion for the organisation which employees will get behind and buy into.
If communications are poor this will lead to negativity in the team, unwanted competition from within the team, the I look after myself attitude which can lead to lost orders and customers, uncertainty and worried or stressed employees- a group of people working individually may well miss the target when the same group working collaboratively will hit theirs.