July 15, 2024


The Finance Effect

The Importance of Effective Communication to the Success of Any Organisation

The Importance of Effective Communication to the Success of Any Organisation

Communication is the “lifeblood” of every organisation. People in organisations typically spend over 75% of their time in an interpersonal situation; thus it is no surprise to find that at the root of a large number of organisational problems is poor communication.

An organisation is a group of people. They may be associated for different reasons such as for business, political power, professional association, religious practice and affiliation, athletic team or association, social, or other purposes.

The factor that unites these activities is that they all require human beings to interact and react, that is, to communicate.

In these various organisations, people are communicating in an equally large and varied number of ways. They may communicate in order to exchange information (internally with employees and externally to clients, shareholders and the wider society. Organisations typically generate and share ideas or plans. They may need to order supplies, contact and negotiate with clients, make internal policy decisions or devise and publish their terms and conditions of doing business. Organisations usually need to devise and publish rules and procedures; develop proposals, write and issue contracts and agreements. All of these elements are facets of the kaleidoscope of communication in organisational life.

Effective communication, therefore, is an essential component of organisational success whether it is at the interpersonal, organisational, or external levels.

It is easier to understand communication, if we see it as being a personal process that involves the transfer as well as the reception of information. Communication is something people ‘do’ and it is intimately associated with relationships between people. It is at least a two-way process, consisting as it does, of both the transfer of information and the understanding of that communication.

Adding the additional complexities of different divisions within organisations which have to communicate with each other and the various modes and media which can be involved – means that being able to communicate effectively becomes a taxing, yet vital element of the success of any company.

The Importance and Benefits of Effective Communication

Communication is the “lifeblood” of every organization. A vital means of attending to company concerns is through effective internal communication – downward, upward, and horizontal.

Communication is the medium through which an organisation accomplishes its goals-

– It leads to greater effectiveness

– It keeps people in the picture.

– It gets people involved with the organization

– increases motivation to perform well;

– increases commitment to the organization.

– It makes for better relationships and understanding between:

– boss and sub-ordinates and colleagues

– people within the organization and outside it

– It helps people understand the need for change

– It helps leaders understand how they should manage change

– It reduces the resistance to change.

Another way of looking at communication is as ‘an interpersonal process of sending and receiving symbols with meanings attached to them’. These word-symbols help us to understand and anchor a common understanding around a complex idea – for example we have a common understanding of the idea of a four legged animal which runs fast by using the word-symbol “horse”. (Though we could have used the word-symbol “cheetah” to express another complex idea of four legged animal etc. etc.) So, a measure of the effective management of interpersonal communication is that information is passed, and relationships can be developed and built.

We have, therefore, the beneficial result of being able to exchange information about complex ideas and topics; to share understanding between people – which together facilitates our ability, as social animals, to learn and progress (which has resulted in our present superiority over other animals and evolutionary domination).

Effective Communication is therefore critical to the success of an organization because –

1. Organisations are becoming ever more complex both in structure and technology.

2. Economic and market conditions are forcing greater efficiency and quality at minimum cost

3. Ever more legislation means that leaders and executive teams commit to interpreting and communicating these changes in policy – in the context of their own organisations.

4. People now have much higher expectations of what they expect from their work; not just a satisfactory wage, but increasing ‘meaning’ and personal satisfaction from what they do.

5. Organisations are becoming more dependent on horizontal communication channels as well as across cultures, continents, time-zones, gender and religious affiliation.

With such a matrix of increased complexity, information needs to flow quickly between specialists and those who need-to-know, rather than go up and back down the hierarchy – with its inevitable delay and message distortion.

So when we look at the changes that are taking place in organisations today, it is clear that to be effective, managers and leaders require communication performance at the higher levels of competence.