Sunday, August 10, 2008

Reading Response Week 4

I would not be writing in earnest if I were to claim that this week’s readings have bestowed upon me any information that I was not already privy to or that is not merely common sense. Be that as it may, I am in wholehearted agreement with the author’s stance on internal relations. Communication with the public set aside, healthy internal communication is vital to an organization’s success. In many of my past jobs, I have witnessed firsthand the follies of a breakdown in communication between management and staff and communication between fellow employees. For example, when I was employed as a call center representative with a company that facilitated proxy voting for mutual fund shareholders, I felt that my supervisor and those of my colleagues lacked sufficient communication skills to oversee a large group of people for when performance was less than par their tone of voice, their body language and the actual choice of words they used when addressing subordinates was extremely brash and condescending. This poor communication immediately translated into embarrassment and resentment within the hearts and minds of my colleagues and I, neither of which aid in group cohesiveness or productivity. Having participated in many courses that focus on the power of positive affirmation and the importance of consistently working to build the self-esteem of those around you as well as your own, what I was witnessing and experiencing in this job was in direct conflict with an approach that I knew was optimal in achieving success whether it be at the individual or group level. In this week’s reading the author provides examples of communication and acknowledgement of achievement such as informational or congratulatory memorandums, organized and up to date notice boards, announcements via intranet, awards and company dinners et al that serve to boost morale and in turn give employees cause to believe in and work hard for their organization (Johnston and Zawawi 294-295). I believe that if my past jobs such as the one I have above described had employed more of these types of communication, this would have improved understanding and cooperation between all parties and as a result productivity would have also increased.

4 comments:

Amanda Beardsworth said...

I had almost an identical reaction. While reading I thought that a lot of the comments were common sense. Everyone knows what noticeboards, memo's and inter-office events are. The funny thing is that we have both had similar experiences where these simple but effective tools have been forgotten or ignored.
It seems funny to me that the most "common-sense" type chapter in the book so far seems to be the most useful for organisations based on what we have both experienced. It doesn't take much to boost communication skills within a company but it is something that seems to be forgotten quite often.
Maybe all companies and organisations should have someone responsible for making sure positive and effective internal communication happens. Even if it isn't a full time person, someone who weekly maintained excellent levels of communication could potentially change the course of a company for the better.
I believe that both of our workplaces would have had much to gain by going over this section in the book!

B. Seamer said...

Hi there.

I strongly agree with the emphasis you place on a positive and constructive environment which facilitates better employee relationships.

I think that it is often the case that workplaces pretend that there is a successful internal communications environment which is being reinforced within the organisation all the time, but from my own comparatively minute experiences I have found that employees tend to be treated as disposable by their superiors.

In recognition of your approval of successful internal environments perhaps the significance attributed to the work-life balance in the James text by the interviewed PR practitioners would have been as important to you as it was to me.

While there has been a shift towards recognition of employee attitudes and relations and its proportionality with an organisation's success, it seems to me that the most successful internal communications objective is creating happy employees.

It's clear that you have been able to strongly relate the course thus far to your own experiences. Good luck with next week's readings!

Joshua Blodgett said...

Amanda-

Thanks for your comments. It is quite amusing that most common sense ideas prove to be the most beneficial because they are so often forgotten and not utilised. I have to agree with you that appointing a person to maintain effective internal communication even if it is not a full time position is a wonderful idea. Perhaps it would be better as part time position that would circulate to different people. I believe this might impart a greater feeling of efficacy and making a difference in the workplace to everyone.

cmns1290kellie said...

I also work in a job where my supervisers are terrible communicators. I really do think it is impossible to have a productive workplace inwhich noone knows what is going on.
I dont understand how internal communication, one of, if not the most important communication can be over looked.
This is one part of PR which i feel is very much overlooked and it makes me wonder why. Having effective internal communicationjust makes sense