Issues Affecting Communication in the Workplace

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This essay will focus primarily on three main issues that can undermine effective communication namely cultural diversity, emotions and language (Robbins et al. 2011 p.331). The importance of feedback in an organisation to improve communication would also be reviewed (Iyer & Israel 2012 p. 55). Through feedback received, communication unveils opportunities to improve the individual and general performances of the organisation (Daneci-Patrau 2011 p. 496). Communication in an organisation comprises of many dimensions spanning formal and informal means of internal communication and external communications (Iyer & Israel 2012 p. 52). Communication is an ongoing process in which feelings, ideas, values and perceptions are transferred from one person to another through symbols which can be in the form of nonverbal, verbal and graphic communication (Dwyer 2009). Organisational communication refers to the transferring of information among members of an organisation, as well as in correctly understanding the message contained in the information (Daneci-Patrau 2011p. 488). In order for an organisation to function effectively coordination of all aspects of the organisation must be achieved and this can only be done through effective communication which enables the organisation to meet its goals and objectives (Daneci-Patrau 2011).

Effective communication is necessary in understanding management behaviour, reducing misunderstanding and building trust in and amongst members of an organisation (Daneci-Patrau 2011). Managers play an important role in ensuring the flow of communication through the organisation by using an effective system whereby feedback is received and acted upon (Daneci-Patrau 2011 496). Dwyer (2009 p. 9) states that leaders and managers with effective communication skills are able to work directly with people thereby minimising direct controls and encouraging more understanding, commitment, motivation and productivity within the organisation. The occurrence of misunderstanding and inefficiency in an organisation can be attributed to lack of communication (Iyer & Israel 2012). Means of communication has grown significantly with the advancement in technology. Managers now have access to various communication channels such as emails, teleconferencing, computers, mobile phones and fax which speeds up the business of communicating (Alger, Delahunty & Diamantopoulos 1997). Communication channels must be established through appropriate methods and on all levels in an organisation both on an individual and group level between various people in the workplace ranging from clients, who are either internal or external to the organisation, staff members from within and outside it, those in managerial positions and line personnel (Klenk & Hickey 2010).

The role of an organisation and management is to facilitate and coordinate communication within the organisation. Klenk & Hickey (2010) states that organisational communication relates to the transactional and symbolic process that facilitates the coordination of activities through mutual adjustments of behaviour of individual parts to achieve a common goal.

Communication in an organisation is not just the mere exchange of information, it is more comprehensive than that and includes constructive meanings between members of the organisation who influence each other in the context of asymmetrical power relationships during which they compete for power, resources and legitimacy (Klenk and Hickey 2010). Managers within organisations are in positions of power and personal influence in their relationships with employees and should be proactive in communicating with staff (White, Vanc & Stafford 2010). A number of studies have linked internal communication and the degree to which employees are given feedback to their job satisfaction and performance (White, Vanc & Stafford 2010). Vos (2009) measures performance in the communication area based on...
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