Today, there has been an influx in technology advancements in the workplace that have streamlined office tasks and improved employee productivity. Moreover, businesses are now better equipped to handle their customer’s needs as well as enhance their competitiveness. These technology advancements include new communications channels such as e-mail, fax, audio, and video conferencing. In this paper, the different types of communications channels and the types of messages appropriate for each channel will be discussed as well as their effectiveness in the workplace.
Different Types of Communications Channels
As one of the communication technologies commonly found in organizations today, a facsimile transmission, fax for short, is a product that allows documents to be sent over a telephone line almost instantaneously. In using fax machines, organizational managers can rapidly forward, receive, or share important documents with several locations. Moreover, this communication channel can also assist an organization in facilitating collaboration and enhancing their decision- making process. Another widely used communication channel is electronic messaging or e-mail that is a method of exchanging digital messages. According to author, Gary Dessler, e-mail systems are based on a store-and-forward model which allows e-mail servers to accept, forward, deliver, and store messages. In addition, the receiver of an e-mail has the control to read his or her electronic messages whenever they chose as well as the ability to save or delete these messages in their electronic mailbox (Dessler, 2002). Moreover, by sending or receiving e-mail messages via networks such as the Internet, individuals today can communicate on a one-to-one base or with several users all over the world.
Audio conferencing is also a communication channel increasingly used in today’s organization. By using telephone lines or satellite transmissions, individuals can talk to each other as they communicate over long distances. Author, Gary Dessler, also states that audio conferencing can help an organization reduce its employee’s travel time and costs by allowing individuals to participate in local or global meetings without leaving the comfort of his or her office buildings. Although audio conferencing may save time and money, this communication channel does not have the same advantages as face-to-face communication especially for issues requiring complex decision-making (Dessler, 2002).
Lastly, video conferencing is a communication technology that uses cameras, video monitors and computers that allows individuals in different locations to view each other as they interact. Dessler also states that this communication channel is especially useful for centralized employee training, international meetings, and distance learning by creating a virtual meeting room that allows participants to view documents, brochures, and have face- to- face interactions as if they were in the same location (Dessler, 2002). Different Types of Communication Messages
However, as organizational managers introduce these new communication technologies into their day- to- day operations, it is essential that they understand the various types of communication messages delivered every day in their organization and be able to select the most appropriate communication channel for distribution of these messages. For example, when delivering an employee’s termination notice, most managers would not opt to use a facsimile transmission as the appropriate delivery method for this type of information. Given the confidential nature of this type of information, a manager should ensure that his or her selected delivery method is a secure communication channel such as electronic messaging only viewable by the sender and receiver. However , in distributing new organizational procedural guidelines, an organizational leader would do well in selecting to use electronic messaging, e-mail, as the most appropriate channel of communication. In doing so, employees will be well informed in a quickly and timely manner that would result in improved employee efficiency, faster reaction times to issues, and increased productivity.
The Effectiveness of Communication Technology
With the introduction of these various communication channels, organizations today can effectively communicate with their employees regardless of their location. As an example, when conducting a brainstorming meeting with her employees in varies locations, my manager chose to use the video conferencing communication technology as the forum for our meeting. In using video conferencing as the communication channel for our meeting, employees could effectively communicate with each other and discuss various solutions. As a result, our team was able to efficiently present different solutions and alternatives as well as select the most appropriate resolution for our issue.
Today, communication technology has had an incredible impact on today's workplaces. Organizational managers can now provide their employees with a vast amount of information that can help streamline their daily responsibilities and improve their overall productivity. However, organizational leaders must understand the different types of communications channels and the various messages appropriate for each channel. In doing so, organizational leaders can ensure that their managers fully understand the effectiveness of today’s communication technologies and their ability to help facilitate collaboration, improve employee efficiency, and increase productivity.
Dessler, G. (2002). Management Communication Skills [Pearson Custom Edition]. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing.