Communication in business is pivotal to achieving success. If there is no communication then businesses are likely to fail. Indeed communication is the cornerstone of effective teamwork. Team communication ensures that objectives are met and information is disseminated appropriately throughout the team. Effective Communication is a way of interaction or understanding between two people, it is also a way of giving and receiving information or message and expressing our thoughts (Hickman 2006). Many large organisations use effective communication regimes to ensure that their workers do no go off the rails as far as their work goes. One organisation has been IBM. The work is labour intensive and communication is crucial between workers and given that the company has outsourced work to India and China communication between workers takes on additional significance because many are non native meaning that they are linguistically disadvantaged. However, IBM has worked tirelessly to ensure that performance does not suffer by implementing regular communication workshop and monitor progression to their communication regimes.
Hickman, (2006) Contends –
“Communication is seen as the successful transmission of information through a common system of symbols, signs, behaviour, speech, writing, or signals”
Communication systems are another factor to consider when employers are looking to encourage team competencies. Communication systems are important in any workplace because it supports work coordination, employee well-being, knowledge management, and decision making. The communication process involves developing, educating, and broadcasting the intended message to a receiver; who then makes sense of the message and provides a response to the sender. Effective communication occurs when the sender’s thoughts are passed onto and understood by the intended receiver. Face-to-face communication delivers the highest quantity and intensity of information and offers the timeliest feedback, while email, telephone, and other information technologies fail to deliver the same level of results. For that reason, organizations must develop and identify an efficient communication system best suited for them, because a poorly designed communication system can affect how much or how little information and feedback is being taken in by its members. A well executed communication system will play a role in the team’s achievements.
Teamwork presents a number of challenged some of which can be alleviated by the systematic sue of effective communication. For a team to be effective through achieving synergy, an investment is usually required by all the team members and other entities that the team might have to interact. Maximizing the synergy among members depends on how cooperative, collective and interconnected members are when they operate. It is important that group members do not wander off, work independently, and try to complete tasks on their own. If they do, the group cannot benefit from any discussions or interactions among members, which prevents any synergy to occur (Fandt 307:32).
It may also be the case that the members of the group produce a worse result than expected based on perceived individual skills and parts. This is the opposite of synergy, or “negative synergy” (Fandt 308:44). Unfortunately, synergy does not happen automatically when individuals are grouped up into teams. Negative synergy is usually a result from members not having an expertise on the task, competing instead of collaborating, having a very biased mindset and not willing to compromise personal beliefs for the benefit of the group, etc. When any of these factors are present, it is almost always guaranteed that team members lose their passion about the task and become hesitant to devote their full energy to it. It is important that each team member knows, understands and accepts how his/her individual role, values, mission fit in with the overall objectives of the team (Stogdill 29). The process of teambuilding, as will be explained later, plays a crucial role in effective synergy producing groups. Once it is done carefully and effectively, however, organizations will benefit greatly from the team as a whole since it will create more than the sum of its parts.
Another case where a group will usually outperform any of its members is when both the group and the individual have expertise on the task, but the task is an especially complicated one. This can be explained by the ability of a group to divide labor, and to share the load which usually results in better decision making and execution than anyindividual can manage. For example, the attorneys who involved in the Microsoft antitrust suit in 1999, would easily be overwhelmed by the enormous workload and information overload without extensive assistance from other attorneys.
However, it is not all rosy for teams. Communication can lead to conflict between workers and this can adversely affect the production levels. Communication needs to be open and transparent so that everyone can understand and contribute.
A group of experts is especially effective when members are highly motivated and they are trained to work as a team. One study conducted by Michealson, found that expert groups outperform their best member 97% of the time. Teamwork allows a group to coordinate efforts and to work at optimum effectiveness (Michealson 835).
In conclusion communication has many forms in a business but this essentially depends on the size of the business. Businesses need to adopt communication methods within teams to ensure that performance remains optimum. Good communication always leads to good results and vague communication leads to the opposite.
C, Hickman, (2006), Effective communication, London, Routlege,
Fandt, Patricia. “The Relationship of accountability and interdependent behavior to enhancing team consequences..” Group and Organization Studies 16 (1991): 300-312.
Michaelson, Larry “A realistic test of individual versus group consensus decision making.” Journal of Applied Psychology 74 (1989): 834-839.
Salazar, Abran. “Understanding the synergistic effects of communication in small groups.” Small Group Research 26 (1995): 169-199.
Stasson, Mark, and Scott Bradshaw. “Explanations of individual-group performance differences: What sort of “bonus” can be gained through group interaction”” Small Group Research 26 (1995): 296-308.
Stogdill, Ralph. “Group productivity, drive, and cohesiveness.” Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 8 (1972):26-43.
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