Communication Audit

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CommunicationAudit

Communicationcan be described as the act of exchanging information. It entailsrelaying of information between two or more persons through variouschannels. It can also be defined as the means of relating betweenindividuals or places. In regards to an organization, communicationis the means by which employees relay info to the management, ormanagement to employee or employee to employee. Therefore, thereexists various types of communication within the organization all indifferent forms. Communication in accordance to organizationalstructure include

  • Formal communication. This kind moves along the formal channels in accordance to the organizational chart. Examples of formal communications are conferences, departmental meetings, telephone calls, special interviews, and telephone calls.

  • Informal communication. It is free from all formalities. Exists between informal parties like membership to the same association, friendships among others [ CITATION Smr15 l 1033 ].

Communicationin accordance to direction

  • Downward communication. It entails relaying of information from the superiors/management to the subordinates. The process may include relaying of policies and expectations of the firm.

  • Upward communication. It involves relaying of information from subordinates to management. It may include grievances, reactions or suggestions.

  • Horizontal communication. This is the communication between functional managers or employee to employee. In other words, it entails communication between persons of the same rank within an organization [ CITATION Smr15 l 1033 ].

Communicationin accordance to expression

  • Verbal communication. Sender and receiver exchange ideas verbally, either using a device like telephone or face to face

  • Written communication. Message to be relayed is transformed into written words, diagrams, graphs or pictures [ CITATION Smr15 l 1033 ].

Thisparticular communication audit communication, used questionnaires toobtain the information. In the questionnaires, ten individuals wereasked to state the degree to which they receive information inaspects such as job duties, pay and benefits, organizational policiesand mistakes and failures of the organization among others. They alsowould provide the degree to which they send information to othersi.e. reporting job related issues, clearer work instructions andcomplaints about their work among others. They also need to statetheir source of information i.e. is it from subordinates? Immediatesupervisor? Or middle management among others. In addition to that,the channels of communication needed to be stated i.e. telephones,written, bulletin boards or internal publications among others? Apartfrom that, timelessness of information is vital i.e. extent by whichthe source of information is timely. This particular communicationaudit is meant to ascertain deficiencies within the organization interms of communication. By addressing the deficiencies, the auditwill ensure organizational efficiency is increased thus heighteningthe productivity levels. Communication is essential in achieving highproductive levels.

Methodology

Theaudit utilizes questionnaires with the number of respondents beingten. The questionnaires contains several questions on theorganization’s matters i.e. supervisors’ behaviors, response ofemployer on employee tasks, and communication channels used amongothers. The responses will tabulated to give a pictorial view of thedata collected. The audit will mostly be based on receivinginformation i.e. whether the respondents receive informationconcerning various aspects. The information received may be on jobduties, organizational duties and mistakes and failures oforganization among others. The respondents will also provide sendinginformation i.e. if they report what they are doing or even reportjob related issues. The respondents will also give the commoncommunication channels in use i.e. telephones, face to faceconversations among other means. The respondents will also give theirsource of information and how frequent or timely the information getsto them.

ReceivingInformation

Inthe aspect of receiving information from others, the samples seemedto receive little information from others like management or fellowemployees. For instance, 30 percent of the samples received verylittle information regarding job performance. Communication onorganizational policies seemed to be higher as well as pay andbenefits. They also received little information on their own mistakesor failures. The table and graph below clearly elaborate thefindings.

Topic Area

Very Little

Little

Some

Great

Very Great

How well I am doing in my job

0

3

5

2

0

My job duties

0

4

5

1

0

Organizational policies

0

0

2

5

3

Pay and benefits

0

0

3

5

2

How technological changes affect my job

0

3

4

3

0

Mistakes and failures of my organization

1

2

4

2

1

How I am being judged

2

2

2

4

0

Figure1: Receiving Information from Others

SendingInformation

Inthe aspect of sending information to others, the results were asfollows

Topic Area

Very Little

Little

Some

Great

Very Great

Reporting what I am doing in my job

0

1

3

4

2

Reporting what I think my job requires me to do

0

2

4

4

0

Reporting job-related problems

1

2

5

2

0

Complaining about my job and/or working

2

2

5

1

0

Requesting information necessary to do my job

0

0

5

3

2

Evaluating the performance of my immediate supervisor

1

2

4

2

1

Asking for clearer work instructions

0

3

2

3

2

Figure2: Sending Information to Others

Asper the above findings, sending information to others seem to have anaverage reception. In other words, the samples considered illustratedthat some people indeed sent information on job-related issues,complaints among others. For instance, only two requested forinformation required to perform their jobs. Additionally, only tworeported what they actually did in their respective jobs. Evaluationof immediate supervisor was another element receiving less thananticipated response.

Sourcesof Information

Sources of Information

Very Little

Little

Some

Great

Very Great

Subordinates

0

1

1

2

6

Co-workers in my own unit or department

0

1

1

4

4

Individuals in other units or departments in my organization

0

1

4

3

2

Immediate supervisor

2

2

4

1

1

Department meetings

0

0

2

5

3

Middle Management

0

0

3

5

2

Formal management presentations

1

1

4

3

1

Top management

1

3

3

3

0

The “grapevine”

0

0

3

4

3

Figure3: Sources of information

Sourcesof information are quite many. As per the considered formal means ofrelaying info were not entirely utilized. People tend to appreciateinformal means or in other words, “grapevine”. Communicationbetween top management and common employees seem to be less utilized.Assumptions regarding relaying of grievances by employees tend toshow a likelihood of limited communication on the same. As a matterof fact, there is a tendency of relying on informal means ofcommunication.

Timelinessof Information

Very Little

Little

Some

Great

Very Great

Subordinate

2

3

3

1

1

Co-workers

1

2

3

3

2

Immediate supervisor

1

1

4

1

3

Middle management

2

2

3

2

1

Top management

2

2

2

3

1

Grapevine

0

2

3

3

2

Figure4:Timelessof information received from key sources

Communicationvia immediate supervisor tend to be much faster as compared to othermeans. Fellow workers also seem to relay information early enoughthough utilizing informal means.

Channelsof communication

Thelast category involves channels of communication.

Channel

Very Little

Little

Some

Great

Very Great

Face-to-face contact between two people

0

1

3

4

2

Face-to-face among more than two people

0

1

2

4

3

Telephone

0

1

1

4

4

Written (memos, letters)

0

2

2

3

3

Bulletin Boards

2

2

3

3

0

Internal Publications

2

2

2

4

0

Internal Audio-Visual Media (Videotape, Films, Slides)

3

3

3

1

0

External Media (TV, Radio, Newspaper)

1

2

3

2

2

Figure5: Channels

Withregard to the channels of communication, face-to-face and telephonesare the major means of relaying information. Internal audio-visualmedia are not utilized much like the other means. Most of theindividuals sampled are involve in face-to-face communication eitheras a group or individually.

Communicationchallenges

Communicationbeing an important aspect within organizations is not entirelyutilized. As per the findings, there seems to be a lack of upwardcommunication, whereby employees address their superiors. In thatregard, grievances are not appropriately addressed. Employees maylack motivation thereby resulting to less productivity.

Thereis also a trend of relying too much on co-workers to relayinformation. Instead of getting information from the appropriatepersons, employees tend to rely on one another which is not alwaysthe best mechanism. This is because second hand info may be distortedand not entirely to the point

Overrelianceon informal/grapevine mode of communication is another riskytechnique. Important information should not rely on informalmechanisms. Though many organizations adopt this means as a way ofgetting in touch with its workers, formal techniques remain the best.

Recommendations

Theupward communication need to be improved. One means of doing this isincorporating a suggestion box within the premises. That way, peoplecan put across their issues without fear of bias. Though theorganization tries to include informal ways of communication toaddress employees or rather get information from them, suggestionsboxes are suitable for fearful workers [ CITATION FEM05 l 1033 ].

Policiesought to ensure employee freedom. In other words, employees shouldnot be discriminated against once they outline a defective aspect oftheir superiors. It is a common facet in many other organizationsthat whistleblowers tend to be discriminated against. However, itshould not be the case if the organization’s policies are adheredto [ CITATION Bre152 l 1033 ].

References

Brefi. (2015, January). Improving performance of boards of directors. Retrieved from Improving performance of boards of directors: http://www.brefigroup.co.uk

Chand, S. (2015). Essential Types of Organizational Communication. Retrieved March 28, 2016, from Essential Types of Organizational Communication.

FEMA. (2005). Effective Communication.