Impact of Effective Communication in Enhancement of Employee Relationship in Business Organisation: A study of selected organisations in Ebonyi State
Background to the study
Communication covers all activities that an individual does when he wants to make a transformation in someone else’s mind. This is a meaning bridge between an individual or individuals and organization. Communication is a process that contains expressing, listening and understanding (Banerji and Dayal, 2005). Similarly, emphasizing social aspect of communication, communication that takes part on the base of social life and forms the content of organizational structure is a process which aims at conducting good relationships between groups and organizations (Dogan, 2005). Price (1997) defined organizational communication as the degree to which information about the job is transmitted by an organization to its members and among members of the organization. Ayatse (2005) observed that communication is needed to establish and disseminate the goals of the enterprise. This is because the competencies and skills they possess will enable them to exhibit work behaviours appropriate and relevant to the performance of the job. It is further theorized that employees are likely to be more productive if their performance is rewarded assuming that the reward received has value to them, as argued by the expectancy theory (Victor Vroom, 1964). Communication is vital in organizations such that Orpen (1997) argued that communication has a vital role in the failure or accomplishment of any organization, it is used for the purpose of resolving the contradictions in work organization in other that such organization may progress. People must come together, think together, work together, learn together and advance together. Human interaction allows man to forge new horizons and explore new possibilities. Thus, by meeting people, they can communicate in the language of themselves. The variety of communication aids/ techniques used in an organization depends on the nature of the organization, its kind and range of personnel that best suits the management and also the location of the workplace.
According to Ince and Gül (2001) communication is the exchange of ideas, emotions and opinions through words, letters and symbols among two or more people. He states that this may be defined as a technical fact. Yet it is uncertain whether symbols are transfer truly or not, to what extent symbols meet the transmitted message and how effective transmitted fact on the receiver (Kalla, 2005; Baltas and Baltas, 2002). Without communication, through readings, listening (the receptive skills), speaking and writing (the productive skills) mankind would find it difficult to unravel some of the mysteries of life. Those things that we are ignorant of or have knowledge of, or that we have doubts about can be explained to us better through communication. Altinöz (2008) defines communication as a means through which the task and the resources needed to carry out an assignment, the roles and duties and the expected results are made known to the subordinates. This means that communication is the transfer of information (a message) from one person to another. Thus effective communication is therefore the transfer of message, followed by feedback, from the receiver to the sender, indicating an understanding of the message. Multidimensional aspect of the notion of communication along with its analyses from different viewpoints affects its definition, communication is needed to review, conceptualize and direct interaction in an organization.
Employee communication is the dissemination of information which is related to the daily performance of an employer‟s job and also important if the worker is expected to be an effective member of staff. It connotes a consideration of human beings as a vital resource (Buchanan and Doyle 1999). Communication is the transfer of information from a sender to a receiver, with the message being understood by the receiver. Myers and Myers (1982) defined organizational communication as “the central binding force that permits coordination among people and thus allows for organized behaviour,” and Rogers and Rogers (1976) who argue that “the behaviour of individuals in organizations is best understood from a communication point of view.”
In many ways, organizations have evolved in directions that make the latter view more appropriate. Changes confronting organizations and the associated changes in organizational forms have made organizational communication increasingly important to overall organizational functioning. Communication is said to be the foundation for sound management, communication helps greater coordination and interaction among workers, good communication helps in motivating the workers, and communication helps in establishing links between different hierarchies and functions of management, communication clears confusion, misunderstanding and delays in administration, it helps in achieving maximum productivity with minimum cost, it helps in building genuine human relation. Communication is not only an essential aspect of these recent organizational changes, but effective communication can be seen as the foundation of modern organizations (Grenier and Metes 1992; D‟Aprix 1996; Witherspoon 1997; von Krogh et al. 2000).
Effective communication is needed for management to develop and sustain a competitive advantage for organizational performance and improvement (Aviolio,Lado, Boyd & Wright, 1992; Rowe, 2001). Effective communication between leaders and employees is critically important for the potential success of a company. Leaders need to enact strategies to improve communication that could lead to positive work consequences (Gray and Laidlaw, 2002). Improvements in supervisor-subordinate communication will assist organizations toward the goal of managing diversity by promoting equality and integration in the workplace.
Effective communication succeeds when employees support the leader and the organization if there is a belief that employees’ efforts will be rewarded. Leadership succeeds when initiating response or responding to change and leadership is inextricably linked to the credibility of those leading. Constituents will become willingly involved to the extent that they believe in those sponsoring the change (Desanctis & Janet, 1999). The association between employee satisfaction and job performance suggests that an important contributor to the employee’s engagement within the organization is the leader employee relationship. Foong (2001) concludes that managers use leadership behaviours to influence employees. Lee and Chuang (2009) explain that an excellent leader not only inspires subordinates, giving them the potential to enhance efficiency, but also meets their requirements in the process of achieving organizational goals. How a leader communicates is as important as to how he leads. The leader is the guiding force within a group and organization. A leadership style that resonates with followers will allow the leader to achieve greater employee productivity. Conversely, poor leadership styles lead to poor communication and can have negative effects on workers performance and in turn productivity. The process by which employees are made aware of organizational goals and their involvement in the achievement of them is recognized to play an important role in fostering job commitment (Anderson and Martin, 1995; Haskins, 1996). Goris et al. (2000) and Ooi et al. (2006) find organizational communication to have an important positive association with affective commitment, whilst (Brunetto and Farr-Whartons‟ 2004) findings “suggest a strong relationship between communication processes and job satisfaction and affective job commitment”.
The importance of communication may appear intuitively obvious, but does research support this assumed importance; the short answer is yes. Research has shown that “when employee needs are met through satisfying communication, employees are more likely to build effective work relationships.” (Gray & Laidlow 2004, quoted in Tsai and Chuang 2009). This “research satisfaction” – “the sum total of an individual’s satisfaction with information flow and relationship variables” (Downs & Hazen, 1977, in Tsai and Chuang 2009) has been correlated with key variables such as job performance and turnover rates. Further, “certain facets of employees‟ communication satisfaction that exhibit both information and relationship features supervisory communication, personal feedback, and communication climate were found to be the major dimensions of communication-job performance relationships” (Tsai and Chuang 2009). In other words, the ways in which information flows in an organization is critical to the way that personnel understand their relationship to and within the organization. In short, as Chen (2008) stated, each passing study seems to reveal “that the relationship between internal/employee communication and corporate effectiveness is more significant than what has previously been assumed”.
Statement of the problem
The employment relationship is the professional link between employer and employees. Ideally, this relationship is based on mutual respect. Employees need to clearly understand what is expected of them to perform well. Employers must maintain and encourage healthy rapport with and among employees to promote efficiency in the workplace. Employers must delegate work in an organized and respectful way to maintain morale and foster the overall success of the organization.
Employers need to promote positive communication with and among co-workers so they may better understand each others’ needs, as well as the needs of the employer. In this way, workers may perform their individual tasks with the understanding of how their work relates to others and what others need and expect from them. Employment relationships are enhanced when employees understand the importance of their individual work and its impact on the whole organization.
Base on this backdrop, the study tried to find out the impact of effective communication in enhancement of employee relationship in business organizations using some selected organizations in Ebonyi State as a study.
Purpose of the study
This study is geared towards ascertaining the impact of effective communication in enhancement of employee relationship in business organizations; a study of selected organizations in Ebonyi State.
Specifically, the study tends to:
- Ascertain possible ways of enhancing internal communication within an organization.
- Determine the effect of organizational communication on workers performance.
- To examine how communication influences workers’ productivity.
- Determine the extent to which communication affect the level of workers commitment in their job specification.
Significance of the study
The finding on this research work will be of immense help to business education students, managements of organizations, entrepreneurs, researchers as well as other users of information.
To business education students, the study will expose them to the fore-knowledge of business management and how to handle employees for effectiveness and productivity which will prepare them towards facing the challenges in the world of business, especially those who will be moving into their own business.
To managements of organizations, the study will provide solution to effective communication within the organization which will positively affect the overall performance of the organization.
To entrepreneurs, the study will enlighten them on how to harness the best in employees through effective communication.
To researchers, the study will be a good source of literature for more studies as related to the present study. To other users of information, it will become a reference point for their academic need.
Scope of the study
This research work is geared towards ascertaining the impact of effective communication in enhancement of employee relationship in business organizations. The study selected some organizations in Ebonyi State.
The following research questions guided the study:
- What are the possible ways of enhancing internal communication within an organization?
- What are the effects of organizational communication on workers performance?
- In what ways does communication influences workers’ productivity?
- To what extent does communication affect the level of workers commitment in their job specification?