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Internal Communications. At the end of this unit you should be able to 1.Recognise how information flows within an organisation 2.Identify formal and.

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Presentation on theme: "Internal Communications. At the end of this unit you should be able to 1.Recognise how information flows within an organisation 2.Identify formal and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Internal Communications

2 At the end of this unit you should be able to 1.Recognise how information flows within an organisation 2.Identify formal and informal communication structures within an organisation 3.Discuss the importance of keeping open channels of communication 4.Identify specific channels/media of communication and their usefulness in particular situations 5.Conduct a communication audit on a business or organisation

3 What we will look at in this unit Formal Communication Structures – Organisation Chart Communication Flow – up, down, lateral, Informal Communication – grapevine Communication media – – Types – which to choose Internal communications audit

4 Internal Communication refers to the exchange of information that occurs among people within the organisation good internal communication systems necessary for efficient functioning

5 Why is internal communication important?

6 Essential to functioning of organisation Creates understanding-objectives & roles Improves culture Job satisfaction Safety Decrease litigation, staff turnover & absenteeism

7 FORMAL Internal Communication STRUCTURES Sanctioned by management Follow predictable paths LIST examples of formal internal communication structures.

8 Organisational Chart

9 Task: Organisation Chart Identify an organisation to which you belong or have belonged. Sketch the organisational chart. 1.Is it tall or is it flat? 2.Does the chart reflect the organisations culture? 3.What are the strengths and weaknesses of the structure?


11 Communication Flow - 3 basic directions 1.Downwards 2.Upwards 3.Laterally 4.Diagonally

12 Information Flow in a Retail Organisation Strategic information Operational information

13 Information about the organisation’s mission, values, strategic goals Employee handbook Standard operating manual Job descriptions Information about major accomplishments, concerns, announcements, audits, etc Operational issues and decisions Downward Communication

14 Downward communication STRENGTHSWEAKNESSES

15 Downward communication STRENGTHS Establishes clear lines of authority and who does what! Logical way to keep employees informed Can motivate employees towards the organisations vision & strategy Employees get to know managements view WEAKNESSES Message gets diluted or distorted Wrong channel may be used Messages may be withheld or manipulated Could damage morale Information overload Problems with accuracy, consistency, completeness

16 Resistance from managers Information overload Organisation structure – e.g. tall organisation with many levels of management Organisation culture/ management style – e.g. very formal bureaucratic culture; closed, secretive management style Barriers to Downward Communication

17 Status reports, reports to management Notification of problems Complaints/ grievances Ideas and suggestions Attitudes Upward Communication

18 Upward communication STRENGTHSWEAKNESSES

19 Upword communication STRENGTHS Invaluable source of new ideas & information for managers Enables employees to participate Motivates employees Empowers employees WEAKNESSES 1.Employees playing politics 2.Fear of speaking your mind 3.Managers hearing but not listening 4.Gatekeeping 5.Added frustration

20 Reasons for Poor Upward Communication

21 horizontal communication between staff at the same level in the organisation. It is used for: Liaising and co-ordinating activities Sharing information and ideas, expertise and best practice Lateral Communication


23 Lateral communication STRENGTHSWEAKNESSES

24 Lateral communication STRENGTHS Strengthens teamwork Spreads knowledge, skill & expertise Reduces dependence on management Contributes to positive atmosphere of mutual support WEAKNESSES Cliques could form and shut others out Employees may feel managers need to be more involved Employees may find it difficult to cope with continuous later communication May not work in a competitive environment

25 Increased specialisation of organisation sub- units Problems with language - different ‘jargon’ Power rivalries and gate-keeping Reasons for Poor Lateral Communication

26 communicating with someone who is not at the same level in the organisation and not in direct chain of command Diagonal Communication


28 Diagonal communication STRENGTHSWEAKNESSES

29 Diagonal communication STRENGTHS Reduces barriers between departments Increase knowledge flow between departments Creates better understanding between departments thus increasing overall team effort WEAKNESSES May offend your manager May not be appropriate to communicate in this way May cause rivalry if two departments become very close at expense of others Important information may not get communicated upward/downward

30 Task: Communication Flow Think about your organisation earlier 1.What direction does communication flow in this organisation? 2.How effective are they? 3.What are the barriers to communication?

31 Informal Communication Pathways of daily interaction Dependent on social relationships

32 The Grapevine In favour ofAgainst

33 The Grapevine In favour of Messages travel quickly Often the only source of vital information Some say mainly accurate Builds cohesiveness Creates culture Test bed Natural & relaxed Against Information follows an unpredictable path Usually some element of distortion Information unrecorded Some people may be bypassed or excluded Can be damaging

34 Clique 1 The Grapevine Clique 2 Clique 3 Clique 4 Isolate


36 Task: I heard it through the grapevine ! 1.What information do you receive informally in your organisation? 2.What information did/do you receive informally as a student?

37 ‘The Medium is the Message’Marshall McLuhan Key decisions 1.What is the PURPOSE? 2.Who are my AUDIENCE? 3.Which is the most effective channel of communication (MEDIUM)?

38 When choosing a Medium….. Consider…………… Speed Distance Quantity Intimacy Talent

39 Task: Your choice of media? 1.List as many media types used by organisations. 2.Give examples when to use each type for communication in an organisation.

40 Internal Media FormalInformalOther IntranetEmailIntercom Meetings- many types/ Briefings Instant messaging (IM) (Electronic) notice board Manuals/reports/ memos/letters Informal meeting Magazine/ezineInformal chat Corporate video

41 Summary- Internal Communications Good communication essential to organisational functioning Formal & informal communication Choosing appropriate medium critical to effectiveness of message

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