The definition of communication in language dictionaries have not changed much with time, however the tools, means and mediums used by a normal person have rapidly evolved. Spoken words combined with body language perhaps were the first means of communication used by mankind, but in today’s digital world the same has translated into written text supported with emotion icons and colorful pictures or videos, thanks to the internet.
Furthermore, with the easy access to social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter; people are now having the power of mass communication at their fingertips making them able to share a message with thousands of people at no time, absolutely without any efforts. From the above general introduction, it can be realised that we live in an over communicated world with tons of irrelevant messages floating around diverting our focus and attention to areas that may not have any importance to us.
The challenge may not be noticed in the personal life but is surely a trouble when it comes to corporate environment. “Time is money. ” (Franklin), this was a statement once said by a famous politician who lived back in the 18th century, but it still is very much valid today and defiantly maybe much more expensive than Franklin himself thought it would be. Every business exists to make profit by doubling, tripling or quadrupling their dollars and one of the main earing keys is keeping the firm’s cost under control hence fully utilising employees’ time and ensuring the highest levels of efficiency.
The above may not be the right message a business owner would wish to deliver to his employees, but would defiantly want to implement an effective and productive work environment where every employee knows, understands and lives the firm’s strategy and mission statement. This is only achieved when a proper commination channel is in place within an organization which many companies in the corporate world strive to have or implement.
Communication problems in corporates are many, but to start with I will refer to a statement by a famous Irish dramatist who lived is the last century: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. ” (Shaw) The above statement enlightens us to a major communication problem where the initiator simply thinks that his message is delivered, understood or even auctioned by the recipients which could lead to issues no one have anticipated. Such illusions could be turned into reality simply if the initiator is making sure to request an acknowledgment from the receiver.
On the other side, as identified by Arnold Anderson, language barriers can sometime occur in a multinational environment which may become another communication problem. Although a diverse workplace has several benefits for the business, such as verity to of solutions to company issues and insight to international markets, but considering that organization is made of people from different countries, cultures and ethics will add up to the language barrier and slow communication or create miss understanding that will eventually make communication ineffective.
In such cases, the best solution is to assure that an official business language i. . English, is fluently spoken by all employees and a cultural training and communication policy is taught to new joiners of the organization. Furthermore, with the born of the digital environment, most –if not all- work related documents and communications are now e-mail based which has many benefits such as documenting every conversation, easiness to contact any person, no distance barrier and instant, however “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”. (Poison, 1988) One of the biggest challenges that came to exist with e-mail communication is the habit of avoiding face-to-face talks.
Many employees are used to get stuck to their seats for 8 hours a day and all they do is send mails back and forth. This causes huge lack of collaboration between different units and people resulting to lack of teamwork hence lower productivity in the organisation. This problem may grow from a few people’s habits to a general organisation culture issue thus it has to be addressed intensely. There is no quick solution to such issue, but one of good initiatives I saw in our company was Face-Mail day. This people department in our company started to encourage all employees to use face mail instead of e-mails every Wednesday.
The initiative was very much appreciated by employees and did show positive results as time passed by. In conclusion, the corporate environment will always have communication problems even if all employees were replaced by robots; however, the organisation should always set its priority to keep effects of this issue as low as possible by implanting a communication policy, encouraging face mail, assuring that hired employees are fluent in business language and by continuing communicating the objective of the company and its long-term strategy.