Hynes introduces a calculated approach to managerial communication by dissecting it into three separate, yet mutually dependent functions. Hynes believes that with these approaches, management and employees alike can learn to adapt to one another to create an effective work force. The first layer is based on the idea that an employer and his employees can create a positive work atmosphere with the communication climate they set with one another. If a manager and his employees have an open and trusting relationship, it makes communications much easier for the both of them, regardless of their status.
By allowing employees to contribute their thoughts and opinions without the fear of backlash, managers will see better job performance within their workers. Employers can often create an open communication climate through regular team building meetings and workshops. Communication climate also challenges managers to do their part by listening to their employees’ feedback. In order for effective communication to occur, an employee should feel comfortable in their work atmosphere and fully believe that their manager will take their words into deep consideration.
Founder and President of Pillar Consulting LLC , Joelle K. Jay, PhD states, “On a personal level, people feel acknowledged when others validate their feelings. Managers who ignore feelings can create distance between themselves and their employees, eroding the relationship and ultimately affecting the working environment (Jay, “Communicate Well: Five Strategies To Enhance Your Managerial Communication Skills”). ” From that statement, managers must also learn the boundaries within successful communication.
In Hynes’ text, he also states that, “a positive climate is fragile…after only one or two critical errors, a positive environment can quickly change to one of distrust and closed communication, making future communication more difficult” (28). Managers must also learn to face the challenges of workers who become too comfortable in their environment. For example, Manager A and his Employee B, may have a friendly and casual relationship—one in which they may feel so comfortable that they talk about their personal and/or family business with one another.
This is good in the sense that Employee B learns to trust Manager A and feels he can chat comfortably about his feelings toward his job. Now, if Employee A begins to feel so comfortable that Manager A is finding consistent errors within Employee B’s work, it is only right for Manager A to step in and confront him about the matter. Depending upon the choice of words used by Manager A and how Employee B feels about the situation, it can change the communication climate. One bad meeting can leave Employee B feeling angry with Manager A.
He may no longer wish to have such a friendly demeanor towards him in the future. This can cause a strain on their communication with each other in the future. Another way to open a communication climate is through organizational culture. In an age of such advanced technology, many businesses no longer feel the need to speak to a person directly, either face-to-face or over the phone. The use of email has become a strong tool in business as it allows users to speak to each other without having to schedule a set time for both parties to meet only to say a few words.
From the previous example, Manager A may be in a business that is highly dependent on email to speak to his employees in order to give clear, direct orders. Employee B may have previously come from an organization where meeting face-to-face was the ideal way to speak to anyone—management or employees alike. If Manager A decided it would be easier to email Employee B of the mistakes that he’s been making, Employee B may take that as a sign of disrespect.
Employee B may not understand the tone that Manager A is reflecting in the email, leaving Employee B with the notion that Manager A couldn’t take time out of his schedule to speak with him directly. Their different perspectives of organizational culture could cause their gap in communication to widen tremendously. Organizational culture can help managers to better understand Hynes’ second layer in his approach to strategic communication. As the sender, Manager A’s personal characteristics can greatly affect the way he communicates with his employees.
Before speaking with Employee B about his mistakes, Manager A must first reflect on what he will say to Employee B and how he will say it to him. Efficient communication can be the determining factor for communications in the future. While an employee only has to adjust his communication for his manager, a manager will need to find a way to relay his message to each employee in the most comfortable and appropriate manner they deem fit. The manager must constantly adjust this speech for each person that he meets with to ensure a satisfactory outcome.
Though employees must mainly focus on how to communicate with management, there are various factors they must also take into consideration. How an employee takes in what an authority figure is saying to them greatly depends on their closeness with management, how they feel about the subject, concern for the subject, their current mindset, and their differences in position. As a receiver, an employee can choose how to accept a message being given to them by their employer.
In the previous example between Manager A and Employee B, it was said that Manager A would have to speak with Employee B about the mistakes he’s been making in his work. Since both parties already have a close relationship, Employee B will be more open to hearing what Manager A has to say. Employee B may have had a bad morning and doesn’t want to talk to anyone, let alone hear what Manager A has to say about his errors. By having a platonic relationship with his employee, Manager A is at an advantage because Employee B will respect him for their friendship.
Employee B will be more willing to take Manager A’s words into consideration and change his future actions. Managers must also be mindful of the language they use when speaking with their employees. If they are knowingly using jargon that their employee will not understand, communicating properly will be a difficult task. Not all conversations between employers and employees are ones that criticize their work. Before speaking to their employees, whether in a group setting or a one-on-one conference, a manager must first carefully examine the topic.
He must verify that the subject matter would be something that is beneficial to the work force, or something that is unnecessary to building the work morale. In Hynes’ third layer, it is learned that in order to measure how successful a communication approach is, managers must also consider how to get their message across to their employees. As stated before, Manager A may want to email Employee B on the subject of his work. Before doing so, Manager A must fully analyze the words he will be saying to Employee B and recognize if the matter is something that may be better said in person.
Also, in Employee B’s organizational culture, he may not be acclimated to receiving the critique of his work in writing. By speaking to Employee B personally, Manager A has the chance to show him that he respects him by meeting him face-to-face. To ensure a message is clearly stated to employees, managers must also take the necessary steps to find a comfortable place and time for them to meet. If the place of employment is one that deals with much noise such as a construction site, managers should take his directed employees to a comfortable place away from many outside distractions.
Managers must also consider the amount of time it may take to speak to his workers. On a construction site, more time wasted can also lead to more money wasted. Managers must carefully plan their speech in an amount of time that does not interfere with the actual workload. By using these tactics laid out by Geraldine E. Hynes, managers can begin to set up their own communication strategies to ensure future success. Managers can compare and use these strategies as a baseline to communicating efficiently.