Communication plays a vital role in establishing a common sense of purpose in the workplace. Communication during recruitment and the interview process is an initial opportunity for interviewer and interviewee to express their professional values from which a common sense of purpose can be built organisationally. The idea being that it is important to recruit someone with strong, active pre-existing shared values that mirror the company’s values and principles. Good communication at the interview stage plays an important role in successful recruitment and the subsequent application of the organisations vision, strategy and mission statement.
When communicating with both individual staff members and teams it is essential to consider who you are communicating with, what you are communicating, when it needs to be communicated and also the best way to communicate with them. It is important to think about this because if it is done appropriately and with consideration it can create and help to maintain a shared sense of purpose.
Alternatively if there is communication without consideration it can have detrimental effects including an ambiguous and unclear sense of purpose amongst staff that can lead to confusion, possible ambivalence and low motivation. Thought should be given about how best to communicate with others depending on who will be receiving the information, with consideration given to making sure messages are conveyed with clarity and all essential material is covered. It is really important for all staff that they are able to communicate and that this is a two way process. For higher management it is essential to highlight work priorities, to direct in line with policies, procedures and goals and also to help feedback, encourage, motivate and support the employee in their role.
It is also essential for lower level staff members to feel that they are being listened to and for them to have the regular opportunity to voice their concerns with the view that, if necessary, these concerns will be acted on.
Supervisions and one to one interactions are a really good time for management to show that they are working within the shared values and principles of the company. It is also a good time to work on listening and engaging with staff and an opportunity to underline the value of an individual worker within their team and to create and maintain worker moral and motivation and a sense of job satisfaction. One to one communication is also a time when team leaders can link work practices to goals and can also see how the individuals’ values are reflected in their skills set, allowing a space for this to be broadened and developed.
Communication between peers is important when building a common sense of purpose as it creates and can help to maintain a cohesive, supportive framework through which skills and knowledge can be exchanged and a team can work efficiently. Communication that is strong and clear can help to encourage, challenge and inspire and is also an opportunity to positively influence and motivate staff. It can be carried out through team meetings, supervisions, in training settings and informally. It can encourage discussion, debate and dialogue which can reveal where a team may differ and where a strategy can be discovered and implemented that will positively work with the strategy of the organisation as a whole.
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