Strategies And Plans to Promote Effective Business Communication
Task Description: In this assessment you will both write a report based upon the following case study and then present an oral presentation either during the lecture or tutorial. You will be assigned into a group of three by the lecturer/tutor. Each member of your group will focus upon and write on one of the issues. Do not simply cut and paste each persons’ contribution. The group needs to make sure that all of the parts fit cohesively together and read as one document.
The presentation must be 20 minutes in length. All group members must present during the presentation. You will present the information that you developed and wrote in the report. The flex students will present using Zoom.
Case study: A multi-national organisation operates in various countries including Australia, Vietnam, India, Oman, and Nigeria. The organisation manufactures and distributes agricultural equipment to local and international clients. In total the organisation has 8,000 employees in five countries and more than 1 million customers worldwide. The head office is based in Australia. In recent years the organisation is facing several communication challenges.
- Ineffective use of social media such as blogs, wikis, social networks to support teams in sharing ideas, building knowledge bases and task management.
- Lack of quality feedback from clients on ways to improve product quality and service delivery
- Misunderstandings and lack of trust based upon intercultural communication issues in different contexts
Your manager has asked you to develop strategies and plans to improve communication at all levels In order to complete this task, you will need to review relevant academic literature and case studies to provide evidence and examples.
Introduction: Communication is essential for internal operations of organization and for interaction with the external environment in which the organization is operating. Communication is basically sharing relevant information with people in the effective manner. Business communication is an essential part of every organization as it is the most relevant and suitable technique to communicate of brand as well as corporate messages to the potential target customers. Each organization has various business objectives and goals which need to be communicated with the stakeholders for the short as well as long term understandings. For this, organizations use various communication tools so that the message can be delivered to the stakeholders as well as customers in the effective manner (Miller, 2014). This report identifies various business communication challenges in a multi-national organization and provides appropriate recommendation in order to deal with those challenges.
About organization : This report is based on a case of multi-national organization that is operating in some countries. The organization is manufacturing and distributing agricultural equipments to local and international customers in various countries including Vietnam, India, Australia, Nigeria and Oman. There are around 8,000 employees in the company and due to operations in these five countries; there are more than 1 million customers in all over the world. Head office of the company is in Australia. Based on the case study, it is observed that company is facing some challenges related to communication practices. So, it is important for the organization to improve the communication at all levels.
Purpose: The key purpose of the report is to develop business communication strategy of the multi-national organization and improve the communication process at all levels within the organization. The main objective of this report is to analyze present communication strategy in the organization and then recommend the possible solutions in order to enhance the effectiveness of business communication. Communication at all the levels is very important and effective as it can enhance the performance of multi-national organization in the operating markets. Along with this, communication supports all the business practices in all over the world so that profit can be earned. So, business communication should be very effective so that employees are motivated enough to contribute in the business practices and give their best to improve the performance of the business in market (Tahseen, 2014).
Scope: The objective of the report is to understand the current communication challenges in the organization and identify present business communication approaches used by the organization. Along with this, the report also provides most possible solutions to improve the effectiveness of communication at all the levels. The scope of this report is bounded to formulate the strategy for communication in business. The challenges would be recognized by examining the current situation and suggestions would be provided based on recognized issue. The scope of the report evidently recognizes the area of study and research. Further, the limitation of the study is that it is completely based on secondary research and data. Methods used for analysis of business communication strategies in multi-national organization are completely secondary data collection and research such as articles, journals and websites etc. These would be helpful in analyzing all the communication methods presented in the organization. After the collection of information, recommendations would be given to this multi-national organization related to its business communication.
Report outcome : This report will focus on various literatures on the issues which are faced by the organization given in the case so that the role and importance of those factors can be understood effectively. Further, the report would provide some recommendations as the possible solutions to deal with those issues.
Structure of report : The report has basically four parts. The first part gives an introduction to the report. Along with this, it also includes the explanation of the organization, issue, purpose and scope of the report. Second part focuses on the analysis of current situation of the organization based on identifying the issues and theoretical frameworks. The issues in business communication would be analyzed based on the literature review presented by various literatures. Third part includes findings of the report and conclusion. It includes summarization of overall discussion. At last, fourth part includes recommendations to deal with the business communication challenges.
Analysis of current situation
Social Media: Based on the case study, it is observed that there is ineffective use of social media such as wikis, blogs and social networks in order to support the team to share the ideas, task management and building knowledge base. Social media is now an integral part of the organization. Social media has a major impact on the business and the way people interact, communicate and share the information with each other. According to Cavico (2013), social media includes web based internet networking system by which people can share the information and communicate with each other in an effective manner. Further, Smith (2012) defined social media as social interaction by using technology i.e. internet and mobile phones with the combination of video, audio and pictures. Interactive process allows people to communicate, sharing documents, emails, video, pictures and audio files in number of different ways. Social media includes various platforms like Twitter and Facebook which has completely transformed the way of communication. Gelms (2012) revealed that social media is now used by fastest growing companies in United States and 83% of these companies are using at least one platform of social media. In the presented case, company has lack of effective use of social media for inside communication. In order deal with this challenge, it is significant to be aware of the role of social media in the organizational communication process (Alves, 2016).
Use of social media in organization- By an in-depth analysis of the organization, Pannell Steel (2010) revealed that organizations are using new media platforms i.e. Twitter and Facebook in order to communicate and engage with the external environment of the business. Along with this, organizations are also using these platforms for the internal communications. A research conducted by Verheyden and Geoman (2013) showed that most of the organizations are still using social networking channels to communicate with the stakeholders. People in the organization are considered as the important asset of the organization. Social media is an effective tool to share the information among the staff so that organization can achieve competitive benefit over the rivals in the market (Harris, 2011). So, social media make possible for employees to stay connected online so that they can share the knowledge with each other. Employees also convey important data to the company. So, it is very crucial for the organization to preserve and deal with social capital in the business (Langer, 2014).
The benefit of social capital is that it enhances the interaction with the employees within the organization. It is also helpful to enhance the knowledge of the employees and develops strong relationship between organization and its employees. Along with this, social media is used to exchange the pictures, ideas, and video conferencing with the employees in all over the world. Social media is helpful in the personal growth of the employees by distribution of information as well as developing group work among the employees.
Knowledge sharing- Most of the multinational organizations are using social media channels and motivate the employees to distribute relevant information and achieve of intellectual capital. Various organizations following these practices and employees are rewarded for them. It can be seen in the case of IBM’s Lotus Development in which a system has been initiated to reward the employees so that can be more motivated to contribute to the information. Along with this, employees are able to provide the information during the annual meetings that is helpful in 25% development of the company (McCabe & Harris, 2017).
By the process of knowledge sharing, each and every employee is able to transfer the knowledge to the company which is helpful in improving innovative ideas for the success of the organization. Also, it is helpful for the organization to deal with the competition in the market. By knowledge sharing, organizations are also able to achieve competitive advantage over the rivals (McConnon & Regan, 2015).
Case example- World’s biggest telecommunication provider company Nokia has successfully implemented social media channels for the internal communications. The objective of the company is to connect people and explore the ways to improve communications. With every social media tool, Nokia focuses on knowledge sharing among its employees in all over the world. Most popular tools used by Nokia are VideoHub, Infopedia and BlogHub (Varney, 2014).
Communication- Social media is helpful in developing inside medium of interaction in the business. The communication medium is developed between staff and the business. The procedure of interaction is helpful in transferring the knowledge at various level of the company. Along with this, the process of communication is also helpful in solving various operational problems in the company. With the help of social media platforms, companies are able to have an effective communication process with the employees as they solve critical issues by discussing over the topic. The benefit of social media is that it sets up communication channel between staff and the company (Kallio, 2015).
Case Example- Domino’s Pizza has faced a crisis situation in April 2009 when two rogue employees posted videos of infected food on YouTube. In order to deal with this issue, Vice President of the company delivered the crisis communication plan by YouTube and Twitter. By the social media, Domino’s adopted strategies to manage the situation of crisis (Young & Flowers, 2012).
Feedback : Next communication issue in the organization is related to customers as they are not able to provide effective feedback in order to improve the quality of product and service delivery. Customers’ feedback can be described as customer communication related to a product or a service. Customer feedback is very important for the growth and development of the business. The customers should let be free to tell about their experiences. This would be helpful for the companies to know about the areas of improvement. Customers’ feedback is generally information provided by the consumers about their satisfaction and dissatisfaction level with the products or services and bout their experience they had with the company (Eiríksdóttir & Thorarensen, 2012).
Case Example- Feedback of the customers is important for the companies like KFC. In order to get feedback from the customers, KFC is providing discounts on some items to those customers who are giving feedback. These types of incentives are excellent business practice of KFC. This is the effective method to collect the feedback from the customers related to the products and services of KFC (Nurmi, 2014).
The opinions of the customers are important for the companies to enhance customer experience and adjust the actions according to the needs of the customers. The feedbacks from the customers can be coolected by various types of surveys and posts of the clients on the online platforms. Big and established companies always understand the role of customers’ feedback in business. They continuously focus on the views and experiences of the customers. They not only search for opinions of the customers on social media platforms and company’s website but also use various methods of survey to ask for the feedback from the customers. If a company wants to stay competitive in the market then it should never stop focusing on the customer’s feedback whether it is negative, positive, prompted or unprompted. There are some reasons why customer feedback is important for the business-
Improving products and services- Customer feedbacks are important in enhancing the value of products and services. Feedback of the customer is basically an insight about what is good in the product and service and what should be done to make them better. Although company might have better experience of the market consumer insights would be more valuable to identify their actual needs and requirements.
Customer satisfaction- Customer loyalty and satisfaction is an important function to decide the financial performance of the company. It is directly connected to various benefits i.e. lower costs, higher revenue, and increased market share. If a company want to make sure that the customers are satisfied with the products or services than company needs to get their opinions. By asking rating based questions, company can easily analyze the satisfaction level and predict the position of business in future.
Case Example- Famous hotel chain Ritz-Carlton Hotel always responds to the feedback of the customers and has updated its customer service style to enhance the satisfaction level of the customers. The hotel has discovered an authentic guest service style for the success with customers (Solomon, 2015).
Customer retention- Satisfied customers will always stay with the company. The feedback of the customers will always be helpful to determine if the customers are satisfied with the products and services and identify the areas where improvements are needed. By asking the opinions of the employees on regular basis, company can retain the customers in an effective manner. Along with this, by immediately reacting on then problem identified by customer, company can win the customers back and enhance their level of loyalty.
Case Example- One of the famous mobile company Apple is always focused on the feedback of the customers and always made inventions in its products. Users are able to create an Apple Id and make recommendations based on what they get in the services. By this process, company is able to retain its customers and is most profitable company in electronic sector.
Intercultural communication: There is the issue of misunderstanding and lack of trust on the basis of intercultural communication issues in various context of organization. Generally, intercultural communication can be described as the communication among the people of different culture. Some authors define this as the communication across culture or the communication among people having different cultures.
Need for intercultural communications- It is observed that there is the lack of intercultural communication in the organization in given case. So, first of all, it is important to understand the need of intercultural communication within the organization. After many discussions on the intercultural communications, it is crucial to understand that why intercultural communication is important in then organizations. There are various reasons why it is important:
- People and culture together are important for the growth of the business and rapid progress in the mass communication,
- Intercultural communication is important for the communication and establishment of relationships with people having various cultures and that can lead various benefits i.e. increasing local, national and international business, healthier communities, low level of conflicts and high level of personal growth etc.
- Effective intercultural communication among the cultures can minimize the barriers of misunderstanding that differentiate cultural groups from each other. Along with this, this can provide economic advantages also.
Role of intercultural communication- Generally, the objective of communication is to express oneself. There are various modes of expressions and types of communication i.e. cross-cultural communication. Intercultural communication includes sending and receiving message among individuals and groups where various cultural backgrounds impact on the understandings of those messages. In terms of business, intercultural communication can be helpful for a company in achieving competitive advantage (Pesqueira, 2015). The intercultural communication is important in various business processes and some are as follows:
Business expansion: Communication is important for all the employees of the company including managers and subordinates. Basically, the ability to communicate in an effective manner is a challenge at the global level. For instance, misunderstanding can be raised when two people speak in same language due to different cultural background. So, an understanding of intercultural communication is essential to achieve competitive advantage in local and international market. People in businesses who can communicate cross-culturally will get important competitive advantage at the global level. In other words, dealing with customers, employees, colleagues and business partners from various cultures is very important for achieving the mission of the company and enhancing values for the shareholders. An effective intercultural communication is an important requirement of the business (Eyring, 2017).
Elimination of conflicts: Every person has their own culture that has impact on their thinking and behavior. These differences can be the cause of conflicts within the organization. Employees in the organization come from different backgrounds and cultures thus resulting different personalities. When people having different background come together to work in an organization then the disputes between the personalities occur and create interpersonal tensions and conflicts. Due to the disputes, overall group performance decreases. So, intercultural communication is basically important to avoid the issue of conflicts by the diverse cultural environment (Bergen, 2015).
Conclusion : Based on above analysis, it is observed that communication at all the levels is very important and effective as it can enhance the performance of multi-national organization in the operating markets. Each organization has various business objectives and goals which need to be communicated with the stakeholders for the short as well as long term understandings. The main objective of this report is to examine current communication approach in the organization and then propose the possible solutions. It is analyzed that social media has now an integral part of the business. Social media has a significant impact on the business and the way people interact, communicate and share the information with each other. Social media is an effective tool to share the information among the workforce so that organization can achieve competitive edge over the rivals in the market. Case examples are also presented for the arguments.
Further, Customer feedback is very important for the growth and development of the business. Big and established companies always understand the role of customers’ feedback in business. By asking the opinions of the employees on regular basis, company can retain the customers in an effective manner. With this, by immediately reacting on then problem identified by customer, company can win the customers back and enhance their level of loyalty. They continuously focus on the views and experiences of the customers. Next, intercultural communication can be helpful for a company in achieving competitive advantage. In terms of business, intercultural communication can be helpful for a company in achieving competitive advantage.
Social media:In order to enhance the internal communications by social media channels, there are some recommendations for the multi-national organization given in the case study. The company is facing issue related to ineffective use of social media to support the teams in building knowledge bases, sharing ideas and task management. Those recommendations are as follows:
- In order to support the team, company needs to create an effective social media system. By this system, company would be able to monitor various posts on open social networks.
- Company should use the social media channels to share new information and updates so that each and every employee can be informed about the business activities and decisions. By this, stakeholders would also be informed about the current happenings in the company (Grover, 2016).
- Company can integrate video content in interact with the employees as video is an important resource. Along with this, employees can bookmark the videos for the future use.
- Facebook is an ideal solution for the internal communication this can include three ways i.e. person-to-person chat, exchanging shifts and subgroups.
Feedback : In order to deal with the issue of feedback in the given multi-national organization, there are some recommendations which are as follows:
- Company needs to provide live chat support in order to communicate with the customers so that their needs and requirements can be understood in a better way.
- Company can get feedback from the customers in the chat sessions also. Just like e-mails, company can send feedback form to the customer from the chat portal.
- Further, company can call its customers on regular basis as this is highly personalized way to seek customer feedback. This method is helpful in generating best response from the customers.
- Company can use email surveys to get feedback from new customers. The survey could seek customer feedback based on some factors like price, availability, order in search engine ranking etc (Zajdo, 2017).
Intercultural communication: Next, the multi-national company is facing issues due to the lack of inter-cultural communication practices. Company is facing challenges related to misunderstanding and lack of trust among the employees. There are some recommendations for the organization to deal with this challenge.
- Company needs to understand the cultural differences and diversities among the employees so that a positive work environment can be maintained in an effective manner.
- Company should enhance the effective communication practices among the employees so that they can know about the cultural diversities of each other. By effective internal communications, employees would be able to share their ideas on the basis of mutual awareness, credibility and respect (Neo, 2015).
- Next, company needs to accept the complex cross-cultural situation in the workforce and prepare for high level of ambiguity and flexibility in the business.
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