The need to foster employability and management skills has emerged and the educational world has taken a considerate note of it. Industry wants 'Freshers with Perfection',
which somehow seems difficult. Hence, being, students, they need to maximize their learning and gain as much exposure as possible. On the other hand, industry needs to be bit moderate with them. Orientation into the new world has to be facilitated and this transition has to be a learning rather than a shock. Business Managers play a significant role in this and so does their communication strategies.
There are three words that we need to understand before we start a discussion on the titled subject:
Business is commonly known and understood as the activity of making, buying, selling or supplying goods or services for money. (Oxford ALD) It speaks of commerce and trade. Hence, we can explain it as an organised approach to providing customers/audience with the goods and services they demand or want. The word business also refers to an organization that provides these goods and services. The prime objective for most businesses is to make a profit - that is, they aim to achieve revenues that exceed the costs of operating the business. The activity of transportation of goods and exchange of services is integral to business and the participants attempt to gain more out of these exchanges and transportations.
Communication: We have been doing communication since the inception of life and civilization. Communication has got developed into a domain of learning and has been acknowledged as a skill to master. Basically it remains an exchange of information and meanings which gets completeness when desired feedbacks are generated. Communication aims at three acts: Inform Persuade and Entertain. The first two are considered to the core of Business activity and the third comes to work when we see the throat-cut competition in the business world. We shall be feeling more for ‘communication’ when we relate it with business and with ‘Managers’.
Communication is classified into various types: Verbal and Non-verbal, Personal and Business. When we discuss organizational communication or business communication, the flow of communication categorises it in various forms. There are communication structures and communication cultures in business organisations:
- Spiral or Diagonal
Formal Communication lines in an organization are made of:
Informal and Interpersonal communication exist and play a very significant role for managers. Chats and Grapevine (unofficial version of news) exist and are needed to strengthen the communication system. Theoretically, the network of formal communication may be adequate to meet the needs of exchanging information within an organisation. But, in real life, this is seldom true. Sometimes employees modify the formal methods of communication to get the complete information. This is what grapevine is- an Informal but ‘reliable’ channel for employees, developed by them.
The presence of grapevine shows that the management has missed an opportunity to share information of interest with their employees. However, the grapevine may create workplace complications and the information system may get disturbed gradually. The manager has to keep the first communication channel active and must work to minimize the establishment of this parallel-secondary channel.
Managers: This write-up is meant for those who are Managers in Making. While deliberating on the term ‘Manager’ we find some characteristics which are identified with the persona of a good manager: A Manger makes the optimum use of the resources in hand. With planning- preparation-performance-analysis, a manager brings the best to business. MS Encarta suggests various meanings:
Organizer of Business
Organizer of Somebody's Business Affairs
Organizer of Affairs of Athlete/Sports Team
Competent Handler of Situations
After looking at the above descriptions of a Manager we can conclude that a Manager is the person who does Management. Who brings the things in hand to an ‘organised state’. Now what management is? We can happily say- Management is What Managers do!
Role of Communication in Business Management and Making of Managers
We try to Understand Why Communication Matters?
There are various functions that Business Management needs to perform and communication is what it needs. There will be no denial to the fact that Business management happens through communication management.
The basic functions of management are planning, forecasting, organizing resources, instructing, coordinating, controlling, selecting skilled workforce, crisis management, improving stakeholders relations, awareness among employees, stronger decision making, increased productivity, brand management, public relations management, healthier business relations with other market players. There is no end to the managerial profile.
Recognizing the importance of communication in organisations, it is not surprising when we find that managers spend 80% of their time in communicating. Let us read the excerpt from P.D. Chaturvedi on How Communication is Used by Managers:
Management is a unified, organised and cooperative system committed to the achievement of common goals. Unity of purpose and commitment to a single organizational goal can be developed only through the persuasive power of communication. To do this, a manager needs to have excellent communication skills, including the ability to structure information according to its negative/affirmative nature and use words and tomes according to the purpose of the communication.
A manager should be able to create the desired relationship with the audience or employees to produce the needed response. Thus, diverse strategies, verbal and non-verbal, of effective communication form an important part of management as a discipline.
From a small business to a multinational enterprise, every organization today needs an effective communication system to enable it to function and flourish. Communication is a means of:
- Increasing employees’ job performance and effectiveness by updating their knowledge
- Promoting employees’ sense of belonging and commitment
- Effecting changes smoothly
- Motivating employees and creating a sense of identification with the organization’s goals
- Informing and convincing employees about decisions and the reasons behind them
- Helping employees develop a clear understanding of their roles and growth opportunities within the organization
- Empowering employees with information on development and activities
As analysed by Henry Mintzberg of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, managers need effective communication to perform in the following interrelated situations:
Along with the above explanation of the importance of Business Communication, the ‘managers in making’ need to take a comprehensive view of the subject they need to study. Doing management studies in any of the discipline requires business communication skills, be it HR, Marketing, Retail Management, Financial Management, International Business or any other. One must know that:
- Communication is Important to Your Career
- Communication is Important to Your Company
There is a question that we shall be bringing to a logical conclusion:
What Makes Business Communication Effective?
What is the Role of Cultural Communication Skills in Management?
How to get the maximum from Informative and Persuasive Purpose/Functions of Business Communication?