Home » General » Communication Is a Two-Way Process [opinion]

Communication is the greatest human resources management tool that can make or break a company. However, many companies or management undervalue this critical aspect.

It is not wise to let your workers speculate or depend on hearsay on issues that are happening at their workplace.

There are various channels and levels of communication that companies can use to inform and update their workforce on developments, whether good or bad.

Workers, no matter how junior, are human beings who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

If ever there is a crisis, there is nothing wrong with the management addressing its workers so that everyone is on the same page as to what is going on in an organisation.

I was reading recently about female managers who are being forced to work from home just because the workers are too militant to the extent of harassing them.

Without trying to justify the workers’ action, in my view there doesn’t seem to exist any form of communication between workers and management such that enmity instead of love and respect has grown between the two parties.

I believe if there was proper communication and briefing about the workplace situation through normal channels they would behave otherwise.

What probably contributed to the hostility between the two parties is that the other part, which are the workers, assume that management is only concerned about enriching themselves at their expense and when such happens hatred starts to grow.

It also happens that within management there will be junior workers such as secretaries who might be privy to the goings on at the workplace and they pass on or whisper the information to their colleagues who then decide to take hostile action against their employers.

It is not a secret that many companies are facing liquidity challenges and any normal person if properly told of the situation and efforts being made to address the anomaly will understand.

People just need to be assured so that wherever they are staying they can have something to say especially those who are tenants.

Surely, one cannot just keep quiet without paying the landlord his or her dues you will definitely be booted out of those lodgings.

Such a scenario, for example, will then lead workers to be militant with management but if they are constantly told of what is happening they will sympathise with the situation and also make other arrangements such as borrowing from relatives stating exactly when they will get their salaries to pay back.

Problems are part of life and are also part of every working environment but how they are managed is more important than the problem itself.

Lines of communication within a workplace must never be closed or limited to a certain level or group of people they must be everywhere even if the level of information released might be different.

At the workplace, there are several issues that need to be properly communicated from top to bottom or from bottom to top because for communication to be effective, it must be two-way.

Ideally, feedback must be accepted whether negative or positive. Some of the issues include salaries, pay dates, working conditions, company developments such as downsizing, streamlining operations, mergers and acquisitions.

While management might feel it is their decision that really matters on certain aspects, they must not forget that execution of those decisions also lies with the workers and as such they must be aware of what exactly needs to be done and why and how it will benefit them.

Without proper communication, that is where you see workers deliberately dragging their feet or sabotaging such efforts because they think it is not for them but just for management’s benefit.

When the workforce is not fully briefed or told of developments within the company, there are so many things that prop up such as rumour-mongering, secret and clandestine meetings, assumptions and unfounded allegations against management.

When that happens there are bound to be serious effects such as sabotage of company equipment, property theft, vandalism, abuse of company resources and many other things.

In companies that have public relations departments, it is the duty of such departments to convey information in a two-way format, from management to workers and vice versa.

This information should be treated well and avoid victimisation of workers because if that happens they will retreat to their cocoons and act clandestinely to the detriment of the company.

Junior workers, it must be noted, know a lot of information, some of it true and some false and with proper communication they can easily connect the puzzle and be able to crack it.

The point to be made here is that no matter how bad the situation, good communication calms things down. Silence will not solve anything but can worsens matters.

Source : The Herald