Communication can be regarded as one of the factors related to the management and workforce that affect the performance of an organization either directly or indirectly. In the organization, information is conveyed through oral and written communication. Oral communication is either formal or informal. While formal communication is useful for official duties such as interviews, meetings, speeches, and group discussions the latter is involved in social and cultural relationships among employees. Both of these types of oral communication are important and contribute to the general health of the organization. In written communication, organizations use it as a means of conveying messages by drawing agendas, reports, letter, manuals, policies, memos, and journals among others. This paper shows that the type of written and oral communication practiced in an organization affects its overall performance based on the way information is conveyed amongst employees, management, stakeholders, and clients.
Communication and Organizational Performance
It is a valid explanation to say that poorly written and oral communication of the organizational objectives is a reason for low performance. The main goal of communication in an organization is to meet its goals and objectives. Most companies embrace rules, policies, and regulations regarding the means of communication within and outside the organization. Communication in these settings is usually regulated to ensure that messages are delivered to the intended audience. According to Sligo (2011), communication in the organization needs to be monitored. It is believed that bad communication can result in conflict among employees, delivery of inadequate instructions, and poor delivery of work. In the advent of technological devices, it has become increasingly easy to convey both oral and written information (Sligo, 2011).
This state of affairs implies that information can spread in a significantly short time. A simple message posted in the organization’s social media portal can become outrageous and cause a huge scandal that the organization may find hard to resolve (Men & Stacks, 2014). Oral communication is not limited to meetings and speech, people also communicate through social sites using video calls, Skype, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, and/or recorded streams in YouTube. As much as these means of conveying information ensure the message is delivered to a huge number of people at a lesser cost, failing to offer adequate control can lead to their misuse and delivery of misguided messages (Deluliis, 2016). However, through an effective communication process, the goodwill of the organization is maintained and workplace relationship is also improved. For some people, oral communication is preferred to written communication, which is frequently misunderstood and wrongly interpreted. For some managers, the wrong use of wording can be regarded as offensive thereby triggering a poor response. Vagueness is also another challenge that an organization has to deal with when practicing written communication.
For an organization to have an effective written communication, the sender needs to ensure that he or she keeps in mind the education and intelligence levels of the receiver to understand it and respond promptly. For example, when a manager or a supervisor of a food processing plant is writing a letter of compulsory leave to skilled employees due to a poor market season, they need to choose whether written or oral communication would be appropriate. In most situations, skilled laborers may not be educated enough to understand written communication messages, so the supervisor needs to make it as simple as possible (Keyton, et al., 2013). The use of less jargon and difficult vocabulary should also be avoided. The supervisor should also decide whether they need to fax it or send it via email to the required destination. Thus, the purpose of the message and the intended person need to be considered in communication.
One of the requirements needed by organizations to ensure that information is properly conveyed is the deployment of competent personnel who ensures that the typologies are well checked including things such as spelling, grammar, choice of words, and punctuations. The manner in which the letter is written or the message is posted on the organizational portal should ensure that the information conveyed is easily read and understood. The format and style of writing should also consider the educational level of the receiver. Once an organization establishes an effective written communication, its purpose, clarity of direction, and productivity are met. In this regard, written communication is one of the most integrated forms of communication in the daily life of the modern management of organizations through text messages, emails, and online media (Keyton et al., 2013). In the case that written communication is effective, then those receiving the messages will be in a position to know what is expected and ways in which they are going to accomplish organizational goals and objectives.
Another area to consider in written communication is the situation in which the mode of communication is chosen because what is appropriate in one situation may not be appropriate in the other. For example, when an employee appears to the disciplinary board of the organization for misconduct, calling the committee is an ineffective means of communicating since the situation calls for the documentation of the matter as the employee explains a reason for accepting to attend or boycotting (Deluliis, 2016). This situation implies that written communication is very important and has a very great significance to the modern business framework. It is also very innovative and allows the sender to document every issue without having to rush through as seen in cases where oral communication is used.
On the other hand, oral communication is very important when it comes to the orientation of an employee, during supervisory activities, and ensuring a consensus during mediation meetings. The spoken word always comes before writing. However, written communication is preferable as it is more formal and unique (Sligo, 2011). Nonetheless, it is important to realize that oral communication plays a central role in building employee relationships and workplace culture. Men and Stacks (2014) reveal that the respect for cultural diversity should be encouraged in the organization. The use of vulgar language while correcting employees should be discouraged because the choice of words by supervisors or by employees can lead to a revolution against the organization, which can further result in workplace conflict. This situation can lead to poor performance.
In conclusion, both written and oral communication plays a very important in the strategic development of the organization. Failure to choose the right mode of communication can lead to conflicts, declined motivation, loss of customers, and eventual failure to meet organizational goals. Effective communication can only be realized in the organization when the message is well received and there is positive feedback from the receiver. On the other hand, written communication is appropriate in cases that involve legal or official issues as it allows for clarity. In this regard, the organization should ensure that there is proper documentation for both written and oral communication. There is also need to control what is posted on the organization’s social media sites to ensure positive messages are delivered to the receivers. This approach to both types of communication is likely to improve the overall organization’s performance.
Deluliis, D. (2016). Workplace Communication. Communication Research Trends, 35(1), 3.
Keyton, J., Caputo, J., Ford, E., Fu, R., Leibowitz, S., Liu, T.,…Wu, C. (2013). Investigating Verbal Workplace Communication Behaviors. Journal of Business Communication, 50(2), 152-169.
Men, L. R., & Stacks, D. (2014). The effects of authentic leadership on strategic internal communication and employee-organization relationships. Journal of Public Relations Research, 26(4), 301-324.
Sligo, F. (2011). Literacy in the shadow: is managers’ oral culture too much of a good thing? Australian Journal of Communication, 38(1), 129-145.