The prior CEO and leadership at JM&P Health Communications created a workplace environment that negatively impacted employees at all levels in the organization.
Analyze the situation and provide a response for the questions below.
Analyzing the situation
In this section, gather as much information as you can and highlight the factors that led to the conflict in the scenario, including potential gaps in communication.
- Using the scenario, analyze the factors contributing to the conflict, including communication techniquesand the conflict management style used for determining how these factors contributed to the conflict. In analyzing the conflict factors, consider the following: What issues caused the conflict? Who were the contributors? What caused the conflict to escalate, and why? What are some examples of noncommunicative techniques and other factors that contributed to the negative environment in the scenario?
- After analyzing the factors contributing to the conflict, analyze the scenario fo rpotential impactsrelated to corporate culture. Consider how communication techniques used or not used would have impacted employees and the overall workforce environment. Additionally, consider the emotional aspects the CEO and leadership demonstrated that contributed to the conflict. Provide examples to support your claims.
Examples of factors contributing to the conflict
- Intrapersonal Conflict involves an internal conflict of individuals. Employees of JM&P Health Communications reported being frustrated by ineffective weekly meetings and the absence of alternative communication channels. Updates from management were not clear and timely enough because of the CEO’s reluctance to use modern communication techniques. Employees who worked remotely reported to feel disconnected from the company and lack of support. These factors caused intrapersonal conflict that decreased performance, job satisfaction, and employee retention.
- Interpersonal Conflict. The company’s CEO, Victor Armstrong, avoided internal conflicts in terms of both HR and financial performance. The organizational structure was insufficient as both CFO and CIO belonged to his close-knit inner group and had prevented bad news reporting. CEO had a poor temper and was too conservative that constituted personality differences between him and others.
- Communication Issues. The main contributor was inferior communication between high-rank executives and employees. Moreover, workers were deprived of saying their side of reality and discussing any fresh ideas.
Contributing communication techniques
- Armstrong applied only avoiding conflict management style that is about sidestepping issues instead of addressing them. As a result, one-way communication was established, and employees suffered from it all the way to the merger.
- Lack of empathetic communication and technology. The CEO punished his subordinates for lousy news and simultaneously discouraged any use of advanced communication technologies. Executives blamed employees for being lazy and drop in revenue. Instead of listening actively to them and their concerns, management deteriorated the conflict by pursuing sales goals and firing workers.
Potential impacts related to corporate culture
- Employees feel being maltreated and disconnected, which lowers morale.
- High level of continuous stress and anxiety in the workplace. It led to lower job satisfaction and productivity (Bauer and Erdogan 2015).
- Low alignment with company’s goals that caused the high turnover and low firm’s financial performance.
In this section, provide a resolution for the conflict presented in the scenario. Use examples from the scenario to support your ideas.
- Begin by specifically stating the desired outcome of the conflict resolution.
- Recommend specific action steps that should be taken for effectively managingthe conflict and achieving the desired outcome stated above. For each action step, be sure to indicate specifically how the step contributes to the conflict solution.
- After recommending specific steps, describe a strategic communication approachfor employing recommended conflict resolution approaches. This should include appropriate communication platformsto relay the information to the intended audience, including virtual employees. The communication approach should also outline strategies for preventing future conflict.
State the desired outcome of the conflict resolution
Increased job satisfaction, employee retention, and JM&P Health Communications’ performance due to successful transformation and merger with Results Health Communications.
Provide steps for effectively managing the conflict presented
- The composition of the top-ranking executives should be changed. According to Raines (2013), inferior HR management is the primary reason workers leave their jobs. The CEO and two other high-ranked executives should be replaced by modern leaders who would build more empathetic relationships with their subordinates.
- The employees’ connection to the organization’s mission should be fostered. Staffers perform better if their values are aligned to the firm’s ones, and their efforts are appreciated (Raines 2013). In this case, line managers can be used as mediators who enhance top-down communication and take care of employees’ workplace issues. Instead of blaming them for not meeting high sales goals, professionals should be adequately supported by managers. Their performance should be reasonably assessed, applying modern appraisal methods such as Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS).
- Teamwork should be embedded within a new corporate culture. The new CEO must encourage transparent and honest reporting of his/her subordinates during meetings instead of avoiding bad news. The new culture would encourage giving and receiving feedback, which raises the level of engagement. Virtual meetings would be concluded regularly, while access to metrics of employees’ performance would increase their self-evaluation and engagement (Bailey 2013). New communication platforms and team-building exercises may assist in building a friendly and less stressful environment.
What strategic communication approach can be taken to resolve the conflict?
Cultural communication approach can be used to resolve this kind of conflict. This method aims to change and maintain a healthy organizational culture, which allegedly impacts the firm’s long-run success. The workplace environment of JM&P Health Communications requires a closer relationship between employees and managers to address the main issue. This approach also motivates people to embrace transformation, share their suggestions/ideas, and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere.
What communication platforms could be used to communicate with the audience, including virtual employees?
- Email. Employees demanded better technologies to improve working conditions and their performance. Email communication may help to spread essential pieces of information among all workers promptly.
- Messengers. Team members who work on the same assignment may join the group created in messenger that enables instant textual and voice conversation, exchange of photos, and documents.
- Video Conferencing. Such communication tools as Slack and Zoom allow managers to host virtual meetings with remote employees and, with its help, enhance their dedication.
Communication Strategies and Recommendations
In this section, discuss changes for the company as a whole to better communicate and manage conflict. You may use examples from the scenario or from other resources.
- Suggest changes that the company should make moving forwardto communicate more effectively, and provide examples to support your claims. Discuss approaches to using appropriate communication strategiesfor conflict prevention, and provide examples to support your claims.
- Identify best practices,including communication approaches for managers and leaders to consider in negotiating and managing conflict. Describe how managers should apply the identified best practices in conflict resolution approaches, and provide examples to support your claims. Describe how the identified best practices can be applied to global and virtual teamsfor maximizing communication efficiency.
- Discuss approaches to bridge generational gaps in order to facilitate a communicative and positive environment, and provide examples to support your claims.
Provide three suggested changes for the company to communicate more effectively moving forward
- Establishment and maintenance of the organization’s culture that encourages transparency. Employees and managers would not be scared to report failures and, in response, would receive support and assistance.
- Incorporation of advanced communication technologies, which improve internal information circulation. Such platforms as email and messengers should be helpful in this particular situation.
- Replacement of inefficient management approach incorporating modern leadership style. For instance, a new CEO would apply a collaborative approach to management instead of avoiding conflicts.
Appropriate communication strategies for leadership for conflict prevention
- Every issue (conflict) must be addressed by leaders who see it not as a threat but rather as an opportunity (Berger 2017). For instance, Armstrong failed to maintain the company because he allowed the further escalation of the internal conflicts by avoiding severe problems.
- The leadership should ask employees for frequent and honest feedback to establish a transparent culture. It usually helps to enhance collaboration and trust within the company that decreases the possibility of future conflict.
- If it is possible, issues leading to conflicts must be resolved in face-to-face meetings.
- Good leaders should be able to listen actively to the management and their employees.
Best practices for negotiating and managing conflict
- The leader should provide managers with conflict resolution training.
- CEO has to model appropriate behavior that helps to establish a dialogue.
- HR managers and higher rank executives should regularly interact with personnel providing them with space for feedback.
- Open door policy has to be maintained to sustain a culture of trust.
Conflict resolution approaches
- Avoiding is a strategy of ignoring the minor conflict that may be useful in the short-term and in the situation when the possible resolution is painful. The CEO’s mistake was that he used only this approach in every possible case.
- Competing is about conflict planning that has one side winning at the expense of others. However, it is appropriate in situations when an organization needs quick action, and there is no hope for consensus (Bauer and Erdogan 2015).
- Collaborating is an approach of co-creation of a shared solution that comes from both cooperative and assertive sides.
- In terms of compromising, participants are partially cooperative and assertive, and the final decision is allegedly fair.
How can these best practices be applied to global and virtual teams for maximizing communication efficiency?
To maintain communication efficiency in global and virtual teams, leaders can apply the same best practices. Communication platforms like Zoom are helpful in the case of virtual teams. It enables face-to-face contacts between managers and remote workers and reviewing of communication strategies. Moreover, messengers would help to define clear team roles and task accountabilities. Performance should be monitored by applying specific metrics to which employees have access. The global teams consist of representatives of different nations and cultures; thus, business leaders should be ready to avoid or address intercultural conflicts. In order to do that, adequately trained managers should keep regular contact with such remote team members to arm them with self-awareness techniques to resolve cross-cultural disputes. In the case of both global and virtual teams, the platforms help to establish a regular and active channel of information exchange, which enhances employees’ alignment, cooperation, and loyalty.
Provide two approaches and examples to bridge generational gaps in order to facilitate a communicative and positive environment.
- The two-way mentorship programs create a fair and balanced platform that allows representatives of different generations to learn something new and increases cooperation. For instance, Millennials can teach elders how to use advanced technologies, while Baby Boomers show how to behave in face-to-face interactions.
- Differences between generations should be identified and addressed by establishing teams with even numbers of different age groups. It would facilitate collaboration between them that is hardly seen when Millennials and Baby Boomers work in smaller and separate groups (Keegan 2011, 223).Appropriate team-building and instructional exercises may bring advantages to workplaces where different age groups interact.
Bailey, Sebastian. 2013. “How to Beat the Five Killers of Virtual Working”. Forbes. Web.
Bauer, Talya and Berrin Erdogan. 2015. Organizational Behavior. Boston: FlatWorld.
Berger, Laura. 2017. “Five Conflict Management Strategies”. Forbes. Web.
Keegan, Kerry. 2011. “X, Y and Z Are Call Numbers, Not Co-Workers: Communicating Through Generational Differences.” Feliciter 57 (6): 222-224.
Raines, Susan S. 2013. Conflict Management for Managers: Resolving Workplace, Client, and Policy Disputes. Somerset: John Wiley & Sons.