Guthy-Renker Enterprise’s Communication Audit

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Introduction

The Guthy Renker enterprise has recently expanded its business operations to New Zealand. We suggest that this organizational change may have had some impact on its communication practices within the currently wider spam of organization. Given that organizational change can cause communication-related issues, and the great impact communication processes have on organizational health, we are proposing a first-step solution to find out whether or not communication issues exist within the enterprise. Health communication processes is important to the health of Guthy Renkers because it provides functional benefits that have a real impact on the organizational outcomes, degree of organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and productivity even in financial promotion. Through better communication, organization benefits in strategic planning.For example, they use the results of communication audits strategically since auditing provides a picture of how employees view the organization and a picture of how the organizational management relates its goals and strategic vision to its employees (Anderson, 1998).

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The participants estimates whether the current communication culture at the organization is consistent with their perceptions of where the organization plans to go in the future. Thus, this information provides powerful feedback to integrate into a strategic plan. Since organizational strategies need to be communicated in the organization, the success with strategic information communicated can be pinpointed by an audit. When Guthy Renkers improves their communication processes, they will stand a better chance of having healthy relationships with other organizations. Therefore, this communication audit proposal aims at communication flow within the enterprise. To achieve this, am proposing to employ a web-based surveying technique based on its affordability and effectiveness and also the quickness and easiness of distribution to a wide-spam to cover entire enterprise. Therefore, from the results and data collected from the survey, the report will direct us to the problem areas that need attention or need further assessment. In addition, the data report itself would be of great use to the enterprise for further investigations or even future communication audits to make comparison with past-outcomes.

Statement of the problem

As Guthy-Renkers expand in its business and activities, communication process becomes difficult. This impacts negatively the organization because there is delay of information to reach all the groups of people working with Guthy Renkers. The organization may not perform well when communication process is limited only to a few people. The main problem experienced as this organization expands is that managers are not in position meet with their employees and discuss issues of the organization face to face with other. This makes it hard for the workers to air out their views concerning their working experiences and make comments on how to improve the organizations status. The newsletters printed are always less compared to large number of the employees thus, many workers do not receive the information or they get notified very late.

Therefore, for the GuthyRenkers to maintain or even perform better in future, communication auditing will be the most effective measure to take in order to scan for possible communication issues and problems that may have resulted from the organizations expansion such as distribution of few newsletter, no meeting and discussion of workers and their supervisors face-to –face. Through communication auditing, the managers of the organization will be able to identify this problems and be able to provide the necessary strategies needed to rectify the problem.

Objectives

Guthy Renkers has recently expanded so much leading to hiring of more workers to various departments. More employees enhance effective work thus able to meet its customer’s desires effectively in each department. Therefore, the main objective of this communication audit is to scan for and identify possible communication related issues that may have occurred since the organizational expansion took place.

It also aims at assessing how the organization carry out its communication practices so as to reach every employee in time.Thus,this communication audit s objective is to investigate the organizations communication practices, focusing on its communication flow. (Horizontal and vertical)

Another objective of this communication audit proposal is to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of communication channels /mediums currently in use in terms of utility and employees preference.

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Solution

Communication process between workers themselves and the management is very vital in any organization and Guthy Renkers is no exceptional. Generally, good communication facilitates in the improvement and productivity of an organization. Since organizational strategies need to be communicated in the organization, the success with strategic information communicated can be pinpointed by an audit. Therefore, in this proposal, the benefit of communication assessment will be to develop an awareness of paradigm shifts that are molding the organizational culture. Often waves of change taking place within the national culture impacts the way the organization is developing These changes often can be gleaned from peoples comments about their communication processes in the organization. Communication audit assists in the verification process.

All organizational members have perceptions about the way the organization works and judgments about whether or not it operates effectively through communication (McMahan, 2008). These perceptions vary tremendously within Guthy Renkers organization. Yet all members behave on the basis of their perceptions. Therefore, in order to find solutions to the existing communication problems in Guthy Renkers organization since its expansion, communication audit will be of great help in this process. This will be through assessing the organization to figure out where, what, and why that problem exists in this case the major issue is lack of enough newsletters for the entire population of Guthy Renkers, and lack of face-to –face meetings between the worker and their employers. Thus, it will be better for the organization to create improved communication channels that can spread the information effectively and efficiently from the management to the junior employee.

Therefore, I propose to conduct a general communication audit by having every member of the Guthy Renkers organization surveyed or assessed on two focal areas. These areas include communication Flow and flow of information both horizontal and vertical. This means finding out how all the workers of this large and expanding organization carry out their communication process from one person to another incase they need to pass on urgent information concerning a particular product. It will also be good to find out which means communication channels are currently being used in communication flows, whether they use telephones or through email. The assessment will also be on if every worker in the organization receives that information as intended. The best solution to this will be to encourage the organization to ensure that at least everyone knows how to use a phone and provide them.

Therefore, the outcomes of this communication audit should reflect a fair representation of organizational members’ views about the nature of communication practices, and therefore, it would produce reasonably accurate and reliable data that would enable us answer the communication-related questions. This is because communication audit helps in pinpointing organizations activities so that it can reveal how effective they are in the entire organization or in the particular area. Consequently, it will help us in finding the appropriate solution accordingly so that we can assist the organization to continue producing better and quality products as it expands even more because audit acts as a periodic health check especially at the time of change and expansion. Furthermore, the produced data will be useful for further in-house problem investigations as well as future audits. Consequently, one of the great benefits of an audit is to substantiate or refine members perception. When perceptions are verified, guesswork about the organization is replaced with valid information (Booth, 1988).

An important function of communication audits is that they generate new information that verifies employee perceptions and the organization strategically. In most instances, these audits generate information that can not be obtained in any other way. This data generation facilitates the diagnostic function. The new data in the assessment gives management the new information it needs to plan organizational development

Methods

For this communication audit to be successful, am proposing to conduct the analysis by means of a web-based survey method. All employees of the Guthy Renkers organization will be requested to fill out the online survey in a timely manner. This web-based auditing technique is advantaged over other techniques such as face-to face interviews, telephone-survey, and traditional paper-based surveys in terms of cost of time spent on its distribution, collection, and data analysis, cost of workers involved in interviewing ,distributing,collecting,assessing and analyzing data (Goldhaber, 2002). For effectiveness of the audit process, follow-up emails will be sent out, efficient delivery-time (4 weeks in total), and efficient data distribution (send out emails to all employees), collection and analysis (online database and software).

Procedures or steps to be used include developing and pilot –testing the web-based survey. This means that specific items are pilot tested starting from the invitation to survey questions, formatting to data analysis, and reporting plans. The best method to use in the pilot test will be chosen and then request the Guthy Renkers organization employees to fill in. For this method to achieve the best results graphics will be limited what is needed and the pilot test will be done on different access methods including telephone dial-up connections. The following factors are considered when designing web-based questionnaires: the layout of the organization, formatting the structure of the questions, and technical requirements (Booth, 1988).

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A welcome page will be used to motivate respondents to participate in the survey. It is necessary that scrolling on web pages comprising an online questionnaire is left out because its difficult to some people and also the information could be not be seen thus being ignored by participants.If the use of scrolling cannot be avoided, alert the participants do not assume that they already know. This will be followed by a short introductory page to present some general information about the survey, including any specific directions to be followed by the respondents. If a screening test is required for a survey, this would typically be delivered before proceeding to the main question-focused sections of the online questionnaire.Finally; this will be concluded by acknowledging the participants for their time and effort in completing the survey (Allyson, 2004).

Second step includes developing the email address list-server. In this procedure, only emails will be used to distribute the information and questionnaires to all the Guthy Renkers organizations employees using the internet. The list of names and email addresses for the workers will be developed to facilitating in the process of distributing the questionnaires on line. For the success of communication audit process, special mailing list software and address reflector will be developed fully to enhancing in receiving of the message sent. Email address list servers are the most commonly used internet tools in distributing information easily and fast compared to other methods used in survey. They are useful in notifying members concerning an event or meetings and also used by different people to share ideas or discuss an issue. Therefore, by developing email address list-servers will enhance this process of communication audit to achieve its goal and thus be able to provide possible solutions if required by the organization (Tourish, 2009).

After developing the email address serve list, the cover letter containing the survey link will be emailed to all the participants of Guthy Renkers organization. The cover letter is a very vital section in the process of survey. This cover letter will determine whether the participant completes the questionnaire or not. It is necessary that it’s kept short and be friendly to the receiver (Owen, 1999). This is because it offers a chance to persuade the participant to complete the survey in time required through provision of detailed information just as the questionnaire dictates. Therefore, the participants will have to respond back using the given link on the cover letter after the completion of the survey. The final procedure will be the completion of the survey. After receiving back the responses from the participants of Guthy Renkers organization, the data will be analyzed and then give back the report from the findings and provide necessary solutions to the organization if need be.

Resources

This audit requires the cooperation of employees from all departments.

E-mail is the communication medium used to distribute this survey to all employees and therefore, internet access for all employees is an absolute must to complete surveys online upon reception of email. With this approach, employees must believe that they cannot be recognized in order for them to offer valid and detailed responses. The survey will be interested in getting information concerning communication channels used in different departments, how the information flows from the top to bottom workers, and if this information is received in time or whether it interferes with working workers responsibilities and duties.

Management

It is revealed that unless senior managers are actively involved in any change process, and passionately committed to its success, it will fail. Most people receive change from in a reluctant manner before it is finally embraced and implemented. To protect such an outcome, an intense level of senior management involvement is needed throughout the process of communication auditing. At the beginning of the audit process a problem focused discussion between the top managers and the auditor should be held. These discussions are meant to clarify in depth the value of audits, their role in this particular organization and the commitment required from management if maximum advantage is to be obtained (Adrian, 1997). For example, issues such as the best timescale with the business planning cycle, how evaluating communication channels with customers will benefit the marketing strategy, and best methods that will be used in framing audit questions ,interpreting the results and making suggestions for improvement will be discussed during this meetings. The meeting will also help in identifying the top half dozen issues on which people should be receiving and sending information.

An audit cannot examine every issue received in details, therefore, information flow on a few important issues tend to be significant of the general communication climate. Thus restricting the number of issues to be explored in this manner is effective in providing valid data, while ensuring that the audit remains practical.Therefore,management are required to prepare the email address list-serve. Managements’ involvement is required for sending the survey’s cover-letter (with survey’s URL) to all employees and demanding immediate completion of survey.

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Schedule

This communication audit has project duration of four weeks. The first one week will be used to develop web-based survey, pilot-test it and develop the email address list-serve, the following two weeks will be used in the completion of the online-survey. This has been allowed to take that long period so that all the participants get enough time to respond to the questions in details as required without being interfered with. The last one week will be used in analyzing the collected information and data, and thereafter, report back the outcomes and suggested solutions if any is required.

Cost

The web-based surveying technique is very expensive compared to the other survey methods. It costs approximately one tenth the costs of traditional survey techniques. Therefore, this project will be at a reasonable cost and open for negotiation upon acceptance of this proposal.

Conclusion

Communication auditing provides functional benefits that have a real impact on the organizational outcomes, degree of organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and productivity even in financial promotion. Through communication auditing, organization benefits in strategic planning within. Therefore, because of expansion the Guthy Renker enterprise has recently encountered in its business operations, we suggest that this organizational change may have had some impact on its communication exercises and activities within the currently wider spam of organization. Given that organizational change and expansion can cause communication-related issues, and the great impact communication processes have on organizational health, proposing a communication audit is the first-step solution to find out whether or not communication issues exist within the enterprise.

This communication audit intends to focus on the communication flow and the flow of information from upward to downward within the organization. For this to be successful, we are proposing to employ a web-based surveying technique based on its affordability and efficiency, also the quickness and easiness of distribution to a wide-spam to cover entire enterprise. This method is chosen among other survey methods because it has many advantages. Once surveys are completed, and data have been collected and analyzed, the data report will guide us to the problem areas (if any exist) that need our attention or require further investigation. Nonetheless, the data report itself would be of great use to the enterprise for further in-house investigations or future communication audits to compare past-outcomes

Reference List

Adrian, D. (1997).Communication audits and Communication Management.NewYork: Sage.

Allyson, D. (2004).Assessing organizational communication: strategic communicationaudits.New York: Guilford Press.

Anderson, P, V. (1998).Technical communication: A reader-centered approach. (Fourth Edition).London: Harcourt Brace, pp516-532.

Booth, A. (1988).The communications audit: A guide for managers. Cambridge: Gower, pp 17-70.

Goldhaber, M.G. (2002).Communication audits in the age of the internet. Cambridge: Management Communication Quarterly, 15(3), 451-457.

McMahan, D. (2008). The Basics of Communication: A Relational Perspective. New York: Sage.

Owen, H. (1999).Communication in management.USA: Gower Publishing, Ltd.

Tourish, D. (2009).Auditing Organizational Communication: A Handbook of Research, Theory and Practice. New York: Taylor and Francis.

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