Limited Flow of Information

Introduction

The flow of information within an organization is one of the key strategies to achieve organizational success. The management of any organization should ensure that there is a smooth flow of information. This ensures that problems within the organization are solved on time, and it also allows all stakeholders to develop solutions to problems affecting the organization. Research has indicated that good communication skills, when embraced by the management team, are important for the success of the organization (Guffey & Loewy, 2011). Factors affecting information flow in an organization include Organisational culture, management culture, and organizational leaders. Proper communication within an organization is also helpful because it helps new employees to adapt to the environment, as well as helping them disseminate internal information (Guffey & Loewy, 2011). This paper presents the argument that the proper flow of information within an organization is helpful to new employees because it helps them to adapt quickly to the processes of an organization. Poor flow of information in an organization affects productivity, innovation, and problem-solving (Wu, Huberman, Adamic & Tyler, n. d.).

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Problem Identification

Effective communication is directed by organizational managers. They are the ones who plan, organize, and control the jobs and responsibilities of the organizational workers. Communication is the basis for planning. The managers are required to communicate effectively with team members to facilitate the achievement of organizational goals. In addition, managers should effectively communicate with new employees to help them adapt to the organizational environment and learn the tasks they are supposed to perform. It can be noted that effective internal communication links the management policies and philosophies to the employees. Effective communication may be frustrated by the organizational culture, organizational structure, and organizational leadership, among other barriers.

Literature Themes

Various researchers have developed a number of themes related to effective communication. One of them is Fritz Heider, who came up with the attribution theory of communication. He argued that people’s behaviors are attributed to internal and external constructs. Emotions and motivation influence the attributions that people make.

Social identity theory addresses intergroup discrimination. Individuals will most likely identify with a certain personal identity or to a group identity. In group members will view their group mates in a positive way, as opposed to the out-group members.

Valve Stream organization operates under a flat structure, whereby all employees operate on an equal level. The company adapted the structure to eliminate barriers that exist between the management and employees. Despite the fact that the structure has worked for organizational success, it is reported to have two main weaknesses. The first weakness is the hiring of new employees. The second weakness is mentoring new employees and helping them adapt to the organization.

The hiring of new employees is a critical aspect in any organization because it has an implication on the productivity and performance of the organization. It is important for an organization to ensure that it hires skilled and qualified employees to help improve productivity (Chapman, 2009). The process should be conducted using guidelines that should be well outlined. It is important to have a team that conducts the activity of hiring rather than involving all employees. Employees should be selected based on their qualifications and competence (Feldman, 1990). In the case of Valve Stream, one of the most important sources of new employees is through friend referrals. This might limit the organisation’s opportunities of hiring talented employees who have competent skills in given job areas. The management should use all tools present while making decisions on the employees to be hired (Stines and Kleiner 2003). The hiring process should be preceded by proper planning. This helps the organization in hiring qualified employees with competent skills. It also reduces future expenses of hiring new employees (Sandico & Kleiner, 1999). A proper and thorough job analysis should be conducted before recruitment is done.

Intuitive approaches are used in hiring employees at Valve Company. This is an approach that can be used to predict the future behavior of an employee and is done by giving tests to the employees. When employees’ abilities are learned from interviews, they are said to be reliable compared to those that are learned through tests. According to Lodato, Highhouse & Brooks (2011), tests are not as professionals as compared to interviews. Therefore, the organization may not get the right employees for the jobs described by carrying out tests. In addition, the approach is less personal and less sufficient as compared to other standardized approaches. Using a standardized approach in selecting employees is good, and the organization can predict the future behavior of new employees effectively. The process is also personal, and this enables the employee to get used to the new environment. The organization can select an employee who will be productive in the future.

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Valve Company claims that the hiring process is very important. It looks for people who can perform various duties but has specialized in one area. However, the methods that it uses to hire employees might not be the best to get the appropriate talent. It is the function of human resource management to recruit and select new employees. The management should communicate the job vacancy and description for interested parties to apply. This communication will help an employee develop attributes towards the job. They will be motivated since they know exactly what to do.

The other problem is that the company does not have a formal mentoring process and orienting new employees in the organization. This might make the employee feel discriminated against. As the social identity theory explains, it is important for an employee to identify himself with a certain group or individual, which will be easy during orientation. In addition, the company does not offer development programs to employees. The company believes that all employees who are high performers have the ability to develop skills by themselves without the need for development programs. However, development programs are important, and they help in motivating employees.

It is the dream of every employee to develop in his or her career. Employees want to learn and gain experience in their area of expertise (Appelbaum, Ayre & Shapiro, 2002). There is no doubt that employees can develop independently. Nevertheless, development programs are known to speed up the learning process making it relevant and efficient. The programs help employees to incorporate their skills with their career goals and aspirations. An employee may have the skills to perform a certain duty. However, these employees may not have knowledge of how to put the skills into practice. The programs help the employee is using the skills to perform meaningful and fulfilling job arrangements. In addition, the program helps the employee to develop a career path within the organization.

Orientation is a process that many organizations have ignored previously, irrespective of the fact that it has much importance in new employees’ performance (Lingham, Richley & Rezania, 2006). It is not enough to give them a handbook with information on the guidelines that they are supposed to follow. New employees need to be introduced to the other people working in the organization. It is also important to educate new employees on the values of the organization and its history (Robertson & Cooper, 2010). If an employee is left alone and given a handbook, it is likely that he or she will get bored, and productivity will be below par. There is the likelihood that the employee might even leave the organization within one year. Proper orientation helps the employee to adapt faster in the organization and learning the job quickly hence increasing his or her productivity faster. This reduces the start-up costs (Arthur, 2012). The process also helps the employee reduce the anxiety, which is likely to impede his ability to learn the job quickly. In addition, the process helps reduce employee turnover and also develops job expectations that are realistic (Gordon, Weathersby & Bartunek, 1998).

In Valve Company, employees are not formally orientated, and they are also not mentored. They are just given a handbook from which they learn how the company operates. The structure of the organization does not give a chance for information to be passed on to new employees regarding orientation.

Recommendations

The structure that Valve Company uses has been working because its products and services make it a healthy organization. The company is innovative, and employees’ performance is good. However, as the organization registers growth, the structure should be changed for future success. Good communication structures, through which the flow of information can be enhanced, are necessary. The current structure does not offer an authority where an employee can report. Such authority is important to ensure that employees can report their issues.

On the other hand, communication may not always be effective, especially if the correct channels are not applied. A self-managing organization with no established structure might be effective since there are no gaps between the employees. They will be free to communicate with one another as opposed to the hierarchical structure where they may not reach the top managers (Di Waddell, 2004).

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In addition, establishing a hiring department is critical to ensure that only qualified employees are hired. The department should provide information on job specifications for the qualified people to apply. It should conduct the selection process based on the qualifications of an individual. Standardized approaches should be used in the selection process rather than the current intuition process that is based on a psychological test.

Once employees have been hired by the organization, it is important to orient the employees to help them adapt and be productive within a short period. The guidelines on the activities they are supposed to carry out should be well communicated. The organization should offer employees career development programs. This will improve their productivity, motivation, and innovation for the future.

On the other hand, formal mentoring could be a problem in the organization since the new employee may not be given a chance to establish himself with the area he is more interested in, or he is good at. The mentor will tend to influence the employee towards his direction, and the employee might end up in the wrong group hence inhibiting his performance (Lingham, Richley & Rezania).

Conclusion

Effective communication is important in any organization because it improves organizational success. The leaders of an organization should have communication skills that ensure the proper flow of information. With proper information available, it is possible for the organization to select the most qualified personnel for a certain job because the job description is outlined for only qualified people to apply. The selection process should also be done in a professional manner. Career development programs are important to prepare employees for future innovation. The management of Valve Company should establish a human resource department to address all issues related to employees. Effective communication should be enhanced to ensure that the stakeholders are informed adequately about the activities of the organization.

Reference List

Appelbaum, SH, Ayre, H & Shapiro, BT 2002, ‘Career management in information technology: a case study’, Career Development International, vol. 7, no. 3, pp.142 – 158.

Arthur, D 2012, Recruiting, interviewing, selecting & orienting new employees, American Management Association, New York.

Chapman, C 2009, ‘Retention begins before day one: orientation and socialization in libraries’, New Library World, vol. 110, no. 3/4, pp.122 – 135.

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Di Waddell, J. O., 2004, The link between self-managed work teams and learning organisations using performance indicators, Learning Organization, The, Vol. 11 Iss: 3, pp.244 – 259.

Feldman, DC 1990, Risky Business: The Socialisation of Managers in the 21st Century”, Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 3, no. 2, pp.16 – 29.

Gordon, JR, Weathersby, RP & Bartunek, JM 1998, ‘Training Organizational Leaders in Socialization and Development’, Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 20 – 24.

Guffey, ME & Loewy, D 2011, Business communication: Process & product, Thomson South-Western, Mason, OH [u.a.

Lingham, T, Richley, B & Rezania, D 2006, ‘An evaluation system for training programs: a case study using a four-phase approach’, Career Development International, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 334 – 351.

Lodato, MA, Highhouse, S & Brooks, ME 2011, ‘Predicting professional preferences for intuition-based hiring’, Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 352 – 365.

Robertson, IT & Cooper, CL 2010, ‘Full engagement: the integration of employee engagement and psychological well-being’, Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 324 – 336.

Sandico, C & Kleiner, BH, 1999, ‘How to hire employees effectively’, Management Research News, vol. 22, no. 12, pp. 33 – 38.

Stines, SR & Kleiner, BH 2003, ‘Keys to hiring employees effectively in a small business’, Management Research News, vol. 26, no. 2/3/4, pp. 170 – 180.

Wu, F, Huberman, BA, Adamic, LA & Tyler, JR n.d, Informational Flow in Social Groups, Web.

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