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Internal Communication Audit/SWOT Analysis
The internal communication audit/SWOT analysis refers to a planning approach utilized in evaluation of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that face any given organization. It is worth noting that the IC entails specification of company objectives and identification of a set of external and internal factors that support and those that negate the realization of objectives. Companies adopt different communication strategies when addressing their stakeholders. According to Synder (2003), more than 60% of employees do not get the chance to engage in communication process at their workplaces. He reiterates that organizations suffer losses in billions each year due to low productivity emanating from actively disengaged employees alone. Participation of employees in organizational activities could be increased through development of clear communication channels.
This essay conducts a SWOT analysis of internal communication as an essential strategy of human resource focused on improved employee performance and retention.
Effective communication channels play an instrumental role in passing the required message to its target audience in the most appropriate manner. It is always crucial to understand the kind of information that would motivate the audience. This implies that organizations must clearly determine the most efficient channels of communication that would help in establishment and maintenance of a successful communication program. In cases where the message is the same, it should always be designed to meet the needs of a particular audience segment. Ali and Haider (2012), affirm that the communication channels chosen by companies always depend on their goals and objectives. For instance, a company might use social media such as Facebook and Twitter in cases where it wishes to improve its visibility and brand awareness. On the other hand, YouTube would be a better option for an e-commerce company because more than 70% of consumers visit this site before making their ultimate purchases.
A communication audit focused on diverse issues was conducted in X Company. Notably, a strategic planning tool built a common understanding of the existing communication environment, hence, avoiding day-to-day struggles within the company that relies on the gut feeling. Communication environment is seen to be honest in cases where employees tend to develop a sense of belief because they are not able to get a clear view of the hidden circumstances that differ due to employment of different approaches to leadership, unclear perspectives and disregarding the situation.
In most cases, the target audience is the esteemed employees of the company. Esteemed employees always develop a sense of belief and love being involved in the overall affairs of the company. Involvement of employees plays an assistive role in improving performance of the company, their knowledge and experience
. Additionally, the company should be able to recognize all employees through a clear reward system and promotions based on the results of their performance. For instance, Company X does not utilize these approaches in the alignment of its internal communication and goals. The senior leadership does not take decisions relating to messages that should be sent to employees. Additionally, the Chief Executive Officer is not aware of how the message could be communicated to the heads of departments before reaching to all other employees in the organization. According to Edegbe (2012), this approach may negatively affect the company because it limits the participation of all the stakeholders in the organization. The nature of internal communication is highly limited at the organization and does not exhibit any shred of transparency.
It is worth noting that Company X wishes to communicate to its target audience matters relating to its vision, mission and values including teamwork, trust and commitment by setting a direction that is a function of leadership geared towards creating strategies along which employee motivation to be achieved. It also aims at putting in place the strategies that control and solve issues within the organization, hence, helping the management move in the right direction with a focus on satisfaction of employees and securing the creation of a corporate culture that facilitates realization of a transparent environment in line with the current challenges and opportunities.
Unfortunately, the intended message is always not coded correctly, hence, it poses challenges to the overall communication process. This problem tends to persist because the published message aimed at reaching the target audience is always communicated inappropriately through improper channels e.g. sending emails, memos as well as ineffective management of the company website. External factors such as the nature of services and the life cycle of services affects the communication process within the organization. It is vital to acknowledge that there is an alignment between the message sent and the message the audience wished to receive. However, this is not reflected in the internal communication of the organization, because Company X has extensively increased its publicity through external communication channels.
The Company X relies on communication department in determination of the strengths and weaknesses of its communication channels as well as internal opportunities and threats. Nevertheless, the limitations that the department has do not encourage accurate analysis. Spaho (2013), suggests that the company could also come up with a consensus relating to factors that should be changed and those that should not be changed to avoid daily problems by using multiple departments that make decisions that relate directly to their operations. Furthermore, the company does not point out directly the areas of objective research that cause differences among different parties, as it makes judgments based solely on gut feelings.
Commitment to delivery of sustainable growth to an empowered audience using the best communication channels has been elusive because of the overall atmosphere of the company, which promotes informality. This has affected the whole company and caused difficulties in communication among members of staff because they do not adhere to the required policies and procedures of formal communication. According to Rho (2009), this behavioral action negates the progress of the organization because of its personal perspective approach that is based on unawareness and assumptions that affect the companys long-term approach to the communication of its mission, vision and values.
The company uses a variety of communication channels including face-to-face channels, social media, email, telephone, memorandum and voicemail to reach its target audience. All these communication channels play a key role in convincing the external audience. Alignment of this communication with internal communication would be effective in guiding the company on the best approaches to employ to be a leader in its industry. The company could put in place training facilities to promote achievement of this goal.
Transformation could lead to either positive or negative changes in the organization. For instance, Company X could initiate and change its program that has been prioritized by the company management with the aim of driving the company to excellence. It is always great to have such massive support from the management in terms of its aligning with the company vision, mission and values. Engaging in the process of higher achievement without a consideration of workflows and distribution of responsibilities could make the entire process difficult due to a limited context approach.
One of the most challenging tasks for organization is motivation of employees, since most leaders are not clear in the responsibilities they intend to align with the broad picture of the company that is made up of employees performing routine tasks that do not necessarily lead to job enrichment. Leaders need to understand the nature of their practice and the teams that they lead, as this would enable them to know the level of support they have, hence, taking the required action.
In conclusion, the company could use various communication channels such as the top-down channel, upward communication and horizontal communication. The top-down channel entails the start of the communication process from the top management to other leaders, and then to the employees in the form of publicized information. This form of communication is mostly used by managers to send information to their employees and address urgent matters within their organizations. Additionally, the company could involve all their employees in decision-making process. Synder (2003), agrees that this would be instrumental in solving some of the hidden employee problems within the organization. Employees use the upward communication channel in instances where they wish to voice their concerns to the management and become involved in the process of decision-making. This form of communication is vital because it accommodates all parties in solution of the problem. However, most companies do not use this mode of communication on a regular basis. Horizontal communication takes place between employees and employers of the same signatory e.g. manager-manager or employee-employee; and it mainly takes place when they are discussing matters that do not involve others. Therefore, the communication process is vital for any organization that wishes to be successful in its operations.