UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION The communication used by managers in guiding the employees’ efficiency at work Low Yik Woon 1102k12756 / Unisa: 110070880 Bachelor of Arts (CMM) SOC October 2012 The communication used by managers in guiding the employees’ efficiency at work Low Yik Woon ABSTRACT Communication is the basis for direction, motivation as well as establishment of an effective leadership.
Leaders develop interpersonal relationships with the members in organisations are attempt to convince the followers to attain the goals which define the success of the outcome. Effective leaders are responsible to form valued relationships of using the communication tools available to communicate with employees in order to achieve their target performances more efficiently. This study will be carried out with a structured questionnaire to the managers in PropertyGuru located at Bangsar South to investigate the communication used by managers in guiding the employees’ efficiency at work.
A qualitative research was adopted and conducted by using semi- structured interviews and face-to-face interviews with four managerial levels from PropertyGuru, an online media Malaysian property portal company. It uses purposive sampling method to target the manager and conducted with 14 open-ended questions. This research will determine the communication used by the managers from PropertyGuru by using content, direction of flow, channel and style of communication in guiding the efficiency of work among the employees in organisation.
The findings indicate that the employees were looked after by the manager so that they work out the issue together to achieve KPI; practicing free-flowing communication as a team based; frequently used of face-to-face and email to communicate; giving opportunity to innovation of new idea and consist of formal and informal to enhance the efficiency of work in guiding employee in their workplace. With that, communication among the employees is an important key that determine the success of an organisation especially it has to work in two ways communication. . INTRODUCTION Communication is an essential tool in an organisation; it is part of every operational process where organisation can’t exist without communication. Organisational communication define as sending and receiving messages that create and maintain a system of consciously coordinated activities two or more persons (Salwen and Stacks, 1996). Communication is the basis for direction, motivation as well as establishment of an effective leadership. Leadership is a behavior and position.
The attitude towards organisational personnel carried by leader, defines the success of the outcome. The relationship between leaders, employee and external persons directly affects these activities (Ramirez, 2010). Leadership is a process of interaction to create goals and guiding the individuals and group to achieve them in an organisation. The follower is their most valuable asset in an organisation hence leaders are responsible of using the communication tools available to communicate with employees in order to achieve their target performances more efficient.
In the leadership communication, the key of communication involves a constant routine between leaders with employees informing about general matters that influence their work role it leads to a better understanding of management’s actions, to reducing the misunderstanding arisen in daily activities and to enhancing mutual trust between leaders and the employees (Daniel. D, 2011). Trust develops over time, not overnight, but it can be destroyed in a moment. It involves listening at all levels. Listening is a necessary process for both parties to be alert on the attention while evaluating words and nonverbal actions (Daniel.
W 2006). Leaders can just destroy the communication overnight by giving negatively impact of confidence and trust when they do not ensure the accurate of communication flow. According to Fairhurst and Sarr (1996), effective leaders (cited by Miller, 2009) usually understand their vision and goals in a very clear and details manners for the organisation in communication. Most leaders are particular on certain manner of communication especially when it comes to context, recognizing times, situation and tone of language they are using in appropriate ways.
Through different communicative tools, it helps the employee to understand the message that the leaders want them to see which helps to enhance the efficiency of work. Sometimes using different tools might overused that causing few issues such as time of delay, misunderstanding on the context, language manners and so on. In terms of recognizing times, the frequency and duration of communicating with employee also will helps in the efficiency of work within the organisation.
The purpose of this research is to explore the perspective of manager by using communications to guiding the efficiency of work and some of limitation that might caused the breakdown. The participants of this study are interviewees in managerial position to carry out this research. This study will be starting with introduction of the topic after that literature review to cover some of the past studies or researches had done so far and follow by methodology, research question, finding, conclusion, recommendation and limitations. . LITERATURE REVIEW 2. 1 Organisational Communication Organisational communication is a complex interaction of process, people, messages, meaning and purposes to transmit a message to receiver in order to survive in organisations (Miller 2009). Communication is a key ingredient in the success of the individual, the management team, and the organization as whole (Gingerich, 2005). Communication aspects from the content given it can be a task, innovation, maintenance or relationship.
When a direction or information flow gives it is a vertical and horizontal which mean either one way or two way communication. Channel of communication refers to verbal and non-verbal communication such as written message, face-to-face and mediated. Style of communication, defines the formal or informal way of communication such as the language of using within an organisational should be using standard language in appropriate language whereas informal style of language people communicate with dialect or short form language in texting or even formal address of someone’s title (Miller, 2009).
Meanwhile, the content of communication creating a sense of commitment in the organisation reflects the quality of task-related and establishes trust in the management. Gingerich (2005) debated that by relying on e-mail communications actually limits the ability to see the nonverbal communication of both the sender and the receiver and cannot always be relied upon to reach its destination. In Lee’s (2011) research also find out that interviewees’ perceived email as an effective and efficient communication tool in the but they also claimed that they still preferred face-to-face communication as compared to CMC. . 2 Leadership Communication An effective leader develop interpersonal relationships with the members in organizations and will help to shape their message to form valued relationships with the employee to help them to be motivated in the workplace so that it resulting in efficiency of works that benefit both party. De Vries, Bakker-Pieper & Oostenveld (2009) explained that human-oriented leadership and communication involved relational aspects of communication, such as interpersonal concern and warmth, while task-oriented eadership is much more saturated with the actual content of the information provided instead of the style of communication. However the study showed that charismatic and human-oriented leadership are mainly communicative, while task-oriented leadership is significantly less communicative. According to Neufeld, Wan and Fang (2008), followers understand why and how the activities they are engaging in are meaningful it mainly involved languages and interpersonal communications by the guidance of the leaders.
Besides that, Barrett (2006) also stated that leaders carry the ability to select the most effective style for different situations requires the emotional intelligence to assess the situation correct them in appropriate style for the context. Recent study by Kline (n. d) claimed that effective leaders prepare to listen idea with an open mind. He also stated that clarify discussion to be understandable and avoid miscommunication. Interactive employee meetings with management are encouraged to arrange to compare the performance of the organization against company goals and objectives. Zia,Frank, Rayondraous and Jessica, 2010). They also stated that to beneficial relationships, leaders should establish both formal and informal communication channels in order to solicit feedback from their employees. 3. METHODOLOGY A qualitative research method was selected for this study. Qualitative research allows researcher to probe deeper to obtain a great deal of in-depth information in a deeper manner of investigation that can be tested in subsequent quantitative studies (Nielsen, 2011).
By using this method it encourages the interviewees to provide their experiences and opinions on the communication channel used by the manager and the employees. This research was carried out by face-to-face interviews which are the best ways to get this in-depth feedback to understand the motivation and feeling on the interviewees (Willis. K n. d). It uses purposive sampling method to pick the interviewees for this research as this sampling target a particular group of people. Purposive sampling method used when the desired population for the study is limited or very difficult to locate source and recruit for a study Wadsworth, n. d) especially managers are limited in the company. 3. 1 Data Collection and Date Analysis To collect the data, semi-structured interviews will be carried out and it will be face-to-face interviews with four managers (Participant A,B,C and D) from the work organizations located at Bangsar South. Although an intensive interview uses smaller sampling size but it provides detailed background of the managers from PropertyGuru in guiding their employees to get their work done more efficient by using communication.
PropertyGuru is an online media Malaysian property portal set up as part of a joint venture between All Property Media with total of 60 employees in Malaysia region. The portal provides consumers a platform to identify available properties for purchase, sale, rental or investments, and a direct channel to search for and contact Agents for assistance (PropertyGuru, n. d). Meanwhile, the managers was selected in PropertyGuru are based on purposive sampling. The participants were probed for their perceptions on the media use of communication in the workplace as well as the efficiency of such practice by managers in organisation. 4 open-ended questions were asked, which included two questions on the types of communication channel used in the workplace, the advantages or challenges of using it; three questions of the content that discuss within the manager and employee, one question on the style of communication by the managers, two questions flow of direction between the managers and employee, four questions of efficiency communication to guiding their work and the final two questions was asking their opinion whether they are satisfied with the current communication used in the organisation and what is their suggestion to improve the communication within the organisation.
Interviews were conducted at the participants’ office with an average duration of 15 to 25 minutes. The whole interview sessions were recorded using a digital iPhone voice memos recorder application and were transcribed for data analysis. The data from the interviews were accumulated and analysed by using Mile and Huberman’s (1994) analytic methods for data analysis that enables the researcher to analyse with an efficient approach to severely and systematically analysing qualitative data. Meanwhile, the researcher was able to compare the interviewees’ responses and construe the data based on the research questions set in this study. 3. 2 Research Questions
The four research questions that guided the study are as follows: RQ1: What are the channels used by the managers in communicating with employees in guiding their efficiency at the workplace? RQ2: How is the direction of communication flow between the managers and employees when guiding their efficiency at the workplace? RQ3: What is the communication style practiced by the managers with the employees when guiding their efficiency at the workplace? RQ4: What is the content communicated by the managers with the employees to guide their efficiency at the workplace? RQ5: How is the efficiency of communication function practiced by managers in guiding the employees’ work done? 4. FINDINGS 4. Communication Channels used, the advantage and its limitation in Leadership communication The first research question addressed the types of channels used by managers communicated with the employees in the company. According to the four interviewees, the most frequently used of channels are using email and face-to-face all the time in communicating with employees. Participant B (male, Head of Marketing) highlighted that, “Face-to-face chat I find is the most important and effective. I think it allows for immediate feedback, questions and answers that you can think of. ” Participant B also uses WhatsApp software to communicate with employee sometimes especially when he is away from the office. However, the four interviewees have their own different point of view regards on the advantage and the limitation of using the channel tools.
For instance, Participant D (female, Product Content Manager) stated that “I actually prefer face-to-face compare with email because we can understand each other needs and request in better way. ” Other participants said: Participant A (male, Staffing Manager): “Normally by using email some of them reply very fast but some did not… After one or two days no reply from them I will ring them or ask them face- to-face. ” Participant B: “I think face-to-face got a personal touch you can use not just your words to express certain message. It could be body language that you could read the body language as well. If communication is not very good or interpersonal is not very good then face-to-face will become an issue.
When talk about WhatsApp and email are just pure letters that you read, where the limitation is how fast can type and how long to take someone to response via email. Even your command of language can’t tell the right message you want to tell and having the person interpret the message you want it to be. ” Participant C (male, Country Manager): “I guess it depends on individual how they relate that kind of message…. communicating verbally and communicating a return confirmation is so much better… I think what is important is always document your communication it gives opportunities of what we had discussed. We are human we tend to make mistake we tend to forget; by having this kind of thing it would be better to control it. ” 4. 2 Content of Leadership communication
The second research question addressed the types of contents communicated in the company by the manager. Some organisation only focus the on the goals to be done which only discuss on work-related topics, whereas some organisations prefer social communication among the members that motivates the interest of working together when it comes to discuss on non work-related topic. Interviewee claimed that the culture In PropertyGuru is different, the culture that they are trying to implement is that to come in and be as creative as you want create an environment where is family away from home culture to build interpersonal relationship among others.
Based on the research, interviewees actually agree that they are practicing the mixture of both implement work-related and non work-related because it helps increase the born among the team members. Participant B and D often have a casual catch up with their employees on every Monday about how they spent during the weekend. Participant A mentioned that, “because we are not a robot we cannot limit our staff. If we are just talking about the work-related topic for the whole day it would definitely very boring. ” Moreover, by demonstrating work it enhanced the communication in between for more efficient of work. Participant A and D are practicing demonstrate on the work to the employee.
Participant B said “: I think generally it hasn’t been required. I think the expectation is they will understand what they do if not then yes I would demonstrate to them. ” Whereas Participant C said, “It depends. I believe by giving autonomy to a person actually builds a person to a certain level that the person becomes better on what he or she does. ” In addition, maintenance-related communication are practicing by majority of the participants in PropertyGuru to get the report from the employee to make sure their goals are all on track. 4. 3 Flow of Leadership communication The third research question addressed the direction of flow communicated in the company by the manager.
Four interviewees have different control over the company, most of them allow employee to make decision to complete task instead of giving instruction but it depends on situation. Participant B this is a mixture of both. Where as participants C claimed that, “I give them full autonomy. Having the right managers is a key because ultimately you will want them to be part of the organisation where they given the opportunity to grow. ” All interviewees encourage their employees to provide new innovation ideas in the workplace because (1) having 10 minds thinking about an idea is better than having one, (2) more ideas that come true the faster we would solve the challenges and (3) creative and ability able to improve on the work. 4. Style of Leadership Communication The fourth research question addressed the style of communication among the manager and employee regards on the formal or informal in terms of language and form of address. From the research found out that the company did not practice address each other in formal way and majority of them are using English as the main language in communication during office hour. Thus all interviewees have different perspective in the style of communication. Participant A said, “it is formal but we make it more fun”. Other participant said: Participant B: “We are trying to it informal. As long as everyone is comfortable it doesn’t matter whether it is formal.
We are more than happy to do it informal as long as the message is still clear. ” Participant C: “I tend to do balance of both. But it depends on what are discussions we are going into. ” Participant D: “Actually it is formal” 4. 5 Efficiency of Leadership Communication The fifth research question addressed the efficiency of communication by the manager in guiding the work done by employee. Based on the findings of the interviews, all interviewees hold regular meeting to discuss their work status and the frequency of meeting between once to three times a week. It averagely discusses between 15 to 30 minutes to clarify all jobs that they think it is efficient to make sure everything is on the right track.
Moreover, interviewees claimed that confrontation or words of encourage are able to enhance the efficient of work. For instance, Participant C said “In reality, when you confront someone there is where you know the person start doing it or not or what happen is that they might stop doing. ” Other participants: Participant A: “we do need to give some scolding and sometimes they also need support from us. ” Participant B: “I will prefer works of encouragement. I think confrontation can be done with the angle of encouragement…. There are different ways go round it. ” Participant D: “I will prefer words of encouragement. I think everyone need to gets reorganization from bosses so hat they know they are playing important role in the company and to leading their performance. It will benefit the company as well. ” A final question was asked about their opinion whether communication between leader and employee are the key of success in the workplace. Interviewees claimed that people are the communication to build the company and it requires two ways communication in an organisation is very essential. Participant B mentioned, “The role of manger and leader is providing directions and gives visions. ” Participant D said, “As a manager we are not only concentrating on the work but we need to care about our employee as well.
If you know more about their issue, you would help them in guiding them to hit the goal it also meaning I able to hit my KPI as well. Then the company will able to hit the goal too. ” 5. CONCLUSION The purpose of this research is to investigate the perspective of four managers from PropertyGuru on the communication used by managers in guiding the employees’ efficiency at work and the limitations of communication that might caused the breakdown of communication. The findings of this study are manifold: the leaders use face-to-face communication and email most frequent in their workplace; the advantage of using face-to-face is the fact that it can understand the needs better which provide a clearer picture to the employee.
Whereas the limitation for face-to-face is when some people cannot communicate face-to-face not very good then become an issue. The limitation for email is how fast a person can type and it sometime takes a longer time to receive an email that caused the message delayed. Managers in PropertyGuru always hold regular meetings to check on the efficiency of the working status. Discussion are not only limited to work-related but also non-work-related contents as the managers trying to make the working environment more fun instead of purely work discussion. Based on the flow of communication, they are practicing free-flow communication to get feedback from employees.
A wide array of academic research has focused significantly on indicating the efficiency of communication by leaders in line with previous studies ((Ridder, 2004; Miller, 2009; Gingerich, 2005; Lee’s 2011; De Vries, Bakker-Pieper & Oostenveld, 2009; Neufeld, Wan and Fang, 2008; Barrett, 2006; Kline, n. d; Zia,Frank, Rayondraous and Jessica, 2010). This findings of study are consistent with previous research because the majority of the interviewees agreed that they are not only concentrate on work (1) they also concern the employee so that they work out the issue together to achieve KPI; (2) practicing free-flowing communication as a team based (3) frequently used of face-to-face and email to communicate; (4) giving opportunity to innovation of new idea and (5) consist of formal and informal to enhance the efficiency of work in guiding employee in their workplace.
Based on the style of communication that had mentioned above, it obviously stated the company are practicing Human Resource Approach in the organisation exhibit both concern people and the production to enhance the efficiency of work. With that, all interviewees agree that communication with employee is an important key that determine the success of an organisation especially it has to work in two ways communication. In other words, an effective leader recognizes the important of good communication with members as well. By creating an awareness of having proper communication will able to enhance efficiency of work to determine the success of the company. 5. 1 Limitations and Recommendations This study is an exploratory research with four managers from corporate company located at Bangsar South, Malaysia.
Due to the time constrain, it was limited by the number of respondents chosen, and also the interview duration and availability of the respondents. In addition, the finding should include the perspective from employee working in different level position to get more accurate result. By selecting only managerial position in the research, it may result in significant bias in the results of the study which may lead to inaccurate estimates. 5. 1. 1 Strategy Action Based on the research, some participants practice giving autonomy on making decisions and some participants give direct instructions to the employees although it might cause confusion among the members on the different style of manager.
The managers must attend a consistent system practicing the same way or balance on both contexts as it may cause miscommunication among the organisations. 5. 1. 2 Future Research In terms of research method, future study should include the qualitative and quantitative approach to get a larger scale size sampling to get even more accurate result. Future study may consider investigating alternative types of organisation such as government organisation, non-profit organisation, religion organisation, fast food chain organisation and so on to have a better understanding on different leadership communication in different style of organisations. (words count: 3350)