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Improving Organizational Communication at Go Travel

Introduction

Organizational communication is the process through which interrelated individuals in a given workplace or a company send and receive messages information to achieve common goals. Communication in an organization can take place through written, face-to-face, or mediated channels. This topic is important to Go Travel because it needs to streamline its operations in Europe and improve its service delivery to ensure customer satisfaction and business growth. The purpose of this report is to improve the communication practices of the staff members and management. This report is divided into four sections – literature review, analysis, and discussion of all questions, recommendations, and conclusion.

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Literature Review

Communication within an organization plays a central role in the achievement of the set goals and objectives. The concept of organizational communication covers both formal and informal communication in the workplace including communication among employees, to employees, and from employees to management (Karanges et al., 2003). From a theoretical perspective, organizations should apply imperatives to enable effective communication by allowing employees to pass and receive information accurately and precisely. Therefore, for organizations to become successful, they should make comprehensive policies for communicating with all stakeholders involved in the day-to-day running of business activities. A study by Ramadanty and Martinus (2016) found that effective organizational communication is directly linked to employees’ motivation and performance. Additionally, linking organizational communication with business strategy leads to consistent and effective business operations, which is a major contributing factor to performance and profitability. Jiang and Men (2016) agree that functional communication channels within a company builds employees’ morale, delivers messages congruent with an organization’s culture, vision, and mission, and creates a reputable employment brand.

Analysis and Discussion

Organizational Communication Principles

The communication systems within an organization should be considerate of the needs of all the involved parties, especially employees. For instance, a company should ensure that its workforce is comfortable using the available communication channels competently to pass and receive information. This practice improves organizational procedures and processes, which, in turn, enhances operational efficiency and reduce costs of doing business. According to Fredrick Taylor’s scientific management theory, organizations fail primarily due to the lack of elaborate systems, including communication strategies (Bell and Martin, 2012). Effective organizational communication system links corporate communication to business strategy to streamline operations. Therefore, companies should create comprehensive communication strategies to ensure that employees receive and pass information accurately and precisely without altering the message. According to Razmerita, Kirchner, and Nielsen (2016), effective communication should be two-way whereby the management passes messages to workers, and at the same time, it listens to employees’ issues. This strategy builds employees’ loyalty, which ultimately improves productivity and overall organizational performance. A functional communication system should be part of the organizational strategic plan, goals, objectives, vision, mission, and brand.

Communication Practices and Barriers at Go Travel

Go Travel, a travel company based in London, has been experiencing consistent business growth over the last few years, which has led to expansion by opening two new offices in Europe. However, there is a communication breakdown between offices in London and those in Europe. The company lacks proper communication policies and systems to ensure the smooth flow of information to the European offices. In addition, people working in these offices are drawn from the local community, and thus English is not their first language. Consequently, language is a major communication barrier. The employees have admitted that they deliberately avoid communicating with their counterparts in London due to their inability to speak fluently in English. As such, they are insecure and fear backlash based on cultural misunderstandings.

Razmerita, Kirchner, and Nielsen (2016) argue that cultural differences can cause employees to withhold information due to uncertainty, anxiety, and stereotypes associated with a lack of intercultural knowledge between the involved parties. This issue is a major problem at Go Travel due to two reasons. First, on the one hand, employees working from the European offices lack the skills and competency to express their needs due to their inability to speak fluently in English. On the other hand, employees operating from the London office also lack the requisite skills to address communication problems arising from their counterparts in Europe. Therefore, Go Travel is undergoing a communication crisis, which is affecting the quality of service offered to customers being served from the offices in Europe. Consequently, these clients have repeatedly complained that the staff members are disorganized and unprepared to deliver quality services. Another barrier affecting organizational communication at Go Travel is the time differences between the different countries where its offices are located. Therefore, planning for employees’ briefing, whereby everyone is involved, becomes a challenge. However, the current Go Travel’s organizational communication challenges can be addressed compressively, as discussed in the next section.

Strategies to Overcome Communication Barriers ate Go Travel

Therefore, in a bid to address the current organizational communication breakdown and barriers at Go Travel, a comprehensive strategy is needed. First, an effective communication strategy should be top-down, whereby the senior management sets the guidelines to be followed when passing messages. Second, there is a need to make budgetary allocations to facilitate the use of different communication channels available to employees depending on the nature of messages being passed. Third, there has to be an established process through which the management can evaluate different situations from which the need to communicate emerges and the appropriate key messages. Additionally, a working communication strategy at Go Travel should have a feedback channel whereby employees can share their views for the management to make necessary improvements or changes. Finally, there has to be a customized delivery approach using communication materials and channels that every employee can understand easily.

After establishing this communication strategy, the underlying issues affecting the offices in Europe should be addressed comprehensively. First, the language barrier problem could be addressed from two perspectives. First, the current employees could be required to undertake courses in English competency to improve their communication skills. Second, in the future, the ability to speak fluently in English should be a requirement for anyone to be considered for any position. Similarly, all Go Travel employees, whether in London or Europe, should undergo mandatory training to improve their cross-cultural competence. An elaborate training program will help the management to communicate effectively with all employees and understand the right communication channels and protocols.

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The other problem that the company is facing is time difference between the involved countries. In a bid to address this issue, the management should leverage technology and come up with a strategy whereby all employees can hold virtual meetings for briefings. This way, employees in Europe will have an appropriate avenue to share their concerns, which will ultimately streamline communication in the organization and remove the current barriers being experienced at Go Travel.

Recommendations

  1. A comprehensive communication strategy linked to the corporate strategic plan is needed.
  2. All employees should undergo mandatory training to improve their cross-cultural competence and learn how to relate with one another despite their cultural backgrounds.
  3. Employees working from the offices in Europe should undertake courses in the English language to improve their fluency to solve the language barrier problem.
  4. The issue of time differences could be addressed by leveraging technology.
  5. Regular Skype meetings should be held to discuss company-related issues whereby all employees are involved.
  6. Distribute posters around the staffrooms in each country, highlighting some of the issues that will be addressed in the meetings.
  7. Include images in the posters highlighting relevant communication barriers and strategies to overcome them as well as showing cultural awareness.

Conclusion

Go Travel is a successful travel company operating in London and the other two locations in Europe. However, the company is experiencing communication breakdown, especially with the offices in Europe. One of the major communication barriers affecting the organization includes the language barrier because those in Europe cannot speak fluently in English, and thus they deliberately avoid interacting with their counterparts in Europe. Additionally, employees in the company are not culturally aware and competent. Finally, time differences between the countries of operation affect timely communication. These problems could be solved by training all employees on the different areas of need and leveraging technology.

List of References

Bell, R. and Martin, J. (2012) ‘The relevance of scientific management and equity theory in everyday managerial communication situations’, Journal of Management Policy and Practice, 13(3), pp. 106-116.

Jiang, H. and Men, R. (2017) Creating an engaged workforce: the impact of authentic leadership, transparent organizational communication, and work-life enrichment. Communication research, 44(2), pp.225-243.

Karanges, E. et al. (2015) ‘The influence of internal communication on employee engagement: a pilot study’, Public Relations Review, 41(1), pp.129-131.

Ramadanty, S. and Martinus, H. (2016) Organizational communication: communication and motivation in the workplace. Humaniora, 7(1), pp.77-86.

Razmerita, L., Kirchner, K. and Nielsen, P. (2016) ‘What factors influence knowledge sharing in organizations? A social dilemma perspective of social media communication’, Journal of Knowledge Management, 20(6), pp. 1225-1246.

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