Communication is one of the most important tool in the process of management. It influences every function of management. Managers at various levels use the communication system to plan, organize, direct and control activities and efforts of people. Every organization should build an effective system of communication for facilitating job performance and promoting satisfaction among people.
Importance of communication in management
The importance of Communication can be understood from the following points:
1. Smooth working of the Enterprise
Communication ensures the smooth working of the enterprise. It plays an important role in all types of organizations. It solves a lot of problems in the case of complex organization. The successful completion of tasks on the part of the superiors depends upon the nature and flow of communication they receive from the subordinates. Similarly, the work of the subordinates also to a large extent depends upon the communication they receive from the superiors.
2. Quick Decision and Implementation
Managers need information, reports, statements from various sources for formulating plans and taking various decisions. Further, the managerial decisions and plans are to be communicated to the subordinates. However, intelligent the personnel may be it would be of no benefit if the higher level management cannot effectively communicate policies and decisions to them.
The effective implementation of plans and decisions depends upon the nature of communication. It is said that communication acts as a driving force which keeps all the individuals working as per the expectations of the top management.
The communication system plays a vital role in coordination of efforts and activities within single work units are between the various subsystems of the organization. Only through communication, coordination between various individuals and activities can be brought out.
4. Direction and Leadership
Communication system is used by the managers to clarify organizational and departmental objectives, policies and programmes, issues instructions, assignment of job to their subordinates, to advise, guide and assist the subordinates on which, how, when and where jobs so assigned are to be performed, to motivate, praise their subordinates and so on. Thus, managers perform their direction and leadership function through the communication system.
5. Managerial Control
Managerial control function involves the measurement of actual performance, comparing it with set standards and taking corrective actions in case of deviations if any. The communication system plays a critical role in managerial control function also. The control process is lubricated through the communication of information at all relevant points.
Information with regard to plans, programmes and budgets is to be communicated to managers responsible for determination of standards of performance and also to subordinates who have to meet them through various operations. As and when the actual performance is measured and recorded, information in the form of reports have to be prepared and communicated to the concerned managers for purpose of evaluation.
Necessary corrective action, if any, needed in case of deviations, are also to be fed back to the operating system to set right the processes in the future. All this can be made possible only when there is an efficient communication system.
6. Management of Change
Communication is very much needed when there is a change in organizational systems, structures, processes and practices. The objectives of proposals and programmes of organizational change, its elements and implications should be communicated to the persons who are likely to be affected by it. One of the ways of overcoming resistance to change among people in an organization is proper and timely communication on the various aspects of change.
7. Achieving the Organizational Goals
Communication also plays an important role in keeping the various subsystems of the organization together and in moving them in such a fashion to achieve the organizational goals. In every organization, individuals and groups in one work unit should know what is going on in other work units for which a smooth and efficient communication system is essential.
8. Democratic Management
If an effective system of communication is adopted, employees can present their ideas, suggestions, and complaints and employees grievances can be set right at their earliest stage. This will avoid industrial unrest. It is said that many conflicts arise because of the lack of communication or misunderstood motives.
9. Prerequisite to work communication
Management cannot communicate to workers unless management itself is informed. Not only must management know but it must also understand the information well enough to interpret it to others. Just as a photograph can be no clearer than the negative from which it is printed, the manager cannot transmit more clearly than he understands.
10. Proper judgement and decisions
It is essential if a manager is to make proper judgements and decisions. The manager is often completely isolated from the point of performance, and he can serve as a “decision centre” only to the extent that reports and other information reach him. This requires two-way communication.
11. The scope of manager’s influence is typically greater than a worker’s. Therefore, inadequate communication to any one manager can have a direct effect on profit, productivity, or morale because his wide span of control and coordination affects many people and different activities.
12. Management communication is necessary because most of the links in the chain of communication from top to bottom and bottom to top, are in the management group. Each link attends a new opportunity for distorting, fading and delay.
It would be obvious that communication is the ‘Life-blood’ and foundation stone of the successful working of an organization, for it puts a check on many rumors, misunderstandings and gossip when plans, ideas, information, etc., are circulated among employees. At the same time, it makes their reaction known so that any difficulty in the proper implementation of policies and the observance of rules may be removed.
It is through communication that they submit their grievances, work reports, suggestions, etc. In fact, an effective and speedy communication establishes unity among colleagues. For proper co-ordination and control, communication is a must, for in its absence there cannot be any synchronization of activities, unity in thinking and working, and co-operation among the employees.
Mary Cushing Niles writes:
“Good communications are essential to coordination. They are necessary upward, downward and sideways through all the levels of authority and advice for transmission, interpretation and adoption of policies, for the sharing of knowledge and information and for the more subtle needs of good morale and mutual understanding.”