Grapevine Communication and Workplace Communication Methods
Using Grapevine Communication effectively as a workplace communication tool
There are many reasons why grapevine communication exists within the office environment and is one of the business communication activities that occurs in any company. Although the most obvious reason is that nosey people are everywhere, there is also another more credible reason. People want and need to get information that is not being given to them for one reason or another. People like to socialize at events, parties and even within and outside of the work environment. Although the office is not the best place to socialize, workers still find the time to both work and learn about all of the latest office information. See the definition of business communication.
Don't confuse grapevine communication with grapevine gossip. Yes, there will always be a few workers that start and spread vicious rumors about their co-workers and management. However, there are also workers who provide their co-workers with pertinent information that pertains to their jobs. For example, many times when unpleasant things are about to happen within a company, management will fail to keep all employees updated on what is really happening.
As a result, there will be employees who have the information that others need. They in turn pass this office communication along. There are usually a lot of hushed low-keyed conversations that take place in the break room or at lunchtime, but important information is being passed and received to and from employees.
It is useful to use grapevine communication to the company's benefit by feeding the right information that you want disseminated to key people who will spread it. You can monitor it to a certain degree. You can find out what is being said and anticipate miscommunications and correct them via other communication channels such as newsletters, bulletin boards, forums, blogs etc.
It is human nature for people to gather and express their opinions and to seek information.
There are many ways to communicate, be it nonverbal communication in business, business communication by email, word of mouth, written or printed communication. All methods play an important role in conveying messages. Read this nonverbal communication article and barriers to business communication for more information.
When communicating sensitive issues in the workplace follow the guidelines below.
Communication objectives for internal workplace communication
All communication should be formulated to:
- Communicate the changes within and across the various business units enabling staff to become accustomed to the new environment.
- Ensure successful and smooth implementation and transition from an old environment to the new environment.
- Communicate all stages of the process, clearly and effectively in order to reduce uncertainty during the transition process.
- Increase employee commitment to and participation in the roll out project.
- Increase productivity, motivation and morale and use of initiative.
- Increase trust among employees.
- Anticipate, ascertain and deal with possible misperceptions.
- Decrease apprehension and resistance by establishing two way lines of open communication.
- Improve service delivery.
Research is necessary in the communication process. Research current communication methods and their effectiveness by means of climate surveys. Assess employee perceptions before and after the process. Use grapevine communication in your research.
Communication can cover the following issues:
- Communication concerning job roles and responsibilities, policies and procedures, all information pertaining to the organizational culture, business processes, physical environment
- Communication of where we are now, where we ideally want to be, the rationale
- Communication of changes and new developments thereby keeping staff informed every step of the way
- Informing and encouraging staff's involvement in ascertaining problems areas, causes and solutions, as well as factors impacted by problem areas
- Success stories, case studies.
Obtain feedback from staff.
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