Free «Generating Solutions and Alternative Solutions» Essay Sample
Table of Contents
Problem Statement Development
A Short Background on the Problem Situation
During work hours, a formal manner of communication is established and practiced by all employees. This means that managers from different departments interact with one another during the working process: top managers give assignments to the employees of lower levels in the company hierarchy, who, in turn, present the results of their work. However, such a formal relationship between employees of different levels leads to communicational barriers during interactions that take place while coffee breaks, lunch time in the cafeteria, encounters before and after work, etc. This problem, actually, points out to a more complex issue – the division among people in the company. Those who have more authority separate themselves from other employees and collaborate more with those who also exercise power in the company. According to Carter McNamara, a specialist in the field of leadership and supervision, “…communications problems can arise when management simply sees no value whatsoever in communicating with subordinates, believing subordinates should shut up and do their jobs” (“Basics in Internet Organizational Communication”, n.d.). By doing this, top managers lose the ability to see what is actually happening in the company or their department. Without communicating with the employees of different hierarchy levels, it is possible not to recognize new opportunities for improvement or arising problems that need to be eliminated before the situation could get out of control.
A Description of the Problem Symptoms
Generally, the formal relationship is maintained, and there is no place for a more personal communication, thus, the managers of lower levels do not know how to talk to their bosses concerning issues not related to their job. Top managers, on the other hand, exercise their authority and power over other employees, making the communication less personal. Strict formal relationships in the company have always resulted in low motivation of its employees to work hard and effectively. Due to this, negligence and poor performance started to occur.
Concise Statement of the Problem
Formal communication between employees after work hours causes problems in the organization.
The main problem identified is accumulated organizational problems. The main causes include formal communication during informal situations, division among employees, communication barriers, and poor flow of information. Hierarchies, non-work related situations, poor employee communication, subordination, inability to identify opportunities, and disregarding subordinates cause the main problems.
Problem Statement Testing
Organizational problems result from the formal communication that takes place between employees during the non-work hours.
Informal communication within an organization is essential, as it eliminates boundaries in regard to the organizational structure. At times, it is necessary when an employee at a low level of the organizational structure to communicate informally with their superior. It creates an opportunity to share some information that may not be shared through the formal organizational structures.
Broaden the Focus
The approach that a company manager applies when communicating a new business strategy in the organization immensely differs from the one he uses when communicating with his family. The top-level managers may take it upon themselves to ensure that the employees respect their position by making official communication anytime there is an interaction. Despite the situation, they will communicate officially. Under such formal communication, the manager has the responsibility of giving orders or instructions, and the employee can only respond to a given question, or give feedback after undertaking a given responsibility. It results to the inability of a subordinate staff to come up with a new issue and communicate it to a high-level manager. In-fact, most organizations focus on the use of the hierarchy of power for such communication. As a result, the employee has to communicate to their immediate supervisor, who in-turn delivers the information to their manager, and the information follows that chain until it gets to the top manager. However, there are numerous shortcomings with such flow of information. The information may get distorted, as it flows through the chain of command and may never reach the intended person; it may take a long time before reaching the intended person; therefore, rendering it irrelevant. In case the information is about one of the superiors, a low-level member of staff may fear negative consequences, hence failing to report. Consequently, the management does not receive information that the low-level employees may have, which may be of assistance to the organization.
Informal communication in an organization may prove to be beneficial. Although it is not advisable to have informal communication all the time, it should be allowed during non-work hours, such as lunch breaks in the cafeteria, coffee breaks, encounters before and after work, and during team building activities. It means that during such occasions, employees can have a “chit-chat” with their superiors, without having to observe any formalities. The interaction may even be non-work related, but it may prove to be fundamental in easing the relationships between top-level managers and other employees (Ford & Ford, 2009). In most well performing corporations like Google, the top managers, including the CEOs, interact with the employees informally when they meet during breaks or after work. Low-level employees, being the people who do the actual activities, as instructed by their superiors, understand a lot about the organization. They possess information that may assist in the organizational advancement. However, such information may never reach the intended managers, if they are unreachable, and they emphasize on formal communication.