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Communication Channels

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Communication Channels

By: Brandon Clark

October 18, 2010

Communication Channels

Communication is the biggest factor for any organization to be successful. Communication comes in different forms and it is vital that each organization finds the proper tools necessary to communicate suitably. No matter what type of organization one examines, communication will be the key to success. This paper will examine the communication channels of three different organizations and how they are the same, and also taking a look at their differences. Communication is of the utmost importance and it is vital that each employee understands the communication channels to the fullest.

There are various types of communication in an organization.  Some of the types of communication may include; snail mail, e-mail, Skype, fax, and the telephone.  In today’s times we live in such a fast paced world that we would rather have our important documents or letters sent to us through e-mail, which ensures that we receive such items fast and in a timely manner. However, regular mail may be replaced by the term snail mail.  Snail mail is, in fact, mail which one would receive at the post office.  Sometimes though, when it comes to snail mail we take the risk factor of having important documents sent to the wrong address or being lost altogether. However, organizations may need the original documents, and this may be a preferred method of giving and receiving information.  Skype is a form of communication that people can use to do video conferences straight from their computer.  This way of communicating may connect people from different cities, states, or countries. The goal of the Skype Channel Partner Program is to establish a qualified network of channel partners in the United States that can assist companies interested in using Skype to improve their productivity and optimize their communication costs (Skype, 2010). Also, using a fax machine is also another way of communication that ensures that we received needed documents in a timely matter. The telephone is another great form of communication, although it may not always be secure a person is still able to gather information through direct sources.

Sports Fan Treasures

There are different forms of communication and for an Internet business like Sports Fan Treasures those different forms are used on a daily basis. The main form of communication that is used is e-mail. E-mail is the quickest and easiest form of communication that allows the employees to go about their jobs without being distracted. Another form of communication that is easy for the employees to use is a chat software called Skype. Skype allows the employees to make phone calls over the Internet or simply chat back and forth over the Internet through the software. These are the two main forms of communication that are used daily with Sports Fan Treasures. Without these forms of communication, the productivity level would drop a great deal. Fast communication is vital to the overall success of the organization and it is imperative that the employees take full advantage over it.

Allstate Insurance

Allstate Insurance Company uses many channels of communication.  E-mail is the most important as it connects the company from coast to coast.  It also reaches out to a technical support facility in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  Teleconferencing and video conferences help to convey standard processes information across the company, which increases efficiency of the work done in all areas.  The company intranet is used for self-service human resources, company, and benefits information.  A social networking site on the company intranet allows a forum for sharing opinions and allows employees to get to know one another and network. The agents are the sales force for Allstate.  They are not employees however; they have their own network for claims, office equipment, supplies, and forms.  Sales are also made via the Internet and call centers.  As a financial institution and insurance company, Allstate has to be prepared for natural disasters and data recovery.  In 2010, Allstate participated in the first telecommuting test for the region through with an organization called named ChicagoFIRST.  Several area firms were involved and each department was assigned a percentage of staff to work at home on a pre-determined day. It was meant to test the infrastructure in the area if working at home was how business needed to be done for a period of time (ChicagoFIRST, 2010). According to ChicagoFIRST (2010), “Based on the success and positive feedback from members for this first-of-its-kind test, we plan to make this an annual event, increasing participation and evaluating performance over time” (Para. 14).

CMH

CMH is a nonprofit hospital that is in the restructuring stage of becoming a Shared Governance. This is a professional practice model in which the nursing staff and the nursing management are both involved in decision-making, as opposed to the administrative decision area being controlled by management. It is a structured model through which nurses can express and manage their practice with a higher level of professional autonomy. The channels of communication reflect the change of command; they run up and down the organizational chart, moving from one level of authority to the next. The nurse manager communicates concerns and information to the assistant administrator, then they have the authority and responsibility to deal with the problem or they relay the concerns to the staff nurse. If the staff nurse doesn’t have the authority to deal with the issue, then the staff nurse reports to the head nurse or clinical manager, who in turn reports to the RN whom gives direction to the practical nurse and the nursing assistant.

CMH has council members that are voted in by the employees, they have council meetings to discuss different things. The councils are broken down into having a president, vice presidents of Quality Assurance, Marketing, and Finance. The vice president of quality assurance  communicates to the Patient Services Quality Assurance, the vice-president of marketing communicates with planning and marketing, and the vice-president of finance communicates with financial services. The vice-president of the hospital communicates with the hospital and the C.E.O., Director of Patient Care Services, the vice-president of Long Term Care and Home-Health Care communicates with the administrator, the president, and the Director of Geriatric Services Development.

For an organization to be successful, it must have communication (Adnan, 1974). Communication is needed to ensure growth and survival of an organization. The binding creates internal stability and control; this promotes growth within the organization and goal attainment (Adnan, 1974). Organizational behavior is a component of everyone that works in an organization; an employee is a sub-system of a department. The department is a sub-system of a division and the division is a sub-system of the industry, the local community, and society. The sub-system is important because it derives from the constant interaction with the other sub-systems and with the larger system. If changes occur in the sub-systems it affects the other sub-systems and affects the operation of one or more of the sub-systems (Adnan, 1974). Communications in the system is crucial; it is needed for an organization to run smoothly. It requires interrelationships among parts to constitute a whole. Communication is the binder that integrates all the subsystems that create internal stability. The sub-systems are the network of a system that links all the total systems together; this enables the systems to adapt and cope with changes (Adnan, 1974).

External environments influence communication, competitors, customers, government and supplies present the system with opportunities, some changes could throw the system off balance, it needs an adaptive mechanism. The maintenance mechanism serves to maintain internal equilibrium; the adaptive mechanism enables the system to detect environmental changes. The adaptive system depends on the efficiency of the communications systems (Adnan, 1974). Organizations are made of closed and open systems; the closed system is self-contained and has little contact with the environment, an open system has lots of contact with the environment (Adnan, 1974). Gender and cultural differences can affect communication between coworkers, managers, patients, families, and caregivers. Cultural differences can affect communication in nonverbal, verbal communications and written communications (Adnan, 1974).

Effective communication in the health care organization can be hampered by a number of barriers. Discussion about patients is often conducted in a busy environment, instructions sometimes is communicated over the phone rather than in person. The formality of issuing official notices regarding company information could use some streamlining but as mentioned earlier because it is a publicly owned company and ultimately answer to stockholders, the red tape may be a necessary component in corporate communication.

Recommendations  for effective communications would be to survey the internal users and external users on ease of use of the systems, and their satisfaction in getting answers and work accomplished.  Based on the results system changes can be made as the systems are upgraded on a regular basis. The participation with the ChicagoFIRST program should continue as it will help in developing new procedures as they become necessary and will keep the company prepared. Other ways of accomplishing this is by a briefing technique, Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendations (S Bar). This is a way to improve communication between health care providers.

Communication is defined as a process by which we assign and convey meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding. This process requires a vast repertoire of skills in intrapersonal and interpersonal processing, listening, observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating (Office of Superintendent of Public Instructions, 2010). Communication is vital to the success of any organization and it is imperative that each employee understands the process fully. Without the proper communication process in place, success will be a difficult challenge. The communication process will evolve over time, but it is important to always have the process as the key to success.

 

 

References

ChicagoFIRST. (2010). ChicagoFIRST first annual telecommuting test encourages critical firms to exercise work-at-home capabilities. Retrieved from

Skype.com., (2010) retrieved October 13, 2010 from

http://about.skype.com/press/skype_for_business/

 

Adnan, A. (1974, Fall). Communications and the Systems Theory of Organization. Journal of

Business Communication, 12(1), 35-43.

Office of Superintendent of Public Instructions, . (2010, October 18).

Communication. Retrieved from

 

Brandon is a junior in college studying in the health care industry field. He already has one degree in Pharmacy Practice and is studying for his second one in Health care information systems. He is the owner of a Four Wheel Drive Lift Kits website that sells Tuff Country Lift Kits. He enjoys school and working on his site, but he does enjoy relaxing more.

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