All business consultants agree that clear communication within an organization is one of the keys to success. Managers need effective organizational communication to interact with staff and give understandable instructions. Staff members need to understand terminology and concepts to properly communicate with customers and clients. Effective communication is so critical to the efficient functioning of an organization and satisfaction of employees that it has been called the building block of an organization.
Every business organization has its own language: Doctors, lawyers, plumbers and others all have specific terminology unique to their profession. For example, doctors have patients, lawyers have clients, and plumbers have customers. They use these and other not-so-common terms that are specific to their industry to create understanding and a sense of community within their individual organizational structures.
Benefits of creating a common language for organizational communication
- A common language assures that all members of the organization understand expectations. Misunderstandings are minimized so time formerly spent on correcting errors can be spent on productivity.
- Customers, clients, or patients hear consistency throughout the organization, which gives them a sense that there is cohesiveness and reliability and enhances the image of the organization.
- Employees and staff gain a sense of identity and belonging to a community.
- The common language provides a sort of shorthand among the organization’s community of management and staff.
- When management and staff speak the same language, there is a feeling of camaraderie and relationships between them are stronger.
- A common language creates a sense of culture for those working within the organization, which is a major factor in its success.
How an employee survey assists with the development of a common language
Developing a common language is not as easy as it seems. Words and phrases unique to the organization need to be identified and their meaning and usage defined. The new words and phrases need to be used appropriately in all company communications and documents.
Employees need to be a part of the process for the transition and implementation of a common language to be effective. This can be accomplished with employee surveys. Surveys can determine:
- The views and sentiments of the employees regarding a common language
- Any misconceptions concerning language and terminology
- Terms that need to be defined according to those who are being surveyed
An analysis of the survey results will identify areas of organizational communication that need to be improved and standardized.
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