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Management Communication: Enhancement of Team Performance

MNG81002 MANAGEMENT COMMUNICATION

Assessment task 

Effective communication throughout a workplace is an essential ingredient to align people’s efforts towards achieving organisational goals. Yet it seems that ‘communication problems’ are continually mentioned as one of the main difficulties for most organisations. 

Your boss, the CEO of ABC Company, has asked you to prepare a report investigating the question: 'why managers should make effective communication a priority'? In so doing she expects you to examine four issues: 

1. The interpersonal aspects of communication - communicating to persuade and influence others (key points for practicing the art of persuasion) - including personal networks, the grapevine and written communication. 

2. The organisation as a whole and formal communication channels - establishing and maintaining formal and informal channels of communication downward, upward and horizontally. 

3. Aspects of communication that relate to sustainability: communication of sustainability activities and achievements (corporate social responsibility), and the sustainability of an organisation's communication activities themselves. 

4. Crisis communication and the development of communication strategies to protect the reputation of the organisation in a crisis. 


Working in groups of four, each student will write on one of these four workplace communication issues. Please note: depending on final student numbers there may be groups of three or five. In the case of a group of three students write on three of the four issues. In the case of a group of five a fifth communication issue will be presented

Please follow these guidelines to complete the assessment: 

1. This group assessment comprises two parts: 

a. group-based report comprising 1500 words per individual per section (representing 60% of the final grade); and 

b. group-based activities focussing on the organisation and structure of the actual report along with a group-based poster presentation reflecting on the processes of group work (representing 40% of the final grade). 

Please note: At the beginning of Week 2 you will be assigned to your group. Each group is expected to produce a team contract: 

  • establishing team procedures 
  • identifying expectations 
  • specifying the consequences for failing to follow these procedures and fulfil these expectations.

Since the basic purpose of this team contract is to accelerate your team's development, to increase individual accountability for team tasks, and to reduce the possibility for team conflict, make your contract as specific as possible. 

Specify: 

  • each task as detailed as possible 
  • each step in a procedure or process as detailed as possible 
  • the exact person(s) responsible for each specific task, and 
  • the exact time and exact place for completion or submission of each task. 

Complete, sign, and submit a copy of your finalised contract to your group learning facilitator by Monday 14th May (Week3). 

Please note: Writing a group report requires effective organisation, time management and communication skills. Students often find report writing on their own challenging, and group writing can be even more intimidating. 

Guidelines as to how to approach a group report - for structuring the report and dividing the workload, who will write what sections and take responsibility for editing, proofreading, publishing – need to be considered. You will find suggested guidelines under Assessment Task 4.

Without guidelines, one or two students in a group often end up writing the group report, and this can create workload issues, and resentment when marks are distributed. 

3. Each student in your group needs to select ONE of the four workplace communication issues. 

4. Start your web-based research with a search of popular business publications, even trade journals, professional journals and current affairs journals, for any information about workplace communication issues. Finally, use academic research to support your findings in relation to your selected theme.

5. Each student needs to find 8-10 secondary sources for their particular section. Please note you are expected to use a minimum of four (4) refereed academic journals. You will be shown how to tell if a journal is peer reviewed/refereed. Do not include more than 10 references per student. 

6. You are encouraged to write a first draft of this report at least one week prior to the due date to ensure adequate time for revision. Please be aware that the writing quality and appropriate referencing will be marked as well as the content. 

7. Instructions on how to go about designing your poster, web page links and past examples intended to provide support and guidance are available under Assessment Task 4

Producing a Poster can be a great way of presenting research findings in a concise and powerful manner. Posters are used widely within the academic community at conferences and conventions. The best Posters are those which can effectively summarise the important aspects of a given research topic, are easy to read and understand, and are visually appealing. You want your Poster to stand out and to leave the reader with more than a cursory knowledge of your topic. 

Normally posters are presented in an A0, A2 or A1 format. In this instance the Poster can be presented in one PowerPoint slide. 

8. Submit the report to Turnitin via the Blackboard site no later than the due date: Tuesday 12th June 2018, 9.00am (QLD time) and the Poster no later than Thursday 14th June 2018 9.00am (QLD time). 

Please note: only one student submits the report and poster on behalf of their group. 

9. Refer to the Marking Criteria Guide and Marking Rubric located under Assessment Tasks and Submissions on the Blackboard. 

PRIOS/CDT brief for Assessment 4: 

a. Purpose: To conduct web-based research into four workplace communication issues. 

b. Reader: The CEO of ABC Company (your boss). 

c. Information: Based on secondary research. 

d. Organisation: Direct order approach. 

e. Style: Formal. Be sure to proofread carefully to ensure that there are no sentence-level errors such as spelling mistakes, wrong word choice, incorrect punctuation, etc. 

f. Channel choice: Written document and oral presentation. 

g. Document design: Report format. 

h. Length: 1500 words per group member for the report + one poster presentation.

Answer

Executive summary: 

For ensuring the high level of performance of team members, managers utilize interpersonal communication skills in the workplace. Lack of interpersonal communication skills often creates challenges for managers to resolve conflicts among team members, leading to affect the productivity of the business. The purpose of this report is to develop an understanding of the importance of effective communication by managers in the organization. Alongside discussing the effective outcomes of interpersonal communication skills, this report has also analyzed how the art of persuasion contributes to the enhancement of the team performance. 

Persuasive communication plays an imperative role in achieving goals and objectives of the business. Motivating employees to deliver high level of performance is largely reliant on how effectively managers carry out persuasive communication in the workplace. For persuading employees towards a particular subject, the managers of the organization need to utilize the compelling language. In this report, the researcher has discussed some methods of practicing the art of persuasion in the workplace. Lack of effective listening skills can create difficulties for managers in persuading others towards a particular belief. It has been recommended that the managers should focus on developing their interpersonal communication skills to enhance team performance. 

Introduction: 

As underlined by Hargie (2016), with effective interpersonal communication skills, team members can enhance their performance and achieve goals and objectives of the organization. Some of the key interpersonal communication skills that improve the performance of the employees include communication, courtesy, flexibility, interpersonal skills, integrity, professionalism, attitude, and teamwork. 

This report aims at analyzing various aspects of interpersonal communication in the workplace. The researcher has developed an understanding of impacts of interpersonal communication in the organization. Effective interpersonal communication skills rely on diverse elements, including decision-making skills, problem solving skills, assertiveness, listening, and negotiation. The researcher has also discussed the significance of persuasive communication in the workplace. By persuading employees in the workplace, the management can enhance the productivity of the business effectively. In the final part of the report, the researcher has discussed diverse methods of practicing the art of persuasion in the workplace. 

Discussion: 

Interpersonal communication:

According to the discussion made by Hewes (2013), interpersonal communication refers to the process which allows people to exchange information, meaning, and feelings through non-verbal and verbal messages. It is imperative for the management of the organization to ensure that the team members utilize their interpersonal communication in order to enhance performance leading to achieve shared goals and objectives of the business. With interpersonal communication skills, individual can communicate important information regarding the work process and manage effective social interactions with colleagues. There are 10 major interpersonal communication skills in the workplace, such as communication, courtesy, flexibility, integrity, interpersonal skills, attitude, professionalism, responsibility, teamwork and work ethics (DeKay 2012). With these interpersonal communication skills, employees can share important messages with their colleagues and seniors to achieve a particular objective. 

Poor communication between employees and managers can create adverse impacts on the productivity of the business. If leaders and managers of the organization fail to communicate tasks clearly to the employees, then workers become disconnected with the shared business objectives. Improved interpersonal communication indicates strong career for employees.  Moreover, the success of the business largely depends on how employees and managers carry out interpersonal communication in the organization. 

Effects of interpersonal communication in the workplace:

As underlined by Hosman and Siltanen (2011), interpersonal communication facilitates individuals in the organization in interchanging ideas with others. There are a number of benefits of interpersonal communication in the workplace.  With the help of interpersonal communication skills, managers of ABC organization can easily resolve the conflicts among the employees. Conflict management is one of the major outcomes of the interpersonal communication skills. It also contributes the management to build trust with employees, leading to motivate them towards delivering high performance in the organization. Achieving business goals becomes effortless if employees and managers utilize interpersonal communication skills effectively to share ideas with each other (Bodie 2011). 

Using effective interpersonal skills also enables managers to identify the required skills development for employees to achieve particular objectives. The management of the organization carries out informal and formal training for employees. The effectiveness of training and development largely depends on how the managers use their interpersonal communication skills to identify training needs of employees. 

As mentioned earlier, the interpersonal communication skills allow employees to share individual thoughts and ideas with other colleagues and team members. Consequently, it facilitates the employees in carrying out a particular task collaboratively. Knobloch (2010) has mentioned in their research that the performance and productivity of team largely reliant on how effectively team members use interpersonal skills to share ideas with others. For managers and leaders, it is important to maintain the open line of communication and feedback to listen to employees’ concerns and devise effective strategies accordingly. 


Definition of persuasion:

Craig and Blankenship (2011) have defined persuasion as an act of changing an individual’s behavior or attitude toward some object, idea, or event, by verbal or written communication to convey the information, reasoning or feelings. Persuasive communication plays an integral role in achieving goals and objectives of the business. By using persuasive communication, the managers convince their employees to work toward the goals and objectives of the business. If managers can effectively use the art of persuasion, they not only can get employees’ support but also can unite the team and encourage them practicing collaborative work. 

Significance of persuasion:

Persuasion makes huge impacts on the business, in terms of increasing sales, motivating employees and enhancing productivity. Persuasion skills are extremely important for the managers to motivate employees towards delivering a high level of performance in the business. Without possessing effective, convincing skills, managers would not be able to get employees’ support towards achieving business objectives and goals. Persuasive communication skills also allow the managers to unit their team effectively. By using the art of persuasion, the managers can encourage team members to work in a partnership to achieve shared objectives (Keteyian 2011). 

In order to persuade others, it is important for the managers to clarify the goal effectively. In the second stage, managers need to determine the approach in a logical way. By using compelling language, managers convince employees towards delivering high performance in the organization. With the effective persuasion skills, the managers can establish a strong relationship with the employees (Fransen and Fennis 2014). Consequently, it facilitates in increasing the productivity of the business. Lack of effective employee relations can create adverse impacts on the productivity of the business. Persuasion plays an integral role in enhancing the resolving conflicts among employees. Lack of persuasive communication in the organization can create difficulties for the managers to determine conflicts effectively. 

Processes to practice the art of persuasion:

For practicing the art of persuasion, it is important for the management of the organization to follow some specific steps. In order to get employees’ attention, managers should repeatedly convincingly communicate with them. Conveying information repeatedly through written or verbal forms could allow managers to get the attention of employees. Personal networks, written communication, and grapevine are some of the key strategies of persuasive communication. It is essential to turn the messages to the context or situation of receivers (Stiff and Mongeau 2016). Use of misleading information can affect the art of persuasion. If employees identify that they are given misleading information, their involvement in the organization could be affected. 

By using the contrasting story scenarios, managers can illustrate the impact effectively. If managers can integrate the employees directly in their story, they can achieve a greater outcome. Personalizing messages to match employees’ background is another practice of persuasion (Fransen and Fennis 2014). Before gaining the interest of the employees with the idea, managers need to pay attention to employees’ concerns carefully. Effective listening skills play a key role in persuading others towards a particular belief. Without presenting the evidence of interest, managers would not be able to persuade employees towards a particular idea. Effective communication is the key to the arts of persuasion. Lack of effective communication creates challenges for managers to convince employees. Diverse forms of communication can be used to persuading employees, such as written and verbal communication. Managers with good communication skills can easily persuade employees. 

Conclusion and recommendations: 

In conclusion, it can be assessed that the interpersonal communication plays an integral role in enhancing the performance of employees in the organization.  With interpersonal communication skills, employees can share important information regarding the work process with colleagues. In this report, the effects of interpersonal communication skills in the workplace have been analyzed in detailed. The researcher has identified that conflict management is one of the major outcomes of the interpersonal communication skills.  Persuasion skills of managers allow them motivating employees towards delivering a high level of performance in the business. By utilizing personal networks, written communication, managers can persuade employees effectively. 

It is recommended to the managers of ABC Company to develop their interpersonal communication skills to identify employees’ concerns effectively. Employees should be given adequate opportunities to share their feedback with the managers. For practicing the art of persuasion, managers should avoid providing misleading information to the employees.

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