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Seminar Paper, 2009
23 Pages, Grade: 2,3
List of Illustrations
2. Internal communication
2.1. Human resource management explained
2.1.1. The management task of motivating employees
2.1.2. Success in human resource management
2.1.3. Leadership as a cost-factor
2.2. Explanations of communication
2.2.1. The process of communication
2.2.2. Communication with employees
2.2.3. Functions and aims of communication with employees
3 Leadership in the process of communication
3.1. Transmitting information to the members of the organisation
3.2. Satisfaction of social needs
3.3. Communication serves management
4. Successfull talk to employees
4.1. Communicative competence
4.1.1. Attention is the foundation of communication
4.1.2. Question to start communication with
4.1.4. Intercultural communicative competence
4.2. Finding out about faulty communication and conflicts
5. Conditions for succesful communication
5.1. Directives of communication as part of management principles
5.2. Management, advice and training
List of Literature
Internet source List
Nowadays with globalization human resources are becoming more and more important, less in the sense of their “performing activities “ (Gutenberg 1979) but rather in that of “dispositive activities” focussing on inventiveness, creativity and motivation.1 Most problems in a corporation don’t originate from technical but from communicative causes.2
Globalisation implies changes in corporation structures all over the world. Only active and fully motivated personnel can meet the challenges of mergers, hostile takeovers, acquisitions and changes of corporate structure due to new technologies. These changes require a basic improvement of corporate communication.
The aim of internal communication is to enable employees to see constant changes as an opportunity. Communication ought to be a continuous process.
To begin with, introductory explanations of human resource management and communication will be given. General conditions of successful communication will be described.
Human resource management consists in influencing the behaviour of subordinate employees. Human resource management must be aware of the fact that the human beings that are to be guided are no mere objects but personalities with ideas, moral concepts and interests on their own. These must be respected to achieve high performance and a far-reaching identification with the person´s tasks and the corporation.
Technical progress requires the white and the blue collar worker to take over more decisions and responsibility.
For a lot of people work is an essential part of their lives. Nowadays money and other material incentives are not the only source of motivation. The typology of human needs and desires according to Maslow points out several clusters of human needs that can be satisfied by communication with employees and thus enhance efficiency.3 Some corporations got into trouble because they concentrated on material rewards and neglected the fact that the employees wanted work that made sense.
The motivation-model created by Maslow (1954) is an excellent tool to bring order into different aspects of motivation for work depending on internal communication: The basic idea of the theory is that human behaviour is governed by five categories of needs. They are structured in a hierarchical order.
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The five categories are:
- Physiological needs
- The need of security (e.g. avoiding the danger of a lack of information
- Social needs (affection, group identity, social contacts)
- The need to be appreciated and to have self-respect
- and finally the needs of self-actualization that manifests itself after all the previous needs or deficits have been satisfied and a basic contentment has been achieved.
Maslow’s pyramid of human needs has to be seen from its base: Human behaviour is governed by the needs that have not been satisfied. The next step upward is automatically taken when the lower need has been satisfied.4
Nowadays motivation of employees must increasingly be based on non-material incentives. These incentives, as opposed to mere money, have long-term effect and are more likely to overcome problem situations. They consist in greater complexity of tasks leading to self-actualization, the possibility of the individual to influence the course the corporation takes and job-security, achievement through proper allocation and the resulting appreciation, as well as self-actualization through promotion.
What employees expect apart from money are tactfulness, friendliness, being taken seriously, appreciation, participation in discussions, and being essential for the corporation. What can help in advancing an employee’s motivation is cooperative guidance, the proper design of the place of work and relations within a team.5
Because human resource management is part of the general management of a corporation, its aims are subject to the general aims of the corporation. It is economically desirable to make the optimal use of staff-potential and to reduce the cost of labour. Socially the personal development of the employees and their work- satisfaction must be taken into account. Effective human resource management must bring together both these aims.6
If employees are not sufficiently motivated, this discontent will result in absenteeism, illness and a high employee-turnover.7 In many cases employees give notice because of difficulties within a team. The manager concerned has been unable to keep the team together through communication. This failure leads to losses in time, money, sales and chances for improvement.8 If there is no leadership that reaches the employees, efficiency will suffer. Some employees will no longer identify with the corporation.
All this may have been caused by faulty communication, as e.g. a lack of information, refusing to take up suggestions for improvements, unjustified criticism and missing appreciation. The employee may stay on with the corporation in spite of having lost all his motivation, and in this way the company will lose a valuable asset.9
An employee who finds no one to talk to about his problems will give himself up to resignation and only pretend to do his duty.10
The process of communication consists of three steps:
a) Information: the first step
Information stands at the beginning of the process of communication. The receiver of information will only enter into communication if the content of information makes sense to him. It lies with the sender to assess, whether the content of the information may serve as an impulse for decisions or acts.11
b) Communication proper : the second step
After the sender has ordered his thoughts as far as the content of communication and the audience are concerned there follows the act of communication. The act of commun ication consists in the type and content of the communication.
c) The final stage of the process of communication is understanding. Communication can only be successful, when understanding corresponds to the information and the way it was transmitted.
The process of communication is finished with the reaction of the receiver as a consequence of the content transmitted.12
Communication between persons is not only verbal. Body language may emphasize the spoken word as well as the sound of the voice. This generally acknowledged observation of Watzlawick stresses the importance of the process of communication for human relations an interaction.13
Communication with employees can be seen as part of PR, a kind of internal PR. In everyday corporate life, internal communication is completely separated from PR and subject to the staff department or human resources.14
This matters that concern personnel, like information or trust in the corporation are defined as a task of the department that deals with personnel.
1 See Klöfer, F. : Erfolgreich durch interne Kommunikation: Mitarbeiter informieren, motivieren und aktivieren, Neuwied; Kriftel, 1999, S. 40, im folgenden zitiert als: Erfolgreich durch interne Kommunikation
2 See Krähe, Horst, Koeppe: Kommunikationstraining und Persönlichkeitsentwicklung, in: Kommunikations- und Verhaltenstraining, hrsg. von Bärbel Voß, 2. Aufl. , Göttingen, 1996, S. 125
3 See Klöfer, F. : Erfolgreich durch interne Kommunikation, S. 56, 88
4 See Maslow, A. H. : Motivation and Personality, New York, 1954, S. 80-92
5 See Hering, E. : Führung und Management, S. 557
6 See Hering, E. : Führung und Management, S. 517-519
7 See Meyer-Faje, A. : Der Betrieb im Wandel, S. 107
8 See Ivey, A. E. : Führung durch Kommunikation, S. 1
9 See Comelli, G. : Führung durch Motivation, S. 111-118
10 See Klöfer, F. : Erfolgreich durch interne Kommunikation, S. 67
11 See Reichwald, R. : Informationsmanagement, in: Vahlens Kompendium der Betriebswirtschaftslehre, hrsg. von M. Bitz, 4. Aufl. , München, 1999, S. 227-230
12 See Titscher, S. : Kommunikation als Führungsinstrument, in: Handwörterbuch der Führung, hrsg. von A. Kieser, 2. Aufl. , Stuttgart, 1995, S. 1312f
13 See Watzlawick, P. : Menschliche Kommunikation: Formen; Störungen; Paradoxien, 7. Aufl. , Bern; Stuttgart; Wien, 1985, S. 50-53, im folgenden zitiert als: Menschliche Kommunikation
14 See Bogner 1999, S. 14
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