Malaysians are grappling and fighting for improvement of the economy following the outbreak of COVID-19.
Good communication is a fundamental tool in achieving strong human capital to maintain productivity and strengthen working relationships at all levels in an organisation. The employer or head of the organisation or institution needs to practise effective communication, either verbal or non-verbal, to ensure that the organisational objectives are achieved triumphantly.
The setback of ineffective workplace communication will contribute to devastating communication gaps between employers and employees in the long term. In addition, it can result in conflict, misunderstanding, grapevine talk that affects job performance and diminishing productivity, which in turn causes confusion, anxiety, depression and a hostile environment in the workplace.
Miscommunication that causes friction between people can be avoided by communicating effectively and building a good rapport with every staff without having any ill intention towards anyone. Apart from that, the employer should be vigilant in projecting his or her goals or expectations to be realistic, achievable, relevant and time-bound to the competency of the organisation. This is crucial in developing a healthy working culture so as to avoid staff having to suffer stress, mental disorder and pressure at the workplace.
Employer with leadership and transformational personality in the organisation
In a management, there is a cliché saying leadership by example or walk the talk. A leader or employer has the accountability to manage an organisation to reach the right destination. Therefore, the employer who leads should possess quality traits of personality that can be emulated by the staff or subordinates.
The leader should have a positive, optimistic and calm personality, and inspire staff with great ideas in planning and executing tasks. As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So, the employer must be a skilful and open-minded person to accept criticism, new ideas and flexibility for the improvement of the organisation. Besides, the person should have the ability to win the hearts of the staff, such as engaging in cosy conversation to reduce the hostile atmosphere or pressure between the boss and subordinates.
Employers have to act tactfully by encouraging staff to be resourceful, creative and innovative, and be able to give their response or feedback on projects by supporting, motivating or giving advice on initiating the task to be accomplished as expected. This not only prolongs a good mutual relationship but also eliminates the communication barriers, complaints and disgruntled feelings between employers and staff.
Aligning goals and expectations to every level of staff – employer to subordinates
At the annual meetings, the employers have to be transparent and professional in their communication by segregating the tasks and delivering their smart goals and expectations for every level of management, from the top people to the subordinates.
Everyone in the company has to be inclusive, by adhering to their key performance index (KPI) equally so that all staff are motivated, loyal, driven to commit to their work and not have the feeling of being burdened with workload or neglected and receiving the same goals to achieve for that year.
This is vital to ensure that the staff are not lost, know the objectives and direction of the company, and are able to execute their goals by producing quality output. This also enhances their credible skills, abilities and competencies based on their expertise.
Healthy culture in the workplace is generated by trust and respect
In an organisation, the employer needs to have good communication with employees by developing mutual understanding, trust and respect. This is to build a positive relationship between the employer and the staff.
In fact, crystal clear communication will develop trust and continuous productivity, boost the output level and reduce conflict or communication turmoil in the workplace.
Learn to appreciate staff whenever they perform well and achieve excellent output through their perseverance and diligence. Thus, giving recognition and rewards will enhance their self-esteem and instil in them a sense of belonging.
Strategising by having good team work and Esprit de Corps in an organisation
An employer or leader of an organisation has to strategise by managing the organisation or the workplace effectively by inculcating good team spirit and collaboration Esprit de Corps behaviour in their staff.
Success or goals cannot be achieved by one person alone. They have to be accomplished as a team in the organisation. The leader needs to be conscientious, wise and well-organised in managing, strategising and knowing the quality or competency of each employer and optimise their skills on the same wavelength.
Thus, the employer needs to communicate closely with every staff in the workplace to ensure that this can be implemented successfully towards building good, effective team players who are able to contribute to the organisation’s performance index and desirable outcome on a yearly basis.
This strategic plan will not only reduce unethical or misconduct issues, but also improve serenity and a healthy conducive working environment; promote job satisfaction, passion for the career and solidarity, and cultivate professionalism in line with total quality management (TQM) in every staff.
Remedies to inculcate effective communication and raise the happiness index
Total quality management and effective communication can reduce the problems of absenteeism, unethical behaviour and turnover rates in an organisation or the workplace.
Employers must always bear in mind the need to keep everyone involved as a team, and communicate and treat every staff equally without having conflict of interest or being judgmental or discriminating against any person.
Remember that staff are the assets of an organisation. So, treat them with humanity, dignity, empathy and understanding.
Communication is the pivotal key to every problem. Be a good listener and have two-way communication with employees to help build a healthy working environment and project professionalism in an organisation.
Establishing proactive communication will reduce communication problems such as prejudice and misunderstandings that cause friction between the staff of an organisation. This will not only escalate the happiness index in the workplace, be it in the government or private sector but also help in boosting job performance, increasing productivity, raising income of the social, economic sectors and optimising the human capital for the nation’s growth.
Norazlinda Hj Mohammad is Senior Lecturer of Journalism at the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies of UiTM Lendu, Alor Gajah campus.