Africa’s Leading Expert on Productivity
Speaker | Author | Productivity Coach
Communication plays a key role in determining productivity in the workplace. Senior management communicates goals and visions to line managers; line managers communicate action plan to factory workers. Every day, goals in an organization are actualized via effective communication. And it is important to state here that an integral part of the ‘material’ being communicated is emotions.
However, there is a growing concern as regards communication in the 21st century workplace. Thankfully, there are more technologically induced communication tools available for communication between workers and management. However, even though these tools are good and has definitely enhanced productivity, there is the risk that if they are not properly deployed, they may have definite negative impact on productivity in the long run.
Technological tools like E-mail, instant messaging and video conferencing have introduced new challenges to the workplace. People naturally tend to connect emotionally but these new media can be misunderstood because they are devoid of facial expressions, intonation and body language — cues that help convey emotions.
It is possible to work hard at making one’s email sound neutral and yet end up being too terse. On the other hand, some others may add a smattering of exclamation marks, question marks and capital letter in an attempt to convey more emotions but end up being misinterpreted.
So the questions are:
“How can emotions be best conveyed via these media?” “What is the effect of conveying emotionally charged messages via text, when these messages are more likely to be misconstrued? How must we re-think emotional contagion and other social processes in an organizational world in which many meetings take place online?”
The best of these new communication tools, video conferencing which has been gaining momentum and widespread acceptance over the years, owes its popularity to having more cues that convey emotions, but it is also not yet the same as interacting face to face, particularly in group situations. Given that these technologies continue to grow as a primary means of communication within the business world, it is crucial that we understand how the interpretation and communication of affect occurs in these contexts.
Below is a golden rule for business managers and Top management to keep in mind when devising productivity standards for their organization
Determine the extent of emotional context that the issue to be discussed have. If something is important, and it has been determined that the emotional context is going to be an issue, then it may be necessary to put a call through. And if the phone isn’t enough, then the communicating party just have to fly/ drive to where they are and meet them face-to-face to get the message across.
Doing this will help avoid ambiguity, result in effective communication, which will ultimately affect productivity.
Organization needs to be smart about the use of new media when it comes to matters concerning productivity.