Communication climate is the tone that ensures that relationships within the organization setting run smoothly. In general, communication climate is organized alongside the continuum of supportive to defensive communication (Nordin, Sivapalan, & Bhattacharyya, 2014). In this case, supportive communication encourages open communication, while defensive communication harbors resentment and often breaks down communication. On a wider scale, the military relies on information systems, newspapers, and professional journals for information. Nonetheless, within the work setting, communication takes center place, as supervisors have to communicate to subordinates and vice versa. Communication determines whether tasks will be accomplished or neglected, promotes productivity, and affects employee motivation and satisfaction. In my specific area of work, subordinates are comfortable to question procedures and orders they do not comprehend. They are also always making innovative suggestions that have the potential to make their work easier. The fact that we work as a team has nurtured an environment where subordinates can make constructive suggestions and contributions without fear of being intimidated by the supervisors. Definitely, the communication climate at this specific organization is supportive and aligns with the result of the communication climate inventory.
Impact of the Communication Climate on Employee Motivation
Employee motivation refers to the commitment, energy, and creativity portrayed by employees in their line of work. It is the concern of the organization’s management to find ways to motivate employees always. Communication climate is a critical component in an organization and contributes to the effectiveness and success of an organization. According to Nordin et al. (2014), the communication climate affects the atmosphere of the organization and may encourage or hinder communication among the workforce. For instance, in organizations that nurture defensive climates, employees tend to have low levels of motivation. On the other hand, organizations that have supportive communication climates encourage employees to participate actively, hold healthy information exchange, and a constructive conflict resolution. In this particular communication climate, employees feel appreciated and their opinions valued. Consequently, as Ghazinejad, Hussein, and Zidane (2018) notes, open communication encourages the development of shared understanding, seeks to improve the relationship atmosphere, and fosters commitment. Employees also trust the system because they can express their opinions openly and easily. Additionally, encouraging open communication reduces conflict of interest and improves employee productivity. Consistently, employee motivation involves fulfilling employees’ needs and expectations at the workplace. Listening to employees’ grievances, giving them a platform to raise their opinions, and express their dissatisfaction are variables of employee motivation. When open communication is encouraged within the organization, employees can participate in the decision-making about their specific tasks, which is an important component in employee motivation.
Improving Communication Climate within the Organization
Whether a public service or a private entity, organizations must create a climate, designed to facilitate effective communication. Managers, as well as leaders, have a responsibility to improve the communication climate within their organizations. To create a positive climate of communication, managers should nurture supportive climates within the work setting. Encouraging attitudes of equality, empathy, and problem orientation are some of the most important elements to create a positive communication climate (Wrench, 2013). Leaders should discourage the attitude of feeling in power to make it easy for subordinates to approach superiors. Along with that, to cultivate a positive communication climate, managers should discourage the practice of being judgmental, questioning standards, and blaming others for other negative behavior that can affect communication.
Communication Skills to Create a Supportive Communication Climate
In a supportive communication climate, employees feel valued, respected, and appreciated. As Wrench (2013), notes supportive climates are important, and managers should develop appropriate communication skills to be able to create such communication climate. Wrench further outlines characteristics necessary to create a supportive communication climate. The first skill requires individuals to use descriptive language and make genuine information requests. Honest and spontaneous comments invoke supportive communication. Along with that, it is important to show empathy by being a worthy listener, reassure the other person, and be understanding. For supervisors or people high up in authority, it is important to practice equality. Attach importance to differences in individuals’ ability, do not display an “I am in command” attitude, encourage feedback, and invite others to participate in the decision-making and problem-solving processes. Additionally, when communicating it is important to welcome new ideas, be open to new information and interpretations and do not be judgmental.
Communication climate forms an integral part of a highly functioning organization. Poor communication at the workplace is likely to inhibit collaboration. Employees are also likely to feel demoralized when they realize their manager is not willing to listen to them or even give them a chance to raise their grievances or express their opinions. Notably, supportive communication climate is the most appropriate communication climate within organizations. In an organization with this specific climate, employee motivation is highly cultivated leading to increased productivity. It is also important for leaders to have the appropriate communication skills to help create a supportive communication climate. Having honest and open communication, not being judgmental, practicing equality, and encouraging feedback are some of the basic communication skills to create a supportive communication climate.
Ghazinejad, M., Hussein, B. A., & Zidane, Y. J.-T. (2018). Impact of trust, commitment, and openness on research project performance: Case study in a research institute. Social Sciences, 7(2), 1-11.
Nordin, S. M., Sivapalan, S., Bhattacharyya, E., Ahmad, H. H. W. F. W., & Abdullah, A. (January 01, 2014). Organizational Communication Climate and Conflict Management: Communications Management in an Oil and Gas Company. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 109, 1046-1058.
Wrench, J. S. (2013). Workplace communication for the 21st century: Tools and strategies that impact the bottom line. Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger/ABC-CLIO.
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