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Communication Channels

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Many factors may be considered when deciding on which communication channel should be used, the sender must be able to determine the type of message he/she wants to deliver and what is the best method for the transmission of that information. "Communication must include both the transfer and the meaning". "No idea, no matter how great, is useful until transmitted and understood by others". (Robbins, 2011 p3, pg 2)

For Scenario 1, The Vice President of Operations has assigned my team to develop a marketing strategy for globalization of our new beverage product. (University of Phoenix, 2010). The type of communication channel best suited for this type of downward communication, I believe it is best to start with a high richness channel such as verbal face to face interaction. The group members are free to discuss expectations of the task. This strategy will enable the group members to ask questions, discuss solutions and ideas which reduce confusion and misunderstandings.

Before deciding on the best way to approach the new beverage's global business venture further discussion may be needed to address progress and reassign tasks that fit their strengths so best outcomes are achieved. Since this task is a priority driven due to time constraints, members would then work on their assigned tasks within the timeframe proposed and submit their proposed ideas in writing. The manager would then review all submitted documents for written proposal to the Vice President of Operations. After the team has formulated its approach they should present their ideas along with written documentation to support their strategy to implement the new business goals to the Vice President. Other such channels may be incorporated into this presentation such as a power point presentation.

For Scenario 2, My travel company's website is down and I as the manager have to communicate this information to my team. (University of Phoenix, 2011) The first communication channel I would employ would to call the IT department myself to resolve the password/login issue.

If I was able to get onto my email but not the company website which sometimes occurs, then I would a send an email to all eleven employees advising them of the need to call the IT department to have their password/login numbers reset. I would request a return email from all eleven employees that their problem has been resolved.

Email would be the informal, low richness channel I would take to resolve this issue. Again if the email was also a problem then I would certainly have to notify each of my eleven staff members by phone. Which these days does seem tedious and time consuming in the age of new technology.

For Scenario 3, My editing business is facing losses and is it has become apparent that layoffs are inevitable to enhance profitability. (University of Phoenix, 2011). I am faced with the decision to lay off four people. I would have to employ a high richness channel. First, I would call a face to face meeting with my ten employees to discuss the nature of my failing business. It may surprise me that they may have some ideas to restore profits to make your business more profitable so that layoffs would not occur. They may also be willing to work fewer hours for others to keep their jobs. This type of dialogue may resolve some issues and new ideas may circumvent my need to layoff four people. This type of "communication fosters motivation by clarifying to employees what they must do, how well they are doing and how to improve performance". (Robbins, 2011, p.3 pg 3). Therefore, the situation may be able to be rectified with an open dialogue with my employees.

If all else fails and layoffs are inevitable then I would call each of the four individuals into my office to tell them the news. Such news needs to be conveyed on a one to one basis. Low richness channels such as an email would be highly inappropriate for this type of situation. Highly sensitive issues should call for high richness channels.

For all three scenarios, the situations and the communication channels differ depending on the situation but the communication process should remain the same with the objective of creating positive and open lines of communication. The direction of communication whether downward, upward or lateral communication, routine versus non routine topics should be established. The style of communication should enhance the flow of information depending on the nature of your business and the message trying to be conveyed and the urgency of the topic. The choice of channels may also be dependent on the individual preference of the sender although this may not be always the best mode of communication for the group. "Though it sounds elementary, perfect communication is never achieved" (Robbins 2011, p. 4, pg 2) but maximizing the best communication practices should at least be strived for and communication barriers eliminated.



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