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Organizational Communications Analysis

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ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS ANALYSIS
Summary Description of Organization Watts International, Inc. designs, manufacturers, and markets valves and engineered products for the energy, aerospace, and industrial markets with more than 7,000 customers in over 100 countries. The business value states “to value our employees and continuously improve our quality of work to our customers” (Watts, 2011). The company is committed to attracting, developing, and retaining top talent and practicing continuous improvement processes in all aspects of its business and operations. Strategic business acquisitions enhance product distribution in both domestic and international markets to solve customer-specific problems. This organization was selected due to the future transformation of the workforce and the critical nature of possessing excellent communication skills. There are many tenured employees with over 35 years of service. Within the next couple of years, 20% of the workforce will be retiring. This will result in a significant loss of knowledge and experience so it is necessary to begin now cross training employees with less tenure to carry on the quality production now in existence. The most critical positions are senior management and engineers. The product lines are very specialized and require highly experienced personnel. The volume of individuals retiring presents special challenges due to the industry specific expertise required. The new hires will comprise multi-generations with distinct values, ideas, behaviors, and methods of communication. The organizational implementation of continuous improvement initiatives necessitate team building and clear exchange of ideas. Generational differences can impact change management, building teams and collaboration, recruiting, and communication. Misunderstandings can create conflict as persons interact and respond differently to situations and communications.

Flow and Forms of Communication Organizational communication occurs in many forms: meetings, in-person discussions, correspondence, emails, text messages, intranets, cell phones, and reports. To emphasize greater collaboration and teamwork among workers across functional groups, technology has contributed greatly to the need for a new focus on changing the address manner and delivery to a multi-generational company. Businesses must recognize that communication surpasses the need to train managers to be effective speakers; it must include good interpersonal skills and meet its needs and challenges (Communication Type, 2010). Competition for talent is becoming more and more strenuous as a maturing workforce is retiring and demographics are constantly shifting. HR recruitment practices need to consider diversity policies, training and development, and overall retention and selection practices to manage demographic and social challenges (McNamara, 2011). There are many different types of communication that take place across the organization; different processes, flow of information, and channels. Workforces are older, more diverse and more accepting of others’ differences regarding culture, language, and traditions. Cultural and social differences reflect beliefs and thought patterns that trigger different reactions by persons to the same circumstance. Communication misunderstandings that happen are rarely from what was said, but how something was said, actions surrounding message, or maybe who it was said to (Zack, 2000). Effective communication cannot occur without clearly defined objectives. The message should be delivered with an unmistakable purpose; tangents only detract from the intended meaning. Management cannot maintain their credibility if the audience believes that the presenter does not “walk the talk” of the message. If you wish for employees to act a certain way, the example must be set from the top down. Most presentations are meant for a wide variety of recipients, so by not using terminology that everyone understands the message becomes gibberish. Respecting the listener encompasses many characteristics. If the audience feels the presenter is not reactive to their needs, not actively listening to them, and not being considerate of their feelings, the reception of the communication will be very minimal. Watts practices several forms of communication; the most regular practice is at the group level. Monthly Town Hall meetings are held by senior management with all employees to discuss financial goals; future organizational plans; productivity improvements; recognize new employees; and open forum for questions and answers. Generally the flow of communication is vertical (downward and upward). In addition to the Town Hall meetings, there is communication by email, messages and memos are posted on employee communication center, and all managers have an open door policy.

Conflict, Collaboration, and Employee Engagement Just having an organizational communications strategy does not assure success in accomplishing initiatives. All levels of management must practice effective communication to ensure the fundamentals are a part of the company culture. Watts has implemented several creative projects to improve communication within the company. Kaizen and lean manufacturing plans are organized approaches that engage employees and put new ideas into practice as part of Change Management and Continuous Improvement systems (Drickhamer, 2011). An Operational Excellence Leadership Team that is very knowledgeable in lean initiatives has been created to standardize activities in all business units. All employees are to be a part of continuous improvement team. The ability to work well within a team environment is crucial. This ability is added to the requirement list of all recruiting efforts in order to obtain the best talent and also the best fit for the company.
Having a commitment to operational excellence, continuous improvement and lean has established a market identification to attract top talent that will continue the expertise necessary to remain globally competitive, while at the same time developing internal talent. The onboarding process for Watts has been improved. Onboarding is more than simple orientation and form completion. It is the process to integrate and familiarize new employees into the company. The organization should be seen as an appealing place to work and the new hire experience is positive from the very first day. Partnering all new employees with a mentor during their first 90 days provides the chance to meet co-workers and learn available resources. The mentor is a familiar point of contact to answer questions and provide needed information. Keeping employee moral high is beneficial to an organization; a contented workforce is more productive and has lower turnover and absenteeism. Open communication, surveys, and face-to-face meetings without fear of repercussions can let the worker know their voice has been heard and their concerns will be addressed by management. Compensation and benefits play a large part in employee satisfaction, but small inexpensive amenities can also improve morale—birthday recognition, relaxed dress code, occasional free coffee and pizza served by managers, and service awards. These factors are a significant part of employee satisfaction, but if there is poor company culture existing it is rare that any actions can remedy employee dissatisfaction (Hooi, 2007).

Maximizing Member Engagement and Productivity Engaged workers believe they are doing something valuable for their organization and their efforts will make a difference. The positive feelings employees have about their jobs influence the energy and determination they give to completing their responsibilities. Engaged employees have confidence and trust in their employer, and will return the same (Buzzle.com, 2010). Empowering employees to do their best enables them to make decisions about their jobs by encouraging individual thinking and helps employees take ownership of their work and take responsibility for their results. Employees who are connected with their employer have a positive impact on other team members, look for opportunities to learn new skills, offer suggestions, look to receive feedback about the results of their efforts and through these endeavors contribute to the organizational bottom line. Managers contribute significantly to employee engagement and productivity. Bad management can make a good employee dysfunctional (Blessing White, 2011). To create an environment whereby employees are willing to accomplish organizational targets, managers need to treat direct reports with respect, actively talk with them, be a good listener, and provide feedback both positive and negative. Genuine positive reinforcement and recognition ought to be provided with consideration and regard for others. Admit mistakes and be honest in correcting them; open communication is vital. The problem of a bad fit can have a larger impact than just one employee’s performance. It is astonishing how much damage one negative person can do. Sometimes people who would be a great employee at another company are not a good fit for their current organization. It is hard to build a great company with the wrong people (Wordpress, 2010). Watts International has developed an Operational Excellence Leadership Team to standardize lean initiatives in all business units and support associated behaviors. Employees are empowered to be team members of projects that support a lean and continuous improvement culture. Learning and implementing new ideas are part of the process (Coffman, 2005). Employee engagement matters as highly engaged workers produce better results and stay with their employer longer. It is vital for employees to feel involved and important in their work assignments. Most employees will not develop a formal career development plan, but they look for advancement opportunities within their organizations. Employees are seeking more in terms of professional growth and development. Companies that fail to meet these needs will be losing valuable employees. Development planning allows the organization and its employees to map training needs with current knowledge, skills, and abilities required to enhance current job skills and prepare for future opportunities. This allows employees to fulfill their career needs, and organizations to benefit by retaining a greater number of their competent and qualified employees. It is expensive to replace employees; the estimated cost is 1.5 to 2.0 times the salary of the vacated position. Costs can include lost productivity, training, exit interview, severance and benefits, and new recruitment expenses and efforts. In addition, high employee turnover can also have a demoralizing effect on existing employee morale. Even though there is no one right solution for employee turnover or retention, companies that pay attention to their employees' fundamental desires and goals benefit by retaining a greater number of their competent and qualified workers. The average time needed to train a new employee to adequate performance is one year. A clearly defined plan enables an organization not only to meet existing needs, but future needs as well. Effective reward and recognition programs can improve employee performance, improve morale and motivation, improve morale, recognize personal and group performance and achievement, and improve productivity (Free Management Library, 2011). Two additional programs that are being considered for implementation are flex time and job sharing. These plans could be more individualistic if not tied to specific accomplishments. Highly engaged employees offer better business performance, lower staff turnover, and the means to sustain it. But simply understanding the levels of engagement is not enough to address the issue; an engaged employee is one who is willing and able to contribute to company success (Emmerich, 2012). Engagement is the extent to which employees put discretionary effort into their work, beyond the required minimum to get the job done, in the form of extra time, brainpower or energy (Melcrum, 2006).

Promoting Rationality, Driving Data-Driven Decision Making, and Improving System Efficiencies Lean manufacturing efforts and lean-driven performance improvements have enhanced revenues and exceeded on-time delivery goals. The Operational Excellence Leadership Team ensures the talent, resources, and organizational capability is structured for lean transformation and implementation. The Continuous Improvement Manager at each business unit is responsible for talent, resources, and organizational capability for lean transformation and change initiatives; provides oversight and guidance for all strategies and objectives within the site; and ensures on-going education of all employees. All systems improvement teachings emphasize ways of thinking, not just sets of practices. Lean production components provide an approach for preserving value and efficiencies while reducing or eliminating waste (LeanROI.org, 2010). The direction is getting the right things to the right place at the right time. Lean implementation energizes employees by showing the company cares for the growth of the individual and is willing to invest in their success; emphasizes skill sets of the employee as well as areas that need improving; assesses organizational issues hampering steps forward; provides creative, practical, and business support aimed at improving total business performance from concept through implementation. Recognition and development of future leaders are part of the continuous improvement process. With baby boomers reaching retirement and globalization of labor, it is important to have leader contenders available and ready for advancement to sustain the lean activities (Briggs & Little, 2008). Organizational communication is both challenging and complex. The structure will vary by company, industry, management style, and culture. Conflict management principles govern methods to control disagreements and differences within the company to decrease nonproductive miscommunication within the work place (Zupek, 2008). Each individual has a principal style for resolving differences. Since persons experience conflict in different ways, each approach must be taken into consideration to resolve the problems. Effective teams are personified by conviction, respect, and collaboration. Successful communication is fundamental component of teamwork (Mitchell & Schaeffer, 2010). It is important to address any defects in communication structure. Good communication is the basis for resolving the differences in the work place.

Communication Improvement Recommendations Recommended communication improvements for Watts International are:
1) Clearly identify the objective of the communication—by understanding the purpose, the speaker can prepare the specific message and delivery method. Keep the meeting focused; eliminate unnecessary tangents that detract from the original message intent.
2) Understand the target audience—prepare the message to appropriately communicate to the expertise of the audience and their needs. When addressing a diverse audience, minimize the usage of jargon and use terminology that a non-technical person will understand.
3) Allow for questions and answers—by listening and honestly providing information, some of the negative responses can be alleviated; ensure the message is understood. Above all, respect the audience and give your full attention when hearing questions and providing answers.
4) Provide proper environment—take into consideration the audience and type of communication to be given; if the audience is uncomfortable, it will lessen the effectiveness of the message. Recognize there are different types of appropriate atmospheres for different styles of meetings, such as face-to-face, telecommunication, or webinar.
5) Anticipate potential reactions and attempt to minimize or eliminate—if the message is negative, the reception will be of a very different nature than receiving positive news. Respect for the audience is of utmost importance. Regardless of the message content, make certain that the message has been correctly assimilated by the audience. Do not assume the presentation has been correctly decoded by the listeners.

Conclusion Effective communication and successful outcomes of a presentation do not happen by accident. The communicator needs to have credibility and deliver the message in an honest and forthright manner. If the audience does not perceive the communication to be sincere and truthful, the reception and implementation of any plans will be very minimal. Watts approaches communication with prudent attentiveness.

References
Blessing White Research. (2011). Beyond the numbers: A practical approach for individuals, managers and executives. Retrieved from http://www.blessingwhite.com/EEE_ report.asp
Briggs, C. & Little, P. (2008). Impact of organizational culture and personality traits in technical organizations. Retrieved from http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1343051.1343053
Buzzle.com. (2010). Boosting employee engagement to increase productivity and profits in a recession. Retrieved from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/boosting-employee-engagement-to-increase-productivity-and-profits-in-a-recession.html
Coffman, C. (2005). Building a highly engaged workforce. Gallup Management Journal. Retrieved from http://govleaders.org/gallup_article.htm
Communication Type. (2010). Types of organizational communication. Retrieved from http://www.communication-type.com/types-of organizational-communication/ Drickhamer, D. (2011). Lean manufacturing’s next life. ChiefExecutive.net. Retrieved from http://www.chiefexecutive.net/ME2/Audiences/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=Publishing&mod=Publications::Article&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&AudID Emmerich, R. (2012). Workforce management: Create a workplace for a more engaged workforce. Retrieved from http://hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices/workforce- management/employee-performance-management/employee-performance.aspx Free Management Library. (2011). How to retain your best employees. Retrieved from http://managementhelp.org/staffing/retaining.htm Hooi, L. W. (2007). Human capital development policies: Enhancing employees' satisfaction. Journal of Industrial Training, 31(4), 297-322. doi:10.1108/03090590710746450
LeanROI.org. (2010). Lean ROI in the news. Retrieved from http://www.leanroi.org/archives/415
McNamara, C. (2011). Contemporary theories of management. Retrieved from http://managent help.org/management/theories.htm
Melcrum. (2006). The bottom line benefits from engaged workforce. Retrieved from http://www.internalcommshub.com/open/news/ Mitchell, C. V. & Schaeffer, P. M. (2010). Creating a culture of engagement. Retrieved from http://tsphr.com/cs.php
Watts International, Inc. (2011). About Watts International. Retrieved from http://www. wattsinternational.com/about-watts/
Wordpress.com. (2010). Employee engagement and productivity. Retrieved from http://askusfirst.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/employee-engagement-and-productivity/
Zack, M. (2000). Researching organizational systems using social network analysis. Retrieved from http://web.cba.neu.edu/~mzack/articles/socnet/socnet.htm
Zupek, R. (2008). Six tips to managing workplace conflict. Retrieved from http://articles.cnn.
Com/2008-01-02/living/cb.work.conflict_1_conflict-resolution-workplace-stress-worker?_s=PM:LIVING…...

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Organizational Analysis

...Organizational Analysis Verizon Communications Human Resource Management Judie Bucholz April 29, 2012 1 .Describe the nature of the organization, its size, and any specific human resource challenges it faces. Verizon is a global leader in delivering different forms of communications, information and entertainment. They use broadband and global IP to help customers connect with people all over the world. They offer phones, videos and data which help with the speed, mobility, security and control issues when dealing with our civilization. In 1997 GTE and Bell Atlantic merged together to form Verizon Communications. This was the largest local phone company is the United States. Verizon has more than 260,000 employees working for them at many locations thought different states Verizon was dealing with a couple of challenges after the Telecommunications Act was passed in 1996 they saw themselves fighting for the same customers as other services which were offer to consolidate phone, video wireless and internet for one low price. They were also dealing with high turnovers with percentages in the top 20 range. They needed to find out why there employees were not happy and how to keep their customers as well. Verizon then decided they needed to form a HR department. 2. Describe the major legal concerns of the organization and recommend how those concerns should be addressed. Several of Verizon branches have been accused of violating the Americans with......

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