Page 2: The process of communication
Communication needs to flow in all directions in a successful organisation. The Board needs to devolve their objectives through management to all employees but equally need to be able to receive ideas and input from all corners of the business. Here are some of the ways businesses communicate:
Each employee receives an annual statement from the Managing Director of his or her Company which summarises Company successes or problems in the previous year. It provides an outline of changes planned for the year ahead and how these fit into the Company strategy for the medium and long term. It also summarises the financial progress of the Company.
Messages about new developments and changes in production methods or the solutions to problems can be rapidly cascaded by team briefings - a regular and systematic provision of up to date information. The Board agrees key messages, these are communicated face to face with managers, managers pass these on in face to face meetings with supervisors and they in turn pass on the messages through similar meetings with production teams.
"Quality Improvement Teams" Sometimes a problem can be solved or change achieved by bringing together people from different departments and different levels to deal with a specific issue. It might be the introduction of a different manufacturing process or a problem with defective products, missed deadlines or customer complaints. The Group is brought together to discuss a particular issue for a specified period, it makes recommendations and disbands.
Groups of people meeting together to deal with problems of quality which they have identified in their day to day work. The groups are retained on an on-going basis. Membership is voluntary, meetings are held during normal working hours and the group itself sets priorities for the topics they will cover. Often the group members will receive training in problem solving techniques and they may call on the advice of experts in a particular field for specialist advice.
An old and far from "high tech" technique, but if used properly, posters and notice boards can provide accurate and speedy information on production achievements, safety records and quality performance. This can help to correct some of the misinformed and exaggerated stories which will flourish on the unofficial "grapevine" in every workplace. Saturation poster campaigns can be used to support drives on particular issues such as quality or safety.