Communication has evolved to become the center of business in modern times. With the witnessed advancement in telecommunication, business people can communicate with their customers, suppliers, and even other individuals in real-time. This situation has made it easier to obtain important feedback that is needed to keep the business running. In addition, stiff competition that is characteristic of the modern business environment has made it necessary for firms to track nearly every activity performed by competitor companies (Gilad, 2011). Successful managers understand the essence of keeping time in the day-to-day activities of their organization.
Time is a valuable resource that every organization must strive to utilize appropriately mainly because it cannot be redeemed. Time management is the practice of ensuring that tasks are accorded the right duration. It may involve prioritizing some tasks above others in terms of the amount of time allocated and the order in which the errands are performed. Proper time management helps organizations to accomplish projects and tasks with less effort. Business communication is a practice that requires proper timing to avoid missed opportunities. Activities such as responding to business emails and calls require not only precision but also timely rejoinder. This paper will address the importance of managing time effectively when carrying out business communication.
Time Management in Business Communication
Through timely communication, businesses can keep their customers engaged. The increased competition in business has led to an amplified variety for customers to choose from, a situation that has resulted in more client control. Consequently, customers have become more demanding to the extent that they desire to see the products and services they receive from businesses reflecting their wishes. Therefore, for a business to keep its customers satisfied in modern times, it must devise ways of obtaining customer feedback in a prompt manner. This feedback should then be reinvested in the products or services by reflecting the desires of the customers.
Today, many businesses are losing their customers because of the inability to respond to their (clients) feedback regarding aspects such as product and service quality and timely delivery. For instance, many customers now prefer to purchase products online. Therefore, businesses must monitor customers’ online orders and acknowledge receipt immediately. Failing to respond urgently may lead to customer frustration. Communication effectiveness also affects the technical and functional quality of products and services. According to Den Hartog, Boon, Verburg, and Croon (2013), communication is a key ingredient in attaining high-perceived service quality.
Businesses realize they need to monitor the activities of competitor firms because the market has become increasingly competitive, meaning that the activities of one firm will affect the other companies. Failing to monitor competitor firms may cause a business to be overtaken and even driven out of the market. Effective monitoring of competitors requires a business to watch how its customers respond to any inquiries. With technology, it is easy to monitor the activities of rivals, including how they affect the market. Activities of rival firms must be communicated to the major decision-makers who will then evaluate the information and/or apply it in countering the move made by the competitor company. This case may require the organization to upgrade its communication network with clients. A possible response would involve launching a counter-marketing campaign. For such communication to be effective, it should be timely. In other words, it should not be launched too late after the rival company’s communication.
Communication serves as the link between managers and their employees. On average, managers spend about 70 percent of their time communicating with their juniors. Through communication, they can pass instructions to juniors, communicate their expectations, and/or obtain performance feedback (Lammers, 2011). These activities need to be conducted in a reasonable time frame to ensure that effectiveness is attained. Delayed communication can affect the way jobs are performed. The outcome would be marked by diminished performance.
If employees do not receive timely instructions, they may experience trouble when performing their tasks, a situation that leads to low morale. This untimely giving of instructions may further result in behaviors such as absence and reporting late to work. According to Leblebici (2012), employee performance is directly linked to an organization’s communication strategy. Where communication is ineffective, employees are likely to be demotivated, hence performing poorly in their duties. Conversely, employees interpret effective and timely communication to mean that the managers are focused and determined to have the job completed within a reasonable time. Hence, workers will be motivated to work hard to meet their respective organizations’ goals.
Human resources often emulate the behavior of their managers. Communication can be an effective way for managers to create a symbolic behavior that employees can emulate in their day-to-day activities. By being timely, administrators can promote effective interpersonal communication, thus preventing a scenario where employees do not have a clear picture of what is expected of them. The modern workplace also requires constant communication between the management and employees to share ideas (Leblebici, 2012). This situation is different from the past where decisions were made by the management before being handed down to the employees. Employees need to feel involved in decision making for them to own up to the goals and projects of the organization. The involvement of employees can only be achieved through timely communication before and during the task.
A growing body of research suggests that effective and timely internal communication results in employees’ job satisfaction and hence productivity. According to Guffey and Loewy (2012), improving the timeliness of communication may boost an individual’s productivity by up to 30 percent. Disloyal employees can be a liability to the organization, often resulting in losses. Loyalty can be built and maintained through efficient internal communication. A study conducted in 2008 established that over 80 percent of employees in the US and the UK regarded communication as an important influence on whether employees choose to stay or leave an organization (Guffey & Loewy, 2012). Further, Muscalu, Todericiu, and Fraticiu (2013) found that most admired companies invest heavily in communication with employees. This finding illustrates that organizations realize the importance of constant and timely communication to employees. For employees to associate with the organization, they must be made to feel like part of it. This goal is achieved through effective communication.
Organizational effectiveness relies on timely and efficient communication. The management must strive to inform stakeholders about the mission, vision, and strategy of the organization. These components form the pillars of organizational success. Hence, they must be communicated to the stakeholders at every opportune moment. Organizations that emphasize their goals to the employees are more likely to attain success (Muscalu et al., 2013). Constant communication promotes consistency since everyone is aware of the goals of the company, including what needs to be done to achieve them. This approach promotes a common understanding of the company’s strategy. It also ensures that all employees fit into the bigger picture. Therefore, reducing any barriers to timely communication is a key step toward achieving business success. Additionally, engaged employees are likely to do more than what is simply required of them because they feel like part of the organization. Motivation and common goals are often absent in organizations that do not value constant communication.
Most businesses rely on investors to raise funds that are required to run the business. Such shareholders have an interest in the business on account of their investments. The business has a responsibility to update investors on financial decisions made, including their consequences on the industry. Den Hartog et al. (2013) argue that businesses must provide periodical and timely communication to investors concerning their investments. This communication should be in a language that the investors can understand. Den Hartog et al. (2013) further maintain that easy flow of communication helps to build trust that is useful during dispute resolution. In addition, effective and timely communication helps to offset the difference between what the investors expect and what the business can actually achieve. This way, disagreements can be reduced or avoided altogether. Proper financial arise from effective communication. Strong communication skills must be cultivated to ensure that clients comprehend investment choices made by the organization. Through timely communication by financial experts, clients have access to information regarding the positions of their investments, including the possible risks and opportunities.
From time to time, organizations communicate with stakeholders about any changes being made. Cynism about change is a major drawback for many organizations since it may slow down the process of change. For instance, employees may be unwilling to adopt new technology because they are more accustomed to the existing technology. Through opportune communication, the organization can inform and prepare the employees for the change beforehand. This approach would have the effect of ensuring that employees are psychologically prepared to embrace the change when the time comes.
According to Beatty (2015), proper communication regarding change should answer the important questions of “what,” “why”, and “how”. The “What” component requires the management to define and break down the components of the change in a manner that employees can understand. The “Why” element explains the reason the change is needed in the organization. The element is expected to assist employees to appreciate the importance of this change. Finally, the “How” aspect explains the path the organization will follow in implementing the change (Beatty, 2015). Offering comprehensive communication about the change before it is implemented ensures that the organization moves together with its employees. The strategy reduces resistance or cynicism by employees regarding the change.
Timely communication is a key ingredient to attaining organizational effectiveness and hence organizational success. Managers spend most of their time communicating with employees. The more effective this communication is, the higher the chances that organizational success will be achieved. Timely communication also enhances employee motivation, morale, and productivity. Organizations should spend a considerable amount of their resources on devising proper channels for communicating with their employees. Communication between the organization and its customers is equally important. As a result, every organization must create efficient methods of obtaining feedback from customers concerning the quality of products and services.
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Leblebici, D. (2012). Impact of workplace quality on employee’s productivity: Case study of a bank in Turkey. Journal of Business Economics and Finance, 1(1), 38-49.
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