Objectives of Business Communication
The broad objectives of business communication are to transmit the message with meaning and understanding. This message may take any form in the organization: information, order, suggestion, negotiation, persuasion, etc.
Whatsoever the form it assumes, it must be ensured that the communication environment is healthy and harmonious, in which people feel self-respect and convey respect for others, otherwise the objective of communication will be defeated.
Therefore, every executive and employee should feel responsible for creating and maintaining a congenial and conducive environment for communication. This responsibility increases with possession of power, position, and learning.
These are Some important objectives of business communication explained below:
One of the objectives of communication is enquiring, supplying, or receiving information through spoken or written language or through symbols, signs, or signals. Information is different from data.
Data ( plural of word dictum) are symbols, signs, or characters without meaning; information is processed data, with meaning and value. For example, bare accounts of assets, liabilities, and capital, conveying nothing meaningful is data; but when these are arranged in balance sheet form to portray the financial position of a business at an instance of time, it becomes information.
Communication aims at sharing and understanding information. Information is a versatile commodity. It enhances analytical skills and decisiveness, provides the most sustainable competitive advantage, and guides the organization towards economy and efficiency.
Business needs different types of information not only to manage different operations and processes but also to ensure their existence in the competitive world. Information acts like lubricating oil for businesses to work better and thrive in the competition. To be able to get complete and precise information, businesses should cultivate a system that facilitates its people to share what they know.
Types of Information
As far as the informational need of business is concerned, information can be divided, and the following are the types of information:
Information about the politics of the country, rules, and regulations that affect business. Information about consumers in response to products, their price quality, etc. Information about the sources of finance whether foreign ( ADR, Euro bonds, GDR, etc.) or internal (bank loans, loans from financial institutions, creditors, etc.
Information about the quality, price, transportation, credit facilitates, supply of raw material, etc. Information about efficiency and efficacy of advertisement media. Information about sociological factors affecting business.
Such factors include literacy rate, the standard of living, etc. Information about science and technology is to be imbibed by the business.
Information on the policies, objectives, and programs of the organization. Information about the employees, their responsibilities, their area of jurisdiction, the nature of jobs assigned to them, procedures governing them, etc. Information about the designation, authorities, and decision-making powers of the different managers.
Information about the availability of raw materials and stores in the organization. Information about the condition of machinery. Information about the workers, their skills, and experience. Information about the position of cash and bank or other financial resources expected to be generated in the future.
Sources of Information
These are the sources of information:
Mass Media: Mass media like newspapers, journals, television, and radio provide ample relevant and up-to-date information to businesses.
Chambers of Commerce and Association: Chambers of commerce and various associations provide information about the sales, exports, changes in tastes of customers, addresses of members, etc.
The Libraries: The libraries provide access to reference books, research publications, annual reports, statistical reports, government publications of various kinds, etc., which contain certain relevant information for the business.
Meetings, Conferences, Seminars, and Workshops: Meetings, conferences, seminars, and workshops sponsored by large business houses, provide ample knowledge about the latest research and developments in a particular field.
Trade Fairs and Exhibitions: Trade fairs and exhibitions arranged on particular themes or subjects, provide ample information about that theme or subject.
Internet: The Internet links people spread worldwide through computers and satellite links. Through the internet, people have easy and instantaneous access to information.
Office Records: Office records provide information about past correspondence, past performance of the business, and particulars about employees.
Personal Observation: It provides first-hand information about employees’ sincerity, honesty, loyalty, efficiency, etc.
Personal Interviews: Personal interviews with politicians, professional experts, and other prominent personalities can provide specific information for predicting the future of products and policies of the government.
- Market Research: It is conducted through carefully designed questionnaires or interviews to provide information about customers’ likes and dislikes.
Advice is the personal opinion about what to do? When to do? And where to do? A particular course of action in a particular situation with a view to changing the behavior and opinion of the receiver. Since it involves the personal opinion of the advisor, it is likely to be subjective. It is not neutral, objective, and factual like information.
Communication Flow of Advice
Advice usually flows horizontally or downwards. When the advice flows down from the boss to the subordinate, it is called downward advice. When an expert in a specialized field advises the management on how to discharge their function better, advice is said to flow horizontally.
Need for Advice
Present-day business operations and processes are not simple and straightforward, rather they are complex and complicated. Various specialized branches of knowledge have emerged to handle the various aspects affecting finance and taxation, marketing and advertisement, production and engineering, personnel and human resource development, etc.
No business executive is expected to have a thorough knowledge of all fields. Therefore, they need the advice of professionally expert persons.
Essentials of Effective Advice
The advice can help and harm the receiver. To ensure that it helps and does not harm, it must be given consciously and selectively.
- Advice should be given only if the recipient is prepared for it, otherwise, it will be waste of time and energy by the adviser.
- The recipient must have confidence in the adviser’s experience, knowledge, and sincerity.
- The advice should be given after careful thought to its various possible dimensions affecting the recipient.
- The advice should be given after taking into account the level of understanding of the receiver with ideas clearly and completely explained.
- The tone of the advice should demonstrate the adviser’s sincerity, honesty, and interest in the betterment of the receiver.
- While giving advice, the feeling of an inferiority complex should not take place in the mind of the receiver.
- The advice can be given in a direct way if the receiver is genuinely interested. Another way to offer advice indirectly is to credit it to another source. Some people would say in this type of situation.
- Advice should be given with no insistence to follow it. Advice that must be followed is not advice but an order.
Counseling seems like advice but counseling is with professional touch by a man of greater knowledge and skill. It is meant for persons facing domestic or job problems and consequently, their disturbance affects their performance at work. With counseling, his pains and emotions are shared, and his tension is released.
The purpose of counseling is of regaining physical as well as mental health, and restore his happiness and harmony. While counseling someone, the following points must be considered:
- Prepared yourself by being aware of the problem of the individual.
- Talk with him/her in a friendly tone by demonstrating sincerity of the interest in her/his welfare.
- Tell him that he has been called not for putting blame on him but to solve the problem positively.
- Tell him that details of the meeting will be kept confidential.
- Hearten him compassionately, even encourage him/her to talk and explain more.
- Collect all the data from his /her statements and identify the apparent as well as real problem.
- Explain what is wrong and right and ask him about any suggestions to improve the situation.
- Suggest ways to overcome the problem and arrive at the solution with his active help.
- Get regular feedback about his performance.
A suggestion is the most important objective of communication. Suggestions are the proposals by subordinates to higher authority indicating change required in the existing procedural and operational matters. Suggestions are different from advice. The advice flows horizontally whereas suggestions flow upwardly.
The advice is given by experts whereas suggestions are given by lower staff. In bureaucratically degenerated organizations suggestions may be received through suggestion boxes and then thrown in dusty baskets but in present-day learning organizations aspiring for excellence and total quality, suggestions are weighed very highly.
The advantages of calling suggestions are:
- Creativity is not the monopoly of top management. Operational-level staff can convey better ideas. Through suggestion schemes, they are encouraged to become more creative.
- With creativity, their job satisfaction decreases and their sense of belongingness is strengthened.
- Through suggestions, management comes to know the grievances and problems of employees and can think over them before they agitate.
An order is a directive issued by management to subordinates in an authoritative manner, specifying to do or to restrain from doing some course of action. Irrespective of the size and nature of the organization, issuing orders is essential to accomplish the task.
It is downward communication as it flows from higher authorities to subordinates. Order is always internal and downward communication. It may be written or oral.
Written orders are issued in the following circumstances:
- When it is essential to pinpoint the responsibility and keep the record.
- When the person, to whom orders are to be issued, is situated far away in a remote location and it is not possible to communicate with him on phone.
- When the job is of routine and repetitive nature and it is wasteful to issue oral orders every time.
- When the directives are to be given in special or specific forms. Oral orders are given in the following circumstances.
- When face-to-face communication between the communicator and receiver is possible.
- When the task is to be done immediately without the loss of time.
- When keeping a record of the order is not imperative.
- When the relations between boss and subordinate are of trust and loyalty.
Features of Order
These are the features of order:
Simple Language: The language of the order should always be simple and straight. If the language of the order is beyond the receiver’s level of understanding, it will confuse him. As a result, the purpose of the order will be defeated.
Clear and Complete: Order should always be clear and complete so that the reader can know what exactly is expected from him.
Possibility of Execution: The communicator must issue an order whose execution is possible. If there are possible difficulties, they must be overcome with detailed instructions.
Tone of Order: The tone of the order should not produce resentment and repercussion in the mind of the receiver. The harsh and bitter tone does not stimulate willing acceptance but rather acts as a negative force in the execution of orders.
- Appraisal: On execution of the order, its appraisal should be done at the proper time with active feedback.
Motivation channels the inner urges of man to work and to excel towards organizational goals. Everyman is a worker as well as a shirker, and divine as well as devil. The business manager has to motivate his employees to work with all their divine qualities in the direction of organizational goals.
The position of a manager in motivation is not the same as in case of order or persuasion, where he acts like a sage on the stage. Whereas in motivation his role is like a guide by side, helping others to discover their inner urges to excel.
For motivating employees, the following points:
- Each employee has needs, physical as well as psychological. Physical needs are basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing. And psychological needs include social belongingness, self-esteem, status, and self-actualization the manager should identify with the needs of the various employees and activate their behavior in the direction of fulfillment of those needs.
- Ensure that employees feel identified with the organization. If employees are identified with the organization, they can think and work better for achieving its goal.
- Cultivate healthy and harmonious relations among people at work. Motivation is possible only in an environment of trust, understanding, and friendship, not under confrontation and resentment.
- Encourage employees to participate in the decision-making process so that they can feel like an important organ of the organization. This helps the management to earn their confidence and co-operation.
- Clarify the targets and tasks to be accomplished in concrete terms. This should be done in such a way that employees must feel a sense of pride and responsibility to accomplish them.
- Provide genuine and honest leadership to the employees so that they can’t learn through the example of their leader.
Persuasion is the act of influencing other persons to voluntarily change their attitudes, beliefs, feelings, or thoughts. Effective persuasion is a difficult and time-consuming task, but it is also a more powerful way than ordering or warning in a command, and control style of management.
In business, persuasion is used a number of times. The seller persuades the buyers to buy the company’s products by telling them the potential they can get. Sometimes demoralized, disinterested or disgruntled employees are persuaded to work for their as well as the company’s betterment.
How to Persuade?
“It involves careful preparation, the proper framing of argument, the presentation of vivid supporting evidence, and the effort to find the correct emotional match with your audience”.
A warning is informing about the unpleasant and unfavorable consequences if a certain course of action is not changed. Such course of action may be negligence, defiance, mishandling material and machinery regularly, misbehaving with others, etc. the purpose of the warning is to ask the employees to abide by the rules and regulations and work with dedication and discipline.
The warning is usually given by the superior to the subordinate either in oral or written form. It can be general or particular. General warnings are not directed to any particular person or group. Warnings like “no smoking”, “outsiders are not allowed”, and “No admission without permission” are general warnings. Particular warnings – warnings against a particular person can humiliate that person which may evoke his resentment and repercussion.
Therefore, while issuing the particular warning. The following points must be observed:
- A warning should always be issued after an objective and impartial analysis of the situation, not out of personal prejudices or presumptions.
- Before warning any person, he should be given a reasonable opportunity to explain his position.
- An oral warning should be given in privacy and with a friendly but fresh tone. Harsh and humiliating words should be avoided that may nurse a personal grudge in the heart of the person being warned. The purpose of the warning is the betterment of the individual as well as of the organization, therefore, words used in warning should be carefully and consciously thought out.
- The written warning should be given in secret, not open letters. The letter should contain a clear and complete message with hope for betterment.
It is one of the objectives of business communication in negotiation, two or more parties discuss the proposals concerned with specific problems to find a mutually acceptable agreement. Usually, it is done in an informal way.
Approaches to Negotiation
These are the approaches to negotiation in business communication:
It is based on the assumption that only one side can reach its goals and victory of one party is the defeat of the other party. Here one party forces the other towards a specific outcome. This approach focuses only on the immediate results and ignores the maintenance of relations.
It is a situation when the concerned parties damage each other to such as extent that they both feel like a loser. Both do not seek lose-lose situations in the initial stage but when one feels that another party is blocking him, he starts blocking the other person’s gain.
For example, when an employee requesting leave to attend his brother’s marriage is denied, he starts behaving in a manner detrimental to the organizational interest.
When the concerned parties realize the impossibility of controlling the opponent and choose to avoid unnecessary fighting. They are said to have compromised. This compromise is better than indulging in a lose-lose situation. Here both parties lose at least some of what they were expecting.
It is the transformation of the conflicting and competitive environment into cooperative and collaborative endeavors. Here both parties explore solutions to problems ( unlike the lose-lose situations where they themselves become problems) even transcending the conflicting means of both parties, with the objective to satisfy the ends one is seeking.
Thus, the purposes behind this approach are maximizing mutual benefits and maintaining healthy relations. While solving the problem. This approach is obviously superior to other approaches.
Education is the most important objective of communication. Organizations teach and train their executives and employees, both existing as well as newly recruited to learn new tools and techniques for performing various operations with greater economy, efficiency, and effectiveness.
Besides this, while marketing their products and services they also educate the public about the potential benefits of the product. For this, communication is imperative and indispensable.
Education of Executives and Employees
Following the waves of liberalization and globalization competency and inefficiency are becoming intolerant. With this, executive and employee education is coming to the top of the agenda of companies in the current business scenario.
Tom Peter remarks, “Organizations that have learned how to learn, that have looked into universities and other learning centers, they alone will thrive”.
FAQs Related to the Objectives of Business Communication
What are the objectives of business communication?
The following are the objectives of business communication: