Developing A Communication Plan: Vertical Flow Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Report for Developing a Communication Plan of Vertical Flow.

Answer:

Introduction

Communication is a process of sharing information between two or more parties. It entails expressing ones feelings or requirement through communicative media such as gesture, audio, behaviours, written notices and many more (Al Darmaki, 2015). There are channels within which communication can takes place. For instance, in a company some information experiences a vertical flow; movement of information, notices or orders from the managerial board downward to the employees and the backflow of feedback. Such flow are called channels of communication. The channels can be categorised under informal, formal and unofficial communication which eventually forms a communication plan. A communication plan is a set of mechanisms describing how results of an evaluation are communicated. This project aims at coming up with an effective communication plan for the launch of an innovative car by Toyota Motor Group.

Communication

According to Vousden (2014), Communication is a fundamental aspect in a society, especially in environments where people depend on one another for survival. In other words, it is a way of linking individuals or places (Communication, 2015). In Toyota Motor Corporations’ healthy communication is a universal responsibility of all the stakeholders. This is because stakeholders are the determinants of the company’s outlook. Being a global firm within the automotive market, Toyota’s corporate social and communication responsibilities that bring to board many stakeholders who also have distinct demands and interests. Like any other organisation, stakeholders in Toyota Motor groups are the employees, customers, investors, the community and the operational environment (Kyodo News International, 2009). Every stakeholder contributes to the kind of relationship that the firm has. Peaceful existence in a company can be achieved by healthy communication. Therefore, consumers must learn how to communicate effectively with the firm’s employees in order to create a conducive environment for better services (Robinson et al., 2016). Similarly, investors must also communicate appropriately with the society members so as to be accommodated to enhance their investments.

Channels of Communication

Just like any other company, Toyota Motor Company Group have three main channels of communication. The first charnel is formal, which involves critical utilisation of the formal communication that exists in the company (PR, 2015). This type of communication involves vertical move of information in the company. Information is collected at the lower level of the organisation and utilised to until it reaches the management board for analysis and decision making. Such information may entail the demands of consumers, from the community or junior employees (First & Tomi?‡, 2011). Such information are critical hence, should be treated with great care as they dictates the basic operation of the firm and hence, the targeted market. At the same time, orders should also flow appropriately from the managerial table to the lower level of the firm. Formal communication channel also allows horizontal transfer of information. Here, same levels of the firm share information (Van den Boer et al., 2016).

According to Johnson et al. (1994), not all information within the firm fits within the formal communication charnel. Others are informal, a situation that made the firm to come up with informal communication charnel. All in all the two types of communication channels are geared towards the same purpose of moulding good relationships between firm’s stakeholders (Tenhi?l? & Salvador, 2014). Informal communication always exist in a formal communication environment and Toyota operational locality being one, its informal communication forms a relaxed communication atmosphere that encourages useful discussions between employees (Weedman, 1992). It also accommodate managers who walks around the firm, supervising or responding to queries of employees. Therefore, such managers are required to hands and come up with a good communication strategy that enables them to approach workers accordingly and tackle their queries appropriately. Other types of interactions within the firm quality circles, training programs and team works (De Oliveria, 1996). These communication falls outside the chain of command. Even though informal communication is of benefit to the firm, it may cause disruptions along the chain of command. However, this is a small problem; it can be handled appropriately with the help of skilled managers to earn more advantages (Butler, 1994). It is also important to state that some information circulation within the firm are unofficial i.e. discussions on sports, politics and shows. These type of communications forms the company’s ‘grapevine’ that initiate the circulation of rumours which are also important information that have invaded the current world hence, must be accepted within a well ordered society. Through rumours, the firm gets hidden information that can be used for numeration of new strategies to face the market now that the firm is on launch of a new product. Equally important, people who participate in ‘grapevine’ communications apparently create groups that transforms into friendship outside the firm. Such friendships help in creating a good environment for the firm’s operations. While the positive aspect of grapevine information is evident, sometimes they contain exaggerated information that can as well cause unnecessary disruptions. However, this is a non-issue for a firm with a good manager who is attentive and skilled to handle all form of communication and direct them toward the line of benefit.

Communication Plan

A communication plan is a set of mechanisms describing how results of an evaluation are communicated. It is designed do to; address various dimensions and aspects of analysing the evaluation results and to give directions in the process of effective sharing results among diriment stakeholders. The document also describes whom the associate communication shall be tackled i.e. stakeholders, how to accomplish the set objective and how to measure them. Furthermore, the plan is set to comprise of communication tools such as online communication gargets, surveys, speeches, signage, annual reports and many more. To this effect, as the new head of communications for a publically listed company, I am assigned to develop a communication plan for the launch of an innovative car which is also aimed at expanding the company’s market apart from attracting more profits. According to the firm’s vision and mission statement, this communication plan has the following objectives; to begin with, because the firm aims at winning the global loyalty and increasing the support from various communities, the main objective is to boost membership by 10 percent. It is also aimed at adding more directors and obtaining more funds from the community. Other objectives includes encouraging effective media publicity of the company’s activities and informing the entire community on the importance of this new car to the company and to the society as a whole.

I begum my plan formation by analysing the firm’s annuals budgeting and the planning to ensure that my plan is up to date in order to suit every stakeholder. Toyota’s mission statement and communication audit are also vital. They form important sources for my communication plan (Frehsee, 2013) . I then proceeded to conduct a survey by borrowing ideas from other leaders and departmental heads. Thereafter, I conducted a detailed research-communication audit where I evaluated the current communications to know areas to adjust or eliminate. Observe what various stakeholder are doing as far as communication is concerned is equally important. To incorporate all aspects of the firm into the plan, I brainstormed with the communication department, borrow information regarding communication and went further to interview relevant persons such as the executive staff and the board. After this step, I obtained a complete communication plan that was far much stable. After drafting the final copy, I produced enough copies and supplies to various departments.

Evaluation

A communication plan can only be considered effective after evaluation and results come out positive. Coming up with the plan is just but the fast step, while evaluation in a second step; may be the final or even require a retake of the process from the drawing board (JIT?‚REANU et al., 2015). Evaluation is important as it further helps to improve the effectiveness of the plan by identify weak area for appropriate adjustments. It hence, enable realisation of the intended outcome. Therefore, a good communication plan is not complete until an evaluation is done and its effectiveness range within a better percentage (IPA, 2014). In evaluation, I identified critical areas to evaluate because evaluating every aspect of the plan is extremely difficult. To ensure this, I chosen and examined the effectiveness of the plan in areas of high communication investments such as product promotion programs.

Finding

After examining and carrying out a survey and interviews on the new communication plan, it was observable that the firm’s communication standard has improved greatly. To begin with, the level of relationship between the firm’s stakeholders have moved to a higher level. The community as also maintained a conducive environment for the firm’s operations, indicating that there is a good communication between the two groups. This improvement is considered the major achievement of the firm’s communication, curacy of the new communication plan.

Recommendations

Unlike before, my communication plan has enable Toyota Company to have a good communication system; a vital and a promising tool that meets all the objectives of communication. Therefore, it is important to nature it through the following recommendations. First, there should be high level of empowerment and transparency within the firm. Information empowerment will motivate workers to accomplish their duties with direction and confidence. The firm should also nature a healthy culture by exercising high level of respect among all stakeholders irrespective of the level. With the healthy culture, people will not only feel respected but also understood hence, free to make any productive query. Giving clear orders is equally important as it helps to eliminate stress among workers (Barker & Angelopulo, 2006). It will hence, the firm will create an enjoyable environment making workers to work faster, effective and create good relationship and communication among everybody within the firm.

Conclusion

This project has defined communication plan alongside communication, giving an elaboration on how I have come up with a communication plan that will help Toyota Company to improve its communication at the crucial moment of the launch of a new product. It started bringing to light the concept of communication in general, which is an important aspect in the society. Communication channels in Toyota Company are also identified. These channels can be divided under informal and formal communication where the latter accommodate vertical flow of information while the former deals with horizontal communication. The project has also shown that some information are unofficial but are equally important as they contain secretes of benefit. On Therefore, the firm’s communication managers should be attentive and aggressive to any form of information, and well equipped with ways of utilising them. On its nature, Communication plan is a set of mechanisms describing how results of an evaluation are communicated (Stamoulis, 2002). It is designed do to perform the following roles; address the various dimensions and aspects of analysing the evaluation results, give directions in the process of effective sharing results among diriment stakeholders within the firm, and to give answers to questions such as how findings can be shared effectively among people within and around the firm, importance of communication, availability and good use of communication sources, the target of communication and how the key staff are carrying out communication.

On its nature, the report has identified communication plan as a set of mechanisms describing how results of an evaluation are communicated. It is designed do to address dimensions and aspects of analysing the evaluation results, give directions in the process of effective sharing results among deferent stakeholders within the firm. It should also provide answers to specific questions such as how findings can be shared effectively among people within and around the firm. Having been promoted to the head of communication, I had to be responsible and come up with the most effective communication plan. After coming up with the plan, the project gives evaluation steps which was much evolving; survey is done areas where communication is much invested, revealing that the plan is very effective hence can serve all stakeholders including employees, the staff, customers and the community as a whole. Being an important tool, the project has recommended the following to ensure that the firm’s communication remains effective; the organisation should nature high level of empowerment and transparency within to motive workers to accomplish their duties with direction and confidence. It should also have a healthy culture that promotes respect all through the company’s levels. To the managerial staff, their orders should be clear to create enjoyable working environment that will in turn make workers to work faster, effective and create good relationship and communication in the organisation.

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