Corporate communication entails activities involved in managing and orchestrating both internal and external communication within the organization. Through communication, the organization seeks ensure that the same message is communicated to all its stakeholders to enable the organization communicate its mission, vision and values into a cohesive message. This integrated structure of communication links stakeholders to the organization (Argenti, 2009). A conference board study of US large firms revealed that almost eighty percent of all the organization have corporate communication functions that include speech writing, media relations, corporate advertising, community relations and employee communication (Pratt M. a., 2000). This leads to developing of specialized professionals who are charged with the responsibility communicating to different audiences. Today many organizations have established a chief communication officer position within the organization and the responsibilities that have been assigned to such individuals are slowly broadening to act strategic advisers for the organization.
Public relations is based on managing the spread of information between two different groups within the organization or outside the organization. Charles (2009) suggests that ppublic relations differ from advertising and marketing since it creates coverage for clients to inform the public of prospective opportunities that exist and persuade them to develop a certain view about the organization its products, leadership or political decisions. This enables the organization establish and maintain relationships with a specific target audience that the organization seeks to reach out to (Lister, Dovey, Giddings, Grant, & Kelly, 2009). This report seeks to highlight the importance of developing corporate culture and effective team communication to improve corporate communication and public relations in John’s Outback Adventures Tours. The report analyses the importance of the two elements in enabling the organization achieve corporate communication and public relations. Further, the report highlights the areas that need to be addressed when developing a program to train the employees.
Justification of the topics
When dealing with corporate communication and public relations at the organizational level there are different areas that need attention and have to be considered to improve communication skills within the organization by developing training programs that can be used to improve the process. This report highlights the importance of developing an effective organizational culture and effective team communication as a way improving corporate communication and public relations. Organizational culture has been chosen since it seeks to create an image for the organization that improves corporate image and satisfies clients through customer practices that are aligned to the organizational objective. Each objective has an established set of activities that are linked to implicit and explicit organizational principles including values and behaviors that contribute to unique social and psychological environments within the organization.
Therefore organizational culture is a set of collective values and principles that bind organizational members to the overall objective of the organization. On the other hand effective team communication is based on developing communication strategies that differentiate teams from groups of people working together (Schein, 1992). When a group of employees are assigned a task that they need to work together and achieve a common purpose, then the group members will work and communicate together to develop effective teams that can easily execute tasks within the organization (Brown & Dacin, 1997). Effective communication is used to eliminate stress and tension within groups making it easy for people to work together within the organization. Therefore organizational culture and effective team communication play an important role in creating effective teams within the organization.
Developing an effective organizational culture
Organizational culture encompasses values and behaviors that contribute to unique social and psychological environment within an organization. Ravasi & Schultz (2006) suggests that these are collective values believes, and principles that members of the organisation share and have in common. Islam & Zyphur (2009) suggests that organizational culture is a product of organisational history, market, technology, management style, type of employees and national culture. All these factors shape the kind of organisational culture that is developed. As an element of organsational development, this culture is based on the evolutions that the organisation has experienced through history and the forces that have defined the success and failures of the organisation (Catalin, 2011). There are flexible and stable cultures which focuss on order and control versus adaptationand dynamism which will affect the management style that may be developed by the organisation. While on the other hand, internal culture is based internal orientation and integration of the organisation then external culture focusses on competition and differentiation of the organisation to achieve new business dimensions (Deal & Kennedy, 2002).
Denison, Haaland, & Goelzer (2004) suggests that these leads to an emergence of complex results from a combination of different organisational elements like employee engagement, developing work relations and focussing on the customer. When organizational culture becomes part of the organization, it leads to shard assumptions that guide business activities, patterns of communication and the relationships that the organisation forms with the outside environment. Since communication and public relations entail passing information about the organisation to different stakeholders, standards which are used to form relationships and pass the same information from one person to the other form a corporate culture that becomes unique to the organization which is described as organisational culture (Watkins, 2013).
There are several factors within the organisation that shape and affect the way organisational culture is shaped. There are different factors like values, degree of hierachy, management style, task orientation, functional orientation, organisational subcultures and business objectives. Many organisations are shaped by their business objectives that define their existence within the business environment (Kotter & Heskett, 1992). For example, the theory of organisations is based on the notion that organisation exist to make profits and thus every activty that they engage in is shaped by the drive to maximise profits. Therefore developing organisational culture is a strtegythat seeks to complement organisational objectives by maximising business profits.
In developing organisational culture, different strategies can be put in place to ensure that members can develop the required attributes that can lead to achievement of organizational objectives. Managers are tasked with the responsibility of crreating and at the same time managing the organisational culture that is needed to ensure that employees embrace organizatioal culture and are aligned to the business strategy (Schneider, 1998). One of the best ways that managers an achieve this is to build strong foundations by focussing efforts on certain a couple of behaviours that need to be changed to develop team effort that ensures the culture is achieved. When developing new behaviours within the organisation, managers have to analyse and evaluate the existing behaviours through clarifying organisational vision and expected behaviours from employees. Then the employee behaviours need to be aligned through developing strategic priorities that work best for the organsisation and developing smart goals for the employees. After that the manager needs to focus on managing and maintaining a system of behaviours that have been defined and described within the organisation. According to research, it is revealed that seventy percent of employees are not inspired to work since they are not involved in developing a cultural road map that is applied within the organisation (Chatman & Jehn, 1994). For effective implementation of this strategy, value blue printing is used to ensure that the right values are instilled in employees through organisational processes that align employees to new behaviours.
O'Donovan (2006) suggests that norm formation is used in developing the organisational culture as a way of instilling the right processes that are required in the organisation. Norms shape the relationships that people form with each other around the organisations. When norms are established, employees and other stakeholders strive to uphold these norms as a way of ensuring that they support the needs of the oorganisation. Crtitical incidences that happen at the workplace or when people are interacting form the basis on which norms are defined and regulated. Behaviours are controlled through praise and reprimand to uphold required behaviours. To develop an effective organisational culture management needs to develop a well planned change management process that is involved in developing the organisational culture model that lists each culture profile to detrmine the dorminat culture and different subcultures (Black, 2003). This will enable developing of breakthrough culture that is needed. Since organisations have different departments that perform different functions, each of these departmentsmay have its own subculture which is unique to the way activities are carried out in the organisation (Miller, Casey, & Konchar, 2014). The cultural model will thus enable the rganisatin to integrate various and competing cultures within the organisation to form a unique culture reflects the overall image of the organisation.
When working on developing the organisational culture John’s Outback Adventures Tours needs to gain a realistic view of its current organizational profile to develop better strategies that can lead to developing of new organizational culture. Shahzad, Luqman, Khan, & Shabbir (2012) suggests that organizational culture has a positive impact on the overall performance of the organisation. Every employee or stakeholder seeks to connect with the organisation in a way that is similar to the way thers are connectng. Thus developing a clear organisational culture ensures that a common path that is followed by everybody through a combination f existing subcultures and developing a unique culture that reveals a positive organisational image that clients can attribute to (Robbins & Sanghi, 2007). This satisfies the needs of both management and clients by creating a common ground on which they can interact.
Effective team communication
Communication is a necessary management tool used to link different parts of an organization one another as a way of defining the relationship that members have and how responsibilities are shared among members. Team communication plays different roles within the organization and management level (Modaff, DeWine & Butler, 2011). Groups have individuals with varying cognitive levels which make members define and develop trust based on different methods. Team communication helps organization develop an understanding among the members to increase productivity of the workforce. Members need to interact positively in a way that enables them to exchange ideas and abilities that lead to achievement of organizational objectives. This enables members of a team to build trust among each other. Organizations that have effective teams are built on effective communication strategies that enable members to interact and connect with each other at the organizational. Without effective communication, organizations suffer related consequences like incomplete tasks, missed deadlines and unmet goals. On the other hand, Phillips (2006) suggesst that when communication flows well the organization reaps the benefits of increased production and achieves its objectives. The functional perspective of team communication is based on the premise that team members can harness and use communication as a social tool that is used to satisfy certain prerequisites within the organization. When teams make decisions key questions are used to determine the nature of the decisions that they make. The communication patterns and decisions that are made by the teams are supported by relevant support from the organization to enable easy flow of messages from one point to another.
There are important elements that contribute to team effectiveness in communication like organization, tone, clarity, style, language usage and feedback. This helps members in a team to understand their roles and the way in which the roles intersect to form a team rather than individuals working together. When paired with active listening, coordination is achieved within the group allowing members to communicate with each other and link the tasks that they are doing to the overall objective of the organization. When teams work together, they seek to accomplish the larger organizational objective which is achieved when each member plays the role that contribute to the overall goal of the organization. When individual efforts are put together, the organization realizes the overall objective that was intended for its purpose.
When building effective team communication skills form the most important part that each member needs to have to relate well with others and at the same time understand the way information is being communicated. Communication skills need to be developed on a daily basis to enable the employee understand the way teams communicate (Seitel, 2007). Since there are different team levels like formal and informal groups within the organization which will work on different tasks. In most cases a team comprises of both formal and informal elements in its characteristics and thus team members need to have the ability to balance between the two elements to create the best team within the organization. Trainers need to focus on developing communication skills that members can apply when working at the team level.
System appraisal tools must be available to detect early signs of poor communication within the organization. Concentrating all efforts on training the employees on how to improve their communication skills without system appraisal can lead to low realization of the intended outcomes. There are different training tools and programs used to train employees but not all of them work in every organization. There are different communication barriers and challenges within the organization that may affect the flow of communication and create barriers (Pratt & Foreman, 2000). Each of the factors needs to be analyzed at the context of organization and strategies developed that are geared towards it. Since organizations exists as set of systems that are based on coordinated effort and tasks, each element within the organization may affect the flow of communication. Therefore system appraisal ensures that proper detection and appraisal mechanisms are put in place to analyze communication patterns. Therefore effective communication is an element that arises when individuals learn to appreciate the abilities of others, put away individual gains and focus on organizational goals through linking their efforts to the overall objective.
Organizational culture is a product of the organizational environment that describes the unique way in which activities are carried out. John’s Outback Adventures Tours needs to have a culture that defines the way employees carry out their activities and how their clients feel when they are treated by the organization. This culture enables the company to have a positive public relations and corporate communication image with its stakeholders since it defines values that need to be upheld by all employees. In real sense organizational culture affects employees most since they form all the activities that are used to define the organization. Since corporate communication and public relations are elements of creating organizational image, this means that organizational culture needs to be embraced by all employees as a way of ensuring that the organization achieves a clear image.
It is evident that effective team communication plays a critical role in the organization through creating efficient action, encouraging input, dynamic change and creating an understanding within the organization. Communication patterns need to be designed in a way that enables information to easily flow from one source to another without any delays. Further, the members need to understand how communication patterns take place and how they can be internalized. To ensure that the organization is in touch with relevant issues within, there is need for appraisal of communication tools available to determine how they can be improved or redesigned to suit the current needs (Charles, 2009). Team work forms an integral element of achieving organization effort since when an organization serves its clients it depends on the efforts of different employees to achieve the desired results. Public relations and corporate communication seek to improve the image of the organization through creating a positive environment that allows stakeholders to easily interact with each other (Brown & Dacin, 1997). When people interact they get to learn the organizational culture as a way of being part of the organization. Therefore, employees need to be trained on how they can improve organizational image through embracing organizational culture and effective team communication. Since culture is learned, then it means that an individual becomes part of a team only through embracing the desired values in the organization. John’s Outback Adventures Tours will reap highly from developing an organizational culture and improving effective team communication as way of achieving corporate and public image.
Corporate communication and public relations are elements that are applied to create a positive image of the organization. Through developing an organizational culture and effective team communication, John’s Outback Adventures Tours can improve its image and reap the benefits associated with it. However, employees need to be trained and aligned to the required organizational design to be able to communicate and relate well with others (Bio, 2013). When designing the training program John’s Outback Adventures Tours needs to use the steps listed below to design a program that will fit the needs of the organization.
Step one: situational analysis
This will entail analyzing the whole organization together with its elements to understand elements that may be missing or the ones that need to be updated. Different tools can be used to appraise and identify gaps within the system that need to be changed. Through analyzing annual reports, meeting minutes, clients feedback, employee’s feedback, management comment and recommendations form employees, gaps can be identified to show areas that need to be improved. A score card can be used to appraise every element to determine the areas that need to be addressed.
Step two: prioritizing the needs of the organization
It is evident that needs will vary and different problems carry different magnitude threats to the organization. This means that the needs to be ranked depending on the need or threat that they have to the organization. This will assist in planning and allocation of resources for each activity.
Step three: developing relevant training materials
Training programs are expensive to organizations since they sometimes require the efforts of external consultants which may cost the organization. John’s Outback Adventures Tours management needs to determine whether they need an external trainer or they can use internal employees to carry out the training.
Step four: training
The training has to be tailored in such a way that it does not affect normal running of activities or inconvenience business. Then employees work in different departments that may have similar and at the same time unique situations that call for unique and tailored mechanisms to address them.
Step five: Manage, follow-up and appraise
Once a program has been designed and implemented, there is need to focus on managing the required changes within the organization through creating an environment that gives the required conditions. Every program needs to be evaluated to determine if it has achieved its intended objectives or not. With this an appraisal tool needs to be used to measure the impact of the training and then follow-up tests need to be carried out to determine if the concepts in the training are being implemented or not. This will form the basis of future training and needs assessment that will be used to improve the organization.
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