Communication for Internal Stakeholders
Write an essay on Communication.
Communication is considered as the lifeline of an organisation. Unless effective skills of communication are used, an organization would run the risk of getting insulated and fossilized. The success of the organisation is dependent on the level of communication maintained by it with its external as well as internal stakeholders (Fatma, 68). Within organizations, inter-personal relationships are possible only if communication skills are cultivated and effective tools are used to facilitate it. Modern organisations, whether small, medium-sized or large companies, are increasingly using business communication tools to increase efficient and employee productivity by facilitating quick communication within their organisations.
As observed in the Internal Communication and Technology Survey 2014, conducted by Newsweaver and Melcrum, e-mails are the most widely used tool for internal communication and can be effectively used to maintain an ongoing dialogue with employees yield valuable feedback and foster a sense of belonging (Mireles). This in turn can be used to provide a wide range of benefits and to deliver results that can positively impact our company’s bottom line.
With the success of our organisation and increase in our operations, the employee base has also expanded from 50 to 500. Thus, the traditional methods of communicating with the employees’ through announcements, face-to-face oral communication, notices, etc. are proving to be ineffective and are leading to miscommunications. Thus, the need of the hour is to use new communication modes that facilitate easy and quick communication within the organisation. Therefore, web-based business email program has been identified as a new alternative for internal communication.
This report seeks to fulfill the following purposes:
• To identify the appropriate web-based email service to adopt from the available alternatives based on staff usage and preferences.
• To provide recommendations on the content that should be included in the corporate email policy so as to define the appropriate use of email.
Scope and Limitations
The findings of the study can be used to increase understanding about the e-mail using habits of the employees and to identify the popular e-mail service providers among them for easy adoption of change in communication system within the organisation.
However, the limitation of this study is that only web-based e-mail service has been considered as the tool for facilitating internal communication within the organisation. The organisation can also consider other tools like intranet, private, group messaging and chat tools, internal blogs, discussion forums, etc. that are popularly used in the present day organisations (NewsWeaver, 8). These tools can be further explored and utilized to build communication capabilities within the organisation. In addition to this, conducting a census survey took more time and efforts in collecting and analyzing data.
Sources and Methods of Data Collection
Data forms the basis for any research or analysis that is conducted. For the purpose of this report, the combination of primary and secondary data was used.
The primary data, which is the first hand information collected for a specific purpose was collected using a questionnaire (Stevens et al. 48). Primary data is popular for such researches as it provides reliable data with latest preferences of the respondents. In this context, a census survey was conducted wherein all the employees currently working (n=500) in the organisation were asked to fill a questionnaire. As the total number of employees in the organisation is not very large, complete enumeration was easy to conduct. Moreover, it provided detailed information about the habits and preferences of the employees with minimum chance of error (Daniel, 25). The structured questionnaire with close ended questions with easy to understand language was administered to each respondent. The questionnaire was specifically designed to identify the usage of e-mail services among the staff of the organisation and their preferences in terms of the service provider, mode and time of access, the content shared, etc. It took 15 days to collect and analyse the primary data collected through the questionnaire.
Additionally, secondary data which can be defined as data previously collected for fulfillment of some other purpose and can be accessed through sources like reports, online publications, etc. was also used (Goodwin, 112). For the purpose of this report, secondary data related to features provided by different web based service providers in terms of storage, security, media integration, etc. was used for comparison. The advantage of using secondary data is it is available quickly without any cost and can help in identifying unseen trends related to the particular product or service.
Analysis and Findings
As per the responses of the employees, the following was observed:
• Emails Sent and Received per week:
In the survey, it was observed that all employees extensively used email as a communication tool. It was found that on an average, an employee received 340 mails, sent 150 mails and deleted 270 mails per week. Additionally, around 60 confidential mails were sent and received per week and they had more than 3000 mails stored in their inbox.
• Work Email Usage
More than 50% (≥ 250) employees use email for official communication like assigning work, provide information to colleagues, respond to customers, send attachments to colleagues/customers, arrange meetings, send project updates, etc. While around 160-190 employees use emails for making work related announcement, send greeting, linked to social media, signed up for newsletter and personal uses like entertainment, online shopping, booking, etc.
• Accessing Email
Most of the employees access their mails after 6pm while only 120 employees prefer to access their mails before 9 am.
This shows that all the employees access their email accounts through personal computers or laptops. Along with this, 24% employees’ access emails through their smartphones and 72% through web mail. Around 62.4% employees’ use atleast two devices to access their emails.
Out of total employees, 40% check their mails atleast 5 times a day while 38% check their mails every hour. Only 22% employees check their mails 3 times a day or less. However, 327 out of 500 employees said that they reply to their mails within 5 minutes or less.
More than 94% employees are familiar with one or the other web-based email service provider. Microsoft Outlook is most popular followed by Gmail and Yahoo! Mail.
• Preferred Email Improvement
This part provides insight regarding employee’s expectations with the email service providers. This will also allow the organisation to choose the service provider that fulfills maximum expectations.
It was found from the survey that more than or equal to 50% employees want their email service providers to provide features like effective spam filters, send email newsletters to customers, track email receipts and allow for easy preview and saving of attachments. While 48% employees wanted their service providers to allow easy linking of their accounts to video conferencing and chat applications. Improvement in security and data encryption, cloud storage for large files and email filtering through rules was on the list of 30-35% of the current employees and only 25% employees wanted their service provider to allow social media integration.
• Comparison between Different web-based Email Service Providers
The following is a comparison between the three most popular web-based email service providers as used by the employees of the organisation. These providers have been compared on the following features:
Cloud Storage: Gmail offers 15 GB of free cloud storage, while Outlook provides a maximum storage of 5GB and claims that the storage capacity increases as per the needs of the user. Yahoo! Provides 1Tb of free storage capacity (Widder).
Attachment Limit: Google and Yahoo! allow 25MB of attachment limit while Outlook provides only 10MB.
Security and Encryption: Gmail provides highest security and data encryption followed by Yahoo! and Outlook.
Social Network integration: Outlook provides maximum integration followed by Yahoo!. Gmail offers limited integration with other sites (Widder).
Mobile Version: Gmail and Yahoo! are available for both android and iOS while Outlook is available for androids only thereby limiting its usage.
Cost: Though these service providers provide free of cost services, they charge their users for increasing the storage capacity. Gmail offers monthly storage plans that run from 100GB for $2 per month. The same cost is charge by Outlook. However, Yahoo! Mail provides upto 1TB free storage (Eitelbach).
Interface: All three mail services share the same basic template. However, Gmail sports an intuitive design, while Yahoo! Mail provides a clean, clutter-free design. On the contrary, Outlook features a minimalist interface in terms of placing of different buttons on the screen causing users to miss out certain features if they don’t know what to look for (Eitelbach).
The features provided by these service providers have been summarized as follows:
From the analysis, it can be concluded that adopting email as a tool for internal communication will be appropriate and easy as all the employees are familiar with different web-based email service providers. Also it was observed that they are highly active users of emails and quickly response to their mails indicating that the organisation is bound to face low resistance while changing the communication strategy. During the survey it was also found that though the employees actively use web-based email services, security and safety of the data being communicated figures low on their priority list (only for 177 out of 500 employees). Additionally, the employees often use this service inappropriately.
Moreover, it can be concluded that the organisation should choose Gmail over other web-based services because:
495 out of 500 employees are familiar with it.
It is easy to use and provides sufficient attachment limit and cloud storage.
It provides very high security features that are lacking in other providers and that can be regularly used to ensure the safety of company’s confidential messages.
It provides limited social network integration that will help in keeping a check on personal usage of the company’s service by the employees.
Its mobile version supports both android and iOS providing greater access flexibility.
It is recommended that the company should adopt Gmail services. Additionally, following are recommendations that can be adopted in the corporate policy to define appropriate use of emails:
Email Risks: To ensure security delete attachments from unknown senders, beware of phishing emails, change account passwords after 90 days (Gallo).
Best Practices: Follow email etiquette and writing rules while sending email. For instance: do not write emails in capitals, enable spell checking, use proper grammar, and include a signature conform company format (ICAEW, 2).
Monitoring: Include a clause on email monitoring and make the employees aware of the purpose and procedure of monitoring emails to gain their support.
Treatment of Confidential Data: Employees should be made aware that they should not forward any confidential messages or attachments from other companies without permission and should encrypt any confidential information that is sent via email.
Additionally, the company should also have disciplinary procedure to deal with breaches of the policy.
Fatma, Tahseen. “Importance of Communication in Management.” Global Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies. 3.5 (2014): 68-74.
Mireles, Allen. “PR and Internal Communications: Changing with the Times?” Cision. 15 January 2015. Web. 20 July 2016.
Stevens, Robert et al. Marketing Planning Guide. London: Routledge, 2013.
Goodwin, John. Ed. SAGE Secondary Data Analysis. London: Sage, 2012.
Daniel, Johnnie. Sampling Essentials: Practical Guidelines for Making Sampling Choices. London: Sage, 2011.
News Weaver. Internal Communications: Emerging Trends and the Use of Technology. Survey Report (2014). Print.
Eitelbach, David. “Yahoo Mail vs. Outlook.com vs. Gmail vs. AOL Mail”. Laptopmag.com. 19 September 2014. Web. 21 July 2016.
Widder, Brandon. “Consider this your one-stop shop for your next webmail client”. Digital Trends. 13 April 2013. Web. 21 July 2016.
ICAEW. “An email policy for your employees”. 1 October 2014. Print. 21 July 2016.
Gallo, Amy. “Stop Email Overload”. Forbes. 21 February 2012. Web. 21 July 2016.
The primary purpose of referencing in an essay is to acknowledge the sources of borrowed information from someone else’s work. But following Harvard referencing and oxford referencing can be tricky sometimes, and students are often found struggling with it. If you want reliable essay writing service, choose BoomGrades.com who has some of the finest editors in the UK in its team.
Get in touch with BoomGrades.com today to get the best assignment help and writing service at the best price.