Analyzing Business Communications Introduction The success of any organization hinges on effective communications (Roebuck, 2006). Of 267 U. S. companies surveyed by Watson Wyatt those with effective communications provided an eleven-percent greater return to shareholders than those without effective communications. Additionally, those companies with effective communications also had lower turnover rates (Business & Legal Resources, 2010). This correlation between business success and effective communication demonstrates the requirement for good communications analysis.
By analyzing business communications, organizations can improve their communications thereby ensuring greater returns. By analyzing the business communications at Metasoft Systems Incorporated a determination regarding the effectiveness of their communications can be done. Three messages have been sampled and will be studied. Analysis of the sender, receiver, message content, environment, noise and feedback will be done as well as a look at the technology used to deliver the messages. Message #1 Starting with message number one (Appendix A) we see that the message’s primary audience was Todd Sherman, Metasoft’s General Sales Manager.
All sales managers were included as courtesy copy recipients. The sender, Rusty Jones, is sales manager for the Northeast United States territory. The message is a plea for the organization to develop policies and procedures that will enable management to more effectively lead their sales teams. This message is persuasive in nature but it falls short because it does not have a defined call to action. While requesting that measures be taken, no definition of when or how these measures should be taken are included in the message. It takes an action oriented message to motivate receivers to do a task (Roebuck, 2006).
The environment in which this communication occurred was one where a subordinate was communication with his superior, in a workplace setting. There is some noise associated with this message in as much as the sender does not believe the receiver will act upon his request for these policies. That is why the sender included the courtesy copies to additional manager, looking for support that may help sway the receiver into action. Feedback to this message was late in coming, almost 10 days after the message was originally sent, and was ambiguous at best.
With the exception of a more solid call to action, this message seems sound. It outlines the purpose of the message, it provides supporting evidence and is directed at appropriate receivers through an accepted technology in a favorable environment. Had there been a more direct call to action this would have been a good communication. Message #2 Message two (Appendix B) is sent from Todd Sherman, Metasoft’s General Sales Manager, to his sales management staff. The purpose of the message is to instruct management not to offer exclusions in relation to the money back guarantee.
The message was transmitted via email which is the accepted technology at Metasoft and the environment is from supervisor to subordinates in a workplace setting. Noise associated with this message include spelling errors, and some confusion about a policy that does not exist in writing but is a spoken policy only. Message #2 Feedback Feedback provided by Rusty Jones (Appendix C) is properly addressed only to the General Sales Manager as he does not wish to point out shortcomings in front of Todd’s other subordinates. The technology is acceptable as email is the main form of comunications among employees at Metasoft.
The environment was chosen to be private, between subordinate and supervisor, instead of including all managers, because Rusty wished to not cause any embarrassment or ill feelings by pointing out that if Metasoft already had policies in place, this message would have been unnecessary in front of Todd’s other subordinates. People are often embarrassed when criticized publicly (RWK Enterprises, 2010). The intent of the message is to point out that this is exactly why Metasoft needs to establish written policies and procedures for all sales personnel to follow so there is no confusion or ambiguity in operations.
Rusty’s message succeeds in getting the point across without undermining Todd’s authority or causing him any discomfort. Message #3 Message three (Appendix D) is a message sent from Rusty Jones, Northeast United States Sales Manager to his sales teams. In this message Rusty details a policy regarding sick days and working from home. He has appropriately addressed it to all members of his team as it is a policy that needs to be adhered to by all team members. The technology used to transmit this message is acceptable as many of the team members work for geographically separated locations.
There is a minimum level of noise in this message and the environment is acceptable being a communication regarding work sent through workplace technology from supervisor to subordinates. The message is clear and should be easily understood. Message three appears to be a good piece of communications. Conclusion Business communications at Metasoft seem to contain some poor practices. They can at times be unclear. Although the receivers appear to be appropriate as does the environment, there is a fair bit of noise in some of the communications and the message can be unclear.
A lot of problems in communication come about when employees feel that someone is either not listening to them or does not value their opinion or, worse, does not value them (Businesstown. com, LLC, 2001-2003). This quite often is the case when communications are unclear and can resolved simply by improving business communications. References Business & Legal Resources. (2010). Employee newsletters can reduce HR workload, increase returns. Retrieved from http://hr. blr. com/HR-news/HR-Administration/Communication/ Employee-Newsletters-Can-Reduce-HR-Workload-Increa/ Businesstown. com, LLC. (2001-2003).
Improving business communication: small business managing people. Retrieved from http://www. businesstown. com/people/communication-improving. asp Roebuck, D. B. (2006). Improving business communication skills (4th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. RWK Enterprises, Inc.. (2010). Using feedback to motivate staff. Retrieved from http://www. rwkenterprises. com/Feedback-Motivation. htm Appendix A: Message #1 From: Rusty Jones Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2010 1:31 PM To: Todd Sherman Cc: Tammy Gizen; Carole Cooley; Brad Edgett; Michael Palethorpe Subject: Company Policies and Procedures
Metasoft currently lacks written policy on how sales reps should conduct their daily activities. This lack of policy on procedures creates an ambiguity that can be confusing and lead to difficulties in managing the effectiveness of our sales force. According to John Kotter, management is about coping with the complexity of practices and procedures necessary for success. Without well detailed policies outlining practices and procedures complex enterprises tend to become chaotic in ways that threaten their very existence.
Good management brings a degree of order and consistency to key dimensions like the quality and profitability of products1. The lack of guiding policies is creating frustration for our sales reps. Dealing with reps that do not dupe check their leads, or that close leads belonging to national accounts is a frustration sales reps should not have to cope with. With sound policies in place these frustrations will be eliminated as the reps will have definitive guidelines with regards to how incidents of this nature will be dealt with.
More importantly a consistency in managing issues will be developed and will help engender a more trusting relationship between sales reps and their managers. I request that we begin discussions about developing polices relating to procedural practices for the sale of all Metasoft products. These policies should include, but not be limited to: * Dupe Checking Leads * National Accounts * Reference Checks * Absenteeism and Tardiness * Missed Callbacks * Database Management * Money Back Guarantees * Lead or Sales Conflict * Revenue Management Forecasting * Pricing * Territory Management Developing policies to manage these procedures will eliminate much of the ambiguity that now exists in managing conflicts that arise from misunderstanding or failure to follow what are now perceived procedural guidelines at best. 1John P. Kotter, “What Leaders Really Do, “Harvard Business Review, May-June, 1990, p. 104. Rusty Jones Sales Manager, Northeast United States Metasoft Systems Inc. 300 – 353 Water Street Vancouver, BC V6B 1B8 Tel: 604. 683. 6711 Fax: 604. 683. 6704 Toll Free: 1. 888. 638. 2763 [email protected] com The Source for Funding Information www. foundationsearch. com www. bigdatabase. com Appendix B: Message #2 From: Todd Sherman Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2010 12:29 PM To: Carole Cooley; Rusty Jones; Michael Palethorpe; Tammy Gizen; Brad Edgett Subject: MBG exclusions Our policy is that we don’t exclude funding foundations from a potential client’s guarantee. There have been very few instances where he have eliminated one regular funder from the guarantee requirements, but this is an exception and requires preapproval.
Please discuss with me first if you feel that eliminating a funder will result in a sale. Todd Todd Sherman General Sales Manager Metasoft Systems Inc. 300-353 Water Street Vancouver BC V6B 1B8 Tel 604 683 6711 Fax 604 699 0071 [email protected] com The Source for Funding Information www. foundationsearch. com www. bigdatabase. com Appendix C: Message #2 Reply From: Rusty Jones Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2010 1:31 PM To: Todd Sherman Cc: Tammy Gizen; Carole Cooley; Brad Edgett; Michael Palethorpe Subject: Re: MBG exclusions Todd,
As my message dated Wednesday, August 04, 2010 1:31 PM points out, there is a lot of confusion and ambiguity surrounding the methods management is handling requests from reps because there is a lack of written policy. I understand the policy your email mentions, but I have never seen a written policy to this effect that I can quote to my reps. Effectively, all I can do is tell my reps to follow my direction because “I said so. ” If we had formal, written policies and procedures it would make it much easier to explain to our reps what our position is on specific topics.
It would eliminate the confusion about how to deal with different scenarios and it would give management the authority to hold the sales reps accountable for their behaviors. I again ask that we begin discussions on formalizing our policies and procedures as soon as possible. Rusty Jones Sales Manager, Northeast United States Metasoft Systems Inc. 300 – 353 Water Street Vancouver, BC V6B 1B8 Tel: 604. 683. 6711 Fax: 604. 683. 6704 Toll Free: 1. 888. 638. 2763 [email protected] com The Source for Funding Information www. foundationsearch. com www. bigdatabase. com
Appendix D: Message #3 From: Rusty Jones Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2010 7:50 AM To:  All Big Toronto Subject: Office Hours and Procedures Hey Team, There is something that we need to address regarding office hours and normal working procedures. The scheduled office hours for Toronto are 9am to 5pm EST. All reps are expected to be in the office during these hours with the exception of those who have been approved to work from home. Of course, the normal 15 minute break and 30 minute lunch apply. There is no policy that allows reps to work from home when they are not feeling well.
If you are sick, you need to take one of your accrued sick days; otherwise you are expected to be at work during the normal standard working hours. If you are going to take a sick day, you must call me and let me know. Sending me an email does not suffice. In the future, please be sure to comply with these procedures. Thank you. Rusty Jones Sales Manager, Northeast United States Metasoft Systems Inc. 300 – 353 Water Street Vancouver, BC V6B 1B8 Tel: 604. 683. 6711 Fax: 604. 683. 6704 Toll Free: 1. 888. 638. 2763 [email protected] com The Source for Funding Information www. foundationsearch. com www. bigdatabase. com