Business Communication Trends University of Phoenix Business Communication Trends Communication is essential for life in general but in business settings, it is absolutely critical. Communication is commonly assumed to consist of just speaking and listening and this is true in most cases. However, there are other elements that make up this seemingly simple, yet very complex process. If these other elements are not taken into consideration the ability to communicate, or transfer information from one source to another will be greatly impaired. The importance of communication to an organizations ability to perform its daily business functions cannot be overemphasized, and the effectiveness of those communications can either help bring success or lead to failure. Communication plays a much larger role in the daily activities of a business than many people realize. The manager manager cannot get work accomplished by his or her employees unless what needs to be done is effectively communicated, and the manager cannot properly manage if his or her subordinates aren’t communicating with them. Which personnel are at work, who is working on what, estimated time of completion, and budgeting and accounting are just a few examples of the information that communications can provide to both employees and management. Many management problems have arisen because of misunderstandings or misrepresentations. However, with the help of effective communication, these management problems can be eliminated, or at least greatly reduced. Communication can also greatly enhance motivation and improve the morale of employees. Inappropriate or faulty communication between employees or between managers and subordinates can cause conflict and low morale in the workplace. Managers must clarify what employees are expected to do, how well they are doing, and what can be done for better performance. Effective communications can also help maintain good human relations in an organization by encouraging ideas or suggestions, and implementing them whenever possible. Communication and business communications are changing on an almost daily basis and management must adapt to these new trends in order to keep things running smoothly. Most of the biggest changes come in the form of technology changes. Advancements in technology have contributed significantly to increased productivity and cost savings. Technology has provided businesses with instant communication capabilities to just about anywhere in the world, which makes it seem like everyone is much closer. Most employees are expected to know how to navigate on the internet, use word processing, e-mail, spreadsheets, databases, and presentation software. Locker & Kienzler, 2008, p. 14) Employees must use computers daily for clocking in, accounting of man-hours, and accessing the company intranet to retrieve information such as: specifications, instructions, forms and reports, phone numbers, and e-mail. While e-mail may be appropriate for routine correspondence, more urgent matters are better handled via cellular phone or other handheld wireless devices. Increasing globalization is a trend that has also had an effect on business communications. As the business grows internationally and expands evermore into the global marketplace, the company must show commitment and responsibility to the various countries with which they have ties. Factors such as time zones, language barriers, and cultural and societal norms and expectations must be addressed. (Heiss & Fraser, 2000) Another trend is the emphasis that the organization now places upon employee engagement. Successful businesses, and those who wish to become successful, are working to increase employee engagement through various methods. The extensive use of teams to help solve problems and make decisions is a big one. Allowing all employees to provide input for changes to processes or the development of new ones is another good method that is used. Employees also attend monthly meetings to review the past months data, discuss current business climate, look at the scheduled production for the upcoming months and next year, review customer issues and complaints, and any other items of concern to the managers or employees. Because the business has become more global, the use of electronic communications such as e-mail, text messages, and wireless transfer of reports, pictures, and documents is not only a convenience, but a requirement. Teleconferencing is also relied upon heavily to get groups of people together for important meetings, even at a moment’s notice, without having to resort to traveling large distances. Message types used to help employee engagement consist of e-mails, meetings, and boards that are located in the various departments that contain graphs, charts, and other nformation that details accomplishments and how they compare to the established goals. Many managers believe that success is directly tied to his or her ability to focus on the business fundamentals, fundamentals such as discipline, accountability, strategic alignment, managing his or her values, and empowering employees. While these are all essential elements that contribute to the achievement of goals, the way to ensure success is through the use of communication. (Froschheiser, 2008) References Froschheiser, L. (2008). Communication, Communication, Communication the Most Important Key to Success in Business Leadership. Supervision, 69(10), 9-11. Retrieved May 10, 2009, from EBSCOhost database. Heiss, B. , & Fraser, E. (2000). Is Your Company Ready to Go Global?. Communication World, 17(6), 29. Retrieved May 9, 2009, from EBSCOhost database. Locker, K. , & Kienzler, D. (2008). Business and Administrative Communication. (8th ed. ). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.