COMMUNICATION – A KEY TO BUSINESS SUCCESS
Every entrepreneur or businessman desires to
see their enterprise grow into a successful business entity. However, in order
to achieve this goal, an entrepreneur has to take into consideration a number
of important factors such as effective communication, qualified human
resources, financial resources, prudent management/leadership, technology etc.
This essay will focus on the importance of
effective communication in contributing to business success. According to Grunig (2006) effective communication
is a key ingredient to the growth and success of a business, especially as it
relates to the key management functions of planning, organising, motivation and
Grunig, (2016, pp 3-18) describes effective
transfer of information, thoughts or ideas to create shared understanding
between a sender and a receiver. The information may be written or spoken,
professional or social, personal or impersonal to name a few possibilities ’’.
Further, due to the fact that businesses are
affected and impacted upon by many elements, it is essential therefore, that
business owners adopt a holistic approach in the process of managing their
businesses to ensure sustainable business success.
As I endeavour to explore the concept of
effective communication in enhancing business success, I will do so by
examining the following subjects: the goal of effective communication, types of
communication, principles of effective communication, importance of effective
communication, and the need for effective communication to take a holistic
Goal of communication
The goal of communication in general is to exchange
information between two or more parties. However, effective communication,
whether in business or not, goes beyond just mere exchange of information.
Communication is deemed successful when both
the sender and receiver understand the same information. Without this
understanding, a message can turn into error or frustration by being
misinterpreted or poorly delivered. Therefore, clarity, precision, accuracy are
fundamental factors to consider as well.
To the contrary, effective communication
requires two or more parties to engage in a cycle of feedback that shapes their
next actions. Richard (2015) points out that for professionals to remain
productive, communication should include a specific call to action, backed up
by persuasive evidence that reinforces the desired outcome.
Types of communication
to Allen and Griffeth, (1997) communication comes in different forms such as Output-based
communication (all form of speaking and writing), Input-based communication
(listening and reading), Nonverbal communication (physical behaviours such as
gestures and body language) etc.
However, it is important to note that not all forms of communication are
applicable to every situation. Therefore, it is important for business houses
to ensure that the right form of communication is used in a particular
situation. For instance, some forms internal communication may not be
applicable when communicating externally.
Principles of effective communication
In order to achieve effective communication,
the content, process and context of the message must be given serious
consideration and these are the elements that constitute the principles of
As pointed out by Keyton, (2010) if communication is to be effective and contribute
to business success, it must ensure that the spoken and written words are
combined into phrases that make grammatical sense, which constitutes the
content of a message. The process, which is the way the message is delivered
i.e. the nonverbal elements in speech such as the tone of voice, the look in
the sender’s eyes, body language, hand gestures and state of emotions (anger,
fear, uncertainty, confidence, etc.) is equally significant. However, these two
factors are not enough in themselves if the context is not taken into context,
i.e. the situation or environment in which your message is delivered.
The importance of effective communication in business
Communication plays fundamental role in all
facets of a business be it in the internal or external environment. According
to Cheney, (2011) the ability to communicate
with people both inside and outside an organisation is a key characteristic for
a successful business. Thus, it can be said that effective communication is the
building block of an organisation.
The importance of communication is not
surprising therefore, when you consider the staggering amount of time people
spend communicating on the job. One study, published in Business Outlook, based
on the responses from over 1000 employers at Fortune, 1000 companies found that
workers send and receive an average of 1798 message each day via telephone,
email, faxes, papers, and face-to-face communication.
Pauley,(2010) believes that effective communication
strengthens the connections between a company and all of its stakeholders and
benefits businesses in numerous ways such as stronger decision making and
faster problem solving; earlier warning of potential problems; increased
productivity and steadier workflow; stronger business relationships; clearer
and more persuasive marketing messages; enhanced professional images for both
employers and companies; lower employee turnover and higher employee
satisfaction; ensures transparency; and better financial results and higher
return for investors.
Therefore, the contribution to business
success made by effective communication in an organisation can only be
determined by measuring the results i.e. the outcomes.
The need for effective communication to take a holistic
Businesses do not operate in a vacuum but
instead, they operate in a dynamic environment. This environment is divided
into the internal and external environments and is what forms the concept of a
holistic business approach. Suffice to point out that both environments play a
critical role to the business success and therefore, they both deserve equal
The internal environment relates to what goes
on inside the organisation, such as the way employees communicate amongst
themselves i.e. interdepartmental or intradepartmental communication, the
processes and procedures that are used etc., while the external environment
relates to what goes on outside the organisation for instance the communication
that goes on between the organisation and other stakeholders outside of the
organisation such as regulatory bodies, suppliers of goods and services,
customers, contractors etc. If there is no effective communication between an
organisation and its external environment, such a situation has the potential
to negatively impact the organisation.
A holistic communication business approach
therefore helps in transferring messages from one person to another, there by
taking into consideration the whole system and not just its constituent parts.
Holistic communication therefore aims at applying systems thinking to
Effective communication can be said to be the
building block of a successful business, and this cuts across the size and
nature of business. Therefore, using effective communication in business
planning, organising, motivation and controlling can contribute significantly
to the success of the business.
It is for this reason that business houses
must ensure that their employees acquire communication skills through capacity
building as well as investing in technological advancements that are aimed at
enhancing effective communication.
However, it is equally important to take into
consideration the holistic nature of business as business houses try to
endeavour to enhance effective communication for business success