Organizational communication is a vital skill for nurse managers, as it involves the exchange of information and ideas between different individuals and groups within a healthcare setting. Effective organizational communication can improve patient care, staff satisfaction, teamwork, and organizational performance. In this article, we will review some of the key concepts related to organizational communication and how they can help nurse managers in their role.
What is Organizational Communication?
According to Daily Concepts, organizational communication can be defined as “a method of conveying and sharing information such as organizational goals, plans used to achieve those goals, policies, rules & regulations, and other trivial details” among interrelated or interdependent members of an organization. Organizational communication is more than just a simple transmission of data, as it also involves the creation of cooperation, coordination, and joint progress towards the organizational objectives.
Organizational communication can be classified into different types based on various criteria, such as:
- Internal and external communication: Internal communication refers to the communication between the members of the organization (such as departments, teams, or individuals), while external communication refers to the communication between the organization and its external stakeholders (such as patients, families, suppliers, or regulators).
- Formal and informal communication: Formal communication is the communication that follows the official channels and procedures of the organization (such as memos, reports, or meetings), while informal communication is the communication that occurs spontaneously and casually among the members of the organization (such as chats, jokes, or gossip).
- Vertical and horizontal communication: Vertical communication is the communication that flows up and down the hierarchical levels of the organization (such as from managers to subordinates or vice versa), while horizontal communication is the communication that flows across the same or similar levels of the organization (such as among peers or colleagues).
Why is Organizational Communication Important?
Organizational communication is important for several reasons, such as:
- It facilitates the exchange of information and feedback among the members of the organization, which can enhance their knowledge, skills, and performance.
- It enables the coordination and collaboration of different tasks and activities within the organization, which can improve efficiency and effectiveness.
- It fosters a positive organizational culture and climate, which can increase trust, commitment, and motivation among the members of the organization.
- It supports the decision-making and problem-solving processes within the organization, which can lead to better outcomes and solutions.
- It helps to manage change and innovation within the organization, which can foster adaptability and creativity.
How to Improve Organizational Communication?
As a nurse manager, you can improve organizational communication in your department or unit by following some of these tips:
- Communicate clearly and consistently: Use simple and concise language, avoid jargon and ambiguity, and repeat or summarize key messages when necessary. Ensure that your communication is consistent with your actions and expectations.
- Communicate effectively and appropriately: Choose the right mode, channel, and timing for your communication based on your purpose, audience, and context. Use verbal, nonverbal, and written communication skills to convey your message effectively. Adapt your communication style to suit different situations and people.
- Communicate openly and respectfully: Encourage open and honest communication among your staff and with other stakeholders. Listen actively and empathetically to their opinions, concerns, and feedback. Respect their diversity and individuality. Provide constructive criticism and praise when appropriate.
- Communicate strategically and proactively: Align your communication with your goals and objectives. Plan ahead for your communication needs and anticipate potential challenges or opportunities. Communicate regularly and frequently with your staff and other stakeholders. Seek feedback and evaluate your communication effectiveness.
Organizational communication is a crucial skill for nurse managers, as it can influence the quality of patient care, staff satisfaction, teamwork, and organizational performance. By understanding some of the key concepts related to organizational communication and applying some of the tips mentioned above, you can enhance your communication skills and become a more effective nurse manager.