. Understand the importance of effective communication
Workplace communication is transmitting of information between one person to another person or group in an organization or to another organization. It can be email, telecommunication, and text or voice message. Effective communication is important for the development of an organization and vital to an organization’s ability to be productive and operates smoothly. Communication skills whether written or oral form the basis of any business activity.
1.1 Explain why clear and effective communication is essential in the workplace
– Effective communication improves employee’s productivity
– It increases worker’s job satisfaction
– It helps to building effective teams, on which team members communicate and collaborate together.
– It gives everyone a voice
– It brings Innovation
– Communication inspires growth of company
– It ensures transparency both internally and externally, which helps in keeping customers
– It helps in Managing Employees
– Relationships are built and can be maintained by positive encounters with others, where communication is the key
– It makes things clear at Work
– Good communication is even more important Managing the diversity
– Effective communication is very important in dealing with Problems
– Transparent communication will help the organization in Surviving Catastrophe
– It will help in boosting employee’s morale.
– it enables work regardless geographical boundaries
– Builds credibility for your brand/services/product
– Helps nurture and sustain relationships with key stakeholders

1.2 Outline the key stages in the communication process (12marks)

Stage 1 – THINK – (Know what to say)
Before communicate any message, sender must know what to be sent. This involves a thinking process. This stage is called idea stage. In this stage, sender has to make sure the message contains useful and correct information.
Stage 2 – ENCODE – (Find the right words to use)
Encoding is the process where the information you would like to communicate gets transferred into a form to be sent.
Stage 3 – CHANNEL (Medium of Communication)
Channels are the medium of conveying the message. These channels include verbal such as telephone, and face-to-face conversations as well as non-verbal such as e-mail and text messaging. Each individual channel has its strengths and weaknesses in terms of communicating.
Stage 5 – Decode (decipher the message correctly)
Decoding process is the interpretation of the sender’s message by the receiver. Effective communication will happen when the sender and the receiver give same meaning to the message.
Stage 6 – Feedback
This is the final step of communication process; means there is a reaction to the message. Feedback makes communication more effective. This is the core of two way communication.
1.3 List potential barriers to communication and outline how these could be overcome
Language Barrier
Linguistic ability acts as a barrier to communication. Even though we communicate in the same language, the difference in language and unfamiliar accents may lead to difficulty in understanding.
– Using a plain language and using the words people understand.
– Use more gestures, facial expressions, pictures or drawings.
– Finding a reliable translator.
– Learning the language
– Speaking slowly
– Technological support

Psychological barrier
Psychological state of the people will influence communication process. If some people are stressed, angry or anxious, that can influence how the message is sent, received and understood. People with low self-esteem may be less assertive and may not contribute for better communication.
– Stress Management
– Anger Management
– Improving self-esteem
– Calling attention and Motivation
– Using facts.

Physiological barriers
Physiological barriers in communication may result from the receiver’s physical state. Disorders like Hearing impairment and Vision impairment can miss may details in the communication. Speech disorders and Memory issues also limits communication. Selective perception, Filtering and alertness can also be psychological barriers
– Use technology
– Brail script for Blind
– Sign language

Physical Barrier
Distortion and Noise, environmental factors and climate affects communication. Time and Distance would be another factor. Technological issues and workspace design also has an effect in the communication in an office setting.
– Using appropriate information systems and communication channels
– Email, fax, telephone, and videoconferencing
– Adequate designing of work space
– Noise reduction techniques

Attitudinal Barriers
Attitudinal barriers to communication mainly arise from personality differences, poor quality of Management, and resistance to change or a lack of motivation. To become an efficient receiver or sander of messages, one should overcome attitudinal barriers.
– Becoming a good listener
– Be responsive, instead of being reactive
– Listen to yourself
– Encourage feedback
– Embrace individuality and encourage collaboration

2. Understand methods of communication
2.1 Explain methods and their best use when communicating with the team
Open Meeting – It is easier to communicate your passion and how you feel to your team via open meetings.
Emails – It can be used to pass the message to team members without pulling them from work station. Communication gets documented.
Telephone – This can be used when we need immediate response. Teleconferencing can bring people together all over the organization. It can be used to follow up to get the response for e-mails. But, it doesn’t serve as an official record.
One to One – When people are communicating face to face, they can interpret thoughts and feelings. This enhances credibility and trust. One to one communication can be best to address sensitive issues and can gather feedback then and there. Limitation is that this can’t be always used.
Meetings – Since it is a common communication channel, this is opportunity to members of the team to share their ideas and discuss the objectives. Good team meetings can lead to better decisions making. Meetings are the communication channels, where problems and issues are discussed and conflicts are resolved. New task or project goals explained in team meetings, where employees will be motivated and realize their importance.
Team Briefs – Team briefs brings managers and team members together, where information can be passed, questions asked and feedback will be gathered. Team briefings are perfect forum for sharing good news, recognizing and celebrating team’s achievement.
Official Letters- Letters can be used for exchanging business related information. When we need a record of communication, mainly letters have been used. One of the specific purpose of official letter is this concludes transaction. It is using for confidential communication. Also, it prevents misinterpretation.
Intranet – Through intranet, we can easily share the information to everyone in company. It improves collaboration and feedback. A good intranet makes it easy to create engaging content of any type, whether it be a blog post, meeting notes, a marketing campaign plan, or product requirements.

3. Understand the importance of maintaining accurate Records of Communication
3.1 Explain why it is important to have a record of communication.
A record is recorded information however recorded whether in printed form, on file, by electronic means.
It is very important to have records of communication because
– To record their content and as evidence of communication, decisions, actions, and history.
– All communication should be accountable to the organization.
– It supports openness and transparency by documenting and
– Providing evidence of work activities and make them available for future reference.
– Correctly reflect what was communicated or decided or what action was taken;
– Support the needs of the organization
– Means of accountability
– To meet legal requirements
– It enables proper tracking of the work
– It enables managers to observe the activities and give staffs guidance and support
– Provide a method of financial control
– Records support quality program and services

3.2 Outline the importance of keeping a record of oral communication
Oral communication is normally informal. Unlike written communication, it doesn’t act like evidence. If an oral conversation happening at organization, it is important to have minutes of the meeting. This can be reported back to the other groups.
It is very critical to disprove claims of unfair, prejudiced and retaliatory practices of any individual or group. It is very critical in refuting meticulous records.
Without documentation, a staff’s assertions turn into a “he said, she said” situation, no matter how fabricated the story may be.
Documentation justifies that the actions and communications were legitimate and taken out of business necessity
It also helps the staff to improve
3.3 Describe methods of maintaining accurate records of electronic and oral communication
Below details outline record keeping methods electronic communication currently in use.
Instant messaging – if we use instant messaging system used for a business decision, staff has to make a file note or record of these messages. But, this is not recommended for business communications.
Voicemail – While using voicemail, we need to make sure to record date, time and the details of caller and recipient.
Video instant messaging – File note has to be made to record the matter and the call log records to be retained in company’s record keeping system.
Email – Company’s email platform should support the preservation and access to different types of email contents. It also should enable to handle the quantity of message generated and the duration of the time they need to be kept as record. Carbon copy (cc and bcc) email, email threads attachments needs to be saved in Agency’s recording system according to its relevance.

Oral Communication.
It is essential to record important minutes, if a meeting or online conversation is taking place. This may be required to report back to other groups. There will be one person assigned for this job. Short hand is a skill which enables people to take quicker notes.
For any recording, we need to start with a note of the time, date and place, and list the people present.
Another way of recording the oral communication is to record the conversation using omni directional microphone.
Short reports can be made on a conversation one had with a team member or a person outside the team on a serious matters.
Use of electronic methods like e-mail, Memo and letter to document the oral conversations can be a good idea to keep the records of it.