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United States
May 22, 2018

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A company vision, which comes in the form of a vision statement, is a clear declaration of what a company, business or organization wants to achieve or become in the future. It is not to be confused with the mission statement, which puts forth how the company, business, or organization intends to achieve a realization of that vision. The two are closely related, however, since the vision provides a plan for the future, while the mission statement is essentially an outline of the company’s purpose and operations.

Why does a company have to have a vision?

Simple. You cannot start planning if you do not know where you are going or you do not know what you want to become in the future. You cannot map out directions if you do not have a destination in sight.

You cannot start strategic business planning if you are cannot envision where your business wants to be.

You can liken your company vision to your business’ destination. Unfortunately, it is a fact that not all employees are fully aware of where their organization is heading, and having a vision will rectify that problem. All levels of the organization will be kept in the loop, so to speak, and this awareness will give them focus in carrying out their assigned tasks, duties and responsibilities.

These are some of the communication issues a new hire may experience. I broken them down in sections, giving definitions and examples.

Internal communication occurs on multiple levels. Interpersonal or face-to-face communication between individuals is a primary form of communication, and for years organizations have sought to develop the speaking, writing and presentation skills of leaders, managers and supervisors. Group-level communications occur in teams, units and employee resource or interest groups. The focus on this level is information sharing, issue discussion, task coordination, problem solving and consensus building.

Organizational-level communications focus on such matters as vision and mission, policies, new initiatives and organizational knowledge and performance. These formal communications often follow a cascade approach where leaders at hierarchical levels communicate with their respective employees, though social media are changing communications at this level.

A network represents how communication flows in an organization. Networks can be formal and informal. In a formal communication network, messages travel through official pathways (e.g., newsletters, memos, policy statements) that reflect the organization’s hierarchy. Informal communications move along unofficial paths (e.g., the grapevine, which is now electronic, fast and multidirectional) and include rumors, opinions, aspirations and expressions of emotions.

Informal communications are often interpersonal and horizontal, and employees believe they are more authentic than formal communications (Burton, 2008). Employees and members use both networks to understand and interpret their organizations.

Communications problems may include vertical, horizontal or diagonal. Vertical communication can be downward–flowing down the hierarchy of an organization or upward, i.e., moving from lower to higher levels in the chain of command. Horizontal communication refers to communication among persons who have no hierarchical relationship, such as three supervisors from different functions. Diagonal or omni-directional communication occurs among employees at different levels and in different functions, e.g., a quality control supervisor, accountant and systems analyst. Evolving organizational structures and technologies create opportunities for new and conflicting communication flows (Williams, 2008).

Studies regarding the effectiveness of communication flows often reveal employee dissatisfaction with both downward and upward communications. Findings by the Opinion Research Corporation, which has examined employee perceptions of internal communication for more than fifty years, generally show that more than half of employees are dissatisfied or somewhat dissatisfied with both downward and upward communications (Cutlip, Center & Broom, 2006).

Burton, S. K. (2006, Spring). Without trust, you have nobody: Effective employee communications for today and tomorrow. The Strategist, 32-36.

Williams, S. (2008, September 2). Personal communication.

Cutlip, S. M., Center, A. H., & Broom, G. M. (2006). Effective public relations (9th Ed.). UpperSaddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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