Organizational communication plays a significant role for a company’s management as it serves as a foundation for planning and a platform for the implementation of the future strategic changes. It serves as a way to promote motivation by sending to employees a clear message how tasks should be done and what improvements are needed for the further excellent performance. It also serves as a valuable source of information and adds value to the decision-making process. Communication can alter human behavior and attitudes, as well-informed workers used to have more positive attitude. It is a strong instrument for socializing and provides significant assistance in the controlling process (“Importance of Communication in an Organization”).
Organizational communication is working extremely efficient in such a global food producer as Nestle. The company has multiple branches all over the world, and it has managed to work effectively through the help of Web communication. The process of communication is not only effective within the company’s workers, but also between customers and food suppliers, as the possibility to order products on-line has been enacted.
Direction of Communication in Nestle
The hierarchy of the Nestle Company is built in a way, where both upward and downward open channels of communication are managed, which creates a very good working environment to employees and increases the effectiveness of work.
Downward communication is the one that is running to a worker by means of formal channels that include policy manuals, regulations, charts and other rules (Sandilands). Nestle has developed a huge amount of downward communications, but upward communications is more welcomed. Upward communication is perfectly combined with an open culture of Nestle, and it is particularly encouraged in the cases of redressal and grievance.
Horizontal communication is also encouraged in Nestle. Within this hierarchy, managers have proven their accountability, and open horizontal communication engages everyone to work on one’s personal development and achievement of the company’s results. Nestle is the company that has certain prerequisites and values, among which are trust, honesty, transparency and respect, which are essential conditions that are present during effective communication. Thereafter, the style of running business at Nestle is the same as its communications. Dealing with people is always full of integrity and transparency, which stimulates balanced open dialogues. This type of communication is one of the most effective in Nestle.
However, the diagonal type of communication is also present at Nestle Company, as sometimes the management board members make decisions on behalf of the company and communicate them to lower positions. Thus, even members of the management team communicate with one another before making a final decision, and the practice of asking for feedback of what a person thinks is the best for the company in case of change implementation is not a rare matter.
Formal and Informal Communication in Nestle
The working environment in Nestle is very informal, and this motivates people to communicate easily with co-workers. Nestle Company promotes communication between all managerial levels, and suggestions are even encourages, as some bright ideas for improvements can come from the very bottom where workers see the situations from inside. Employees are encouraged to participate in different activities and decision-making processes, which are offered by the company on a daily basis. Moreover, the management of the company asks the opinion of workers, promotes the practices of regular feedback both on peer-to-peer, subordinate to manager and manager to subordinate levels.
Employees usually contact one another through emails or phone, which means that this organization has many open channels for communication. If the company needs to make a major decision, the members of the general management board communicate with one another, and then the information is cascaded to the lower levels. The company has a network of communicational links that helps it to achieve institutional goals and objectives (“Organizational Behavior of Nestle”).
Formal type of communication is only used when needed, and it happens when they need to announce certain official events, dates or policies. The company has a lot of external communication, which refers to commercial breaks, media advertisements, printed media, president’s messages, annual reports and others. It is also important to mention that Nestle is one of those companies that takes care of consumers needs and allocates numerous resources in order to build and support the strength of the communication channel between the company and its consumers.
Communication in Nordstrom
The other part of the following paper includes an interview that was conducted with a shop assistant in Nordstrom in order to get an insight on how the communication is built in their company and what are the similarities and differences with Nestle. Jenny has been working for Nordstrom as a sales assistant for more than two years, and she claims that “Nordstrom is the company that puts its customers above everything!”. No one can dispute that, as this company is famous for its refund policy and special treatment of customers. Thus, this company does not work as Nestle does, and employees do not usually benefit from upward or horizontal communication. “In majority of cases we are being informed what changes are coming”, – said Jenny during the interview. Thus, she is happy with performance appraisals, as open communication is encouraged within the company. Jenny considers the communication in Nordstrom as “formal, because its appeals to customers”.
Recommendations for Nestle
Being a part of Nestle ‘big family’ only for a couple of months during my summer internship, I have understood that communication in this company is on the high level. People speak with one another openly and transparently, and even if management team has made a decision to make certain unpleasant changes (close a projects, dismiss employees), it does it officially and with a feedback to what has happened. “The Nestle Corporate Business Principles are at the basis of our company’s culture, which has developed over the span of 140 years”, and they have infiltrated into the process of communication (“Nestle’s Corporate Business Principles.”). The management of this organization cares equally about its workers and customers, which is why it puts many efforts to make the processes of communication very effective by selecting informal and upward communications.
Thus, one suggestion to improvement can be made. The problem is that sometimes communication is broken in everyday business activities due to the fact that the company operates all over the world in multiple cultural surroundings and areas (Carollo). Thereafter, the suggestion to improvement may be related to further investment in electronic communication channels that would make it more efficient. The proposal is to build telepresence rooms in all locations. Communication in Nestle does not need other improvements, except for more focus.
In conclusion, it is important to mention that Nestle has improved its communication channels since nowadays it is done via mails. Feedback and other messages are sent electronically, and the company has its own prototype of a Messenger System. Actually, informal and horizontal communications, as well as upward, add the most of value to Nestle Company as they resemble its vision and principles. People feel free to talk with colleagues, subordinates and managers; they are welcoming feedback and try to improve; communication is open and transparent. All these factors motivate employees to work efficiently, generate new ideas, and improve their skills as well as get new knowledge. Simple workers have no fear to communicate with top management as they know that the honest feedback can only help to make the company better.