Communication and Culture in Organizations

Introduction

Regardless of the size, nature or structure of the organization, communication is a vital element that helps in ensuring that there is sustainable relationship in the organization. Given that organization is a system, what a single person says to another may have an impact in the entire organization (Bratt & Gold, 2003, p. 134). Communication between workers and the management determines if the employees are satisfied with their work. Communication and culture within a company go hand in hand in enhancing organizational performance. Organizational culture dictates how information flows from one department to another or from the management to the subordinate staffs. It is in this regard that this paper intends to briefly look at the Coca Cola Company’s culture and how it influences communication within the company.

Culture of Coca-Cola Company

The company’s culture is built on three pillars which are one company, one team and one passion. Employees have one and only goal of transforming the company to effectively satisfy the global market (Coca-Cola Company, 2011, para. 1). All employees are given equal chances of developing and implementing their skills to assist in improving the organizational performance. The management is always ready to support all its employees; who it believes are the strongest asset the company can ever have. Employee training is greatly upheld in the company. Therefore, employees are given an opportunity to diversify their skills. In addition, employees are given freedom to make decision on matters affecting their areas of specialization.

The one-team principle in Coca-Cola Company encourages teamwork within the working environment. The management encourages employee participation in coming up with new products or improving the existing products and services. For instance in developing Coca-Cola Vanilla in Great Britain, the company called for views from different departments such as marketing department, financial department and the department of food technology. Accordingly, the company was able to reduce on operation cost as it accurately determined the feasibility of the project prior to its commencement (Coca-Cola Company, 2011, para. 2-4). The teamwork culture has led to employees feeling valued in the company and are thus at all times willing to go a step further in strengthening the company’s brand. This is by bringing in new inventions for product improvement as wells as improving organizational performance. It is as a result of this culture that Coca-Cola enjoys a quality workforce which has helped it dominate the beverage industry not only in Britain but in the entire world.

How the culture impact the communication

Coca-Cola Company greatly values its culture and does all that it is within its capacity to uphold the culture. As a result, the company has adopted various communication strategies aimed at ensuring that information reaches all employees in the company both locally and internationally. The teamwork culture has led to the company holding monthly leadership team meetings. Heads of the different functions within the company meet on monthly bases where they evaluate their performance and present their views on what ought to be done to improve organizational performance (Coca-Cola Company, 2011, para. 2-4). Besides, the different departments meet weekly and communication regarding their performance is passed. All that is discussed in leadership and departments meetings is passed to employees during employee team briefings held on monthly basis.

The company’s principle of employee empowerment has led to it organizing for consultative employee groups meetings. This brings together employees from different regions who present their views on what need to be done to improve organizational performance. The company understands that employees are the ones who undertake day to day operations of the company and hence they understand better some of the challenges they face. Thus, they are allowed to make decisions on matters affecting their places of work (Coca-Cola Company, 2011, para. 1). Apart from consultative meetings, the company continuously monitors its employees to gather their views and feelings. Accordingly, employees who do not participate in consultative meetings get a chance to communicate their challenges and express their views on what ought to be done to avert the challenges.

Communication and management structures

The company has both centralized and decentralized system of management. The overall directions originate from the company’s head office. This is responsible for issuing directions to different regional organizations across the globe. The key strategic decisions are made by executive committee that comprise of twelve members. The chairman is the figurehead for the organization and is responsible for chairing all the board meetings. Other executive members are either the heads of the different regional companies or have special skills in beverage or business world (Coca-Cola Company, 2010, para. 1).

Coca-Cola Company understands that its success rests on the ability to successfully reach and relate well with local consumers. Consequently, it has extended its management to regional level. Here, the management structure exhibits both centralized and decentralize structures. For instance, in United Kingdom, the company has a general manager who is responsible of managing all the organizational operations. Each region has unique operations based on the nature of the target market. Decisions about products development and promotion are made locally in the different regions. This helps in efficiently satisfying consumer needs which vary from one region to another (Coca-Cola Company, 2010, para. 2).

The communication structure within the company can be said to exhibit vertical, lateral and diagonal features of communication. Instructions from the executive committee are passed down the hierarchy through the regional heads to the final employees. Moreover, what is discussed whenever regional representatives meet is passed to employees through departmental heads and supervisors. This ensures that all employees are aware of what is expected of them by the management.

The monthly departmental meetings held between departmental heads and employees pave way for employees to pass their views to their leaders and also share ideas with their fellow employees. Besides, leaders from the various departments share ideas thus enhancing interaction between the departments. There are regular consultative employee group meetings organized by the company. This gives employees opportunity to interact with managers from other departments and regions and share ideas on matters affecting their workplaces (Coca-Cola Company, 2010, para. 1). Consequently, employees gain insight on what other regions and departments are doing.

Conclusion

No matter how good an organizational management is it can not bear fruits without an effective communication. It is through communication that employees get to know what is expected of them and also elevate their problems to the management. Communication is greatly influenced by organizational culture. The teamwork and employee empowerment cultures adopted by Coca-Cola Company promote free flow of information within the entire organization. Employees feel valued thus willing to participate in making decisions on matters affecting the organization as well as informing the management about the challenges the company is facing. It is this culture that has led to the company enjoying the current market dominance as well as a strong brand.

Reference List

Bratt, J. & Gold, J. (2003). Human Resource Management Theory & Practice (3rd ed). London: Plagrave Mecmiilan.

Coca-Cola Company. (2010). Leading the Industry & Refreshing the World Responsibly. Web.

Coca-Cola Company. (2011). A unique culture. Web.

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