An organization’s communication strategy is what forms the heart of the firm. Through the strategy, it will outline how information flows in the organization from managers to employees, from one employee to another and from employees to the managers. In case an organization has a poor communication strategy, it will lay down a foundation upon which information blockages will make it not to work efficiently towards its set goals and objectives (Husain, 2013).
Summarize the Communication Strategy
Apple is an American multinational technology company with its headquarters found in California. The firm has its global presence in the developing, designing and selling consumer electronics, online services, and computer software. Apple's hardware products include the Apple TV digital media player, the iPhone, and Ipads, iPod and Mac pcs. Since the firm's foundation in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne, and Steve Wozniak, it has grown and is amongst the leading smartphone producers in the world (Apple Worldwide, 2011). For Apple to become successful in its operations, it must have employees who are highly productive. The productivity of employees is determined by how they are performing their day to day activities and if the firm is meeting its set goals. A communication strategy has a significant role towards improving organizational performance which is also essential to Apple's success. At Apple, the communication strategy used is referred to as the Fearless Feedback strategy (Biddle, 2012). Through this communication strategy, it allows Apple's employees including its management to share best practices and any observations on behaviors with each other. The Fearless Feedback communication strategy is formed on the basis that each employee at Apple is the other's mentor thus establishing collaboration for all staff irrespective of one’s role at the firm (Biddle, 2012). Through this communication strategy, an employee can also give praise to another. Another communication strategy that Apple employs is the Net Promoter for our People. These two strategies promote a two-way communication process that sees all Apple employees are updated with information pertaining to the brand. Apple’s management believes that it is only through having an efficient and accessible communication plan will the firm have an ability to build a strong relationship between its employees and keep them informed.
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Analyze the Communication Strategy
At Apple, it has to ensure that it foresees a continuous improvement process if it is to continue being a leader in the technological devices market. Through this process, it allows Apple to identify different opportunities that will be used in streamlining the word and decreasing wasteful practices. A firm that has a lot of wasteful practices will not have poor productivity thus an indication that its performance is dismal. However, with Apple's Fearless Feedback communication strategy, the employees are given an opportunity whereby they can openly give "fearless feedback" to each other openly rather than criticizing each other (Biddle, 2012). This will see the employees pointing out any negative flaws in another’s work that might not have positive outcomes to the firm’s general performance. The communication strategy used by apple is utilized in enhancing the performance in the following levels within the organization;
The value-chain process involves a high-level model whereby a firm obtains raw materials and augments value to the raw materials through numerous procedures to generate a complete product and sell it to the buyer (Cutting-Decelle et al., 2007). The important undertakings in value chain process include the inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, services and, marketing and sales. It is important for a firm to ensure that it understands what the needs of its consumers. Apple is only successful if its customers are fortunate. As such, there is a need to make sure that there is an efficient communication line along the value chain process between the company and its customers. Through effective communication, the firm will create trust and transparency which will lead to a sustainable business (Cutting-Decelle et al., 2007). The implementation of the "fearless feedback" communication strategy has allowed Apple Inc. to create an online platform that not only allows employees to voice their ideas, concerns, and opinions but also gives the consumers a chance to be part of the communication forum (Biddle, 2012). The surveys conducted on the online platform will help Apple in developing products that meet the consumer needs through analyzing the feedbacks they receive from the online platform.
Marketing and R&D
Apple spends millions of dollars annually when it comes to marketing its products to the consumers. The same billions are also spent in its R&D so as to come up with the best devices that will allow it grasp their target market. The marketing and R&D department must always work together for in case they focus on acting and understanding what customers’ needs are, their jobs will be much simpler including positive outcomes for the firm in general (Massey and Kyriazis,2006). In most firms, the R&D department has always voiced concerns about the marketing department providing weak data that makes it hard for them to develop new products. At Apple, through the fearless feedback communication strategy, the marketing department and R&D have a collaborative relationship. None of the two departments blame the other when it comes to a product that will not sell. These two departments collaborative relationship has seen a continuous survey carried out by the marketing department with the data being given to the R&D department. These two departments work together before deciding which of the data collected would lead to positive outcomes after a particular product is developed (Massey and Kyriazis, 2006).
Potential Problems with Communication Strategy
Despite Apple Inc. supporting the “Fearless Feedback” communication strategy, it has its share of downs. This communication strategy supports the provision of negative feedback to be given to an employee or manager. It has always been known that not all people respond positively to negative specific feedback for they cannot take criticism. Employees who cannot receive negative feedback as being constructive will see their morale being weakened thus affecting their job performance. For the employees not to respond to any negative comments in a manner that will affect their overall job performance, the management must ensure that it forms platforms which will support the development of positive relationships between one employee to the other and management. Having long-term relationships in the organization will make people live as friends who build trust. It is more likely for an individual to accept negative feedback from, someone, they consider a friend and trust. The management must also be ready to receive feedback from the employees. In this case, when management offers negative feedback to employees in relation to their performance, the employees will not have any problem.
Explain Integration Techniques
Feedback is defined as helpful information or criticism as a result of an action communicated by a person to another of which the information can be used in adjusting or improving the current or future actions. Effective feedback whether negative or positive is important and it can form the foundation for making crucial decisions (Garber, 2008). The top performing companies the world have attained such positions for they focus on means that they can use to better themselves. Continuous improvement for the organization is not just an appealing expression; rather, it is based on feedback. The “Fearless Feedback” communication strategy has allowed Apple Inc. to attain its global position and status. This has allowed the employees, management, and consumers to engage in a communication pattern that has seen the firm increasing its revenues year in year out. At my current workplace, the communication strategy used is mostly one-way. The management has the duty of passing down information to the employees, and it is only the supervisor who has the responsibility of pointing out any happenings within various departments whether it is wrong or right. The management is also not open to criticism which has seen employees who try to point out wrongful incidents being sacked. As such, most of the employees at the firm tend to avoid commenting on anything even though it might not be good. As such, this has seen the company declining in its revenues for a two-year period. There has also been a tremendous decline in employees for the past one year. As such, the firm should adopt Apple’s Fearless Feedback communications strategy. Through this, it will allow each employee to become the other mentor. The employees will have the ability to point out any wrong things by management which will see the firm improving in performance. According to Welch, (2011) the employee engagement platform will be one that is good thus boosting the company’s overall performance through an increased employee productivity.
Having an effective communication strategy at an organization is critical to overall organizational success. Employees who have a chance to be part of the communication strategy of a firm will see an improvement in their work. This is because; it is a form of employee engagement whereby they have a chance to point out their views that are used in making various organizational decisions (Welch, 2011). At Apple Inc., its Fearless Feedback communication strategy has allowed the firm to attain a global position which is a wish for many other companies.
Apple Worldwide. (2011). Retrieved July 5, 2017, from http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/03/28wwwdc.htmla
Biddle, S. (2012). “ How To Be a Genius: This Is Apple's Secret Employee Training Manual .” Gizmodo . Web.05 July 2017.<http://gizmodo.com/5938323/how-to-be-a-genius-this-is-apples-secret-employee-training-manual>
Cutting-Decelle, A. F., Young, B. I., Das, B. P., Case, K., Rahimifard, S., Anumba, C. J., & Bouchlaghem, D. M. (2007). A review of approaches to supply chain communications: from manufacturing to construction. Journal of Information Technology in Construction (ITcon) , 12 (5), 73-102.
Garber, P. R. (2008). Performance feedback . Amherst, Mass: HRD Press.
Husain, Z. (2013). Effective communication brings successful organizational change. The Business & Management Review , 3 (2), 43.
Massey, G. R., & Kyriazis, E. (2006). Communication and conflict between marketing and R&D during new product development projects.
Welch, M. (2011). The evolution of the employee engagement concept: communication implications. Corporate Communications: An International Journal , 16 (4), 328-346.