Development Cooperation Handbook/Guidelines/Why do organisations need to plan and manage their communication?

Why do organisations need to plan and manage their communication?

NGOs face a formidable communication challenge, as they become primary actors of social change. Change can be seen as an opportunity, but it also generates resistance. Hence the need for a communication strategy that generates consensus for desired changes. Communication planning also enables spokespersons of the organization to respond adequately to objections and hesitations of those who believe that change is not desirable, not feasible or badly managed.

Why do organisations need to plan and manage their communication?

  1. accountability and transparency. Organisations are increasingly being asked by internal and external stakeholders to be transparent and accountable. This requires knowledge sharing and better knowledge management, possible only through effective communication.
  2. successful project implementation. Big organizations are at times so focused on implementation of project activities that they might look at communication management as a secondary priority. However, for successful project implementation itself, adequate attention must be given to communication management. Good human interaction is a prerequisite for empowerment and motivation of internal stakeholders.
  3. increase efficiency and effectiveness. Lack of adequate communication management always leads to decreased efficiency and effectiveness of development programmes. Good communication management on the contrary promotes task ownership, reduces the amount of work (and stress) for senior managers and makes it possible to conduct constant on-the-job training.
  4. performance evaluation. NGOs are increasingly operating in a competitive environment and are subject to performance evaluation both by donors and by beneficiaries who may have different expectations. Within the purview of their new expectations, NGOs need to determine their universe of stakeholders and then develop a comprehensive, integrated communications strategy that addresses each stakeholder group in ways that are mutually reinforcing and strategically sound. Good communication makes possible the acceptance and use of evaluation reports and lessons learned and promotes capitalization and sharing of organizational knowledge.
  5. generating a team spirit. For many internal stakeholders – employees, consultants, etc. – the essential communication challenge is to generate a strong team spirit and promote improved performance. Internal stakeholders may feel threatened by changes aimed at adapting better to a more competitive context. Therefore, the NGO leadership has to provide vital messages to these stakeholders on competitiveness, strategic intent and future opportunities in a way that is motivational, not threatening. Importantly, these communications can form the basis for front line employee education and training while providing the cultural foundation for the kind of leadership that NGOs expect from its management team.
  6. building alliances. External stakeholders need to be addressed in equally thoughtful, targeted ways. Management has to develop effective communication strategies that enable the NGO to enter new policy sectors with strategic allies, while overcoming opponents and gaining the favour of the public, traditional institutions, regulators, politicians and the media.
  7. Capitalizing knowledge By adopting a communication approach that manages knowledge used and generated, organizations can get a better return on their learning and development activities. Knowledge Management can make an international organization linked in a way that best practices in a country can be adapted into another, without having to re-invent the wheel over and over.
  8. availing funding opportunities. Large donors and other stakeholders are increasingly demanding results based monitoring and evaluation of programmes in order to measure impact of development assistance. When communication with external stakeholders is effective and capitalized, it is easier to document the changes obtained in the social context and certificate the impact obtained through the implementation of programmes.

Tools edit

Templates edit

  Applicant employee evaluation form
  Staff Activity Forecast and Report
  Interpersonal skill assessment
  Employee Performance Review – Peer Review
  Performance appraisal forms

Guidelines edit

  Key Questions for Establishing the Team Organization
  How to reach an agreement on the Employee Performance Objectives
  How to manage motivated and effective teams
  How to recognize if Team Building is successful
  How to check the level of togetherness in a team
  Measures to make teams more performing
  The 5 steps of team creation
  Checklist for Identifying Performance Problems
  How team members can improve overall project communication
  Measures to make teams more performing
  Required characteristics of the project manager
  The 10 Project Management Guiding Principles

See also edit

In other sections of this handbook
  The employee empowering organization
  Manage the Performance of Project Team Members
  Team Conflict Management
  Decision Making in Groups
  Leading and Managing
  Team Conflict Management
  Decision Making in Groups
  Project Managers and programme Managers
  Determining the project manager