Facebook and Amazon: Impact of Ineffective Leadership Communication

If you’ve been an employee or manager chances are you’ve had some positive and challenging experiences when it comes to communication in the workplace. The following will discuss the strengths and weakness of the communications process between employee and manager, describe the impact of ineffective communications by leaders, the impact on organizational culture, and recommendations for guiding management on effectively delivering communications.

Strengths and Weaknesses

One strength leaders display in the communication process is creating a work environment where employees feel valued. When employees feel valued their level of engagement increases and are more emotionally connected to their work and put energy into helping their organization reach its goals (Cardon, 2016). Leaders can foster an environment where employees feel valued by allowing them to become a part of the process by encouraging collaboration (Limbrecht, 2012), and cultivating a sense of community (Cardon, 2016). One weakness leaders demonstrate when communicating with employees is poor interpersonal communication. An example of poor interpersonal communication is incivility, such as rudeness, name-calling, yelling and disregard for others (Cardon, 2016).

Impact of Ineffective Communications

The impact of incivility is that it escalates a conflict, decreases performance and productivity, dampens motivation, stifles creativity,  diminishes job satisfaction, and undermines loyalty and leadership influence (Cardon, 2016).  According to systems theory, communication can be used to resolve internal conflict (Almaney, 1974), however, incivility by leadership creates internal conflict. And communication that fails to resolve conflicts threatens the survival of the organization (Almaney, 1974). 

Amazon, however, may be an exception to this theory. Many past employees have testified to poor interpersonal communication demonstrated by CEO Jeff Bezos. His tactics, including yelling, name calling, showing no appreciation for employees,  have driven his employees to drink and created an uncomfortable adversarial culture (Upadhyaya, 2013). Yet, Amazon is considered one of America’s most reputable companies “based on consumers perceived commitment to performance, innovation and providing top services” (Strauss, 2016 para. 1).

Recommendations

Recommendations for guiding management on effectively delivering communications is to create an environment in which employees feel valued, foster a sense of community, and demonstrate civility. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, proved that he values employees when he acquired Instagram. Instead of taking over Instagram, he allowed the organization to keep their independence and let them be in charge (Carr, 2013). He also cultivated a teamwork environment between Facebook and Instagram employees with a wall-less office space that encouraged the two companies to exchange ideas (Carr, 2013). Positive communications, such as those inspire, develop, empower and influence their employees (Cardon, 2016). Regarding effective interpersonal communication-don’t just treat others how you would want to be treated, treat them how they should be treated. Ways leaders can maintain civil communications is by keeping a positive attitude, respecting others, granting validation, disagreeing graciously, and getting to know your employees (Cardon, 2016)- in particular, what motivates and demotivates them.

Conclusion

Strengths of leadership communication include fostering an environment in which employees feel valued and creating a sense of community. A weakness in leadership communication is demonstrating incivility. Ways in which leaders can help their employees feel valued is allowing employees to feel included and encourage collaboration. Ways in which leaders can maintain civility is by respecting others, and simply treat others how they should be treated.

 

References

Cardon, P.W. (2016) Business communications: Developing leaders for a networked world. (2nd ed). New York, NY: McGrawl-Hill

Carr, A. (2013, June 25) Take It or Leave It”: Zuckerberg’s Approach to Advising Instagram After Acquisition.Fastcompany.com. Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/3013447/take-it-or-leave-it-zuckerbergs-approach-to-advising-instagram-after-acquisition

Limberecht, T. (2012, June) 3 Ways to (Usefully) Lose Control of Your Brand. TEDTalks. [Video File] Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_leberecht_3_ways_to_usefully_lose_control_of_your_reputation

Strauss, K. (2016, March 29 ) America’s 12 most reputable companies in 2016. Forbes. Com. Retrieved from. https://www.forbes.com/sites/karstenstrauss/2016/03/29/americas-most-reputable-companies-2016-amazon-tops-the-list/#177529c3712f
Upadhyaya, P. (2013, October 25) 4 former Amazon employees on what it’s like working for Jeff Bezos.Bizjournals.com. Retrieved from http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2013/10/25/4-former-amazon-employees-on-what-its.html

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