What might you do to improve upward communication within the company? What can Google do to communicate effectively on an organization-wide basis in an organization that has dozens of product lines...
What might you do to improve upward communication within the company? What can Google do to communicate effectively on an organization-wide basis in an organization that has dozens of product lines and hundreds of research projects and that will soon have 30,000 employees.
There are several strategies that organizations such as Google can use to improve the quality of upward communications.
The first group of strategies is structural. Flattening management structures means fewer people between the researchers and creative workers involved in developing products and upper management, something that facilitates vertical communication. Another strategy is splitting off project groups so that workers report to someone focused on the specific project to which they are assigned, aligning authority, project responsibilities, and reporting.
One traditional strategy is having regular meetings, but these are often considered as unproductive, especially in a corporate atmosphere in which workers may be afraid of negative career repercussions if they speak frankly. Hewlett-Packard popularized a strategy know as "management by walking around" which emphasized that managers should simply wander around for a few hours a week and engage in casual, water cooler style conversations to get a feel for how workers are thinking.
Another possibility is creating electronic suggestion boxes which reward workers for ideas or suggestions made directly to upper management. Often these work best if the suggestions can be anonymized initially with the name of the person making the suggestion only revealed if it is rewarded in some fashion.
Company blogs and social networks also allow direct and frank upward communication within large organization. As with other means of communication, groups should be assigned on the basis of interests or projects rather than upper management being isolated from workers.