Essentials of effective upward communication | Causes upward communication

Effective functioning of an organization significantly depends on proper and effective use upward communication. To make upward communication effective, due attention must be given on the following aspects:

  1. Participative approach of management: If participative management approach is practiced in the organization, it encourages subordinates to communicate their requests, attitudes, feeling etc. to their superiors. As a result, upward flow of communication occurs frequently.
  2. Confidence on subordinates: In order to make upward communication frequent and effective, managers should have confidence on the capability of their subordinates. This will encourage the subordinates to communicate more with their superiors.
  3. Shortening the communication line: Long line of communication causes distortion and loss of information in the organization. It also hampers free and fair flow of information and delays the decision making process. To avoid such problems and to encourage upward communication the lines of communication must be shortened to a little desired numbers.
  4. Reward for good suggestion: The subordinates should be rewarded for conveying potential and valuable suggestions. This rewarding system can inspire them to communicate with their superiors.
  5. Arranging proper grievance handling procedures: The superiors should be attentive towards the message of their subordinates. If they find any genuine grievance, it should be resolved promptly.
  6. Changing autocratic attitudes: Autocratic behaviors of the superiors compel their subordinates to be only listener, which make the upward communication impossible. Therefore, to make upward communication successful, the managers should give up their autocratic attitudes.

Causes of distortion of message in the upward communication channel

Free and fair upward flow of information is essential for organizational success. However, some factors distort and filter the messages of upward communication and thus hamper its effectiveness. The followings are the main factors that distort and filter the messages in upward communication channel:

  1. Fear of loss of image: Subordinates are generally very much conscious about their own image in the organization. They intentionally pass only that information that are helpful for restoring and building their image. For doing so, they sometimes conceal the real information and present information by coloring them that leads to distortion and filtering of real message.
  2. Suspecting attitude: Generally, the subordinates have a tendency to suspect their superiors with regard to superior’s actions and behaviors. Due to suspicious attitude, subordinates tend to forward distorted message in the upward communication channel.
  3. Expectation of reward and promotion: Subordinates expect recognition, reward, and promotion form the organization. In order to fulfill such expectations, they conceal the real fact and pass those messages that create a favorable impression about them in the mind of their superiors. In this way, they distort the message of upward communication channel.

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