Informal Communication

Informal communication includes all messages transmitted in the workplace which are not formal in nature. Organizations could not function without informal communication. For the security supervisor, it must be recognized that security officers will discuss work-related issues while on the job which will ultimately have a direct impact on how a particular job or task is carried out.

One form of informal communication is the “grapevine”. The grapevine in an informal structure where information is passed on between employees and departments which involve various aspects of an organization. The grapevine will be the source for “unofficial” information such as impending layoffs and plant closings. Management may often use grapevines in order to test theories and ideas prior to their actual implementation.

The truth of the messages via a grapevine is often debatable.

Climate Of The Organization

Communication is directly impacted by the climate and atmosphere of the organization. If the organization fosters an open and honest environment where information is presented in a direct and straightforward manner, mutual trust between employees and the organization will normally exist. Even when the information presented is bad news, employees who believe their employer is being open and honest will generally support management.

Active Listening

The major objective of active listening is to improve communication. Effective listening is a skill that most people do not come by naturally. For the security officer and supervisor, an essential element in improving communication within the security force is to incorporate active listening into the daily management of security officers.

Listening is most effective when a person listens with a purpose. Effective listening begins with a motivation to hear, to understand, and to remember. Active listening requires intense concentration. Often when a person is speaking the listener is more concerned with what they are about to say in reply or they are daydreaming.

When a security officer comes to a supervisor with a problem, a typical response on the part of the supervisor is to try to change the way the officer is looking at the situation. A supervisor will often encourage the officer to view things the way the superior sees things. In these situations, a supervisor is usually responding to his or her own needs and not those of the security officer.