The role of employee communication in enhancing staff performance: a case of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi
This study was carried out in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The main objective of the study was to assess the importance of employee communications in enhancing staff performance at the Faculty. More specifically the study sought to identify the approaches to employee communications used at the Faculty; examine the perceptions of staff on these approaches; establish the uses of employee communications; determine staff performance; and make recommendations on interventions to improve employee communications at the Faculty. The study employed the survey research design in which data was sought from a stratified random sample of 41 employees. Primary data was collected using a structured study questionnaires which were self administered to the sampled respondents. The data collected was then analyzed using EPi Info statistical analysis software and presented in form of tables, pie charts and bar charts. It was found out that the three approaches to employee communications (top-bottom, bottom-up and informalllaterallhorizontal) were used at the Faculty though the top-bottom was the dominant approach. Internal memos, staff meetings, the website, interactions with the supervisors and grapevine were cited as the main channels of communications. Majority of the respondents agreed that the Faculty had changed for the better over the last five years and this was attributed to the introduction of ISO procedures. Employee communications was used to keep staff aware of the happenings in the organization, organizing and managing internal events and enhancing staff morale, and enhancing the image of the University. Employees were found to be rather skeptical about the staff performance appraisal process and did not fully understand the concept of performance contracting. Channels of communication were found to be fairly open and accessible, interpersonal relations were good and amicable and that there was an atmosphere of openness and teamwork. This study recommended that the top-bottom approach to employee communications should be backed up by other approaches especially the informai/laterallhorizontal approaches. The Faculty should uphold the spirit of openness and teamwork and also hold interactive sessions with staff to demystify and explain the concept of performance contracting. To further improve employee communications, the study recommended further opening up of channels of communication, holding of regular consultative meetings and provision of the necessary tools of communication. The Faculty should also consider setting up a fund to reward good performers. It was also recommended that a further study be carried out covering the entire University to assess the importance of improving employee communications in order to raise staff performance as well as assess understanding of staff on performance contacting.