Managing Communications, Knowledge and Information of DenizBank
DenisBank is a state-owned banking institution located in Istanbul, Turkey. The bank has six domestic subsidiaries in Turkey and three international subsidiaries. The bank’s main customers are retail customers, mid-sized businesses, public finance customers and exporters. It has more than 14,000 employees and recorded about 1.061 million TL in 2013. This report will provide the existing communication process in DenizBank. It also provides recommendation for improvement in the organization’s communication process. Furthermore, the report will identify the existing approach to collection, storage and dissemination of information in the company’s departments. It will then suggest mechanisms through which the company may improve access to information.
- Existing Communications Processes in DenizBank
DenizBank has a functional organizational structure that is headed by a CEO assisted by executive vice presidents. There are also various committees reporting to the CEO. They include Management Board, Executive Committee, Assets and Liabilities Committee, Disciplinary Committee, Purchasing Committee, Promotions Committee, Social Responsibility Committee and Audit Committee (DenizBank, 2013). These Committees are responsible for executive communication of the company’s strategies and operations. Communication is done by the committees mainly through committee meetings, annual meetings, and meetings with employees. The communications committee is responsible for coordinating communications within the organisation.
There are both formal and informal communication processes in the organisation. Formal communications occur mainly through the executives who organize for meetings such as committee meetings or employee meeting when there is an important decision or strategy to be communicated. Such formal communications are provided through various communication channels such as written communications, conferences, meetings, seminars, workshops and electronic communication.
As mentioned earlier, meetings are the most essential communication processes in DenizBank. The company also uses electronic communication processes such as sending emails to various stakeholders. DenizBank also has an intranet through which members of the bank in different organisational levels communicate with each other. The intranet is mainly used to communicate rules, regulations, and business procedures of the organisation (DenizBank, 2013). Whenever there are urgent organizational changes and emergencies, the management usually uses emails and internal memos to communicate with members.
Informal communications also occur within the organisation. This is usually used among employees. In this case, employees meet during tea and lunch breaks to discuss their experiences at the workplace; hence they share information and ideas on how to manage or run operations and activities within the organisation. Employees also communicate their innovative ideas through their private emails and social media when they are free from formal duties.
Communication with external parties in the organisation takes place through the social media, company website and collaborations with other institutions such as universities (DenizBank, 2013). Collaboration with universities enables the company to acquire employees. The company also uses career website to communicate with potential employees. Annual reports are used to communicate with shareholders, other investors, creditors and other stakeholders of the company. Such annual reports are usually released during annual meetings.
Another important communications process in DenizBank is the communication of company rules through the Investor Relations Department and the Financial Communication Department (DenizBank, 2013). Information is disclosed to shareholders through annual reports, event disclosures, press releases, bank’s website, responding to questions through telephone and emails, presentation of survey reports, and communicating with credit rating agencies.
The communications committee of DenizBank is the central element in communication processes of the company. The department meets every month to discuss and come up with ideas and recommendations that need to be communicated about the bank’s corporate identity (DenizBank, 2013). The ideas and recommendations are then presented to the executive committee to provide its views, considerations and feedback.
- Improvement of the Communications process
One of the improvements of the communications process of the company is to develop an informal bottom-down communication process whereby the company’s top levels of management communicate with low-level managers and employees down the hierarchies through informal mechanisms (Elearn Limited, 2009). Similarly, the informal communication process should also involve bottom up communication whereby the junior managers and employees communicate with senior managers and supervisors informally. In both cases, communication should not be restricted by organisational hierarchy or structure.
Through informal communications, members of the bank chat about organisational project works and innovative ideas over coffee and during social events when everyone is free to express their ideas without fearing or feeling the presence of a superior body (Chu et al, 2010). A member of the organisation may also send an informal email to a colleague to ask a question or clarification for something. Private messages can also be sent between various members of the company to discuss about certain problems and issues related to the organisation.
In this informal communication process, managers should be able to communicate informally with their staff, and the staff should be willing and free to communicate with their managers. This will make junior managers and employees of the company to gain a sense of belonging in the company and feel valued (Elearn Limited, 2009). Through informal top-down communication process, managers are able to gain the trust of employees. Employees will also be encouraged to contribute to information and knowledge sharing process in the company.
Informal methods of communication can be implemented in various levels of the organisation. Implementation of the informal communication structure should also involve all members of the organisation from the CEO to the workforce staff (ÖsterlE, 2001). This will enhance integration of ideas into the implementation process that will benefit everyone in the organisation. Employees should feel that they are part of the implementation process.
The implementation should begin with a general meeting where all managers and employees can meet to discuss how they can develop informal communication structure without compromising or interfering with the current formal communication structure of the organisation (Krogh and Roos, 1996). Fundamental assets and structures for informal communication should then be set up. For instance, a social hall or a garden may be established for members to go and have informal meetings as they share ideas. Furthermore, managers should also be trained on how to use informal communications to benefit the company.
The company should also implement the development of a business wiki, a blog and a social media fun page. The business wiki should be developed so that various members of the organisation including employees and shareholders can participate in decision making of the organisation by offering their ideas collaboratively through the wiki. Wikis allow users to edit and respond to information provided (ÖsterlE, 2001). The social media fun page can be offered on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. This will allow members of the organisation to meet online and discuss issues and problems informally.
- Collection, Formatting, Storage and Dissemination of information at DenizBank
Information in DenizBank is accessed and disseminated through various mechanisms. Each department has a committee that is responsible for collecting information, storing it, and disseminating to the necessary destinations. As part of information dissemination, information is also given back to its presiding source through a feedback mechanism that is necessary in order for changes to be made on the information before being disseminated to the desired destination. In this part, we will consider the path that information takes in the communication department through communication committee of DenizBank. The diagram below shows the information flow in the Communications Department.
From the diagram above, it is clear from the direction of arrows that the information flows in a systematic manner. Information that may boost the company’s corporate identity stored in the database which is managed by the Information Technology Department. The information can then be collected by the communications department in collaboration with the IT department. The information is then formatted by the communications department in such a way that the target audience will understand. The Communications committee then disseminates the formatted information to the executive committee which formats the information further and disseminates it back to the communications department through a feedback loop. The communications committee makes the final formatting of the information and disseminates it to the target audience who provide feedback based on their understanding of the information.
- Improving access to the information
Access to information about the corporate identity of the company can be improved through the development of informal communication systems. For instance, development of a social media fun page or a wiki can be used by the communications committee to disseminate the information to the target audience easily. In fact, this will ensure that a large number of the target audience can get the information easily in a short time.
Some members of the executive committee may also sit over coffee with some members of the communications committee to discuss the information collected by the communications department. This can make the formatting process easier and faster because the two committees can agree on the correct form of information that should be disseminated to target audience without following long and tedious formal processes (Choo, 1998). The communications committee may also collect the information by communicating informally with members of the IT department. Informal communication structure makes collection, storage, dissemination and formatting of information easier and faster.
Choo, C.W. (1998). The knowing organization: how organizations use information to construct meaning, create knowledge, and make decisions. New York: Oxford University Press
Chu, S., Ritter, C. and Al-Hawamdeh, S. (2010). Managing knowledge for global and collaborative innovations. Hackensack, N.J: World Scientific Pub.
DenizBank (2013). Financial Services Group Annual Report. Istanbul: DenizBank.
Elearn Limited (2009). Information and knowledge management. Boston: Elsevier/Pergamon Flexible Learning.
Krogh, G.V. and Roos, J. (1996). Managing knowledge: perspectives on cooperation and competition. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications
ÖsterlE, H. (2001). Business Networking: Shaping Collaboration between Enterprises; with 40 tables. Berlin: Springer.