Importance and Merits of Grapevine
Grapevine circulates those information, messages, opinions and feelings that formal communication channel cannot carry. Because those messages are regarded either confidential, or the formal lines of communication are inadequate to spread those, or those are gossips in nature. Where informal communication channels are essential to fulfill the human communication needs, grapevine is inevitable and valuable there. Indeed, an intelligent top manager would probably be wise to feed it accurate information, since it is very effective in achieving organizational goals. The following points will highlight the importance or merits of grapevine:
Supplement to formal channels: Grapevine plays important rule as a supplement to formal channels of communication. Grapevine channel can conveniently transmit those messages that cannot be transmitted through formal channels.
Quick transmission of message: Grapevine can transmit and spread any message rapidly to the people involved in it. Since it is effective for quick communication, managers should encourage transmission of information through grapevine.
Getting feedback: Grapevine enables the executives to know what the subordinates think about the organization and its various activities by seeking feedback from them.
Bringing organizational solidarity and cohesion: Existence of grapevine in organization proves that the employees are interested and happy with their associates. It imparts to the members of an organization a sense of belonging, status, self respect and satisfaction that helps in bonging solidarity and cohesion in the organization. By understanding this fact, many managers consciously encourage grapevine and molds the morale of their employees.
Relieving dissatisfaction of employees: Sometimes decisions regarding promotion, retrenchments, retirement, salary etc. may create dissatisfaction in the mind of the employees. Communication with aggrieved employees through grapevine relieves their dissatisfaction and provides mental satisfaction.
At last, we can conclude that existence of grapevine as the informal channel of communication is essential to promote efficient functioning of an organization. By realizing its importance and merits, intelligent manages consciously feed, water and cultivate the grapevine, rather than try to curb its growth.