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Communication Audit of Mortar Board - Longwood blogs. ... of rank. Effective downward and upward...

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    Submitted December 6th, 2012

    Communication Audit of

    Mortar Board

    Christi Kapinos

    Callee Early

    David Clipp

    Kasey Moore

    Devontia Talley

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    Table of Contents

    Executive Summary 3

    Introduction 4-5

    Organization Strengths 6-12

    Opportunities for Improvement 13-19

    Recommendations 20-23

    Conclusion 24 References 25 Appendix 26-36

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    The purpose of the audit report is to recognize strengths and areas for improvement

    through observations, interviews, and survey questions, all in hopes of reaching the highest

    level of success for the organization. Mortar Board will benefit from the recommendations for-

    mulated that concentrate on identified strengths and opportunities for improvement.


    Mortar Board has many strengths that are important in maintaining effective communi-

    cation within this organization. Among these strengths, we found that the organization gets

    tasks assigned and completed in a timely and efficient manner. There are appropriate levels of

    communication between the executive board and advisor to the other members. The line of

    communication is very well structured, starting with the advisor and moving down through the

    executive board and then to committee heads and their respective members. The advisor is

    viewed as a primary resource and go-to asset for members of the organization, especially when

    it comes to amount of information.

    Opportunities for Improvement The organization has various areas of improvement that we have recognized through

    observations, interviews, and the survey. We noticed that there appears to be too much infor-

    mation being relayed back and forth during meetings, prominently off-topic conversations and

    distractions. Interviews revealed that members also feel that they rarely are heard and their

    opinion is often disregarded. Members tend to follow the lead of the executive board and advi-

    sor, so distractive and unprofessional behavior is mimicked. Personable relationships between

    committees is minimal; committees stay within themselves. There is an impersonal quality of

    relationships because all members come in new and don’t have the chance to get to know each

    other very well.

    Recommendations Based on the results gathered from the audit, we feel Mortar Board would benefit most

    from improved relationship quality. We propose a retreat once the new members are chosen,

    prior to the election process. Everest believes that an organizational retreat would promote a

    more cohesive and successful team. Another recommendation to be implemented is a formal

    communication system. We suggest a formal recognition policy to monitor who speaks and

    regulate the line of communication. The third recommendation that Everest has developed is to

    hold strong committee meetings. Committee heads would be more involved and in charge

    within their designated committee members and take on new and regulatory responsibilities.

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    Everest has performed a communication audit of Longwood University’s Mortar

    Board during the fall semester of 2012. The primary purpose of the audit is to assist the or-

    ganization in determining their particular strengths and working on areas of improvement so

    that they may become a more unified and collaborative group.


    Authorization was given to Everest by Mortar Board to complete this communica-

    tion audit during the fall semester of 2012. The contract of agreement in order to conduct the

    audit was signed by the client on September 10th, 2012. After performing the audit with the

    cooperation of Mortar Board, Everest will present the results of the audit on Thursday, De-

    cember 6th, 2012 at 12:00pm.


    Everest chose to focus on three aspects of communication when performing this au-

    dit. We centered on relationships among the organization, adequacy of information, and the

    various lines of communication flow. Through observations, interviews, and a survey, Ev-

    erest evaluated every member of this organization including the advisor, executive mem-

    bers, and general members. Improved relationship quality and group unification is what Ev-

    erest hopes to accomplish through this audit process.

    Research Methods

    Through the communication audit, Everest gathered information through conducted

    interviews, observations, and survey questions.


    Observations were completed on September 24th, 2012 and October 1st, 2012 in the

    Lankford Student Union, more specifically the ABC rooms. Everest conducted two different

    observations, focusing primarily on verbal and nonverbal communication. Communication

    patterns and behaviors of the organization were identified in a natural setting.


    Surveys were performed to determine particular models of communication within

    the organization. There was an average of 65% of members who took the survey. The advi-

    sor, executive members, and other members were asked to complete the survey that was cre-

    ated and sent out by Everest’s survey coordinator. Participants were not selected individu-

    ally, but the entire organization was asked to participate so that Everest could attain the

    highest possible number of responses. (See Appendix B for a list of survey questions.)

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    Interviews were conducted with different members of Mortar Board that fulfill vari-

    ous positions throughout the organization. We selected the advisor, two executive board

    members, one committee head, and one general member to be interviewed. Everest chose

    these specific positions in order to get enough information and opinion from the levels

    within the organization. We inquired about overall satisfaction with the organization, rela-

    tionships, and the amount and types of information that relate to Mortar Board personally.

    (See Appendix A for a list of interview questions.)


    There are always going to be limitations in a research process, and one limitation

    was that not all members were interviewed during the interviewing process. Only five inter-

    views were conducted, and that was a small portion of the whole organization. During the

    interview process, there was one member that did not seem comfortable during their inter-

    view and offered minimal feedback to questions asked.

    Report Organization

    Everest analyzed the communication functions of Mortar Board and identified the

    strengths and areas for improvement within the organization. The goal of conducting this

    audit is to improve the communication and function of Mortar Board in its duties and goals.

    This report contains Mortar Board’s organizational strengths, areas for improvement, and

    recommendations for growth.

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    Information Adequacy: Information Effectively Being Distributed Within


    For instance, if an organization needs to meet a deadline on the 15th, it would be unaccept-

    able and not timely for the organization to give the members information necessary for com-

    pleting their tasks on the 14th.

    Information is received in a timely manner and Mortar Board members are happy with the

    amount of guidance and direction received from the executive board and the advisor. There-

    fore, Mortar Boards strengths lie within information load and timeliness These findings are

    drawn from observations during meetings, interviews with members, and a survey given to


    In observations during meetings, Mortar Board members reviewed past meetings and future

    deadlines to ensure that their objectives were met on time. Executive members stayed fo-

    cused on the topic at hand and offered complete information for their committee members.

    In interviews conducted with selected members, each spoke that deadlines were regularly

    met and that there was never a lag in sending or receiving information. An ideal amount of

    information is communicated during meetings.

    “Every committee chairman speaks at every meeting, informing the committee of

    what they need to know.”

    “We have deadlines; we meet with exec. at 8:30 and meet with general members at

    9; information/deadlines are relayed in a timely manner.”

    In surveys, Mortar Board members reported that they were satisfied with the timeliness of

    the functions within the organization. “Timeliness in which I receive the information needed

    to do my job.” 1.43 is our average response rating, on the same scale as stated above. 65%

    of members were satisfied with the time it took to receive information they needed. Overall,

    96% of members were at least somewhat satisfied with the timeliness of receiving necessary


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