It is agreed that one cannot not communicate. It is also agreed that communication has become a cornerstone in today’s business. There are different types of communication that can be found in an organisation which we will discuss in this 2-part series. This article will focus on Internal Communication.
This simply refers to the communication process which occurs within a business, that is among the employers and employees of an organisation, without extending to the outside world.
It is categorised mainly into two parts, Formal and Informal communication.
This can be further broken down into:
It can be simply referred to as when the top-level management communicates or delegates tasks to the lower-level subordinates. It is also known as Top-to-Bottom Communication. This indicates a business’s control of employees. For example, the management may communicate the company’s objectives, strategies and mission to new recruits. Job-related information is also provided to subordinates. For instance, information such as what tasks to do, when to complete these tasks are given to employees. Employees’ performance feedback is also provided by managers. Managers can use expensive and colourful booklets, multimedia platforms or even presentations to attract the attention of workers. The purpose of this communication is to improve the productivity of workers and to boost their morale. It was seen that a lack of this type of communication is more likely to lead to employees feeling dissatisfied, disconnected and perform poorly at work.
This type of communication is also known as Bottom-to-Top Communication, where the subordinates communicate with top-level management. The aim is to give new proposals, suggestions, ideas or to make complaints. The methods used are informal meetings, reports or presentations. Employees suggestion box is also another method used. This communication is seen to increase the productivity of workers. It is also noted this type of communication allows managers to monitor the area for which they are responsible for and help to determine whether there are any issues. Many businesses encourage this type of communication by adopting certain methods such as informal meetings and the famous open-door policy, whereby the employees has the freedom to go into the office of the manager and communicates with the manager. This type of communications can lead a business to success.
Also referred to as lateral communication, this is a system of communication which takes place between members of the same rank. Employees within the same level in the hierarchy can interact and share ideas and messages for work-related purposes. For example, two workers in a company who have been given a specific task to complete can communicate with each other. Employees also interact to solve a problem or conflict. The means used are telephone conversations, informal discussions and emails. Through this form of communication, teamwork is built and better work relationships are developed. There is also mutual trust and understanding between workers.
Diagonal communication occurs when communication cuts across horizontal, upward and downward communication. It occurs when people from different functional divisions communicate. For example, a Human Resource Officer interacting with an Accountant or a Finance Officer interacting with a store helper.
Communication does not happen only in a formal context in a business organisation. Informal communication is always present and unavoidable in a business. This type of communication is also called Grapevine Communication. Here, there are no specific rules and regulations. There are no procedures or specific patterns to follow to communicate. It is not based upon a system of hierarchy nor does it follow a chain of command. Individuals within different divisions and different levels of the hierarchy can interact informally. It involves gossip and rumours. For example, the relationship between a CEO and an employee in a business will be the main rumour of the informal communication process. For instance, through the grapevine communication, a company’s profits might be revealed. A drawback of this form of communication is that fake news and information can be spread easily and rapidly in an organisation, damaging its reputation and image.
Do you also think that communication is important for a business? Whatever is your opinion, please share it with us! Don’t forget to check back for part 2, where we will go in-depth on External Communication, or how workers in a business interact with the outside world!