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Communication

Organizational Communication – Definition, Importance and Types

Published by: Hitesh Bhasin

& Last updated:

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Organizational communication is the inclusion of all types of communications that enable all varieties of organizations like companies, businesses, government agencies, corporations, or nonprofits to use communication channels for connecting and communicating within the organization as well as with external stakeholders.

Organizational communication already states that effective communication theory is all about using communication to let organizations and professional activities function. Optimizing organizational communication helps in enhancing the efficiency of organizational performance and accomplishing organizational goals.

What is Organizational Communication?

Definition: Organizational communication is defined as a vital management component that includes strategic communication plans, mediums, and practices taking place in the business environment to channelize and manage internal communications like employee communication as well as external communications.

It incorporates communications associated with messaging around the mission of an organization, employee training modules, professional communications, interpersonal communications along with external-facing communications like press releases, public relations announcements, branding, and marketing materials.

Importance of Organizational Communication

Employee Engagement

An organization’s communication strategy is an area of communication that has its focus on organizational activities through a wide range of media roles. It can be formal or informal forms of communication among the team members and different stakeholders of an organization.

Charles Redding is known to be the person who first introduced the concept of Organizational Communication. It was in the year 1936 when he defined communication in a different form and since then organizational communication is evolving each time to get even better than before.

Organizational Communication is important to any organization due to a number of reasons such as-

1. Employee Engagement

A lot of companies prefer to engage employees in a number of decisions that the organization is taking. Taking feedback from the employees on different policies that they are coming up with or seeking new ideas surely encourages engagement with the team members of the organization.

2. Public Relations

Organizations surely spread information about the firm to different audiences and customers through various options such as branding promotions, seminars, and others.

3. Reduced Confusion

When proper channels of communication are followed within the organization, the chances of confusion and misunderstandings reduce automatically. A transparent platform is obtained, where messages delivered and received are clear that boosts up the performance of the teammates too.

Types of Organizational Communications

Effective Organizational Communication

Organizational Communication can be divided into different types and these are explained here:

1. Formal Communication

Formal communication is mainly the type that is professional in nature. In this type of communication, proper format and structure are to be followed. Some of the examples of formal communication are press releases, emails, and job offers.

2. Informal Communication

Also known as the grapevine communication is another mode of communication within the organization. It has to be known that informal communication in any organization is as important as formal communication. Some of the examples of informal communication are messaging apps, video calls, and similar others.

3. Vertical Communication

Vertical communication is another essential organizational communication that takes place in different companies mostly. Vertical communication can be upward communication and downward communication. The main idea is to maintain a proper hierarchy within any organization.

4. Horizontal Communication

Just opposite to vertical communication is the horizontal communication that is most common in startup companies. Here, communication is not maintained as per the hierarchy and individuals can communicate to each other without any particular communication flow.

5. Internal Communication

There are a lot of internal communication options within any organization. The meaning of internal communication can be well understood with the different types of examples available that are emails, live chats, emails, interpersonal communication of the managers with the employees, and social activities within the organization.

6. External Communication

External communication is the process through which the organization communicates with the external world established outside the organization. This can be the customers, clients, and others. Some of the examples of external communication for any organization are public relations examples, branding, communicating with stakeholders, marketing materials, job postings, and customer support.

7. Oral Communication

As the name denotes, oral communication is something in which the participants make use of oral methods such as talking face to face or speaking over the phone. There are so many examples of oral communication happening within the organization such as meetings, video calls, and others.

8. Written Communication

Again, as the name denotes, written communication is all about communication that takes place in written format. While this type of communication may have delayed feedback, such communication makes sure to have a proper record for future references. Some of the examples of written communication that can be talked about are emails, chats, letters, and others.

5 Elements of Effective Organizational Communication

To make a result-driven organizational communication plan, leaders and managers need to incorporate and channelize the following five elements in their organizations-

1. Empathy

Incorporating empathy in organizational communication shows that leaders and employees care about each other. It is useful in creating strong human bonds for accomplishing communication goals constructively.

2. Clarity

For effective communications in and out of organizations, messages and information need to be shared in a clear and specific manner. Leaders should make an organizational communication plan with clear goals, steps, and transparent methodologies.

3. Positive Communication

A positive-communication-based business strategy plays a crucial role in fostering a constructive organizational culture to motivate all organizational members, ensure effective conflict management and optimize productivity.

4. Assertiveness

Assertiveness is very important for organizational leaders as well as professionals, as it enables you to express your thoughts and feelings without being aggressive or passive. It lets you clearly and directly express your opinions without judging or disrespecting others.

5. Self-reflection

Self-reflection in organizational communication plays important role in calming your mind and body as well as reducing distractions.

Workplace communication culture that has a positive, empathetic, assertive, clear, and self-aware atmosphere to communicate will for sure have a better chance of having a result-driven strategy for organizational communication.

Managing Organizational Communication

CEO and senior managers human resource teams, managers, and team leaders

There are several ways how organizational communication can be managed efficiently such as-

1. Training

When the employees are offered the right training about the communication policies of the organization, managing organizational communication can become much convenient.

2. Employee Handbook

Handing over employee handbooks also can be highly helpful in maintaining organizational communication.

Having a handbook can ensure the employees that they can check out the ethics of the company whenever they have doubts.

3. Dedicated team for External Media

There should be a dedicated team for the external media activities such as press conferences, or even social media activities.

It is essential to offer instant response to audiences who are reacting to any of the external communication activities in order to increase engagement.

4. Handling Issues

While organizations establish a portal or a platform for the employees to raise complaints, this practice will be no more trusted if there is no response available on the complaints registered by the employees.

Hence, it is essential that the organization also have a proper team who are there to handle issues and offer a proper response to them.

5. Measuring Results

While surveys are an essential part of any organizational communication, the collection of data through such surveys will be a waste if the data is not used in a proper way.

It is essential to have a team that can handle the data well in analyzing them and then coming up with a result that can be measured and used for various activities in present or in the future.

Goals of Effective Organizational Communication

Different goals that can be accomplished with effective organizational goals are-

  1. Using communication to create a positive employee experience and optimize employee morale, engagement, and retention
  2. Enabling employees or staff to understand the terms and conditions of their employment
  3. Use of communication to drive their commitment and loyalty of employees
  4. Letting employees share their voice to optimize their fulfillment
  5. Decreasing the misunderstandings and misinformation occurrences
  6. Optimizing cross-departmental communication and collaboration
  7. Letting employees align with the company’s mission, core values, and vision
  8. Alleviating the task of finding key information for the employees
  9. Using communication to streamline the flow of information within the organization
  10. Optimizing employee productivity by eliminating time waste causes like information search and irrelevant communications
  11. Using corporate communication strategies to build better relationships, improve trust in the workplace and make communication more productive

Careers in Organizational Communication

A lot of candidates get a degree in the field of organizational communication after which they can start their career in a lot of diverse opportunities such as:

  1. Marketing directors
  2. Project management areas
  3. Corporate Communication Consultants
  4. Human resources
  5. Public Relations Director
  6. Managers
  7. Media Researchers
  8. Communication Professors

communication skills internal and external communication organizational communication skills

Examples of Organizational Communication

Some of the common examples of organizational communications

  1. Team meetings
  2. Remote work training
  3. Feedback
  4. Social events, etc

Advantages of effective organizational communication

  1. Reduces misunderstanding and decreases lawsuits and complaints
  2. Boost confidence and morale of employees working at the workplace
  3. Optimizes procedures and processes taking place in and out of an organization
  4. Enables employees to understand the organization’s policies, rules & regulations
  5. Develops a good bond between the employees and management
  6. Empowers employees to voice their opinions and ideas

Disadvantages of ineffective Organizational communication

  1. Ineffective organizational communication may cause misunderstanding that might be a reason behind altercations among employees and management
  2. Ineffective interpersonal communication ruins the coordination in the departments
  3. Not having good organizational communication might cause arguments, wastage of resources, or increased cost of production
  4. The sales department might be unaware of promises of marketing departments
  5. Ineffective communication can be the reason behind the higher rate of turnover

Conclusion!

Organizational Communication is an essential part of any organization. It is due to its several benefits such as increasing engagement and reducing confusion that it has gained great importance now.

Managing different types of organizational or business communication in the right way surely helps the team in enhancing their performance too and getting the desired results. It lets information, as well as qualitative and quantitative data and ideas, flow as per the organizational structure

What are your thoughts about the importance of organizational communication in ensuring organizational success? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.

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Article by:

Hitesh Bhasin

Hitesh Bhasin is the CEO of Digiaide and his vision is to make business knowledge accessible to everyone.