Organizational communication is the lifeblood of business success. Think about it - how do you ensure that your employees are aligned with your vision, or how do you get essential product changes in the hands of frontline employees? The answer lies in efficient and effective communication and collaboration across all levels of the organization. In this article, we'll delve deep into what organizational communication is, explore its various facets, and uncover strategies and best practices to ensure your business thrives through effective communication.
Table Of Contents
- What Is Organizational Communication?
- The Six Types of Organizational Communication
- How To Create An Organizational Communication Strategy That Works
- The Cost of Poor Organizational Communication
- Boost Your Organizational Communication Strategy with Employee Communication Apps
What Is Organizational Communication?
Organizational communication is the lifeblood that keeps the wheels of business turning through the seamless flow of information. To understand it better, let's begin with some foundational definitions and concepts.
Organizational Communication Definition
Organizational communication is how businesses interact and communicate with their key audiences, such as employees, customers, suppliers, and more. It involves a multitude of channels, including email, newsletters, mobile apps, intranets, town halls, memos, manuals, company websites, and more. This diversity of channels presents both opportunities and challenges for effective communication.
Why is this definition so crucial? Several decades of academic research have led to the development of organizational communication theories. One such modern theoretical framework is the organization information theory, which suggests that for an organization to sustain itself, it must provide the necessary information to achieve its goals. In essence, communication within the organization regulates the environment, influences human behaviour, and impacts productivity. These theories underline the importance of shared information and the role of employees in contributing to organizational success.
The Benefits Of Effective Organizational Communication
Effective communication within an organization yields numerous benefits, such as increased loyalty. Learn more about how employee communication is the backbone of modern business success:
Stronger Alignment: When employees are well-informed, they are more likely to align with the organization's mission and goals.
Increased Loyalty: Regular updates from management can boost employee and customer loyalty, with 85% of employees being more motivated when they receive such updates.
Reduced Misunderstandings: Clear communication reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings and the spread of misinformation in the workplace.
Enhanced Company Culture: A culture that values open and transparent communication fosters a more engaged and satisfied workforce.
Improved Reputation: Businesses that communicate transparently and openly tend to build better reputations and trust with both their employees and the public.
The Six Types of Organizational Communication
Organizational communication takes on various forms and directions within a company. Here are the six most common types:
Formal Communication: This refers to structured communication within the workplace. Examples include enterprise-wide distribution of information through newsletters, employee communication apps, or CEO videos. Formal communication is essential for disseminating critical company-wide updates.
Informal Communication: Unlike formal communication, this is less structured and often involves conversations with colleagues. Informal communication, including "watercooler chats," is a faster way to share information and exchange ideas.
Horizontal Communication: This involves the free flow of information among individuals on the same hierarchical level within an organization. Horizontal collaboration is vital for fostering team communication and open feedback.
Vertical Communication: This type flows up and down the organizational hierarchy. It includes email exchanges, one-on-one discussions between managers and direct reports, and other hierarchical communication.
Internal Communication: This is news and information shared within the organization and is primarily directed toward employees. Channels for internal communication include intranets and town hall meetings.
External Communication: This type involves distributing information to external audiences, such as customers, media, community partners, investors, and regulators. External communication is typically used to enhance the company's brand and public reputation.
By understanding the six types of organizational communication and following the steps to create a robust communication strategy, your organization can benefit in numerous ways. Learn more about crafting an effective internal communications strategy to further enhance your communication efforts.
How To Create An Organizational Communication Strategy That Works
Crafting an effective organizational communication strategy can be a challenging yet highly rewarding endeavour. Here are some essential steps to guide you:
1. Align Your Organizational Communication Strategy To Your Mission: Start by connecting your communication strategy to your business objectives. Ask yourself how this strategy supports your mission statement, organizational objectives, and relationships. Ensure it aligns with the company's short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals.
2. Identify Your Audience Members: Segment your employee base to understand their diverse needs and preferences. This segmentation will help you tailor your goals, tool requirements, and content strategies effectively. For instance, consider if your workforce is primarily composed of frontline or remote employees.
3. Set Your Organizational Communication Goals: Map out goals that define success for your communication strategy. Make sure these goals are measurable and align with your business objectives. Examples include providing a centralized platform for information access, enhancing employee engagement, and maximizing employee retention.
4. Prioritize Technology In Your Organizational Communication Strategy: Choose the right communication tools that ensure information reaches all levels of the organization effectively. In a modern communication pyramid, top-down communication includes official messages via newsletters, intranets, and town hall meetings. Middle-level communication focuses on team and department-specific updates, while bottom-level communication deals with tactical operational challenges.
5. Remember The Three Cs: Clear, Concise, Consistent: When creating content, prioritize clarity, consistency, and brevity. Use attention-grabbing headlines, keep information digestible, and make any action requests crystal clear. Visuals and dynamic content are also effective tools. Use read receipt features to track engagement.
6. Measure Results And Make Continuous Progress: Once your communication plan is in action, regularly measure progress against your goals. This may involve tracking employee engagement, safety incidents, or organizational alignment. Data and analytics should guide your strategy to the next level, and employee feedback through surveys can provide valuable insights.
The Cost of Poor Organizational Communication
Effective organizational communication is a critical aspect of success, and poor communication can have significant financial repercussions. Research has shown that many companies lose millions of dollars each year due to inadequate communication. One study of 400 companies with 100,000 employees found an average annual loss of $62.4 million per company due to poor communication. Even smaller companies with 100 employees can lose an average of $420,000 per year due to miscommunication. Additionally, poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, damaged relationships, decreased employee productivity, and increased frustration in the workplace.
Boost Your Organizational Communication Strategy with Employee Communication Apps
Empact is a mobile-first employee communications platform designed to enhance communication in the workplace and connect with employees, regardless of their location. This solution helps organizations streamline their communication and engagement efforts by providing a unified platform for sharing news, updates, and stories.
How Empact Can Improve Workplace Communication and Employee Engagement:
Mobile-First Approach: With the increasing prevalence of mobile device usage, Empact ensures that your communication reaches employees wherever they are.
Real-Time Updates: Keep your employees informed with instant news and updates, ensuring they are always up to date with essential information.
Visual Content: Engage your audience with visually appealing stories, photos, videos, and other multimedia content.
Two-Way Communication: Foster open feedback and dialogue by allowing employees to like, comment, and share stories, promoting interaction within your organization.
Data and Analytics: Use insights and metrics to understand the effectiveness of your communication strategy and make data-driven improvements.
Book a free demo to learn how your organisation can boost organisational communication.
Effective organizational communication is not a choice; it's a necessity. To thrive in the modern business world, businesses must prioritize clear and efficient communication strategies. It ensures alignment with organizational goals, fosters employee loyalty, reduces misunderstandings, and builds a positive company culture and reputation.
By understanding the six types of organizational communication and following the steps to create a robust communication strategy, your organization can benefit in numerous ways. Don't underestimate the cost of poor communication – it's substantial. Invest in the right tools like Empact to enhance your communication strategy and ensure your business thrives in the ever-evolving corporate landscape. Discover why internal communication is important for an organization.
In conclusion, it's time to take your organizational communication strategy to the next level. Make use of the insights from this article and invest in the power of effective communication to create a thriving, transparent, and successful organization. Your employees and your bottom line will thank you.