What are the methods of communication within a business?

Varun Mehta  |  May 17, 2019

What are the methods of communication within a business?

Business communication is a critical aspect of any organization and employees should be able to share their ideas or suggestions in a coherent and precise manner. Effective communication within an organization provides a multitude of benefits for the business and its employees. This blog explains the communication flow within a business and the types of business communication.

Communication routes within a business

  • Upward communication - Upward communication refers to a form of communication in which the flow of information takes place from employees to supervisors, managers or directors. This is usually done to inform the superiors about the status of work. An example is the weekly status report sent by a marketing associate to the marketing director.
  • Downward communication - In this communication route, messages and information flow down through a business’s formal hierarchical structure. An example is the weekly tasks assigned by a marketing director to a marketing associate.
  • Horizontal communication - This communication route refers to the exchange of information taking place between employees on same level of the organizational hierarchy. An example is the sharing of information between a marketing associate and a social media associate for completing a shared project.

There are a number of key differences between upward and downward communication, let’s take a look at them.

Parameters Downward Communication Upward Communication
Flow Downward flow, i.e. from superiors to subordinates Upward flow, i.e. from subordinates to superiors
Nature Directive in nature Participative in nature
Purpose To provide instructions, orders or advice To provide requests, suggestions, feedback or opinions
Frequency Low Comparatively higher

Methods of communication within a business

  • Face-to-face or verbal - This is one of the preferred methods of communicating within a business, but it may be unrealistic at times if some departments in an organization are located physically distant. Verbal communication is often considered to be the best method of business communication owing to its simplicity and the direct interaction that takes place between the participants. This form of communication also has its disadvantages: due to the physical presence of the participants, there may be a language and culture barrier which may lead to miscommunication. Apart from this, participants may also forget the message, which leads to other forms of business communication being used to deliver sensitive topics.
  • Email - Thanks to technology, emails have transformed how to communicate in the professional world. It is now the most preferred method of communication in a business, as you can send mass messages at once, the messages are efficient and quick and can even include attachments. Using email as a method of communication in organizations has a lot of advantages. Take a look at some of them:
  • It is easy to communicate with other participants even if they are across the world;
  • It improves the efficiency of the workflow process as documents can be immediately edited and approved;
  • Emails can be responded to as per your convenience;
  • Email clients like Gmail and Outlook can be used to book appointments with other participants and they can either accept or decline the invite;
  • Emails help decrease printing costs and save paper.
  • Written - This form of communication is considered to be formal, precise and explanatory as compared to other methods of communication within organizations. It includes official memos, formal letters, flyers, brochures and posters. Written communication is often implemented for intricate assignments, however, additional instructions must be provided and there is no room for error. Take a look at some guidelines that you should follow for effective written communication:
  • Employ the POWER plan for preparing the message — plan, organize, write, edit and revise;
  • Draft the message while keeping the recipient in mind;
  • Use simple words and draft sentences that are precise;
  • Provide facts while making a statement;
  • Avoid flowery language and plagiarism.

These guidelines can also be applied to email communication.

  • Web conferencing - Web conferencing is a type of business communication in which meetings, conferences, seminars, presentations and training take place with the help of the Internet. Web conferences can take place over the phone or with video equipment. This communication method offers several advanced features such as file sharing, screen sharing, real-time chat, polling and recording. This is an effective way of communicating when you have to interact with people in different locations. Web conferencing helps increasing the global reach capacity of an organization, but without any form of travel expenses.

If you are interested in learning more about business communication methods, University Canada West offers a Bachelor of Arts in Business CommunicationM. Upon completion of this interdisciplinary program, you will be equipped with business communication skills and knowledge about how communications and media function in today’s professional world.

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