What is Business Communication?
Business communication refers to the process of disseminating information between employees within an organization. It also has to do with how members of an organization relate to others outside the organization. Effective business communication refers to the interaction that exists between employees and employers, in terms of how they communicate to achieve the organisation’s goals and objectives.
The main purpose of business communication is to ensure that every member of the organisation is in alignment with the company’s values and to ensure that every member works hand-in-hand to improve practices, reduce errors and increase efficiency. Clear communication is an essential part of every business’s growth and development. The main difference between casual conversations and business conversations is while the former is random and spontaneous, the latter is goal-oriented. Every business communication is targeted at meeting a certain goal or achieving a set objective.
One common challenge big companies face is the inability to effectively manage business communications. Misunderstandings, avoidable conflicts, and in some cases, ill feelings of resentment arise due to ineffective communications. This is why clear communication is important in every business.
What Are the Different Types of Business Communication?
Business Communication is majorly divided into four types:
1. Internal Upward Communication
As the name implies, this is the type of communication that takes place within an organisation, and flows upward from a subordinate to a leader or a team manager. For every leader to have a clear understanding of how companies operate, it is important that so-said leaders are able to encourage information to flow upwards. This implies that leaders should be approachable and patient. Examples of internal upward communications consist of feedbacks, surveys, reports and forms that subordinates hand over to their managers or leaders.
2. Internal Downward Communication
This is the second type of business communication. It also happens within an organisation, but it flows down from a leader or superior to a subordinate employee. This communication is usually in form of a memo, a verbal directive, or a letter. It is important that leaders are able to maintain professionalism and clarity while communicating with employees.
3. Internal Lateral Communication
This communication takes place among employees of different ranks within the workplace. In our present times, there are several ways for employees to effectively communicate. These include chats, messages, emails, amongst others. Internal lateral communication can either be within a department or among different departments and when compared to other types of business communication, it is the most frequent. It plays a major role in ensuring productivity and efficiency amongst employees.
4. External Communication
This business communication refers to any form of communication that takes place between employees and external individuals, including, customers, partners, and prospects. It happens on a less regular basis but is also an important part of business communication.
What is the Importance of Clear Business Communication?
1. Boosts Engagement Amongst Employees
When employees are constantly and consistently engaged with, they feel encouraged and listened to. By leaders showing support, offering coaching advice, and listening to employees, they boost their engagement and efficiency.
2. Prevents Information from Getting Lost
So often in organisations, important information gets lost in a huge pile of information dump. This leads to a lot of relevant pieces of information being lost in irrelevant ones. This is a major importance of clear business communication, as it prevents this from happening.
3. Increases Employee Productivity
Almost every employee can attest to the fact that effective business communication, especially internally, boosts their productivity. Clear business information saves employees the time they would have wasted searching for tasks and job descriptions, as even before they ask, they are already given relevant information.
4. Improves Communications within Departments
Clear business communication helps employees and team members to effectively communicate and collaborate on major tasks and activities. It helps them brainstorm, easily discover problems, and solve major challenges.
5. Improves Communication with Remote Workers
Remote workers have now been described as the future of work. According to an estimate by the Global Mobile Workforce Forecast Update, over 40% of the world’s working population will be working remotely by 2022. This implies that a new form of communication is required to keep up with remote workers.
By working on the effectiveness of business communication, and taking a new approach to leadership and management, business owners are able to improve communication with remote employees.
6. Increases Employee Retention
Effective communication keeps employees satisfied and engaged, thus increasing the company’s employee retention rates. This means that employees, especially millennials and the much younger employees are attracted to such companies and they are retained by the companies.
Ineffective communication, however, leads to stress, frustration, common misunderstandings, and conflicts, thus discouraging employees from staying in such working environments.
7. Builds Healthy Relationships Amongst Employees
It is important that the relationships between managers and employees are strong and healthy. These relationships can either strengthen or destroy a company. One way to significantly boost relationships within the workplace is by creating social activities for the team to engage in and improve workplace relationships. These team activities also foster team bonding, boost morale, and increase synergy and unity amongst employees.
8. Creates Strong Relationships with Clients and Suppliers
Effective communication helps to build strong relationships with clients, prospects and suppliers, in applicable cases. This is a major aspect of business growth as these relationships are what keep the business going. By constantly relating with customers and clients, business owners are able to create a pleasant experience for clients which naturally improves sales and boosts customer retention.
9. Makes Decision Making Easier
With effective communication, business owners are able to easily make decisions as all members of the company are always carried along, weighing in when necessary and communicating effectively. Thus, decision making is not the sole responsibility of one individual within the company, but a result of team work and synergy.
10. Encourages Innovation amongst Employees
Good communication inspires, motivates, and encourages employees to be innovative and creative within the organisation. Since employees know that their input matters and they are always listened to by their superiors, they are more willing to be innovative and put in their best work.
This is why it is important for employers to create an environment where employees feel heard and valued. This will make them more confident in their ideas and more inspired to contribute to the company’s growth.
In all, clear business communication helps the business to improve and grow in every area. All areas of the organisation inevitably benefit from the effective communication process, and it even keeps the company in good standing with banks, shareholders, and stakeholders.
This happens when a company maintains communication with these individuals and maintains to them that the company is running smoothly and is on its way to exponential growth. By making both internal and external communication clear and effective, a business is more able to improve and boost its sales and credibility.
The importance of clear communication in businesses is an endless list, and it should be a major priority for business owners and managers of organisations. Regardless of an organisation’s size or specialty, communication remains a constant important factor.