IntroductionOrganizational communication is the sharing of informationbetween people in an organization as it helps the organization to stayorganized. Organizations seek people who can follow and give orders, listenaccurately and provide useful feedback. This is only possible for the competentcommunicators and this shows the importance of communication in anorganization.With the passage of time, research evolves andorganizational communication continues to redefine itself. In the early stages,organizational communication focused on leaders giving public presentations andkeynotes.
Now, in the modern world, interpersonal relationships are animportant part of organizational communication. It greatly matters how theinterpersonal relationships are carried out in the organizational hierarchies.Organizational communication can be either formal or informal. Formal Communication Formal communicationcan be defined as the communication using the officially designated channels ofcommunication within the organization ranks. Formal communication is when it isdirected from someone with authority or to someone of authority about work.Formal communication can be downward, upward or horizontal.
Downwardcommunication means when managers talk to employees or when someone ofhigher authority has to talk to someone with lower authority. This type ofcommunication is used when a job is to be explained to a worker or whenexplaining new procedures. This type of communication is vital to theorganization and it’s very important that communication is carried outeffectively instead of talking down to the employees. Upward communicationhappens when subordinates need to talk managers or someone with higherauthority be it a work-related problem or to let them know that a certain taskis done. Horizontal communication happens between workers within thesame level of authority when they talk about work-related issues.Informal CommunicationAny communication within an organization without using thedesignated channels is termed as informal communication. Informal communicationenables employees to address each other on a more casual level.
It should notbe confused with horizontal communication because in informal communication takesplace in a more social setting and work-related problems are not discussed.Informal communication is sometimes referred to as grapevine or indirect,it is quicker and usually more direct than formal communication. But itshouldn’t be taken too far as it can be a havoc of miscommunication between theemployees. Informal communication often carries undesirable consequences likemalicious gossip passed from person to person but no one is entirely sure aboutthe source of the rumor or creating competition between among different workerswho instead should be working together, thus creating a socially unhealthyenvironment.
Informal communication is important in an organization but itshouldn’t replace formal communication.Communication can also be internal or external dependingupon the participants and the audience. Internalcommunication is between the people working in the same organization.
It isa vertical communication taking place upand down the hierarchy. External communication happens when you talk topeople outside the organization and it is of different types. Business toBusiness communication or Business to Consumer communication or Business toGeneral public communication.
It should be kept in mind, the main differencebetween external and internal communication is privacy. Some informationshould be kept within an organization and not disclosed to anyone outside theorganization.Critical IssuesThe critical issues that should be kept in mind while tryingto develop an effective organizational communication strategy are as follows:· Overcommunicating In someorganizations, individuals often overcommunicate meaning that the individualssometimes don’t prioritize what information is important to communicate andwhat is not necessary. They don’t apply any filter to the communication and asa result they share too much information. Thus, the members of suchorganizations are either unable to comprehend which information is importantand which is not or tend to ignore all the information.· Assigning blamePointing fingers means assigning blame to someone for somespecific mistake or a problem or failure to achieve a given goal.
Althoughfailures always happen in a business and the person will always be blamed forthe problem but it should be done in a more private place rather than assigningblame to that person in a public place in front of his other colleagues. · CompartmentalizingCompartmentalizing means not sharing all the facts to aspecific authority or a person from a higher rank who deserves to know thatinformation. This is a misstep and results in suppression of information.
Sometimes leaders do this to show a greater sense of control over theemployees. When facts are hidden by the authority then unfortunately, rumortakes over and with time the thin line between fact and fiction blurs.· Communication StrategySome organizations think that they don’t need acommunication strategy such that they either don’t see the need to share allthe information or they figure that they can communicate as they wish and itcauses a lot of problems in the future.· Belittling People andTeamsWhen a specific people or a particular team is personallyattacked because they couldn’t achieve the set goal or by making a mistake, itbelittles them in front of other groups. This is not wrong to bring the poorperformance of that group or person in front of them but it should not be donein a way that it belittles them or makes them embarrassed. Rather than itshould be done in a more private and civilized manner.· Not Addressing Rumorsand GossipSometimes the leaders or higher rank officers either fail tocommunicate the message or hide the facts that should be shared, they are inreality allowing and supporting the formation of an ‘Informal hotline’.
Thisinformal hotline in turn involves the sharing of wrong information in theorganization which always results in morale and performance problems.· Use of WrongCommunication platformsWhen organizations don’t make proper communication strategythen it is most likely to experience problems which result from messages beingsent using wrong communication platforms. Proper Communication tools should beselected in order to make sure that the messages and organization facts arebeing sent using the proper communication platform. This can be done by selectinga good software or a website for internal communication.· Regarding Communicationas a one-way processMany times, leaderships and management assume that as longas they are sending out the information to the employees in the organization,they are communicating effectively. But in reality, such a behavior is apitfall of many organizations. Because of this it is critically important thatcommunication strategy includes the need to listen and give a proper feedbackbecause if the workers don’t listen to each other then they might not know howto communicate effectively.Important Communication ToolsOrganizations need communication tools to allow theemployees and the bosses to communicate with each other and to pass onconstructive criticism anonymously.
Business need some kind of a portal or atool to communicate within the organization and with the general public.Organizations can use the following platforms for internal as well as externalcommunication:· An Intra Social NetworkAn Intranet social network will allow all the employees inan organization to communicate with each other. At the time of employment eachemployee would be given a proper ID for the intranet using which they cancommunicate. Here all the employees could share some new information about thenew products and share different information which could be useful for otheremployees. · Chat GroupsThere are several softwares which allow the users to makeprivate groups and chat with each other about anything. These groups andchatting sites can be used to let the employees from different branches of thatorganization communicate with each other privately.
· Blog or a WebsiteTo communicate externally with general public or otherbusinesses, an organization can create a blog on the Internet or make their ownwebsite. The blog or the website can be used to share news, details about theproducts or services and details about different offices.· Discussion forumOrganizations can create a discussion forum, where employeescould give constructive criticism to each other. Or they can discuss differentissues or projects there.
ConclusionOrganizational communication is very important for anyorganization and there should always be a properly planned and designedcommunication strategy in an organization. For organizational communication,some softwares can also be used which would make communication easier and allowthe employees from different branches of the organization to communicate witheach other.