Communication is key in whatever aspect of life you may think of and nothing works without it. This exchange of information works for various function including; getting work done, giving feed back, making known new developments among others. In an organization, importance of communication in an organization has to be systematic and effective. Basic functions in an organization for managers heavily on effective communication and importance of communication in business organization. Planning, organizing, leading and controlling are among some of these functions.
Communication in an organization can be subdivided into two types namely; downward communication- the flow of information from a higher level in an organization to subordinates- and upward communication- the flow of information from subordinates to managers.
Downward communication in an organization
This level of communication helps managers to perform their jobs and responsibilities. It involves giving out instructions for the execution and implementation of plans at any level under their stewardship. Creating concise communications and maintaining a respectful tone help ensure effective downward communication; making sure that employees clearly understand the information is also important.
Upward communication in an organization
This upward flow of information from the lower levels of a hierarchy to the upper levels helps employees to give feedback to superiors, express their requirements, ideas, and feelings. These are important in an organization because people in the lower levels of the heirachy are executioners of the production process and their voices have to be heard.
As we treat communication as the foundation for planning, all the essential information concerning the direction an organization wants to take and the desired results, must be communicated to the managers. Equipped with this information managers are responsible for communicating the plans so as to implement them. Organizing also requires effective communication with others about their job task. Similarly leaders as managers must communicate effectively with their subordinates so as to achieve the team goals. Controlling is not possible without written and oral communication.
Managers are usually in the middle of the entire communication process and a great part of their time is spent in communication; face to face or on the phone with their superiors, subordinates, colleagues, customers or suppliers. Managers also use Written Communication in form of letters, reports or memos wherever oral communication is not feasible. Some have developed a definition “effective communication is a building block of successful organizations” meaning it is the lifeblood of any organization.
Why is communication important in the workplace and organization?
Let us take a look at a few key points in the importance of communication in an organization:
- Motivation- Employees need motivation in order to work harder and execute duties without grief. Communication promotes this motivation where managers take up informing and clarifying to the employees the task to be done, the manner they are performing the task, and how to improve their performance if it is not up to the mark. This, if done objectively, improves production.
2. Decision making- Decision making in an organization is not an overnight phenomenon but actually a process as it involves quite a number of factors and alternative views. In this regard, communication facilitates the flow of information, governance and control among the organizational members for the decision-making process as it helps identifying and assessing alternative course of actions.
3. Cultivating positive attitudes- Communication also plays a crucial role in cultivating positive attitudes among members of the organization. For instance, a well informed individual will have a more positive attitude than a less-informed one. Leaders should consider in-house magazines, journals, meetings and various other forms of oral and written communication that help in molding employees’ attitudes.
4. Socializing- As the old adage says, “No man is an island,” people need to create relationships and co-workers are no exception. In todays life the only presence of another individual fosters communication. For social relationships to be achieved communication facilitates that.
5. Structure- Structure is the backbone of any organization. It determines how employees behave and relate to each other on the same level and most importantly observing the hierarchical guidelines. Communication helps in the process of controlling members of the organization behavior in all the necessary ways.
There are various levels of hierarchy showing importance of communication in an organization , principles and guidelines that members ought to follow. Compliance with organizational policies, effective performance of respective roles and communication of any work problem and grievance to superiors; are all among structure but can only be carried out through effective communication. Thus, communication is an essential tool with regards to the controlling function of management.
“An effective and efficient communication system requires managerial proficiency in delivering and receiving messages. A manager must discover various barriers to communication, analyze the reasons for their occurrence and take preventive steps to avoid those barriers. Thus, the primary responsibility of a manager is to develop and maintain an effective communication system in the organization.”