Nobody wants a chaotic workplace. Not only does it make for a toxic environment, but it also makes the company suffer.
A good working environment is the primary demand of the workforce to ensure efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity. Proper business communication can remedy this, resulting in an office where people can talk and cooperate towards a common goal.
What is business communication?
Business communication refers to exchanging information between at least two people in a business setting. It aims to achieve a specific goal, whether building rapport, gaining new customers, or sharing knowledge.
Organizations rely on their employees to communicate effectively with each other, customers, and suppliers. Business communication ensures that needs and requirements are understood, and points get across.
Business communication flows through different channels, both verbal and nonverbal. These include:
- Face-to-face communication
- Text messaging
- Instant messaging
- Phone calls
- Video conferencing
- Body language
- Facial expressions
Business communication is integral to the business world. Respectful business communication should be the primary form of correspondence and interaction, essential for staying competitive and successful.
Types of business communication
There are two main types of business communication:
Internal business communication
Internal business communication is directed to people within the organization, particularly the staff and business leaders. It has three divisions, namely:
Upward business communication flows from lower-level employees to higher-level management. It’s usually done when there is a need to convey information or knowledge that higher-ups need to know, such as status reports.
Upward business communication also helps share ideas and suggestions for improvement in work. This type of business communication tends to be more formal because it involves speaking to senior people in the organization.
It’s also usually more time-consuming because of the method required (e.g., composing a lengthy email).
Downward business, or “top-down” communication, passes information from higher-level management to lower-level employees.
Its goal is to get employees to understand their roles and how they contribute to achieving organizational goals. Leaders must clearly explain their expectations and targets to their teams. They also provide feedback about their members’ performance.
While still formal, downward business communication can sometimes be more casual than its upward counterpart.
Lateral business communication takes place when workers of the same level interact. It’s also called horizontal communication.
Lateral business communication also occurs across departments. It allows staff to share information and ideas that may be unsuitable for managers or non-employees to hear.
When done correctly, lateral business communication strengthens bonds within the organization. It also makes it easier for employees to do their jobs efficiently because they can access more information.
External business communication is directed to people outside the company, such as customers, contractors, and community members.
- Marketing business communication – used to promote a product or service to a target audience.
- Sales communication – helps you explain your business to prospects.
- Public relations (PR) – involves communicating with the media and shareholders about issues that affect your business. PR shapes how others perceive the company.
The positive impacts of business communication
Here are the most common benefits of a working business communication system in your workplace:
Business communication ensures that everyone is granted a voice and the equal opportunity to use it. Democratization is important because you want everyone to feel comfortable and contribute.
Everybody in the company should know what’s happening if it’s relevant to their job. Business communication ensures everyone feels involved and knows what they can do to help the company grow.
Boosts employee engagement
Employees are more engaged when they feel they’re being heard. Effective business communication leads to team members feeling valued.
A lack of clarity on the part of leadership can cause workers to feel unimportant in the organization, leading to poor morale and a lack of productivity.
When employees feel more engaged, they’re more likely to contribute in ways that benefit everyone.
Reduces employee turnover
Business communication skills are essential for employee retention, especially for top performers.
Communicating to your team members about their worth usually results in them staying longer with the company. This saves you money on recruitment and training costs, which are significant over time.
Employee turnover is expensive. If several of them leave, that could put your business in a bind. Business communication helps you retain staff by making them understand what they mean to the company.
Business communication boosts productivity by increasing internal satisfaction and engagement. Overall output increases, leading to higher profits for the company.
Business communication eliminates misunderstandings, confusion, and mistakes. Employees on the same page make decisions faster, complete tasks better, and ultimately increase productivity.
Improves knowledge-sharing efforts
Knowledge-sharing is central to any company’s success. Workers can’t perform at their best if they don’t know about new developments.
Business communication informs them of these updates so that they may perform better.
Knowledge-sharing helps develop new skills and better understand company goals, objectives, and processes. This also leads to smarter decision-making.
Eliminates communication silos
Communication silos are created when information gets isolated due to exclusivity. This can happen at the expense of big-picture company goals.
Business communication eliminates these silos by encouraging all or more information to be shared through proper channels. This allows everyone to collaborate towards common goals.
Promotes customer satisfaction
Recall that business communication also has an external aspect. It ensures customers receive what they want and need, leading to repeat business and referrals.
Good business communication helps build trust with your customers, so they choose your brand over others. Customer satisfaction delivers to their expectations, which involves listening to their concerns.
Builds a positive company culture
Effective business communication defines a positive company culture. It’s vital to building trust and encouraging teamwork among departments.
A positive company culture has engaged and productive workers willing to stay for the long term. Business communication also allows employees to feel more comfortable asking questions without fear of being reprimanded.
What makes an effective business communicator?
The ability to execute effective business communication is a sought-after skill.
Efficient communicators are often more successful and have more opportunities than those struggling to convey their ideas. Miscommunication can easily lead to a crisis.
Here are five qualities for effective business communication:
- Clarity about what you want to say and why you said it
- Conciseness in your message
- Propriety in your language and tone of voice
- Credibility and trustworthiness of your communications
- Engagement, or how interesting your recipients found your message
Finally, business communicators also need to understand their organization’s culture and values, as well as the wider environment in which they operate.
[1.] Primary demand of the workforce. Taheri, R.H., Miah, M.S. and Kamaruzzaman, M., 2020. Impact of working environment on job satisfaction. European Journal of Business and Management Research, 5(6).
[2.]Respectful. LaGree, D., Houston, B., Duffy, M. and Shin, H., 2021. The effect of respect: Respectful communication at work drives resiliency, engagement, and job satisfaction among early career employees. International Journal of Business Communication, p.23294884211016529.