Employee Communications ~ 10 min

What is Business Communication, and How to Improve It

Communication Team, Experts in Internal Communication, Sociabble
Communication Team Experts in Internal Communication

A company is a bit like an organism. And business communication is like the nervous system that keeps the different parts of the body operating in harmony to help it thrive. Learn more about the importance of good business communication, and how you can improve and enhance it at your organization.

It’s an undeniable fact: In order for a business to be successful, there has to be good communication between its employees. There’s no way around it. Because when it comes to business, effective communication can mean the difference between a harmonious, high-functioning, profitable company aware of its ecosystem, and a dysfunctional disaster barely clinging to life.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what business communication is, and why it is so important to take care of it in an organization. And yes, we’ll even include a few tips to help improve communication wherever you work.

How does business communication play a crucial role in a company’s success?

So first off: why does it matter? Well, business communication is the exchange of information and ideas within an organization or between organizations. It can be verbal or written, formal or informal, and can take place through a variety of channels. Email, phone, face-to-face meetings, video conferences—there are tons of forms it can take. Even water cooler chat can be an important channel for exchanging updates and ideas.

Regardless, effective business communication is important for building relationships, making decisions, and achieving goals within a company. It can involve a wide range of activities, such as communicating with customers, clients, or employees; negotiating contracts; presenting information to stakeholders; or developing and implementing marketing strategies.

Its permutations are almost endless, but without it, a company can’t function. It’s the nervous system that keeps it alive and operating. Poor communication, on the other hand, is a hallmark of dysfunctional companies.

However, business communication becomes increasingly complex as more channels of communication become available, and more readers are involved. With so many different examples and ways to communicate, it can be difficult to ensure that’s it’s both effective and efficient. Two things, however, can definitely help—the right tools, and the right strategy. When combined, smooth communication can truly take off.

What is the goal of business communication?

So what is the end goal here? What are we trying to achieve? Essentially, the goal of business communication is to ensure that important information is shared effectively within the organization and its various teams, and that readers understand what it means. Clear and effective business communication helps organizations to foster collaboration, build strong relationships with customers and partners, and reach business objectives.

Companies exist within an ecosystem, and there is both an internal and external element. Strong communication will flow both outside and inside the organization, allowing it to have healthy relationships for those working inside the company walls, but also with consumers, clients, and the public at large—all of whom will be outside the organization. This will make the company stronger and perform better, resulting in success.

You may want to know more? Here is a full guide about effective employee communication.

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What are the 4 types of business communication?

It’s true, there is a whole spectrum of communication that can relate to business—the combinations are virtually endless. However, we can identify 4 main types of communication in an organization that are most commonly employed to foster the transfer of information.

They include the following examples:

Downward communication

Also sometimes called “top-down communication,” downward communication refers to the flow of information and messages from higher level management or leaders within an organization, down to lower levels of employees.

This type of communication can include things like company policies and procedures, organizational hierarchy changes, performance expectations, and goals and objectives. It can also include directives, instructions, and feedback from superiors to subordinates.

Downward communication is important because it helps to ensure that employees understand the company’s vision, mission, and objectives, and that they have the necessary information and guidance to carry out their job responsibilities effectively.

Additionally, it helps to ensure consistency and alignment in the way work is carried out across the organization. Effective downward communication can also help to build trust and respect between management and employees and keep readers informed about important developments within the company.

When it comes to digital tools, the Sociabble communication platform can help facilitate this thanks to its ability to organize content into channels, segmented by department, office, position level, teams, project—virtually anything. You can highlight “pinned” content, and even make it mandatory for employees to read the most important updates with the “must-read” option. It’s also possible to set up live events directly on the platform, in order to reach all employees and engage them for important announcements, etc. Moreover, with Sociabble it’s easy to engage with frontline workers as well, thanks to its mobile app and instant notifications—so all readers stay informed.

Upward communication

Also called “bottom-up communication,” upward communication refers to the flow of information and messages from lower-level employees to higher-level management or leaders within an organization. This type of communication allows employees to provide feedback, suggestions, and concerns to their superiors, and can include things like performance evaluations, suggestions for improvement, and reports on departmental or team activities.

Upward communication is important because it allows employees to have a voice in the organization and can help management identify and address problems or issues within the company. Additionally, it can help to improve employee morale and motivation by giving them a sense of being heard and valued. When employees feel listened to, it creates a stronger sense of belonging, and loyalty in return.

With Sociabble, for example, employees have the ability to easily comment on content, and even easily create their own using multiple media formats, with just a few clicks in the form of UGC.

The platform’s survey and poll features also make it very easy to collect feedback and make adjustments to company policies and directives accordingly, giving the workforce a real voice at their organizations, and helping them to become more than just readers of input.


Lateral or peer-to-peer communication

Peer-to-peer communication refers to the exchange of information and ideas between individuals or groups of people who have a similar level of authority or status within an organization. It is also known as horizontal communication or lateral communication, meaning that it takes place between people on the same level of the organizational hierarchy.

This type of communication can include things like team meetings, brainstorming sessions, and informal professional communication between colleagues.

Peer-to-peer communication is important because it allows individuals to share their knowledge and expertise with others, and can lead to increased collaboration and cooperation within the teams. Additionally, it can help to promote a sense of community and belonging among team members and can foster more positive and productive business environments.

With Sociabble, an easy-to-use chat feature gives employees an instantaneous ability to share news and updates, or simply connect on a personal level. The platform’s peer-to-peer praise feature also empowers workers to share kudos and congratulate one another on a job well done, boosting morale and fostering team spirit.

External communication

Concerning the “outgoing mail,” so to speak, as opposed to internal communication, external communication refers to the flow of messages and information between an organization and external parties such as customers, suppliers, investors, media, and the general public. This type of communication can include things like advertising, public relations, customer service, and media relations.

External communication is important because it helps an organization to establish and maintain relationships with its stakeholders, and to manage its public image and reputation. It also helps organizations to build trust and credibility with their target audience and to inform them of the organization’s products, services, and mission. Additionally, effective external communication can help an organization to respond to and manage any potential crisis or negative publicity.

With Sociabble, you can collect all relevant external information thanks to the social network and RSS feeds that can be integrated with the platform for readers. And conversely, employees can readily amplify content shared with an external audience, thanks to employee advocacy functionalities. With just a few clicks, employees can share approved company content across all major social media platforms, becoming ambassadors and advocates for their organizations.

When taken together, and when used in harmony, these 4 methods of communication in the workplace can combine to form effective business communication. And this is why your choice in communication tools is key. No matter the business size or type, the process of business communication is essential for success—investing in effective business communication tools can help companies stay organized and collaborate.

And when it comes to communication tools on the market today, Sociabble provides a comprehensive business communication platform that helps organizations and their people maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of their information streams, internally, externally, top-down, and bottom-up.

Why is effective employee advocacy important in business communication?

Of the various forms of communication described above, the one that is often overlooked is the employee component of external communication—specifically, employee advocacy on behalf of the brand. Internal and external communication can both be linked to a company’s external reputation, and the way it is perceived by the public and customers can be deeply influenced by the internal communication—for example, how the company treats its employees, how it manages conflicts, and how it implements policies.

In summary, while internal and external methods of communication are distinct, they are also interconnected and can influence each other. An organization’s communication strategy should take into account the potential impact of internal communication on external stakeholders and vice versa.

Employee advocacy can include components of both, which is why it’s important to have people who are informed, engaged, and influential within organizations, and outside organizations as well. And the right strategy, coupled with the right communication tool, can create precisely that environment.

Sociabble, the best solution to improve your business communication

Companies don’t take off and stay on top by magic. Business communication is an essential part of business success, and digital business communication tools like Sociabble can help organizations to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of their information streams, to achieve their business goals and succeed in the long run.

Sociabble is a business communication platform that allows organizations to manage, organize, and optimize methods of communications across channels and devices, keeping people informed and engaged. We’ve already helped industry leaders like Coca-Cola CEEP, Renault Group, and L’Occitane to enhance their business communication strategies, and we’d love to discuss ways we can help your company as well.

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