What is organizational communication

In our previous post on What is company culture, we said that people and culture cannot be separated. Similarly we can talk about organizational communication. Where there are people, there will always be communication. Especially in the corporate environment. 

In this post we will learn about what is organizational communication and how many types of it there are. 

Organizational communication explained

Organizational communication is a vast field that includes all forms of communication that enable organizations. 

That includes:

  • businesses, 
  • governmental bodies,
  • and nonprofits.

Organizational communication is what makes sure it runs smoothly, develops, interacts with stakeholders, and makes a positive impact on society. 

Internal communications like employee training materials, messaging about a company’s mission, interpersonal communications between management and employees, and formal communication like emails are all examples of organizational communication.

Additionally, it covers communications that are directed at the outside world, such as news releases, marketing collateral, and branding. Organizational communication is challenging since there are numerous moving parts that must all be effectively communicated with in order to enhance an organization’s effectiveness.

Types of organizational communication

Communication within a company, both formal and informal, including between employees and between employees and managers, is referred to as organizational communication.

Four primary categories of organizational communication can be distinguished.

1. Formal communication

Being formal, explicit, and particular is a fantastic method to guarantee correct information flow at work. Everyone is informed of and in agreement with the corporate goals through formal communication.

In order to comply with legal standards, this kind of communication is necessary. For instance, formal communication of work arrangements and safety norms and instructions to employees is required (emails, printed documents).

2. Informal communication

Then we have informal communication that is still a part of any company culture. This sort of communication is the reverse of formal communication, as you would have imagined. 

Another name for it is “grapevine communication.” In essence, it refers to informal interactions  that frequently occur next to the coffee maker and don’t involve any formality.

The fact that informal communication is a quicker method of information sharing at work is one of its top benefits. It also fosters the development of fresh concepts for enhancing both internal and external processes as well as products. How many innovative ideas began with a conversation next to the coffee maker will amaze you!

organizational communication

3. Horizontal communication

The next type of organizational communication is horizontal communication. A relevantly new term. At the same hierarchical level, this kind of organizational communication takes place between teams, groups, or individuals. 

In order to eliminate silos and enhance cross-departmental collaboration at work, horizontal communication is crucial. It is essential for coordinating the efforts of the IT, marketing, and sales teams and ensuring that everyone is operating from the same page.

In simpler terms, the communication that takes place between individuals at the same level in an organization is known as horizontal communication (also known as “lateral communication”).

4. Vertical communication

Within hierarchically structured organizations, an up-and-down vertical pattern characterizes the most prevalent method of communication. 

It entails communication between corporate executives, team managers, and employees. At work, this kind of communication is crucial. Sharing instructions, criticism, or suggestions would not be possible without vertical communication.

Regardless of the style of communication, it is essential for management in any company to have effective workplace communication.

In conclusion

Organizations need thorough communication methods if they are to succeed, so that employees feel informed about key business updates and actively participate in everyday corporate conversations.

There is a time and place for every type of communication and every employee and leader should be informed of the right usage of said communication types. 

Check out our other articles on this topic such as How to improve organizational communication.

About the author

I am a Girl, that wants to live a Simple Life, and I am in a search of the recipe for happiness.  I invite you to join me on this journey! It will be an exciting adventure in which we will look for the simplicity of life, joy in everyday things, and free time outside the usual hustle and bustle.