Organizational communication is the ability of an individual or group within a collective establishment to transmit and receive information within that collective establishment. Usually organizational communication is premised on common set goals that the collective establishment attempts to execute.Basically organizational communication flows in three directions; upward, downward and lateral. Upward implies from those who are the bulk of the organization’s workforce up to the management and upper hierarchy. Downward implies from the upper ranks down to the workforce and lateral means communication back and forth almost as a simultaneous process.
As with all forms of communication, organizational communication has problems at times too. Some of the problems are as follows. The main problem management often illustrates is the assumption because they and a few staffers may have some information at their disposal that the rest of the organization has it as well. Usually the workforce of an organization is not aware of information unless the management or leaders make it available to them in the first place. Some organizations try so hard not to be bureaucratic that they bombard the work force with written instead of verbal communications. A lot of the workforce may not even bother to read what is written or don’t have the time to do so, so they may miss important information as a result.
Sometimes an organizational leader may forget whom he has told something of importance to and it gets lost for that reason. One must be aware of what is being said and to whom it is said to. This is crucial to avoid major miscommunications. With that in mind often a leader or manager may say something that was not understood correctly and misinterpreted because of it. In organizational communication it is very important that when communicating things that they are made extremely clear. The information should also be reinforced by asking if the parties understand or not.
Another problem is data versus information and opinion. If you are executing information that is communicated it should be based on factual data rather than assumptive opinions. This can quickly alienate the population of the organization because of your lack of credibility.
When communicating downwards the hierarchy, everyone down the chain of command should receive a copy of the organizations mission, values, and strategies and how these goals will be met. This way everyone in the organization has the same goals in mind set for the organizations progress. Make sure that everyone down the line has all the up to date rules and regulations of the organization. There should be a routine of basic tasks procedures to follow. Individual job descriptions and procedures for individuals working in the organization should also be specified. You should hold management and staff meetings on a regular basis even if there is nothing to communicate to keep the channels of communication opened.
In upward communication the staff should feel comfortable with meeting those up the organizational ladder. Staff workers should be able to meet with organizational leaders to discuss their concerns and be heard. Leaders should solicit feed back from the staff and make notes to improve any situations of contention.
When upward and downward communication runs smoothly in an organization lateral or horizontal communication back and forth develops between the staff and management making for a more efficient goal directive organization.