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Imagine a workplace fallen silent, no talking, emailing or even gesturing. You might as well shutter the windows, close the doors and go on vacation. There just is no business without communication. It links managers and employees, customers and company and co-worker to co-worker. Certain kinds of corporate communications are so important that a company ignores them at its peril. These communications enable employees to accomplish current work and managers to plant seeds for the future. The significance of such corporate communications lies in the well-being of the company itself.
Up and Down
The significance of everyday communications between subordinate and supervisor mainly lies the way it moves work forward. Communication flowing down from managers includes work assignments, training and feedback, which lets employees know whether or not they’re succeeding. Subordinates give feedback, too, along with status updates. Employees with work needs or proposals pass requests up to managers for a decision. Managers may also pass requests up the chain or make the decisions themselves, communicating decisions back down to employees. Operational goals can’t be met without all this vertical communication between subordinate and supervisor.
Lateral and Diagonal
Lateral and diagonal communication also furthers work by enabling teamwork. Both managers and employees use it, employees most especially when they communicate with peers to coordinate work. Lateral exchanges take place among people of the same rank. Diagonal communication refers to situations where a subordinate of one manager must deal with the manager of another department. For instance, a customer service employee might need to talk to the human resource manager. Usually interdepartmental communication is handled between department heads, often to coordinate work that depends on two or more departments. For instance, shipping might have to coordinate with production.
External communications have a significant impact on the company’s well-being. Reputation and brand are built on dealings between representatives of the company and those outside it. The CEO, owner or other top executives serve as the face of the company and officially speak for it, but employees also represent the organization in their dealings with vendors, clients and customers. Large companies also have press liaisons -- perhaps even whole departments -- dedicated to fielding communication with the press.
From the Top
Understanding the company’s mission, creating a vision of the company’s future and then marshaling everyone to achieve it is a vital management undertaking.The company’s vision and the goals to achieve it must be imparted to everyone within the organization, infiltrating every corner. Leaders gather employees behind their agenda through communication, aiming to make the company’s mission, vision and goals the motivation behind all employee action. When successfully accomplished, these communications capture the very identity of the company and its dreams, inspiring employees to adopt them as their own.
- Management: Meeting and Exceeding Expectations; Warren R. Plunkett, et al.
- Reference for Business: Communication
- Management Study Guide: Importance of Communication in an Organization
- Business Communication: Building Critical Skills; Kitty O. Locker and Stephen Kyo Kaczmarek
- Business Communication With Writing Improvement Exercises; Phyllis Davis Hemphill, et al.
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