What is Business Communication?
Effective business communication is at the heart of any successful company. That's why companies invest a lot of money to make sure that business communication is carried out effectively and maintained at a consistently high standard. Things like business communication apps have helped businesses streamline their operations and define what good communication should look like. Whether an SME, mid sized business or larger enterprise, having access to the best business communication plan for your needs is imperative. With technology, business communication has not only improved but has become much more pervasive and ultimately more accessible to employees and leaders alike. Whilst in many instances business communication has improved as standard, its often misunderstood, executed poorly or simply neglected. As experts on business communication, we've put together all the insights, tips and tricks you need to improve communication within your business.
Business communication itself is a very broad term and covers all the information that is shared both internally and externally. In order to communicate successfully an organisation needs effective, adaptable and accessible communication tools in the workplace. We know business communication better than most. From understanding what it takes to engage your audience to implementing proven techniques to drive success, our intranet and employee engagement app is founded on effective business communication.
Our Business Communication Guide will take you through the various types of business communication, how your business can do it well and reap the benefits.
These important topics will be explored:
- Business Communication Types
- Why is Communication Important to Business?
- Business Communication Stats
- What are the Benefits of Business Communication?
- How to Improve Business Communication?
- Business Communication Examples & Tools
Business Communication Types
Internal, Upward Communication
This type refers to that of an ‘upward’ flow of business communication from an employee of the business to an individual higher in the organisation’s hierarchy. Surveys, feedback forms or any method of upward communication towards a more senior employee would be categorised as this. It is vital, so leaders are fully aware of the ins and outs of their operation but also for the purpose of employee engagement and culture.
Internal, Downward Communication
Internal, downward is communication between a more senior employee to one or more workers lower in the hierarchy. This type of workplace communication is particularly important when updating staff on changes to policy, procedure or notable company news. Company-wide emails are a common method, but this can also be done via the company intranet on social timelines or instant messaging tools.
Internal, Lateral Communication
Lateral communication in the workplace refers to the interactions that take place between co-workers or employees of a similar level. This can be internally between departments or inter-department. For instance, if sales need clarification from design, or vice versa. Lateral communication is important on an operational level but also for the purpose of establishing a culture, particularly with a remote or deskless workforce.
External communication is essentially the distribution of information to any external stakeholders, customers, vendors, local government bodies etc. In order for the information to be accurate, those giving out the information be properly informed by the company itself and internal communication must be effective in order to eliminate inaccuracy of messages to externals.
To incorporate all of these vital types of communication into your workplace, realising the importance of intranet is key. Oak Engage offers innovative software that help businesses set up for success, facilitating effective business communication that so many are missing.
Why is Effective Communication so Important to Business?
Business communication is integral to modern day businesses thanks to changing workforce demographics and the evolution of remote workspaces. There are several types of workplace communication and they serve a myriad of purposes. Clearer lines of workplace communication improve productivity, retains top talent and promotes employee wellbeing.
Business Communications Stats
Several issues around communication and engagement internally are felt by many organisations. Some may have communication problems without even realising it. Here are 10 stats relating to common issues around business communication.
- Queens University found that 39% of employees feel that there is not enough collaboration in their organisation
- 85% of employees use more than one device at work
- An Interact Authentic Communication survey found 69% of managers say they find it difficult to communicate with their teams
- 57% of employees report not being given clear directions
- According to a Gallup study, 74% of employees feel like they are missing out on company information and news
- Nextiva’s 2020 State of Business Report found that 60% of employees face a crisis every month as a result of poor internal communication
- Gallup found that profitability of a businesses increases by 21% when employees are actively engaged
- 96% of people think the businesses they deal with could improve when it comes to communication and project management.
- According to HR Technologist, 69% of managers are not comfortable communicating with the employees in general
- 29% of employees say that poor business communication is the reason that projects fail
What Are the Benefits of Effective Business Communication?
1. Improved employee performance
Research shows that 92% of businesses think a more engaged employee performs better. Effective business communication can make employees feel empowered and more connected with their company and will also help improve the performance of the workforce.
2. More productivity
Consistent business communication will give employees a wider understanding of everyone’s roles, company processes and document access . Streamlined and standardised operations will help employees utilise their time more efficiently.
Effective communication in the workplace will ensure that staff know their roles, what is expected of them and their peers. This will lead not only employees holding themselves accountable for their own work but also each other.
4. Company culture
47% of jobseekers say culture is their main motivation so it is vital in employee attraction, retention and overall performance of the workforce. Good communication is the driving force behind a healthy company culture and the staple of a good team spirit.
5. Builds employee trust
By implementing a culture of two-way communication, an organisation can help cultivate trust , but also with their manager and peers. In turn, employees who have trust will have more confidence in doing their own job.
Effective Business Communication Examples
1.Make information easy to access
Make sure that information and relevant documents are centralised and easily accessible. This can be facilitated by a company knowledge base or centralised document management system . This is in order to ensure staff have everything they need to do their job. It will also make knowledge sharing throughout the business far easier.
Acme inc. recognised the importance of centralising information and enhancing accessibility for their employees. To achieve this, they implemented a company-wide knowledge base, providing a convenient hub for accessing essential documents, policies, and procedures. Through comprehensive training and user-friendly features, employees quickly embraced the knowledge base, saving time and promoting knowledge sharing. As a result, the knowledge base became an integral part of the company culture, empowering employees to work efficiently and fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation.
The implementation of the knowledge base marked a significant step for Acme Inc. in streamlining information management and improving productivity. By consolidating resources in a centralised platform, employees could easily access the information they needed, resulting in saved time and improved efficiency. Moreover, the knowledge base encouraged collaboration and knowledge sharing across departments, reinforcing a culture of continuous learning and innovation. As employees embraced the knowledge base, it became an essential part of their daily work routine, empowering them to work more effectively and contribute to the overall success of Acme Inc.
2. Recognise achievements
80% of employees have more motivation in their work when their achievements are recognised. This can be something as small as sending a message or putting out a social media post saying ‘thank you’ or a ‘well done’. It will go a long way in motivating employees and getting the best out of them.
At Acme inc the management team understood the power of employee recognition in driving motivation and performance. In line with this knowledge, they established a comprehensive employee recognition program aimed at fostering a culture of appreciation and engagement.
Managers at Acme inc. actively sought opportunities to recognise and acknowledge their team members' achievements. For instance, after a successful project completion, managers would personally reach out to team members, expressing gratitude for their hard work and dedication. Additionally, the company introduced a social media platform where managers and colleagues could publicly recognise and celebrate individual and team accomplishments. Simple gestures, such as posting a 'thank you' or 'well done' message on this platform, had a profound impact on employee morale and motivation.
3. Consistent content creation
Content creation relevant to employees can be done in the form of relevant multimedia based content distributed to company social platforms. Not only will this encourage employees to create content and engage with each other through likes and comments, it also gives leaders another avenue to communicate updates in a more engaging manner than company email.
Example: At Acme inc, the leadership team implemented a strategy of creating multimedia-based content to engage employees. Collaborating with different teams, short videos featuring employee success stories, upcoming events, and key updates were produced and shared on the company's social media platforms. This approach encouraged active employee participation, fostering collaboration and allowing leaders to communicate updates in an engaging manner beyond traditional emails. Employees became more involved, sharing their ideas and opinions in the comment sections, resulting in a positive feedback loop and a sense of value from the leadership team. The strategy successfully engaged employees, facilitated transparent communication, and created a dynamic work environment at Acme inc.
Providing and receiving feedback is essential in business communication, gives insight into positives and negatives of employee experience. It can also give a voice to employees whilst informing of any changes that may need to be made. Feedback can be gathered through a simple chat, formal reviews or surveys, which can provide findings to base business decisions on.
At Acme Inc, feedback channels played a vital role in fostering effective business communication. A chat system allowed employees to share thoughts and concerns in real-time, while formal reviews recognized strengths and areas for improvement. Employee surveys provided valuable insights for informed decision-making. These feedback channels created a culture of open communication and continuous growth at Acme Inc.
Modernise business communication through technology
A modern intranet solution can dramatically improve company communications through its channels of dialogue. With enterprise social intranets, communication has upgraded using familiar social tech tools and hubs that help improve internal communication.
Example: At Acme inc effective business communication was achieved through a modern intranet solution. By incorporating familiar social tech tools and hubs, the intranet improved internal communication channels. Employees utilised real-time discussions, shared ideas, and provided feedback, fostering a culture of open dialogue and knowledge sharing. Additionally, the centralised hub ensured easy access to important announcements and updates, keeping employees informed and engaged. The modern intranet solution transformed internal communication at Acme inc, promoting collaboration and efficient business communication.
Business Communication App - Oak Engage
Cloud Based Intranets
A cloud based intranet software are essential to connect the modern workforce. The employee experience itself has changed dramatically in recent years and connecting enabling a remote team is needed. A cloud based and accessible intranet ensures employees have easy access to all the resources. Cloud based software means no matter when or where employees are working, all they need is a device and a signal to connect with their team.
Instant Messaging Tools
The lack of human interaction has been one of the more negative experiences about working from home, with many feeling isolated. Instant messaging tools such as Slack or Teams makes it easier for colleagues to collaborate past the limitations of company email. Oak’s mobile app with integrated messaging enables employees to keep lines of communications open that would have otherwise been lost during the pandemic.
A remote or deskless workforce poses a challenge to company culture, where the ‘water cooler’ chat and the personal connections this builds is hugely missed. You can replicate this virtually in your intranet with built in community Hubs. Here, employees can discuss or post content relating to common interests and acts as an important tool in building employee relationships.
News Feeds & Timelines
Creating a social environment on your corporate intranet in the form of news feeds improves several aspects of business communication. Emails can get lost in the pile and sometimes information doesn't reach the people you want it to. With a social media type news feed on your intranet, information and company updates can be shared to all of the relevant people.
Often a bug bearer for many employees and employers alike is unorganised task management. 49% of employees say they find it difficult locating company documents. Having online centralised access to content with software like Asana or Trello can help achieve this. A document management system already integrated into your Oak intranet, will save time, money and ensure a less stressed workforce.
Business communication has always been of paramount importance in connectivity and process. This has been exacerbated during the Covid pandemic, with unprecedented numbers of remote employees. Following this guide will give you the knowledge and the tools to equip your business with everything needed to ensure effective communication to increase productivity and engagement.
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