What is Business Communication? [Complete Guide] - Oak Engage
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The Complete Guide to Business Communication

   Minute Read     Internal Comms

The Complete Guide to Business Communication
Table of Contents

    Has your business faced communication challenges in recent times? Read our comprehensive guide to Business Communication that will equip you with the tools for an effective communication strategy to help employees and management with their communication skills.

    What is business communication? 

    Effective business communication is at the heart of any successful company. That's why companies invest a lot of money into making sure it is carried out effectively, and maintained at a consistently high standard.

    Apps have helped businesses streamline their operations and define what good communication skills 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, it has not only improved but has become much more pervasive and ultimately more accessible to employees and management alike. Whilst in many instances it includes an improved standard, its often misunderstood, executed poorly or simply neglected. As experts in this topic, we've put together all the insights, tips and tricks you need to improve communication within your business. 

    Business communication includes:

    Business communication itself is a very broad term and covers all the information that is shared both internally and externally business wide. In order to communicate successfully, an organisation needs effective, adaptable and accessible communication tools in the workplace.

    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 tactics and can help you achieve your communication goals throughout your organisation. 

    Our guide will take you through the various types of business communication, how your business can do it well, and reap the benefits.

    A congratulatory handshake in the workplace

    Types of business communication

    Whether it's between your employees and management or externally business related communications, there are four main types that categorise the exchange of information throughout most organisations: 

    1. 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.

    2. 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. 

    3. 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.

    4. External Communication

    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 an intranet is key. Oak Engage offers innovative software that helps businesses set up for success, facilitating effective business communication for big brands world-wide.

    Recommended Reading 📖: 2021 Trends to Maximise Workplace Engagement       

    Why is effective communication so important to business? 

    International business communications are 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, retain top talent, and promote employee wellbeing.

    Here's some statistics: 

    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:


    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 skills 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. 

    3. Accountability 

    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. 

    stats on employee productivity

    Here's some examples:

    We have found some live case examples of how a pro-active and considered approach to communication skills within the workplace has improved operational ways of working for businesses, including customer service.

    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, improve customer service 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.



    4. Two-way feedback 

    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.

    5. Modernise with 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.

    An app for business communication by Oak Engage

    It's possible to improve all communications types within your organisation and connect your deskless workforce. We help customers bridge the gap between businesses and their employees. With our app, everyone within a company is connected to foster better social and working relationships.

    Here a few standout features of our employee engagement app that can help you foster improved employee communications for your business:

    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.


    Internal communities 

    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. 

                                  social platform hub used for company updates and more

    Task management 

    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 processes and was 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. 

    Recommended Reading 📖 31 Intranet Features Your Company Needs - A 2021 Checklist