Business Communication: The Complete Guide for 2021

Has your business faced communication challenges in recent times? Read our comprehensive guide to Business Communication in 2021 that will equip you with the tools for an effective communication strategy

 

   Minute Read     Internal Comms

Business Communication: The Complete Guide for 2021
Table of Contents

    What is Business Communication? 

    Effective business communication is at the heart of any successful company. 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. 

    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 

    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.


    Recommended Reading 📖: 2021 Trends to Maximise Workplace Engagement


    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.

                      A congratulatory handshake in the workplace

    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.

                                                   

                   stats on employee productivity

    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. 

    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. 

    How to Improve Internal Communication?

    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. 

    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.

    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.

                                     

    1. 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.

    1. 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

    Business Communication Examples & Tools  

    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. 

    Conclusion

    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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