The way we communicate with others is such a habitual part of us that we rarely stop and think about it.
But consider this quote from the author and entrepreneur Jim Rohn:
“Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills. When important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, and the emotions to affect other people.”
In other words, our communication skills will never reach their full capacity. At every step, we can communicate with more focus, making a larger impact.
This translates into business communications. Organizations, after all, aren’t faceless entities, but groups of real people.
Effective communication affects processes, efficiency, and every layer of a company.
In fact, organizations with connected employees have a spike in productivity of up to 25%.
How would a 25% productivity improvement impact your company’s success? Would you see a revenue increase?
Better customer service and hence, happier customers? Higher profits?
All of the above (and more)?
In this guide, we’ll cover all you need to know to set up a successful business communication process.
What is Business Communication? The Definition
Business communication is the process of sharing information between people within and outside a company.
Effective business communication is how employees and management interact to reach organizational goals. Its purpose is to improve organizational practices and reduce errors.
The importance of business communication also lies in:
- Presenting options/new business ideas
- Making plans and proposals (business writing)
- Executing decisions
- Reaching agreements
- Sending and fulfilling orders
- Successful selling
- Effective meetings
All organized activity in a company relies on the process of business communication. This could be anything from managerial communication to technical communication with vendors.
And once communication becomes unclear, the company’s core systems risk falling apart.
If you feel the same, consider this:
Strong business communications in a company will likely result in higher employee engagement.
Companies with an engaged workforce see a 19.2% growth in operating income over a 12-month period. Those with low engagement scores earn 32.7% less.
How much more successful would you be if you had better employee engagement?
And how can you ensure a business communication process that will make it possible?
Types of Business Communication
Let’s first differentiate the main types of communication in a typical organization.
First, we have internal business communication.
It can be:
- Upward communication: any communication that comes from a subordinate to a manager. Or from another person up the organizational hierarchy.
- Downward communication/Managerial communication: anything that comes from a superior to a subordinate.
- Lateral communication/Technical communication: internal or cross-departmental communication between coworkers
Then, there is external business communication.
This is any communication that leaves your office and internal staff. It involves dealing with customers, vendors, or anything that impacts your brand.
You can sort all communication in this spectrum into four types of business communication.