Definition: Business communication refers to any form of interaction or information exchange taking between the individuals or entities within an organizational setup, for the purpose of attaining a corporate goal or objective.
Communication can do wonders for the humankind. Right from daily chores to crucial business operations, everything involves some form of interaction among individuals.
Content: Business Communication
Characteristics of Effective Business Communication
To brief you more on business communication, given below are some of its commonly identified features:
- Task-Oriented: Business communication is framed around the accomplishment of a particular activity or task.
- Precise: A communication seems to be interesting if it is expressed through a brief and short message.
- Clear: When a business communication is transparent and coherent, it does not need an in-depth explanation.
- Practical: A business communication must be relevant or realistic aimed at task attainment.
- Persuasive: The sender’s convincing power makes communication effective.
- Factual: When a message is supported by illustration or evidence to intact its validity.
- Organized: An effective business communication comprises of a systematically arranged message which is well-coordinated.
In an organization, some of the prominent instances of business communication are listed below:
- discussions during a board meeting on business strategies;
- marketing manager assign sales target to the executives;
- a circular regarding policy amendment mailed to the employees;
- a ‘no smoking’ signboard inside the organization premises;
- an employee taking help from his colleague to operate the software.
Business Communication Process
A business communication process consists of the same steps as in communication. However, the interaction here takes place within an organizational setup.
Following is the series of activities involved in business communication:
- The source or sender takes the first step by enclosing the information in a well-organized message.
- This message is then forwarded to its destination or audience, through an appropriate channel (or mode).
- The receiver accepts this message and figures out the information encoded by the sender.
- In two-way communication, the receiver frames a suitable response and transmits it to the sender.
- There may be certain interruptions or barriers known as noise, which can hinder the whole communication process.
The crucial elements directly or indirectly involved in the business communication process are as follows:
Sender: The person or group of people intending to communicate a message to the receiver, also acts as a source of communication and is termed as a sender.
Message: Any form of verbal or expressive form of information well-compiled to serve a communication purpose is termed as a message.
Recipient: The aimed destination or say audience to which the sender intends to pass on the information is considered as a receiver.
Channel: The medium or mode adopted by the sender for transmitting the message can be seen as a channel.
Context: The conditions or setup within which a communication process takes place, can be said to have a significant effect on its efficiency.
Feedback: To make a communication process effective, it needs to be supported by a response; or in other words, it should be two-way communication.
Business Communication Methods
In what all ways people interact with one another?
There are multiple means of communication, although we have considered some of the major ones facilitating the organizational purpose, below:
Forum: A forum encourages the free flow of communication for problem-solving and mass interaction.
Web-based Communication: Any kind of online mode whether an email, webinar or company’s website is highly recommended for professional communication with employees or associates.
Customer Management Activities: Business communication plays a superior role while carrying out any customer management service.
Some of these are customer support, social media awareness, membership cards and special offers.
Presentation: The pictorial and graphical representation of a business project on a projector screen is used to address the team.
Video Conference: To visually connect with individuals or mass audience, video conferencing is an excellent way that even beats the location barriers.
Telephonic Communication: Telephones have been an integral part of every organization for years, therefore, most of the important conversation takes place through this medium.
Face to Face Meeting: This a favourable option for carrying out formal or informal communication in organizations where the employees and managers work within the same premises.
Survey: Many large organizations use this method to understand the response of a mass audience. Thus, the survey is two-way communication.
Documents and Reports: Most of the formal communication within the companies take place through circulars, memorandum, documents, letters, reports, etc.
Types of Business Communication
We need to understand the different forms of business communication which are used in the organizations.
These are elaborated below:
The purpose of any communication determines its convention as follows:
- Formal: When a piece of official information is passed on systematically, it is termed as formal communication.
- Informal: Any kind of non-official conversation or friendly interaction within an organizational setup forms an informal business communication.
Organizational communication can take place in any of the following ways:
- Downward: The orders or command which has a descending flow in an organizational hierarchy from the managers to the subordinates are termed as downward communication.
- Upward: Opposite to a downward communication, when subordinates provide updates; or raise grievances, enquiries and complaints to the managers it becomes an upward communication.
- Horizontal: The inter-departmental interaction between the workers at the same organizational rank with the focus of establishing coordination is said to be horizontal communication.
The verbalization of a message determines the below-given types of business communication:
- Verbal: The message conveyed through a systematic delivery of words is called verbal communication.
- Non-verbal: Any message expressed through gestures, body language, actions or facial expressions is considered to be a non-verbal communication.
Business Communication Objectives
The sender initiates a conversation or interaction purposefully. Thus, business communication aspires to facilitate the following activities:
Training: To provide on the job or off the job training, business communication is essential to deliver the guidance as per the module.
Orientation: Also, while appointing a new trainee or employee, the company needs to introduce the person with the work culture which is possible with the help of business communication
Motivation: The managers and other superiors make use of positive words to encourage subordinates.
At times, some managers also use the means of punishment or penalty as a means of negative motivation.
Disseminating Information: Any kind of official or business-related information is conveyed through a systematic communication process.
Providing Advice or Suggestions: Business communication helps to solve an organizational issue through discussions and recommendations made by the employees.
Guidance and Counselling: The managers can monitor or observe the employees’ performance to disseminate valuable inputs or counsel them for improving their work.
Recognition and Warning: The result of excellent execution of a task by the superiors is communicated to them through appreciation.
Also, the adverse consequences of their skimpy efforts are conveyed via warning.
Conveying Instructions: The managers instruct the employees to follow legitimate steps while moving forward with an assigned project or responsibility through a defined communication process.
Importance of Business Communication
Why is communication indispensable for any business organization?
To solve this query, let us find out the various reasons for which business communication becomes essential:
- Supports Decision-making: Business communication initiates discussion which is essential for strategic and operational decision-making.
- Managerial Effectiveness: For the managers, it is a powerful tool to guide, mentor, instruct and control their subordinates.
- Mutual Understanding and Trust: Transparent and effective conversation or exchange of ideas helps the sender to build confidence within the receiver.
- Ensures Goal Accomplishment: In a business organization, formal communication takes place with the aim of fulfilling a given objective.
- Backs Job Analysis: For the higher-level managers, business communication facilitates the understanding of a certain job role.
- Boosts Morale: The managers can use motivational business communication to encourage and boost the self-confidence of their subordinates.
- Enhances Relationship: In a business environment, positive communication strengthens the relationship among co-workers.
- Initiates Interview and Staffing: To recruit new employees, a structured or unstructured interview is arranged which is not possible without synchronized business communication.
- Strengthens Leadership: With powerful words or message, a superior can hold a strong command over the subordinates.
Barriers to Business Communication
Sometimes business communication is interrupted by various hurdles.
The following barriers restrict the sender from realizing the purpose of interaction:
- Organization’s Hierarchy: When a company has a structured hierarchy, the flow of business communication takes place level by level, discouraging inter-level interaction.
- Complex Message: If the message encoded in a communication process is technical and obscure, its decoding becomes difficult.
- Distrust: The employees compete with each other for growth. However, if they lack transparency in business communication, distrust among co-workers become a common problem.
- Lack of Complete Disclosure: Many times, managers or subordinates tend to manipulate or partly disclose the information to one another, to meet their personal ends.
- Misunderstanding: Sometimes, the receiver fails to decode the message efficiently, it thus creates misconception or misinterpretation.
- Language Barrier: The sender and receiver’s language should be the same, otherwise there will be no understanding or connectivity among the two.
Whether it is personnel, marketing, procurement, production, finance, research or any other business operation, nothing can be workable without effective business communication.
Therefore, it can be recognized as an imperative component of business management which has no replacement.