There is a constant flow of information both within and beyond your company in the form of business communication. The larger your business the more complex the communication hierarchy becomes, with various levels and requirements needed to function effectively and efficiently. But even the smallest business needs powerful and continuous communication between employees and employers, and between your organisation and the rest of the world. 

The business communication strategy at work within your company determines how you interact with co-workers, management, and other stakeholders, as well as how they interact with each other. All that communication is how you achieve your objectives, service your customers, thrive, and grow as a business. The core purpose of comms is to improve how your organisation functions, keeping everyone informed, reducing mistakes, avoiding silos, boosting productivity, and ultimately increasing profits.

Effective company communication will make your business more successful in several key ways, and is essential for the growth and success of your organisation. Yet because the idea of communication is so fundamental to everyday life, it’s often an element of business that’s taken for granted. Unlike the everyday forms of communication that you engage in with friends and family, business communication is always going to be goal-orientated. 

The stronger your communication system the more able it is to support you and your organisation in smashing your goals and achieving ever-greater levels of success. 

And yet, data has shown 60% of professionals in the internal communication sphere don’t measure their internal comms. 

If you’re not successfully communicating the rules, values, policies, regulations, goals and progress of your business (both internally and externally), how can you expect to achieve your full potential?

What Are the Different Types of Business Communication?

If you’re looking to improve the way communication works in your organisation it’s important to understand the various types of comms at play. There are four main forms to consider:

Internal Upward Communication…

Internal upward business communication occurs whenever a subordinate contacts a manager or someone who is higher in the organisational hierarchy than they are. Those individuals at the top of the pecking order (and particularly the business director or leader) should always enable the free flow of information upwards, so they can truly understand the operations and dynamics at work within their company. 

There are numerous forms of internal upward communication, but they usually take the form of feedback, forms, surveys, or reports that employees are sending directly to their team leaders or managers. 

For example, marketing execs are likely to send monthly reports winging up the chain of command detailing website hits, SEO rankings, leads generated, and social media engagement. 

Internal Downward Communication…

The opposite of upward comms – internal downward communication – is the flow of information from the top of the hierarchy – i.e. a team leader, manager, or director – down to one or more of their subordinates. This form of comms might be a memo, a letter, the assignment of a task, or verbal instruction.

Keeping communication professional as a leader within your business is paramount, with employees needing clear and concise information. A good example of this type of communication is sending a memo detailing a new company procedure, such as new regulations or an update to safety requirements for a particular procedure. 

Internal Lateral Communication…

Internal lateral business communication is what takes place among employees within the workplace. The modern world has given us a veritable smorgasbord of ways for employees to speak to each other, from messenger to WhatsApp, email, and employee communication software solutions. 

This is a form of comms that can happen between or within departments, and is far more regular than any other form of business communication. Having an easy way for employees to communicate with each other is absolutely crucial for ensuring high levels of employee productivity and engagement. 

External Communication…

Finally, there is external business communication, which takes place between your organisation and any external partners or parties such as prospects, clients, or vendors. Unlike your internal forms of communication, external comms tend to happen less regularly. 

Why Is An Effective Business Communication System So Powerful?

It’s all very well us banging on about business comms, but how exactly is communication going to make your business more successful? Well, here are our top eleven reasons you should be making a great comms system a priority investment in your company… 

#1 Improve Your Team Engagement…

There’s a lot of research into employee engagement demonstrating that the top factor in internal comms, with a statistical correlation to employee engagement, is leadership communication. In other words, your employees will be more engaged when you have effective internal communication at work within your business. Offering support, advice, coaching, and reminding the company’s leaders how important it is to communicate with their team, while ensuring employees feel seen, heard, and in the proverbial loop, is essential.

#2 Stay In Touch With Your Remote Workers…

Now, more than ever, remote workers are the future of modern business. This shift was already taking place before the Covid-19 pandemic, but with the need to socially distance this year many offices (including Acrylic’s) shifted to a team of remote workers. Initially, our office closed completely and the entire team was working remotely. Since lockdown eased we have three team members back in the office while everyone else remains at home. Throughout, we’ve been able to operate seamlessly thanks to highly effective communication systems that have ensured we can all keep in contact and nobody is left isolated, even in isolation. Meanwhile, we’ve been keeping our clients connected and working by ensuring team members can remotely access work systems and computers that must remain on-site, from laptops at home.

Remote working necessitates a whole new approach to communications, management and leadership, even when we’re not in the middle of a pandemic. Whether this is due to the need to coordinate across multiple time zones, overcome language barriers, negotiate information silos, or one of the myriad communication challenges faced by remote teams, an effective comms system covers all your bases.

It also ensures your team feels like a team no matter where they happen to be working. The better your communication systems are, the more positive the impact on your business, and the better positioned your team are to collaborate and make your business more successful. 

#3 Avoid Email Overwhelm…

Businesses use email for everything from employee communication to requests for information, task assignment, status updates, feedback, meeting invitations, talking to clients and suppliers, distributing documents and information about company operations, updates on benefits, and even birthday wishes. 

The average worker in the corporate world spends around 25% of their workday engaged in tasks relating to email. Despite that, only a fraction of the emails hitting our inboxes each day actually deserve our immediate attention, and many are completely irrelevant to us. 

Modern internal business communication tools are designed to boost employee engagement and productivity, effectively eliminating email overwhelm.

And who doesn’t want that?

#4 Boost Your Team’s Productivity…

Speaking of productivity, four out of five employees believe their job performance is improved by an effective internal business communications system. You want your team to be as productive as possible. There is an overwhelming amount of information available online concerning pretty much any subject. The number of DIY tutorials for every conceivable task streaming on YouTube skyrockets every year.

This means that there’s never a task your team can’t learn to do better once they have the right content. The problem is finding the right content. The average employee spends 2.5 hours every day looking for information they need to do their jobs. Believe it or not, over the course of a month your people are spending roughly a week each looking for information.

If that info was at their fingertips in a central, easily accessible, organised place, just think how much extra work they’d get done while not randomly searching Google…and how much more difficult it would be for them to excuse getting caught surfing the net as ‘doing research’!

#5 Say Goodbye To Communication Silos…

At work, stuff that is most important can easily be lost in the tsunami of irrelevant junk we are exposed to daily. All that unnecessary info quickly creates information silos – the content that is actually vital to your team is lost in the cesspit of irrelevant communication. Having a well structured internal comms system, and the right communication tools to meet the needs of your team is critical to your operations as it eliminates this pesky issue. 

#6 Boost Your Interdepartmental Communications…

Maintaining effective interdepartmental communications throughout your company requires strategy. Productivity hinges of easy communication and collaboration. Yet 39% of employees don’t believe there’s enough collaboration between team members in their organisation.

A simple example of this is the need for your marketing team to be in sync with your business development team – if the two departments are out of alignment your marketing will not drive your business development goals, hindering growth and resulting in a frustrated marketing team, who may be doing a great job, but at the wrong thing.

Having an easily accessible and highly effective means for those two departments to line up their efforts eliminates this issue, effortlessly ensuring they both work together to achieve the same ends.

#7 Increase Your Staff Retention…

The more satisfied and engaged your employees are in their roles, the lower your staff turnover rate becomes. With poor communication causing so much frustration in the workplace, and the constant need for modern businesses to attract and then keep talented millennials, we need to ensure our working environments are operating on the level of constant connection and instant answers the social media age has made the new norm. 

All employees need to be kept in the loop about what’s relevant to their roles, but this is particularly important for the younger generations, who have never had to exist in a pre-internet world. They are incredibly unsettled by an inability to have their questions and concerns answered as quickly as it takes them to type out a Google search or ask Siri. And it’s not just the ‘young ones’ who now expect constant and instant communication. Customers and clients have also come to expect your business to provide instant answers and solutions. So your staff don’t just need this for their own peace of mind and job satisfaction, it’s also a necessity for them to effectively do their jobs, and you to keep your customer base happy. 

On the flipside, overwhelming your people with information and irrelevant content leads to stress, frustration, disengagement, and your employee retention rate plummeting. So the trick is to develop a communications system that perfectly balances the need for constant contact and answers with the necessity of filtering out anything that isn’t relevant.

#8 Supercharged Knowledge Sharing…

One of the biggest benefits of having a team, rather than a series of solo workers, is the ‘group think’ mentality. When you put a bunch of talented people together and combine their skills, knowledge and perspectives, the cumulative power of the group is far stronger than the sum of its individual members.

When investing in internal communication systems for their business, the core goal of most company owners and managers is to improve the ability of their team to share knowledge and operate at that level of ‘group thinking’ where the magic happens. 

The digital age has created workers who are constantly learning new skills, growing, and expanding their knowledge. The ability to allow each individual to explore their own interests and acquire new skills required for their various roles, then pool all that knowledge so everyone can benefit from it is incredibly powerful. 

An effective business comms strategy is the best way to ensure that all individual knowledge is collected in one place and shared with the team as a whole, for the benefit of all.

#9 Boost Employee Advocacy…

We all know that employees are valuable when it comes to the inner workings of your company, but what about the way they represent you in the outside world? The easiest and most effective way of transforming your employees into ambassadors for your brand – perfectly happy to represent, promote, and extol your company’s virtues to anyone who will listen – is effectively communicating your brand’s values to them. 

Most companies dismiss the potential of brand ambassadorship because it seems so hard to achieve, but really all you need for a successful system is a bunch of happy employees. When your workers are happy they are more than willing – in fact, often eager – to contribute to an ambassadorship program that can make your company more successful in four key ways:

Increasing brand awareness.

Boosting your marketing efforts.

Increasing your revenue.

Attracting high-quality candidates through the strength of your company culture.

#10 Rock Your Company Culture…

Speaking of which, if you’re trying to build an engaging, vibrant, modern workplace environment, a proper business communication system is vital. Transparency is the name of the game when it comes to company culture. This leads to a more open and healthier way of working, improves the atmosphere in your offices, and gives workers a boost in terms of both satisfaction and motivation. 

On the flipside, businesses who neglect their internal comms and fail to leverage them to improve company culture are plagued by low engagement, high rates of turnover, and low satisfaction from both employees and customers. 

#11 Skyrocket Client Retention And Satisfaction…

Which leads us to the final point – when you have effective communications in place your customers are always in the loop, and far more likely to be completely satisfied with their experience with you. When you have a poor comms system, your customer-facing employees suffer from an information void that makes it impossible for them to effectively serve customers. Your clients will sense the low morale of your team and have a very negative experience of working with you. 

There are even studies directly linking employee attitude to customer satisfaction and increased revenues.

The bottom line? The better your business communication strategy, the more money you will make.

If you’re ready to uplevel your business communication system and start reaping all of these great rewards just click below to book a free audit. Acrylic IT specialises in providing genius systems and managed IT services to businesses in Northwich, Middlewich, Knutsford and the surrounding areas of Cheshire and the North West.

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20 Business Communication Stats To Show We’re Serious…

If you’re a sucker for a good statistic and prefer to take the facts over the opinion of a company that’s obviously going to extol the benefits of something they want you to invest in 😉 here are 20 compelling facts to back up what we’re saying – backing up is, after all, super important…

  1. 60% of companies have no long-term internal communication strategy.
  2. Connected employees are 20 to 25% more productive. 
  3. Only 17% of employees believe their line managers are good communicators.
  4. 29% of employees cite poor communication as the cause of project failure. 
  5. 87% of people use their mobile phone for work communication.
  6. 38% of businesses already had a growing number of remote workers before lockdown.
  7. Only 13% of employees are using their intranets daily.
  8. 28% of business leaders cite poor communication as the main cause of missed project deadlines. 
  9. Only 23% of business executives believe their companies effectively align corporate needs with employees’ goals.
  10. Communication issues cause a crisis for 60% of businesses at least once a month.
  11. 74% of employees feel out of the loop when it comes to company news.
  12. Only 40% of IC pros feel employees have a good understanding of their contribution to their business’ strategy.
  13. 62% of emails employees receive are unimportant. 
  14. 60.8% of employees occasionally or often ignore work emails.
  15. 47.7% of employees say receiving fewer work emails would make them happier. 
  16. Employees are 75% more likely to watch video than they are to read text. 
  17. Only 24% of professionals in internal comms believe they use their communication channels effectively.
  18. A business with an effective communication program is 3.5 times more likely to perform better than its competitors.
  19. 72% of company employees don’t understand the strategy at work in their own organisation. 
  20. 77% of bosses always have their phone within reach while they’re at work.