Communication in Organizations – Concept and functions

We explain what communication is in organizations, its importance and classification. The functions it fulfills and elements.

Organizational communication
Organizational communication is directed by the Human Resources department.

What is communication in organizations?

Communication in organizations has to do with the dissemination of messages in order to transmit, indoors, the achievements and requirements to the members that make it up. Although it is also communicated outside doors and, in this case, it serves so that society also knows what the missions, visions and goals of any organization are.

In general, the person in charge of organizational communication is the Human Resources department. It is worth noting that not all messages are for all collaborators, nor are they communicated in the same way in all strata of the organization. The messages vary according to the level of the pyramid to which you want to communicate: It is not the same for those who occupy hierarchical positions as for those who are at the base.

Importance of communication in organizations

Organizational communication
Organizational communication allows knowing the performance of the departments.

Communication in organizations is transcendental. The scope of the firm’s objectives, to a large extent, depends on how the communication is.

Through it, the collaborators keep abreast of the requirements and the objectives achieved. At the same time, communication allows them to get to know employees how was its evolution within the firm and how have been the performance of each of the departments.

Outside doors, organizational communication is the tool that helps companies build the image that they want society to have of themselves.

Types of communication in organizations

Communication in organizations can be divided into two large groups:

Internal communication. It is the development and dissemination of messages that are circulated indoors, that is, it is designed for the company’s employees. This is how links between staff are created and maintained, even when they are not part of the same area or headquarters.

Within this type of communication you can use social networks, billboards, chats, e-mails, reports, brochures, events, meetings, surveys, speeches, circulars.

In turn, internal communication can be:

  • Falling. When the message spreads from the highest levels of the company to the grassroots.
  • Upward. When the message is spread by those at the base of the organizational pyramid to those in higher positions.

External Communication. It is made up of all the messages that are sent and received between the organization and its environment. By environment you can understand both suppliers and customers, the competition and even society as a whole.

In general, outdoors, the organization tries to persuade the recipient and create a good image of itself. For that you can appeal to advertising, brochures, call centers, offices, among other strategies.

Communication functions in organizations

Communication in organizations
Meetings or encounters are a good way to integrate staff.

Within the communication of organizations, various functions can be identified. Some of them are:

  • Motivation. If the organization wants its collaborators to perform better and thus achieve the objectives, communication can be oriented in this sense. For example, informing them that if they reach a certain goal they will receive a certain compensation or benefit.
  • Information. When you want to update the staff on something, or clarify a certain rumor, communication through emails, posters or meetings, can point in that direction.
  • Interaction. Through meetings, encounters or social networks, to give a few examples, it is possible to aim for collaborators to interact with each other. Many times it is a good way to integrate the staff as well as to generate a certain identity and brotherhood.
  • Control. Often times, Human Resources proceeds, for example, to the development of a regulation or contract that determines how employees should behave on certain occasions.
  • Feedback. Many times, the company wants not only to send messages from the highest hierarchies but also for its bases to report or comment on different issues. Meetings, social networks or surveys can be a good alternative for this.

Elements of communication in organizations

As in any type of communication, the elements that comprise it are the following:

  • Transmitter. That member who is in charge of preparing and sending the message. In this case, it could be, for example, the Human Resources department, the leader of an area or the collaborators of a sector.
  • Receiver. Who and interprets the message and can be the same as the previously mentioned actors. It is that, in organizations, it is very common for the roles of sender and receiver to constantly alternate.
  • Message. The content that you want to spread.
  • Code. The set of rules and symbols that are used for the elaboration of the message. This code must be known by the sender and the receiver. Otherwise, the message cannot be interpreted correctly.
  • Channel. The medium through which the message travels or is spread. It can be a billboard, a brochure, an e-mail or a speech, to give just a few examples of the wide variety of channels through which an organization can use when spreading a message.