Taking a closer look at effective business communication
Varun Mehta | April 24, 2019
Business communication can be defined as the dissemination of information that is required to promote the products or services of an organization, with the end goal of making a sale. It also involves the sharing of information between the employees of an organization. For business communication to be effective, it should include elements such as a sender, message, encoding, communication medium, decoding, receiver and feedback. Business reports, user manuals, customer feedback and memos are some popular examples of effective business communication.
Effective business communication is important because it helps in the exchange of opinions and ideas, creates useful documents containing proposals, helps in forming agreements and implementing decisions and allows sales to be conducted.
There are several types of business communication, such as:
- Oral communication: Oral communication can be formal or informal in nature and consists of face-to-face meetings, video conferencing and telephoning. This form of direct communication puts the person receiving the message at ease, yet drawbacks may include language, social and cultural barriers.
- Written communication: Written communication is considered to be concise, explanatory and formal in nature, consisting of formal letters, office memos, flyers and posters.
- Electronic or online communication: In today’s technological age, electronic communication is regarded as the standard form of communication. In this type of communication, the information sent is accurate, secure and fast. This usually comprises of email, text messaging, social networking and web conferencing.
Effective business communication can help organizations to:
- Prepare and execute policies: Effective business communication helps organizations to prepare relevant policies. The preparation of these policies requires precise information, which is collected by the managers in the organization. Once these policies are prepared, they need to be implemented and business communication is then used to distribute information throughout the organization.
- Improve employee efficiency: Effective communication also helps to improve the efficiency of employees in an organization. Business communication is used to educate employees in regards to organizational goals, plans and other important instructions, which helps in improving their overall efficiency.
- Solve problems: Communication helps inform managers about any issues that may be ongoing in the organization. With this information, they are able to solve the issues and any employee related problems, thus helping the organization.
- Take decisions: Managers make use of all the information collected from effective communication to make important organization-related decisions.
- Improve industrial relations: Industrial relations refers to the relationship between managers and workers in a manufacturing organization. Business communication plays an important role in ensuring these relations are managed and maintained.
- Increase employee satisfaction: By ensuring that information is shared freely between all employees, this creates a positive work environment. Employees will be satisfied that they are being kept in the loop and therefore feel valued. Open communication also helps manager-employee relations, thus resulting in greater employee satisfaction.
- Improves employee loyalty: Proper communication keeps the managers informed about their employee’s performance of their employees. This can also help managers encourage their team to perform better and reach their goals. Employees will see that their managers are taking interest in their overall performance which improves employee loyalty.
- Promote goods and services: If used effectively, business communication has the potential to help organizations publicize their goods and services, leading to more sales and eventually earning greater revenue.
Elements necessary for effective business communication:
- Structure: How your audience grasp your message, relies heavily on how you structure your communication. Proper structuring in communication consists of three aspects, which include the introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction outlines what your message is about and it should be concise and easy to understand. The body contains the key information that is to be communicated and the conclusion should reinforce or summarise the key points.
- Three C’s: For business communication to be effective, you should include the three C’s in your message and they are clarity, consistency and communication channel. Clarity in any communication can only be achieved if they message is understood by the receiver without any confusion. Furthermore, it is suggested that you maintain a consistent message therefore avoiding adapting it too often. For instance, if you are taking a stand an some issue in your message, make sure your stance remains the same and does not change. The final C is the communication channel and this can be difficult because there are several mediums to choose from. However, your channel should ideally aim to reach the widest audience possible, with the lowest cost and least amount of time taken.
- Relevance: A message containing important information should only be sent to those people for whom it applies to. For example, if you have to send some information to your team, it does not make any sense to send the same information to your manager.
University Canada West offers a BA in Business Communication, which is an interdisciplinary program that will hone your knowledge in the domains of cultural studies, media and business. Additionally, it will equip you with practical and theoretical skills and a variety of communication methods that will help you obtain careers in the fields of communications, journalism, public relations, professional writing and advertising.