Organizational Communication: Why it Really Matters
Communication within an organization can be tricky but is essential to the success of any business. It provides transparency of organizational goals, resulting in alignment of employees and a positive work environment. For these reasons, and many more, organizational communication is a vital aspect of an organization.
For an organization to effectively communicate, we recommend implementing and ensuring the use of the three C’s:
1. Comprehensiveness: Communication must be 360, meaning that it is holistic within the organization. To do so, communication must flow between all channels of the organization and in all directions: top down, bottom up, and across functional teams. By communicating comprehensively, employees and leaders are required to commit to communicating with all associates at all levels of the organization.
2. Consistency: As the most important factor of organizational communication, consistency involves constant and familiar communication, in terms of frequency, modes, and individuals. If the organization has a process and tools for great communication, but lacks consistency, the system will fail. Consistent communication comes in many forms: team calls, written communication, live calls, monthly updates, etc.
3. Connectivity: Connecting people through communication contains a subset of 2 additional C’s: content and clarity. First, effective communication must include meaningful content. Don’t communicate for the sake of communicating - make sure the information is important and relevant. Secondly, for communication to be effective it needs to be clear. Clarity is based on the lens of the receiver, so organizational communication must stem from that of employees: what is important to them.
What are the outcomes of effective communication?
1. Direction: Through effective communication, employees are aware of the short and long-term goals of the organization. Direction enables all employees within an organization to understand where the company is headed and how their efforts can push delivery to that point. Specifically, this outcome allows employees to grasp their function within a team goal.
2. Alignment: A second benefit of effective communication is that employees are aligned on the company’s definition of success. Alignment keeps employees in touch in terms of what you need from them and the values that must be upheld to reach these goals.
3. Engagement: High employee engagement goes hand in hand with solid communication. With engaged employees, productivity and the feeling of inclusivity increases, alongside workplace trust and respect. Engagement is an investment that not only motivates employees individually, but also catalyzes organizational success.
Like Douglas Conant, the former Campbell Soup Company President and CEO, says, “to win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” When the three C’s of communication are active, worked on, and used within an organization, a productive workforce is created. While creating this communication scenario is not always perfect, consistency contributes to 80% of the formula and is necessary for the positive sustainability of organizational communication. The bottom line? Consistent communication is key.