A proper system of communication is developed in an organization in order to make the flow of information orderly so that information flows smoothly and timely to the points where it is required. It supports in maintaining supervision and control over the performance of subordinates and fix their official responsibility.
In an organization communication can flow in three ways: downward, upward, and horizontal.
#1 Downward Communication
The flow of information from superiors to subordinates in the management hierarchy is known as downward communication. Basically, information of instruction, plans, policies, and direction formally flow from the upper level to the lower levels. Such information is essential to maintain the regular operation of the enterprise and to meet planned objectives.
An appropriate flow of downward information helps make employees responsible and loyal to the organizational goals. The main media of downward communication consist of the regular schedule of work, notice, circular, memo, etc.
#2 Upward Communication
The flow of information from subordinates to superiors in an organization known as upward communication. Generally, information of achievement of work done, the problem faced in performance, suggestions, grievances, etc are communicated from lower levels to the upper level. Such information enables the management to know what is happening actually in all the departments of the organization.
It helps the manager to maintain effective control over organizational performance and which is a must to complete a managerial job. The concept of decentralization and delegation of authority can not be fruitful without true and factual upward information from subordinates. Therefore, in every organization, there should be a proper channel for upward communication.
#3 Sideward or Horizontal Communication
In horizontal or sideward communication, information flows among the employees having an equal level of authority. In such a communication system, employees of the same level exchange their ideas, views, experience, and knowledge with each other. For example, exchange of information between a marketing manager and a production manager.
This form of communication is essential to exchange information of common interest and to develop a feeling of teamwork among the employees. This is helpful to maintain understanding and self coordination among the managers of the same level, which is ultimately helpful to gain organizational goals.