Communication is one of the organizational functions that helps a company to stay efficient and productive. One of the more important forms of organizational communication is inter-departmental communication, the Institute for Public Relations notes. The importance of communication between different departments in an organization becomes most evident when that communication breaks down. Implementing policies to strengthen inter-departmental communication help to underscore its importance and maintain an efficient flow of information.
Interdepartmental communication is largely a formal affair between different departments of an organization. Interdepartmental communication is effective when it is supported by good infrastructural facilities. There are various documents used in inter departmental communication, they are:
- A memorandum is a note or record for future use. It is convenient and useful for informal communication. Most interdepartmental communication is done over phone, but when the information has to be communicated in writing then memorandums are used. Memos are also issued in the cases of disciplinary actions to be taken against employees. The format of a memo is almost the same.
- Office circulars are used to convey the information to a large number of employees. It is used for internal communication, so it is brief and formal.
- The format of office orders is similar to memorandum but the purpose for which it is issued will differ. It is usually issued in matters affecting rights and privileges of employees. Office orders carry a number since they will be in force until revoked.
- Suggestions are given by employees. Sometimes they given by one department to another. It helps in developing new ideas and policies. But its effectiveness depends on the attitude of the management.
- Complaints are a part of office routine. As the size of the organization increases, the number of complaints also increases. In many cases complaints may relate to lack of proper infrastructure, non-observance of rules, etc.
Barriers of Communication
Words: Each department uses its own vocabulary. While everyone in the department knows what the terms mean, it can be jargon for employees of other departments. Unwanted words can cause confusion and cannot be understood by separating them.
When employees of different departments work together, they should explain their vocabulary. In some cases, it may be better to leave departmental conditions behind and use other words that are familiar to everyone.
Physical barriers: If there are physical obstacles in the way, then communication can sometimes be conflicts. For example, if you or an employee works remotely, it will be more difficult to communicate regularly. Flexible work arrangements can be good for individuals but can be bad for teams if there are no appropriate arrangements.
Give employees the necessary things to communicate effectively. If you have a remote employee, make sure everyone has access to email, online chat tools and video conferencing software. For your workplace employees, make sure they have places where they do not bother others.
Building Trust between Teams
Accurate and efficient communication between departments builds trust within the organization. When departments trust each other to deliver accurate information, this eliminates the extra fact-checking step that can slow down productivity. Departments should ensure that the information they are giving to other departments in the organization is reliable to help improve operational efficiency.
Increased Efficiency of Communication
If your sales department loses business because the manufacturing group was unaware of an increase in product demand, then your company suffers a loss of revenue. The accurate exchange of information between departments improves the ability to meet sales projections, to get product to distribution points and to have contracts and documents reviewed by the proper people.
Information exchange allows for a productive exchange between engineering and marketing about the release of a new product and gets information on prospective employment candidates to the human resources department. Improving communication between departments improves the efficiency of the overall operation of your organization.
Better Customer Service
When inter-departmental communication is poor, customer service can suffer. For example, if a client continues to receive a bill for an invoice that was already paid because the accounts receivable department is not communicating properly with accounts payable, then there is the risk of losing repeat business. To retain clients and ensure the flow of repeat business, you need to maintain a high level of customer service. When the departments in your company are efficiently sharing information, then clients can be properly attended to, and customer service improves.
Avoiding Conflict and Finger Pointing
A breakdown in communication at any point in the organization can result in conflict. If the shipping department does not get notification of an important shipment in time to make next day delivery, then that can cause a conflict among several departments in the organization. Finger-pointing and arguing accompany a breakdown in inter-departmental communication. When departments engage in conflict, the productivity of your entire organization is affected.
Opportunities for Professional Advancement
Effective communicators get noticed. Make it your mission to enhance communications within your organization, with a special focus on making sure your department is actively communicating to other company departments. A worker or manager who can contribute the advantages of good communication efficiency, trust and service and avoid the pitfalls of unnecessary conflicts and finger-pointing is an employee whose work will be noticed by department heads.
This includes the use of language and words for the purpose of passing on the desired message. In general, oral communication means communication only as spoken words. But, in the context of the types of communication, oral communication can be in colloquial or written form. Thus, the oral form can be verbal or written as discussed below.
Written communication: In this type of communication, any kind of information is exchanged in writing. For example, post, documents, handbooks, posters, flyers, etc. on e-mail, text, letters, reports, SMS, social media platforms.
Oral communication: This is the communication that employs the spoken word, either directly or indirectly as a communication channel. This verbal communication can be made on such a channel, which passes information only in a form i.e. sound.
You can refuse either through face-to-face, or on the phone, or through voice notes or chat rooms, all this comes under verbal communication. This form of communication is an effective form.
In this type of communication, messages are broadcast without the transmission of words. Here are messages wordless messages. This form of communication mainly supports oral communication. It supplements it with gestures, body language, symbols, and expressions.
Through them, one can communicate the mood, or opinion of a person, or even show the response to the messages that are relaying. A non-verb function often sets the tone for the dialogue. If you control and guide non-verbal communication, then you can control and guide communication. There are a few ways of non-verbal communication.
Paralanguage: It is the art of reading between the lines. This kind of main communication is done with the voice of one’s voice. Such communication is approximately 38% of all communication, which we do every day. Along with the voice of the voice, the style of speaking, the quality of the voice, the stress, the emotions or the interaction fulfills the purpose of communication. And, these aspects are not oral.
Art related communication: Art is an important means of communication. Through paintings or other forms of art, an artist can reproduce the strongest messages. Many times in the history of the world, art has been used as an effective form of nonverbal communication.
Appearance: The first impression sets the tone. People will react to your presence and this is a fact of life. Your clothes, color of clothes, etc. all determine the audience’s response.
It is communicated through visual aids such as drawings, placards, presentations, and illustrations.