Major Forms of Upward Communication in Business

By | September 3, 2015

Forms of Upward Communication in Business or, the purpose of upward communication is to provide information to managers from subordinates. Subordinates can communicate message and information to the superiors in a number of ways. Some of the more commonly used methods of upward communication system are – memos, reports, complaint and suggestion boxes, open door policy, direct correspondence, counseling, social gatherings, special meetings, periodic interviews, committees, reunion, feedback session etc. These are discussed below-

Major methods of Upward Communication

  • Special Meetings: Employees may call special meetings to discuss matters of mutual interest with managers. If these meetings allow for mutual exchange of information, they can be an effective method of upward communication.
  • Complaint and Suggestions Boxes: In some organizations, complaint and suggestions boxes are placed at some convenient places. The employees are encouraged to drop their complaints or suggestions, if any into these boxes. Business Communication
    Forms of Upward Communication

Forms of Upward Communication

  • Open Door Policy: Open door policy provides an informal upward channel. Under this policy, the employees are given a feeling that the manager’s doors are always open to them. Whenever they like they can walk into his room without any hesitation and talk to him about their problems. This system can present distortion by avoiding the chain of communication though in can also result in waste of time for managers.
  • Review and Feedback Session: Review and feedback sessions can be arranged after the completion of important projects or tasks to learn about the difficulties encountered. It helps to learn and to improve the performance of the organization.
  • Questionnaires and Surveys: Managers may obtain information about employee attitudes, morale, views about the organization and relationships between managers and subordinates through questionnaires and surveys.
  • Quality Circles: Quality circles are small groups of workers who meet voluntarily to identify and suggestion solutions to problems within their immediate work areas. When a solution is found, it is presented before the management. The acceptance of this type of solution is 80-90 percent.
  • Reports: Reports are the most frequently used method for upward communication. The employees may be required to submit reports about the progress of their work at regular intervals. Reports may be oral or written, formal or informal, lengthy or short.
  • Grapevine: Grapevine can be an effective method of upward communication though it is usually a means of downward and horizontal communication. Sometimes the grapevine information originates at a lower level in the organizational hierarchy and is communicated upward.
  • Periodical Interviews: Periodical interviews with individuals and groups may be arranged systematically and conducted in an informal style. Opinions, views and attitudes are conveyed to the managers by this channel.
  • Grievance Procedures: The enlightened companies have grievance procedure so that employees can push their grievances to the upper level for action. Grievance procedures allow employees a formal channel of appeal beyond the authority of their immediate superiors.
  • Counseling: In some organizations, workers are encouraged to seek counsel from their superiors to solve their personal problems. As the employees feel encouraged to talk freely, they provide the mangers with valuable information. And the information provided by them is utilized by the manager’s to formulate better future policies.
  • Committees: Various committees like grievance committee, welfare committee, counseling committee etc. also encourage flow of information from the lower level to the upper level of the organization.

From the above discussion we find that there are a good number of ways to communicate with the superiors. The subordinates can easily communicate their boss by using them if there is a congenial managerial atmosphere. There are also more information about What is Upward Communication in Business?

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