Types of Downward Communication in Business

Types of downward communication when communication flows from the higher level of authority to the lower level, it is called downward communication. Most of the communication flow within an organization is downward. Downward communication may be written in the form of letters, notes, circulars, notices or they may be oral in the form of intercom calls, face to face talks, lectures etc. Major media of downward communication or the common forms of downward communication are discussed below:

Types of Downward Communication in Business

  • Directives: Organizational policies and procedures are communicated to employees through directives. These directives may be sent only to employees who are directly affected by them or may be widely distributed for informational purpose.
  • Meeting: Meeting is another effective and important form of downward communication. When management is to inform or give necessary directions to the subordinates immediately, a meeting is called. A meeting can convey the message directly at once. Business Communication
  • Bulletins: Bulletins are used to communicate urgent message. They are most effective when placed where placed where the employees generally congregate. Bulletin boards must be kept up-to-date, be neat and tidy and display messages of interest.
  • Letters: Letters are a very important mode of downward communication. For taking immediate actions, authority sends letters to the employees who are directly affected by the direction given or decision taken.
  • Memos: Memos are one of the most frequently used forms of business communication, especially when necessary directions are given to the employees. Memos provide a format for a concise message and are usually exchanged between and among the departments of an organization.
  • Employee Handbooks: Employee handbooks usually contain the rules and regulations of the company, employee responsibilities and benefits etc. when workers are hired, they may be given an employee handbook. To make it effective, the employees should be encouraged to read the handbooks.
  • Information Racks: Information racks contain various types of booklets, journals, magazines and other informative publications. Like bulletin boards, information rack should be placed in areas where employees gather themselves, such as next to a water fountain, near a drink machine or close to a snack bar. Information racks should also be kept current and neat and should contain information of interest to employees.
  • Pay Inserts: Usually most people pay attention to what is put in a pay envelope. It may contain insert or paper giving certain directions and advice.
    Information Racks: Information racks contain various types of booklets, journals, and among the departments of an organization.
  • Posters: Posters are also used as a means of downward communication. To make them effective, posters must be eye-catching, have something to say that interests the workers and be displayed in places where workers will see them easily.
  • Company Periodicals: Company periodicals are also important in communicating messages to the subordinates or employees in lower level. Well-written articles placed in company periodicals contain important information. This form of communication will be effective only if employees actually read the periodicals and don’t simply toss them out.
  • Loudspeaker: Sometimes loudspeaker can be as effective media of downward communication. The effectiveness of a loudspeaker largely depends on how often it is used and for what purpose. If the loudspeaker often interrupts work with unimportant message, it simply becomes the part of the background noise and even the object of ridicule.
  • Annual Report: Annual report of an organization is very suitable to inform the employees about the organizational activities and achievements during the year.

Apart from the above mentioned forms downward communication may take some other forms like public addressing system, films and slides, grapevine etc. superiors can easily communicate with the subordinates by using these techniques if there is a participative management system in the organization. There are more information about What is Downward Communication in Business?


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