Upward and downward communication

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Upward communication is one that goes from the lower levels of a company to the higher ones. On the contrary, downward communication is the one that starts from the higher ranks of a company to the employees located at lower levels. That is the fundamental difference between both types of communication.

There are different types of communication within companies. Internal communication is essential to maintain good coordination between all workers.

Upward and downward communication are two widely used options in relation to communication used within a company.

In this sense, upward communication is the one that starts from the lower sectors of the company towards the higher sectors. With this type of communication, employees seek to express their suggestions, opinions or doubts about the work aspects that are most important to them.

As far as downward communication is concerned, it is carried out in reverse. Communication starts from the highest positions of the company to the lowest.

This option is widely used in many companies, since with it they intend to offer data, information and knowledge of their values ​​and policies to all their employees.

What are the most prominent differences between upstream and downstream communication?

These are the main differences between the two:

  • Upward communication starts from employees who occupy the lower levels of the company within the organization chart, up to the upper ranks. On the contrary, downward communication originates in reverse. Those responsible for the company are those who issue the information that is directed towards the workers that make up the lower departments.
  • Downward communication is the most common within companies.
  • The objective of ascending communication is to show the suggestions of the workers in relation to the company, to cooperate in the face of certain problems that arise, and to provide solutions even if they refer to problems originating in other departments. In short, try to express the opinion of the employees and expose the most outstanding needs they have so that they are heard by their superiors.
  • Downward communication aims to inform about the tasks and work that employees must develop, control how activities are developed and propose orientation programs if necessary. It also serves to convey the most outstanding values ​​of the company and offer updated information to employees about what arises within the company.

Example of upstream and downstream communication

A company that wants to transmit its values ​​and inform its employees about the new goals it has will develop downward communication.

To carry it out, it will send an internal newsletter to keep all employees informed, since this knowledge will be very useful for cooperation and the development of joint work to achieve the objectives proposed by the company's management.

On the other hand, the employees who make up the lower departments of the company, want to highlight the need to improve their salary, since working conditions have changed.

To do this, they will request a meeting with their supervisor or superior boss to be able to raise their suggestions and the presentation of the case that they want the responsible person to know.

It is recommended that both types of communication alternate in a company, since those responsible for the company will be able to inform the employees and vice versa.

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