The two primary internal communication types are formal and informal communication:

    Formal communication is communication through pre-defined channels set by organizations. They are typically conveyed from top leadership to various departments that funnels down to lower level employees. It is backed by organizational procedure, and it is necessary to fulfill the goals of the organization.

    Informal communication is more relational than formal. It is not backed by any pre-determined channels and can happen anywhere within the organization. The primary goal of this messaging is to preserve and establish relationships with colleagues and superiors and subordinates. Since it is not defined by any channels, messaging moves a lot faster, but it is without any paper trail or official documentation.

    • Importance of These Forms of Communication Part 1
    • State of Modern Internal Communications Part 2
    • Formal and Informal Communication Challenge Part 3
    • Formal and Informal Communication Best Practices Part 4

    Part 1

    Why Are These Forms of Communication Important?

    In its purest form, formal communication is created to increase efficiency within an organization.

    Pre-determined channels of communication are meant to provide a smooth and streamlined method of communication that travels upward and downward .

    It is the way to easily communicate rules, procedures, and company policy to lower level employees.

    A formal notification is also favorable in situations where documentation is needed to prove or disapprove a claim or complaint. If someone violated company policy or broke a rule against another coworker, it is easy for employees to point to formal communications between staff and upper management.

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    Informal communication, as stated above, is all about relationships; if a culture of goodwill and relationship is adequately fostered by the company, then informal discussions can create solidarity and strengthen teams. However, one of the most important reasons for why informal communication is critical to businesses is that it allows employees to give feedback to their superiors. It facilitates the action of upward interface and enables messaging to go both ways efficiently. When employees are given the opportunity to comment on their experiences in the company informally, it puts the ball back in the court of upper management to improve and meet their expectations. This action then leads to higher employee morale.

    Also, informal communication can pick up where formal discussions end. A great example of this is conflict resolution. If employees or managers and employees can resolve their problems informally, then this can prevent the need for upper management to have to get involved and elongate the matter.

    Part 2

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    What Is the State of Modern Internal Communications?

    Many factors are impacting the state of internal communication in today’s workplace. Technology is changing the way people want to interact with each other, and it is creating a disruption in the workplace in ways never before seen.

    RingCentral, a provider of cloud-based communications and collaboration solutions for businesses, listed some of their findings from a survey about modern communication trends in the workplace.

    • 97 percent of their respondents believed that communication impacted tasks on a daily basis.
    • 44 percent of respondents want more widespread adoption of internal communication tools.
    • When asked about how they would like these tools to evolve in 2015, 17 percent wanted better usage of these tools.

    A conversation about formal and informal communication cannot happen without acknowledging the impact of technology. To see how information is funneling from management to employees and from employees to co-workers it would be helpful to gain insight on how email, text messages, and tools like Status.net have a hand in how these messages are happening. Here are a few other statistics that business leaders should be concerned about concerning formal and informal communications within the company.

    • An infographic and survey compiled by ClearCompany revealed that only 14 percent of companies have employees who understand the organization’s strategies, goals, and direction.
    • Another stat from that survey showed that only 5.9 percent of companies communicate the organization’s goals every day.

    In today’s world, communication is as critical as it ever was. The only problem is that companies might not be utilizing all the tools and procedures at their disposal to better facilitate effective communications from upper management to lower employees, and from employees to their colleagues.

    Part 3

    The Challenges of Formal and Informal Communication

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    Formal Communication Challenges

    1. Acknowledging a New Generation

      With the increase of social media and a favoring of more informal communication methods by millennials, companies are going to have to go easy on the formal board meeting and email memos. Younger generations prefer having multiple ways of communicating whether it be through social media platforms, text messaging, and co-working software. Business leaders are trying to find effective ways to incorporate new mediums of communicating company vision, policy and procedures .

    2. Buy-In from Employees

      Many times, it can be more comfortable for formal messaging to be accepted by employees if it is done in a way that is more about the “why” than the “what.” Authoritative tones can be a turn-off, so upper management has to be sure to balance conversations about rules and procedures with how they align with the overall goal of the company. If not, employees may not be ready to buy in totally.

    3. Inflexibility

      As a result of the messaging coming through pre-determined channels, many voices in upper management have to be heard before a message is sent down the ranks. A lot of people have to agree and approve what is being sent out. This makes it difficult for anyone to change a formal message if something needs to be tweaked or left out.

    4. Contributes to a Lack of Understanding

      Mass formal communications that are not tailored to everyone’s communication style can create confusion and stress. A new procedure can be worded in a way that it means one thing to one employee and an entirely different thing to another. It is challenging for upper management to account for a general lack of communication.

    5. Slow Decision Making

      Some employees and departments depend on formal messaging from upper management to make important decisions. As mentioned above, because it takes a lot of people to sign off on a decision or message from top management it can take a lot longer to reach who it needs to. Therefore, formal communication can be frustrating to managers or employees who need it. It can even cause the demise of a product or project.

    Informal Communication Challenges

    1. Rumors Can Spread Rapidly

      While informal communication is excellent for creating relationships and producing unity among staff, those same communication flows can also present opportunities for rumors to spread. Because messaging is not pre-determined or controlled, it makes this event even more likely. This means that other employees might be receiving incorrect information about procedures, critical changes, or policies from colleagues or managers.

    2. Lack of Control

      Informal communication is impossible to control. It is not affiliated with management-approved channels, and as a result, it does not necessarily obey the same messaging rules as formal communication. As a result, problematic issues such as harassment, bullying, or sensitive information sharing could be taking place. If an employee does not alert management about these predicaments, it would be impossible for them to know and stop any problems.

    3. An Increase in Conflict

      As in any setting, as humans interact with each other, a conflict has a higher chance of happening. It can breed competition among employees or departments or problems between superiors and subordinates. In turn, this can decrease or halt productivity.

    4. Contradict Formal Communications

      Informal communication can directly contradict information sent from pre-defined channels. Someone may say they heard something different than the official memo sent from upper management, or a manager might confuse formal communications and provide an inaccurate explanation to an employee with a question. Upper management can dictate when and how messaging flows from their channels, but they cannot determine how those messages are interpreted or spread to others.

    5. Lack of Secrecy

      Again, a lack of control increases the chance for company secrets to travel. A rumored promotion, coming retirement, or the advent of a new product not yet released to all parts of the company might be leaked to others who do not need to know. This can potentially damage a new product release or breach the trust of employees.

    Part 4

    Informal and Formal Communication Best Practices

    • Foster a Culture of Effective Communications Employees respond well if they feel they can trust that upper management has their best interest at heart. Formal communication does not start when the messages are sent; it begins the second an employee begins their first day. Upper management should reach out to employees in ways that do not always feel rigid and formal to increase their trust and buy-in. This will make it easier for them to accept more essential messages and stay away from potential rumors.
    • Streamlined Decision Making Employees can become agitated if a work task depends on formal communication channels of upper management. Leaders can decrease this frustration by better assessing who needs to be involved in the decision-making process and utilizing an approach to get decisions to employees faster.
    • Talk About the “Why” Behind the Rules To ensure a safe environment for everyone, there should be established policies for formal and informal communications. However, business leaders should explain why these rules exist and why breaking them can impact the work environment of those around them. The conversation should center on behaviors and how they should align with the mission and vision of the company.

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    Why is formal and informal communication important?
    While formal communication will help the execution of official orders, informal communication will assist in improving human relations and work environment. more
    What is formal debriefing?
    Formal debriefing means a process designed to rigorously analyze a critical event in order to examine what occurred and to facilitate improved future outcomes by managing the event more effectively or preventing recurrence. more
    Is bisous formal?
    Bises on letters, messages and correspondence It's familiar but more formal than “Bisous, which is more intimate, and tender. You'll usually say bises to family, friends, or distant relatives you know but are not close with, such as a cousin, aunt, great uncle etc. more
    What is formal report?
    Formal reports contain information with more detail and content than the shorter report forms (memo). A. formal report is usually submitted at the end of any major investigation. Many companies have a standard. form that is to be followed when writing a formal report. more
    Does Israel import gas?
    Gas Imports Israel imports 2% of its natural gas consumption (5,650 MMcf in 2015). more
    Is Chao formal?
    If you are on the phone with a friend and you are about to hang up the most common expression you can use is “chao”, but if it's a more formal conversation, you better use “hasta luego”. Explanation: Chao is extremely informal and you want to use it only with close friends. more
    Which of the following is not a type of meeting * Formal informal case based semi formal?
    The one which is not the meeting type is option c: Casual. more
    Does Italy import beef?
    Imports In 2020, Italy imported $1.72B in Bovine Meat, becoming the 4th largest importer of Bovine Meat in the world. At the same year, Bovine Meat was the 50th most imported product in Italy. more
    What is formal presentation?
    Presenting ideas effectively to individuals or groups when given time to prepare; delivering presentations suited to the characteristics and needs of the audience. more
    What is formal development?
    Formal development is the use of formal methods as an integrated part of a tool-supported system development process. more
    What is formal non-formal and informal learning?
    Learning that is formal or non-formal is partly intentional and partly incidental: when we consciously pursue any learning target we cannot help learning things that are not part of that target. Informal learning, however, is exclusively incidental. more

    Source: status.net

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