Downward Communication

Downward communication is an important process of organizational communication. It connects people by facilitating the flow of information between them.

Downward communication has five purposes:
1. To give instruction to employees regarding their jobs and specific tasks.
2. To provide information about organizational procedures and practices to new employees.
3. To explain the rationale of a job to a new employee
4. To provide subordinates feedback about their job performance
5. To give information required by different teams and departments for the achievement of goals.

In the past, organizations focused only on the first two objectives; Modern organizations emphasize five. If the communication process fails to achieve these objectives, employees will not receive all the information they need about their jobs and will not be aware of the importance of their work. They may perceive their work as of little significance in the organization and may not show interest in it. They can perform their tasks because they are told to do so by their boss. Such attitudes on the part of employees will negatively affect organizational performance. This will promote an authoritarian environment, which will adversely affect the upward and horizontal flow of information. Hence, it is important to communicate to all employees how their work will contribute to the achievement of organizational goals and how their poor/excellent performance will affect other jobs in the organization. Therefore, downward communication should aim to help employees better understand their jobs and align their goals with organizational goals.

Downward communication relies on a variety of print and oral media to disseminate information. Handbooks, manuals, magazines, newspapers, bulletin boards, notices, posters, reports, and memos are various types of written media that organizations use. Direct orders or directives from top officials, speeches, meetings, public address system, telephone, closed circuit television are examples of verbal media used for downward communication.

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