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What is Horizontal Communication and How to Implement it in the Workplace?

Horizontal communication

Technological advancement is growing exponentially. Every day, there is something new that helps businesses reach their potential, and opens up many new opportunities for them. Innovative solutions play a positive role in creating new jobs and motivate employees to develop their skills. 

It’s no secret that improving skills and developing them helps professionals move up the career ladder. Sharpened skills add value to employees and make them desirable candidates for positions. Despite this, numerous companies, when looking for employees, pay no less attention to communication skills.

According to a survey conducted by Zety, 61% of employers surveyed said that soft skills are more important to them than hard skills. Meanwhile, just 39% of respondents said that hard skills are vital to them. One of the top three most crucial soft skills, according to the same poll, is communication ability.

Healthy employee relations in the workplace depend on effective communication. Many businesses emphasize that lateral or horizontal communication is essential for efficient internal communication. 

We’ll discuss this form of communication, why it’s beneficial, and how businesses can promote it at work. 

What is horizontal communication?  

In a workplace, such type of communication refers to the sharing of task-related information between coworkers or employees who are on roughly the same level. 

Start-up firms and small businesses are among the most significant contributors to the economies of different nations. These businesses are characterized by a flat organizational structure and a minimal workforce. 

They are frequently the most well-known illustrations of prosperous businesses. These businesses are also the ones that employ horizontal communication. Since professionals typically operate in small teams, they find this method of communication to be quite practical—the employees of these businesses put in greater hours on considerably more crucial jobs. 

This does not mean that only companies with small teams can implement this form of communication. Larger companies may also try to implement lateral communication. Using Communifire, communication in large companies is easily maintained at all levels.

What are the benefits of horizontal communication? 

If internal and external communication channels are hampered, great success cannot be attained. The efficiency of the communication method affects employee productivity and business growth. 

Let’s take a look at the benefits of horizontal communication: 

Efficient use of time 

Since it occurs amongst peers, horizontal communication is more casual. Team members find it simpler to participate in, and they experience less stress at work. This is especially true when new employees appear in the team, which allows them to conduct productive dialogues with colleagues.  

A great example would be a task being performed by a new employee who has never experienced this before. If the company has adopted vertical communication, then it will be difficult for a newcomer to turn to other colleagues for trifling advice. Ignorance breeds uncertainty. Such employees will have to spend their lunchtime looking for useful information on the Internet. 

With a horizontal form of communication, a beginner will be able to feel free to ask around colleagues instead of wasting valuable time searching for information. It is much more convenient if employees can communicate using a team collaboration tool like Chanty. Experienced colleagues will be able to quickly help with advice, as well as tell them what to do. 

Chanty can offer unlimited message history, and this can enable new employees to get a hold of important information easily.

Alternatively, many companies record various training videos for employees to watch to quickly understand the work processes. Most beginners are wondering how to use the software as well as business applications. In order not to waste time, companies record training videos for new employees. You can easily create such videos using the best screen recorder for Mac or Windows.

Productivity increase 

Working in a team, each employee performs certain tasks. However, for the work to be effective, it is necessary to spell out all the details so that there are no delays, misunderstandings, or mistakes later. Using the project planning feature in Chanty, the team can deal with all the tasks as they come up. The team must work together, synchronizing their work. 

In addition to ease of communication, it is much easier for teams to brainstorm when all team members are not embarrassed or feel insecure to say something that may seem foolish to them. This is how brilliant ideas are born that can take the company to the next level. 

In this way, team members communicate effectively, resolve issues quickly and smoothly, and prevent conflicts

Teamwork and unity 

In companies, a lot depends on what kind of relationships develop between employees. Company leaders should strongly encourage horizontal communication, as it encourages employees to unite as a team.

Corporate culture is equally important in this respect. When employees are well-informed about what the goals of their company are, as well as what is the value of each employee, then they are motivated to work for the company.

With horizontal communication, employees do not have to adhere to strict rules about how they should communicate with each other. Thus, they easily find a common language, which contributes to perfect teamwork. Corporate culture, in turn, contributes to the fact that all employees feel unity.

Regardless of what positions employees hold, by communicating freely with each other, they understand that they are not just working to see a big salary, but that they are working together to make the company prosper.

Problem-solving skills 

The absence of boundaries in communication contributes to the rapid resolution of problems. Often in companies, one can observe embarrassment among employees who cannot ask for help from another.

Due to the strict hierarchy, it may seem to everyone that they should solve work problems on their own. Not only is it inefficient, but it also takes a huge amount of time.

Employees may find information that is irrelevant to their job, leading to issues not being resolved. Horizontal communication blurs the boundaries of constraint between employees.

Knowing what problem employees need to solve, they can immediately understand which colleague can help them with this. In addition, they can openly tell their team what the problem is. Other team members will be able to quickly enable and give advice and recommendations.

Task and projects coordination

If a company regularly works on many different projects, what matters is which teams are working on them. Each project is different, so it is important to recruit people who will be useful for certain projects.

In the absence of horizontal communication, it will be difficult for managers to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each employee. Thus, gathering a team can be difficult. In addition, it is worth considering that because of this, efficiency will suffer greatly.

Horizontal communication helps managers get to know each employee better, revealing both their strengths and weaknesses. With information about each employee, they will be able to create strong teams for each project. In addition, the distribution of tasks will occur quickly. All team members will have a clear understanding of how much work they need to do, as well as how much they can contribute.

Stumbling blocks on the path to horizontal communication 

At first appearance, it could seem simple to introduce this kind of communication, but in practice, it can be rather challenging. The most important obstacles in this can be different communication styles among employees, as well as differences in their characters.  

Many companies motivate employees to develop a spirit of competition, believing that this will positively affect productivity. The company may notice great results, but for employees, this will be another reason for the appearance of problems in communicating with each other. 

Thus, companies must motivate their employees to strive for effective communication

Managers and experienced professionals from companies such as Arielle Execute, Twiz LLC, and VTR Learning note the following: 

  • In a professional context, open communication allows you to voice your viewpoint on work-related issues and increases team value; 
  • Working together side by side with other team members, employees begin to feel their importance, as well as a sense of belonging to the company, which makes them more productive. In case of problems, it is easier for teams to brainstorm and also complete the project without any delay; 
  • Each team member must invest in team communication, otherwise, understanding will suffer. Everyone should learn to speak freely, and also learn to listen carefully to others. 

What to do to encourage horizontal communication? 

Being a member of a team does not mean that you just work with other people on a project. Employees must feel they can rely on their colleagues, with whom they will be pleased to work. 

Organizing collaborative projects is not the only thing companies can do to motivate effective communication. Teams should focus on bringing people together. To do this, companies can organize corporate events, joint trips, and team-building activities, and also encourage communication in an informal setting after hours. 

Last thoughts

Regardless of the size or number of workers, firms should prioritize improving team communication. Horizontal team communication facilitates effective time management and boosts productivity. By organizing informal team collaboration events, businesses may promote open communication. 

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Julia Nefedina

My name is Julia. I work as a freelance content writer. I'm an expert in everything from technology and content marketing to business development. My major objective is to write in a clear and straightforward manner, helping others in solving their problems.

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