Downward communication

Downward communication is a form of internal corporate communication. It’s based on a one-way hierarchical system in which messages from an organization’s top management are passed on to employees.

Also known as "top-down" communication, downward communication is one of the oldest forms of internal communication.

This type of organizational communication is still present in companies today, but it leaves more room for other communication methods, such as upward communication (from employees to management) or cross-functional communication (free speech, regardless of hierarchical level).

downward upward cross functional communication

The main purpose of downward communication in organizations is to disseminate regulatory information concerning safety measures, internal rules and regulations, etc. It’s also used to inform all members of the company of the latest news, results achieved, or decisions made by management.

Downward communication is also favored for resolving internal conflicts and presenting all employees with projects and objectives to be pursued.

As part of a downward communication strategy, the company's managers must be directly involved in addressing their employees. To do this, they can use a variety of media, such as the intranet, notice boards, company newspapers, emails, meetings, activity reports, memos, etc., to communicate with employees.

Access to information is essential for everyone in the company. By receiving clear guidelines and reports on the company's development and results, employees will feel more involved in their work. They will also feel that the company is transparent with them.

However, this form of internal communication leaves little room for employee feedback. Since information comes from the top and goes down the pyramid, employees may have the impression of evolving in an authoritarian management system.

Today, corporate communications give employees more say. Their words and ideas are taken into account, which helps to motivate teams and achieve better results.

Most companies are introducing new methods (upward or cross-functional communication) as well as digital tools that revolutionize and facilitate internal communication.

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