Horizontal communication occurs between people occupying the same positions in the organization hierarchy. It helps to share ideas, information, wishes and attitude between peers and colleagues. It also promotes mutual understanding and ensures cross-functional coordination. The following points highlight the importance of horizontal communication:
Importance of Horizontal Communication
- Co-ordination of activities: Organizational activities are grouped into various functional departments. All those departments must work in a coordinated way to achieve organizational goals. Horizontal communication permits the managers of various departments to harmonize and coordinate interdepartmental activities for the easy attainment of organizational goals.
- Decreasing misunderstanding: Large and complex organizations employ both line and staff personnel for the smooth functioning of organizational activities. But in practical situation conflicts and misunderstandings arise between the line and staff personnel. Effective horizontal communication helps to solve or mitigate conflicts and misunderstandings among them.
- Quick solution of problems: Horizontal communication allows quick transmission of a message in a warm communication. So it becomes easy to mitigate or solve complex problems in the organization.
- Increasing the efficiency of inefficient peers: Managers holding similar positions may not be equally competent in all respects. Some of them may lack required efficiency, ability, and intelligence in some areas. In such a situation, if managers share their ideas, opinions, and attitudes among them, inefficient managers can improve their deficiencies and can contribute a lot in achieving organizational goals.
- Developing informal relationships: Horizontal communication promotes informal relationships among the parties involved in communication. Informal relationship is created as it provides the opportunity of free, fair and friendly exchange of information. As a result, healthy and congenial working atmosphere prevails in the organization.
- Guarding against distortion of message: Since horizontal communication takes place between the managers at the same level, information reaches directly from sender to receiver. This direct communication reduces distortion of information.
- Enhancing mutual understanding: Horizontal communication permits managers to exchange information between them without any hesitation or confusion. Through this channel of communication, managers can discuss any matter at their convenient time and can easily reach to a mutually agreed decision.
In conclusion, we can say that like other types of communication, horizontal communication is essential in performing organizational activities effectively and efficiently.