Upward communication is the exchange of information from a subordinate to the management, whereas on the other hand downward communication is when it comes from a manager down to the subordinate staff. Communication between the management and staff is usually to give order whereas upward communication mainly aims at inquiring the course of action to take. In both instances, a language barrier can be a hindrance to effective understanding. If perhaps the manager giving direction uses a complex language staff might fail to understand what is expected of them.
Another common characteristic of upward communication is that it is very brief. Since managers are always busy the employee has to use as little as possible when presenting an issue, this poses a barrier for communication between staff and manager. Downward communication can take quite a significant amount of time because the manager’s aims at ensuring workers have understood them fully. In most organizations, there is time dedicated to those in authority to reach out to the workers and spend ample time in giving them the measures they should follow to ensure set objectives are met.
Behavior correction is another feature of downward communication. Once an employee is spotted deviating from the expected performance they are given feedback so that that undesirable conduct is not repeated (People Communicating). For example, if an employee at a store quarrels with a customer the manager will immediately call the worker, find out what was the matter, and advise him or her to avoid ever being in that spot again. When the management is on the wrong workers do not have the freedom to address the issue promptly because perhaps it might seem disrespectful. For example, if there are a salary delay workers will have to wait until a meeting is called upon and they are given an opportunity to air their grievances.
People Communicating. “Downward Communication Dynamics in Organizations.” People Communicating at Work, 2014, www.people-communicating.com/downward-communication.html. Accessed 2 Apr. 2019.