Vertical communication is one that is put into practice between higher positions and subordinate employees within the business context. It can occur in an ascending or descending way. On the other hand, horizontal communication is that which takes place between workers of a similar hierarchical level. They may be from the same department or from a different one, but they share the same position within the organization chart of the company .
Communication is essential within a company. There are different types of communication, including vertical and horizontal communication. Both are very useful to establish effective communication in the business environment.
Vertical communication is one that manifests itself between the higher and lower positions of a company. It can start from the top positions to the workers who occupy the lowest departments or vice versa.
Horizontal communication is that which occurs between employees who share a similar position. If we take a look at the organization chart of the company. We will verify that horizontal communication is one that is evident among workers who hold a position of equal importance, even if they are in different departments.
What are the most prominent differences between vertical and horizontal communication?
These are the main differences between vertical and horizontal communication:
- Vertical communication is used by senior managers of a company and subordinate employees to communicate. The message can go from top to bottom or vice versa.
- Vertical communication allows lower-ranking employees to have a voice and present their suggestions, opinions and collaborate in solving problems.
- Horizontal communication allows good coordination between departments of similar rank that occupy the organization chart of the company. When it comes to a large company this is very useful to strengthen groups.
- In vertical communication, senior managers can transmit to the workers who occupy the lowest positions, the values, company policy and recommendations to carry out the pertinent tasks.
- In horizontal communication there are not so many distortions or mistakes in the message. By having the same rank within the company there is a more natural communication, sometimes even informal, since sender and receiver have the same job position.
- In vertical communication, workers feel integrated and listened to. This can help make the work environment much more positive.
- In horizontal communication there is greater dynamism, communication is more immediate and that generates greater cooperation between workers.
Examples of vertical and horizontal communication
The senior managers of a company have decided to inform their workers about the importance of the values and objectives of the company. They intend to make clear the essence of this, the tasks that must be carried out and how to execute them effectively.
In this case, a vertical downward communication would be being carried out, since part of the senior managers intends to make clear some relevant information for the development of the tasks, as well as the policy of the company itself.
Now suppose another example. This time it is a vegan cosmetic products company, in which there are two departments with the same position within the business organization chart. They need to coordinate effectively with each other to support the launch of a new product line.
In this case, the communication that is being carried out would be horizontal.
For the proper development of business communication, it would be advisable to put both types of communication into practice.