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The Functional Approach to Company Communication

Successful companies run on information. They need good information to make decisions, identify problems and find solutions. Too often however, decision makers aren’t able to do their jobs because they are unaware of what’s happening in other departments. As a business owner, to create effective communication within your company you have to lay the groundwork and establish the lines of communication.

Fortunately, there are ways to structure your company that, when implemented correctly, help information flow from department to department or person to person.

One of the most common communication structures is the functional. In this hierarchical structure, the head of each department reports directly to the CEO. In this pyramid or family tree like structure, employees and operations are grouped into functional units (sales, marketing, HR, etc.). Each functional unit is responsible for making sure their management has all the information they need, and the department heads then pass along that information to the CEO. With clear vertical lines of communication, the functional structure keeps information flowing to the CEO about any problems or developments in each department.

The main drawback to this approach is that communication between departments isn’t stressed as much, making it even more important that you establish effective ways for leadership to communicate. The CEO can help with this by providing everyone with regular updates of what’s happening in each department.

No matter how you structure your company, the important thing is to use an organizational structure that makes sense for the type of company you have – one that effectively and efficiently gets information where it needs to go.