People get new information all the time. It comes from different sources – the Internet, news, television, and newspapers. A lot of information is transformed into informational flows.
The informational flow is the way to transmit information within the social system. Social systems are any enterprises and institutions where the information is transmitted.
Types of informational flows.
There are 2 main types of information flows – horizontal and vertical. Each type has its own psychological characteristics. The type of information flow depends on the hierarchy.
Horizontal flows involve the transfer of information between equal employees of the company.
Vertical flows involve the transfer of information between employees from different levels of hierarchy, for example, between a boss and a subordinate.
Horizontal information flows.
Horizontal flows are mostly informal. They transmit about 90% of reliable information, so they are considered one of the most effective ways. Horizontal information flow guarantees the preservation of most of the transmitted information. The reason is that employees who hold equal positions are easier to understand each other psychologically.
Vertical information flows
Vertical flows are rarely informal. Depending on the source of the information, vertical flows can be divided into upstream and downstream. Let’s take a closer look at each type.
- Upstream flows.
The upstream information flow is the transmission of information from the lower level of hierarchy to the highest. Usually, managers don’t even listen to this information and ignore it. Thus, the possibility of developing the ideas of lower-ranking workers is limited. But well-coordinated information flow from subordinates can have a positive impact on the work of the enterprise.
- Downstream flows.
Downstream information flows can be both formal and informal. The effectiveness of these methods of transmitting information is mixed. Depending on the number of people involved in the chain, the information may be distorted.
It does not happen intentionally; the reason of distortion is communication barriers between interlocutors. Insufficient downstream flows can generate gossip between workers, and sometimes even reduce motivation.
Ways to improve vertical information flows.
Correct information flows can bring a lot of new ideas to the company and improve efficiency. There are two main steps, that will help to improve information flows.
- The head of the organization should be open to the proposals of ordinary employees. When employees are sure that their opinions are considered, you can see the positive impact on your company. This simple rule will increase the respect for superiors and the productivity of the entire company.
- If you hold a leadership position, don’t limit yourself to your office. Go out to your subordinates, be interested in their successes, and congratulate them on the holidays. This way of managing is also called open-door politics. Repeat these actions regularly and you will see how the quality of the information is growing.
External information flows.
In addition to the two main types, there is another type of information flow – external. This is information that the company receives outside or the information that goes beyond the company.
It is almost impossible to control or regulate external flows. But if you use them properly, they can be great advertising for the enterprise, and improve the opinion about it in the public eye.