Informal communication refers to communication which is multi-dimensional. Informal communication moves freely within the organization and is not bound by pre-defined channels and communication routes. Informal communication is particularly quick. Informal communication is far more relational than formal communication and is by nature, a very natural form of communication as people interact with each other freely and can talk about a diverse range of topics, often extending outside of their work duties. Due to the inherent nature of informal communication, it moves a lot faster and does not have a paper trail.
Informal communication in the workplace is often called the ‘grapevine’ and generally begins with employees through social relations. In many cases informal communications can turn to formal communication if they are added in to the formal communication information flow of a company.
Informal communication is considered effective as employees can discuss work-related issues which saves the organization time and money. It also helps to build more productive and healthy relationships in the workforce.
Types of informal communication
Below we provide a comprehensive list pertaining to the types of informal communication:Gossip
Single Strand – a form of informal communication wherein each person communicates with the next in a single sequence.
Cluster - a very common form of informal communication, in cluster networks a person will receive information and choose to pass it on to their cluster network or keep the information to themselves. Each individual will pass on the information to the next cluster network
Probability Chain – each individual randomly tells another individual the same piece of information.