Sample Management Paper on Workplace Communication Strategies

Communication protocol overview

  • The objective of communication in any workplace is to achieve the effective exchange of meaning both formally and informally.
  • Everyone in any institution is accountable for their communication and responsible for ensuring that the intended meaning is established.
  • However, there has to be a protocol that guides the content, context and target of information.
  • This protocol is established in alignment with standards of professionalism as well as legal and institutional policies.
  • The below communication protocol outlines the contexts and content of communication within a team in an organization – helpmeout.org.
  • There have been instances in which the breach of communication protocols resulted in misinformation, late information, disclosure of confidential information and missed communication channels.
  • Examples of such situations included:
    • An incidence in which confidential client information was released to the public.
    • Client information was only shared partially during shift change-over
    • Communication was ineffective during a critical accident.
  • The outlined communication protocol addresses these aspects in communication and provides general guidelines into how to go about various communication requirements when dealing with clients and even internally.
  • Various specific communication aspects are addressed in the protocol, each of which is of significant impact on the workplace relationships and performance.

Slide 2: Privacy, Confidentiality and disclosure of client information

  • The first element in the communication protocol addresses the concern of privacy, confidentially and disclosure of client information.
  • The inclusion of this subject in the communication protocol is based on a recent incident in which a worker disclosed confidential information to unauthorized personnel.
  • The organization considers the confidentiality of client information critical and prohibits the disclosure of such information to any third parties.
  • The clients are to be assured of the confidentiality of their information at first engagement.
  • The organization upholds the value of privacy for client information, and all workers who are privileged to access such information are prohibited from disclosing it unless by the express authorization of the client and the executive director.
  • Information regarding the client including their names, residential details, financial information, and business records are regarded as confidential and should not be disclosed.
  • Any violation of this policy would be treated with the relevant action, including dismissal.
  • Do note that the policy also protects the worker in that in adverse cases, a worker who discloses such confidential information may be subject to personal liability.
  • While the company handles confidentiality violation within the scope of the involved employee’s contract agreement, the company will not be culpable for any personal liability and will terminate any contact with any individual subjected to such action by the client.
  • The company provides a non-disclosure agreement for signing by all workers at the time of engagement. That agreement indemnifies the organization from any possible outcomes of violation of client confidentiality.
  • All workers are required to sign the non-disclosure agreement regardless of their position in the organization.

Slide 3: Discrimination and culturally sensitive communication

  • Another aspect of communication that is addressed in this protocol is communication regarding culturally diverse groups.
  • org promotes cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity among its workers.
  • The organization works with clients of diverse backgrounds and desires the satisfaction of every client without consideration of their cultural background.
  • The Fourth Amendment outlines the particular relationships that are susceptible to discrimination including, dealing with minority groups, religious differences, racial differences and others.
  • The organization will not tolerate any form of discrimination and will consider such as a violation of the company’s communication protocol.
  • Revealing culturally sensitive information will also be considered a breach of the organization’s communication protocol.
  • All workers are expected to practice cultural sensitivity, by identifying the positions of cultural difference and effectively communicating with consideration of the cultural differences.
  • Culturally sensitive in the context of this organization is defined as any communication that involves effective verbal and non-verbal communication between the participants that involves mutual acceptance, understanding, and respect for the diverse cultural dispositions, values, beliefs and cultural preferences.
  • The company may also carry out periodic trainings for its staff to promote cultural sensitivity and recognition of the value of divergence.
  • Any actions found to be in violation of the non-discrimination policy will be punished through various disciplinary procedures in the organization, including dismissal, depending on the intensity of violation.

Slide 4: Duty of care to clients and colleagues

  • The employees hold a duty of care to both clients and colleagues assigned to them and with whom they work, respectively.
  • The duty of care implies that every employee is their brother’s keeper in the workplace.
  • When working with others, it is important to recognize when there is a problem between others or if any individual has a problem that needs to be addressed.
  • After identifying the problems with others, the next course of action is to establish the options available for action, and evaluating the available options for applicability.
  • The probable solutions evaluation has to involve professional techniques, which ensure that either the client or the colleague is accorded the required assistance as soon as possible.
  • The evaluation also entails decision making techniques.
  • Decisions are made on the best course of action based on three tests namely, the tests of justice, accountability, and universality.
  • The right channel of communication is then followed to ensure that the responsible authorities are aware of any issues – this is particularly for critical incident reporting.
  • The current regulation is that all critical incidences occurring within the workplace should first be reported to the CEO either by e-mail or by phone call depending on the severity of the incident. The CEO then reports to relevant authorities and manages the incident in reflection of the circumstances immediately surrounding the incident.
  • Such a protocol will help avoid incidences such as the recent one in which the team was not aware of the right channels to follow regarding violence at the workplace.
  • The employees are asked to adhere to this protocol at all times to limit exposure to its possible outcomes.

Slide 5: Informed Consent

  • Informed consent is considered an essential part of client relationships in this organization.
  • The organization works with clients who are constantly exposed to interventions such as counseling, home visits, and even for whom frequent government reports are required.
  • Additionally, the organization may from time to time engage in research studies, in which clients and possibly visitors are the participants.
  • During these client engagements, the organization may require the clients to approve the use of information collected from them in a particular way.
  • Employees are encouraged to always seek the approval of the clients to handle their data in a particular way prior to initiating conversations around a client.
  • An informed consent form is provided to all the staffs to ensure that clients not only give their personal information where it is necessary, but also to ensure that they confirm that the information to be given out is accurate as per their knowledge.
  • The informed consent agreement also confirms that particularly for information shared with the authorities, the client has allowed that information to be shared.
  • Besides confirming the content to be shared and approving the sharing of the content, the agreement also helps the workers to adhere to the confidentiality policy by shifting the authorization to the client.
  • All communication going from the organization about clients should therefore be accompanied by an appropriate informed consent agreement signed by the client.
  • Any violation of this protocol would be treated with the severity similar to that associated with the confidentiality breach.
  • The organization has disciplinary procedures that provide guidance into handling such incidents and may include employee termination.

Critical Incidence Reporting Policy Review – Assessment

The critical incidence reporting policy provides guidelines on the reporting of critical incidents at the workplace, particularly incidences that require immediate action. The policy is generally good and can be effective towards ensuring that all such incidences are reported through the right channels and that there is adequate information for all parties to work with. It particularly touches on the mandate of different parties involved in the scenario of such an incident and specifically mentions who should be responsible for doing what and the type of communication that needs to be sent to that particular party for further communication. The first bit explains that the first report should be made to the CEO, who then can communicate to the other relevant authorities. The CEO thus is tasked with infinite possibilities for communication and has to be aware of the type of critical incident faced and also be aware of the respective authorities that should get that information. The communication by the CEO has to be in a way that helps to address the immediate circumstances surrounding the incident and also of benefit to the affected. In this way, the risks of recurrence of such a situation should be minimized.

While the communication protocol outlined is good enough, it does not capture the practical situations that may occur in the workplace. Requiring the CEO to be the only one who contacts the relevant authorities can be frustrating especially if either the CEO is unavailable urgently or the incident under consideration requires immediate action. The protocol should outline actual courses of action that should be taken in the case of specific types of incidences. According to Petschnig and Haslinger-Baumann, a critical incidents report should be aimed at eliminating as many risks as possible and to improve patient safety as soon as risks are identified (4). For Helpmeout.org, patient safety is of concern, and any incident that compromises that safety requires immediate action to resolve.

Implementation Plan

The communication protocol needs to be distributed to all the organization’s staff and in good time for actual implementation. The implementation plan for this protocol will include various activities and responsibilities assigned to different departments at different times. The plan is expected to be rolled out within one month, and for effective monitoring and evaluation to be completed within a span of the subsequent month.

The first stage in the roll-out will be the communication to the department managers. The objective of this communication will be to determine the available timelines within which the different departments can be met. During this time, the HR department will be the first to receive the information as they should be the ones to communicate to the rest of the organization. Feedback will be expected from the departments within a few days (2-3 days) after initial communication. From the feedback, the HR department is expected to come up with a schedule for information sharing within one week. The information will then be shared to different departments in a training format within 2-3 weeks from the time of scheduling.

During the training on the communication protocol, the implications of effective communication on patient safety will be explained as discussed by Hang and Ching-Fang (1583). This will aid in creating a justification for the protocol. After the training, there will be an official memo communication to inform all staff that since the training is complete, they would be expected to adhere to what the communication policy stipulates during all their communication. They will also be informed of the disciplinary procedures associated with the violation of various aspects of the communication protocol. Thereafter, effective follow-up will be done to ensure that the protocol is being followed.

Various communication contexts will be considered in the discussion of the communication protocol. According to Persson and Hakansson a communication protocol is an essential document in any given organization and should be stored among the general company policies (1698). This will be addressed by the HR department, who will ensure that each staff has a copy of the communication protocol in their employee files and that there is a company copy in the general personnel file. This is meant to be for reference during the monitoring and evaluation phase for effective use. Possible obstacles to the implementation procedures will be highlighted and ironed out during the communication. It is expected that the staff will be in a position to report their perspectives of the protocol within a few days after initiation.

Evaluation and Monitoring

The developed and shared communication protocol is supposed to help promote the effectiveness of communication in different ways, ensuring that the employee communication promotes collaboration and fullness of information across all levels (Saldana 1). Therefore, after training and during the implementation of the protocol, there will be constant evaluation and monitoring of its effectiveness, which may result in amendments where necessary. The first aspect that will be reviewed is its ability to foster the effective exchange of useful information. The protocol is also meant to promote the ease of use of various organizational services by eliminating confusion between clients and employees. This will be evaluated based on client reports of the communication processes. Additionally, the evaluation will consider the ability of the protocol to hide complex structures that have been seen to underlie the current communication processes in the organization, such as the challenge in contacting relevant authorities in case of critical incident reporting needs. It will also be evaluated for its ability to make all the communications as natural as possible.

 

Works Cited

Harn, Lein, Ching-Fang Hsu. “A Practical Hybrid Group Key Establishment for Secure Group Communication.” The Computer Journal, vol. 60, no. 11, 2017, pp. 1582-1586, academic.oup.com/comjnl/article-abstract/60/11/1582/2962044. Accessed on 16 January 2020.

Persson, Mathias and Anne Hakansson. “A Communication Protocol for Different Communication Technologies in Cyber Physical Systems.” Procedia Computer Science, vol. 60, 2015, pp. 1697-1706, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877050915024060. Accessed 16 January 2020.

Petschnig, Walter and Elisabeth Haslinger-Baumann. “Critical Incident Reporting (CIRS): A Fundamental Component of Risk Management in Health Care Systems to Enhance Patient Safety.” Safety in Health, vol. 3, no. 9, 2017, safetyinhealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40886-017-0060-y. Accessed on 16 January 2020.

Saldana, Lisa. “The Stages of Implementation Completion for Evidence-Based Practice: Protocol for a Mixed Methods Study.” Implementation Science, vol. 9, no. 43, implementationscience.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1748-5908-9-43. Accessed on 16 January 2020.