Sharing information between various employees in an organization which is used to achieve objectives and goals of the organization is called business communication. Relaying of information in an organization is also called as business communication. There are various ways used in an organization for business communication such as web-based communication, video conferencing, reports, presentations, telephones, face to face meetings, suggestion boxes etc. Most important thing in an organization is to manage the information and knowledge. Decision making is very important and it depends a lot on the type of information being shared and type of knowledge employees in an organization have. (Guffey, 2010). Information will be collected from various internal and external sources. Implementing any new strategy and taking any crucial decision requires complete stakeholders analysis. Decision making requires involvement of all the stakeholders of an organization. Study of all the communication process is very important. This report will discuss various issues found in NHS England and will suggest ways to solve these issues. Technology these days plays a very important in managing information and knowledge. Improvement of systems will be discussed in this report. Communication skills are very important. This report will cover ways to improve communication skills of employees in an organization.
Task 1: Understand how to assess information and knowledge needs
1.1 Discuss the range of decisions to be taken
Choosing an option from various alternatives available is called decision making. Decision making requires lots of research and knowledge. All the stakeholders should be involved in taking decision. It has various steps starting from problem recognition. There are majorly two types of decisions i.e. programmed and non-programmed decisions. Programmed decisions are for routine tasks and we know the best possible solution. Nom-programmed decisions are for the issues which do not occur every time and issue is very new to all the stakeholders (Klein, 1993). In case of NHSHospitals the two major issues are long waiting lists and Units and Hospitals closures. These issues will come under non-programmed decisions as organization does not know the best possible solution for the problem. Decision making situation is very uncertain and decision will be taken by high level management in this case. There can be various decisions to reducing the waiting time for customers. No. of doctors can be increased. Timing of doctor’s availability can be increased. Appointments can be given online and customer should know his number and time at which he can see the doctor. Number of patients visiting one doctor in a day can also be restricted.
1.2 Examine the information and knowledge needed to ensure effective decision taking based on operations and issues in the scenario.
To take effective decisions for the welfare of the organization appropriate information and knowledge is very important. This information can be collected from past data available. Knowledge can be collected from various stakeholders such as staff members, patients, doctors, owners etc. Patients will be able to explain the issue in a better way as they face the problem. Major issue in NHS Hospitals is long waiting lists and waiting time. Patients have to even wait for entire day for their turn to see the doctor. Following information and knowledge is required to take effective decision on the issue:
- No. of patients visiting each department in one day.
- No. of doctors available per day.
- Timing of the doctor’s availability.
- Time taken by a doctor to see a patient.
- No. patients can be seen in a day and number of patients can be accommodated in a waiting room.
- Feedback from the patients and doctors is also required. Suggestions from doctors, patients, staff members who daily deal with these issues should be noted down.
- All the stakeholders should do a meeting and with the help of Brainstorming various options should be found out for this problem.
- Which departments and hospitals are facing these issues and which are the ones facing least number of issues.
- How the situation is being tackled in other private hospitals in the city.
1.3 Assess internal and external sources of information and understanding based on the scenario
In the above task we noted down various information and knowledge points which will be collected from various internal and external sources. Business activity are required to collect and note down information and knowledge in a very appropriate way (Netherey, 2002). Some of the internal sources of information for NHS Hospital are as follows:
- Staff members such as sweepers, receptionists, medicine providers etc. will be able to provide information on number of footfalls per day and type of disease which is being faced by these patients.
- Internal suppliers who will provide us the medicines which is being provided to the customers.
- Doctors will be very useful internal source of information in the hospital.
- Owners and other stakeholders should also be involved in taking decision to deal with the problem.
External sources can also be very helpful in collecting the information and knowledge required to deal with the problems. Following are some external sources to get information:
- Market survey of the consumers outside can be very helpful in knowing the image of hospital in the minds of the customer.
- Market research agencies will be very helpful by sharing their experience
- Competitors’ analysis will also be very helpful. Data from other competitors such as private hospitals will be collected to know their strategies to deal with such type of issues in their hospitals.
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Task 2: Be able to create strategies to increase personal networking to widen involvement in the decision- making process
2.1 Identify both internal and external key stakeholders of NHS England who should be involved in the decision-making process in the issue highlighted in the scenario.
All the people or organizations that get impacted by the major decisions taken by the organization or by implementing any new strategy are called stakeholders of the organization. Stakeholder’s analysis is very important to find out the risks involved in the implementation of new decision or strategy (Goodpaster, 1991). Decision making process should involve various organizations and people because they will get impacted by the decisions taken by NHS hospital. Some of the internal major stakeholders of NHS Hospitals are:
- Owner or partners i.e. Government of UK is the major stakeholder in this case.
- Doctors are also internal stakeholders as closing down some operations; units or hospitals can put their job at stake.
- Other staff members such as receptionists, sweepers etc. are also internal stakeholders like the doctors of the organization.
Some of the external stakeholders of the organization are as follows:
- Suppliers i.e. the organization which supply medicine or equipment to NHS hospital will also get impacted as decision of closing down some units or hospitals will reduce their sale.
- Government of the country will also come under external stakeholder to the organization.
- Competitors such as private hospitals are external stakeholders.
- Market research agencies which will be used to collect information and knowledge will be an important part of external stakeholders.
Decision making process requires all the stakeholders to be involved except the competitors. Consumer and competitor’s research will help in taking major decisions for the welfare of the organization. Major contributors will be owners and the partners as they have the biggest stake involved in decision making. Supplier will also get impacted by the decisions taken by NHS Hospital as NHS growth will decide suppliers’ growth. NHS hospital need to explain the entire situation to the market research agencies to get better results from them. NHS hospital is government organization hence it is the major stakeholder which will be involved in decision making process.
2.2 Explain how NHS England can make contact with their internal and external stakeholders, whilst developing business relationships.
Success of the organization depends a lot on the relationship with all the stakeholders of the organization. All the stakeholders should be happy with the decisions taken by NHS organization. Strategy should be beneficial for each and every stakeholder and it should be fair to each stakeholder. Sustainable growth can be achieved by having loyalty of the stakeholders in the longer run. Customer Relation Management i.e. CRM is the most commonly used software by the organization to build strong and long term relationships with the customers. NHS should hire an IT firm to implement CRM software in the organization. It will keep track of all the patients continuously and will help in taking decisions with the help of business intelligence. It will also help in promoting the hospitals and in improving the brand image of the organization. Supplier Chain Management i.e. SCM is another famous software implements in the organization and it helps in building loyalty with the suppliers of the organization. Taking suggestions and recommendations from all the stakeholders will also help in building stronger and long term relationship with them.
2.3 Explain how NHS England can involve the identified stakeholders in the decision-making process, as appropriate.
Main motive of stakeholders analysis in decision making is to involve them in the effective decision making process. Decision making process involves various steps from problem recognition, finding alternates; choose the best option to implement the finally selected option. Interaction with all the stakeholders is very important to involve them in the decision making. I suggest that NHS hospital executives should conduct a face to face meeting. In this meeting ideas and suggestion from each and every stakeholder should be noted down. All the stakeholders should understand their roles and responsibilities in dealing with the issues faced by NHS Hospitals. Each one should be given a chance to speak. Some of the patients or senior people should also be involved in the meeting so that they can explain the problem of long waiting lists and time. They are the one who are facing this problem and hence according to their convenience they will be able to show a right path. For e.g. we are taking decision regarding long waiting lists and time in NHS Hospital. Advantages and disadvantages of all the alternatives available should be discussed with each and every stakeholder and their suggestions and addition points should be noted down. Stakeholders should be co-operative with each other and they should avoid conflicts.
2.4 In your capacity as a consultant, design strategies for improving personal networking and involvement of stakeholders in the decision-making process based on the scenario and, justify your recommendations for improvement.
As mentioned above the first step to involve all the stakeholders is to have a face to face meeting with them. Personal networking should be improved by having continuous interaction with the stakeholders and that can be done by conducting a meeting once in a month with each and every stakeholder of NHS Hospital to know their concerns and issues. Social media can be used to improve the networking. Facebook, twitter etc. can be helpful. Giving responsibilities and taking status updates from the stakeholders will also be helpful in networking and in involving the stakeholders in decision making process (Buanes, 2004). Here are some of the recommendations to NHS hospital to reduce the problem of long waiting lists:
- Most important aspect is employee satisfaction. Employees should be happy and they should be provided with all the facilities they need. Employee engagement activities should be performed in NHS hospital.
- As mentioned above latest software packages such as HCM, CRM, SCM etc. should be implemented in NHS hospital for better operations.
- Patients should be able to book their appointments online and that can be done if NHS hospital has its own website.
- Number of waiting rooms can be increased.
- Doctors with specialized skills should be hired who can treat a patient in quick and faster time.
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Managing information and knowledge has become of the major challenges for all the organizations in today’s world. NHS Hospitals were facing issues of long waiting lists and time. With the help of correct and accurate information sharing these types of issues can be resolved. Communication skills are very important to share right information and knowledge with right person. Employees in Thomas cook interact through various communication channels. Information sharing is also very important in colleges and schools. Information systems should also be used in universities for sharing information and knowledge. It makes the process effective and also saves lots of time and money.
Brendon, P. 1991. Thomas Cook: 150 years of popular tourism. Secker (Martin) & Warburg Ltd.
Buanes, A., Jentoft, S., Karlsen, G. R., Maurstad, A., & Søreng, S. 2004. In whose interest? An exploratory analysis of stakeholders in Norwegian coastal zone planning. Ocean & Coastal Management, 47(5), 207-223.
Goodpaster, K. E. 1991. Business ethics and stakeholder analysis. Business Ethics Quarterly, 53-73.
Guffey, M. E., & Loewy, D. 2010. Business communication: Process and product. Cengage Learning.