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Business Communication Part 1

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P1: Describe the types of information used in your organisation, choosing one from each of the following categories: verbal, written, on-screen, multimedia, web based. The organisation I have chosen to write about is the NHS, this is a government organisation which is funded by taxation and enables all UK residents to be entitled to free healthcare. Verbal

Communicating information verbally by speaking face to face can be the best way of communicating as there is less chance of misunderstanding and non verbal actions such as body language or tone of voice can be interpreted. Sometimes it isn’t always practical to meet in person so telephone conversations would be a useful way to communicate. The range of verbal communication is enormous, speech allows us to express any thought or ideas we may have and discuss them. Even though we could still communicate without speech, for most people talking is the most comfortable way of communication and also one of the first ways we learn to communicate. The NHS will use verbal communication on a daily basis as staff will be booking in appointments and speaking to the customers if they need any help. The staff need to speak to each other, keeping each other up to date and passing on important information. A Doctor patient relationship is somewhere verbal communication is key, the patient will need to clearly explain what problems their having and the doctor will take in this information and do his job. Written

This type of information is any physical symbols such as words, numbers, diagrams, graphs, charts and any other types of physical representation down on paper. Written information can be seen as more professional and official. Written information was one of the first ways that information could be recorded, read and used as evidence. Patients will have an appointment card with their appointment times written on them. They also receive letters from the NHS with any necessary information regarding them so they can keep it for when they may need it. When people go into a NHS clinic or hospital they see lots of posters and leaflets which contain information about healthcare, so that anyone can feel free to read and may learn something. On-screen

This is any information seen on a screen so that could be TV, computer screen, mobile phone, this is rapidly being used more around the world as a means of communicating. It is more the younger generation who are obsessed with this form of communication, however everyone uses it for general and business purposes. When somebody walks in to a clinic/hospital the first thing they do is go speak to the receptionist behind a desk, by taking some details the receptionist can bring up information on their screen about the person and help them with what they came for. The NHS may also email or text some patients who prefer that method of receiving information. Staff will also email each other for help or advice or to update each other.

Multimedia simply means multiple forms of media integrated together. Media can be text, graphics, audio, animation, video, data, and so on. It can sometimes be seen as a more enjoyable and easier way to receive information and is fun learning for infants. The NHS have a website, which is giving out multimedia information. When a patient has a TV in their own space, the NHS will have their own channel where the patient or visitor can get information through multiple types of media. Web based

This is all information on the internet, people who have a computer with broadband have access to endless amounts of information on the internet. The internet is made up of web pages and web sites, people make website for many reasons, mostly for business purposes or to promote something. A large organisation will always have a website so that anyone in the world with the internet can research and learn about them. The internet is becoming the first place people look whenever they need any information, so if someone wanted to give out information the internet will be a good place to use. The NHS have their own website where people can go to get information from them or about them. They have a ‘online clinic’ on their site so people can write in their symptoms and get quick information about what illness it may be and what to do about it. People can also find the most local NHS service and lots more information.

P1: Describe where each of these pieces of information has come from. A business/organisation can gather information from two places, internally, from inside the business or externally, from outside the business. Internal sources of information

This information can come from a variety of sources within the organisation such as the main departments like finance, sales, human resources, production, marketing and customer service, all of these departments gather information which will come together to benefit the organisation. Finance department will have the numbers including money going in, out and what’s left of budgets. The customer service department is very important in the NHS as they are not a profit organisation, their main goal is to have satisfied consumers that are happy and healthy because of the service. They will retrieve information from people such as what they think of the organisation, what can be improved, what is good about it etc, they will then use this information to make any necessary changes. Information recorded on-screen about previous patients can help doctors with patients they are currently dealing with if they have similar symptoms. External sources of information

As the NHS was set up and is owned by the government, the government can provide them with tonnes of information about the general public. The NHS have a very strong source of external information as the government can give them all relevant information from the census, ONS (Office of national statistics), the DTI (Department of trade and industry) and the OECD (Organisation for economic development). Organisations can also get information from trade groupings, this is groups of businesses from the same industry, they can act as a pressure group to initiate positive change for their industry, the NHS will not have this as they are the only organisation in the UK to be structured and run the way it does, private health care services may have this. The NHS can also gather information through research that they may carry out. P1: Describe what the purpose is of each piece of information. There are a few different purposes of information I will be describing: updating knowledge, informing future developments, strategic direction and SWOT analysis, offering competitive insight, communicating sales promotions and inviting support for activities. Updating knowledge

It is essential that all businesses keep up to date with any changes that may be taking place within their markets. Information is required so that businesses know how their markets are developing, how labour markets are changing, what the economy is doing and what new laws are being passed that might affect the way they operate. As the NHS is closely linked with the government, they will always have up to date knowledge, and will always operate within the law. The NHS will have to be up to date with all new illnesses and treatments so the patients can be treated for them. Informing future developments

Businesses must constantly be trying to be better by adapting and developing so that they don’t get left behind by their competition. All developments will be based on well informed decisions, not any business will just launch a new product without evidence and information that it will sell and that people want it. The NHS is like a monopoly in the UK as there is not another organisation in the UK like the NHS. Even though the NHS develops itself, it is not for the reason to be ahead of competition as there isn’t any. They develop themselves because of their aims and goals, which is to help the local people and not to make a profit. Strategic direction and SWOT analysis

Strategic management is the process when organisations determine their purpose, objectives and desired levels of attainment. In order to establish strategic direction, businesses require large amounts of information from both external and internal sources. Once they have this information a useful planning tool known as the SWOT analysis is used. The SWOT analysis looks at four things strengths and weaknesses which are internal factors and opportunities and threats which are external factors. The NHS have very good strategic direction, the organisation has always known what it’s doing and fulfils its purpose. Offering competitive insight

Some business markets are extremely competitive, businesses need to be aware of what competitors are doing. Businesses need to do regular research and communicate the information, some businesses have a large section of their marketing department that just look at competitor activity. Businesses also go to market research companies that will undertake research on their behalf. The NHS is the only healthcare service in the UK that is free for residents, for this reason the NSH don’t look at any private healthcare services as competition as the majority of the public will always go to them. Communicating sales promotions

Businesses use different methods to communicate their sales promotions to their target audience, they place information about products, services and special offers in newspapers, journal adverts, television, radio adverts, websites etc. the NHS do use advertising but not to communicate sales as they are a non-profit organisation, more to keep the public up to date with any changes they make or any developments that are taking place. Inviting support for activities

Information is also required and needs to be communicated in order to support business activities. This support can come from people inside or outside the business. If the NHS wanted to change the way it operates to make it more efficient, they will need the support of the workforce. M1: To achieve the criterion you will need to extend the report written for p1. You will need to analyse the different types of businesses information and their sources, which you have described for p1. For this task you will need to give a detailed explanation of the types of information and their sources. Verbal

There are various ways people can communicate verbally, the most frequently use are face to face or on the telephone. Staff in the NHS such as Doctors, nurses, receptionists etc, all need to be able to verbally communicate well as they will need to interact with patients or their families and help them with what they need, people can be quite stressful at hospitals so the staff need to be able to communicate with them, calm them down and help with the issue if they can. Even though the receptionists may not all be medically trained like the doctors and nurses, they will still need to act professionally when talking, they need excellent communication skills all the time as they will be dealing with new people every day. When answering the phone also they are still representing the organisation and will need to make a good impression, they will need to confidently answer the telephone, deal with enquiries, take messages and assist customers.

Verbal communication skills are very important for customer service, they need to ensure their speaking the correct way when speaking face to face or on the telephone. They need to use the right tone of voice so the person on the other line feels comfortable talking to them, they need to speak clearly and not mumble or talk too fast so they are being understood fully. There are many sources of verbal communication in the NHS, however internally the doctors and nursing staff will be the ones to communicate a lot of important information to the patients and families and also receive a lot of information from them. Written

Written information is another key way of communicating for businesses just like verbal communication, it is all information written down, most likely on paper. Most of the information from the NHS will be stored internally using computers, however some written information such as memos, reports, employee manuals and so on will also be used internally. External forms of communication can be when the NHS communicates relevant information to patients and their families through letter, or sending written information to suppliers, agencies outside the organisation and the government so they can keep records of the information on both sides. Patients of the NHS rely on the written information that is given to them as verbal information can be forgotten and they are able to show the writing to members of staff as evidence.

Even though organisations are starting to use a lot less paper and more technology to keep records, written information can be made to look more official and professional. This information can also be signed by individuals to state that something has happened and they are a witness or agree, the records will be kept and can be used later if needed to settle any misunderstandings or disputes that could go to court. Written information can come from a variety of places, but it could be argued that the source of most written information is internal and comes from administration as they deal with all the paper work, including all information being sent out and received by external sources, they will keep the records of everything organised. On-screen

As technology advances everyday businesses will find ways to benefit from the use of technology. Everyday more people are finding how technology can make communicating information a lot easier. The NHS can communicate on-screen to the public through television, display screen at their centres and can send emails and texts to patients and family members. Television adverts is a useful way they can communicate externally to the public with visual on-screen images and text, people tend to watch a lot of TV and can find out where to go, what number to call and what to do about any issues that the NHS can help with.

The use of video conference is becoming popular in the business world this is when people can speak face to face through a screen and be in completely different locations, this can save time and travel expense. Most on-screen information will be used internally as staff will have most information on their computer screens, they can email each other with information. The IT and administration department will be the largest sources of on-screen information as they make the most use of the computers for their jobs. Information on-screen can be recorded in large amounts and flicked through very quickly to find the right information that is being looked for. Multimedia

Multimedia has only recently advanced from limited types of media to a larger variety of media such as text, video images, animation, audio etc all integrated in one format. Senior management could give a presentation to the staff, a presentation which includes video, audio and text as well as other types of media will be considered a multimedia presentation. White boards have become old fashioned as interactive boards have been created, you can access all types of media on these boards and use your finger or a electric pen to control it. These boards have benefited many organisations as information can be communicated through multimedia, this allows the audience to understand better as they are being given information in a variety of methods. Multimedia information can be more of a influence to the public as they pay more attention to it and prefer receiving information in this way as it can be entertaining. Both internally and externally multimedia can be used in presentations. When patients have an illness and may want to learn more about it, instead of staff giving them a medical book and expecting the patient to read and understand they can show the patient a multimedia web page or video which explains in a way every one can understand. Web based

All of this information can only be accessed on the internet, web sites will use a lot of multimedia so it attracts more people to stay on the website instead of getting bored and changing sites. Web based information will be used so anyone external to the business can access information about the organisation at any time they please. A lot of internal information from different departments will be put up for people to see.

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