A Look Inside Communication in The Workforce: What Can Be Done to Improve It is nearly impossible to run a successful business, organization, or company without proper communication etiquette. Every person that contributes to the job also has a responsibility to distribute satisfactory communication. Being able to communicate properly and ethically in a organization is vital for success, but there is always room for improvement to strengthen communication skills.
This paper first looks at the nature and needs of communication at Lutheran Medical Group, describes its ethical behavior, iscusses communication climate, shows the impact of cross- cultural communication and workforce diversity, then lastly offers recommended strategies to improve its communication. For almost a decade now, Lutheran Medical Group has distributed compassionate, personal, and professional health- care service to all patients without the Midwest region, in particular areas surrounding northern Indiana. Lutheran Health Network formed Lutheran Medical Group in May of 2009, right here in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
As being a part of this organization, it is my duty to be committed in supporting area organizations, nd educating the community on ways to stay healthy. When I first started working for this organization back in February of 2015, there was an abundance of information that I needed to learn fast since this was my first job in the health-care field. I am responsible for registering all incoming patients prior to their appointment. This means that with every patient I must verify their demographics, insurance, and collect any copayments or outstanding balances on their accounts.
Along with registering patients, I have to communicate with other staff such as the nurses and physicians in regards to any issues that may occur Back when I was a new employee at Lutheran Medical Group, I thought that everyone communicated to each other in a professional manner. It is important while working in health- care to be able to communicate appropriately to not only the employees, but also towards each patient that comes in the doors. After being at Lutheran Medical Group for over a year now, I have started to pick up on areas that lacked communication skills.
In regards to my employment and their communication needs, there are a few things that should be addressed. To begin with, in any health-care organization, all mployees should possess acceptable communication skills. This means, that one should be able to communicate to either a patient, a patient’s family members, or another employee in a way that both parties can clearly understand the message. It is not emphasized enough that in the health-care field communication is key to having a successful facility with satisfied patients.
When we communicate to our patients in a way they can comprehend, they will feel more at ease of what is going on. Communication needs at Lutheran Medical Group not only pertain to the patients, but they also contribute to inner ffice communications. It is important that each employee can communicate sufficiently with one another so we can deliver excellent patient care. The flow of communication that is most frequently performed at Lutheran Medical Group comes from a few different sources. Primarily we use e-mailing and the phone to communicate to our managers, coworker, nurses, or physicians.
A specific example would be, on a daily basis if I have a question for my manager I will first try to call her phone, and if I am unable to reach her then I will send an e-mail that addresses my question. E-mailing is used most frequently in the registration department. Partially, because if we have a patient at our desk it is unlikely for us to drop everything to tend to a phone call. As for e-mails, it is much easier to still work with patients, then responding when necessary. Recently, there have been very few meetings.
My manager tries to have a meeting every month, but that hasn’t been happening lately. This creates a problem, because without meetings then problems can occur when everyone is not up to date with current policies, procedures, or important information regarding insurances. At Lutheran Medical Group, when it comes to important safety information, we use a downward information flow. One example that has happened recently was when there was an e- mail sent out to all employees from our CEO stating to not open emails from external sources, because it wa creating system malfunctions.
I think that my employment uses upward flow frequently in the sense that there is trust that is built between my manager and myself. I think upward flow is rewarding to my employment, because most of the employees feel they can be honest, and present adequate communication skills. Another low of communication that is used frequently at Lutheran Medical Group would be the horizontal information flow. Sure there are obstacles to get around, but I think that as an employee I have noticed that my employment is teamwork driven and seeks full participation from each employee.
An example of this would be when we have meetings, there are training techniques that involves teamwork and communication to get everyone to participate and understand the information that is being given. Lastly, I have noticed recently there has been a reoccurrence in the use of informal communication channels. I ave noticed one employee gossiping about work in the lunch room. I have seen issues occur, because of the grapevine productivity. A specific example would be when one employee thought we didn’t accept an insurance, because they thought they heard that from someone else, not from the manager.
Whether people are communicating through verbal or non- verbal messages, it is important to notice the tone of the relationship that is being stated. Communication climate is shaped by the way people feel about each other. There is a positive communication climate when people feel as they are valued through the messages. People interact confidently and civilly. For a positive communication climate to be established the relationship between people is built on honest and trust. At Lutheran Medical Group, I have observed the sense of positive communication climate on a daily basis.
With each patient to enter our office, it is our job to build that trust and be willing to speak to them. This comes into play with coworkers too. There is a positive communication climate when I have to ask a coworker about an issue I may be having, I trust their opinions when I ask questions and they offer feedback. On the other and, negative communication climate happens when people do not feel respected. It makes it difficult to obtain information to take action if people feel uncomfortable and are unwilling to interact with you. Questions won’t be asked, ideas won’t be offered, and there will be no feedback.
There are barriers that come with communication climate as well. One of the biggest barriers is considered to be bypassing. Everyone interprets words in different meanings. Bypassing can cause major miscommunication between people who assume different meanings to words. For successful communication, the receiver nd the sender must establish the same meanings to their words. Another barrier that may come into play would be a frame of reference. Everyone has their own frame that is formed from a combination of your experiences, education, culture, expectations, and personality.
The barrier pertaining to the lack of language skill can cause some miscommunication as well. There must be good language skills to express an idea. Out of all the barriers that may come with communication, I think the most frequent one would be distractions. This includes emotional interference, physical distractions, and digital interruptions. Recently, I have let emotional interferences affect my work performance. I have had so much on my mind that communicating to either my coworkers or patients has been a struggle. The focus on the content of the message was not very effective.
I have seen one employee let noisy surroundings as a physical distraction, get her off task on focusing on what is important. When it comes to ethical behavior, I believe this is a strength in communication for Lutheran Medical Group. After observing a typical day at my job, I noticed that there is honesty between coworkers and the patients build a trust with us. There are certain traps that we can fall into regarding communication. The false necessity trap states that people act from the certainty that they are doing what they must do.
Working at a health-care facility that deals with insurances, there is a possibility to fall into this trap. An example would be changing a patient’s insurance because they believe that’s what needs done. Another common trap would be the doctrine-of-relative-fifth trap. This happens when you compare your unethical actions with what a coworker may do. A specific example would be when I first tarted, I noticed one employee looking on Pinterest on their work computer, so I thought it was okay for me to look up the news.
These were both unethical actions because work computers aren’t meant to be used for irrelevant tasks. The last common trap that I observed would be rationalization trap. This happens when people make up excuses for their unethical actions. I noticed this one the most because I have seen a couple employees taking longer lunch breaks than given. Their excuse would be that there wasn’t enough time to go get food. Specific goals that I see that are common at my place of usiness would be abiding the law, telling the truth, being objecting, communicating clearly, and using inclusive language.
These goals are common in health-care, because it’s not only important to use them within employees but also towards the patients. We must abide the law when it comes to insurances and patient confidentiality. If one employee breaks the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) not only will they lose their job, but also will be dealing with charges. Abiding by the law is a very important goal, because we must keep all patient’s information confidential. It is also significant to ommunicate clearly so all parties understand the information they are given.
Cross-cultural communication and workforce diversity at my place of business takes impact with not only the employees and physicians but also the patients. Being a part of Lutheran Medical Group, we have employees that come from all different cultural backgrounds. The way we communicate can be similar or different. I have noticed that there are employees that speak all different language, so if we have patients that come in and can’t speak English, we can have an interpreter available so the patient feels more at ease. On a daily basis it is my job to register patients for their appointments.
If I have a patient that does not speak English I must speak slowly, use simple English, and encourage feedback. A specific example would be one time I had a patient who only spoke Spanish, so | did all that I could to help this patient before I called an interpreter to better assist their needs. There is a strong impact for cross-cultural communication in my line of work. In the health-care business we bring in people from all stands of life. There is a wide spread of workplace diversity, such as race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, national origin, and other qualities.
I believe that Lutheran Medical Group represents a diverse staff. Patients will want to go to a physicians group that respects their values and can relate to the staff. Having a diverse staff brings people from all different experiences. A specific example of how workforce diversity takes impact would be that employees that come from different backgrounds may come up with more inspirational and effective problem-solving techniques. When it comes to improving communication at Lutheran Medical Group, there are specific strategies that come to mind.
To begin with, I think that the main strategy in improving communication would be to focus more on teamwork. We may demonstrate teamwork in our meetings, but I think it should be used outside of those meetings as well. Another strategy to help improve communication would be to eliminate distractions. Communication can be more successful when there is more focus on the message. Also for effective communication I think there should be more opportunities for questions and feedback. The employees should feel comfortable with speaking with managers.
After I took the Communication Skills Assessment from the text, I realized even though most of my skills scored above average, I believe that there is room for improvement. In particular, I scored the lowest in regards to speaking skills. When it comes to speaking with my friends, I could talk for hours, but when I am presenting in front of an audience I tense up and get nervous. I believe that indefinitely my weakest would be speaking skills. I want to be able to be more confident in what I say when I’m presenting in front of a large group.
My strongest would have to be my listening skills. When I am sitting down listening to a speaker|| can concentrate on the speaker’s word’s and provide proper feedback. Despite of any distractions, listening comes easier to me rather than speaking. When looking at my writing and reading skills, I placed at an above average skill level. After taking this assessment, I noticed where my real problems are, and what I can do to improve them. I think for the main part, improving my speaking skills just takes practice. It is not something that can happen overnight.