4.1 Establish effective monitoring systems for communication within services

Course: NVQ Level 5 Diploma In Leadership & Management for Adult Care

Unit 3: Communication & Information Management in Adult Care

LO4: Support others with effective communication strategies

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4.1 Establish effective monitoring systems for communication within services

There are a variety of communication monitoring systems that can be effective for staff members and other people using adult care services. These include:

Staff induction processes and procedures:

When a new member of staff joins an organization, a clearly defined induction process will be to the benefit of both the organization and the new member. This enables them to be fully aware of their role in the team, including their duties, responsibilities, and how to perform these tasks effectively. The induction will also include information about the service and how this affects their work; for example, the policies, procedures, and protocols that must be adhered to by all staff in order to protect our older people.

The induction process should: 

  • Explain what is expected of them when making decisions affecting the care of individuals;
  • Explain any limitations or restrictions that they need to be aware of, for example, confidentiality;
  • Explain their role within the service and what this means in practice;
  • Explain how older people are involved in decision-making about their care.

Staff supervision is an essential part of this induction process as it allows the supervisor to assess each member’s capability. During this process, any gaps in knowledge or skill can then be filled and a development plan created for these employees.

Staff supervision across all staff teams irrespective of employment hours:

Older people rely on a consistent workforce when receiving their care from an adult social care service. A structured system of supervision must therefore take place regularly, even if the number of staff members fluctuates in terms of hours or full-time/part-time status. This will ensure effective communication within services and prevent potential issues with poor decision-making. For example, if a service only has one member of staff working overnight they are likely to make poor decisions that will affect the people using the service. This is due to them having little or no support, and therefore no guidance or advice on how best to perform their duties.

Staff supervision must include:

  • A regular process of planned observations within the service;
  • The supervisor fills in a communication log on each observation, which will then be discussed with the member of staff at the end of their shift;
  • At regular intervals, the supervisor should have an informal conversation with all members of staff.
  • They can discuss any issues affecting communication within services and how to resolve these issues effectively. An example of this could be the management of residents’ medication to ensure that each member of staff knows who is responsible for what medications.

Staff supervision should take place within a pre-agreed framework with protocols in place to report any potential risks occurring during the service, or anything that threatens the safety or well-being of our older people. This must also include protocols for dealing with any unusual or serious incidents, such as safeguarding issues; this could include the loss of a resident’s keys and is not restricted to situations involving actual abuse.

Supervisors should use their professional judgment to decide whether individual employees require more or less support than others. They must also be able to identify any areas of concern as well as whether any extra assessments need to be done for these employees.

Mentoring/coaching opportunities:

This is a supportive process that enables employees to learn from those with more experience and knowledge of the service. An employee’s development plan should include an option for mentoring as part of their induction programme.

Employees starting work in adult social care will have different levels of experience, which can range from “never worked in care” to several years’ experience. The mentor must be able to take the new member of staff under their guidance and assist them in developing and improving those key skills that will enable them to provide safe, effective, and person-centered care within the service.

Mentoring is particularly beneficial for inexperienced workers, as it provides guidance and helps them develop their knowledge base more easily. Mentoring can take place in a variety of ways, such as:

  • One-to-one meetings;
  • An interview between the mentor and mentee that is focused on specific issues that need resolving or discussing;
  • Formal or informal training/development sessions.

Mentors must be selected from within the service to ensure the process is as efficient and streamlined as possible. Any issues that may affect the employee’s ability to mentor must first be discussed with them, for example, if they have a high caseload or are facing problems at home.

The process must be done formally either by signposting to outside agencies or internally managed. Leadership development plans are an example of formal mentoring/coaching opportunities that help employees improve their skills while being recognized for these efforts.

Information systems are necessary for a coaching/mentoring program to be effective. These records will help assess the efficacy of such programs and allow people in them feedback on their performance as well.

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Training events – internal and external

By keeping records of in-house and external training, an organization can identify which employees have the necessary skills to fill any gaps. A “skills matrix” is often used by companies that want their staff members prepared for anything at all – be it a disaster scenario or just another day on the task.

Maintaining such documentation ensures each employee knows how much they’ve grown over time with regards to particular subject matter expertise (SME) areas as well those who may need more help than others do around certain topics because of lack thereof within your current workforce.

Records of training sessions must be updated routinely or after each session if they are to be used for daily decision making. If this process is done formally, there will be documentation proving employees have the skills necessary to carry out their tasks well. This could mean that certain workers need more help than others, and now you can identify them easily.

Individual and team goal setting in supporting positive outcomes:

Individual goal setting is the process of helping employees set goals for themselves that will serve to benefit them and others around them. It helps clarify what they need to do in order to reach their objectives, who is involved, when something needs to be finished, etc.

Team goal setting involves team members working together to achieve one or several goals. In this process, it is encouraged that members create a list of priorities and carry out the one they believe will have the most impact first. This way, it’s possible to save time and labor while still satisfying all requirements at hand.

Using the SMART process is, very beneficial in goal setting because it helps workers set the most practical goals possible. SMART is an acronym representing five criteria that can be used to define any goal :

  • Specific – The more specific a person’s objective is, the better. Goals must have clear boundaries so people understand how much work or time they will need to invest in order to achieve it.
  • Measurable – This is an essential part of goal setting and must be considered when making a list of priorities. Having measurable goals means that they can be recorded and tracked. They also serve to support the “specific” criterion by providing more practical boundaries.
  • Achievable/attainable – If a goal is too difficult to reach, people will quickly feel discouraged and lose interest in it. By making them attainable, employees will be better off and more likely to succeed.
  • Realistic – Goals should mesh with the rest of your priorities so nobody feels frustrated or unfulfilled by them. This means they shouldn’t take too much time away from other obligations or responsibilities.
  • Timed – Lastly, it’s important to note that goals must have a timeline or due date. This can motivate people to work more efficiently and effectively in order to meet their objective before the given time is over.

Setting goals with employees allows them to remain engaged in their work – something that is necessary if they are to produce the highest quality of work possible. It is a way to ensure that they are enthusiastic and driven to exceed expectations.

Action planning e.g. care planning, recovery planning, support planning

The next step in the process of goal setting and action planning will be to develop a timeline for how long you expect it takes, as well as schedule any milestones along this path. This way there can always be accountability over what has been agreed upon if someone needs help tracking their progress or just wants more information on where things stand at certain points.

A big part of action planning is making sure things are relevant. This means that the person responsible for carrying out the task will need to prioritize their work properly (so there’s no conflict with other projects or tasks) and make any adjustments necessary if they find themselves unable to manage the balance.

Risk assessment

Risk assessment is an important part of planning because it allows you to determine whether or not the goal is something that has already been achieved. By seeing what has worked for other people, it’s easier to come up with a plan of action that will also meet expectations. This means not having to reinvent the wheel each time someone brings up a new project or objective.

It’s also possible to include a section on the benefits that will result from accomplishing this goal, as well as any potential problems that may arise along the way. This allows staff members to consider things beforehand so they are better equipped to handle them if they come up.

Review current policies in line with legislative and regulatory requirements:

The goal of reviewing policies regularly is to ensure they still adhere to the needs and requirements. By making changes where necessary, the organization remains compliant and continues to attract funding without compromising its integrity.

Reviewing policies is an ongoing process that needs to be taken very seriously as there are implications if it isn’t completed effectively. Not only can this mean that staff members don’t know what’s expected of them, but there could also be legal consequences if data isn’t protected or handled properly.

Once a review has been completed, it’s important to keep the old policy available for reference in case there are any questions. This way it can be accessed by anyone who may need clarification even if the new policy is no longer up to date for some reason.

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