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Copy of Understanding and Developing Relationships in the Workplace

Lesson 4
by

Tracy Ridd

on 31 March 2016

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Transcript of Copy of Understanding and Developing Relationships in the Workplace

Understanding and developing relationships in the workplace
Aims & Objectives
Aim:
The aim of this session is to develop your knowledge and understanding of developing relationships in the workplace.

Objectives:
To identify and examine the needs and/or expectations of customers, colleagues, key stakeholders and relevant others in the workplace
To be able to explain the importance of knowing what customers, colleagues, key stakeholders and relevant others in the workplace require
To be able to determine ways of meeting the needs and/or expectations of customers, colleagues, key stakeholders and relevant others in the workplace within organisational constraints
REFERENCES


Today's sessions is concerned with developing relationships within your workplace. Thinking of your own department, who do you collaborate with on a professional basis?

Are you involved in project management, who is involved in any implementation of changes made?

Are you a manager of people? Who is affected by decisions made by you?




Understanding and Developing Relationships in the Workplace


Understanding and Developing Relationships in the Workplace
Aims & Objectives continued.......
To be able to explain ways of checking that the needs and/or expectations of others have been met
To be able to describe ways of dealing with difficult situations where it is not possible to meet the needs and/or expectations of others within organisational guidelines and constraints
To have the underpinning knowledge required to complete VRQ Assignment 8625-334 Understanding and Developing Relationships in the Workplace
Understanding Working Relationships
Within your working life you will need to develop and maintain a variety of relationships. The most important relationships will centre on your:

Customers
Colleagues
Stakeholders
Relevant Others
In order to understand each of these relationships each one must be considered in detail.
Customers
A customer (sometimes known as a client, buyer, or purchaser) is the recipient of a good, service, product, or idea, obtained from a seller, vendor, or supplier for a monetary or other valuable consideration.

Customers are generally categorised into two types:
External - a customer who is not directly connected to that organisation
Internal - a customer who is directly connected to an organisation, and is usually (but not necessarily) internal to the organisation. Internal customers are usually stakeholders, employees, or shareholders, but the definition also encompasses creditors and external regulators.

Reizenstein 2004
Colleagues
A colleague is a person with whom one works in a profession or business.

A colleague can be a member of your own department or the wider organisation as a whole.

Your colleagues are usually people at the same level or rank as you are. You would not usually consider your manager/superiors to be a colleague.
Stakeholders
A stakeholder is anybody who can affect or is affected by an organisation, strategy or project. They can be internal or external and they can be at senior or junior levels. Some definitions suggest that stakeholders are those who have the power to impact an organisation or project in some way. For example:

'People or small groups with the power to respond to, negotiate with, and change the strategic future of the organisation'.
(Eden and Ackermann 1988:117).
Key Stakeholders
The director of an organisation might be an obvious key stakeholder, but so might the line staff - those who work directly with participants - who carry out the the work required. Other examples of key stakeholders might be funders, elected or appointed government officials, heads of businesses or other community figures who wield a significant amount of influence.
Activity
Identify the customers, colleagues and stakeholders within your organisation
Relevant Others
Who are the relevant others in your organisation?
Take five minutes to list the relevant others and what role they play in your organisation
Relevant Others
Relevant others can include:
Service partners - suppliers
Silent partners
Line Managers
Directors
Contractors
Sub-contractors
Trade Unions
Steering groups
Regulatory bodies
Needs and Expectations of customers, colleagues, stakeholders and relevant others
What is a need? A need is something required or wanted: a requisite.
What is an expectation? An expectation is what a person expects will happen. Expectations are formed through previous experience, word of mouth and media influence. If the expectation is not met, the person will not be satisfied.
How do you identify your customers needs and expectations?
Identifying needs and expectations
The two most important factors in identifying needs and expectations are listening and questioning.

Listening:
In order to identify what your customers, colleagues, stakeholders and relevant others need and expect you must firstly listen to their requirements. By actively listening you can gain a full understanding of the exact needs/expectations and whether these are achievable.

Questioning:
By questioning your customer, colleague, stakeholders and relevant others you can determine whether your understanding is correct and if not rectify this before it becomes an issue. Questioning can also confirm if SMART targets are required and if these are achievable they can then be agreed and confirmed eg confirmed deadlines.
Identifying needs and expectations
Identifying needs and expectations
Common expectations to consider

Some of the most common and basic expectations customers have for most businesses include:

Fast, efficient and accurate service
High quality products at competitive prices
Friendly, helpful service staff to provide information and answer questions
Prompt responses to their queries, whether online, by phone or in person
Trained staff who can handle their queries without referring them on
Sufficient to meet their needs without long waits
Feedback is an essential tool for identifying needs and expectations. Without checking with long term customers, colleagues, stakeholders and relevant others how do you know their expectations and needs are being met?
Identify the above as positive or negative features - think in terms of man power, resources, budgetary constraints etc.
Activity
Working on your own complete a SWOT analysis on your customers and their identified needs/expectations
This will need to be completed also for your colleagues, stakeholders and relevant others
Discuss and feedback to group
Why is understanding expectations important?
Customers - meeting expectations leads to customer satisfaction. This is turn leads to repeat business, loyal customers, referrals, word of mouth, trust in your organisation, increase in bottom line, few complaints, customers feel valued and important.
Colleagues - trust your input, departmental reputation grows, increased workload, confidence in meeting targets set.
Stakeholders - confidence in organisation, reputation and brand growth, increase in profitability.
Relevant others - increased work, partnerships grow and expand, confidence in organisation and meeting demands.
The evolution of customer expectations
Meeting customer expectations is essential for any organisation to continue to prosper and grow - why is it important for your organisation?
See you in 10 minutes
Ways of meeting needs and expectations
Once you have identified the needs and expectations how does your organisation determine ways of meeting these?

How do you know what you have to do for your customers etc? Are they outlined in any company documents?

What strategies do you follow to ensure these expectations are met?

Where do you find these strategies?
Ways of meeting needs and expectations
The majority of organisations have customer focused strategies and forms of customer service systems already in place.

Good customer service begins with a thorough understanding of the needs of each customer segment followed by a well-defined customer service strategy designed specifically for that segment. To be successful, each strategy should include a clear set of objectives, metrics to measure results, and the business processes that will be used to achieve them. The strategy must make the organisation better by focusing on the customer and proactively working to predict and respond to customer needs, issues, and requests.

Please read the White Paper article for further analysis of customer focused strategies.
Ways of meeting needs and expectations
“We are a client-centric organisation. We are focusing on a strategy that looks at process and technology that allows us to acquire, service, and retain clients that meet the profile that we are looking for. This is not just a distribution strategy— it is an organisational strategy. Implementing customer relationship management forces us to re-think our organisation. We are building a series of initiatives that bring product and distribution together.”

Dan Watchorn Vice President Customer Relationship Management - The Co=Operators General Insurance Company

An example of a customer service strategy:
Ways of meeting needs and expectations
Furthermore in addition to organisational strategies the following are required from employees when meeting needs and expectations:

Excellent knowledge of your products and services
Problem solving and decision making skills
Effective resolution of customer complaints
Any further training/skills to be undertaken
Understanding of company policies and legislation
It is important to remember that when meeting needs and expectations, organisational constraints must also be followed at all times and must be outlined to customers etc before an agreement is entered into. Such constraints can include:
Budgets
Resources
Timescales
Technology
Legislation
Checking needs and expectations have been met
Working in groups discuss the methods used within your organisation for checking needs and expectations have been met.

Do you think these are effective or could they be improved and how?
Checking needs and expectations have been met
Needs and expectations can be checked via:
Questionnaires - specific questions can be asked to gain valuable feedback. Can be conducted via the phone, email or post.
Customer feedback - invaluable as customer can provide exact views and opinions whether positive or negative.
Team Meetings - colleagues can feedback face to face and any issues can be discussed thrououghly.
Focus groups - where customers, stakeholders can provide their opinions freely on service received.
After sales contact - spontaneous feedback from customers, colleagues etc
Dealing with difficult situations
Sometimes we cannot meet the needs of our customers, colleagues, stakeholders and others due to organisational constraints. In such situations there are several methods that can be used:

Make sure the needs and expectations are fully understood at the beginning from the side of both parties
Be clear from the start what you can and cannot offer - draw up a plan of the agreement
Honesty - explain clearly why the need cannot be met but outline what you can do instead
Negotiation - discuss and compromise to meet a mutually convenient solution for both the customer and your organisation
Clear effective communication - keeping the customer updated and being proactive by outlining what you can do
Assertiveness - taking ownership of the issue and working with others to ensure the need can be met by speaking to higher authority
Dealing with difficult situations
Thinking of your company how would you deal with a difficult situation where you cannot meet the needs of others within your organisation guidelines or constraints?
VRQ Assignment 8625-334 Understanding and Developing Relationships in the Workplace
The purpose of this unit is to develop knowledge and understanding of developing relationships in the workplace.

The task requires you to show your awareness of the main concepts of effective communication and understand the essential skills required to develop and maintain relationships at work.
The nominal word count for this assignment is 1000 words. Key ILM verbs must be used at all times
Win win negotiation techniques
Understanding and Developing Relationships in the Workplace
AC 1.1 Identify and examine the needs and/or expectations of customers, colleagues, key stakeholders and relevant others in the workplace.
You will clearly need to IDENTIFY and EXAMINE the needs and/or expectations of all of those listed in the criteria individually. You must also provide a thorough and detailed EXAMINATION of the positive and negative features of all the identified needs and/or expectations of your customers, colleagues, key stakeholders and relevant others. Begin by explaining who your customers, colleagues etc are and what their individual needs/expectations are. Include SWOT's to outline the positive and negative features for each one individually.
Understanding and Developing Relationships in the Workplace
AC 1.2 Explain the importance of knowing what customers, colleagues, key stakeholders and relevant others in the workplace require.
You will need to provide a thorough and detailed EXPLANATION of the importance of knowing what your customers and colleagues and key stakeholders and relevant others require in your workplace. Provide an explanation for each individually and the importance to your organisation and department.
AC 2.1 Determine ways of meeting the needs and/or expectations of customers, colleagues, key stakeholders and relevant others in the workplace within organisational constraints.
You need to research strategies and business processes available to meet needs. Read the White Paper report provided. Several ways must be discussed (three or more). You will need to identify what your organisational constraints are and that these strategies are within these boundaries explaining in detail how.
Understanding and Developing Realtionships in the Workplace
AC 2.2 Explain ways of checking that the needs and/or expectations of others have been met.
You must explain thoroughly several ways (three or more) of checking the needs/expectations of others have been met. What are the advantages/disadvantages of these methods, what recommendations can you make? What does your organisation use to check needs/expectations have been met? Are these sufficient?
AC 3.1 Describe ways of dealing with difficult situations where it is not possible to meet the needs and/or expectations of others within organisational guidelines and constraints.
You must provide a thorough and detailed description of several ways (three or more) of dealing with difficult situations. You must clearly state your organisational guidelines AND constraints that make it difficult to meet these needs/expectations.
Full transcript