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Monitoring of workers health and conditions for purposes of preventing illness

WH A T I S G R O U P D I S C U S S I O N A N D D E C I S I O N – M A K I N G ? Group discussion and decision making involves working with other people to talk about and make decisions about things that affect you. Whether you are working in a large or a small workplace, chances are you are not working alone. In order for your work to be done effectively and safely you must be able to work as a team with your colleagues. Teamwork involves:  Understanding how your colleagues think and feel;  Understanding how you think and feel;  Being able to express how you think and feel;  Being able to see ‘the big picture’ in a situation;  Being able to see other points of view;  Accepting that you may not always get your own way; and  Arriving at a decision that is best for the group. The consequences of NOT working as a team can be very negative at the work place. If you cannot co-operate with your work mates then:  The quality of your work will suffer;  The business may lose customers and income;  Staff may have to be laid off; and  The workplace will be more stressful and less happy. HBA Learning Centres Version: 1.00 July 2015 Work Health and Safety Learner Guide Page 101 of 249 Contact: Compliance Manager Uncontrolled Document when Printed F O R M A L A N D I N F O R M A L C O M M U N I C A T I O N Not all forms of communication are appropriate on every occasion. A business meeting with a client would require that you present your information in a professional manner or risk not being taken seriously. On the other hand, it would be detrimental to your working relationship if you use this same approach with a member of your work group. Formal communication is the form of communication that follows the rules of language. It is commonly used in management and corporate meetings and as in all forms of communication can be oral or written. Some examples of formal communication in a written format are reports, agendas, minutes of meetings, policies and procedures, standard operating procedures, work plans, schedules etc. Emails and memos are also included in this form of communication. Formal communication relies heavily on technology. “Formal communication is a presentation or written piece that strictly adheres to rules, conventions, and ceremony, and is free of colloquial expressions.” (Schneider, 2004). Informal communication is a communication that is spontaneous and interactive. Information is often exchanged interactively, through meetings and conversations. The informal communication channel has two purposes: it allows employees to satisfy their need for social interaction in the workplace and it can improve an organisation’s performance by creating alternative, and frequently faster and more efficient, channels of communication (Robbins et al. 2000). One of the most common forms of informal communication is ‘the grapevine’. According to Kreitner and Kinicki (1995) the term grapevine originated from the American Civil War practice of stringing battlefield telegraph lines between trees as a means of efficient communication. In organisations today, the grapevine supplements the formal channels of communication. Although it can be the source of inaccurate rumours, it often functions positively as an early warning signal for organisational changes, as a mechanism for fostering social interaction and cohesiveness between organisational members and as a way of informally sharing and testing ideas. “Informal communication” is a casual discussion, verbal exchange, note, or memorandum that may adhere less strictly to rules and conventions (e.g. a short note to a friend).”