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BETONIQ QUALITY SYSTEM
Wi06 Correspondence

Here you find the Work Instruction on setting up, scanning and registration of official letters and/or email, incoming and outgoing. (TODO)

Purpose

Introduction

Communication is a vital part of creating and maintaining a safe and efficient workplace environment. How we interact with clients and staff will affect how well BETONIQ functions and how satisfying you find your job to be. In this day and age ‘information explosion’ is a well known expression. In the health care setting it is no different. While the amount of information that is circulating can be daunting, the process is improved when: all staff develop good interpersonal skills, and routine workplace procedures are put into place. To achieve this, BETONIQ needs to ensure that all staff are properly trained in the appropriate skills for their job.

Interpersonal communication Interpersonal communication is the way we communicate with others. It may be with another person, to a group of people or to the public. It includes written, verbal and non-verbal communication. General At BETONIQ, when communicating with others, we take into consideration: who you are talking to, the type of information to be communicated (for example; confidential, good news/bad news, difficult technical information, instructions, general daily information), and what the most appropriate type of communication to use is (for example; verbal, email, memo, handover). This may be determined by the type of information to be communicated. At all times staff need to be respectful and polite to one another and to clients. At no time should they raise their voice, swear, or speak in a manner that makes another person feel belittled. Cultural awareness BETONIQ creates a safe and culturally aware work environment. We recognize that people come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures and with them they bring a variety of different values, attitudes and beliefs. All staff need to be non judgmental, respectful and tolerant of each other’s differences. When communicating with people from other backgrounds care needs to be taken to ensure that cultural differences in both verbal and nonverbal communication are considered. Professional development is provided to staff to assist in this process. INSTRUCTIONS Routine Workplace Protocols BETONIQ has rules for the transfer of information. Knowing how to use the different types of communication and following the correct procedures at BETONIQ helps to ensure that information goes to the correct place and person. Communication can be internal or external or both. Internal communication is between staff at BETONIQ. External communication is between staff at BETONIQ and clients or other community members including the media. At BETONIQ routine workplace protocols exist for: written communication (sending and receiving information), and verbal communication (giving and following instructions and messages). Types of written communication used at BETONIQ include: email, letters and faxes (internal and external), forms, reports and memos (internal and external), minutes and agendas for meetings (internal), technical and procedural manuals (internal), workplace signs (internal), whiteboards and pin-up boards (internal). Written communication is a vital part of communication at BETONIQ. BETONIQ recommends that written communication: is simple and easy to understand, is to the point and avoids unnecessary repetition, avoids too many technical terms, and avoids slang, offensive language and discriminatory, racist or sexist language. Types of verbal communication at BETONIQ include: handovers (internal) telephone (internal and external) meetings (internal) The way we speak to other people can make a difference to the way information is received. At BETONIQ verbal communication can be improved when: it is clear and concise, it is friendly and professional, appropriate feedback is given, active listening is used, there is an awareness of non verbal communication styles, and there is an understanding of cultural differences. The type of written and verbal communication you use at BETONIQ will depend on the area you work in and on your job description. Communication hierarchy In all organisations there is a correct line of communication. At BETONIQ the first line of communication is your immediate superior or line supervisor. The BETONIQ organisation chart will show you who your line supervisor is. You can discuss any issues or concerns you may have with your line supervisor. Your supervisor may then either take your concern to the next level or you may be advised to do so. If you go straight to the director or head of the company you will be advised to discuss the matter first with your supervisor. Computer use Within an organisation there will be information that is sensitive and confidential in nature stored on the computer network. BETONIQ has a confidentiality agreement that employees sign when they first join the company. These agreements protect the privacy of our clients by ensuring that all staff will not pass on information of a personal or sensitive nature to any outside source. Our method of reducing any invasion of privacy is to issue staff with an ID number that gives them access to a particular level of computer access. When using computers at BETONIQ: Do not allow access for visitors to view or have access to information that is related to clients, file printed information in the appropriate place according to the departments protocols, and place information that is to be discarded into the locked confidential papers bins for shredding prior to being discarded. Email When writing emails: use polite and correct language, start with a greeting, for example "Dear mr.", until you know the person well enough to be able to address the email as "Dear John", explain yourself clearly, don't use abbreviations in emails; write all out in full, and end the email correctly saying "with kind regards, Jane". Remember that the person reading your email can’t see you so they can’t read your body language to see if you are joking, angry or serious. Handovers Handovers are the verbal passing of information from one or more persons to the following shift of worker or workers. Handovers made be also spoken into a taperecorder which is then played to the next group of workers outlining events of the previous shift or of any information that it is considered important for them to know. When doing handovers: make sure that all relevant information is passed on, check that the next person has understood everything by asking and answering questions, if using a tape recorder, speak clearly and check the recording, and don’t rush. Telephone use Phones should be answered within four (4) rings. Give the name of our organisation and then your own name and job role. For example: Good morning/afternoon, BETONIQ, administration. This is Jane Smith. This helps people know they have dialled the correct organisation, who they are speaking to and what your role in the organisation is. Speak clearly and at a speed that enables people to understand you. Write any information down as you are listening as it is very easy to get off the phone and find you have forgotten who was speaking, a contact number for them and which information they wanted. End the telephone call with some kind of resolution for the person who rang, either get the person with whom they wish to speak, take a message for them, ask the person to ring back at a later time, or solve the issue yourself. Taking messages When you take a message for someone make sure you understand the message correctly. Repeat the information back to the sender to ensure that the information you have is correct. Ensure you have the time of the interaction, the message, the sender’s details, name, phone number, email or address if necessary, so that the recipient can contact them. Give messages as soon as it is possible, as it may be something that requires urgent attention. If possible check back to be sure that the person received the message. XXXXX Guidelines on managing formal and informal communications as records These guidelines cover the processes involved in managing both correspondence and messages as records. This includes making, capturing, storing and disposing of records. · Summary · Which messages are records? · What do I have to do with messages? · Strategies for improving the management of messages · Further information · Appendix A: What should public office policy on messages address? · Appendix B: Managing email at a glance Summary Purpose of the guidelines Increasingly formal and informal communications - correspondence and messaging (such as email or voicemail) - are becoming indistinguishable as a means of doing business. This means that we need to manage records of both largely according to the same rules. These guidelines provide advice on the management of both formal and informal communications as records. Scope of the guidelines The guidelines provide advice on the management of correspondence and messages in all formats including paper letters, email, faxes, voicemail, instant messaging, and scanned copies of incoming letters. The term 'messages' will be used to cover correspondence and messages in any format. Who is the guidance for? This guidance will be useful for records managers and other staff with responsibility for developing and maintaining records management policy and tools. Why manage messages? There are a number of benefits for BETONIQ if it effectively manage their messages. These include: · better management of business · better quality evidence of business decisions that have been made · the reduction of illegal destruction of records of ongoing value · efficient management of physical and network storage space, and · improved retrieval of records for operational needs. Which messages are records? Whether a message is a record does not depend on its format or means of communication, rather it depends upon whether it was sent or received in the course of official business. For example, an email confirming that company X wishes to purchase goods for the cost of Y is a record, the latest email joke is not (usually) a corporate record. Ask yourself the following questions: · Does it approve or authorise actions? · Is it a formal communication between staff relating to work? · Does it signify a policy change or development? · Does it commit my organisation to an arrangement or to a business deal? · Does it contain advice, provide guidance or constitute formal communications with people inside or outside the organisation? · Am I required to act upon it? · Is it external correspondence I have received relating to work? · Is it something that I have sent for a business purpose? · Is it something I have used at work to make a decision? · If I left this job tomorrow, would my successor need the information in this message to continue with this matter? · Is the matter to which the message relates one which may be reviewed or audited later? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then save the message into an official recordkeeping system. What do I have to do with messages? Making records There are a number of strategies for making sure that adequate records of messages are made. These include: · format and/or specific policy on message types which are not well managed · building requirements for making records into business rules · using templates to prompt people to make records with all the information you need, e.g. for faxes, emails, memos, letters, etc. · checking that email systems are set up to keep adequate information on transmission date, time, etc. The table below gives some tips when dealing with messages in different formats. If you are dealing with… Then… Paper correspondence For incoming mail – apply stamp with Date and write the file number on the correspondence For outgoing mail - Include the date and file number in the letter. Use templates and letterhead to facilitate this. Don't forget to keep a copy of outgoing mail. Faxes on thermal paper Photocopy them onto normal paper as thermal paper fades quickly. E-mail Most email systems automatically add information about the date and time sent, the email address to which the message was sent, the sender, etc. Make sure this information is being captured by your email system. Encourage staff to check that this information is correct and fix any problems such as incorrect date/time in your email system, as this can be damaging to a record's authenticity. Link replies to the initial email. Do not delete messages from the sequence or important information relating to the transaction may be lost. Instant messaging If business decisions are being made in instant-messaging systems, then use policy or business rules to direct staff to make a file note or other record of the messages. Voicemail Make sure you document the date, time and name of the caller and recipient. If your system can't do this, make a file note of messages that need to be recorded. The table below sets out rules for dealing with particular types of mail. If the mail… Then… Contains money or cheques Open the mail in the presence of two people where practicable. Relates to recruitment Forward to HR Contains valuable items (monetary or business value) Establish procedures to monitor the receipt or transmission of valuable items to help prevent theft or loss. Valuable items should be signed for on receipt. Includes tender documents Establish procedures for recording the date and time of receipt as tenders have specific time limits. Is personal, particularly if marked Confidential, Private or For Personal Attention Establish clear policy so that staff know what will happen to personal mail received at work. Many organisations routinely open incoming mail. encourage staff to use a private address or box for personal mail. if marked Confidential, etc. then set rules that mail is opened either by a senior member of staff or by the addressee. Capturing/Registering records Capturing or registering messages into official recordkeeping systems provides evidence that the record exists. Principles for capturing messages are that: · capture should be timely, e.g. as soon as possible after the message is sent or received. · the information should be in a format that you can manage over time. For more information on capturing records and linking them to their business context see How to take control of your records. What information should be captured? You need to capture the message and also link it to contextual information. Information that should be captured about the message and its context includes: · unique identifier · date created · date registered (may be the same as date created) · author and creator (if different) · subject or title · business context, e.g. business function and activity to which the message relates · details of content data format, e.g. MS Outlook, Eudora, etc. Information that must be captured that is specific to messages includes: · details of transmission, e.g. date and time sent and/or received · details of sender and receiver (name, position, public office) · attachments or enclosures with the message. Methods of capture The process for capturing messages into the recordkeeping system needs to be simple and easy for staff to use, they include: · automating capture as much as possible. This is easier in electronic business systems where systems can be set up to automatically capture messages when they are transmitted. · registering individual messages on transmission or receipt. · attaching messages to a file. Note: This can be a physical file, or an electronic file in a recordkeeping system. The BETONIQ email system is set up so that the reply automatically includes the initial message. If there is an exchange of emails on one topic · include all messages in the sequence, i.e. don't delete the end of the sequence to make the message shorter. · capture the emails at the end of the sequence so that it need only be captured once. Note: This only applies if the sequence is intact. If not, capture the component parts. Note: If the email exchange is long and complex you may wish to capture emails individually, or at appropriate points in the sequence, for example, when the subject changes. Storing records safely and securely As for other records, messages may need to be kept for quite long periods of time. They must be kept securely in recordkeeping systems for as long as they are needed. They must be protected from damage or loss, whether accidental or deliberate. Just as importantly, they must remain useable over time. Principles to follow for storing records include: · Use system security features, e.g. logon and passwords, audit trails, lock filing cabinets and storerooms. · BETONIQ rules set out that all messages should be managed in formal recordkeeping systems, not on personal hard drives or in desk drawers. · BETONIQ rules set out that the capture of emails into the recordkeeping system must be timely. Emails that are records must be captured before being systematically deleted, e.g. after a certain period of time or when mailboxes reach a defined size. · Migrate records to new systems systematically. Monitor and record any loss of data as a result of migration. · Assign access restrictions to messages where necessary (for most messages, this will be done at the file level) and implement these restrictions. This can be done in electronic systems by assigning user permissions based on logon information, or in paper-based systems by restricting access to records storage facilities. · Monitor electronic recordkeeping systems to ensure that they work reliably at all times and that identified problems are fixed promptly. · Implement back-up procedures for electronic recordkeeping systems. Like any other records, emails can be subject to legal discovery processes, be requested under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 and may be required in the long term as archives and so become open to public access. BETONIQ systems must be able to keep emails accessible and safe from loss or damage as long as they are needed. Disposing of records The disposal of all records, regardless of format, must be authorised by a Manager. Some basic principles to remember relating to the disposal of messages are: · disposal decisions are usually applied to files rather than individual messages as this is more efficient · ephemeral or junk mail not acted upon, e.g. email spam, can be destroyed under the normal administrative practice · document the disposal of records in your recordkeeping system · pressing the Delete key does not destroy an email, it simply removes the pointer to the email. To destroy the email the storage device needs to be reformatted or physically destroyed. Strategies for improving the management of messages Strategies for improving the management of messages are summarised here. Establish corporate policy Establish corporate policy on managing messages as records. Make sure that this explicitly includes email. Incorporating recordkeeping requirements into Acceptable Use of Email policies is another tactic. Assigned responsibilities for managing messages: Responsibility for managing messages is shared between users, records managers, and system administrators. The CEO has overall responsibility for BETONIQ compliance. The table below sets out the typical responsibilities relating to managing messages. Public office member Responsibilities Staff · Sending and receiving messages · Complying BETONIQ s management policy and procedures · Capturing messages into recordkeeping systems Managers · Providing training on managing records · Implementing policies, procedures and tools for records management · Monitoring the capture and maintenance of records in recordkeeping systems · (May be responsible for capture in a centralised system) System administrators · Implementing appropriate security and protection measures for electronic systems · Monitoring system reliability · Establish rules for email system management. Train off BETONIQ staff Raising awareness of what staff need to do is important for improving the management of all records, including messages. Awareness raising willake the form of: · staff briefings or training sessions · leaflets · newsletter items · Intranet information, and · presentations at staff meetings. Note: Pressing the Delete key does not usually destroy an email, it removes the pointer to the email. To permanently destroy an email, the storage device must be reformatted or destroyed.

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