Explain the importance of balancing the needs and tasks of people
It is important to create a balance between the needs and tasks of people in the workplace. There is an obvious priority to tasks in the workplace, as these are what generates revenue. Ensuring that tasks are managed so that they are completed to deadlines is vital to being successful. Creating timescales for projects is a good way to manage each task. It is important though that there is communication within a team concerning their needs. I may need another team member to change a deadline for their task in order for me to complete mine. If I find myself unable to reach a deadline I would communicate my needs to the manager so that the priority of other tasks could be adjusted.
However, it is important to remember that people have needs too. Having employees focus 100% on the tasks whilst at work can be very draining on them, and allowing them to have small breaks to distract themselves can actually improve productivity. (http://www.pcworld.com/article/239054/why_employees_should_surf_the_web_at_work.html)
We have a fairly relaxed and flexible working environment. I feel this generally improves productivity and certainly builds team morale. This is as long as tasks get completed to deadlines, if colleagues spend too much time socialising it can affect tasks getting completed and this can reflect negatively on morale. To this point, we generally coordinate coffee breaks etc, so that everyone in the team works and breaks equally.
It is also important to note the needs of clients. For example, a recent project I have is creating the Annual Report for a client. They have a final deadline for the project to be completed so it can be printed and delivered for an event. They also need to be aware of my needs in order to complete the project; receiving content in time to actually create the layout.
Explain the Importance of sharing information with colleagues
Explain the Importance for liaison with colleagues to productivity
It is important to share information with colleagues so that everyone has all the facts. It is particularly important if multiple people are working on the same project. For example, when creating a new website we would have different people on different tasks, i.e. setting up plugins, gathering content, designing. Some of these tasks may be dependant on having other tasks completed, so it is important to keep the rest of the team updated on your own progress so that they know when something is ready or so that they can focus on a specific area so as to not hold up other stages of the production. By liaising with your colleagues you can make sure everyone is aware of what stage each other is at and ensure everyone can work productively.
When starting a new website project, we will have someone complete a form with all the basic information of the client (form template below)
This will be shared on Dropbox in the relevant client folder so everyone in the team has access to it. This is useful as we don’t need to rely on one individual for specific information, particularly due to how our company is structured with employees & volunteers having flexible hours.
We also email each other with updates of how stages of a project are going. Image below shows how I was informed that a domain transfer was progressing.
This meant I could begin packaging the offline version of the site to be transferred to the new domain once we have it linked to our hosting provider.
Compare a range of techniques used for influencing and persuading others and their application
There are numerous ways one can influence or persuade others, with different techniques being more suitable and effective depending on the context.
One can try to persuade someone verbally by having a discussion. This works well when trying to persuade one person as you can adjust your argument based on their input. Alternatively, you can use written communication (e.g. email, printed report). The benefit of this method is that it gives the individual you are persuading the opportunity to go over the information at their own pace and really process the facts. When persuading a larger group, preparing a presentation can be a successful technique. It allows you to put your point across and have supporting data displayed on a screen. Another technique would be to provide a demonstration. This can be useful when the matter that you are discussing is somewhat abstract, an example could be when working on a logo design for a client. Showing them an alternative design is much easier than trying to explain how a particular different design would be better (without them seeing it).
Describe how to give and receive constructive feedback
Identify ways of tactfully requesting others to change working arrangements to improve own productivity
When giving constructive feedback it is important to speak objectively and not attack an individual personally, this can be done by separating the situation from the person. It is also important to be specific with the feedback. For example, if you had presented a design to your manager and they said “I don’t like the colours used”, the only useful information you have is that the colours used need to be changed. You could edit your design and still be using colours that aren’t right. Better feedback would be “The colours aren’t right, I think using warmer colours would work better as it would reflect the nature of the product more”, this highlights a reason why the original is not successful and provides a guideline for what would work better.
Another common technique when giving feedback is known as the “feedback sandwich method”. This is where you offer a positive, followed by a criticism and ended with another positive. This helps it not seem like an attack on the feedback receiver as you don’t jump in with what’s bad and highlight the positives of their work.
When receiving feedback it is important to remember not to take it personally and not to get emotional over it. It is also important to clarify any feedback you receive to ensure that you have understood what is being said properly, this also shows that you are listening and willing to make improvements.
When requesting others to change their working arrangements to improve your own productivity, it is important to communicate and explain your reasons and needs and allow them to respond. You may need to find a compromise that benefits both parties. It is important that you do not force them, or make them feel forced, to change their arrangements as this can conjure negativity and damage relationships.
An example could be that I have a task and need additional help to ensure I can deliver it to the deadline. A colleague may not have such time sensitive work so I may ask them to assist me, however by doing so I may end up putting them in the same situation as me in the future. In light of this, I could ask them to assist me and then I would help them with their tasks so they can maintain their schedule.