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Identify the kinds of information that a frontline manager needs to carry out their role. Discuss some of the issues that they will need to handle to be effective when managing information

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Introduction

Option B Identify the kinds of information that a frontline manager needs to carry out their role. Discuss some of the issues that they will need to handle to be effective when managing information Introduction During this assignment I will first look at what kinds of information a manager needs in order to carry out their role. I will go on to investigate the confidentiality issues surrounding handling information and what can happen when that information is abused, muddled and mismanaged. I also hope to establish how good handling of information by a manager can enhance their work and that of others and how it can benefit service users, staff teams and agencies. Main Discussion A manager needs a wide range of information in order to successfully carry out their role. This range will include service user records, personnel information, monitoring facts and figures, financial information, communications such as e mails, faxes and letters and reports such as inspection reports. Of course, this is all hard data but as a manager you would also deal with soft data such as information received during telephone conversations or during meetings. Even just chatting with personnel can provide you with valuable information, as can something as subtle as observing body language. The manager at my current place of work WH (A residential unit for children and young people) appears to miss out on a lot of this soft data, especially with regard to staff. ...read more.

Middle

(Ousley, Rowlands, Seden (2003), p.203). Issues around training for people to use computer systems almost always arise in the workplace as, in my experience, training in computer use is very rarely offered within the social care environment. Indeed, this is my 14th year of social care work and I have never been offered such training. This issue can bring wide ranging problems to the workplace and this is demonstrated at WH. Each link worker at WH has a responsibility to produce a monthly summary of their link child's development, this will then be sent to others involved in that child's care. Recently they were told that the admin worker at WH no longer has the time to type up these important reports so the link workers themselves need to do it. No training was offered to anyone in order for them to complete this task, resulting in people 'putting off' the task and summaries being produced up to a month late in some cases. In cases such as this it has to be acknowledged that "Staff may need to set aside time to learn new skills, such as how to record what is needed in a new format ..." (Ousley, Rowlands, Seden (2003), p.200). At WH the manager herself also has very limited IT skills and often needs to seek assistance from her staff team in order to deal with information in this way. However, the course text states "Manager's have a responsibility for giving a lead and promoting a learning approach to information among their staff" (Ousley, Rowlands, Seden (2003), p.201). ...read more.

Conclusion

56) . It can also be empowering, "With information, a team can make a convincing case that the action they wish to take meets the needs they defined earlier". Conclusion It is clear from working on this assignment and within health and social care that a great deal of a manager's time is taken up with dealing with information. In the course reader (Mintzburg, (2003), p.291) Mintzburg identifies, during a study on this subject, that a chief executive could spend 40% of their time on duties associated with the transmission of information, I feel that this percentage could actually be higher for frontline managers. It is also clear that soft, informal information can be just as important as hard, more formal information and that both are needed to do the job of managing successfully. However, all information can become muddled, can be mismanaged and can be abused. A great deal of power comes with the holding of information and a manager needs to have good ethics in order to deal with information in the correct way. All health and social care workers, at every level also need these good ethics as information can be abused by anyone, not just managers. Health and social care still needs to move forward with regard to information technology and the use of databases but still needs to be mindful of the fact that we work with people rather than machines. We also need to be more forthcoming with regards to training in these areas. ...read more.

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