As each relationship in the communication network was dependent on several others for efficacy and efficiency, there had to be some sort of codified an d regulated system. Communications individuals at the department level were responsible for coordinating group communication once every week, using conference calling and other technologies as necessary. Communications individuals at each department were also responsible for meeting with the communications officer at their campus one-on-one every week, and these officers held weekly meetings on Monday mornings. This strategy of detailed management served the organization much better given the complexity of the communications networks and needs within the many parts of the Jewish Home Lifecare organization.
Success in Implementation
As noted above, the change in the communications plan at Jewish Home Lifecare did not meet with immediate success due to the lack of a true strategy for implementing this change. Even after the change was more comprehensively codified and rigidly designed, the project ran into some initial problems. The fact that several departments at various campuses did not have exact analogues had required certain departments with only a subset of shared issues to become involved in each other direct communications networks, and certain individuals felt this led to a poor use of time when they had to hear about issues that did not effect them.
After several complaints in this regard, communications officers discussed the issue at their meeting and agreed that it truly was beneficial from their perspectives to have as much information about the goings-on of other departments as possible, and that even issues at one campus or department that seemed to be unrelated to the issues of another part of the organization almost always had points of overlap or useful comparison. This was communicated to all members of the communication network established by the change, and once the full purpose and scope of the change was understood by all key stakeholders the change became highly successful. Information sharing between campuses and departments increased, and the leadership at Jewish Home Lifecare is very proud of the fact that its staff members take pride and ownership responsibility in their roles, but at times this can lead to a lack of proper management. The initial design for the change was reached by a loose consensus of top-level administrators, rather than being handled by a specific point person in charge of designing and then managing the new communications plan. This created inefficiencies and a lack of foresight from the start, and made implementing more strict changes more difficult as the project moved forward. Mid-level management also failed to adequately explain and motivate the change, which created many of the issues that were noted during the actual codified implementation of the change. Even now, the creation of at least one dedicated communications officer for the organization, if not one for the each campus, would help to facilitate communication in a much more efficient and accountable way.
Jewish Home Lifecare has provided quality services to the elderly Jewish community in the New York area for over a century and a half. The organization is always pursuing methods of providing more effective and higher quality care in a more efficient manner, however, and communications was an area of its operations identified as being able to move the company forward in this regard. While the change implemented in the communications plan for the company has been effective, it could have been made more effective and more efficient, improving care still further.
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