Before you begin. Overview: The National Quality Framework 1. Chapter 1: Contributing to and promoting effective work practices

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1 Contents Before you begin v Overview: The National Quality Framework 1 Chapter 1: Contributing to and promoting effective work practices 3 1A Identifying and implementing effective ways of working to sustain health and morale 1B Developing and implementing work plans to ensure important elements are included 1C Developing and implementing strategies to maximise work performance and outcomes, including addressing barriers and constraints 1D Implementing effective measures to inform new and existing staff of workplace requirements 1E Implementing processes and practices that promote cooperative work practices and maintain positive relationships 1F Taking responsibility for your own behaviour and developing effective working relationships Chapter summary 26 Assessment activity 1: Contributing to and promoting effective work practices Chapter 2: Promoting effective workplace relations 29 2A Modelling and promoting effective communication 31 2B Identifying and acting on potential or actual conflict situations 34 2C Ensuring access to appropriate support, mediation, facilitation and debriefing throughout conflict resolution processes 2D Resolving issues that may disrupt work unit activities 41 Chapter summary 45 Assessment activity 2: Promoting effective workplace relations Chapter 3: Facilitating work group activities 49 3A Conducting effective meetings 51 3B Seeking feedback and implementing action on operation of group processes 3C Providing feedback in a supportive and appropriate manner iii

2 CHCORG506E Coordinate the work environment Chapter summary 58 Assessment activity 3: Facilitating work group activities 59 Chapter 4: Developing and implementing staffing processes as required 61 4A Maintaining confidentiality in relation to staff processes 63 4B Identifying areas of need and developing proposals to address 67 them, including arranging resourcing and staffing 4C Participating in recruitment processes 71 4D Providing counselling and support to improve unsatisfactory 75 staff performance 4E Addressing staff performance issues 80 4F Encouraging and facilitating staff access to appropriate training 85 Chapter summary 92 Assessment activity 4: Developing and implementing staffing 93 processes as required Chapter 5: Advocating for workplace health and safety 95 and fair employment practices 5A Ensuring awareness of legislation and service guidelines, and 97 promoting compliant practices 5B Negotiating, developing and implementing work practices 102 within legislative and service guidelines 5C Documenting and communicating individual workers rights 106 and obligations 5D Acting on breaches of workplace legislation 108 Chapter summary 112 Assessment activity 5: Advocating for workplace health and safety 113 and fair employment practices Final assessment: CHCORG506E Coordinate the work environment 115 Employability skills 120 Appendices 121 Appendix 1: How the learner guide addresses the unit of competency 121 Appendix 2: Employability skills 126 iv

3 Chapter 1 Contributing to and promoting effective work practices If you are a team leader or senior staff member, you need to be aware of the personal qualities of an effective leader. Leaders are involved in developing and implementing strategies to ensure the workplace operates in a positive and efficient manner. Senior staff and managers must model effective leadership and maintain a cohesive team. In this chapter you will learn about: 1A Identifying and implementing effective ways of working to sustain health and morale 1B Developing and implementing work plans to ensure important elements are included 1C Developing and implementing strategies to maximise work performance and outcomes, including addressing barriers and constraints 1D Implementing effective measures to inform new and existing staff of workplace requirements 1E Implementing processes and practices that promote cooperative work practices and maintain positive relationships 1F Taking responsibility for your own behaviour and developing effective working relationships 3

4 CHCORG506E Coordinate the work environment The following table maps this chapter to the National Quality Standard and Belonging, being & becoming: the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. National Quality Standard Quality Area 1: Educational program and practice Quality Area 2: Children s health and safety Quality Area 3: Physical environment Quality Area 4: Staffing arrangements Quality Area 5: Relationships with children Quality Area 6: Collaborative partnerships with families and communities Quality Area 7: Leadership and service management Early Years Learning Framework Principles Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships Partnerships High expectations and equity Respect for diversity Ongoing learning and reflective practice Practice Holistic approaches Responsiveness to children Learning through play Intentional teaching Learning environments Cultural competence Continuity of learning and transitions Assessment for learning Outcomes Children have a strong sense of identity Children are connected to and contribute to their world Children have a strong sense of wellbeing Children are confident and involved learners Children are effective communicators 4

5 Chapter 1 Contributing to and promoting effective work practices 1A Identifying and implementing effective ways of working to sustain health and morale PC 1.1 Children flourish when they can form meaningful relationships with their caregivers. Well-run childcare services should have staff stability (low staff turnover) and employees should be able to manage their workloads with minimum stress and maximum professional fulfilment. Encouraging and maintaining good staff health and positive morale requires perceptive leadership based on observation and skilled communication. Leadership Effective leadership is associated with good workplace morale, minimal staff turnover and high quality outcomes for clients. By contrast, poor leadership results in low morale, stress and discontent among staff, high staff turnover and poor service delivery. Good leaders have a clear perception of their own goals and their goals for the service and the staff they supervise. Whether you are a centre director, a team leader or in charge of unqualified staff, you are still a leader. Many positive qualities contribute to effective leadership. For example, an effective leader may maximise work performance in the following ways: Ensuring staff have a clear vision Using effective communication skills Providing feedback and support Demonstrating respect and fairness Encouraging teamwork and innovation Encouraging environmentally sustainable practices Mentoring, advocating and acknowledging staff Effective leaders in child care are involved in the day-to-day running of the centre and contribute in measurable ways to protecting the health, wellbeing and morale of team members. Ensuring staff have a clear vision An effective leader provides team members with a set of goals that enable them to link their role and responsibilities with the organisational mission and philosophy. For example, the director may link the educators roles to the service s vision, which is to provide childhood services that reflect the models of best practice. By providing the link to the overall objectives and mission of the service, team members are aware of how their skills, knowledge and responsibilities fit within the organisation s vision. 5

6 Chapter 1 Contributing to and promoting effective work practices effort in ensuring the team understands its focus and purpose. As team members bring their own skills, knowledge and abilities to the group, a leader can encourage teamwork by supporting all team members to have active input into planning, decision-making and operational aspects of the team activities. Encouraging environmentally sustainable practices Sustainability means reducing our ecological footprint our use of the Earth s resources balanced with the Earth s capacity to regenerate without affecting our quality of life. All industries, including children s services, have the opportunity to incorporate sustainability principles and processes into day-to-day operations. Sustainability principles are broadly applied to the workplace in terms of environmental, economic and social aspects. An additional principle is that of workforce sustainability: how staff are trained and retained. This has a direct impact on staff morale. Environmental sustainability Environmental sustainability means using the Earth s resources without substantially affecting the ability of future generations to have access to them. This includes maintaining the beauty of the natural environment. Environmental sustainability is about taking things from the natural environment at a slower rate. For example, using less paper in your workplace may reduce tree logging, which may in turn reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. You can demonstrate this by using the 3Rs reduce, re-use and recycle as described in the following table. Step Reduce Re-use Recycle Explanation Print or copy as few things as possible. Don t automatically print an ; consider first if you actually need to keep a hard copy. Printing or copying on both sides of the paper dramatically reduces the amount of paper you use. Buying paper made from recycled products also reduces the environmental impact. Wherever possible, use the same paper again. If you have finished with a copy of something, use the reverse side for notes. If it is something that several people need to read (for example, a copy of an interesting article), consider setting up a system to circulate one copy for everyone to pass on when they have finished. When you have finished with the paper, make sure it is recycled. Use a box to collect your paper for recycling at your desk, then transfer it to the recycling bin when it is full. Remember that, for some documents, it is important to comply with your organisation s requirements for storage and disposal. Some things, such as client letters or orders, may need to be printed for legal reasons. Other documents may need to be shredded before they are recycled to maintain confidentiality. 7

7 CHCORG506E Coordinate the work environment PC 1.5 1E Implementing processes and practices that promote cooperative work practices and maintain positive relationships Working cooperatively with others is fundamental to establishing positive working relationships between staff and management. Your daily interactions with others affect your ability to contribute to and promote effective workplace practices within a childcare service. As a team leader or coordinator, you need to be able to develop and implement strategies to ensure staff and management feel confident in your ability to fulfil your leadership responsibilities and maintain positive work relationships and cooperative work practices. The skills and knowledge you need to do this include: interpersonal skills that support cooperative work practices participative decision-making and collaboration and sharing information, including listening to and contributing ideas maintaining positive relationships. v0070 Effective leaders manage their teams in a way that promotes positive and cooperative work practices. Interpersonal skills Interpersonal skills differ from communication skills. To be able to promote cooperative work practices and enhance relationships, you need well-developed interpersonal skills. Communication involves reading, writing, listening and speaking, all of which you need if you are in a leadership role. Interpersonal skills adapt these communication skills to manage relationships and situations so they do not escalate into conflict, misunderstanding or disagreements. Some common sources of disagreement are: different priorities and expectations un-cooperative behaviour or work practices different values, beliefs and understandings. 20

8 CHCORG506E Coordinate the work environment Case study The manager of the centre that Jill works at asks her to notify staff of a change to the type of program being offered. The manager recently attended a childcare conference and was impressed with the philosophy of the High/Scope Program, which she wants to introduce as soon as possible at the centre. Jill is concerned at the way the proposal is being implemented, particularly because most of the staff are comfortable with the program currently used and some are apprehensive of change. As far as Jill is aware, few of the educators are familiar with the new philosophy and many probably haven t heard of it. However, she believes the new program may be a way to reduce the competitiveness that currently dominates the environment, where a few teams claim to be running the best program. Perhaps High/Scope is a way of bringing teams together with a common purpose. Jill realises that for the proposal to win acceptance, staff need to have an informed discussion. She schedules team meetings for a week s time and circulates information about High/Scope. This will be followed by a full staff meeting the next week. Prior to the team meetings, Jill meets with team leaders to sell the concept to them and win their support. Prior to the staff meeting, there is a lot of discussion of the proposal: some positive, some negative. Jill attends each meeting to introduce the concept and set the ball rolling, then leaves so that teams can have a frank discussion. As expected, a few staff are concerned at the extent of change; however, the program is well understood and fully discussed and the majority of staff are interested. They ask Jill to get the manager s approval for all staff to attend training sessions so that they have a full understanding of the program and strategies for its implementation before going to the next stage. Practice task 5 What strategies does your service use to promote cooperative work practices and maintain positive relationships with staff? Document three ways this is demonstrated. 22

9 Chapter 5 Advocating for workplace health and safety and fair employment practices Example The important thing is to make sure you are completely up to date on current legislation and to keep the staff informed of any changes. I provide staff with access to all the documentation we have relating to all of these issues; for example, a copy of the WHS regulations, the centre policies and the National Quality Standard. All staff are aware of where the relevant documents are located and who to speak to about work health and safety. Staff know they can come to me any time with any queries they may have on our policies or procedures or the legislation that applies to child care. At orientation and induction, I tell new staff about the award that applies to the centre as well as going through the policies and procedures relating to WHS, equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination. I also ask them to take the policies away, read them and then sign an acknowledgment that they understand their obligations. Practice task 20 To demonstrate your ability to interpret legislation and regulations, locate and summarise the federal, state or territory legislation/regulations regarding children s services licensing processes, WHS, equal employment opportunity, anti-discrimination, privacy and so on. You may wish to prepare the information using a table similar to the following. An example of a Commonwealth Act is provided. Act/Regulation Brief description Key provisions Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) Establishes the Australian Human Rights Commission and deals with human rights and equal opportunity in employment Establishes the Commission and outlines its duties, functions and powers Establishes the role of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Provides for redress for unlawful discrimination (Note: ensure you only refer to the headings relevant to your situation/work context; for example, the relevant Part/Division/Section of an Act or regulation.) Ask your trainer for help if needed. 101

10 CHCORG506E Coordinate the work environment Chapter summary 1. Childcare services must meet work health and safety, equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination legislative requirements. Coordinators and team leaders are responsible for ensuring staff understand and apply their obligations under relevant legislation. 2. In providing a work environment that is safe, equitable and embraces diversity, employers must develop and implement work practices based on suitable policies and procedures that comply with legislation, regulations and national standards. 3. A continuous improvement process is a formal way of ensuring that policies, procedures and work practices are constantly reviewed by a service and remain compliant with external requirements. 4. In every workplace, workers have rights and responsibilities, including being able to work in a safe workplace that is free from harassment and discrimination and working in a safe manner and complying with workplace policies, procedures and instructions. These rights and responsibilities must be communicated to staff clearly and unambiguously. 5. Breaches of workplace legislation, regulations and industry standards may be the result of the action or inaction of a service or individual. Prompt and appropriate corrective action must be taken to address these and reporting protocols followed. 112

11 Chapter 5 Advocating for workplace health and safety and fair employment practices Assessment activity 5 Advocating for workplace health and safety and fair employment practices Your trainer or assessor may require you to complete this assessment activity and will provide you with instructions as to how to present your responses. They may provide alternative or additional assessment activities depending on the circumstances of your training program. The following table maps the assessment activity for this chapter against the element and performance criteria of Element 5 in CHCORG506E Coordinate the work environment. Part Element Performance criteria A 5 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4 B Purpose This assessment activity is designed to assess your skills and knowledge in advocating for workplace health and safety and fair employment practices. Requirements To complete this assessment activity, you need: to answer the questions and submit responses as directed your trainer/assessor/ training organisation. Part A 1. Describe at least three methods by which staff can be made aware of the legislation, regulations and national standards that apply to their service. 2. Choose an information collection method you would use to gather information, and describe how you would use it to review a procedure. 3. Describe one way a team leader can ensure work practices remain compliant with relevant legislation and standards. 4. List three methods a team leader could use to inform team members of their rights and obligations. 5. Give an example of how WHS may be breached when working with children. Briefly describe what action should be taken. 113

12 CHCORG506E Coordinate the work environment Part B As part of continuous improvement in your service, the director asks you to review WHS requirements regarding workplace harassment and bullying. She has asked you to develop a strategy to ensure all staff are aware of the relevant legislation and in-house policies and procedures. Outline the strategy you will use to: increase the staff s awareness of the regulations and their rights and obligations encourage staff suggestions and input into the effectiveness of the policies and procedures document any changes to procedures that may be made as a result of staff input and document staff attendance at staff meetings/training sessions encourage staff to adopt safe and efficient work practices to avoid compliance breaches deal with any breaches that do occur. Record your employability skills When you have completed the assessment activity, make sure you record evidence of how you have developed and applied employability skills. You may use the table following the final assessment for this purpose. Keep copies of material you have prepared as further evidence of your skills. Refer to the information on employability skills in Appendix 2 of this learner guide for further guidance. 114

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