Employability Skills in Health and Social Care
For many people, having a life-long career is no longer the norms. There are several individuals who had jobs across different organizations and various employers throughout their professional life. Although flexibility in the working pattern is essential in ensuring a continuous employment, it is also imperative that individuals possesses the employability skills in order to get, keep, and become succesful in the chosen career. In the field of health and social care, assuming the job of a Family Support Worker requires specific employability skills in performing satisfactory work. The discussion highlights the responsibilties and performance needed to become and effective employee in the health and social care sector. The discussion also aims to asses and gain understanding on the concept of employability, transferable, interpersonal skills, communication, and the dynamics of workin with other groups. Most importantly, the discussion will also cover the qualifications and level of experience that demonstrates key potentials and abilities attributed to the field of health and social care.
Part of the objectives of this discussion is to demonstrate the concept of employability skills in a real world setting by assessing the professional experience of working as a Family Support Worker in the chosen organization. Home start was selected as a suitable example where the perfomance of working as a family support worker can assessed by reflecting on the experiences and other related on-the-job activities. Furthermore, real world scenarios and examples will be provided as well to demonstrate the concepts being presented in the discussion on employability. The latter part of the discussion will also determine the challenges associated in working as a family support worker. In addition, strategies in solving the identified problems will be presented to demonstrate the learning outcomes gained from the discussion.
The opportunity to hone employability skills was obtained from working at Home-Start as a Family Support Worker. The company helps young children and families to cope up with challenges that they are having difficulties with an objective to help the parents in improving their self-confidence in building a better life for their chidlren (home-start.org.uk, n.d.). The organization is based in UK with 288 Home-Starts helping the struggling families across the country particulalry the families of British forces based in Cyprus and Germany. The goal of the organization is to ensure that the families would be able to recevie support from other agencies and create choices that would enable them to sustain their own. The services encompasses a series of visits to the families by the volunteer workers to create a relationship that will empower the parents and the children when it comes to making better family decisions.
Working in Home-Start requires that its family support workers are performing their duties according to the prescribed roles and responsibilities to help the organization achieve its goals and objectives. As a family support worker, I am expected to to give an array of practical and emotional support to the families by giving advice about the long-term and short-term difficulties. For instance, the children and the parents are being adviced to stay with each other if ther situation requires it best. However, the range of daily activities depends on what sort of difficulties that the family is having or according to the situational needs. For example, counselling and professional advice are being given to families that are having difficulties about alcohol or drug addiction. Other areas of concern for family support worker includes helping families access services due to language barrier, child or parent disability, financial or marital problems, and/or, hispitalization or prison. These problems are being dealt with in terms of helping the family with options and advice (National Career Service, n.d.).
C). 1.2 Evaluate your effectiveness in your role and how it supports the organization in achieving its aims and objectives.
Working as a family support worker at Home-Start enabled me to contribute to the aims and objectives of the organization by effectively performing my duties according to the job’s roles and responsibilities. First, the goal of the organization is to ensure that the family’s needs are met and addressed according to the planned improvement. I was able to effectively contribute to the aforementioend objective by ensuring that the family in need was able to get the assistance appropriate to the what the situation requires. For example, one family reached out to Home-Start for assistance in terms of financial need. As a family support worker, the kind of help that the family requires calls for a long-term solution. Giving them money or referring them to a charity can get them by, but the real solution provided to the client is to create options that are based on where the problem is coming from. The solution begins from identifying root cause of the problem, and in the case of family in financial difficulty the problem is spending on things they don’t need way beyond what they earn on a regular basis.
The financial problem was address by giving the parents a set of financial priorities and ensures that they would adhere to the given advice by setting targets such as putting a limit on groceries. The mother was accompanied at one point during grocery shopping to see what she usually puts on her cart and any instances that the items appear to be beyond what they normally need, the mother is being asked if they can skip buying the item or ask how important it is for her to buy the particular product. If the response suggests that skipping to buy the product will not make an impact to the family’s necessities, then it would be beneficial for the mother to save a few bucks from buying the non-essential product so that the savings can be added to the other more important expenses. In a way the family budget strategies made an impact in terms of helping the family in making better choices that would improve their financial situation. In return, the approach was effective in demonstrating the goals of the organization.
D). 1.3 Explain what skills and experience you would require to improve the effectiveness of your performance in your current role of to gain promotion in the organization.
In terms of improving my skills and experience to be a more effective family support worker, it is important to undergo continuous trainings. Undergoing trainings is also imperative for professional growth particularly when aiming for a promotion. Among the important areas to cover when undergoing trainings for skills and effectiveness improvement are assessment methods, recognising signs of domestic abuse, alcohol or drug addiction, health and safety, child protection issues, and legal and policy guidelines (National Career Service, n.d.). Undergoing the aforementioend trainings will enable me as a family support worker to be more effective in performing my duties and to learn additional skills that would aid in the process of providing the essential services to the families being supported. Furthermore, constant training will help the organization to achieve its goals and objectives because it will enabled the family support worker to learn new motivational techniques both financial and non-financial.
E) 1.4. Review how motivational technique financial and non-financial can be used to assist you in helping the organization achieve its aims and objectives
Motivational techniques vary according to what the organization can afford to provide as reward for working beyond expectations and other means of motivational intentions. One of the key objectives of motivation is to increase employee productivity resource efficiency. For example, financial motivation can be in a form of incentives apart from the basic compensation. It can be considered as a reward to push the volunteers to exert more effort in achieving the organization’s targets. In the corporate settings, financial can loan assistance, bonuses or profit sharing. In an organization such as Home-Start, financial motivation can be heloful, but it can only create a short term opportunity and the amount of results from the employees will depend on how generous the organization can be when it comes to providing monetary incentives. In terms of non-financial motivation technique, it can be a variety of form. It could be promotion, special priveleges or items of good value. The amount of motivation that non-financial rewards can generate also depends on how valuable the exchange would be. For example, if the reward is an all expense-paid trip to the Caribbean, itcan be expected that the spark of competition between teams and individuals will ignite, thus enabling better results for the organization’s productivity and allowing the organization to achieve its goals above targets.
When it comes to challenges and issues hindering the organization to achieve its goals and objectives, among the factors to consider is the impact of the issue towards all the stakeholders and the organizational operations. One of the problems that has an immense impact towards achieveing organizational goals and objectives is the lack of resources. It is apparent that Home-Start is a non-government organization registered as a charity institution run and supported by local individuals who are also providing the organization’s funding needs. In this case, the life and operational efficiency of the organization depends on the funding availability. In that sense, an economic difficulty is likely to impact the flow of funding for the organization encompassing the risk of inadequacies in terms of financial resources. Hence, such problem is likely to pose significant challenge for the organization in achieving its goals and objectives particularly in ensuring the continuity of serving troubled families in the community.
In order to address the problem of inadequacies in funding and other resources, appropriate solutions are necessary and should be communicated internally and externally to the other concerned groups in the organization. One of the methods to consider in internal communication is having team meetings. Transparency is relatively important in any organization as it reveals the current situations and all concerned groups would have an opportunity to offer solutions. Regarding the problem of lack of funding resources, all departments can sit in a meeting to provide the solutions appropriate to their areas of operation. For example, the Human Resources department can offer solution such as temporarily putting the volunteer applications on hold. Another example is that the purchasing and supplies team can offer to look for more cost-effective alternatives to the usual supplies being ordered or ask suppliers for lower prices or longer payment terms. In addition, the marketing department could also offer solutions ranging from seeking new contributors or setting up benefit events.
This is when external communication method such as interpersonal skills comes in handy. For example, if the solution to funding problems is to hold benefit events, it is important for the rest of the individuals in the organization to work together in ensuring that potential contributors would be pursuaded to make a donation. Good interperonal skills becomes more effective when done creatively and laterally (Ramrayka, 2000). This means that the employees and the volunteers are thinking of new ways of convincing the potential contributors by building mutually benefitial realtionships. For instance, the organization might want to conduct a simple event such as an auction for a cause. The key here is to send out invites to known personalities and instead of asking for monetary contribution, it is better to ask for valuable items that they can contribute. In return, the contributors will be given special recognition during the auction and the donated items can be turned into cash by auctioning to the public to the highest bidders.
Another important problem to be considered is punctuality. Almost all organizations would have experienced problems with their employee’s punctuality (Ketchum, 2015). In the case of Home-Start, a few volunteers are having difficulties showing up on their appointments on time. Punctuality issues with the volunteers poses a problem of inconvenience on the part of the family that requested a visit. For instance, the family support volunteer was expected to arrive for a follow up visit at 2PM, which theoretically is the most convenient time for the family to have a meeting as the parents will need to go to their second job aftewards. If the staff comes late for some reason, it compronises the parent’s time and it could result to either not meeting the parents because they have to leave for work or the parents missed their shift due to the long wait for the staff, which is economically inconvenient for the family.
The same can be said about punctuality issues during the course of my study that had affected my chance of achieving my academic targets. I have experienced punctuality problem in a form of late submission of school assigment. The late submission of the work had resulted to grade deductions, which impacted my goal of achieving the desired scores in the subject. Although the grade deduction is relatively marginal, it still poses a problem for me because I had to exert greater efforts on my succeeding tasks in order to ascertain passing remarks. Such problem could have been avoided with the use of the appropriate time management technique. Setting work objectives is one method that can help assist in solving the problem of punctuality both in the professional and academic settings. While punctuality exhibits a plethora of positives to the organization or academic institution, it also demonstrates a good sense of setting the right objectives. For example, setting the objective to have a higher productivity level will show the organization that it can rely on me to deliver results in the shortest time possible. In addition setting the right objective incorporates positive outlook towards achieving future goals.
B) 3.3 Based on this, suggest alternative ways the organization could introduce, complete and achieve team goals using examples to support your answer
Realizing how the members of the organization work together as part of the team encompasses a significant contribution to the performance of the organization as a whole. Each team plays a pivotal role in the organization to achieve a common goal. For example, the human resouces team ensures the recruitment of the most competitive and qualified individuals to fill the manpower requirement of the rest of the other teams. On the other hand, the purchasing and supplies department ensures that all the materials and other resources are readily available for the staff to utilize in carying out their functions. At the same time, other teams are working togther to support the needs of the organization to function as a single unit. Team dynamics is essential to everyone in the organization particularly because each team had to negotiate responsibilities to ascertain that no part of the oganization’s operations will be compromised or put into halt. In addition, work arrangements enables an operational processes where each team perform their duties in the most efficient manner.
A) 4.1 Evaluate a range of methods and tools that could be used for developing solutions to the problem
It was discussed earlier that there are problems encountered in the workplaced that are imminent and sometimes unexpected. As an example, while working a family support worker in Home-Start, a problem occurred with the coordination of visiting schedules to the clients. At one point, there had been a confusion as to which family was scheduled to be visited as there were multiple visits placed at the same schedule. This problem presents an issue with coordination, which could have avoided if the right tool was integrated in the organization’s scheduling processes. One of the solution that can help aleviate the problem is having a centralized scheduling and monitoring system. There are myriad of cost-effective ways to use for workforce scheduling and monitoring such as utilizing an open-source project monitoring software. For example, the FasTrack Schedule 9 is an effective suite of resource management tools that includes automated scheduling and monitoring essentials that will track work progress and schedules of each staff more efficiently.This tool can assist the organization in terms of efficiently handling work schedules and distribution of resouces.
B) 4.2 Develop appropriate strategy for resolving the problem with a detailed description of how this can be introduced, staff involved, timescale, resources
The described tool can be integrated into the time management method employed by the organization to optimize its efficiency solutions. Once the integration of the method and the described tool is completed, the first step in developing a solution is to identify each of the volunteer’s availability and determine how long each volunteer intends to spend at work. The second step is to schedule essential actions by determining the priority level of each task, which means that urgent tasks should be separated from the hosekeeping type of activities, and how the omission or retention of a specific task will impact the outcome. The last next step is the allocation of both contingency and discretionary time in which every scheduled activity should include time allowances in case unexpected events occur.
C) 4.3 Evaluate the potential impact of the strategy being implemented on the organization with clear justification /reason to support your conclusion
Implementing the described time management stragery will greatly impact the organization in terms of operational efficiency. Effective time management encompasses efficient utilization of resources and manpower, which reduces the costs associated to the unnecessary activities (Martin, 2007). In addition, effective time management allows the company to redirect resources to more urgent matters while increasing the organization’s overall productivity.
The concept of employability skills is not only confined on the idea of subject matter expertise. This is because employability skills in the health and social care sector includes having the capacity to sensitively communicate and develop solutions that will benefit all stakeholders by demonstrating flexibility and good teamwork skills.
Home-start.org.uk,. History & structure | Family support charity | Home-Start UK. Retrieved 8 January 2016, from http://www.home-start.org.uk/about_us/who_we_are/history_structure
Ketchum, D. (2015). Why Is Punctuality Important in the Workplace?. Small Business - Chron.com. Retrieved 8 January 2016, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/punctuality-important-workplace-10253.html
Martin, J. (2007). 10 Tips for Increasing Operational Efficiency - InformationWeek. InformationWeek. Retrieved 8 January 2016, from http://www.informationweek.com/10-tips-for-increasing-operational-efficiency/d/d-id/1057885?
National Career Service,. Family support worker Job Information. Retrieved 8 January 2016, from https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/advice/planning/jobprofiles/Pages/familysupportworker.aspx
Ramrayka, L. (2000). How to get ahead in fundraising. the Guardian. Retrieved 8 January 2016, from http://www.theguardian.com/society/2000/nov/13/publicsectorcareers.voluntarysector