AC1.1 Identify your own learning style(s) and the learning style(s) of another member of the team. AC1.2 Using a simple technique for identifying own development needs and the development needs of another member of the team. AC1.3 Identify potential barriers to learning
AC1.4 Explain how barriers to learning can be overcome
Section 2 Know how to develop self and others to achieve organisational objectives AC2.1 Briefly analyse learning/development options to meet need(s) of self and another member of the team AC2.2 Identify support mechanisms for the development of self and another member of the team AC2.3 Prepare a development plan to achieve a learning objective for self or another team member AC2.4 Describe a method that could be used to monitor the development of self and another member of the team Conclusion
This assignment discusses the elements to be considered when developing yourself and others. Firstly, identifying learning styles using the Honey and Mumford Learning Styles Questionnaire, and then identifying development needs derived from the SWOT analysis. Potential barriers to learning and how they can be overcome are discussed. Developing self and others can be achieved by analysing learning options, identifying the support mechanisms available and developing a personal development plan. This is a living document that considers potential barriers and how they can be overcome. It can be monitored and reviewed to ensure it is a working document. Introduction
The Western Trust’s vision is “To provide high quality patient and client-focused Health and Social Care services through well trained staff with high morale” They hope to achieve this by developing growth and development of staff. With this in mind this assignment discusses how to develop yourself and others when a front line manager.
AC 1.1 Identify your own learning style(s) and the learning style(s) of another member of the team. Understanding our naturally preferred learning style maximises learning potential. In 1986 Honey and Mumford developed a Learning Style Questionnaire building upon Kolb and Fry’s Experiential Learning Cycle (1975) (appendix 1). Bussinessballs.com explains,
“Kolb says that ideally this process represents a learning cycle or spiral where the learner ‘touches all the bases’, ie., a cycle of experiencing, reflecting, thinking, and acting. Immediate or concrete experiences lead to observations and reflections. These reflections are then assimilated (absorbed and translated) into abstract concepts with implications for action, which the person can actively test and experiment with, which in turn enable the creation of new experiences. “ Honey and Mumford identified four styles of learning (‘activist’, ‘reflector’, ‘theorist’, and ‘pragmatist’) which had much in common with Kolb’s work and had strong correlations with the learning cycle. My colleague and I completed the questionnaire and the scoring to identify our learning styles (appendix 2). The implications of the preferred learning styles are outlined in appendix 3. Highest scores as reflectors mean we can make the best use of this style. Reflectors like to view the situation from different perspectives.
They like to collect data, review and think carefully before coming to any conclusions. They enjoy observing others and will listen to their views before offering their own. Observation skills are listed on personnel specification for care assistant (appendix 4). Monitoring and evaluating are specific duties listed on DCW job description (appendix 4). These are duties suited to reflectors. To become more effective learners in other situations my scores reflect the need to develop both the theorist and pragmatist styles of learning. My colleague’s scores reflect that she could benefit from development in all four learning styles (appendix 1 – scoring). AC 1.2 Using a simple technique for identifying own development needs and the development needs of another member of the team. SWOT analysis is a structured planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture. It can be completed for a product, place or person. SWOT analysis came from the research conducted at Stanford Research Institute from 1960-1970 using data from the fortune 500 companies and is credited to Albert Humphrey. The following development needs for my colleague and me were identified using the SWOT (Appendix 5). Care Assistant:
Report writing: All employees of the trust are legally responsible for all records held whether paper or electronic. Progress reports are completed daily in the form of client daily records, behaviour books and reviews. Part of the care assistant role is to contribute to this reporting. Communication Skills: My colleague has difficulty speaking out. She feels that her language skills need developed to be able to communicate effectively with other professionals and parents. Knowledge of clients/behaviour plans: Part of the job specification is knowledge of behaviour management. My colleague is new to the role and is unfamiliar with the behaviour modification plans set out for all clients as yet. Personal:
Level 5 management qualifications: progression to the level 5 qualification on completion of level 3. This qualification is required to progress into management roles and will further develop my sells and confidence. Learning disability developments: With the demands of the day to day running of the centre it is difficult to keep myself up to date on latest legislative and academic developments in learning disability. Academic and peer reviewed journal subscriptions would help. Interview training: Practical interview skills training to enhance confidence at higher level interviews and how to plan and present myself appropriately for interview. AC 1.3 Identify potential barriers to learning
Potential barriers to learning are listed below.
Learning Styles: Both myself and my colleague are Reflectors in the Honey and Mumford LSI. We may have difficulty with activities such as role play or leading discussions. If learning was presented in the activist style which we both scored least in, we would find it challenging. For example, I would find role playing at interview skills training challenging. Financial Constraints: The Trust is cash releasing at present and training is not priority therefore the funding for courses or journal subscriptions may not be available. Time /Excessive workloads: In this period of cash releasing cover is not always available for vacant posts putting extra pressure on the rest of the team. If working in pressured teams with deadlines and little flexibility then it may be impossible to get released for training. Motivation: if individuals lack motivation chances are they will not identify opportunities for growth or push themselves forward. This could be because they lack confidence, fear of failure, personal issues, stagnation in the workplace or the fear of taking on something new. Lack of advancement: Staff can undertake training to enhance their skills and career progression. If there are no opportunities to apply skills learned they may be lost. I have applied for secondment opportunities which have been denied as there was a lack of available staff with relevant qualifications/skills to cover my post.
AC 1.4 Explain how barriers to learning can be overcome
Personal Learning Styles: A reflector needs to develop assertiveness, participate in group situations more fully, take more risks and not be so cautious. Developing the qualities of being open to change, taking a lead role, brainstorming and new experiences may help us to develop. This is an activist preferred style of learning. Financial Constraints: Forward planning, that includes developing in-house training at less cost, for relevant other training. Making use of skilled staff by encouraging a programme of shadowing and mentoring for the less experienced. Access funding training programmes such as essential skills programmes which are free. Time/Excessive Workloads: If possible workload easement would benefit whole team.
Replace absent staff. In our team, my colleagues and I agreed to cover each other for short courses of benefit. Lack of Advancement and motivation: Training of junior staff within in team would mean that if secondment/ promotional opportunities were to arise there is a suitable skill mix to draw from. Job enlargement means that employees could expand their role and perhaps take on extra responsibility, with no extra pay, to gain new skills. This can also enrich the day to day work experience and confidence. A good line manager will value training and developing staff which improves motivation. Supervision: Gaining feedback from line manager and raising concerns can help remove any barriers for learning.
Section 2: Know how to develop self and others to achieve organisational objectives AC 2.1 Briefly analyse learning/development options to meet need(s) of self and another member of the team Learning development options to meet the needs of my colleague: Report Writing: Shadowing senior staff when it comes to writing reports. She will get an idea of the required language, information and style of writing. She could be released to read historic reports. Allow her to begin writing reports with assistance and then oversee all reports until competent. She may wish to employ self-directed learning at home to enhance her skills.
Communication skills: Communication skills are listed in job spec. Essential skills course in communication is available in partnership the Trust or community groups. This course will develop both written and verbal skills. Participants can work towards a level 2 qualification. This course is funded however requires interested staff be released 4hrs for 20wks Behaviour management: Time allocated to read behaviour guidelines for all clients and getting to know individuals. Shadowing the more experienced staff for on the job learning. Direct supervision when working with challenging behaviour until confidence grows. Mentoring and regular supervision to deal with any problems that arise and highlight what is going right. In-depth formal behaviour training when available. Personal
Learning disability developments: Subscribe to relevant journals. Make time weekly/monthly to research developments in private and voluntary sector with the aim of setting up networks. Networking: develop practical supportive networks both within the Trust and externally. Contact relevant people and introduce yourself explaining job role and what you hope to achieve. This would help develop my role in sourcing opportunities for our clients
AC 2.2 Identify support mechanisms for the development of self and another member of the team There are many support mechanisms available to both myself and my colleague through the Trust to meet our learning needs. As a day care worker I am a direct support for the care assistants. I oversee all work and ensure it is to a high standard. I value and encourage learning and development as does my supervisor. I have a supportive and effective supervisor that I can turn to. As we work in a busy centre with many different roles these are rotated so that all staff become familiar and proficient in all roles. Support is offered at our team meetings where we discuss performance and standards. Good communication and good will ensures a positive working environment. Supervision is a mechanism for gaining feedback on performance and support used by the Trust. My colleague and I receive supervision at least 4 times a year or more regularly if required.
The appraisal and development review scheme (appendix 6] is linked to the Trust’s Aim, Core values and corporate objectives. It is a formal yearly meeting with line manager designed to support staff in understanding clearly what is expected of them, the part they play in their team and organisation. It also supports staff development so that they can be effective in their current role and prepare for future roles within the Trust. Personal development plans created at the appraisals for myself and my colleague and are living documents subject to monitoring and review. There is shared responsibility with managers to ensure development objectives are met. AC 2.3 Prepare a development plan to achieve a learning objective for self or another team member Personal development is a structured process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal development according to the Quality Assurance Agency (2000).
By considering my strengths, weaknesses my short, medium and long term objectives as well as potential barriers to learning I completed a personal development plan for myself (appendix 7) and included my last appraisal document (appendix 8). I have been a day care worker for 4 years. Job progression is my aim. My short term objectives: enlarge my current role so I am competent and familiar with the role of a Senior Day care Worker. I need to be familiar with the day care standards to do this. I can action this immediately by downloading a copy of the standards to read and absorb. Learning will be on-going with the help of the Senior DCW and manager at no cost. Increased knowledge will also develop my role. Medium term objectives: Trust Interview skills training. If the course is run and I can get released I hope to complete this within 6 months. It is a one day course initially with a follow up mock interview course if required. Develop networks to have a range of internal and external contacts to liaise with and draw upon to support our clients. Long term objectives: Level 5 Diploma in Health Care management in Sept 13 (from appraisal appendix 7). This course did not run this year and my senior is on the waiting list for the next course. It may not be possible for both of us to get released. Possibly referred until 2014 for this training if funding and backfill cover available. This plan is to be reviewed every 3 months.
AC 2.4 Describe a method that could be used to monitor the development of self and another member of the team Once learning objectives are identified reviewing, monitoring and evaluating progress is important to reach targets. The Trust appraisal and review process (appendix 6) is in place to support, review and monitor progress. My colleague and I are subject to this process. Before the meeting with your manager you consider if you have met your objectives rom the last year, what you enjoyed, what skills do I need, personal goals for next year and educational needs. At the meeting achievements from the previous year are recorded and goals set for the coming year. This is a living document which is subject to review at any time.
Both manager and individual have a responsibility for ensuring the personal development plan is in place. Monitoring ensures that actions are being taken and that learning implemented. Monitoring can be done through observation, meeting standards, evidence based practice, improved competency and learning logs. A learning log or journal, such as the one for this course, is a useful way of recording and reflecting on what has been learned and how that learning can be applied. Learning Log is a journal which evidences your own personal learning and skills development. When you learn something new complete the log. This can then be reflected on periodically to gain insight about how you learn, how you have developed, if the learning been beneficial and do you need to plan further training. Conclusion
Both my colleague and I are naturally drawn to the reflector style of learning. Using this knowledge we have learned a lot about ourselves and how we learn. It has challenged both of us to develop the other learning styles to become more rounded in our learning skills. The SWOT analysis is a useful technique to focus our attention on planning our development needs. It gave a clear picture of weaknesses that need to be developed by more training or experience. We were then able to identify potential barriers to learning and think about how to overcome these in the workplace.
Developing ourselves and others should be a continuing process that involves the first line manager and those they support. Individuals must take responsibility for their own development as they know best what they need and must take control of the direction they want to go. The Trust offers many support mechanisms to facilitate growth and development. A personal development plan is used to achieve a learning outcome. It is a living document that can be monitored and reviewed to ensure learning is achieved. Individuals can complete learning logs to chart their personal development and progress. By completing this unit I have been able to put in place a personal development plan for myself and my colleague back in the workplace. This has gone a long way to renewing enthusiasm and morale. Feeling recognised and valued is a wonderful by-product of developing self and others.
Corporate Information, http://www.westerntrust.hscni.net/about/1564.htm (accessed 06.02.13] Kolb learning Styles www.businessballs.com/kolblearningstyles.htm , (Accessed 06.02.2013). Personal Development Planning: guidance for institutional policy and practice in higher education www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Documents/PDPguide.pdf [accessed 06.02.13] McLeod, S. A. (2010). Kolb | The Learning Style Inventory. http://www.simplypsychology.org/learning-kolb.htm [accessed 01.02.13] Western Trust Management Statement http://www.westerntrust.hscni.net/pdf/Western_HSC_Trust_Management_Statement.pdf [accessed 06.02.13]
Currie,D. ,2006 Introduction to Human Resource Management a guide to personnel in practice. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Martin, M., and Jackson, T., 2002 People and Organisations Personnel Practice. 3rd ed. London: CIPD Torrington, D., and Hall, L., 1987
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