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Support staff workplace responsibilities -Trainer's guide


Scenario 2 – Murray

Scenario outline

Susan works as a trainer at Engage Business Service. Susan has been encouraging Murray, one of the employees, to attend meditation workshops that she runs at the local community college so that he can cope better with stress. She wants to write this into Murray's employment plan.

Key points

This scenario is primarily about:

There may be a range of views and perceptions about what is appropriate behaviour. Learners may want to discuss what is motivating Con and Susan in this scenario. Direct the discussion back to what appropriate workplace behaviour is.

It is vital that all viewpoints are valued and comments are allowed to be made in an open discussion. However, you will need to focus on the importance of supervisors maintaining a professional relationship with supported employees and what that entails.

You might also discuss the responsibilities of supervisors and what can happen when supervisors neglect their responsibilities to a supported employee.

Your preparation should include knowing your organisation's policies and procedures.

Workplace story

Murray - a supported employee at Engage Business Service

Photo of Murray

Susan - a supervisor at Engage Business Service

Photo of Susan

Con - a supervisor at Engage Business Service

Photo of Con

Photo of Con talking to Susan

Con is a supervisor at Engage Business Service. Susan is one of Con's colleagues and does most of the training for Engage. Susan also runs meditation workshops at the local community college. Susan is a dedicated supervisor who is always looking for extra ways to help the employees at Engage.

Susan is a strong believer in the power of meditation to heal. She often encourages her colleagues to join her meditation groups. Lately she has been spending a lot of time supporting Murray, one of the supported employees who has a mild learning disorder. Murray works three days a week at Engage and Susan thought it would be good for him to join her classes.

Con is concerned that Murray might be feeling as if he should go to the classes just to please Susan and he decides to say something to Susan about it.

Photo of Con talking to Susan

[Con]: Susan, have you got a minute?

[Susan]: Sure, what's up?

[Con]: I heard you talking to Murray about your meditation workshops.

[Susan]: Yeah, I think they would be great to help him cope with the stress. You know, you should come too, Con – I'm always telling you how it could help you.

[Con]: I know, but Susan, do you really think you should be trying to force Murray into it?

[Susan]: Hey, wait a minute – I'm not trying to force him. He seems really keen. I tell you what, if it makes you feel any better, let's write it into his employment plan.

Photo of Con talking to Murray

[Con]: G'day, Murray. What are you up to?

[Murray – sounding stressed]: Hi, Con. I'm just trying to finish these orders before the end of the day. I still have 10 to do and I don't know if I'm going to get them all finished.

[Con – trying to sound casual]: Well, I better not keep you. Um – did I hear Susan talking to you about her meditation workshops?

[Murray – sounding a bit sheepish]: Yeah, she wants me to go along with her.

[Con]: So, do you want to go along?

[Murray]: Susan says it'll help me keep my stress under control.

[Con]: What do you want to do, Murray?

[Murray]: Well, I won't know anybody there … but I reckon if Susan thinks it's good for me then it probably is, so maybe I should go.

Photo of Con talking to Susan

Later that day Susan approaches Con.

[Susan]: Con, I was thinking about what you said, and I really think this would be good for Murray, so I did what you said and I wrote it up in his employment plan.

[Con]: I didn't say it should go in his employment plan …

Focus questions

Exploring the issues

Debrief questions

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