Support staff workplace responsibilities -Trainer's guide
Scenario 2 – Murray
- ethical conduct
- misuse of position
- supervisory responsibilities
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.
This scenario is primarily about:
- ethical conduct
- misuse of position
- supervisory responsibilities.
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.
Murray - a supported employee at Engage Business Service
Susan - a supervisor at Engage Business Service
Con - a supervisor at Engage Business Service
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.
[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.
[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.
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 …
- What do you think will happen next?
- What are your reactions to the scenario?
- What are the issues raised?
- What do you think motivated Susan?
- What was concerning Con?
- Which Disability Services Standards does this scenario relate to?
- What are your organisation's policies and procedures in relation to this kind of scenario?
- Are there policies and procedures in your organisation that you need to revise or update as a result of examining this scenario?
- Are there legal or other issues that relate to this scenario? What are they? Is there any legislation you should be aware of that relates to this scenario?
- Is Susan behaving ethically as a supervisor?
- Would the ethics of the situation change if Murray had asked to join the meditation class?
- What should Con do? Let the matter drop, or report it to management?
- How did you feel about us discussing this topic?
- What did you learn?
- How will you apply what you have learned?