ILM Assignment - October 2005.
I am employed as a Support Services Co-ordinator at Young Person’s Direct Access (YPDA) a 14-bed hostel run by Coventry Cyrenians, a charitable organisation committed to end homelessness. The project opened in April 2005 and I started work at the end of June 2005. YPDA is a direct access hostel and as such is open 24 hours per day, operating on a minimum of two staff. The workforce comprises of six project workers, a project co-ordinator and team manager. When I joined the team there was a project worker vacancy, relief (agency) staff were being employed to fill this vacancy and also to cover annual and sick leave.
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This system also gave cause for relief staff to complain as they would nominate themselves for a shift, and as such would not contact their agency looking for alternative work that week. Permanent workers would then come in and ‘tip-ex’ out the relief staff name and replace it with their own.
Permanent staff also complained that other project workers were altering shift patterns without their permission, so as to facilitate a worker completing a double shift for extra pay. Thus leading to conflict in the workplace.
I believed that the solution was to use the appointments diary only for that said purpose and to imput the rota on the computer, allowing only myself and the manager to alter shifts, book relief staff and give greater control of the shift and annual leave management.
To imput the following months rota on a spreadsheet using an ‘Excel’ package. Thus allowing me to identify shifts that needed to be covered either due to the staff vacancy or planned annual leave. I would then present the staff with copies of the new rota two weeks in advance, giving them priority when nominating themselves for overtime, also allowing management greater control to ensure that that staff were not working excessive hours.
When permanent staff had chosen the overtime that they wanted, with management approval, additional shifts would be offered to relief staff. When complete each worker would receive a copy of the rota. Additional changes would need to be approved by the manager or myself.
Regular staff meetings are held at YPDA, where issues effecting the project and its workers are discussed. Whilst the staff had been verbally informed that there were to be changes, the staff meeting was the first opportunity to formally inform, and gauge the response of the workers to the new procedure.
I prepared for the meeting by listing the key facts that indicated the listing the problems (given above) with the diary system and the benefits the proposed system would provide:
• Ensure that overtime allocation is equitable.
• Monitor the amounts of agency staff required helping to identify if there is a need to recruit additional staff; if doing so would be cost effective and feasible.
• Provide an electronic copy of the rota enabling easier monitoring of changes made.
• Provide a more efficient system controlling the booking of annual leave and monitoring sickness.