Learning Contract Essay

Section 1: Possible Learning Topics
For my learning topics I have decided to learn about Time Management and Working Relations and Communication.

I have identified Time Management because in my role as an Employment Advisor I have targets of helping clients in to sustainable employment and in order to achieve these targets time management is essential. If I were to improve this area it would enable me to help more clients successfully into work, lessen my caseload, and increase my performance. Therefore, allowing me more time to spend developing my clients who maybe further away from work and needing more support.

I have indentified Working Relations and Communications, because I am currently work group lead from my work group, this individual attends our management meetings with the minutes from the workgroup meetings and proposals for change in the office. These workgroup meetings sometimes lack structure and can sometimes end up being an hour of moaning between team members about things beyond our control as advisors with no solutions being raised just the problems.

My reserve topic is Self and Career Development I have been an Employment Advisor for two years and feel ready to undertake more activities at work for when promotional opportunities arise.

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Section 2: You and Your Learning Context:
I have undertaken various courses at work to help me within my role such as Caseload Management, Conflict Management and Leadership training; although this training has been useful it has never given any practical help with either of the learning topics I have chosen to learn more about.

My monthly targets at work have also increased within the last month this is why it is even more important for me to work on my time management and to put together a system which is effective and useful to me in my daily work
In regards to time management in other areas of my life I have found I am generally good and practical with managing my time for example study with the OU part time as well as juggling a full time job.

In regards to Working Relations and Communications I have worked for previous organisations where agenda have been drafted by management for teams to discuss various issues, or where we have been required to draft an agenda prior to the meeting to keep structure. I think that by improving workgroup meeting morale will rise and more issues in the office will be dealt with by management.

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Section 3: Learning Objectives:
I intend to create a caseload management spreadsheet which will allow me to see my clients with their chosen job goals and a traffic light system for job readiness; Green = job ready, Amber = nearly job ready and Red = Not job ready. To record how many interviews my clients have from jobs I have sourced for them or jobs from the Employer Services Team. I plan to schedule in administration time at the end of each day, 30 minutes to record the interviews on the caseload management tool, I also plan to use my diary to record my interviews as the day can get so busy and I can forget things, if it’s in my diary I can refer to at the end of the day. This is a realistic goal as an Advisor because I manage how I manage my caseload myself without management input. I will schedule my day so that I am spending 10% of my time with “Red” clients, 30% of my time with “Amber” clients and 60% of my time with “Green” clients.

I intend to increase the number of solution focused ideas from the workgroup during the weekly meetings. I plan to increase ideas produced from the weekly team meeting by 80% currently because it is usually turned into a negative meeting we only come up with about one or two ideas to pass on to the management team, which is currently being used to moan and not come up with any constructive ideas. I plan to achieve this by being positive myself, smiling in meetings and offering ideas to get the conversation
flowing and steering the conversation when it becomes negative. I also want to introduce the use of a meeting agenda produced to members of the workgroup before the meeting. This is an achievable objective as I am workgroup leader for the next three months; I plan to start implementing this idea within the next two weeks and finished by 28th September as this is when I roll out of the position of Workgroup Lead. I plan to think of some interventions to generate ideas by looking into some creative thinking tools I have seen on the company intranet.

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Section 4: Learning Strategy and Resources:
For my learning objective for Time Management, I plan to use the next two weeks to start designing and planning the caseload management tool. In putting the tool together I plan to use some resources on the staff intranet which has been placed on by the Learning and Development team about “Being an effective advisor” and ”Effective Caseload Management” this will hopefully give me some scope on how the caseload tool will look and the information to include. I plan on using my mentor to assist me with my caseload tool as he has been a performing advisor and has worked for the company for eight years so it will be useful to gain his perspective on my progress and help me to keep on track over the next few weeks with both learning objectives. I also plan from over the next few weeks to go over my previous month’s data on interview numbers so that when the new tool is in place I can compare the results. As work is receiving a high number of referrals at the moment I plan on scheduling an hour every day to work on the tool over the next two weeks so that I can start using the tool in week three.

For my learning objective for Working Relations and Communications I plan to use some of the ideas of Employability Skills by David Hind and Stuart Moss in topic guides looking at my speech, the language I use, the tone of my voice and body language I do believe that as workgroup lead previously I may not have always helped the meetings by being unenthusiastic and monotone when meetings have soured. During the next few weeks for the duration of the course I plan to monitor myself and see what effect this has on the team giving solution focused ideas. Over the next two weeks I plan to use various elements of “Employability Skills” I plan to again talk this over with my mentor and gain his opinions and perspective. I plan to introduce the meeting agenda within the next week attempting to keep the meeting on track and focused on coming up with ideas and having a clear structure in place.

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Section 5: Demonstrating Your Learning:

To be able to demonstrate my learning in both of my work based learning inquiries I need to ensure that I am using my learning journal and reflecting on my experiences and learning. I am the type of person who will not realise I am learning something until I go over my notes so this is essential to demonstrate my learning. For my time management the learning will be reflected in my ability to manage time at work as effectively as possible, I currently find that a large part of time is spent dealing with “red” clients I’d like to spend majority of time working with clients who are ready for work “Green” clients. My journal will play a large part in my learning for both topics, this is a new concept for me and I have so far found that by reflecting and putting my thoughts on paper I am better able to assess, deal with or come back to a situation. For my Working Relations and Communications the learning will be reflected in ability to get solution focused ideas to rise by 50% as mentioned staff morale is low and I feel that with more ideas being passed to the management team the more they will be implemented and create the type of environment that staff want to work in.

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