Administrative policies, practices and structures
Policies, practices and procedures may include those relating to:
- equal employment opportunity
- occupational health and safety
- workplace harassment
- grievance resolution
- first aid
- infection control
- workplace behaviour.
Some of these issues, such as infection control, occupational health and safety and workplace behaviour, fall within legislative control and must be dealt with according to law. Other issues, such as concerns regarding job responsibilities, may fall within organisational practices. You can discuss problems and worries with your supervisor. Reports to supervisors may be:
- provided in person or by telephone
- given through discussion
- provided in writing or using workplace forms, e.g. memos and notes
- made via email and electronic transfers.
Staff meetings/work groups
Your workplace will have a number of organisational work groups. These committees will function in two ways:
- To make general decisions on a regular basis (daily, weekly or monthly) that affect the organisation of the workplace. These decisions are usually made during staff or team meetings. In some instances a management committee may have input into these decisions.
They may include subcommittees, working parties or reference groups for project work and for particular aspects of organisational policy and procedures, e.g an occupational health and safety subcommittee or a reference group on training and education.
- To consider special issues. Subcommittees or working parties can also be formed to meet for a specified period until identified issues are settled or a project or a specific piece of work is completed. They will have a membership that varies according to the issue being considered and often include workers external to the organisation who have specialist knowledge. For example they could include a subcommittee to organise a social or fundraising event, a working party to consider an extension to your facility or a new service, or the implementation of a community education project.
If you are asked to participate in an organisational committee, the main things you should consider to ensure you are an effective member of the committee may include the following:
- The purpose of the committee is clear.
- You share an interest in the aims of the group.
- The goals the working group wish to reach are clear.
- Information is freely shared amongst members.
- The times the committee meet are possible for you.
- You can show a commitment to participating in the committee.
- You participate in discussion and decision-making.
Remember you are included in an organisational committee because you have expertise and ideas to offer. Try to prepare yourself for each meeting by reading any documents that might be available and carefully considering the topics to be discussed. Offer your ideas and listen to the ideas of others
Function of the committee
A subcommittee allows for generation of a range of ideas and suggestions by group members, many of which may be new ideas. From these ideas and discussions, new ways and means of undertaking tasks can be found.
A subcommittee with a wide range of membership often finds the decisions made are more easily accepted by workers and provides a means of directing workers that is preferable to receiving orders from management.
Options for providing information, ideas and suggestions to the organisation
There are several options for providing information, ideas and suggestions to the organisation. From time to time, feedback may be requested by management: however, suggestions may be offered with or without a specific request. This information may be provided in a verbal, written or electronic format, either formally or informally. Examples of these options include:
- talking in person or by telephone
- providing written documentation using workplace forms, such as memos, notes or letters
- email and electronic transfers
- contributing to meetings.
Requirements for participating in meetings or working groups
You may be required to participate in staff or team meetings on a regular basis or as requested. These meetings provide an opportunity for sharing information and contributing feedback and suggestions relating to individuals or the organisation as a whole.
Some basic considerations for participating in meetings are as follows:
- Find out the purpose of the meeting and any background information.
- Prepare yourself by reading the agenda and making notes before the meeting.
- Be ready to give your opinion and share your ideas.
- Give accurate information, and state your willingness to follow up on any unanswered questions.
- Ask questions and seek clarification of anything you do not understand.
- Be courteous and positive.
- Be clear about any actions you are required to follow up as a result of the meeting.
- Be clear about when these actions have to be completed.
Activity 4.3: Participating in a meeting