TLIG3002 – Participate in work team/group planning Copy
Element 1 – Participate in work team/group planning
1.1 – Requirements of a team/group task are identified and clarified in conjunction with team/group members to ensure appropriate interpretation of specifications and in accordance with enterprise requirements
By the end of this chapter, the learner will be able to:
- Determine how to clarify task requirements with the team/group
- Recognise how to include team/group members in clarification of the task
- Identify how to confirm that the specifications of the task follow enterprise requirements.
Planning team and group tasks
Planning team and group tasks will involve consideration to a number of different factors; you will need to identify what needs to be done, who will be involved and how activities will be carried out. There may also be external influences that you need to include, for example, working to a particular deadline, the need for resources and ensuring you have all the information that you need to conduct the task with the team or group.
The requirements of a team/group task include:
- Knowing the end goal – what you and the team/group need to achieve
- Clear roles and responsibilities – making sure each person is aware of what they need to do, both as an individual and as part of the group/team
- Individual and team/group duties – the actual steps and actions that must be taken
- Task-management – ensuring that the team/group is performing work correctly and to the required standards of your organisation.
Clarifying tasks will mean that you need to ensure you have obtained and received the relevant information regarding the task, so you have the full details. This may be generated from your work as a manager or from a task originator (e.g., a work manager). This is so you are able to make thorough and complete plans for the task. For example, this may include work schedules and manifests.
Planning will ensure that you can accurately brief the team or group and provide them with clear instructions and guidance.
You should plan the task in conjunction with the team or group; this keeps all team/group members involved and is an opportunity for you to assign clear roles and responsibilities, if this is required. Meeting and discussing work together allows you to check that all persons have correctly understood tasks; it also helps you to encourage role commitment from individuals.
Including team/group members in work planning
To ensure the entire team/group is included, you will need to actively encourage their participation. It is important that meetings and discussions take place when all team/group members are present and that task communications are made known to all relevant persons. Sharing task knowledge will help develop collegiality and encourage better team/group working. Being inclusive means tailoring communications, so they are understood by all team/group members; this includes all forms of communications, for example, emails. You may need to explain some activities in more detail for the benefit of those who are not familiar with this part of the task and speak inclusively. This will involve making eye contact with all of the team/group, making sure you face all persons and speak clearly and concisely. You should speak with all persons and clarify directly with them that they are aware of their role, responsibilities and the task requirements.
The difference between a team and a group
Although a team and group may appear to mean the same thing, there are some differences. In your place of work, team and group may be used to mean the same thing, i.e., employees who work together to fulfil work tasks. However, it is useful to note the differences so you can manage team/group activities more effectively.
The difference between a team and group includes:
working together to achieve the end goal
having a shared purpose and accountability
working together to ensure workflow is seamless between the team
working separately on their own activities to achieve the end goal
having individual work goals and accountabilities
completing their own activities without necessarily communicating this to other group members.
Interpreting task specifications
Specifications relate to the requirements of the task. All persons will need to be told or have read the task requirements in full. They should confirm they have understood what they must do, as individuals and as part of the team/group.
Specifications will be the actions that need to be carried out, for example, if your team need to despatch an order for a customer, this will include, gathering the order items, packing these with the correct paperwork and despatching these within the required deadline.
Organisational protocols and procedures
Your organisation (also known as an enterprise) will require its employees to follow workplace protocols and procedures to conduct work tasks. This ensures that all tasks and task specifications are carried out consistently, and to the required standards of the business.
Protocols are the actions that an employee must follow without deviation, for example, recording deliveries as they arrive for work records. Procedures are the actions that employees follow but can be adapted to suit different situations, for example, packaging an order may be done by using a box or a large envelope, depending on what is being sent. Both methods will still require careful and secure packing to ensure the order is appropriately prepared.
Protocols and procedures for leading work teams
Leading teams and groups will require the use of effective workplace protocols and procedures. It is important that all persons are consistently managed and treated. These provide employees with clear rules and guidance on how to work and interact with others. The steps and actions you take to conduct and manage team and group tasks will be those that are identified as being the most effective, efficient and beneficial to employees and the organisation.
Protocols and procedures protect the organisation and employees; they ensure all persons know and abide by the correct actions to carry out work. Employees have a right to fair processes and must not be discriminated against. For example, you may have a team member who always asks for a holiday at the very last moment, if you allow them to take a holiday at short notice you must apply this rule to all persons under your authority. Your organisation should have clear policies and procedures on how staff can request and take holidays; this must be followed implicitly without making acceptances. Of course, if an employee needs to take leave for an emergency or another problem, this can be granted as governed by your organisation’s policies.
Workplace protocols and procedures for leading work teams may include:
a weekly team meeting which lasts for 30 minutes
signing-off on work tasks
monitoring work tasks
reviewing work progress.
1.2 – Hazards are identified, risks are assessed and control measures are implemented
By the end of this chapter, the learner will be able to:
- Determine how to identify hazards in the workplace
- Identify how to assess the risks that are found
- Recognise suitable control measures that follow work health and safety requirements.
When planning tasks, it is important to assess if there are hazards involved and what these are. Hazards are the dangers that can be found in the workplace and with particular tasks; these are the things that can be a source of harm to others.
You should ensure that tasks are evaluated for their potential hazards; this will include the tasks, the work area, equipment and tools, and timelines for completing activities.
Methods to conduct hazard identification include:
- Hazard and risk checklists – these can be used to focus identification processes and to record details from checks
- Hazard hunts – a specific activity that looks at identifying hazards; this can be achieved through walkabouts, meeting and assessing workplace records
- Job safety analysis – assessing work roles to determine the hazards associated with particular jobs and tasks
- Manifests and registers – including dangerous goods, hazardous chemicals and plant; information is gathered to provide a central point of reference for aspects such as the associated hazards, first aid actions and personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements
- Safe work method statements – documented information for high-risk work roles to inform on the hazards and the measures that are required to control the risks
- Plant inspections – checking that plant is operational and safe to use; this should regularly be performed and recorded to maintain plant records or the plant register
- Workplace inspections and walk-throughs – these can be scheduled and ad hoc, so you visit work areas at different times of the day to see how work is carried out and what safety measures are in place and being used.
Risks are the situations that employees will be faced with when exposed to the source of harm. Following on from identification of hazards, you should assess the risks, i.e., the likelihood that these will happen and the consequences of these happening.
A risk assessment should help you to determine:
How severe a risk is
Whether existing control measures are effective
What action you should take to control the risk
How urgently the action needs to be taken.
Source ‘Model Code of Practice: How to manage work health and safety risks’, page 9, at Safe Work Australia: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/model-code-practice-how-manage-work-health-and-safety-risks.
A risk assessment involves categorising the risks; this must be relevant to the organisation and its business operations. You should also adapt this to suit the particular task or work that is being carried out. You can construct a system of scale to help you determine how likely a threat will be. You could use the categorisation, as below, or choose a numerical system instead, for example, 1-5 (1 being low risk and 5 being high risk). By using a category for the likelihood of the risk against a category of the consequences of the risk, you can build a clearer picture of each one.
Risk categorisation may include:
- Likelihood of risks:
- almost certain
- Consequences of risks:
- current control measures.
To manage hazards in the workplace, you must ensure that processes comply with work health and safety (WHS) legislation. Organisational policies and procedures for all business operations should factor in the requirements of legislation (WHS and any other applicable legislation that may affect your business industry).
Complying with WHS legislation means that your organisation will operate to at least the minimum health and safety requirements. Following codes of practice and other applicable health and safety guidance can help your organisation to employ better practices which further helps your organisation to excel in managing and maintaining work health and safety.
Hierarchy of risk controls
Controlling risks are about eliminating the risks or putting measures in place to contain or control these to safe levels. The model WHS legislation provides a hierarchy of risk controls to provide guidance on how to manage workplace risks. Of course, workplaces must apply these to the hazards and risks they experience and work accordingly to manage these.
The WHS hierarchy of controls:
- Level one – eliminate the hazard
- Level two – substitute the hazard for something safer, isolate the hazard or reduce risks through engineering controls
- Level three – reduce exposure to the hazard using administrative actions, or use personal protective equipment (PPE).
Note: in order, level one is the highest and most effective control, level two is the second most effective control and level three manages the hazard to a less effective position. When considering which control(s) to use, you should choose the control(s) which offer the best protection for workers and those who may be in the vicinity. Cost factors may also influence how controls are used, but this should not prevent an organisation from using what is found to be the most effective method of control. Often, more than one control may be necessary, for example, using PPE to operate cutting machinery may also be teamed with isolating this from other workers.
Source ‘Identify, assess and control hazards’ at Safe Work Australia: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/risk.
Duty of care and the chain of responsibility
Duty of care is the obligation that employers have to make sure that their employees and all other persons are kept safe in the work environment and in relation to their business activities. Employees will also be expected to maintain the safety of others in their work (as assigned to their level of responsibility and work role); this should be clearly defined and communicated to employees when they join.
The chain of responsibility
In the transport industry, a chain of responsibility exists to provide a clear understanding on who is responsible for particular tasks. This ensures controls are put in place and followed and employees are made accountable for safe, compliant working.
Under the Heavy Vehicle National Law, certain work roles are made known within the chain of responsibility. These roles will need to be correctly administered, and policies and procedures involved with these work roles will need to be a clear representation of these requirements (as applicable to your state/territory).
Parties in the chain of responsibility within the HVNL are:
- Consignors and consignees
- Drivers/owner drivers
- Employers, prime contractors and operators
- Loading managers
- Parties in the extended liability provisions of the HVNL and regulations (or applicable state/territory law and regulations)
1.3 – Task is interpreted and relevant steps are identified in conjunction with team/group members to ensure efficient conduct of work to meet specifications and enterprise requirements
1.4 – Steps are planned in conjunction with other personnel to allow achievement of practical outcomes in accordance with enterprise and/or manufacturer procedures
By the end of this chapter, the learner will be able to:
- Identify the task and the relevant steps to ensure efficient conduct of work to meet specifications and enterprise requirements
- Know how to interpret the task and relevant steps with the team/group
- Recognise how to plan the steps with other personnel
- Ensure that steps are planned to enable achievement of the practical outcomes in accordance with the enterprise and/or manufacturer procedures.
Identifying task steps
The steps to carry out and complete the work task should be identified before starting. This is so all persons can be fully informed and prepared to conduct work according to the task specifications and the organisation’s requirements.
You should identify the task steps with input from the team/group; they will be able to highlight any specific task steps that may not be known to you but will need to be done as a requirement of their job role. For example, one worker may need to notify several other persons when a specific step is completed; this may involve telephoning or messaging other persons. This will add additional time and a further process for the worker to complete that particular task.
Identifying the tasks steps together, allows you and the team/group to gain a clear knowledge of what is involved in roles and how time to complete steps should be planned.
Interpreting task steps
Interpreting the steps will require you and the team/group to determine what needs to be done and how best to carry out the task steps. Task steps should be explained so all team/group members are aware of all roles and how the overall team/group task will be completed.
Interpreting task steps include:
Identifying the correct task procedures
Providing an order for the steps to be carried out
Allocating suitable time frames to task steps.
Communicating effectively with teams/groups will require you to have good interpersonal skills. This combines communication skills with emotional intelligence skills, and the ability to interact with others equally and fairly.
Interpersonal skills include:
verbal (or spoken) communications, for example, the words and phrases that you use
non-verbal communications, including appearance, body language and tone of voice
questioning and listening skills to work effectively with others
Emotional intelligence – understanding and managing emotions (yours and others)
Team-working skills – the ability to work positively and productively with others
Negotiation, persuasion and influencing skills – how you work with others to reach outcomes that are mutually agreeable
Conflict resolution and mediation skills – working with people to resolve issues and problems fairly and positively
Problem-solving and decision-making skills – working with others to identify, define and solve problems, and formulating actions that are agreed.
Source ‘Interpersonal Skills’ at Skills You Need: https://www.skillsyouneed.com/interpersonal-skills.html.
Planning to achieve the outcomes
Planning the steps will include prioritising and ordering what needs to be done. Prioritising puts the steps in their order of importance; this means attending to steps that either need to be completed or organised first. For example, you may have an urgent delivery to despatch an order the following day; for this, you may need to prioritise booking a driver above collating and packing the order as the delivery may hinge on driver availability.
Ordering the steps means identifying and following a logical sequence for conducting work. This will ensure that work is carried out seamlessly and effectively. Steps should allow work to progress in one direction towards completion of the task and the practical outcomes.
When planning tasks, you can assess the possible influences that may affect the completion of the task. This will help you to forward-plan to overcome potential difficulties or hold-ups. Working with the team/group to predict the consequences will mean that all aspects of the task can be thought through and addressed.
Predicting the consequences can be difficult and does not necessarily mean that problems or outcomes will occur. This is useful to ensure you and the team/group are aware of outcomes and can be prepared to manage these with additional contingency plans.
Contingency plans provide you with alternative actions that can be taken to continue the task. For example, if your driver is late and unable to deliver the order on time, you may have a contingency plan to arrange for a stand-in driver to take the delivery or to use another local courier/transport service.
Identifying improvements in planning
Improvements can also be identified and discussed in planning activities with the team/group. It may be that one worker can improve their input through working in close contact with a colleague, or that a procedure can be improved to the benefit of the worker, the organisation and overall business productivity. This is especially so if work evolves and changes over time, but procedures are not reviewed accordingly to incorporate the changes.
It may be that no improvements are possible or necessary; however, it is important to bear this in mind and assess this aspect within task planning.
A task schedule
Depending on the complexity of the task, you may need to produce a task schedule to provide the team/group with clear task steps and timelines.
This can be a simple list that clearly states the details and requirements of the task, or you may prefer to create a document with full details and a timetable to document the activities.
A task schedule can include:
Details of task steps
When task steps will take place
Who is responsible for the task steps
What needs to be done in task steps
Check boxes to tick off task steps.
This helps you to monitor and manage progress in conjunction with the team. You may find that using an electronic organiser, which all team/group members can access and use, is beneficial for all team/group members to manage progress in their designated task steps. This will allow team/group members to record their progress and be aware of where responsibilities currently lie within the task.
All workers involved in the task must follow organisational and manufacturer procedures. Manufacturer procedures apply to using equipment and machinery to help them complete the task steps. To ensure the overall task is undertaken safely, equipment, machinery and tools must be used with care and according to the appropriate manufacturer instructions and procedures. This ensures that workers and your organisation comply with health and safety at work.
Manufacturer procedures will include:
How to switch on and operate machinery and equipment correctly
How to maintain machinery and equipment (including cleaning, storage and preparations for use)
The safety precautions and requirements that need to be followed
Attending to machinery and equipment faults and problems.
Your organisation should ensure manufacturer procedures are incorporated or included in organisational work procedures. Manuals and instructions for using equipment, machinery and tools should be accessible and available to those using or operating them.
Protocols for using electronic communications equipment must also be communicated and made known to those using them. These are the actions that must be complied with.
Electronic communications equipment protocols for your organisation may include:
Sending communications and notifications
Who communications are sent to
The wording that is used in communications.