We hope you’re well and safe. In times like these, it’s important for to stay connected and continue learning from and supporting each other.
Here is a link to some good ‘talking point’ information to assist with that support:
And we’re always here if you want further support:
As the new year starts and we put energy into achieving our goals, we need to quarantine some energy for integrity checks. In the rush and enthusiasm to move forward, sometimes we forget all the aspects of our behaviour for which we can be held to account.
We often feel that if our work has progressed, it is all OK. All OK at the moment. But what if we were held to account for the ‘bright and shiny’ new work 5 or even 10 or 15 years later? What would the moral compass of that time find fault with? And would we have to explain ourselves in retrospect, with a whole new moral compass. Being a public officer has this potential.
The Western Australian State Government has been hit with a wave of accountability issues. The latest from the social housing portfolio involves the loss of an estimated $2.5 million of state funds. At the same time the state government is battling the fallout of $500,000 issue with a WA Trade Commissioner to Japan, and the ongoing issues with and investigations into the City of Perth. Now there is the release of a report by the Local Government Professionals Australian WA and the University of WA recommending mandatory training in leadership, ethics and financial management: https://www.lgprofessionalswa.org.au/Lgmawa/News/Report_reveals_WA_Local_Government_CEOs_at_breaking_point.aspx
The WA Public Sector Commissioner’s Instruction No 8 of 2012 establishes the ‘requirement for public sector bodies to develop their own code of conduct and to provide training to their employees and board members on accountable and ethical decision-making (AEDM). This mandatory training has been in place since 2008. That is, since 2008 all heads of state government public sector bodies have been required to ensure all staff and board members are trained.
The training though, can involve considerable expenditure if provided as face to face training. Sadly many agencies have opted for online training requiring participants to make ‘multiple choice’ responses. We at Oars Across the Waters believe this ‘black and white’ method cannot be effective in ‘grey area’ decision making; that is the decision making involved when reporting suspected misconduct.
Since 2008 Oars Across the Waters has provided highly effective face to face, conversational AEDM training, which precisely follows the Public Sector Commissioner’s requirements. Integrity risks are identified on a training day and later support addresses them. The training provides an ‘inoculation’ approach to integrity risks.
If you need help in setting up more effective AEDM please contact us http://managersassistance.com.au/contact-form-7-id53-titlecontact-form-1contact/
This week is both Heart Week and the week Oars Across the Waters celebrates 14 years of providing mental health and management support; 14 years supporting our clients with their choices for psychological and physical health.
Heart week is wonderful prompt to us all to make healthy life choices, to not only extend our life but extend the quality of the ‘end of life’ years. The Heart Foundation released disturbing news this week ‘that more than two thirds of Australian adults – almost 13 million people, or 69.1 per cent – have at least three risk factors for the nation’s biggest killer, heart disease’: https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/news/almost-13-million-aussies-risk-heart-disease-new-data. The World Health Organisation’s research indicates that although we’ve increased our longevity, many of the last years of our life are lived in poor health.
For us as counsellors, heart health and brain health are closely linked. Alzheimers Associations globally are reporting that the chance of developing Alzheimers, is reduced for many of us, by a lifestyle that’s good for our heart.
This is good news for all of us who want to live and work long productive lives, and for employers who want a reliable healthy workforce.
Lifestyle choices, and the thinking and beliefs associated with them are open to change; the sort of change that comes about in high quality counselling and education sessions. Employee Assistance Providers are skilled at delivering these sessions. Like us, most EAP providers can provide both development sessions on lifestyle choices and cognitive behavioural therapy for better lifestyle choices.
EAPs can help employees through both current and future troubled waters. Their proactive services have a huge role to play in supporting the health of the nation. EAPAA lists the member providers in your state: http://www.eapaa.org.au/site/providers/
Or simply contact us for managers’ and staff support and development: http://managersassistance.com.au/contact-form-7-id53-titlecontact-form-1contact/
We all usually think that bringing the best of ourselves to our work, organisation, community and family, is the way to achieve our goals. We may not pay much attention to it, but the best of ourselves and our achievements also bring about an essential human emotion; that of hope. This is the emotion on which energy and ongoing achievement can be built. It galvanises our goal seeking behaviour.
Hope gives us energy to achieve in ‘calm waters’ and resilience when we’re in the ‘rough seas’ of political change. Sometimes our hope takes a severe dent. This is especially true in business and public administration when we’re called to account for past decisions.
There is a way to prepare ourselves for this and minimise its impact on your work, organisation, community and family.
As we head to Christmas many managers confide in us that they are feeling tired by their attempts to address long term issues with or between staff. They say they hope that staff will return in the new year refreshed;putting previous issues with other staff behind them. But some go on to say this has not happened in the past and there needs to be a new approach.
Christmas and the New Year does give opportunity to raise issues. However the conversation to bring these to the surface needs some planning.
We need to be aware that the festive season often involves staff in more competing priorities than they normally experience. The conversation you are contemplating having, needs to not trigger these existing tensions, but rather give hope that overrides tensions; overrides the tensions that would otherwise prevent your staff member in working through alternatives to what they are currently doing or how they are behaving.
To have this conversation you may want to take some time to rehearse it with one of our expert guides.
In our quiet, comfortable consulting rooms, many managers are able to download, problem solve and refocus. All you need to do to access this service is to contact us. We’re here to assist: http://managersassistance.com.au/contact-form-7-id53-titlecontact-form-1contact/
Early Alzheimers may just look like fragmented performance.
It’s Alzheimers Awareness month. Early onset Alzheimers in workplaces is a considerable challenge for managers to ethically manage.
We’ve all heard about Alzheimers. But it seems so far away from us; from our work and performance. Sadly, recent research is showing that most people present for testing so late in the progression of the disease that they really reduce the chance of slowing it. The ray of hope though, is that research is currently indicating quite clearly what the risk factors are. Most are risks we can manage, hence delaying the onset of the effect on our performance.
When does confidence become overconfidence? Overconfident people rarely check if others agree with them. They assume they’re right and often give advice a little too freely; putting themselves at risk of treading on others’ toes, possibly even being accused of bullying.
So when does just having confidence change to being overconfident? Sadly it can happen so incrementally that it insidiously creeps up on us. Continue reading
In changing times all of us are likely to think of how we are going to secure our career and financial security. We may even be quite concerned about changing state, federal and global economic forecasts and whether we’ll keep our current job, or frighteningly be cast upon ‘the seas of uncertainty’.
If you are concerned, here are three strategies that you can do now. These strategies have provided many of our clients with a ‘lifeboat’, and some ‘oars’ to row you to safer waters.
As the pace and frequency of change accelerates, doing what’s important in our role becomes increasingly challenging. Yet, it’s still likely we will be held to account.
And if we are found wanting, we are likely to face the spectre of ‘being set adrift’ in very uncertain times.
In the Western Australian State Government at the moment most people have been, or are being impacted, by offers of the VTSS (Voluntary targeted separation scheme initiative).
Anticipating and enacting such a change typically brings increased workload, on top of existing priorities. If your personal life had been taking a backseat before the work of the change started, the run towards the end of the financial year may be weighing pretty heavily on you now. At times of peak work demands there are a few tips we can offer to keep yourself as well and functional as possible. Continue reading