Home' HR Monthly : May 2015 Contents 50
THINGS THAT I
DO EVERY DAY
JULIE HALL FAHRI
More inter views with
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profession can be found at
WATER AND COFFEE
I drink at least 2-3 litres of
water a day and only one
strong cof fee. It helps to
keep the concentration
levels up high.
I eat at least two pieces of
fruit – trying every day not
to dip them in chocolate.
I’ve been running regularly
for about four years. Some
weeks it’s near impossible,
but I never give up.
Learn f rom others by
star ting conversations and
letting people know what
LISTEN TO RADIO
I always listen to news
breakfast radio on my
drive into work. It’s often
Q CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE PROCESS FOR DEALING
WITH MISCONDUCT AT WORK?
Reports of suspected or alleged misconduct come via
a variety of mechanisms including police, child abuse
notifications, incident response management systems,
external agencies etc. One of the first things to be
determined is: are the allegations so serious that the
employee needs to be directed away from their duties
immediately? This would generally revolve around
serious allegations relating to child protection concerns.
The Misconduct, Discipline and Advice Unit
(MDAU) works alongside the Investigation Unit (IU)
and manages the legislative employment requirements
and processes while the investigation is underway.
Once the IU reports, the MDAU assesses and advises
the relevant decision-maker. If there is insufficient
evidence to proceed under the legislative framework,
options may include reminders about boundaries,
refresher training, etc. Or conversely, on reasonable
grounds, the delegate may determine that the employee
is in fact liable for disciplinary action.
Q HOW DO YOU MANAGE WORKPLACE CONFLICT?
Ascertain and focus on the facts, understand
individual styles and have an internal acceptance that
dealing with con flict is awkward. Help parties identify
the issues and don’t get distracted or take sides. Be
aware that initial information might not always be
accurate. Con flicts can arise from miscommunication
or misunderstood perceptions; if you give people an
opportunity to express their views, it can often help
parties to identify reasonable resolutions.
Above all, don’t ignore con flict otherwise it will
fester and reach a stage that is inherently unproductive.
Q WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR MANAGERS IN THEIR
APPROACH TO DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS?
Ideally, don’t enter into a difficult conversation without
having an understanding of the matter at hand. Do
understand that everyone needs the opportunity to be
heard and taken seriously. You don’t have to agree, but
you should listen. Prepare yourself beforehand. Write
down your actions clearly and logically in dot points to
help guide the conversation.
Q WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST
My current role is the most challenging. It has taken
enormous effort and commitment to redesign the unit’s
structu re, alongside reviewing and implementing new
processes and working standards. It is an honour to
work in such a specialised and important environment
that assists with improving the safety and wellbeing of
South Australia’s children and young people.
Julie Hall is a manager in the Misconduct, Discipline and
Advice unit of the Department for Education and Child
Development in South Australia.
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