Principles of good workload management
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 124 No 8, 8 November 2019, page no. 13 [PDF version}
The only way to truly manage workload is to find ways of reducing it. In the meantime, the need to stop workload creep remains. The new agreement includes a set of principles that should be considered when addressing changes that could impact on your workload.
According to these principles, effective workload management requires:
- understanding that all employees and managers are accountable for effective workload management
- that workload is discussed and reviewed, and allocation of workload takes into account the training, skill, knowledge, career and professional development of individual employees
- recognition that changes occur in workplaces on a daily basis and that managers are responsible for managing workloads
- a strong commitment by both employees and managers to ensure success
- equitable distribution of workloads and open and transparent decision making
- that decisions that take the work-life balance of employees into account are supported
- flexibility and discretion in applying workload management, to ensure delivery, work requirements and the effectiveness and efficiency of the department are met
- maintenance of safe work environments and safe work practices
- allocation of resources to ensure both the maintenance of workloads at a reasonable level and the delivery of a high quality service
- issue escalation processes to be in place – the local consultation committee is a key mechanism for managing workload issues at the workplace level.
The following is a simple checklist. Does the proposal:
- exceed the face-to-face teaching time of teachers
- negatively impact on the workload associated with the teaching and learning program of teachers’ class(es)
- add to workload by increasing other duties related to the operation and organisation of the school
- take into account the potential impact on class size, curriculum mix, range of ability and age of students, demands and behaviours of those students, resources available and facilities?
Other considerations include:
- how much time will this take?
- is there capacity in the school to allocate the duties so that the time that it takes is evenly shared?
- if this is a priority, what other things will be removed or not be prioritised in order for the initiative to be implemented?
- do we have the capabilities/skills/resources within the school to implement the initiative?
- who will implement the initiatives and is it part of their role and responsibilities?