Unit 23 Employability Skills

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This unit provides learners with the opportunity to acquire honed employability skills required for effective employment.

Unit abstract

All learners, regardless of their level of education or experience, require honed employability skills in order to successfully enter the health and social care sector. This unit gives learners an opportunity to assess and develop an understanding of their own responsibilities and performance in or when entering the workplace. It covers the skills required for general employment such as interpersonal and transferable skills, and the dynamics of working with others in teams or groups including leadership and communication skills. It also deals with the everyday working requirement of problem solving which includes the identification or specification of the ‘problem’, strategies for its solution and then evaluation of the results of the solution through reflective practices.

Learning outcomes

1 Be able to determine own responsibilities and performance

  • Own responsibilities: personal responsibility; direct and indirect relationships and adaptability, decision-making processes and skills; ability to learn and develop within the work role; employment legislation, ethics, employment rights and responsibilities
  • Performance objectives: reviewing current capabilities, setting, monitoring and evaluating performance objectives
  • Individual appraisal systems: uses of performance appraisals eg 360 degree evaluation, salary levels and bonus payments, promotion strengths and weaknesses, training needs; communication; appraisal criteria eg production data, personnel data, judgemental data; rating methods eg ranking, paired comparison, checklist, management by objectives
  • Motivation and performance: application and appraisal of motivational theories and techniques, rewards and incentives, manager’s role, self-motivational factors.

2 Be able to develop interpersonal and transferable skills

  • Effective communication: verbal and non-verbal; awareness and use of body language, openness and responsiveness; formal and informal feedback to and from colleagues; ICT as an effective communication medium; team meetings
  • Interpersonal skills: personal effectiveness; working with others; use of initiative; negotiating skills; assertiveness skills; social skills
  • Time management: prioritising workload; setting work objectives; making and keeping appointments; working steadily rather than erratically; time for learning; reliable estimate of task time
  • Problem solving: problem analysis; researching changes in the workplace; generating solutions; choosing a solution.

3 Understand the dynamics of working with others

  • Working with others: nature and dynamics of team and group work; informal and formal settings; purpose of teams and groups eg long-term corporate objectives/strategy; problem solving and short-term development projects; flexibility/adaptability; team player; negotiating responsibilities and work arrangements; conflict resolution
  • Teams and team building: selecting team members eg specialist roles, skill and style/approach mixes; identification of team/work group roles; stages in team development eg team building, identity, loyalty, commitment to shared beliefs, team health evaluation;action planning; monitoring and feedback; exchanging constructive feedback; coaching skills;ethics; effective leadership skills eg setting direction, setting standards, motivating, innovative, responsive, effective communicator, reliable, consistent.

4 Be able to develop strategies for problem solving

  • Specification of the problem: definition of the problem; analysis and clarification
  • Identification of possible outcomes: identification and assessment of various alternative outcomes
  • Tools and methods: problem-solving methods and tools; tracking progress and results
  • Plan and implement: sources of information; solution methodologies; selection and implementation of the best corrective action eg timescale, stages, resources, critical path analysis
  • Evaluation: evaluation of whether the problem was solved or not; measurement of solution against specification and desired outcomes; sustainability.


  • O’Reilly, M., & Brennan, E. (2010). Leadership styles & Team roles. Retrieved 07 04, 2016, from http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/cdc%20-%20cms%20-%20teamwork%20and%20leadership.pdf
  • Power, A. (2010). Changing the culture of care. Dementia beyond drugs .

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