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Improve own performance in a business environment Essay

1.1 Explain the purpose and benefits of continuously improving performance at work Everyone should strive to improve their performance. Organisations also strive to improve the performance of the whole of their workforce. As an individual, the purpose of continuously improving our performance at work is to make ourselves a more valuable employee who is more efficient and reliable. As a consequence of our improved performance, the organisation will also be more efficient and effective.

We can achieve improvements in our performance by considering everything which we do to be a process of continuous development. Every time we carry out a new task we will be learning new skills and developing our flexible approach to work. As we work we will also be updating our existing skills, allowing us to progress and become more confident.

Having and experienced member of staff review our work can be very useful as they will be able to tell us about any mistakes we are making and point us in the right direction in terms of making our job easier and more efficient. These reviews can look at our general work during an appraisal or ongoing work as and when the opportunity arises.

Self-assessment does not mean that we have to be critical of ourselves. Neither does it mean that we should praise ourselves as to the efficiency or quality of our work. It means trying to step away from ourselves and look at what we are doing.

Even if we only take time at the end of the working week to reflect on how our week has gone, this is a step in the right direction to making a self-assessment of how we have worked.

1.2 Explain the purpose and benefits of encouraging and accepting feedback from others Feedback is responses which we receive from other people in reaction to our work or our performance. Much feedback is informal. – It may simply be a thank you for the work which we have done. We should be prepared, however, to receive both positive and negative feedback, as sometimes the work which we have done will not be of sufficient quality, or the person will not think that we can be relied on in the future.

The key purpose of encouraging and accepting feedback from others is to provide us with opportunities to improve areas of our work. By encouraging feedback, more experienced employees can help us come up with solutions to many of the common supported by suggestions on how to improve.

Many businesses have formal feedback, usually in the form of an appraisal system. Appraisals are reviews of progress and look at our abilities. Appraisals are opportunities for us and our supervisors to set targets and plans to improve our performance. These appraisals will allow us to talk about our job, what we plan to do in the future and whether we would benefit from additional training. Appraisals are confidential and aim to be positive. We should use these formal feedback sessions as they may be one of the few chances we have to talk about our work, uninterrupted, with our immediate superior.

1.3 Explain how learning and development can improve own work, benefit organisations, and identify career options

Training is normally a part of the appraisal system, but there may be regular training opportunities which are advertised within the business. If we feel that these training programmes would be of value to us, our team and the business, there is no reason why we should not enquire as to whether we could get involved.

The benefits of learning and development are not only for the individual but also for the organisation itself. One good example is that training and development, whether it is formal education or learning on the job, means individuals are ready to take over key job roles.

Many businesses and organisation lose staff on a regular basis; they either move on to another business or organisation or they may retire. Each time a member of staff who has worked for the organisation for some time leaves, key expertise is also lost. Encouraging learning and development for all staff enables a business to identify successors for key posts. It helps them to plan their career paths and make sure that the business continues to run in an efficient way, even if an expert member of staff has left.

There are plenty of ways in which learning and development can go on as a regular part of the working week. In some cases businesses or organisation will encourage staff to attend external training courses, giving us time off in order to do this. They will also encourage staff to continue the education, perhaps in the evening. However, many businesses and organisations have developed comprehensive training programmes that are carried out in-house.

It is not always possible to identify a clear set of career options when we first join a new business or organisation. Career options will depend on not only our abilities and willingness to learn and develop but also the way in which the organisation works. Some organisations retain their staff for a very long period of time, which restricts career options for those who have not been there as long. Other businesses and organisations are not growing fast enough, so opportunities are limited. This may mean that some employees will have to look for career options elsewhere, or perhaps switch the type of work that type are doing for something that offers a better opportunity.

The main point of learning and developing is not only that the individual can improve their standards of work but also that the organisation benefits because it becomes more efficient and effective.

1.4 Describe possible career progression routes &
1.5 Describe possible development opportunities

Administration itself has a clear career path, even though this may mean having to change employers in order to reach the next stage. The broad career progression is: -trainee administrative assistant or administrative assistant- providing basic administrative support, working under supervision and probably as a member of a team -trainee administrative officer or administrative officer- someone who provides administrative support and generates and implements procedures -administrative team supervisor or office supervisor- someone who allocates tasks to team members and generally organises and monitors day-to-day administrative support -personal assistant- an individual who provides day-to-day administrative support for senior individuals in the business or organisation -administrative section manager- someone who develops and implements procedures to meet the business’s or organisation’s needs. They plan, control and evaluate day-to-day administrative support Company secretary or senior administrative manager- someone who ensure that the organisation or business complies with legal requirements.

We can review our own performance or ask others to review our performance and appraise the way in which we can currently carry out work. We can also set ourselves targets so that we can gradually improve our overall skills:

-professional
-information handling
-interpersonal
-self-application

Career development is all about recognising and seizing on opportunities that could increase our employability, general level of education, experience and skills. Opportunities arise at different times, both before we enter work and while we are in work. We should be looking for opportunities that will give us a chance to gain training, experience or qualifications whenever we can.

Typical types of career development include:
-induction-this is the initial period, just after we have started working for a business. The induction programme will tell us about the business, its procedures, policies and rules. It will explain to us how we are suppose to work and what the business expects of us. -training needs-a good employer will carry out what is known as training needs analysis, both on its new employees and on a yearly basis with its existing employees. The business will use our job specification, person specification and current abilities to help identify gaps between what we can do and what we are expected to do. The process should reveal any training that we require in order to get us up to scratch or to improve the way in which we carry out our job. -development plans-in many ways these are similar to training needs analysis, but they usually take a slightly less formal approach. The idea is to identify our longer-term career plans and to match any training or qualifications that may be of assistance to us.

These are normally carried out on an annual basis and have agreed targets. -performance targets- these are minimum levels of work or output that we will be required to complete by our employer. Performance targets are difficult to set for some individual workers, so a departmental or section target may be set. These will require us to complete work by specified deadlines and very much depend on the type of work involved. -certificated training- this is training that we may be offered, which leads to recognised qualifications, such as an NVQ. These types of training are extremely useful for personal development as they allow us to demonstrate our ability to work at a particular level -uncertified training-these are normally in-house training programmes, designs specifically for the business, perhaps to update on policies and procedures. They are usually relevant only to the business in which we are working and may have no practical value if we switch jobs and move to another organisation. -personal development-there are a number of ways in which we can proceed with our personal development. Some may be formal and include, as we have seen, training need analysis, various types of training and development plans.

Personal development is our own ideal improvement plan, which would have to be agreed with our employer -flexible working-this can simply be working add hours, but more specifically it is our willingness to work in different areas of the business. This leads to what is known as multi-skilling, which is a measure of our ability to adapt to different types of work and our willingness to learn new skills so that we be of greater use and value to our employer. We should seize chances to work in different areas of the business so we can get a better picture of what the business is all about and how particular tasks, carried out by different parts of the business, fit together -progression opportunities-these are the opportunities that will present themselves for us to be promoted and to gain a higher paid and more valued post at work.

By gradually taking on training and opportunities to work in different areas of the business we will have developed ourselves to such an extent that our employer recognises we should be rewarded for our efforts. As our skills and experience improve, progression opportunities will present themselves. With each step we will gain access to higher-level work and begin the process of improvement once again so that we can seize the next opportunity for progression.

[681.2] Be able to improve own work performance using feedback 2.1 Encourage and accept feedback from other people Feedback is responses which we receive from other people in reaction to our work or our performance. Much feedback is informal. – It may simply be a thank you for the work which we have done. We should be prepared, however, to receive both positive and negative feedback, as sometimes the work which we have done will not be of sufficient quality, or the person will not think that we can be relied on in the future.

The key purpose of encouraging and accepting feedback from others is to provide us with opportunities to improve areas of our work. By encouraging feedback, more experienced employees can help us come up with solutions to many of the common supported by suggestions on how to improve.

2.2 Use feedback to agree way ti improve own performance in the workplace Many businesses have formal feedback, usually in the form of an appraisal system. Appraisals are reviews of progress and look at our abilities. Appraisals are opportunities for us and our supervisors to set targets and plans to improve our performance. These appraisals will allow us to talk about our job, what we plan to do in the future and whether we would benefit from additional training. Appraisals are confidential and aim to be positive. We should use these formal feedback sessions as they may be one of the few chances we have to talk about our work, uninterrupted, with our immediate superior.

2.3 Complete work tasks, using feedback give, to improve performance One of the difficulties in receiving feedback is ensuring that a suitable individual witnesses us carrying out the work. One of the ways of getting around this problem is to identify opportunities in the near future when we will be undertaking different work tasks and it is convenient for our selected individuals to observe us doing this. We should try to organise this before we carry out the first two parts of the learning outcome.

[681.3]Be able to agree own development needs using a learning plan 3.1 Investigate and agree where a further learning and development may improve own work performance Most businesses and organisations have a human resources department. Within there will be individuals who are aware of formal and informal learning and development opportunities. There is a wide range of ways in which we could make use of their expertise and take their advice.

We need to remember that not all learning and development needs to lead to a certificate. In fact, some of the best learning and development goes on in a very informal way within the workplace environment. We can easily learn and develop by simply watching or shadowing an experienced member of staff. We can use learn their techniques and their ways of dealing with situations. We can use their years of experience in having carried out a similar role to our own- they will know all the best ways to make sure that the task is carried out to a high standard and within deadlines.

Many businesses and organisations will also use their human resources department to design specific training programmes. A key part of the human resources department’s job is to look at training needs. They will examine appraisals or performance reviews in order to identify areas where additional training is needed. They can then organise specific training to cover those areas or gaps in what we are expected to do compared with what we can do at present.

3.2 Confirm learning plan changes

A learning plan is a simple document where we can set personal targets and record our achievements. Our plan needs to: -cover what we have already done or achieved-this records all important learning that we have already carried out -identify what we would like to learn, or achieve, in the future-this means identifying our goals -identify our targets-what we will have to do on the way to getting where we want to be -identify who can help-what support and guidance do we need? -have a clear action plan-what do we need to learn? What is the purpose of learning it? How will we know when we have done it?

The key part is also to keep our plan updated. We need to go through our plan on a regular basis and see whether we can add anything.

3.3 Follow a learning plan

The first stages of following a learning plan should be relatively straightforward. However, we can use our learning plan in a number of ways from the outset: -we can use it to identify work that we can carry out which can then be observed to provide evidence -we can identify areas that we are going to struggle to find evidence for and work towards creating that evidence or the opportunity to produce that evidence -we should also use the learning plan as our next logical step -we need to make sure that as we complete each learning outcome, assessment criterion, unit, we update our learning plan and check it to see whether there is evidence already generated that can be used elsewhere.

3.4 Review progress against learning plan and agree further learning updates, if required. A learning plan is a live document. It is specific to us and it should incorporate our long-term goals. The learning plan is a written version of our career aspirations. It shows where we want to be in the future, where we are now and the steps that we have to take in order to get to our destination. We should review our progress on a regular basis.

Some people in full- or part-time employment will discover that a learning plan is in fact part of a learning agreement with their employer because it: -identifies the learning outcomes or objectives that we wish to achieve -identifies the strategies to meet the objectives or outcomes -identifies the evidence we will need to produce to show that we have achieved.

By reviewing our learning plan we will be able to make the best use of the learning we of. It will focus our learning where it is most needed. It will help us identify the opportunities for learning and it will also prepare us for appraisals and performance reviews.


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