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Principles of Personal Responsibilities and Working Essay

In a contract for the job of Credit Controller the main points that would be included are:

1. Job title, job role and responsibilities.
2. Date of when contract/ job commences.
3. Hours of work.
4. Salary

2a) List three key points of legislation that affect employers in a business environment.

The Data Protection Act 1998 affects employers as they need to handle all employees’ data and any data held by them about outside agencies, business links and personnel. Legislation concerning pay such as the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 affects employers as they need to pay their workers the minimum wage or more. Employers must provide access to either a company pension scheme or a stakeholder pension scheme to their employees.

2b) List three key points of legislation that affect employees in a business environment.

There are statutory employment rights and contractual employment rights that affect every employee. These include pensions: legislation says that organisations with more than five people should have occupational pension schemes and in smaller organisations there should be access to a stakeholder pension scheme. Pay: Legislation such as the National Minimum Wage Act 1998, Equality Act 2012 and Working Time Regulations. Also there is legislation on pay for people on maternity/ paternity leave and about redundancy. Data Protection: Data Protection Act 1998 which restricts the use of personal data and under the act employees are entitled to see any information that is held about them by an employer.

3. Identify a range of places where a person can find information on employment rights and responsibilities. You should identify at least two internal and two external sources of information.

Internal
Employee’s contract
Line managers
Personnel specialists
Informed colleagues
Union representatives

External
Citizens Advice Bureau
Libraries
Unions
Legal professionals
Educational establishments/ courses

4. Describe how representative bodies can support employees.

Representative bodies can support employees by explaining legal requirements and by ‘fighting’ for their case if they are treated unfairly in the work place or they want to make formal complaints. These representative bodies can help to protect the individual’s rights and help to improve the work place.

5. Briefly describe employer and employee responsibilities for equality and diversity in a business environment. You should give at least two employer responsibilities and two employee responsibilities.

If possible, provide relevant equality and diversity procedures from your workplace (or place of study) to support your answer. These documents should be annotated to highlight the relevant sections.

Employer

It is the employers’ responsibility to ensure that people are treated fairly. They can do this by training staff on equality and diversity topics and developing procedures to address equality and diversity issues. It is employers’ responsibility to hire people for their workforce in terms of their skills and suitability for the job and not based on culture, race, sexual orientation etc. They should ensure that line managers promote fair treatment of all people and that they appreciate diversity. Employers’ must follow all law regarding equality and diversity and follow correct procedures in event that these laws are broken by any of their members of staff. Employers must be fair themselves and set the best example in how to treat others respectfully.

Employee

It is the responsibility of employees to be aware of policies and procedures that are in place in their organisation regarding equality and diversity and to follow these at all times. It is the moral responsibility of all employees to be polite and respectful to other members of staff and customers. They must be fair and treat others equally. They should have awareness of diversity and differences and to celebrate those differences rather than stereotype or judge. Employees should focus on individuals themselves rather than on any labels that may have been put on them. They should recognise that differences of opinion are part of life and working in a team and should accept any differences. Any differences that affect the workplace should be dealt with professionally and respectfully.

6. Briefly explain the benefits of making sure equality and diversity procedures are followed in a business environment. Your answer should include one benefit for the employer, one benefit for the employee and one benefit for the overall organisation.

A diverse organisation is one in which people can learn new things from different perspectives and cultures and their experience will be enriched and therefore the organisation will work better due to the learning that takes place such a new and improved ways of doing things. Both the employer and the employee in this instance will benefit. Employers will benefit as they will have a team which is better equipped to work effectively and the employees will benefit as they will learn new skills and ways of working meaning their career prospects will be enhanced. If a company upholds equal rights then those who work for that company will feel they are treated fairly and they will feel more valued. This is a benefit for the employees but also for the employers as they will have a more satisfied workforce that as a result will work better.

Section 2 – Understand the purpose of health, safety and security procedures in a business environment

1. Identify employer and employee responsibilities for health, safety and security.

If possible, provide relevant health, safety and security policies / documents from your workplace (or place of study) to support your answer. These documents should be annotated to highlight the relevant sections.

Employers and employees are responsible to follow health and safety and security regulations, most importantly legislations such as the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974. They both have a legal duty to ensure that working environments are safe and secure. All companies and organisations must have a framework in place regarding health, safety and security of which all members must have access to and where necessary, training. Employers need to ensure that all their employees are working in a safe environment, are given the correct training to use any equipment and follow any procedures needed to do their job effectively.

This also includes the personal health and well-being of each of their employees for example making sure they have adequate break times within allotted work hours, that they have a reasonable work load I.e. that no unreasonable demands are placed upon employees and that discrimination/bullying or any such kind does not take place and in the rare cases it may do that it is dealt with swiftly and efficiently. Employees must also ensure the safety of themselves and others. The way that they conduct themselves is their responsibility. They must follow all legal requirements but also any company policies and procedures in place. The data protection act 1998 is important in a workplace as information kept on people must be kept secure by employers and employees who have access to any information. Both employers and employees must also adhere to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

2. Explain the purpose of following health, safety and security procedures in a business environment.

The reasons for following health, safety and security procedures in a business environment are that firstly they have a legal obligation to do so. If an organisation, ether employers or employees, do not follow the law then there will be consequences in the form of reprimands, fines, closures and in worse cases even imprisonment. Every organisation will have its own rules to be adhered to which will be based on the law. If every member of the organisation follows these rules then the company will work more effectively and efficiently and the workforce will be more satisfied and therefore giving them more reason to continue working well. If staff or management fail to follow these rules then there will be a disciplinary procedure which can result in people being dismissed.

Every person has a moral obligation to work safely and securely in order to minimise harm to themselves, their colleagues and those outside of the company. Another important reason why it is important to follow procedures is the economic consequences that result in failing to meet them. For example, if a company breaks the law they will have to ay a fine, they may need to be shut down for a period of time, they may need to pay compensation to any injured parties and there will be increased costs due to needing to advertise and find new good quality staff and to promote the company after they may have lost customers due to the issues and possible loss of trust.

3. Describe three different ways of maintaining a safe and secure business environment.

A safe a secure business environment can be maintained by having procedures and policies in place that are based on the law and by all parties following all procedures concerning health, safety and security. Employers can make sure that their employees receive the correct information and training to follow the procedures in place and they can also hold appraisal meetings to check the progress of their staff/make sure they are following procedures. Employers and employees all need to communicate efficiently so that any concerns are dealt with swiftly. Individuals can help to maintain a safe and secure business environment by their personal conduct e.g. wearing appropriate clothing, being alert/not coming to work tired and not being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They can help by being aware of their surroundings and deal with any small changes that need to be made themselves or by reporting any major areas of concern to an appointed person in the organisation.

Section 3 – Understand how to communicate effectively with others

1. Complete the table below with descriptions of different methods of communication. You should include two verbal, two non-verbal and two written methods of communication.

2. Using two specific examples, explain how to choose the most appropriate method of communication to meet your needs and the needs of others.

Example One

The ICT co-ordinator in a school team has recently learnt of new developments that will enhance the learning of children in their care. In order to decide the best method of communication the co-ordinator will consider what the staff team need to know and what the outcome of them receiving the information should be. The target audience should be considered and in this case is all the teachers in the school. The amount of people should be considered and their language and abilities. Next how the information will be conveyed needs to be considered for example, will the co-ordinator need to give the staff a demonstration, pictures or tables, practical experience etc to help them understand. In this case the co-ordinator holds a staff meeting in order to train the staff in developments in ICT giving them practical activities to do in order for them to learn the skills needed. The co-ordinator needed to consider how much time was available to communicate this information and also when it needed to be done by. In addition they needed to consider what equipment was available.

Example Two

A mentor in a school is concerned about a new teachers performance and needs to communicate this to them. The mentor needs to consider the desired outcome of the communication which in this case is to point out areas needed for development but also to encourage the new teacher so as not to demoralise but instead boost their morale. The target audience is the new teacher and the mentor needs to consider how they may best receive the encouragement to develop in the areas needed and then how best it would be to do this.

Is the message complex? Does there need to be any additional resources as well as talking to the person, is there perhaps additional information such as a website, a book or a training course that the new teacher could be made aware of? Does this new teacher need to hear the message immediately, in a week’s time or later? How much time is available in which to convey the message? In this case, the new teacher is needing to be made aware of their development needs within the week and the message is conveyed at a scheduled one to one meeting between mentor and teacher. A website (a planning website which will support the teacher’s planning.) which addresses some of the needs of the new teacher is shared at the meeting.

3. Describe at least two ways of actively listening.

You can show to others that you are actively listening by looking at the speaker and focussing on what they are saying. Instead of interrupting you can make a note of any questions you may have and ask them at an appropriate time. If your mind wanders you can ask for a summary in case you have missed anything. You can show that you re listening also by showing you are interested by your body language, such as a nod of the head every now and then and responding to any open questions that the speaker may make. Or even in some cases you may say ‘mmm’ like you are agreeing with the speaker’s comments or you may say yes etc.

Section 4 – Understand how to work with and support colleagues

1. Explain the purpose of agreeing standards for your own work. Give at least two reasons.

Agreeing standards for your own work means that you and your employer knows what is expected of you and you have something to work to, making your work more purposeful. Having standards for all workers also makes it fair for all members and all staff members are then treated equally and workload is shared. Agreeing standards also means that high quality work is kept up and the business is more likely to thrive and customers will be happy. When standards are agreed within a staff team everyone is on the same page and there is no discrepancy over what is expected of you and where you stand
within the business.

2. Explain the purpose of taking on new challenges and being able to adapt to change at work.

Taking on new challenges is important as it helps the individual to develop and progress personally and within their role in the organisation. As an individual develops new skills this will also impact the organisation positively as they will be able to become more and more effective in the role they take. An individual also may be promoted as a result of their new skill.

Things change all the time, new developments are made and every member of an organisation needs to adapt to those changes in order to continue a high standard of service that is provides. This is in order to meet consumer demands and that of society. For example, when new technologies become available, social or legal changes, also changes may need to be made when new colleagues/ managers enter the environment.

3. Explain the purpose of treating others with honesty and consideration.

The purpose of treating others with honesty and consideration other than it being morally correct is that if this is followed within an organisation people are more motivated and will look forward to working. There will be fewer arguments, complaints and grievances, there will be a greater willingness to co-operate and share information within the team, to suggest improvements and to work harder and to help each other.

Section 5 – Know how to plan own work and be accountable to others

1. Explain the purpose of meeting work standards and deadlines when completing tasks in a business environment.

The reason for meeting standards and deadlines are that customers will receive the products or service that they expect and require and therefore will be happy customers and will want to use your service again. If there are delays or inefficiencies in the service then this can be damaging to an organisation. Customers may be lost, there may be additional costs such as compensation for late services, the customer will then go elsewhere and will not recommend the service or even ‘bad mouth’ the company and will in turn cause further loss in custom.

2. Describe two different methods that you can use to plan your own work in a business environment.

You can plan your work in a business environment by planning and prioritising your workload. You can use a three step checklist to help you do this, step one is to know your objectives, what the outcomes are going to be. Step two is to identify which action you will take and how long you have to do it and step three is to allocate responsibilities to others who can help achieve the goal.

Another method of planning workload is to use a Carroll diagram to box off which projects need to be done urgently, which ones are very important and then which ones a=can wait a while the more important things are being done. Once you have decided which are most important you can work from the most important to the least.

3. Describe ways of keeping other people informed about progress and compare their effectiveness. What are the benefits and drawbacks of each approach?

Appraisal meetings can be used to talk one to one with a member of staff about their progress so far and their next steps. The benefits of meetings generally are that it costs less perhaps than say using a telephone. It is easier to communicate in person and in a meeting you are able to discuss issues in greater detail as it is a time set aside specifically for that. In meetings it is possible to show slide shows, posters, physical objects etc to help communicate a message. Also meeting is good as it helps to build relationships and to overall build the team as the staff learn to work with each other. The drawbacks are that not everyone may be free to meet at the same time, some people may feel inhibited from share their views in a group situation, if it is a large group some peoples views may not be heard. Writing a report may be good for some people who like to see information visually and like to interpret data for example.

However it is impersonal and very one- directional. Discussing progress verbally face to face can be good as body language plays a big part in communication, a better overall picture of how a person really feels about their or their employees progress can be seen. Some people may feel better when they can talk on the phone or e-mail as they may be a little shy and perhaps need some time to open up. There are benefits to speaking on the phone as you may need to communicate from long distances or may need to make quick updates whilst on an errand etc. However similarly to e-mail and reports discussing progress over the phone is less personal and in some ways harder to communicate as you can only speak, you can’t show any visuals or learning aids etc.

Section 6 – Understand the purpose of improving own performance in a business environment and how to do so

1. Explain the purpose of continuously improving your performance in a business environment.

Continuously improving your performance in a business ensures that you are keeping up to date with current changes; you are developing your skills which will help you develop in your career and also benefit the organisation you work for. You are more likely to keep your job and even get promoted if you show that you are willing to develop and there is also job satisfaction knowing that you have a purpose and a goal in what you are doing.

2. Describe at least two ways of improving your performance at work. Where relevant, illustrate your answer with specific examples from your own experience.

You can improve your performance by learning from past mistakes. For example I learnt from many past mistakes such as the organisation of a classroom of children. I learnt that certain equipment was inaccessible to the class and meant that the class had to wait longer to do their activity. This gave them ‘spare’ time to then get bored and mess about. In the next lesson I changed the room set up and made sure that resources were ready which made the lesson run more smoothly.

You can also improve your work by going on courses that help you develop in a specific area. For example I have gone on a course for behaviour management which has helped me to develop skills in that area which I have put into practice.

3. Briefly describe at least two different types of career pathways that may be available to you.

I may be able to use my skills as a teacher and after becoming fully qualified set up my own tutoring business and develop more specialist skills in helping children with specific needs.

I may be able to do an apprenticeship with Liverpool Direct in becoming a customer service adviser and use the administration and business skills that I have learnt here within that role.

Section 7 – Understand the types of problems that may occur in a business environment and how to deal with them

1. Identify at least two different types of problems that can occur in a business environment.

Supplies needed were not ordered on time and so they are late. There is a technical fault with a piece of equipment.
A colleague calls in sick.

2. Complete the table below by describing at least two specific problems that can occur at work and how they can be dealt with.

3. Complete the table below by listing at least two problems you are able to deal with yourself and two problems you would need to refer to others to deal with (and how you would refer these problems).


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