Development Is Always Self Development Education Essay

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In the words of Peter Drucker (1995) "Development is always Self-development. Nothing could be more absurd than for the enterprise to assume responsibility for the development of a person. The responsibility rest with the individuals, their abilities, their efforts".

Professional and Personal Development is not a new conception but has been gaining importance due to the changing scenario at work place and in real life. We have entered into an age of knowledge where previously acquired knowledge or preliminary courses attended becomes outdated or extraneous. In today's economic environment it might not be possible to acquire knowledge of everything due to work restraint or lack of opportunity. So how can we differentiate ourselves? It can be through gaining knowledge that is more applicable, modern and can be applied more efficiently and effectively.

Organization's are trying to work shoulder to shoulder to contribute towards the development of their employees and simultaneously seeking to achieve the objectives and goals set for the ongoing success of the organization. I am a working as a Manager in Mc Donald's which is the largest and fastest growing restaurant chain which aims to provide training along with practice in order to develop and retain staff with high calibre. Hence Mc Donald's will be the organization selected to provide me a platform to develop my personal and professional skill.

In the lieu of above the following assignment attempts to explore methods to improve personal and professional skills to meet organizational and own goals. A personal skill audit will be undertaken which will identify my learning style. On the basis of the outcome of skill audit a personal development plan will be prepared and implemented.

LO 1. Methods to improve personal and professional skills to meet the goals of my organization and self.

1.1 The personal and professional skills required for achieving organizational and own goals

Every organization have started focussing on individual responsibilities and initiation for managing oneself effectively and simultaneously working with others in a productive way for the success of the organization as well as an individual. In order to achieve this success there is a need to develop and improve certain skills. According to Business Dictionary Skill can be defined as the "Ability and capacity required through deliberate, systematic and sustained effort to smoothly and adaptively carry out complex activities or job functions involving ideas(cognitive skills),things(technical skills),and/or people (interpersonal skills)".

Skills are essential for achieving individual as well as organizational goals. The perception of an individual's own goal, aligning with the goals of the organization can be related to Goal Integration or Goal Alignment. Every organization should strive to create an environment which facilitates the individual to perceive their own goals as being similar to the organizational goal or satisfying their own goals directly by working towards accomplishing goals of the organization. However closer the alignment, greater would be the organization's performance. In the lieu of above we can interpret a close link between skills and goals.

For a career growth with Mc Donald's certain personal and professional skills are required which I aim to acquire for the purpose of self development as well as to be part of the team which aims towards accomplishing the goals and objectives set by the organization. These Skills can be categorized as Personal Skills and Professional Skills.

Personal Skills - It can be defined as a skill which enables us to perform or act independently, handle difficult situations, the ability to reflect and judge own actions, to accept and give feedback positively. Some of the personal skills are defined below;

a) Communication: It can be defined as an effective use of language either verbally or written with the underlying motive of passing information between people. Effective communication plays a vital role at McDonalds. This skill will help me to develop good customer handling skill and simultaneously will assist me to achieve my organization's goal of delivering highest level of service to customers.

b) Problem Solving - It is the ability to handle an unexpected situation by identifying and analyzing the problem and providing an appropriate solution within the time frame and making use of the available resources. It usually involves decision making which is interconnected with management and leadership skills. This will enable me to achieve my goal of developing leadership skill and organizational goal of having the best workforce.

c) Team Work - According to business dictionary it can be defined as the process which involves people to work in a group to achieve a goal. Through this skill I will be able to attain supervisor position and contribute towards organization goal of creating a friendly workplace.

d)Time Management- It can be referred to all actions and practice that needs to be undertaken for effective use of available time in a more productive way. This skill will help me to work smarter and effectively reducing stress and achieving organizational goal of fast and efficient service.

Professional Skills - "The skills that people need to succeed in professional practice, which ranges from highly specific ones related to individual profession to more general which can be transferred such as communication and ethical practices". Some of the professional skills are;

a)Multitasking- It can be defined as a range of skills that an employee possesses which enable them to perform more than one task. McDonalds prefer retaining multitasked employees for better productivity. This skill will help me to retain my position and lay a platform for career growth.

b) Leadership -The ability to achieve a desired result by inspiring, motivating and gaining commitment of individuals for achieving desired goals. This will help me acquiring restaurant leadership skill which is part of the management programme and help Mc Donald's to have effective restaurant leaders.

c) Coaching- It can be referred to the process in which an employee is trained and informed of what is expected and which helps them to identify their strength and weakness and thus reduce barriers in performing effectively. This skill can lead me to a position of a crew trainer and be part of company's policy of allowing employees to develop their potentials.

d) Continuous self development- It is a continuous process of identifying what you need to learn in order to increase your potentials at present and in the future. It will help me to take on the responsibility of self learning to develop skills and improve performance for a successful career and meet organizational goal of continuous development of employees.

1.2 Evaluating more effective ways of learning.

In order to compete in today's work environment and to excel there is a need to constantly monitor and upgrade your knowledge and skill. This responsibility totally depends on individuals, their abilities and the effort taken. The best way towards self development can be through self managed or self directed learning. It is identifying what you need to learn on the basis of past experiences and analysing what needs to be learnt in order to increase effectiveness at the present and in the future. There are effective ways to develop the process of learning some which are categorized below;

A) Training & Development

a) Degrees & Diplomas - Education is an effective way of learning which helps us to broadens our perspective and develop our abilities to achieve the desired goals. Successful completion of Diploma in Management studies and enrolling myself for Master of Business Administration (MBA) will prepare me for management level positions. The training programmes will enhance my leadership and business handling skills through projects , group assignment and presentations. It will also help me in acquiring values of team work and concerted efforts.

b) Organizational Training Programmes- Mc Donald's pursue a policy to provide career growth to all employees through development programmes for crew , operation management and career progression that enables employees as beginners to advance to the post of senior management through merit- based programmes. "Learn while you Earn" is an important part of Mc Donald's work experience. Some of the programmes that will help me to acquire the desired skill are discussed below;

Crew Development Programme (CDP)- This training focuses on all area of business which will enable me to acquire skill necessary to run each and every work station of the restaurant. It is structured training programme with on job learning where employees are provided with the basic knowledge and trained to be competent in every area of work and thus develop skills. There are workbooks to be filled and test conducted to check individual knowledge of quality, service and cleanliness. Through this programme I will put my learning into practice and be trained in skills like Communication, Multitasking and engage me into continuous learning for self development. On successfully completing these programmes I can participate in the next level of training that is management development programme.

Mc Donald's Management Development Programme;-This training begins as floor based programme which covers topics like Customer Care, Quality and safety. There is a management entrance exam. On successfully completing this exam employee have to attend a training session at the training centre. The curriculums consists of both on job training and open learning development modules. It recruits employees from Trainee Manager to Business Manager. These training will emphasize on the following areas

Shift management - It will enable me as a trainee manager to develop techniques and skills necessary in all areas of running a shift.

System management - This programme covers Mc Donald's systems, increases understanding of business. This trainee will help me to develop management skills.

Restaurant Leadership - It focuses on three key areas that is team building, decision making and communication which will provide me to enhance leadership skill which is required in order to be efficient leader.

Business Leadership - This training is eligible for employee attaining the position of a Business Manager .The area of learning is to expand the knowledge of business managers to develop business strategy. This training provides opportunities to be seconded to work at regional office and thus enabling to work in different departments of business. Through this exposure I will learn how each department functions in achieving the goal set by the company.

Apart from gaining knowledge in the food and hospitality industry these training will help me to expertise in skills like team working, effective communication, customer handling skills, leadership and time management skills.

B) Other Methods of Learning

a) On Job Learning - It is related to teaching workforce at their area of work. It is productive as it provides a platform for the employee to learn while working. The most widespread method of training employees are;-

Demonstrating and Instructing - This implies in showing and guiding the employees to carry out a particular task and providing methods to work efficiently.

Coaching - It is a person to person technique to widen individual skills, knowledge and attitudes. It requires a close working relationship between the trainer who is an experienced employee and the trainee. It will provide me with feedback about my performance and the area of improvement needed. It is a controlled delegation. Such training will help me to learn rather than being forcefully instructed on what needs to be done and how it needs to be done.

Job Rotation - Individuals are provided opportunities to work in various departments to gain experience of different activities carried out.

b)Mentoring - It is a process of using specially selected and trained individuals to provide guidance and advice which help me to develop my career for example my manager or my trainer.

2. Personal Skill audit

2.1 Personal Skills for effective management and leadership

A Skill audit is a re-evaluation of the existing and identifying the skills that we need to develop in order to compete now and in future. These skills can be reviewed or identified through various assessment tools which are either Self- Directed or Requires Interpretive Assistance. Self-Directed tools can be carried out individually without any professional guidance where as Interpretive Assistance requires feedback from professional counsellors after interpreting the data collected. Personal Skill audit can be carried out through the following process;-

Reviewing Existing Skills and Knowledge

Identifying Skill and Knowledge required in future

Rating the skills and ability

Reviewing the ratings

Preparing Personal Development Plan

The following Skill audit has been undertaken on the basis of skills required for effective management and leadership;-

SKILL

DESCRIPTION

SKILL LEVEL

Low High

COMMENTS

Time Management

Prioritising, dealing with paperwork; interruptions; planning your day.

1 2 3 4 5

Decision making and problem solving

Ability to make decisions; selecting suitable solutions; analysis of appropriateness.

1 2 3 4 5

Planning

Leading teams; consulting team members; task allocation; objective setting.

1 2 3 4 5

Delegation

Matching tasks to staff; providing guidance and advice; maintaining staff motivation and focus.

1 2 3 4 5

Motivation

Applying motivational techniques; understanding individual motives; making tasks challenging; encouraging creativity; providing team support; engendering trust and openness.

1 2 3 4 5

Coaching

Providing guidance; listening skills; ability to draw out information; reinforcing behaviour using feedback; negotiating; planning goals and objectives.

1 2 3 4 5

Target setting

Understanding and communicating organisational objectives; use of SMART objectives to achieve targets.

1 2 3 4 5

Written communications

Structure and format of letters, memos, e-mails, reports

1 2 3 4 5

Oral communications

Structure and format: techniques for effective presentations; using the telephone; meetings.

1 2 3 4 5

Need to work on presentation skill

Interpersonal skills

Relating to others; building rapport and positive relationships; being sensitive to peoples needs; using influencing and persuasive skills to help others improve performance or overcome problems; listening effectively and providing feedback; being assertive; use of body language.

1 2 3 4 5

Technical Competence

Computer Proficiency, Systems Operated by organization eg Cash Till or software tools for HR practitioners.

1 2 3 4 5

The Skill audit that was carried out by me has made me aware of the areas which require improvement. This will help me to develop ways of improvement and prepare my Personal Development Plan.

1. Time Management - Managing time is one of the areas which need improvement as it is gaining importance in the work environment and is also essentials for smooth running of daily life. The reason for my weakness is due to lack of prioritising and giving importance to work with fewer outcomes. I also feel pressurised as deadline approaches which makes it difficult to start any projects or assignment. I think the way to improve on it would be by avoiding procrastination.

2. Target Setting- As a manager I need to set targets which are integrated to other initiatives and system of the organization. The fear of success and failure often tends to be the reason for not being able to set my target or goal. This is basically due to lack of self confidence which is a hindrance towards my goal attainment.

3. Written & Verbal Communication- Manager's lack of ability to express ideas, view can arise conflicts. Though I have a good command over English language I would like to enhance my skill further focussing on written correspondence as it important for writing effective business letters and presentations as being part of the management team.

4. Technical Competence -I need to be adept in latest computer programmes like PowerPoint, Excel and Word 2007 which could enable me to have effective presentation and written correspondence skills. I also need to expertise myself in the various software and machinery that function in my organization as part of my learning.

5. Decision Making -Acquiring the ability to understand, predict and improve decision will give me a competitive advantage and will help me to step towards success. I will need to be capable to identify problems, choose the right alternative and implement the solution effectively.

6. Planning- In order to plan systematically I will need to focus on the key ingredients of planning that is objective, action plan, resource available and impact of the planning implemented on the organization.

Its important to be aware of individual learning styles as it helps in developing coping strategies to balance our short comings and take advantage of our strengths. Through various online test carried out I have realized my learning style to be a Reflector.

3. Implementation of a personal development plan

3.1 Personal Development Plan

Personal Development Plan can be defined as a structured framework which helps an individual to reflect upon their capabilities and performance. On the basis of this analysis a personal development plan can be prepared to overcome the shortcoming which could be essential for me in my personal life and for my career development.

As a manager this Personal Development Plan can also be used to develop and motivate my staff to make them aware of their potentials and talents through various personal development method, programs, tools, techniques and assessment systems. The Skill Audit that I had conducted which is mentioned above, has helped me to identify my weaknesses and guided me in preparing my Personal Development Plan

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Skills to be improved

Activities needed to develop those skills

Resource Implications

How to monitor progress

Targeted date

Time Management

Reading books and articles

Attending seminars & workshop

Stop procrastination

Prioritised 'To do list'

Books and materials on Time management

Training Institutes

& online training

Reading articles and practising it

Diary, Calendar, Alarm and Organizer

Self - Assessment

Progress Report

Self Evaluation

Self Evaluation

April 2010

Target Setting

Understanding Targets

Reading and learning to set targets

Monitoring progress

Diary & notepad

Books and articles on importance of target setting

Personal organizer

Self Evaluation

Self assessment

Feedback from Subordinates & colleagues

March

2010

Written & Verbal Communication

Practising to write Business Letters

Preparing Power point Slides & Speaking effectively

Reading books and article

Learning additional languages

Reading books on letter writing or websites

Practising through college assignments, watching news

Business Literature, Newspaper,

Language Course

Self - Assessment

Feedback from Lecturer's

Self Evaluation

Progress Report

July 2010

Skills to be improved

Activities needed to develop those skills

Resource Implications

How to monitor progress

Targeted date

Technical Competence

Learning Computer programmes

Reading IT books

Use of photocopy machines, printers & scanner

Basic Computer Courses or online learning, Computer or laptop

Materials on computer proficiency

Workplace and College

Progress Report

Self-Assessment test

Self Evaluation

July 2010

Planning

Writing down and implementing

Setting dates of completion

Reading books and articles

Diary , Time log

Organizer and Reminders

Materials on planning and online resources

Self check

Sept

2010

Decision making

Attending workshop or courses on decision making and problem solving

Writing down objectives before taking decision

Evaluating the result of decision making

Reading articles and case studies

Training Institutes

Notepad ,Diary

Diary and feedback from management

Materials on Risk Analysis & Management

Progress Report

Supervision from subordinates

Self Evaluation

Sept 2010

The Personal Development Plan that I have prepared will help me with the following;

I will be able to identify variety of ways of learning and acquiring knowledge

I will be able to monitor my own learning through feedback from my superiors, friends and my mentor or by maintaining a self assessment sheet.

I will be able to set my objectives and goals that would guide me in the right direction

Through the date of target set I will be able to review my progress and take accountability of my learning

I will be able to analyse my strengths and weaknesses

I will be able to plan my training methods in order to enhance my skill, awareness and proficiency to have a successful career growth

I have prepared a personal development plan which I aim to follow. I have set the target date to compel me to work and concentrate on what is more important. Since I have set my Goal with the help of SMART model to become a branch manager at McDonald's and with the help of skill audit I was able to derive skills that are required to get promoted.

3.2 Effectiveness and impact of my learning

With the help of my Personal Development Plan I have been able to overcome my weaknesses and has helped me in number of ways in personal and career development. Reading books on time management guided me to avoid procrastination. By improving the way I manage time has helped to avoid last minute work and stress which guided me in completing my college assignments well in advance. Even at work I am able to give more productive result with less amount of pressure by planning each day more effectively and efficiently.

Target setting is important to every organization's that focuses on expansion and growth. By writing down my targets in my personal organiser I have learnt to achieve it by breaking it to smaller targets which was more easier to complete for me as well as my staff. This skill helped me further to guide myself to work in line with my subordinates to attain the overall target set by the organization.

As a manager effective communication skill is fundamental for corresponding between managements, employees, supplier, vendors and all those who are directly or indirectly involved with the organization. With the help of Business Letter writing books I am able to write my daily reports and correspond with my superiors at work in a much effective way. I am able to write my college assignments with much ease. I have learnt to be a good presenter which was reflected in the quarterly meeting that was held at McDonald's. My views and suggestions were accepted by my colleagues without much persuasion.

As a manager computer efficiency and adequate knowledge of technology used in an organization is vital. I have increased my technological knowledge at work. I can now use the official software programmes with less difficulty. Through computer learning programmes I am able to use Power Point which helped in my presentation at work.

The importance of planning is to enable managers to achieve targets by using minimum resources. It requires scheduling and prioritizing the work required to achieve a definite result. Through planning skills I have been able to establish my objectives more accurately. It has helped me to direct my employees towards the goal and objective of the organization in a more efficient and planned manner. Planning has boosted my morale and has created a conducive atmosphere in the organization for self as well as my colleagues.

Decisions making is a vital feature of any business or management activity. Since every manager needs to have a glimpse of leadership skill of which decision making is an important attribute, though I haven't yet mastered the decision making skill and the effect of my decision making is still hazy. However I am sure I will be able to attain it with more experience and practice. But in certain context I do feel that I have have gained more confidence. I have started making proper choices among alternatives. The uncertainty to choose from alternatives have been reduced to a greater extent. This proves that I have been able to implement my PDP quite successfully and a lot of improvement have been seen in the way I perceive and handle situations in personal life as well as at work.

Conclusion

The completion of this assignment has made me aware of the attributes and competency that I had and which needed improvement. I have derived the importance of reflecting on individual potentials and how planning can be put in paper through PDP and success can be evaluated through day to day activities

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