This solution is related HND College Professional and Personal Development assignment, it requires to find out the best practices for personal development.
To work in any organization we have to continuously develop our skills. The processes which are used to develop you’re your personal and professional skills to meet the challenges and to grab the opportunities in the market is called personal and professional development. Organization also helps its employees to develop themselves personally and professionally by providing some training. It also helps in satisfying the needs of both employees and the organization. It is required for the personal development needs of the individual and also to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization (Bennett, 2000). Development is important for all the employees irrespective of their job level. Even the honorary staff should work on developing themselves personally and professionally.
LO 1.1 Evaluate approaches to self-managed learning
Employees or an individual when manage their own learning and work on developing their skills is called self-managed learning. People take their own decisions about the courses or skills they want to learn, the way they want to choose to learn these skills, time and place of the learning (Hill, 1994). They know the reason behind their learning. They have their own short term and long term goals. To achieve these goals individuals have to plan their learning to be competitive in the market and for their career growth. There are various ways of self-learning and some of them are as follows:
- Doing a research on the topic anyone is interested. Let us suppose I am interested in consumer behaviour in various sectors and situation. I will prepare a questionnaire and will do a survey on the consumers of various sectors and I will learn to use statistical tools to analyse the data. Result which will come out of the research will give me a deep understanding of the consumer behaviour in various sectors.
- Individuals should attend some trainings, seminars or conferences. Even he can organize these seminars and call people from various fields to give their point of views. We can learn from experience of others. Speaking in front of lots of people also increases our confidence. It helps in improving our communication and presentation skills. TED talks are one of the examples of self-learning. By watching and by participating in these talks we will be able to learn something new.
- Through friends and colleagues also we can learn new things in life. Each individual is different and has different point of view about different things. Even the social networking site give us lots of knowledge. On these sites we can stay connected to lots of friends at a time. Internet is one of the best sources for self-learning (Knowles, 1975). We can get information about any topic on internet.
- On the job training is also one of the ways of self-learning. While working in an organization we can interact and working with people from various departments and learn new things from them.
LO 1.2 Propose ways in which lifelong learning in personal and professional contexts could be encouraged
Learning process should not be restricted to some shorter period of time but it has to be long term. Whatever we learn it should last till the end of our life and we should keep on learning till the end of our life. For our personal and professional skills development the voluntary and ongoing act of learning something new is called lifelong learning. Individual needs to be self-motivated to pursue lifelong learning. It is not just to get some job or to be competitive in the market but its motive is to be self-sustainable in the longer run (Siegel, 1975). There are following ways which help in encouraging the lifelong learning for personal and professional life.
- Self-Motivation- Individuals have to be self-motivated to keep themselves updated to the new things coming in the market. We have to have knowledge about all the fields like politics, society, other countries etc. Without self-motivation we won’t be able to develop ourselves personally as well as professionally.
- Hard work is one of the other ways to develop an individual. We need to set our short term and long term plans and work continuously hard to achieve our goals. It is not just the hard work we need to do smart work also to achieve success.
- Being confidant is the other way. Everyone has some weaknesses and everyone faces some failures but we need to learn from our failures and move further to achieve success. We have to be confidant in the way we learn or perform our tasks.
- We need to know our strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. We have to use our strengths to grab the opportunities available to us.
LO 1.3 Evaluate the benefits of self-managed learning to the individual and organization
Self-managed learning surely has some positive impacts on the individual as well as on the organization he works for. Some of the positive impacts of self-managed learning are as follows:
- It makes individuals more confidant and independent personally as well as professionally. After acquiring so much of knowledge individual will be secure and he can get job in any organization. He will know his strengths and weaknesses and work and will work according to that.
- Self-managed learning also helps in improving our interpersonal skills (Cunningham, 1999). We will be able to communicate better and with confidence with different people. We will be able to make stronger and long term relationships with the people around us.
- Attending some seminars and conferences for personal and professional development will help us in improving our presentation and communication skills. In today’s professional life presentation and communication skills are very important.
- It will also help us in becoming better team player. Individual can acquire leadership qualities with the help of self-managed learning. Self-managed learning lots of commitment, dedication and hard work which are some of the qualities of a leader.
- Self-managed learning in schools and colleges is acquired while doing some projects individually or in a team. This makes us ready for professional life because in professional life also we might have to work independently or within a team.
LO 2.1 Evaluate own current skills and competencies against professional standards and organizational objectives
Organizational objectives and goals depend upon the skills and competencies of the employees. Organization tries to develop professional skills in its employees to make them efficient employees. I have acquired skills and competencies through my studies and also through my professional experience and some of those competencies are as follows:
- I have studied MBA and learnt various management tools and techniques. This course has helped me a lot in my professional life and will help in future also.
- I have very good analytical skills and I have always been good with numbers. This will help me a lot in decision making in my professional life. I will be able to evaluate all the options available in lesser time.
- From my school days I have been good in making relationships with my friends and this quality will be very helpful in my professional life as all the organizations need want to have stronger and long term relationships with the clients.
- I have leadership qualities like determined, focused, motivator etc. I am self-motivated person and I am able to motivate others towards the goals and objectives of the organization.
LO2.2 Identify own development needs and the activities required to meet them
No one is perfect in today’s competitive world and everyone needs continuous improvement to be competitive. I have mentioned various management and leadership qualities which I have and which will be very helpful in my professional life but there are some areas where I need to improve and develop myself. I need to develop Information technology related skills. I need to learn some software packages like CRM i.e. Customer relationship Management and SCM i.e. Supply Chain Management. These packages will help me in making stronger relationships with the clients and suppliers of the organization. These packages will also help in marketing and operation department of the organization. To achieve these skills I will try to attend some classroom or online courses. After learning I will implement this software in my organization to make the work more effective and efficient. I also need to work on time management and multi-tasking skills. At the higher level we have to do lots of things together and we need to be able to manage our time properly so that all the tasks can be finished in time. I also have to work on stress management to be calm in case of any crisis situation.
LO2.3 Identify development opportunities to meet current and future defined needs
As I am doing MBA so there is a huge opportunity in front of me to learn all the theoretical management concepts. Presentations in MBA will help me in developing, managing communication and presentation skills. It will make me more confident. I am specializing in Marketing and Finance field. There is great opportunity for both the fields in corporate world. In the organizations also while working I will be able to develop myself as a good team player and also as a leader. I will follow my leaders and learn leadership skills. After MBA I will work for some years and after that I can go for executive MBA which helps us a lot in developing our skills. At that time I will be able to relate my practical knowledge to all the management concepts.
LO2.4 Devise a personal and professional development plan based on identifies needs.
Developing yourself continuously is very important. Below are some of my plans to achieve all my short term and long term goals:
- I will join a course on Customer relationship Management to improve my technical skills.
- I will join a stress management course to be more relax and confident. I will also devote some time in meditation. This will help me in becoming a better leader (Greenberg, 2002).
- I will also attend some courses on time management. I my college I will take suggestions from my teacher and in my professional life I will have on the job training from my seniors.
- I will attend all the trainings and courses offered by the organization to develop our personal and professional skills.
- I will try to take extra responsibilities to grow in my career as soon as possible.
LO3.1 Discuss the process and activities required to implement the development plan.
I mentioned above the goals and objectives of my development plan but there requires lots of steps and research skills in deciding on the outcomes of the development plan. It requires use of lots of strategies and management tools. Some of the steps and activities used to prepare the development plan are as follows:
Step 1 - First step is to do the profiling and finding out the current skills and competencies and then the opportunities available in the market. The management tool used for this process is SWOT analysis (Pickton, 1998). I need to find out my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal and opportunities and threats are external. I have already mentioned my strengths and weaknesses.
Step 2 - Second step is to define the strategy. The strategy should be able to cover all the major outcomes of the development plan.
Step 3 - Decide on the action Plan. In this step we decide on the actions we take to develop ourselves. For e.g. attending courses and trainings to develop various skills like time management, leadership skills etc. come under this step. We also need to mention the time required to complete all the tasks. We also mention the criteria to measure if we are able to achieve our goals or not.
Step 4 - This step helps in deciding the methods we use for our learning. For e.g. deciding on the type of trainings i.e. online or classroom come under this step.
Step 5 - At the end we have to evaluate our achievements. We have to measure our goals and objectives. And if we are not able to complete our development plan we need to make improvement plans for this.
LO3.2 Undertake and document development activities as planned
In this part I will discuss how I am moving forward towards the development activities I have planned for myself. I have already started working on my plans and skills I want to acquire. Below is the documentation of some of the efforts I am putting to achieve the goals and objectives I mentioned above in my development plan:
- In MBA I have taken Information technology as an extra subject. It helps me in knowing the basic things about various soft wares like CRM, SCM etc. (Rashid, 2002). It has also helped me in improving my Microsoft Office skills.
- I have joined an institution where I am learning meditation techniques. This helps a lot in managing stress and being calm. It will also help me in future in my professional life. Yoga and meditation are very important techniques to handle pressure in this competitive world.
- To improve my time management skills I am putting some effort. Every morning I note down all the tasks I have to do in the day and I allocate time to all the tasks. I keep that list with me and never forget to do any task. This also helps in completing all the tasks at time. It will be very helpful in future in developing my personal and professional life (Wilkins, 1997).
- I am also focusing on reading management books written by famous personalities like Bill gates etc. It helps me in knowing their personal management experiences and I try to implement the learnings in my personal life also.
LO3.3 Reflect critically on own learning against original aims and objectives set in the development plan
I have mentioned my goals and objective above and I have also mentioned the activities which I am doing to achieve these goals and objectives. In this I will try to evaluate my learning against the aims and objectives. I will take each activity one by one.
- I have learnt theories related to Information technology related packages. I studied various enterprise related software packages such as CRM and SCM. But theoretical knowledge is not enough. I have just got the basis idea of these packages but I won’t be work on these packages. I need to have some hands on training to be comfortable with this software so that I can work and implement them in my future organization.
- I am satisfied with my progress related to stress management as I have joined external institution. I have found some change in myself. I have learnt to be calm and relaxed in critical situations.
- I have started making timetable to work on my time management skills. These are also helping me in managing my whole days without any problem. But this is working as number of tasks and pressure is less. In future during my professional life I will be dealing with lots of issues so I need to work more on my time management skills. I have to guidance from someone who is in the corporate sector and has experience of managing multiple things.
LO3.4 Update the development plan based on the feedback and evaluation
Development plan cannot be remained fixed throughout the life but it has to be updated continuously depending upon the evaluation and the feedback from seniors, friends, colleagues, parents etc. After some analysis I have found that I have to add some more skills which I need to acquire and I can devote some time from the skills I have already acquired to the new skills. As I have already mentioned that I have learnt to stay calm and relax in critical situations and this happened because of meditation and stress management classes. So I should stop going to these classes utilize this time to gain new competencies. Some of the new points in my development plan will be:
- Need to be specialized in one field. I will choose one field in which I want to excel. I will go for marketing as my profession but I will try to have basic knowledge of other things also like Finance, Information technology etc. So for this I will join some marketing related practical courses.
- I will read books on marketing, advertising and promotion will learn new concepts of this field.
- I need to be more responsible towards the tasks assigned to me. This will help me in acquiring leadership skills. I need to learn how to lead from the front and set examples for my juniors.
- Writing skills are very important in any field and especially at senior level position. Email etiquettes should be learnt to deal with clients and other important persons.
LO4.1 Select solution to work base problem
Interpersonal skills are very important in corporate sector to build long term relationships. Even these skills are important to solve any issue within the organization. Employees who are working at the same might get into some fights and any other issues. In this case manager has to interfere and with the help of his interpersonal skills he has to solve the issue and take a decision which is acceptable for both the parties and which does not affect the organization’s business. The major issue which is faced by the organization is discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, age, sex etc.
So manager has to make it very clear in the orientation program to all the employees that any activity related to discrimination will not be tolerated and employees will have to face severe consequences if anyone is found guilty of this issue. All the government rules against discrimination should be applicable in the organization. This will give security and a feeling of respect among the employees and they will stay more connected to the manger. Employees will be motivated and they will work hard to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization. If any such case of discrimination arises in the organization, manager should first speak to both the parties and should try to solve the issue internally. And if they still don’t stop manager has to be strict and take strict actions against the person who is found guilty.
LO4.2 Communicate in a variety of styles and appropriate manner at various levels
In an organization there are various ways of communication and there are various types of communication processes. There are majorly three types of communication process depending upon the job level of the employees.
- Upward communication- Communication from lower level employees to the higher level employees is called upward communication. Lower level employees have to give daily or weekly status updates of the work they are doing. They also have to speak regarding their issues and concerns. This communication happens through emails, telephones etc.
- Downward communication- Communication from higher level employees to the lower level employees is called downward communication. Seniors have to update employees about any new strategy or goals and objectives of the organization (Simpson, 1959). They normally use emails, notice boards etc. Skip level meetings are organized for direct interaction between the senior and junior level employees.
- Horizontal Communication- Communication between the employees of same level is called horizontally. At lower level communication happens verbally and in groups. Communication between the employees of same level helps everyone in improving their skills and it also creates friendly environment in the workplace. It also helps in building stronger relationship between the employees o same level.
LO4.3 Evaluate and use effective time management strategies
Time management skills are very important to keep proper balance between the personal and professional life (Lishman, 1998). One who is not able to go home at right time is not able to manage his time. Some of the strategies which can be followed to mage time and finish tasks at right time are as follows:
- At the start of the day we should spend around fifteen minutes and note down all the tasks to be done. Then we can arrange these tasks on priority basis and then we can allocate some time to each task. This way we can find out how many tasks we can finish within the office hours.
- Other way is to divide the big tasks into the sub tasks and then assign some time to each task. Dividing the task into smaller tasks can help us in knowing the total time needed to finish the entire task.
- By dividing the task into smaller parts we can also calculate the human resources and money required to finish each task.
Self-managed learning is very important for individual and organization’s success. If we don’t try to make ourselves better no one will be able to do that for us. We have to be self-motivated to develop ourselves personally and professionally. There are various approaches to self-managed learning like internet, social networking, seminars etc. Self-managed learning helps on developing skills like communication, presentation, writing, interpersonal skills etc. I ds a complete SWOT analysis on myself and prepare a development plan for myself. I found some strengths and weaknesses and develop strategies to overcome these strategies. Communication and time-management strategies are very important in professional life.