Unit 17 Work Based Experience Assignment - Saga

Unit 17 Work Based Experience Assignment - Saga

Unit 17 Work Based Experience Assignment - Saga

Program

Diploma in Travel and Tourism

Unit Number and Title

Unit 17 Work Based Experience

QFC Level

Level 5

Introduction

Work Based experience is something which provides a practical experience to a student for his future career. It provides a personal and professional development to the candidate. It makes a student familiar to the workplace settings and develops learning through it. It provides benefits not only to the individual but also to the business and it also contributes to the economy of the nation. This assignment is designed to produce a work based learning in a travel and tourism sector where the discussions will be done regarding the workplace experience as a trainee in an organisation and how the developments will be made which will provide opportunities for the career development of a student (Crawford, et. al., 2015) Also, different codes of conduct followed in an organisation are been discussed which have to be followed by the learner. Certain recommendations are given in the end to make experiences better for the learner. Work based experience is an opportunity for the learners where they are supported by their supervisors and the learners try to get maximum benefits through this help and support. The assignment revolves around Saga holidays which is a tour operation having 65 years of experience and plans holidays for the customers for different places (Crawford, et. al., 2015)

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Task 1 be able to negotiate industry experience

1.1 Understand the specific requirements of the placement

This task is related to the discussion about the different types of establishments which can provide experience to a learner in the Travel and Tourism industry. There are many types of establishments where a learner can be placed and can gain work experience. These establishments are discussed below:

  • Accommodation: accommodation includes hotels and guest houses where the customers stay while travelling. A learner can gain experience at these establishments by performing jobs as receptionist, managers, telephone operators, marketing associates, chefs, hospitality associate, etc. This is a wide sector where many jobs can be performed (Work?based learning, 2010)
  • Catering: These are the establishments which provide food and beverages. These includes job profiles for a learner in the form of  chefs, waiters, receptionist, cleaners, advertising associate, finance associate and many more.
  • Tourist guides and information agents: These are the ones which function as guides to the tourists who visit certain place. This provides experience to be a guide to the tourists (Bourner, 2011)
  • Tour operators and Travel agents:  Tour operators function as tour managers for visitors. They arranges tours for them and these arrangements are made right from the transportation, accommodation, visiting attractions and sightseeing, food and beverage to the guide arrangement. Different profiles at these establishments can be guides, sales associate, customer service, marketing associate, promotion manager, telephone operators, and many more.

An individual can chose any of the establishment based on his personal choice and interests (Work?based learning, 2010)

1.2 negotiate with work and academic supervisors a proposal for the work experience

Negotiation is the process by which differences are settled up between different parties and the best outcome is achieved. At the workplace, the employee has to negotiate with the employer in order to get the expected job at particular terms. (Proposal of my work experience is given in Appendix 1) (Kenworthy, 2010)

There are various methods through which an employee can contact organisation which are described below:

Referrals: Referrals are when an existing employee suggests a particular individual for a job in the same company. Some companies offer incentives for referring an individual which gets selected for a job in the company (Adams, 2014)

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Company’s websites: A candidate can also apply for a job through the website of the company where a section is available for applying for available posts in the company and the suitable candidates are shortlisted for the same.

Cold calling: Here, the companies cold call the individuals by getting their details from other employees or from career websites and ask them if they are interested for a job and inform them about available vacancies.

Recruitment agencies: Many agencies are set up which have connections with the big corporate and they charge the fee from individuals for conducting an interview or meeting between an individual or organisation’s official (Adams, 2014)

There are various methods of undertaking negotiations discussed below:

Win –win strategy- At win- win strategy the two parties get agree to a final conclusion where both are satisfied and both wins the negotiation. There is no one sided decision which is taken. Mutual consent is considered of both the parties.   This is also referred to as cooperative strategy (Kenworthy, 2010)

Win Lose strategy- Here, there are two parties and one of the parties has to compromise so that they can come up to a conclusion. One party lose and one party win. This is also called competitive strategy.

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Nature of duties in organisation:

There are various types of duties and tasks which can be performed at organisations like:

  • Routine duties and tasks: Routine tasks are those which have to be performed by the employee in the organisation on  frequent basis like taking bookings in the hotel or taking orders for food or beverages in a restaurant (Overton & Lemanski, 2016)
  • Project work: This type of work is only limited to work in a particular project and then there is no need to complete it after a certain time. For e.g.  Working people for a marriage event in a catering company.
  • Developments in a new procedure: This work is related to the development of new procedures or development at workplace. For e.g. developing a sales promotion strategy for a tour operator (Overton & Lemanski, 2016).
  • Supervisors- Roles and Responsibilities
  • Supervisors are the heads at a workplace who directs the juniors to work in a particular direction. Supervisors have some roles and responsibilities to do which are discussed below:

Academic Supervisors

Industrial supervisors

The role of academic supervisor is to support an individual during the period of placement.

The academic supervisor fulfils the responsibility of evaluating the performance of a student in order to make it better.

They deal in the particular field and guides in that field.

The role of industrial supervisors is to make an individual who is seeking an expertise or training in particular filed, expert in that field.

It involves given efforts for improving the performance of an employee (Goh, et. al., 2015)

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There are certain expectations which are made from learning, these are explained below:

  • Time management skills: while working at a workplace, a learner should learn how to manage time and adjust the time according to the priority of work
  • Problem solving skills: The learner should understand how to solve critical problems while working in the industry
  • Self development: There should be self development in a learner which would make him capable of performing in the industry
  • Progress in work: progress in work is necessary for a good performance in a work and to become the candy in the eye of supervisor
  • Team cooperation- A learner should know how to cooperate with the whole team and how to help each other in case of need (Goh, et. al., 2015).

1.3 recognise the business constraints on the work experience offered

Business constraints can be referred as to the limitations which are experienced by a learner at a workplace like:

Heavy workload: The workload will be heavy in the peak seasons and holidays which will increase the frustration of the learners at saga holidays.

Satisfaction of customer: Customer satisfaction is very important for customers which if not gained, will not get him good grades.

Material costs: The costs of material is high which increases the overall costs of the products and services of Saga Holidays

Health and safety matters: It matters because a place which faces frequent criminal or terrorist attacks which would decrease the customer visits to these places. This is a big constraint. Saga Holidays try to create demand for those places which gives it profits and try to create a safe environment for travellers (The Work-based Learning Student Handbook, 2016)

Task 2 Understand the specific requirements of the placement

In saga Holidays, I applied for a trainee in a customer service team and my main work will be to handle the complaints and queries of the customers. My job is to retain the existing customers of the company and to maintain loyalty in them for the company by helping the customer service team of the company. My contribution to the company will definitely help it in achieving loyalty of the customers for the company and I will get benefit as I will develop my personal and professional skills by working for the company which will be beneficial for my future career development. It will provide some extra skills in me before starting my career and it will definitely help me in dealing many situations in future. (The Work-based Learning Student Handbook, 2016)

2.1 agree and prioritise the tasks and responsibilities involved in the work experience

There are many tasks and responsibilities which are to be completed by a trainee while working in an organisation so that the most important activities can be done at priority and the work as a trainee in the customer service department is prioritised as given below:

Analyse the customer experience with the company: working with the customer service team will require dealing with the customers of every type. Some will be super satisfied with the company’s services, while some will be highly dissatisfied. As a trainee, my prior task is to analyse the experiences of the customer with the company and its services. The main job is to ask the customer about his/ her experiences so that the company’s services can be improved on the basis of experiences of the customers (Norman & Jerrard, 2015)


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Maximising the sales: When I will communicate with the customers my main motive will be to increase the sales planning of the Saga Holidays. I will find out the main expectations of the customers and which type of travel packages customers needs the most whether an adventurous trip or an educational trip or any other (Norman & Jerrard, 2015)

Hpliday Choice

Solving the queries and issues: As a trainee, I first have to learn how to solve critical problems and issues faced by the customers. It requires problem solving skill which will be developed by learning in the company. I will communicate with the customers and will make sure that there issues are resolved on time and properly.

Keeping the records for the company: As a trainee, I am also responsible to help the customer service department in maintaining records of the customers like what is the age, income or choices of the customers. It will l help the company in getting the right products to the customers.

Development of the business: My job and responsibility while working with saga holidays is also to help the business in getting more and more revenue through the bookings made by the customers. This involves making people aware about the products and services of Saga Holidays by communicating with them and giving them best service experience (Zhang, et. al., 2016)

2.2 produce a plan for the work experience

A plan has been produced for my work experience with saga Holidays as a trainee in Customer Service department of the company. The plan in detail is given in Appendix 2.

2.3 analyse the benefits of the proposed activities to the business and the learner

The work based experience is beneficial to both- The Company (Saga Holidays) and the learner (Me). Its main motive is to provide a practical work experience to the student for the development of his future. Below given points will make clear that what are the benefits of the Work based placements received by the business and the learner (Zhang, et. al., 2016)

Benefits of the Work Based Placements to the business

Developed and experienced workforce: The business will get the experienced and developed workforce for filling its vacant positions, if all the students in the particular sector are already experienced by working in a workplace settings (Procter, 2012)

Recruitment channels: By providing work experience to the students, the company is opening the channels of recruitments for itself from where it can get the best talented and experienced workforce. These channels are universities and educational institutions from where the students come for training.

Develop the student’s career: These organisations help in developing the career of the students which join the organisations for a work based learning. It also helps the students in making a choice in their career for future by getting experience of the sector (Procter, 2012)

Benefits of the Work Based Placements to the learner

Develop theory knowledge into practice: Work based learning helps the students to develop their theoretical knowledge into the practical one. By working in a real environment of work, they will be able to find out the capabilities in themselves.

Enhancement of skills: the students will be able to develop and enhance their skills like interpersonal skills, problem solving skills, time management, communication, etc.

Selection of career: The real work experience in the companies helps a student to make final choices for their career. They will be able to analyse what they possess and what is required in them to fulfil the responsibilities of a particular position in a particular organisation. They would be able to draw their strengths and weaknesses by which they can evaluate themselves for the work (Brooks & Youngson, 2016)


Career Choice

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Task 3 be able to undertake work experience as identified

3.1 fulfil specified requirements of placement conforming to all related codes of practice

The students when in any organisation are bound to follow the rules and regulations set up by the company. There are some codes of conduct which are important to be followed for a good and smooth experience at the workplace. By code of conduct, we mean those rules which guide the employee in an organisation to go on a right path (Brooks & Youngson, 2016). I applied as a trainee in customer service department in saga Holidays and the codes of practice which I have to follow are given below:

  • Working time: At Saga Holidays, the working time is limited to 8 hours a day and the timings at the company are 10.30 A.M to 6.00 P.M. These timings are decided keeping in mind the work regulations of UK. Punctuality is very much important for the company and the employees who make  a delay, will be penalised by marking  a half day for them (Eden, 2014)
  • Payment received: I did not receive any payment from the company as I am working in the company for gaining experience of work as a trainee. So company is not liable to pay any amount to me. Instead of the regular payment, I have been provided with the commission for every customer I bring in for the company.
  • Equality law: Saga Holidays UK does not discriminate among their employees on the basis of colour, caste, creed or gender. Equal opportunities are given to all the employees.
  • Maintaining secrecy: As a leaner in a company, I have maintained the confidentiality of its data and other information. I have signed papers stating that I will not disclose any of the company’s confidential information to anyone (Eden, 2014)

3.2 produce systematic records of work undertaken

Every organisation needs to maintain records so that they can help in future for many purposes like in case of any confusion, conflicts with nay party or for conducting audit of the company. Saga Holidays also maintains some systematic records so that systematic information maintenance can be done. Some of the record maintenance documents are explained below:

Work schedule: These are the documents which are maintained in the organisations for maintaining the details about the working employees in the company. It contains the information like working hours, roles and responsibilities of the employees and for how many days i.e. for week, month or quarter. The information is recorded in series which can be short term or long term (Edwards, 2014)

Logbook:  Logbook is the document maintained at the company for recording the important events of the company which includes the name of the employees, their positions, their roles, the personal information like phone no., address, qualifications and other information is recorded for future reference. (My Logbook- Appendix 3)

Excel sheets: Excel sheets are the software’s which are installed in the computers of the company and these are helpful in tracking which employee is engaged in which of the work and taking how many days to complete a work. The data is maintained in the form of rows and columns and are helpful in making improvements in the work of the employees (Edwards, 2014)

Diary of records: A diary is a record of various entries in an organisation with its time and progress. These details are used by the organisation for various purposes.

3.3 revise the initial plan as required

  • The proposed work plan which is given in Appendix 1 has to be revised for meeting the requirements of the company and to meet the rules and regulations of the company in which I have applied for work based experience. The revised Work Plan in given below:
  • The plan which was prepared initially has to be altered to meet the requirements of the organisation. The practice experiences received while working with Saga Holidays needs changes in the work plan which was made initially. These changes may take place because of many policies and nature of work in the organisations which have to be followed.
  • While working in the customer services department, my mentor decided to involve me in analysing the reviews of the customer which was not the part of the initial plan.
  • I was placed under a senior travel consultant of the company who taught me many new terminologies and methods to communicate with the customers and to convince them for their products and services.
  • There was a huge rush of visitors for a period of 10 days during my training, in which I learned to handle many customers and their queries at a time.
  • After realising that I am performing good, Saga Holidays decided to pay me a small amount of Stipend (Edwards, 2014)
  • Although saga Holidays provided all the information and education to its trainees but still there are some areas where the alterations are necessary for the improvement

3.4 make suggestions for improvement and review these with appropriate supervisor

The work based plan has been revised to meet the requirements of Saga Holidays but there are some of the suggestions which can be applied for improving in the work plan. These suggestions are to be reviewed with my supervisor for better implementation. Some of the methods by which recommendations can be applied are explained below:

Make and prepare notes: I can prepare notes for all the significant points suggested by the seniors or supervisors which should be applied in my work plan for better results. The notes should be made properly, neatly and in sequence which can be referred in the future events whenever the changes will be required. I can refer the notes and can make necessary alterations in my work (Procter, 2012).

Keeping in mind: The important points suggested by the supervisor can be memorized in mind so that these can be applied in future whenever required. With the help of these memorized points, the work plan can be reviewed time to time adjusting to the requirements.

Some of the suggestions for improvement in me as a trainee in customer service department of Saga Holidays are:

  • Learn to communicate in every situation, in every language to handle different customers of Saga Holidays so that the company can have competitive edge in the industry.
  • Increase the interest of the customers in buying the products and services of the company. It can be done with the help of many offers or discounts.
  • Interest can be created in customers for retaining them and for gaining their loyalty (Procter, 2012)

Task 4 be able to monitor and evaluate own performance and learning

4.1 monitor progress against original proposal

My work proposal which has already been presented in Task 2 (Appendix 1) represents my work profile in Saga Holidays. I am working as a trainee in Customer service department of Saga holidays and for better performance and development, the progress of my work is monitored by comparing it to the work proposal (Appendix 4).

4.2 evaluate the quality of own performance

My own performance in Saga Holidays has to be evaluated by myself in order to make improvements, if necessary. The below given evaluation points will help in making improvements:

Policies of the company: All the policies and procedures of the company are been followed by me strictly. They are clear to me and with this all the legal requirements are also fulfilled. The industry standards are been followed strictly to maintain the legal suitability of the company (Work-based learning, 2011)

The guidelines of the company: All the guidelines given by the company are followed by me. I maintained discipline at the workplace and always maintained punctuality. I performed all the instructions given by my mentor with all my efforts so that I learn as much I can.

Cooperation: I maintained cooperation with all the team members and helped them in achieving the company’s targets with my own goals.

Quality: I tried to give quality performance to the organisation in order to increase my strengths and draw back the weaknesses. My quality performance also helped the company in getting the loyal customers (Work-based learning, 2011)

Comments from supervisor: The supervisors gave good comments on my work during training. According to them, I was good in terms of punctuality and knowledge and done good quality of work. I cooperate with the whole team members in achieving the goals and good in terms of adaptability. According to the supervisors my Communication skills are excellent and I am good in decision making. The rating of supervisor is given below in the form of table.

Criteria

Rating

Work Quality

Good

Cooperative

Excellent

Interpersonal skills

Good

Adaptability

Good

Decision making

Average

Communication

Excellent

Problem solving skills

Average

4.3 analyse the learning which has taken place during the work experience using suitable reflections

Learning with the big brand like Saga Holidays was a wonderful experience and it helped me in learning many new concepts which I was unaware of before this training. This training not only added many skills in me but will also help in the development of my career in future. Travel and Tourism industry is very wide and there are lot of industry regulations and standards which have to be met, so by working for a period of six weeks in this industry I have learnt about this standard (Bourner, 2011).

  • I learned how to handle different types of customers, how to solve their queries and how to handle their queries. For this different skills are needed which are been learned by me slowly and gradually by working in SAGA Holidays in the customer service department. These skills are communication skills, interpersonal skills, problem solving skills and critical thinking (Bourner, 2011).
  • I learned about all the different products and services provided by the company to the customers. This has to be learnt for dealing with the customers to solve their problems and to suggest them suitable products and services provided by the company.

4.4 make recommendations on how the experience could have been enhanced

  • During the period of gaining work experience in saga holidays, some recommendations and suggestions are to be applied for better performance and for improvements:
  • Planning and organising should be the main aspects which should be learned to prioritize the activities to be taken place in the organisation.
  • The mentors should explain everything related with the job experience in very simple terms because it is very difficult for a fresher to understand everything for the first time.
  • The mentors should make the situations comfortable for the students to make them adaptable to the environment of work.
  • The student should be provided with adequate opportunities in order to develop their skills and attitude towards work (Eden, 2014)

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Conclusion

On the basis of the report, it can be concluded that a student can develop himself by gaining work based experience in an organisation and by facing a real working situations which will develop in him many skills like communication, problem solving skills, time management and many other skills. I worked in Saga Holidays in a customer service department and it was a wonderful experience for me and it taught me many roles and responsibilities which are too fulfilled while working in corporations. This industry experience helps in making the choice of career in future and also for further growth in the career of an employee. It also helps organisations in getting talented workforce for their organisations.

References

"The Work-based Learning Student Handbook", 2016, Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 86-88.
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Adams, D. 2014, Work-Based Learning.  (Adams, 2014)
Bourner, T. (2011). Self-managed action learning. Action Learning in Practice, 4th edn. . Farnham: Gower , 113-324.
Brooks, R. & Youngson, P.L. 2016, "Undergraduate work placements: an analysis of the effects on career progression",Studies in Higher Education, vol. 41, no. 9, pp. 1563-1578.
Crawford, L., Lloyd-Walker, B. & French, E. 2015, "Career Choice and the Experience of Project-Based Work", Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 194, pp. 55-64.
Eden, S. 2014, "Out of the comfort zone: enhancing work-based learning about employability skills through student reflection on work placements",Journal of Geography in Higher Education, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 266-276.
Edwards, M. 2014, "The impact of placements on students’ self-efficacy", Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 228-241.
Goh, Z., Ilies, R. & Wilson, K.S. 2015, "Supportive supervisors improve employees' daily lives: The role supervisors play in the impact of daily workload on life satisfaction via work–family conflict", Journal of Vocational Behavior, vol. 89, pp. 65-73.
Kenworthy, A.L. 2010, "Service-Learning and Negotiation: An Educational “Win-Win”", Journal of Management Education, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 62-87.