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Unit 23 Employability Skills Sample Solution
Diploma in Business
Unit Number and Title
Unit 23 Employability Skills
Most of the employers look for job-specific skills in the potential employees but in a hidden way also observes whether the candidate possess certain general skills, commonly are known as ‘employability skills’ which play a significant role in ensuring one’s employment. Employability skills help an employee staying in a job and vying for promotions. Employers seek for eight key skills within a candidate irrespective of the industry namely communication infrormation, teamwork, problem solving, initiative and enterprise, planning and organizing, self-management, learning and technology.
(National Union of Students, 2011)
One can observe the importance of possessing generic employability skills because of rise in intense competition in the labour market which has empowered the employers across all sectors to elect potential employees who are flexible, multi-talented and have the ability of taking initiatives. Employability skills are no more limited to narrow boundaries but have become more service-oriented further making information and social skills progressively crucial.
1.1 Develop a set of own responsibilities and performance objectives
In this section, employability skills applicability and its impact on organizations, employees and customers is discussed in the context of Victoria Hotels, UK which is a renowned luxury hotels and is universally recognized for its standard quality services. The hotel is the most sought after accommodation amid travellers and is popular for its convenient ambience and excellent guests’ services.
For answering this question I assume to be working in Victoria Hotel as a Guest Relation Manager.
Job Title: Guest Relation Manager
Job Description: Holding the position of a Guest Relation Manager I am accountable for ensuring that all guests are furnished with unforgettable and satisfying experiences every time they visit us through the world class customer oriented services offered at Victoria. Working in hospitality industry I ensure that all the crew members take price in greeting the guests and possess a friendly attitude and helpful gesture further making the guests feel contended and elated with the kind of adherence and commitment we exhibit. (Workable, 2016)
Job Responsibilities: holding the position, I am responsible for delivering comfort and convenience to the guests through high end customer services which aims in ensuring that the guests get the homely comfort during their stay enjoying the finest and most memorable experiences of their lives and get fascinated by the Jubilee restaurant which offers some of the world’s finest cuisines. I am responsible to understand the expectations and needs of the guests and further help them in resolving their queries. Providing and ensuring an impeccable, upscale, professional and high class guest services are my key responsibility. Establishing team coordination, guest interaction and smooth execution of welcoming and departure of guests is my accountability. Moreover, it is my responsibility in guiding the crew members in meeting the quality parameters for promoting amenities through compassionate communications. During emergencies or unpredictable challenges, I am expected to ensure guests safety. My job also covers performance assessment and role delegation them, thereby, executing, managing and controlling the guest services offered at Victoria Hotel for creating the brand’s identity .
Performance objectives as Guest Relation Manager include:
- Building and maintaining consistency in the hotel’s service standards and performances by sustaining both ethical and legal policies for facilitating the brand identity of Victoria Hotel. (Workable, 2016)
- Meeting the guests’ expectations of leisure and convenience with readiness to serve, deliver and help.
- Designing a well-organized plan for achieving professional and exclusive customer services and accordingly develop right training programs for meeting the defined parameters.
- Promoting internal career growth by providing the staffs with various learning opportunities in order to retain the skilled workforce.
- Coordinating and supporting the team members by exhibiting excellence in behavioural practices and communication style.
- Exhibit consciousness and knowledge of occupational health, safety policies and emergency procedures. (Workable, 2016)
1.2 Evaluate own effectiveness against defined objectives
Stated below the evaluation of own effectiveness:
- For providing impeccable and effortless guest services and management at Victoria Hotel being the General Manager I ensure of discussing the work related objectives twice in a week and apparently convey the hotel’s mission and vision statements to every staff for ensuring that they understand the gravity of every single job and how they are interrelated in delivering maximum customer satisfaction. Moreover, I ensure in defining the standard protocols and suitable code of conduct for enabling adept team performances thereby, assuring guest satisfaction.
- For performance assessment I measure the staffs performance against certain set parameters like achievements, targets etc. for determining the outcome and hidden individual quality. In addition, I ensure that adequate training programs are arranged for the staffs to deliver maximum customer satisfaction thereby, assuring high end productiveness.
- To measure the effectiveness of operational plans I ensure in setting a timeline which further is beneficial into gaining control over the execution of plans and easy identification of the areas of improvement and refinement.
- For keeping the employees morale high I ensure motivating them by getting them engaged in planning process which also generates better ideas further assuring mutual feedback, self appraisals and meeting of goals apart from shared cooperation and coordination at work. Reward and recognition has also helped in enhancing employee motivation eventually leading to world class guest management services at Victoria
1.3 Make recommendations for improvement
Mentioned below are the recommendations for improvement of guest management services at Victoria Hotels:
Groups or teams are needed to be formed only after assessing the skills of every member which means identifying the strengths and weaknesses. This will help me as a Guest Relation Manager in filling in the skills gap or complementing it with other member’s core abilities eventually reinforcing teamwork culture.
The staffs across all departments should be given clear instructions about giving priority to team objectives over the individual ones and honour diversity with the team. The approach of productive negotiations is needed to be adopted for resolving workplace conflicts.
Employee engagement activities like simulation exercises and group activities should be practiced and exhibited for encouraging and enhancing better participation and experiences in teamwork. This will further allow every member involved in identifying self deficiencies and scope for improving.
Proper explanation of roles and responsibilities is needed to be done to ensure that all teammates clearly understand the goals and target in attaining them. Also, achievable and realistic targets should be set for avoiding confusions.
Timeline should be set through effective feedback and documented reports for real progress of guest management activities within the hotel further ensuring transparent assessment of improvements
Assessment from corporate partners, suppliers etc. should be undertaken for decisive evaluation of both individual and team contributions for rating performance and experiences.
1.4 Review how motivational techniques can be used to improve quality of performance
One can directly relate motivation to the spirit, productiveness and performances of an employee further defining motivation as an inner feeling that stimulates, inspires and even induces the employees in giving their performances at work. In other words, motivation is a subjective term which one cannot force on employees because it comes automatically from within. Organizations ensure to establish and enhance employee motivation by indulging into both intrinsic (acceptance, curiosity, dignity, freedom, social contact and status etc.) and extrinsic (benefit package, bonus, rewards etc.) motivational factors. For sustaining employees’ performances, motivation has a significant role.
Motivational theories like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs accentuates on human needs hierarchy which starts from the fulfilment of physiological needs to the achievement of self actualization needs. The theory further implies on fulfilling the needs in the pyramid until the employees are fully contended.
Another motivational theory Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory reiterates on fulfilling employee satisfaction needs mainly in the form of achievement, recognition and career growth. The theory also contradicts that unsuitable working condition, improper employment benefits in terms of pay and other perks and relationship with superior and subordinates are the key factors mounting high level of dissatisfaction amid the employees.
The aforesaid motivational techniques can be implemented at Victoria Hotel in order to bring desirable improvements in employees’ performances. This can be done by bringing into practice group activities thereby, advocating a productive workplace culture which enables the team members in placing mutual trust and willingly acknowledging teamwork, sharing group interests through participation. The General Manager can promote these activities by introducing employee recognition programs inculcating self-realization and commitment within them. Moreover, motivation can be fortified by distributing both monetary and non-monetary rewards in the form of complementary holidays or meals at the in-house restaurant for accrediting employees’ contributions or by stimulating participation in ‘Suggestion Forums’ where they can share their ideas for improving the operational process.
2.1 Develop solutions to work based problems
Hospitality industry across all sectors mainly deal with a common problem and that is over booking which rises due to lack or delay of communication ultimately leading to cancellation of bookings at the end much to the dismay of the customers. Victoria Hotel too often deals with such problems in its restaurant which should immediately be analyzed for studying its accommodating capacity. For dealing with the last minute cancellation of booking, it is important to establish an effective and structured chain of communication in order to manage the pre-bookings and preparing for the arrangements demanded by the diners. The Reception should keep itself aware of the number of tables booked, food supplies in the kitchen and availability of manpower for ensuring that every customers gets proper and equal attention. To serve the said purposes, the Booking Executive should bring into use various restaurant management software that are available such as BIM POS, Yelp or an in-house database for managing the operations. In addition, staying in touch with the room service department, giving preference to regular customers will also serve the purpose of controlling over bookings. The safest change can be going for limited bookings to regular diners which might be a cheaper solution however, will restrict the customer base to few ones further affecting its growth. To fit in the over bookings, Victoria Hotel can opt for expanding its dining area involving cost which can be complemented with premium pricing technique. Capacity expansion is cost effective in longer term because more customer inflow will over the time cover the costs incurred. Another work based problem Victoria Hotel is going through is inefficient customer information and negative reviews of annoyed guests on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc. For resolving these problems Victoria needs to design an architectural tool to enable customers in sharing their personal details without fear of been misused. This will empower the reservation counter in making quick bookings and hassle free transactions. Moreover, Victoria can assimilate savvy technology for exchanging secured data between vendors for enabling data mining thereby, delivering maximum customer satisfaction and repeated visits by marking their choices. Real time communication and data transfer should be executed by designing codes like Session Initiation Protocols (SIP) for securing the delivery of messages between guests and internal CRM further creating improved service management and delivery. For settling the problem of negative criticism Victoria Hotel is in urgent need of allocating a separate department for monitoring the customer reviews and feedbacks and if a customer is unhappy over a particular service make immediate efforts in pacifying him/her by refunding or giving discounts on next visit etc. This will enhance Victoria’s reach to customers and identify its loopholes and accordingly devise productive solutions eventually building Wow factor through online public image
2.2 Communicate in a variety of styles and appropriate manner at various levels
Communication plays a significant role in the hospitality industrybecause it is not just the food, room, or product customers pay for, they also pay for the services offered of which communication is an indispensible part. There are times when a customer visits the hotel in a bad mood but a broad smile at the reception itself lights his/her mood giving a feel good factor.
(Hampton Inn - Hilton)
The first rule of working in a hospitality industry is possessing a patient, cool and composed nature while customer dealing especially the difficult ones. Giving information to the customers is the key aspect of hospitality communication and fumbling and hesitating while interaction will definitely leave bad impression on customers further refraining them to visit again or recommend to family/friends. (MSG, 2016)
Communication can be
- Spoken: face –to- face, telephonic, video
- Written: e-mails
- Physical: body language, dress code, gestures
- Pictorial: statistics, logos, maps
At Victoria Hotel communication at different levels is made through various techniques of communication. A hotel’s size and structure plays a vital role in selecting a relevant mode of communication. The top-level management communicates with the members like high level managers by conducting meetings and formal sessions which not only helps in governing the rectitude but allows in holding proper discussions. The information or communication with middle levels managers are made through seminars and conferences apart from written communication form which are helpful in organizing things into a systematic way. Formal and written form of communication within Victoria Hotel has been established through mailing. To communicate with the lower level staff, floor manager makes use of notice board or arranges for conference and seminar for disseminating the information in an applicable way. The top-level management also directly communicates with staffs across all level through its corporate website. (MSG, 2016)
Victoria ensures that genuine information or communication is conveyed through its website further acknowledging a large section of people at the same time. Website serves Victoria’s purpose of both written and formal communication. Non-verbal and informal communication usually does not survive in vast scale but often managers transfer instructions through informal communication for developing a lighter environment. (MSG, 2016)
2.3 Identify effective time-management strategies
Effective time management strategies at Victoria Hotel include a coherent and disciplined approach which has immense focus on diary management where employees are encouraged in adopting the habit of quickly penning down the task that are urgent and should be done in priority. While working in tight and busy schedule, an employee can focus on diary management by writing down the tasks and completing them respectively. Another time management strategy practiced at Victoria Hotel is averting procrastination which ensures that every employee gets sufficient time for completing their task. Moreover, avoiding procrastination at the same time cultivates a sense of responsibility and discipline within employees enabling them in accomplishes their job on time rather than postponing it for arbitrary reasons. By evading procrastination empowers the staff in properly and efficiently utilizing their time and easily liberate from getting overburdened. Time management strategies include breaking down a task into smaller sections which eventually will provide information about how urgent or tough the task is further allowing the manager in accordingly allocate the timeline.
3.1 Explain the roles people play in a team and how they can work together to achieve shared goals
Individuals in a team seek out particular roles and it is seen that they perform the most effective and natural.
It is important to consider the fact team is not simply a group of people with job titles. It is rather important to consider the team as a group of individuals each of whose role is understood by other members of the team. Each individual in the team has to perform a particular role. In order for the team to perform in an effective manner, it is important to ensure that each team member performs his or her role in the most effective and natural manner. Team roles in case of group related tasks might require a process that is structured (Torrente, Salanova, Llorens and Schaufeli, 2012). This leads to determination of individual skills. The different strengths that are possessed by different individuals of the team can be used at different times and it is also important to note that for the team, to succeed as a whole, it is required that the different individuals with their respective skills should support each other. The strategies that can be used in this regards to ensure that the team work is effective is described below:
First requirement in building an effective team is a qualified and effective leader. The leader should be able to lead from the front and guide the development of their team.
Secondly in order to quickly sort out the problems that appear in team working the members of the team should be given feedback. The feedback should make them aware about the impact of their action and motivate them towards changing their behavior so that the team is able to witness rapid growth.
Thirdly team building strategies should be used for building barriers in order to ensure that there is participation in team activities from the new team members (Torrente, Salanova, Llorens and Schaufeli, 2012).
Fourthly and perhaps most importantly it is required to ensure effective communication within the team. It is essential to ensure that information is not lot or changed while exchanging the same with another member.
3.2 Analyse team dynamics
The word group refers to the interaction of two or more people for a common purpose. When people work together as a group rather than working as separate individuals, it is possible to simply achieve the objectives of the organization. However, it is a multifaceted task to work together in a group. In this regards the communication that occurs between the members of the group is referred to as group dynamics (Torrente, Salanova, Llorens and Schaufeli, 2012). For the social characteristics of workers in a company, working together as a group in the organization is the most essential task. In an organization different types of groups are created so as to get different specific results. In case of a group, it is seen that the members of the group agree to the task, work in a coordinated manner and become mutually dependent on each other so as to support success in achievement of the task. The act that occurs between the members of a group or team has been described through three different views. The first view which is referred to as normative view talks about the ways in which performances are carried out in a team and team is managed. In the second view a set of methods is included and these methods are sensitivity training for the members of the team, role play, group building etc. The third view describing the act between the team members is referred to as team dynamics. In an organization, there are two different types of groups that are created
This is a group that is created as a result of a systematic and conscious process so as to achieve the targets of the organization in a better way. In such a group, it is seen that the structure of the group is very formal and there are specific responsibilities and assignments that are given to each member of the group so as to achieve the overall goals of the group. Examples of formal groups in the organization are task groups and command groups.
Informal groups are a result of natural and spontaneous groupings that are formed between people when they work together for a long period of time. The reasons behind the creation of these groups are closeness of need, support, growth etc. Examples of such groups are friendship groups and interest groups (Torrente, Salanova, Llorens and Schaufeli, 2012). There are no formal structures in such groups and these are not formed for achievement of certain specific tasks.
Technology has a very crucial role in modern life. Technology does have an influence in the business and on the group dynamics in a business. Technology can help the business in saving money through systems of managing and administration. The ability of a business to develop services in a manner that is either effective or ineffective depends on whether the system is good or bad.
If technology is used in a manner that is effective, then it can help in the process of managing information related to both customers and employees. Effective use of technology gives the ability of mentioning about the parties concerned. It also has the ability to mention regarding the information types and its appropriateness. Efficient use of technology can also help in investigating the level of information.
Technology in modern times is used for managing and sharing of information that is involved in processes that are both internal and external (Torrente, Salanova, Llorens and Schaufeli, 2012). Technology can also be used in marketing and doing advertisement for product or service offerings of the company. Technology can also be used in activities like manufacturing and production, training and developing the staffs and for the purpose of maintenance of different systems.
Technology can be used for informing staffs to come to a meeting. In case a team technology can lead to ease of communication. It is due to the availability of superior technology and connectivity features that virtual teams are now a possibility. It is now possible for the members of a team to be located at different parts of the globe and still work together on the same project. This allows for greater diversity to be incorporated into the team and also allows the team to have better work life balance.
3.3 Suggest alternative ways to complete tasks and achieve team goals
There are number of factors which can be used to separate an effective team from an ineffective one. These factors can be both internal and external. Moreover, it is also important to note that the factors that are responsible for making a particular team strong can be the same that can make another team weak (Torrente, Salanova, Llorens and Schaufeli, 2012). However, there are some factors of effective team work that are found to be common for all the teams. These are listed below:
The teams that the effective, encourage diversity in the team. Diversity in the team in forms of culture, personalities and talent promotes innovation and creativity in the team. People belonging to a particular culture tend to group think. In this regards a diverse group can bring out ideas that are more innovative and upcoming in regards to a particular problem.
Communication is the hall mark of an effective team. High Performance Working Teams requires that there should be open communication within the team members and nothing should be hidden. There should be an environment of transparency.
It is not possible to build an effective team without having an effective leader at helm. In this regards a team of donkeys lead by a lion can perform better than a team of lions lead by a donkey. When donkey is the leader of the team, the lion members feel that they too are donkeys and forget what they are worth. The leader is the one who is able to bring out the best performance from his or her team members.
Exercises aimed at building the team
Shared practices and experiences play an important role in developing effective team work. In determining the development of effective teams, using or avoiding of team building exercises can serve as an important factor
Thus from the above discussion it can be concluded that employability skills is a significant aspect for professional development of employees as it helps them understand their roles and fulfil their objectives capability. Further it is beneficial for employers too as they get competent resources who can handle business challenges that rapidly emerge in market. Moreover these employability skills improve acceptance to changes, cooperation and team working ability of employees through proper training and learning opportunities. Thus it helps to nurture employee’s individual development along with improving work culture of organization’s and hence many firms today increasing support initiatives for development of employability skills in youths.
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