As a former or current employee of a hospitality or tourism organisation, few tasks are needed to be attempted by covering different theories and concepts.
- Assess the role of self-managed learning in encouraging lifelong development.
- Develop ability to become accountable for own personal and professional development.
- Execute and review own personal and professional development plan.
- Exhibit learned interpersonal and transferable skills.
In order to adapt oneself to the changing phases of life constant development of the self is essential. An individual mainly faces two sides, personal and professional, and in both the phases their skills, talents and weaknesses put considerable stress. Thus, personal and professional development is important for all to cause an overall development of the self that will contribute to enhance their individualistic self personally and ultimately help in professional sphere as well. Through the development of personal and professional attributes the individuals, as well as the organisations will be able to grow constantly undergoing the process of gaining knowledge. This development of gaining knowledge of throughout the life of oneself enables them to meet the challenges effectively that are constant in the way of life. Further it is a source of achieving the set goals for an individual and also the organisations as they are into a constant process of learning and progressing further.
Personal and professional development brings about a positive change and is highly responsible for improving performance in both lives. For causing this change there are several aspects that need to be considered and through proper identification of methods success can be achieved. In this assignment, the importance of personal and professional development will be surfaced with specific reference to the context of having worked in the hospitality industry. I am working at a travel and tourism organisation which works for arranging personal trips of people nationally and internationally. My role in the organisation is of a trip advisor and planner for which I need to communicate with the clients on what kind of holiday they are looking for and based on that I give suggestions and upon finalisation of the destination the entire trip plan is to be executed from my end. This involves briefing them on the initial stage about entire tour package till receiving feedback about the trip on their return.
Task 1 Evaluation of approaches to self-managed learning and proposing ways for lifelong learning in personal and professional life
Self-managed learning is one of the easiest ways to facilitate development of one’s personal and professional perspectives (Kasworm, 2003). An individual knows better about his or her necessities for their personal and professional lives through an evaluation of the self skills and problems. Thus, self-managed learning skills are the first initiative of the person towards the process of development. The four stages of the Self-directed Learning Model (SDL) feature the different stages through which an individual can access self-managed learning (Shuttleworth, 2008). The first step is to self-motivate where one enters into the learning task by taking responsibility and planning own learning outcomes and activities. Self-management is to control one’s behaviour and think independently to solve problems efficiently and make decisions. Self-monitoring helps to consciously monitor the individual’s activities and actions through self-reflection and evaluation of the thinking process. The final stage is self-modification which enables one to change the behaviour through self-monitoring and implementing measures that will be best suitable for causing positive change (Phillips, 2008).
The learning process is best effective when adopted for a lifelong period. A person learns through every stage of his or her life and till the end (Watson, 2003). Thus, they need to be adaptable to the constant learning process and be exposed to the benefits of learning and knowledge through several ways. The most important way is the intention to learn for which constant self-motivation is required. Lifelong learning is beneficial for an individual or personal and professional development to be acquainted with the updated information all the time (Kruckeberg et al., 2011). Thus, in the personal and professional life, lifelong learning can be encouraged through one’s ability to reflect on the actions and competencies of the current role and the future objectives. Planning to identify the skills required to enhance self-performance is another way followed by the steps to be taken for gaining those skills and knowledge through active participation in various learning programmes. Every detail of the process needs to be recorded for analyzing the extent of success in attaining the objectives of lifelong learning (Clegg and Bradley, 2006).
Evaluating and discussing benefits of self-manaed learning in personal and professional context
Self-managed learning in the personal and professional context helps in developing positive skills for handling issues in the personal, as well as the professional sphere, as opined by Pashler et al. (2008). It helps to identify the problems that exist in a person that is obstructing them from gaining full exposure to success. Identifying the problems helps in taking the necessary measures to groom one and enhance individual capabilities that can be effectively used in solving personal problems, managing a task efficiently and adopting approaches for strategic management for certain situations. Self-managed learning further improves self-resilience, self-awareness and deal with challenges without stumbling and reach the objectives smoothly. In the organisation, self-managed learning is very effective to build relationship with mentors, coaches, team members, colleagues, clients and other professionals (Kurdashvili and Meskhia, 2016). Personal expertise can be easily implemented in gaining professional growth by solving problems effectively for building a prompt and productive work environment.
Task 2 Evaluating personal skills and competencies and identifying skills for development to work professionally
A SWOT analysis will be helpful in understanding personal skills and competencies and help to determine the developments required that will support me personally and professionally.
Through the identification of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats I can comprehend the skills that I need to develop to work professionally in an organisation successfully. The personal skills always contribute to the professional enhancement of oneself while working in an organisation. Thus, the strengths that I possess need to be regularly reflected upon and modified to be able to grasp new changes really fast. Apart from that, the weaknesses should be given more emphasis because there is second chance given in any organisation for any kind of mistakes committed due to the weaknesses. Moreover, professional skills include a flawless expertise in communication, as that is the core for performing the varying operations in the workplace (Cooper and Pickering, 2010). Thus, communication skill is extremely important to be developed, along with the ability to understand the needs of the clients and provide them the services likewise. Determination to work is necessary otherwise boredom will hit and disrupt performance (Baum, 2002). A person needs to be confident to deal with organisational tasks efficiently. Academic knowledge is preferred in the respective field of work, but if an individual has the ability to work hard and adapt to the functioning of the field through practical then nothing can be better in training the person.
Identifying personal development opportunities and devising a personal and professional development plan
The opportunities that are prevalent should be utilised and implemented for personal development which will simultaneously contribute to the professional aspect in the workplace (Lu and Adler, 2009). The conduction of the SWOT analysis gives a full scope of the opportunities that are available in my case. I can understand what the clients want, thus it would be convenient for me to gain more experience while dealing with the people. In the meantime, I can also work on my communication skills through increased interaction and initiating conversations with the clients and other professionals associated with the organisation. I can work on my existing expertise through the work related programmes that will ultimately contribute to my personal development as well. It will also help in enhancing my management skills and enable to complete projects within stipulated deadlines.
A personal and professional development plan will surface the basic requirements to work effectively in the hospitality industry, as specific skills are much important to work in the sector.
Task 3 Discussing ways to implement the personal and professional development plan through development activities
After identification of the required skills and the needs for development, the next step is to work on their implementation. The stage of reflection and identification of the needed criteria is much important, as it helps and individual to know the areas in which they need to work better and how the skills will be helpful once achieved successfully (Baker, 2009). Similarly, I have also gained knowledge through my work experience and personal reflection the areas I need to put more focus for excelling in my profession and to continue my career in the hospitality industry. The first step to proceed is to initiate communication around my surrounding and interact with other people at my workplace to gain knowledge on various fields which will beneficial for me and also improve my communication skills. I will have to indulge more on occasions that involve planning and participate with full confidence in other activities as well.
The skills needed to be developed require undertaking some developmental plans for facilitating the change towards a positive outcome. The table below charts out the same for achieving the planned activities.
Critically examining the process by reflecting on the aims and objectives and discussing ways to review and update the plan
Once the entire plan was laid out, I focused on working on improving my skills for enhancing my performance to a greater extent. On the basis of the charted actions, I started to meet people on my own initiative and interacted with them on various topics. It not just helped me to improve my communication, but also boosted by confidence in which I lacked. I could easily express my opinion on several matters and my knowledge also increased through interaction with so many people. My increasing confidence helped me to take decisions and present them in front of others without hesitation and communicate the reasons for making such decision. Also, I tried to build the trip plans in the most attractive way that impressed my clients. I was able to gather basic knowledge on spreadsheet handling that was enough for me for the time being to maintain the database effectively. My overall development reflected on my performance in my organisation and supported my personal growth as well.
Monitoring and moderating existing strategies is always important to cope up with the demands of time (Attard, 2016). This is beneficial working on the present skills and keeps on updating them as new skills and talents are always evolving with contemporary demands and changes that are constant (Dąbrowska-Paulewicz et al., 2014). The ways that were procured and imbibed for the essential skills required in the workplace needs to be updated all the time for facilitating constant progress of the skills so that it always gives an edge to my performance. At one point of time, I felt the changing preferences of my clients and the usual tactics I used for presenting them a trip plan is not working exactly as I wanted. Through observation of certain cases, the changing trends emerged as a considerable reason. Thus, I had to work again on presenting a new plan to my clients and communicate with them accordingly, which seemed to work fine again.
Task 4 Investigating and selecting two work-based problems in work environment and identifying and communicating solutions
An organisation is involves a lot of work and requires active participation of all its stakeholders, mainly the employees who are responsible for carrying out the organisational operations and the customers on whom the success of the company depends. However, problems are obvious regarding managing of the manifold aspects. One of the vital issues in the organisation that I am presently employed in is related to effective communication. There are many trip advisors and planners like me whose responsibilities are same, but some of them fail to communicate properly regarding their business to the management level for which much confusion occurs and manipulation of data affects the performance of the organisation. Exact information is also not communicated to the clients that lead to grievances among them which are again a cause of great distress. Along with this, managing the entire business processes within time is a big issue with some of the employees. They fail to deliver services as promised to the clients. This becomes a reason for chaos as well as incurs loss for the company.
To solve the problems, the management of the organisation has to take effective measures and communicate them properly to the employees so that the issues can be mitigated to the possible extent and profits can be gathered by the company (Hinojosa, 2012). As communication is the main issues, appropriate training has to be given to the employees and enlighten them on the importance of effective communication for the company that will automatically impact their position in the company as well. For maintenance of records, it has to be necessitated that each of the trip planner and advisors will record immediately about any new client on the company’s database. There will be one responsible person who will monitor the process and will report about any discrepancy. A similar module for all the planners and advisors can be fixed for briefing about tour packages to the clients that will solve the problem of misinformation. Every task will be limited to a specified time failing which the one at fault would be penalized on certain clauses, but implementing this policy requires extreme attention so that it does not create de-motivation among employees (Downie, 2004).
Evaluating the application of effective time management approaches in varying situations
Time management is integral to the outstanding performance of an organisation, as mentioned by Phillips (2008). It is also important in our personal lives and adds quality to our individualistic features. In my own experience, I have noticed some of the approaches are best for effective time management both the personal and professional life. It is always convenient to chalk out the various stages of the task and set a time frame. It enables to achieve the task without wastage of time on confusion (Whittle and Murdoch-Eaton, 2002). The urgent tasks have to be placed at first and finished on time, so that the next tasks in the row can be handled within their time frames only. Planning tools are easily available these days and most convenient are the mobile apps which easily help to record the entire process and even suggest automatic deadlines and reminders to keep its users informed (Nestoroska and Petrovska, 2014). Maintaining pocket diaries, monthly planners or notebooks are useful for the ones who are not technologically advanced (Hicks et al., 2014). However, it is best to take aid of the apps which are extremely developed and regularly updated to ease the individual’s lifestyle.
The assignment has elaborated on the necessity of personal and professional development and its need in an organisational context. It involved understanding ones opportunities and weaknesses and working on them to contribute in entirety to the professional world. Moreover, the importance of self-managed learning in facilitating a personal and professional development has been highlighted as one of the most effective ways to initiate the process of development and imbibe the changes much efficiently. Personal and professional development has been seen as a method for enhancing ones performance and growth both personally and professionally and makes a person more confident about their strengths while trying to combat the drawbacks of the self. Moreover, I have experienced this with my own life and felt the changes after development in my personal life and professional world. This development is not just for contributing to the organisations in which we work, but also helps us to feel empowered from inside for instilling the good habits that helped me to face a lot of personal issues fruitfully. Thus, the study is a reflection on all the ways for causing a successful development of personal and professional aspects and its necessity in our lives.