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Personal Responsibility

Determine Own Responsibilities And Performance.

It is very important for a student to understand his responsibilities in order to be successful in life. I would classify my responsibilities in the following 3 categories:

It is important for complete a given task with honesty and integrity. A student should inculcate the habit of being punctual. A student should not lie or make excuses if he commits a mistake. Comply with the policies of the institute and follow the code of conduct laid down by the institute. Utilize the resources provided by the institute in the best possible way and should not indulge in any kind of wastage (Croucher, 2011).

All the lectures and lab sessions should be attended by the student. He should not be absent without any valid reason. A student should not be involved in any kind of crime or unlawful activity like possession of illegal weapons or drugs. Students should make ethical behavior a part of their personality. It is very important to learn the difference between right and wrong. Students should exercise their right to vote and choose the deserving candidate (Clancy, 2007). Maintain a balance between academics and extra-curricular activities. He should have value for money and never spend money unnecessarily.

A student should be attentive in a lecture and follow the instructions of the teacher. And he should score well in exams. There should be active participation in class activities, practical labs, seminars, debates, quizzes etc. Should be any part of a club or society like dance, music, theatre, personality development etc. This will help to develop skills apart from the academic skills (Andrews and Russell, 2012). Take each assignment very seriously. And the student should complete the assignment within the given deadline. Seek advice from seniors, professors and parents when in a state of doubt.

Respect the professors and seniors.

Communicate with fellow students and juniors in a respectful manner. Should have good verbal and non-verbal communication skills.  He should help others when required.

It is very important for a person to understand the others person perspective and respect their opinion and understand the importance of teamwork (Clancy, 2007). A student should not indulge in discrimination or bias on the basis of color, race, gender, religion etc. 

It is very important for students to set objectives for themselves in order to make their life meaningful. The objectives should be SMART (Jung, 2007).

Ability to Learn and Develop

S- Specific

M-Measurable

A-Attainable

R-Realistic

T-Timely

Responsibility: Attendance

Performance Objective: To achieve a minimum of 90% attendance in each subject for the duration of 1 month (Clancy, 2007).

Responsibility: Value money

Performance Objective: To bring down daily expenditure to 100 $ for 1 month.

Responsibility: Academic scores

Performance Objective: To score a minimum of 80% score in all assignments to be submitted in 1 month.

Responsibility: Meet deadlines

Performance Objective: To complete all assignments and presentations within the given deadline in 1 month along with maintaining the quality of work.

Responsibility: Improve communication skills

Performance Objective: Improve verbal and non-verbal communication skills and participate in 2 debate competitions in 1 month.

Responsibility: Teamwork

Performance Objective: Form a team of 5 people and prepare a presentation on the legal aspects of business in 15 days with the contribution of each team member. 

According to Herzberg’s theory of motivation, it is important to improve motivation and hygiene factors. Proper feedback should be given regarding performance indicators. The person should be appreciated when there is an improvement in performance indicator (Lauzier and Haccoun, 2014). For example, if there is an increase in average attendance from 75% to 80%, the person should be appreciated so that he feels valued.

According to the Expectancy theory, people become motivated when they believe that they will get the desired reward if their objective is met. Thus to motivate a person, it is very important to give him the desired reward. For example, a movie ticket is given to a student if the average score is 90% in all his assignments. “Student of the month” certificate to a student if the average attendance is above 90% for 1 month (Lauzier and Haccoun, 2014). 

Three-dimensional theory of attribution suggests that proper feedback should be given. This will prevent them from assuming that their failure is due to some uncontrollable factor and their success is dependent on controllable factors.

Recognition is an important tool for inspiring people (Miller, Biggart and Newton, 2013). For example, a student who scores an average of 95% in all the assignments is given the title of “student of the month”. 

Providing incentives is a good way of motivating people. The incentives can be financial like cash prize, food coupons, etc. or non-financial like appreciation. 

Performance measurement tools are used to measure the performance against set objectives. In industries, various tools like KPI’s, performance appraisals (360-degree feedback, management by objective, forced distribution, performance ranking), dashboards, six sigma, benchmarking, rating scales, self-assessment, balanced scorecard are used for performance management. 

Establishing and Maintaining Direct and Indirect Relationships

As per the performance dashboard for 4th July 2016 to 8th July 2016, the average attendance for all the subjects is 85% against the target of 90%. The average daily expenditure is 120$ against the target of 100$. The average score for all the submitted assignments is 75% against the target of 80%.

360 Feedback has been used to measure performance related to deadlines, communication skills, and teamwork.  As per the feedback obtained from juniors, seniors, class fellows and professors, there is an improvement in communication skills and team work but deadlines have not been met for some assignment (Nielsen and Hohnen, 2014).

As per the graphic rating method, on a scale of 1-5, communication skills have been rated as 4, teamwork has been rated as 4 and meeting deadlines has been rated as 3. 1 stands for poor and 5 stands for excellence.

There is always a scope of improvement. Following are the recommendations to improve performance:

Fostering teamwork- Teamwork can help us understand concepts in a better way. Group studies can help in improving academic scores.

Continuous learning- We should keep on attending workshops, seminars and training sessions. For example, personality development workshops can help us improve communication skills and interpersonal skills.

Time management- Time management is very important for completing the assignments within given deadlines (Nielsen and Hohnen, 2014).

Recognize achievements- People should be recognized and appreciated if they achieve their desired objectives.

Frequent feedback- Continuous feedbacks are required for improvement.

Motivation in the form of incentives- Financial or non-financial incentives can be given to encourage people.

Evaluate performance variance and conduct RCA- Difference between desired performance and actual performance gives variance. Root Cause Analysis should be done for not achieving the objectives (Cockburn, 2013).

 Since there is a shortage of staff in the hotel, it is important to address the issue otherwise it may result in loss of revenue or have a negative impact on the services offered to customers.

(A.1)

Hello Kelly

We are trying to hire new staff for our hotel. We do not have enough time to conduct the entire recruitment process and the turnover rate for certain departments are very high like housekeeping and security department. We seek help from your recruitment agency to hire new people. We have huge vacancies in the following department- housekeeping, security, and accounting.

Job title- Housekeeping agent

The employee will have to work for 50-60 hours a week.

Setting Objectives and Performance Measurement

Compensation will be given on the basis of a number of hours, i.e. 10 dollars an hour.

There will be a probation period of 1 month (Haasler, 2013).

The main functions are Responsibility for cleanliness of rooms and hotel building, provide a laundry facility to guests and maintain gardens of the hotel.

Job title: Security guard

Employee will have to work for 60-70 hours a week (Dunlap, 1964)

Compensation will be given on the basis of a number of hours, i.e. 12 dollars an hour.

The main functions are the responsibility of security of hotel guests and employees, to keep a record of entry and exit of materials, fire extinguishing if a fire breaks in the hotel.

Job title: Accounting manager

Qualification: Post graduate in financial and accounting management

Compensation will be given on per month basis, i.e. 18000 dollars per month

There will be a probation period of 3 months (Jackson, 2007).

Job responsibilities are: Preparing a budget for hotel and allocating budget to each department, prepare a balance sheet and P/L statement, managing salaries, maintaining accounts for each department, etc.

Regards

Jessica Brown

TO: All Employees

FROM: Jessica Brown

DATE: 11th July 2016

SUBJECT: Current staffing problem at the hotel

We are currently facing a shortage of staff at our hotel. This needs to be addressed on an immediate basis; otherwise it may lead to revenue loss and dissatisfaction of customers. I would like to invite the heads of the following departments for a meeting: front office, housekeeping, purchase and storage, food and beverage, engineering and maintenance, accounting and security. The meeting will be held on 12th July 2016 in the conference room on ground floor.

The meeting is being held to discuss certain initiatives that the HR department is taking like hiring new employees, cross-functional training, retention of existing employees, job enlargement etc.

Sincerely

Jessica Brown 

(A.3)

Jessica Brown

George Street

London

United Kingdom

11th July 2016

Paul Patterson

Chief Executive

Hotel Platinum

George Street

London

United Kingdom 

Dear Paul Patterson

I’m writing this letter to bring to your notice the current staffing issue, i.e. shortage of staff on our hotel. I’m planning to then take the following steps in order to address this issue:

Recruitment: I’m coordinating with a recruitment agency for recruiting people for our hotel. Major vacancies are in the housekeeping, security, and maintenance department.

Retention: It is very important to retain the existing employees to reduce employee turnover. In order to retain employees, we should motivate them and provide compensation to them (Bergman and Shubert, 2013).

Motivation and Performance

Enhance productivity: In order to enhance the productivity of existing employees, there should be training sessions- functional training and cross-functional training. This would help them to enhance their skills and acquire new skills. Training sessions would help to boost their confidence.

Job enlargement: To compensate for the shortage of staff, we can use this job design technique. Since with job enlargement, there will be an increase in duties and responsibilities, they will be provided with improved compensations.

Sincerely

Jessica Brown

HR Manager 

The requirement of staff has increased at our hotel over the past 1 month. Due to low staffing level, there is a dire need to adopt time management strategies in order to complete all the tasks smoothly.

Setting priorities at work: It is very important to prioritize the tasks at hand. We should distinguish between important work and urgent work. The best way to manage time is to make a to-do list. After completing the list, rank the tasks in order of their priority.

Use of a planning tool: A personal planning tool can be used to enhance productivity. We can use diaries, white board, sticky notes, calendars etc. to write down the tasks to be completed along with their schedule. It is important to review the planning tool on a daily basis. Tasks with the highest priority should be marked or highlighted (Venkateswarlu, 2012).

Use of PDA: Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) can be used to keep a record of all meetings and appointments (Bergman and Shubert, 2013). The technique of colour coding can be used to distinguish between business meetings and personal appointments. Tasks can be prioritized and deadlines can be assigned to each task.

Work in an organized manner: It is very important to work in an organized way to get rid of clutter. Delete all the unwanted information from your desktop/laptop and diaries. All the files and documents should be stored in an organized way so that time is not wasted in sorting out information from files and documents. Delegate tasks to people who can handle them efficiently and have the appropriate skills to handle a task.

Managing time schedules: It is important to determine the time when one is most productive and alert. At this time the person should take up challenging activities and complete them without any interruption. If a person has some free time while commuting, he can schedule small tasks like reading or writing a mail or reading a document. A person should manage time in such a way that he can create a balance between work life and professional life (Jonck and Minnaar, 2015). It is equally important to devote time to recreational activities like playing, reading, listening to music, etc. Poor time management can lead to frequent illness, fatigue, irritability, etc. Proper time management can help in reducing stress levels.

Performance Measurement Tools

Breakdown of task: It is always advisable to break a task into smaller tasks with specific and realistic deadlines. This will help in proper utilization of time.

Manage external factor: There are external factors that may hamper time management and time scheduling like an unexpected phone call, unexpected visitors, sudden family obligation, etc. It is important to keep a check on these factors and stay away from factors that result in time wastage in order to stay focused (Jung, 2007).                                                             

A team is a group of people who work toward a common goal in synergy. Belbin has listed the following nine team roles:

Resource investigator: They explore new opportunities.

Team worker Coordinate with other members to get the work done. They give more importance to team goals than personal goals.

Co-coordinators: They are good at delegating work.

Plant: They are good at problem solving and are extremely creative.

Evaluator: Able to make logical and impartial judgments.

Specialist: They have a vast knowledge of key areas (Venkateswarlu, 2012).

Shaper: They are good at driving, motivating and giving direction to the team.

Implementer Needs a well-developed plan and works according to it.

Completer Makes extra efforts to meet deadlines and has high standards of quality.

These 9 roles define the strengths that the team members should possess. Thus, on the basis of strengths required for the different role, we can allocate tasks to different team members. For example, according to the case study, Andrew is full of new ideas. Thus he can be asked to conceptualize an advertisement for the travel agency.

 Tuckman’s four stage model group development states that the following 4 stages are involved in teamwork:

Forming: Team members come together and are anxious to work with each other. Team leader plays an important role. People are polite to each other and avoid conflicts.

Storming: Since everyone comes up with their own ideas and views, there is a conflict between team members.

Norming: Team members start understanding each other and develop a cordial relationship. Team members start knowing other’s strengths and weaknesses. Roles and responsibilities become clear (Suneela, 2014).

Performing: Team members perform and help each other to achieve team objectives. Group loyalty is high and energy levels are high. The entire focus is to achieve goals.

Recommendations for Performance Improvement

According to the case study, the team led by Claire has gone through all the four stages during the task of creating leaflets. The team was successful in designing the leaflets. As a team leader, Claire understands her role of resolving conflicts.

 The Team leader has a very important role to play in the development of the team and for the team to be successful

Stage 1- Claire should introduce the team members to each other because they are working together for the first time. Team members should be assigned tasks. Claire should define the objectives for the entire team.

Stage 2- Claire should encourage brainstorming. It is her responsibility to resolve conflicts and motivate team members.

Stage 3- Claire should delegate tasks to team members on the basis of their strengths and weaknesses.

Stage 4- Claire should ensure that the team is moving in the right direction and focus on time management in order to achieve deadlines.

According to Hackman, there are 5 factors that can make a team successful:

Being a real team- Team leader should define objectives for the team. Every team member should be given clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

Compelling direction- Team leader should define the direction of the team. He should motivate the team to achieve the desired goals. The goals should be challenging and achievable.

Enabling structure: The structure of the team should be defined by the team leader. The team members should be talented and should have diverse skills. The size of the team should be moderate.

Supportive context: There should be rewards and recognition on the basis of performance. The team leader should encourage and motivate the team members.

Expert coaching: Team leader should always be ready to help his team members in terms of tasks or interpersonal skills. He should be a mentor to all the new team members and coach the members regarding processes and policies.

The problem arises when there is a difference between the desired state and actual state.

Problem: Holiday has gone wrong

The expectations of Anthea and Carlo from the Shire Hotel were very high. But their expectations were not met. The facilities that they expected were not present in the deluxe room. Even housekeeping was not satisfactory. The front desk department was understaffed. Hotel operations need improvement (Bird, Gao and Yeung, 2016). Food choices were very few for a buffet. Thus the main problem is the selection of hotel for a holiday in New Zealand. 

Causes: With the help of fish bone diagram, following are the causes identified for the problem:

Did not consult any travel agent

The hotel was over advertised on the internet

The couple for looking for an economical option 

While selecting a hotel for a holiday it is better to consult a travel agent because he is aware of the hotels and their charges.

It is also advisable to consult someone who has been to New Zealand about the available hotels.

It is not advisable to make choice of hotel on the basis of advertisements given on the internet because the hotels may be overrated on the internet. The advertisements can be viewed as a reference but we cannot build our expectations on the basis of what we see on the internet (Okey and Santiago, 2008).

If there are any budget constraints, communicate it to the travel agent. He will recommend a hotel within the communicated budget.

Define the problem- Selection of hotel in New Zealand.

Brainstorm ideas- Consult a travel agent who has knowledge of hotels available in different ranges; look for money saving deals and forget about facilities; make a choice on the basis of advertisement which may make false claims.

Decide on a solution- It is best to consult a travel agent. Travel agents are reliable advisors.

Implement the solution- Book a room in a hotel recommended by the agent.

Review the result- Analyze whether the expectations have been met or not. 

Fishbone diagram and 5-Step process are two commonly used techniques for problem-solving.

5-STEP PROCESS

As per this technique, there are 5 steps involved in solving a problem:

Define the problem- This helps to identify areas of improvement and set objectives.

Brainstorm ideas- A list of solutions is created.

Decide on a solution- One solution is selected that will give best results and will have fewer side-effects (Nielsen and Hohnen, 2014).

Implement the solution- The chosen solution is put into action.

Review the results- The actual outcomes are compared with the desired outcomes to identify deviation.

In practical life, problem solving becomes easy when we work in teams because in large organizations the problems are complex in nature. A person (A) may be good at generating ideas but not good at implementing them whereas the other person (B) may be good at execution but not creative enough to bring new ideas. Thus we can form a team where A will be given the responsibility of generating new ideas whereas B will be given the responsibility of executing them.

Consumers use this technique while making purchase decisions.

It is also known as a cause-effect diagram. These diagrams are used for quality control in organizations.

The problem statement is considered the “effect”. A horizontal arrow is made and the problem is written against the horizontal line. This resembles the spine and head of the fish (Yazdani and Tavakkoli-Moghaddam, 2012)

Brainstorming is done to identify all possible factors that affect the problem. For example, for service related problem, people, technology, procedures, and policies are selected as factors.

All the identified factors are written against branches extending from the horizontal arrow.

Now for each identified factor (in step-2), brainstorming is done to identify the causes of the problem. They are represented by horizontal lines extending from branches.

Following was the impact of implementing the strategy decided on the basis of fish bone diagram and 5-step process:

The couple consulted a travel agent and communicated the maximum budget they had set for the hotel i.e. 250 pounds a day (Yazdani and Tavakkoli-Moghaddam, 2012).

They travel agent gave them a list of 5 hotels that were available within the given budget. He shared the pictures of the hotels and also listed the facilities available in each hotel.

Out of the 5 hotels, the couple selected Landscape Hotel. As per the facilities communicated by the travel agent, the room had a fridge, LCD, bath tub, and microwave.

Once the couple reached their hotel, they received a warm welcome and the front desk staff was very cooperative.

The room had everything that the travel agent had promised- food, ambiance, service etc.

The couple had a good overall experience and thanked the travel agent for his guidance. 

References

Andrews, G. and Russell, M. (2012). Employability skills development: strategy, evaluation and impact.HE, Skills & Work-Based Lrng, 2(1), pp.33-44.

Bergman, C. and Shubert, L. (2013). Interactive Strategies. Nurse Educator, 38(4), pp.137-138.

Bird, R., Gao, X. and Yeung, D. (2016). Time-series and cross-sectional momentum strategies under alternative implementation strategies. Australian Journal of Management.

Clancy, C. (2007). The Performance of Performance Measurement. Health Services Research, 42(5), pp.1797-1801.

Cockburn, T. (2013). Authors of their own lives? Children, Contracts, their Responsibilities, Rights and Citizenship. The International Journal of Children's Rights, 21(2), pp.372-384.

Croucher, R. (2011). Encouraging And Monitoring Performance: Responsibilities And Techniques.Journal of College Teaching & Learning (TLC), 2(12).

Dunlap, J. (1964). A school psychologist views his own responsibilities. Psychol. Schs., 1(1), pp.17-19.

Haasler, S. (2013). Employability skills and the notion of ‘self’. International Journal of Training and Development, 17(3), pp.233-243.

Jackson, T. (2007). Develop your interpersonal and self management skills Karen Stainsby Develop your interpersonal and self management skills Radcliffe Publishing £21.95 152 1 84619 107 7 1846191077. Cancer Nursing Practice, 6(6), pp.17-17.

Jonck, P. and Minnaar, R. (2015). Validating an Employer Graduate-Employability Skills Questionnaire in the Faculty of Management Sciences. MJSS.

Jung, L. (2007). Writing SMART Objectives and Strategies That Fit the ROUTINE. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 39(4), pp.54-58.

Lauzier, M. and Haccoun, R. (2014). The Interactive Effect of Modeling Strategies and Goal Orientations on Affective, Motivational, and Behavioral Training Outcomes. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 27(2), pp.83-102.

Miller, L., Biggart, A. and Newton, B. (2013). Basic and employability skills. International Journal of Training and Development, 17(3), pp.173-175.

Nielsen, K. and Hohnen, P. (2014). Introduction: How do we Understand Working Environment Policies, Programmes and Instruments?. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 4(3), p.1.

Okey, J. and Santiago, R. (2008). Integrating Instructional and Motivational Design. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 4(2), pp.11-21.

Suneela, E. (2014). Soft Skills are Employability Skills; With Special Reference to Communication Skills. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 19(8), pp.59-61.

Venkateswarlu, K. (2012). A Review on Employability Skills. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 2(5), pp.32-34.

Yazdani, A. and Tavakkoli-Moghaddam, R. (2012). Integration of the fish bone diagram, brainstorming, and AHP method for problem solving and decision making—a case study. The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 63(5-8), pp.651-657.

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