Manage Personal Work Priorities and Professional Development - Task 1

  1. Personal Work Plan

Indeed (2020) has described the roles which team leaders play in their organisations. They have to manage groups, subgroups and projects. They have to provide guidance and instructions to their team members. Some key responsibilities of team leaders are managing and supervising activities, strategizing approaches to tasks and developing plans to accomplish them, communicating with team members and stakeholders, organising and keeping track of and arranging the different tasks, employee behaviour and documents respectively, and setting goals for the organisation which all the team members have to work towards fulfilling. Apart from these things, a diligent manager will also identify her/his personal work goals, plans, activities and career objectives. As the manager of a Big C store, I will see to it that my tasks for the day are planned well in advance and even before I step into the store in the morning. I will streamline my activities of the day according to the plan I have carved out for my contribution to the day’s business. My career objective is to be conscious of my duty, desire the most, serve my organisation with optimum energy, to be sincere and committed to the goals of my organisation and to explore the best of the capabilities within me as well as my work environment.

I have two sets of responsibilities in my job as a manager of Big C. The first set is that of the key responsibility areas (KRAs) identified by my recruiters and superiors which I have to fulfil daily. The second set of responsibilities is the one which I have assumed myself to make sure that I give my maximum to my organisation. Betterteam (2019) has identified some of the responsibilities which a store manager must fulfil. I oversee the diurnal operations at my store. I make sure that all the operations run smoothly, effectively and efficiently in my store. I am responsible for motivating my sales teams and personnel as well as training recruits. I develop promotional and marketing material occasionally as and when the need arises. I make sure that my store operates in a customer- and service-oriented way. The experience and satisfaction of my customers matter the most both to me and my organisation. I daily get my store opened early in the morning and supervise the cleaning staff. I check the inventory and then contact my suppliers in case the store needs some items. The next thing I do is reach out to the business’ stakeholders and update them about the plans for the day’s business. At the time when the footfall is not much, I take the opportunity to conduct training sessions for the sales teams or I browse the net about organisational growth opportunities and try to implement the best of the ideas in my system. I encourage my HR team to acquire the best talent from amongst the applicants. My grievance redressal department teams have been instructed by me to receive customer complaints with patience and act on them speedily. I have a sizeable experience of managing the budget of my organisation as well as maximising its profitability. I am a self-motivated worker and can efficiently prioritise between the different daily tasks. I have made it a habit to never miss a deadline. I ensure that my teams and I work in a fast-paced, serious and dynamic organisational work environment to produce the best results. I ensure that occupational health and safety (OHS) standards are maintained in my store, with special enhanced focus since March 2020 when the news of the coronavirus outbreak had spread, lockdowns were being implemented in many countries by their respective governments across the world and people were afraid of stepping out of their homes. Through all these constructive measures which I take for my organisation’s growth and profitability, I have developed an eye for detail, enhanced my problem-solving abilities and now I can easily adapt with the changes happening around me.

  1. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Nicasio (2020) has highlighted some essential KPIs for tracking sales in chains of departmental stores. These retail metrics and KPIs provide a clear picture of the trajectory of the business and what outcomes can be expected in the future. They help the managers to plan for the improvement of the business and its overall profitability. The three KPIs I have identified and developed to measure the success of the business is ‘Sales per Employee’, ‘Conversion Rate’ and ‘Gross and Net Profit’.

The ‘Sales per Employee’ indicator can be calculated using the formula net sales/number of employees. It helps in making better employment plans concerning hiring and compensation. An even better method to track ‘Sales per Employee’ is to gauge the sales made and revenue generated by individual employees and tabulating them. The Point-of-Sales (POS) machine system is a useful technology which keeps a track of the revenue generated by each salesperson. This indicator can be improved by properly training the sales personnel, setting smart sales targets for them and motivating them to perform better and bring in more revenue through sales.

‘Conversion Rate’ can be measured by using the formula number of sales/total number of visitors. It represents the ratio of the number of people who purchased items to the number of people who visited the store. It is important to calculate the ‘Conversion Rate’ because this data signifies how well a company is performing in converting the walk-ins to buyers. A high footfall into the stores is a good sign but it does not guarantee an equal amount of sales. ‘Conversion Rate’ can be increased by training and empowering the associates to build rapport with the clients. Associates should be able to provide information and insights about the different products in the store. They should have a convincing rather than a forceful tone when they interact with the customers.

‘Gross Profit’ tells how much a company made after subtracting the cost of developing and selling the products. The formula used is sales revenues – the cost of goods sold. ‘Net Profit’ tells how much a company made after subtracting the cost of goods along with all other expenses the business incurred. The formula is all revenues – all expenses. ‘Gross and Net Profit’ indicate whether or not a business is profiting. ‘Gross and Net Profit’ can be increased by streamlining diurnal operations, reducing expenses, raising the prices of products and increasing sales among other methods.

  1. Personal Performance

Kenton (2020) defines stock shrinkage as the loss of inventory because of employees thieving products, customers shoplifting products, faults in the administration, vendors committing fraud, products getting damaged and/or because of errors at the cashier’s end. Shrinkage can be measured by looking at the difference between the amount of inventory noted in the company’s balance sheet and the actual inventory present in the store and/or warehouse. There is an acute shrinkage problem in my store and I have been assigned a team of four members to fight this problem and ensure better sales. Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras are installed at all strategic points in the store and as well in the warehouse. Along with performing my daily tasks and fulfilling my daily responsibilities, I, along with my Shrinkage Team, are battling the shrinkage problem. In the early morning hours and other periods during the day when the footfall in the store is comparatively low, I seize the opportunity to train the Shrinkage Team and other staff. This training has been designed by me with suggestions from my teammates and superiors. It will continue for two weeks with the first two days having the trail training project and will be practically implemented over the next 8 months until the shrinkage problem is completely solved. The huge size of my store and the limited security staff therein are adverse factors which act as impediments in solving the shrinkage problem. To counter this, I have sought the cooperation of all the employees in the store to fight this problem and report unethical practices, if any, to me. Since my employees work in shifts and have varying work hours, I have made a rule that they all report to me together at an interval of every 4 days at 5 pm so that we can meet and discuss the progress we are making towards solving the shrinkage problem. In this way, I can perform my daily regular duties at my workplace as well as deal with the problem of shrinkage over the next few months by streamlining all these tasks.

Manage Personal Work Priorities and Professional Development - Task 2

  1. General Health

A manager needs to ensure that she/he and her team members remain physically and mentally healthy. Good health of workers ensures enhanced productivity. If an employee is facing health issues or is stressed out during the course of work, she/he may not be able to perform well. Bad health or high-stress levels also adversely affect the work-life balance of professionals.

Lajini (2014) has mentioned that stress in the workplace must be managed because it hurts employees and organisations. Some causes of stress are poor health and worsening mental health and physiology of a person’s body. Other ill-effects of stress are changes in behaviour, gastrointestinal disorders, fatigue and sleep disorders. The risk of cardiovascular diseases and other psychological disorders also increases due to stress. Stress among employees incurs losses in business. An employee’s health and organisational productivity are directly proportional. A company’s reputation is put at stake when its employees cannot function efficiently because of work-related stress and because of changes in their behaviour. Legal issues might as well crop up too. Customers might complain more often due to receiving poor services. Another important reason why stress should be managed at the workplace is to control absenteeism of employees which leads to lowered productivity of the organisation. Stress can be managed in the workplace by managing the factors which cause stress. A happy worker is always a productive worker. One of the best approaches to manage stress is by encouraging teamwork. Stress can also be managed by providing for relaxation or recreational rooms within the office building which employees can access to unwind for some time. Google and other big companies have such provisions for their employees.

Four signs that indicate a person is under stress in the workplace are her/him taking more time off work than expected, that she/he is irritable with poor concentration and reduced productivity, that she/he is sweating profusely, palpitating much and have increased blood pressure, and when they start behaving in a way that is not expected out of an employee in the workplace (Hughes, 2013).

Occupational Health & Safety (OH & S) is the legislation which is a place to ensure that the employees are operating in a safe environment.

Manage Personal Work Priorities and Professional Development - Task 3

Table of Qualifications and Competencies

  1. Retail experience; content management, social media management, inbound marketing and data analytics; 3 years in current position; seeking clarity, providing context, illustrating one’s standards, fostering participation and creating action plans
  2. Strong computer literacy; knowing how to operate computers, working on databases like MS Excel, MS Access, etc., being able to make interactive PPTs and being able to handle accounting software like Tally; Basic computer skills; learning MS Excel, MS PowerPoint and Tally
  3. First Aid certificate; Compliance with OH & S standards and legislation; Certificate expires in 3 months; promptly applying for a new certificate
  4. Leadership skills; high maintenance of personal work, punctuality, fostering teamwork, engaging with employees, clients and stakeholders, illustrating one’s standards of work and building relationships with clients, workers, vendors and stakeholders; Bachelor of Commerce (Major in Management); preplanning day’s activities, be cautious of the problem of shrinkage, manage employees’ stress in the workplace
  5. Organising and coordinating the transportation of stock; knowledge of vendors and regular clients, knowledge of consumer behaviour, knowledge of logistics and logistical operations and leadership skills; N/A; check the problem of shrinkage, maintain regular contact and build relationship with the vendors and leading the logistics team
  6. Recruiting, hiring and training staff; building great relationships with the staff, leadership skills, conducting regular pieces of training and workshops, hiring the most talented job applicants and retaining them by providing a conducive work atmosphere, maintain regular touch with the HR department and HR activities; N/A; recruiting new staff based on talent, conducting preventive training sessions for problems such as shrinkage

360 Degree Feedback

The student has performed well in almost all her/his roles as a manager, judging from the feedback she/he has received from other employees, clients and colleagues as well as from her/his self-assessment. However, there is always room for further improvement. Communication and human relation skills can be improved by holding regular meetings with all stakeholders, colleagues and subordinates as well as by building constructive relationships with the clients and team members. Customer relationship management can be improved by building great relationships with the customers, providing additional benefits to big and regular customers and by studying consumer behaviour and interacting with them regularly. Purchasing decision-making can be improved by understanding the demands, needs and desires of the customers and by establishing a strong bond and constructive relationships with both the vendors and the customers. Problem-solving mechanisms can be developed and improved by studying and implementing organisational growth methods, by taking preventive actions on problems which may arise and by conducting regular pieces of training of the employees. The potential of teamwork can be tapped by fostering healthy relationships between team members and colleagues and working together towards achieving organisational goals. Efficiency and productivity of the organisation can be increased by following the necessary OH & S standards, managing stress levels of employees, incentivising them for commendable performance, fostering better communication and human relations, managing customer relationships, managing vendor relationships, deploying preventive problem-solving mechanisms, encouraging teamwork and by using state-of-the-art technology efficiently. There is much room for improvement in computer skills. These can be developed by working on different software and understanding them completely. Some software is MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Access and Tally among others which are used for business purposes. The reliability of a manager can be developed and improved by her/him being committed to the work and organisational goals and by being available in case colleagues and subordinates require them for some help.

  1. Table of Competencies

After a detailed analysis of the table of competencies, it can be said that it is designed more or less perfectly. Its data points are in line with the manager’s actual performance in her/his different roles in his organisation. There is no need for making adjustments, additions or deletions to the table.

  1. Suitable Learning Styles

My performance in most of the roles I play as a manager in one of the stores of Big C has been commendable and appreciated by my superiors throughout my tenure. However, I believe that learning is a continuous and lifelong process. Although I have performed very well in regards to most of the metrics of being a manager, there are some areas I need to touch upon, develop my skills in and improve my performance in. The learning styles I plan to adopt for these metrics are Convergent (thinking, doing), Divergent (watching, feeling), Assimilation (thinking, watching) and Accommodative (feeling, doing). To enhance my communication and human relation skills, I will adopt both the Convergent and Divergent learning methods because I feel this is the most important aspect of being a manager. For customer relationship management, again I will adopt both the Convergent and the Divergent methods of learning so that I can cater to my customers in every way and the best manner possible. To improve my purchasing decision-making, I would use a combination of Convergent, Divergent and Assimilation learning techniques because purchasing is a very important aspect of any business and uses the business’ funds. To enhance my problem-solving abilities, I would use Convergent and Assimilation learning because like a doctor does not depend on his feeling for the patient to treat the patient’s illness, there is no scope for feelings in solving business-related problems. To create an atmosphere of teamwork and foster teamwork in my organisation, I would use the Convergent learning strategies. To enhance the efficiency and productivity of my organisation and that of my employees and myself, I plan to use the Convergent and the Divergent learning methods. Feeling, in this case, is important because I need to manage my employees’ stress levels and take into consideration their other health factors in the workplace. To enhance my computer skills, I would learn the necessary software, increase my typing and navigation speed as well as learn the necessary shortcuts and tricks of operating the different programs on the computer. This would require the Convergent and Assimilation learning methods. To increase my reliability in my organisation, I would use the Convergent and the Accommodative learning methods as this requires thinking, feeling and performing.

  1. Development Opportunities

The development opportunity of my choice is being exchanged to different Big C stores which have low-performance levels so that I can contribute to increasing those store’s sales and services. Since the store is low on performance, I will have ample opportunities to work and learn in this scenario. The first thing I would see is how punctual all the employees are in the new store. I will encourage those employees to be punctual who do not reach the workplace on time. I will ensure that the cleanliness and tidiness of the store are up to the mark. I will encourage my sales staff to be patient and polite to the customers. I will check whether all the computer systems and cameras are in working conditions and send those for reparations which have been lying defunct. I will conduct regular training sessions and workshops for my employees so that they can learn the best practices and the experiences of other better performing Big C stores. I will make frequent inspection rounds throughout the store during the day to check whether everything is in place and all operations are running smoothly. Later in the day, I will convey the day’s progress and activities of the store to the stakeholders. I will ensure that my teams are working diligently and are motivated towards achieving organisational as well as their personal work goals. Until the store starts performing exceedingly well, I would be the last person to leave the store every day at the closing hour.

  1. Network Development

The first and the foremost step in developing a network within the organisation so that fosters better communication, learning and developing new skills is for the manager to keep in touch with and regularly update the key stakeholders of the organisation of the day to day activities and the progress her/his store is making. They should arrange meetings or video conference calls with the stakeholders regularly so that issues related to operations can be discussed and plans of action can be formulated. The role of stakeholders becomes highly important in this case because they have everything to gain or lose in the business. They can provide detailed insights into how the stores and the overall business can achieve consistent growth by advising and suggesting the managers take the necessary critical steps for the same. Managers can also maintain direct contact with managers and personnel from other Big C stores so that they can discuss among themselves and discover which best practices are being employed in the operations of their respective stores. By forming this network, the managers can ensure that they are all working in tandem and synchronisation towards achieving organisational goals and also that their stores and the overall business are profiting from their activities. Such communication between the managers of different stores and the key stakeholders can give birth to new, exciting and highly productive business ideas. Managers can use and implement these novel ideas in their stores to achieve better performance and higher sales. A lot of learning and skill development can happen when occasional meetings are arranged between these parties. This is how forming a constructive network within the organisation can help the managers achieve their targets.

  1. Skill Development

Conlan (n.d.) has provided a list of some essential managerial skills for retail department stores. Departmental stores are always looking for talented retail managers. Retail managers have to perform all kinds of activities in their stores which range from dealing with customers, managing staff and sales associates, achieve monthly sales targets and innovate and pitch in whenever something new needs to be done or some problem needs to be solved. A good understanding of the retail industry is something sought after by employers. The most needed skills to become a successful retail manager are as follows.

  • Customer Service: This is highly critical in retail. It means to provide great customer experience to the customers. It can be developed by interacting with customers, understanding their needs, desires and demands and studying consumer behaviour
  • Leadership: This involves the supervision of teams which might include inexperienced workers. The manager’s work itself should be exemplary and a motivating factor for her/his employees. Leadership can be developed through diligent work, extensive planning and strong communication with everyone.
  • Sales Experience: The manager’s own sales experience is not sufficient. She/he must motivate the sales associates to bring in more revenue. A background in handling sales is a very important aspect for retail managers. Higher sales can be achieved through training sales associates and providing them with excellent examples of how sales are to be done.
  • Resilience: Flexibility and mental toughness are must for retail managers to deal with the changing nature of business. These can be developed through thorough research of the market and consumer behaviour and needs and implementing new ideas in the business.
  • Organisation: Retail is a fast-paced and dynamic sector. Individual companies have to strive hard to stay in competition. Good planning and organisational skills and strong troubleshooting capabilities are keys to being a successful manager and ensuring that one makes her/his organisation stay on top.
  • Communication: This is certainly one of the most important aspects of being a successful manager. It can be developed through hard work, consistency, interaction with employees, superiors, clients and stakeholders and by facing tough situations which allows a manager to innovate and develop new solutions.

References for Manage Personal Work Priorities and Professional Development

Betterteam. 2019. Store manager job description. [Online]. Available at: https://www.betterteam.com/store-manager-job-description#:~:text=A%20Store%20Manager%20is%20responsible,material%2C%20and%20training%20new%20staff. [Accessed on September 26, 2020].

Conlan, C. n.d. Important retail manager skills needed to succeed. [Online]. Available at: https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/retail-manager-skills [Accessed on September 27, 2020].

Hughes, R. 2013. 10 signs your employees are suffering from stress and anxiety. [Online]. Available at: https://www.hrzone.com/perform/people/10-signs-your-employees-are-suffering-from-stress-and-anxiety [Accessed on September 27, 2020].

Indeed. 2020. 5 roles and responsibilities of a team leader. [Online]. Available at: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/responsibilities-of-a-team-leader [Accessed on September 26, 2020].

Kenton, W. 2020. Shrinkage. [Online]. Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/shrinkage.asp [Accessed on September 26, 2020].

Lajini, P., 2014. Why stress should be managed in the workplace. African Newsletter 24(1), p.13. [Online]. Available at: https://www.bispebjerghospital.dk/afdelinger-og-klinikker/arbejds-og-miljoemedicinsk-afdeling/forskning/forskningsprojekter/tidligere-projekter/Documents/AfricanNewsletter1-2014pdf.pdf#page=13 [Accessed on September 27, 2020].

Nicasio, F. 2020. Retail metrics: 14 essential KPIs for tracking your business’ performance. [Online]. Available at: https://www.vendhq.com/blog/retail-metrics-and-kpis/ [Accessed on September 26, 2020]

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