In today’s era, employees are constantly being assessed in organisations on the basis of their performance, knowledge and skills due to high increase in the competition so that their competencies can be updated time to time. Professional development and personal skill audit highly matters for the success of hospitality organisations as employees are the outward face of firms who are in direct contact with the customers (Maltoni and Lomonaco, 2018). In the present report, selected organisation is Travelodge which is based in UK with reference to which importance of on-going professional development and self-directed learning will be discussed along with assessing own skills, competencies and distinct learning and development approaches. Further, professional development plan (PDP) for the HR manager will be developed with demonstrating the skills required in service industry for a job application.
P1. Role of on-going professional development and its advantages to the employees and employers
On-going professional development or can say continuous professional development (CDP) is having an important role in service industry and so as in Travelodge. It is vital because it ensures staff to continue to be competent enough in their profession. As it is an on-going process, people working in organisation improve their skills and competencies on continuous basis throughout their professional career. Main outcome of on-going professional development is that it protects the employer and employee both in their professional careers (OH and et.al., 2018). This is having a lot of advantages to employees and employer in Travelodge some of which are given as below:
Benefits to employees
Matching current standards
-On-going professional development helps employees in keeping pace with the current standards in company.
Rise in skills
- It helps employees in enhancing their knowledge and skills with results in delivering quality professional services to clients, community and customers.
Contribution to team
- Employees through on-going professional development get assistance in making a meaningful contribution to their team by becoming more effective in their work (Samajdar, Garg and Krishna, 2018).
Benefits to employer
- With on-going professional development, employer in Travelodge gets highly skilled as well as educated labour workforce which help them in effectual attainment of set targets.
- Their chances of getting promotion and higher salary increase as well. Under CPD, employers are provided with certificate programmes, further education, etc. by the firm which in turn dramatically enhance their specialised knowledge and skills.
- CPD leads employer to become more flexible in their working and so, they can handle diverse teams well in Travelodge which increases new opportunities for them (Sartori and et.al., 2018).
P2. Expectations of employer regarding professional skills and standards
There are several expectations of employer in hospitality industry regarding professional skills and standards. In Travelodge, some employer expectations of professional skills are like:
Being in hospitality industry, employees in Travelodge are expected to have top notch interpersonal skills so that business can offer outstanding and quality services to customers.
When staff works well with each other and become productive members of the team, then only success in work can be gained as significant contribution of everyone leads firm to gain overall success in business (Sprinkle and Urick, 2018).
Employees in Travelodge are expected to be highly committed towards their work so that customer satisfaction to utmost level can be ensured and there will be repeat business from their end.
One more skill required in employees that is expected by employer in Travelodge is that of solving problems that will contribute to productive outcomes through developing creative as well as practical solutions (Megginson and Whitaker, 2017).
Further, working in travel and tourism industry always requires flexibility from the end of employees to stay for long in case of unexpected situations arise and longer hours are required to be served.
M1. Significance of on-going professional development and the associated professional skills requirements
On-going professional development in Travelodge is significant to fight off stagnation at workplace which means people learn new skills through training and accept leaving the familiar patterns which help them in gaining new interests. Further, it helps in maintaining engagement of staff with work by which Travelodge reaches to its set targets faster as well as gains a competitive edge over others in the market (Importance of On-Going Learning and Professional Development, 2015). The associated professional skills requirements with CPD are like positive attitude, ready to take initiatives and learning along with cooperating with others. Keeping a positive attitude to learn and taking initiatives to work with coordination leads firm to attain success in market with rendering high level of customer satisfaction.
D1. Critical evaluation of own skills and competencies to match the employer expectation of professional skills
Being working as the HR manager in Travelodge, I possess some skills and competencies among which some are as per the employer expectations of professional skills while, some requires improvement. Critical evaluation of these skills and competencies is given as below:
As I am working as the HR manager in Travelodge, it is expected from me to be very organised and multitasking at my work without any difficulties. However, I am good at handling multiple tasks at a time and in finishing them all at set deadlines. But, sometimes it becomes difficult if there are complex tasks together to deal with (Why professional development matters to the success of a company?, 2018).
The biggest expectation of employer in hospitality sector from employees is that of communication. Being HR manager in Travelodge, it is expected to communicate professionally and effectively at all times in which I am efficient enough but at times when conflicts occur at workplace, to solve the same professionally becomes difficult for me and so, I need to take assistance from my supervisor i.e. the General Manager.
Being HR manager, it is always expected to show my supervisor that I am responsible enough to take all kinds of challenges and enjoy the tasks allotted to me with being punctual and self-dependent (Employer Expectations, 2018). However, in all work situations, it is not possible. Sometimes, with peak workload and small deadlines to accomplish the tasks allotted, it becomes troublesome for me to complete all on time with meeting the set standards.
P3. Assessing own skills, abilities and competencies using appropriate method
There are several methods and techniques available to assess one’s skills, abilities and competencies. However, in Travelodge, for the position of HR manager, it will be done with the help of SWOT analysis which is given as below:
P4. Reviewing learning theories or models used to explain PPD process
Various learning theories and approaches are there that are being used to explain personal and professional development process in Travelodge. These are like:
If this theory will be applied in Travelodge, there will be acquisition of new behaviours of changes in skills and knowledge which are gained with the help of creating relationship between stimuli and response.
As per this theory, learning among employees occurs when there is internal processing of information which is based on the thought process as per information they received (Learning Theories, 2018).
This is basically developing own knowledge on the basis of experiences and internal knowledge that an individual has gained. This kind of learning is different for each person.
David Kolb The Experiential Approach
As per this, learner goes through a first time experience where he/she can learn from various ways. This is more about work of modern adult training providers. This is a continuous learning process where employees can learn and develop through four stages of cycle where at first, learner gets engaged in an activity and then reflect about his experience (Learning Approaches, 2018). After that, new skills and abilities are tried out followed by making analysis based on gained knowledge from experience.
M2. Evaluating own skills and competencies and the most appropriate developmental approach
From SWOT analysis done, it can be assessed that I have many strong areas to continue my work at the position of HR manager in Travelodge but there are some weaknesses too which I need to improve like negotiation, being customer focused and working under pressure that can be done with the help of attending seminars and conferences, solving the case studies and taking guidance from senior authorities like General Manager (Driessen and van Tartwijk, 2018). Further, I have plenty of opportunities available that I can grab along with some threats for which I need to make some strategies like to reduce the risk of job uncertainty and competition, I can gain more degrees related to employment laws and can do further certificate courses to create differentiation with others.
The most appropriate developmental approach to develop personal and professional skills for the position of HR manager is The Experiential Approach given by David Kolb which is helpful in accelerating learning at workplace by practically doing same in an easier and accurate manner. Also, it gives motivation to learn and enhances spirit of team work as well as creativity (Kroll and Dussias, 2017). Further, it helps in improving the attitude towards learning with boosting the morale.
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P5. Undertaking a job interview in a controlled environment
In Travelodge, a job interview (face to face) is taken by the HR department for the position of Tour Manager to fill the respective vacancy. For the same, questions that were asked by the HR manager from tour operator are:
What is your last experience regarding the job of tour manager?
Why did you leave your last job?
Why do you want to join our company?
As a tour manager, which management style you will prefer to follow and why?
Tell something about yourself.
For the position of tour manager, why should we hire you?
Where do you see yourself after 5 years working with us?
What salary do you expect?
After this interview session, the candidate was hired as management was satisfied with what he answered for all questions asked. This proved to be a challenging but successful job interview for Travelodge (Samajdar, Garg and Krishna, 2018).
P6. Reviewing key strengths and weaknesses of the job interview process
Key strength of the job interview process that was held in Travelodge for the position of Tour Manager is that it resulted in yielding good percentage of return. Also, whatever information was gathered by the HR manager in this interview was more correct in comparison to other techniques if that would have been used by the firm. Further, the interviewer was successful in gathering supplementary information regarding the personal characteristics of candidate which will be helpful in the long run as well as of great value (Sartori and et.al., 2018).
On the other hand, there are some weaknesses of the job interview process too that HR managed faced while interviewing the candidate for the position of Tour Manager. The most common weakness was time that company had to invest as it ended for hours. Also, there was an issue that due to presence of interviewer that respondents got over stimulated. Moreover, company had to bear huge cost for conducting this entire procedure. Weakness of limit sample size was also there as only a few candidates could be interviewed (Sprinkle and Urick, 2018).
M3. Evaluation of the job interview process emphasising on obstacles and challenges to overcome
While conducting job interview process in Travelodge for the position of Tour Manager, various challenges and obstacles were faced by the HR manager in which the most common was of time and cost. As there was a stipulated time limit, so giving much time to every single candidate was not possible. Thus, for overcoming the same, candidates in lot were invited and asked with questions. Depending on the suitability of answers given, they were shortlisted which saved some time. Also, cost was one of the factors that served as a challenge as too many candidates were there, making arrangements for whom required expenses to be made (Megginson and Whitaker, 2017). Along with that, one more challenge was faced by the HR manager that is differentiating between fake and real responses of candidates. For the same, further verification was done on the information given. However, it consumed the time again.
D2. Detailed and coherent critical reflection of the interview process with own abilities during the process
Being the HR manager of Travelodge, I conducted the interview process and had a great experience with candidates. This was the first interview I was taking for such a senior position i.e. Tour Manager for which I used many skills and abilities of mine. As I have improved y communication and decision making over the years working in this organisation, I took advantage of it while interviewing the candidates and could easily find out their weaknesses. After asking questions, I was confident enough to reach at the final decision which helped me a lot in making selection of the employee for respective position (Trorey and Cullingford, 2017).
From the above report, it can be concluded that there is always scope for growth and improvement in the professional skills of employees being working in service industry. Thus, professional development and personal skill audit plays a significant role in boosting the morale of employees working in Travelodge. Further, it will help organisation in retaining the best talent for longer span of time so that benefits of their skills, knowledge and competencies can be gained. Also, new talents and weaknesses can be easily identified with same which will make the employees more efficient in their work and so, they will help the organisation to gain a competitive edge over others with sustainability.