PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The company I work for is called Alliance Boots GmbH. For starters, the company is a pharmaceutical company that specialises in health and beauty products. It is a multinational company with a huge presence in more than 25 countries. It has approximate revenue of £22.4 billion. The Alliance Boots Company has a workforce of more than 100,000 staff, operating in close to 3,100 retail stores. All these retail shops have pharmacies for distributing health and beauty products. The main distribution centre serves well over 160,000 pharmacies, hospitals, doctors, and health facilities from some 370 supply centres in over 20 countries.
Personal and professional development is very important to individuals whether they are in gainful employment or not. Personal growth instils a sense of responsibility in a person. It enables one to look at areas in their careers and personalities that they should work on. Their personal lives entail their health, love life, and marriage. It helps an individual to understand themselves better and, where possible, improve their weaknesses. They gain new principles through self-examination. This also helps the company to have the right employees who will deliver. Sustainable development is important for organisations since they are likely to improve their products and create lasting solutions in areas of difficulty (DeCenzo 1997).
Personal and professional development is also important since it has a direct impact on economic sustainability of organisations. It helps employees to grow their finances as well. They make new advances in industries and in technology. Professional development is important to an individual as it allows growth both in personal life and in profession. One gets to understand their weaknesses and improve them. Some of the areas they can improve are communication, interpersonal skills, and personal management. They learn from other people. With this knowledge, they could even start their own organisations if they want. It is important that employees undergo professional and personal development programs regularly. They could then develop a personal development plan that will suit their different needs and capabilities. They list what they want to achieve (Throop & Castellucci 2004). They list when they want to achieve them, and what they will do to achieve them.
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A. Approaches to self-managed learning
At the Alliance Boots GmbH Company where I work, I am an IT specialist who is responsible for checking malfunctions at the main production plant. In order to manage myself better at the job, and work in line with the company’s mission, I specify the clear goals that I wish to accomplish. I am not quite good at supervising the plant. This is an area that I felt I should improve. I work for six hours a day. I talked to the manager I reported to and we agreed that I should attend supervisory classes to improve my management and running of the plant that I headed. I reckoned that four hours would be sufficient for me in a day. I report to work at 8:00 a.m. every day and work till 2:00 p.m. I reckoned that I would attend the professional development classes from 3:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m. after which I would go home and attend to my family.
I attended classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I took the notes and compared them with my weaknesses and strengths. I told my manager that I wanted to be an excellent supervisor who would get along with the employees who worked under me. I wanted to be their role model and a person they would look up to for positive direction. I developed a strict schedule that I followed religiously. When I did not go, I punished myself by not eating. I had a timer that would go off some time shortly before my preparation. This helped a great deal to keep in check.
I graphed my progress. I did this by monitoring my progress in supervision. I was looking for positive comments. Sometimes, I missed important TV programs. I did not want any distraction with my professional development schedule. I did not give up if I did not get the desired response from employees and fellow colleagues. I wanted a promotion as well as a new direction in my leadership as a supervisor. I carried out a weekly review of my progress.
B. Benefits of self-managed learning to an individual and the organisation
As a person, I believe that my personal life will improve. During my classes. I will interact with other professionals. We will share ideas and probably I will learn a trick or two about how to improve my career. I will take back the skills acquired to the Alliance Boots GmbH Company I work for. It will help me to understand myself better in terms of my weaknesses and strengths and the contributions I can make to the Company I work for. It will help to take control of situation at the Alliance Boots Company. If, for instance, I get to interact with IT professionals from other companies in the professional training, I will hopefully acquire new skills and technology from them. For instance, how do they do things differently? This will be useful to my company. Perhaps, we will be able to improve our IT systems (Stevens 2008).
Knowing myself well during the classes would help me understand myself better; to know the person I am and the person I can be. I hoped to improve my leadership skills and interpersonal qualities. This would prepare me for possible promotion at the company. Despite being the huge Company it is, the Alliance Boots Company is still using outdated machines at the production units (Sangster 2000). This has lowered output and subsequently lowered profits. Through the training, I would be able to approach the organisation and make recommendations.
People have different efficacies; the belief that they can achieve. Undertaking personal and professional development programs helps them to improve their abilities and discover their potential. The self-managed learning would help me understand myself better and understand the expectations of the company (Hildebrand 1998). For instance, through the training I would be able to assess myself on whether I had delivered as a supervisor to the expectation of the Company’s management. The Alliance Boots company is a very large company that expects employees to exhibit high standards of moral and work ethics. It lays great emphasis on innovation and leadership. Besides, it encourages personal and professional growth. By opting to undertake promotional growth, I would be fulfilling the mission of the company as it promotes professionalism and strong interpersonal skills. I would contribute to this great mission.
As a result, I would be productive and would gain leadership skills. With improved leadership and supervisory skills, I would be able to delegate my duties more efficiently. It would also give me an opportunity to interact more with the workers who report to me.
A. Audit of personal skills and competencies
I am not a quite a good leader. Some employees at the Alliance Boots have been bold enough to tell me so. I did not take it negatively. In fact, such comments were my motivation for considering taking a personal and professional development training, at least, to boost my leadership skills. The Alliance Boots Company places high priority on leadership. The management at the Company has since changed, and I wanted to acquire the leadership skills that were not only good for the company, but good for me as well. I consider myself average in teamwork. Despite the fact that I am not such a good leader, I am good at coordinating members of the team. I have not mentioned earlier that I am the head of the production plant where I am stationed.
The pharmaceutical plant is quite large and 12 technicians daily monitor the plants for any leakages and electrical failures. We have always worked as one great team. I do not consider myself superior to them. Rather, we delegate duties and move along well. This has been good for personal understanding and healthy relationships (Bryan & Schwartz 2008). I am not a good communicator. I do not believe I possess proper communication skills. These are the areas that I hope to improve by undertaking effective communication skills and boosting my oratory skills. Communication is important in leadership. With proper and efficient communications, I can convince the management at the Alliance Boots Company to promote me to a higher post.
Effective communication will also assist me in getting along with the technicians and other employees who work under me. My interpersonal skills are poor. I am quite a laid back person. Sometimes, my seniors at the pharmaceutical company misunderstand me. There were days when I did suggest an overhaul of the outdated IT systems at the plant where I work. No one took me seriously. This is an area that I hope the personal and professional development program will help me to improve. My customer skills have not been quite defined since my duty at the Alliance Boots mainly revolves around installations of new productions systems or corrections of the ones already available at the plant. However, this does not hinder me from seeking to gain an insight into this area as well. This directly relates to sales. Now, the Alliance Boots Company is a big company with retail shops in most parts of the world. If one gets a promotion at the company, they can land in any department. The advantage of the company is that departments coordinate well with one another; so that promotions sometimes take place across departments (Ariizumi 2005). Learning customer skills would give me an added advantage should the Alliance Boots Company consider me for promotions in the sales department, for instance.
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My personal skills are good. I am committed; I am organised; I have good initiative and self-drive that explains why the company employed me in the first place. On this front, I would say I am good. My commitment has seen me rise through the ranks. I got employed three years ago as an intern. Within one year, I was deployed to the production department and became a supervisor in two years.
The general skills that I possess are IT, problem solving, presentations skills, flexibility, and Math. In fact, these were the qualities that the Alliance Boots were looking for when they employed me. My presentation skills are not good enough, though. I hope that through the personal and professional development, I will enhance my presentation skills and be able to address technical issues. What I have always wanted improved at my plant is the automation systems that reduce output. However, the management at the Alliance Pharmaceutical, in particular at my branch, has not been listening to me. I reckoned this was due to the fact that I was not good enough at presenting problems to the management. During my short stint, I have been able to learn accounting. The Alliance Company lays great emphasis on interpersonal skills, especially during interviews (British Psychological Society 2003). Personal and professional development would help improve my CV. Coupled with the experience I have gained, I could be promoted.
B. SWOT Analysis
My personal SWOT factors
Strengths: I have been committed throughout my career. I am a good listener and I am a self-starter. These are factors that have made me excel to be the supervisor I am today. My personal development had been based on strong principles. I work within tight schedules. Perhaps, this explains why I should further my career and personal growth. The technicians and other workers who report to me say I am dedicated and a go-getter. I have strong interpersonal skills. I get along with people easily. I embrace teamwork. At the production plant that I supervise, we work as a team and always get different tasks delegated to different people. This makes work easier and, as a result, we have always completed slated projects in time.
Weaknesses: My weaknesses include poor communication, poor concentration, and poor presentations skills. Sometimes, I do not get a point along as I has intended to. This makes me misunderstood. The employees sometimes have a low regard of me. This is an area I hope to work on. Poor presentations skills could explain why the top management at the Alliance Boots Pharmaceuticals has not heard my suggestions that new and automated electronic systems should be installed at the main plant where I am stationed. It could also explain why I have not been lined up for possible promotions. Another weakness that I have is that I am poor at managing my finances. My salary hardly crosses to the next month. This is an area I wish to work on as well.
the Alliance Boots Pharmaceutical Company has recently announced that it would open up other branches in other parts of the world. This presents an opportunity for the growth of the company. Through personal and professional development training, as a supervisor, I would have an opportunity to be promoted or transferred to another department. I have learnt quite some managerial skills. These would be helpful to me in the event that I wish to go into business in future. These are the opportunities that I have been able to identify.
the company faces stiff competition. Within the last few years, health and beauty retail shops have sprung up and mushroomed, especially in the United Kingdom where I work. The competition presents quite a challenge to the Alliance Boots Pharmaceuticals Company. It stands to lose a considerable market share to these new pharmaceutical companies. They make it worse when they price their products relatively cheaper. Should the company resort to job cuts, I may be affected. These are the possible threats. Through personal and professional development programs, I will be able to learn about new employers and boost my CV. It will give me an added advantage and prospects for future promotions.
A. Implementing personal and professional development plan
Having carried out my SWOT analysis, I would approach my manager, tell him about my decision, and then proceed with the personal and professional development. The areas I want to work on are communication, interpersonal skills, and presentations skills. My strengths are commitment and organisation. I would not need to work on these areas since I consider them strengths. However, I will focus on weaknesses and come up with a plan in the form of a table of how I would accomplish them during my personal and professional growth training. The Alliance Boots Company allows employees to undergo personal and professional development. I would seize this opportunity to hone to perfection or, at least, to improve my weaknesses.
The immediate opportunity is the fact that recently the management at the company has announced that they would support employees who want to undertake professional development courses or undertake further studies (Hauptmann et al 2005). I will then make plans with my manager on the days I would not be on duty and what I would be doing to make up for the time lost. I would undertake each course for a specific weakness at a time. When I become completely sure that I have achieved my goal, I will proceed to the next. I have good listening skills and I also like teamwork. These would increase my chances of interacting with people who have weaknesses similar to mine. The personal and professional training would help me overcome these weaknesses. My skills include my knowledge in IT and Math. I plan to advance in these areas and improve my employability.
B. Achievements, Expected Aims, and Reviews
After the timeframe for development goals elapses, I will carry out a personal audit as well as get feedback from family, friends, colleagues, and my seniors in order to evaluate whether I have improved. Of major concern to me will be whether I have gained effective communication skills. How have I grown professionally? How do I relate with people and employees? Have I improved my interpersonal skills? If the answers to these questions are YES, then I will be satisfied that my developmental plan has worked. Afterwards, I will carry out a review of my progress. Hopefully, I will develop my personality and improve my role at the Alliance Boots Company. Being all around and knowing how to get along with people will give me an added advantage over the rest.
A.Work-based problem at the Alliance Boots Pharmaceuticals Company
The one work-based problem experienced at the Alliance Boots Company is lack of up-to-date production plant technology, especially at the production plant that I man. This has posed serious threats in terms of competition. The competitors have better machines and production electronic systems. I have approached the management about the issue on several occasions. Their response has been that there is poor coordination from the central office in the UK. This has hampered service delivery. I reported to the manager in charge of the department where I worked. He referred the case to the head office, but little was done. The production plant operated below the capacity due to this lack of coordination. My recommendation to the Alliance Boots Company would be that they employ a proper communication path from the main office. The board of directors should employ smooth transition of information from the branch offices to the head officers.
B.Effective time management
Employees must be punctual within organisations they work for. This helps them to complete the tasks they have been assigned in time. If they are late, most likely the work will not get done on time. Time is an important element in people’s lives. It helps employees make the best use of the time they have. Effective time management allows employees the opportunity to do only what they consider as necessary. It helps minimise stress by avoiding over-commitment on less important schedules. In effective time management, various tools that can be used to keep track of time are calendars, diaries, organisers, and Ms Outlook. They are able to block actions that are unnecessary to them. The Alliance Boots emphasises effective time management. It allows them to have proper work schedules. In personal and professional management, effective time management is an important aspect that will not only help people fulfil their duties at work in time, but will also help them plan well for their developmental plans (Personal and Professional Development 2005).