Employability skills are the basic necessary skills that an employee requires to obtain employment, keep it as well as perform their duties well. The greatest concern for all employers today is skilled workers. Employers are also looking for the most effective ways to train the workers they already have to improve their productivity. In the work place, the employer’s concern is the skills-gap which is the difference between the skills that the employees possess and the ones that are required for the job. Employers always look for employees who bridge the skills-gap because competent workers do the job more effectively. Employers are always ready to hire the workers who are trained. However, they are ready to provide the job-specific and specialized training for those who need further training so as to enable organizational growth.
I have worked part-time in a car-dealership company during my studies. In this organization, I have gained sufficient experience with training in organizational development. In this organisation, I have learnt important employability skills that I can apply in the marketing industry. I have enough experience on how to deal with customers as well as received the knowledge on how I can improve my skills in the future. The first step in developing my responsibilities based on previous work experience is to create an action plan. An action plan will assist me in focusing on my ideas and plan on what steps I need to take to achieve my goals in employment. Upon graduation I plan to become a management consultant or a manager. By this time, I will have a strong educational background to support my career. An action plan will help me to map out my career from the first day of work. (Balla & Fontaine 1997).
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The first step of the plan is to develop my responsibilities. As a manager, I will be supervising junior employees and assist them with different tasks. Another important step of the action plan is to set measurable objectives which I can achieve. In due course I plan to become a top executive in the organization. My education background will allow me to obtain the management position with the experience playing a crucial role in effective performance of tasks. I will prioritize my tasks as set in organizational structure and work effectively despite the pressure. I would also create a list of my tasks with deadlines and contingency plans to ensure that I perform my responsibilities effectively. I will also create a timetable to ensure that I am up to date with my responsibilities. I will perform every task with the best effort and to the best quality possible. This will assist in career development. This way, it will be possible to develop my performance targets and responsibilities in the organization.
In my experience in car dealership, I have faced many challenges. These challenges have helped me in career development and provided me with experience to deal with such situations in the future. An example of such situation is when I had given a customer a trial drive without supervision. It was my first week at work. A customer came to buy a fairly expensive car. After filling the forms and leaving a credit card, the customer requested for a test drive. I allowed the customer to take out the car without supervising him. The manager realized this after the customer had already left. We were able to locate the car using the emergency tracking system available. Had the tracking system malfunctioned, I could have lost a car in my first week on the job. I reread employee rules and regulations. I also consulted experienced dealers in the organization for advice regarding customer treatment and communication. After employment in the organization, I would have communicated with the supervisors to know the rules and regulations. I would have also read the employee requirements other than making simple assumptions about my tasks in the organization. In the future, I will make sure that I communicate to the right people in the work place. This way, I will be able to avoid simple mistakes and at the same time perform my tasks efficiently. This will improve my performance as an employee making me eligible for promotions and career development. (Fallows 2000)
In my organization, I once noticed that the systems we were using to record customers’ information were slow and ineffective. The management stored information about previous customers in manual print-outs which made it harder for retrieval. This was a challenge for dealers. A customer once approached me and requested if a brand of cars and spare parts for the cars he had bought earlier were still available. After going to the information department, we realized that the customer’s information was not available in the hard-copy storage stores. The customer also understood we had lost his information and was no longer interested in the purchase. My supervisor blamed me for incompetence. I identified this problem and proposed a solution to the Information Technology department through my manager. I proposed the use of a different system for information storage and update of the current recording system. This enhanced faster sales as well as effective information storage. It was also possible to give discounts or benefits to previous customers since the system gave a notification for a previous customer during sale. The management recognized my contribution and promoted me to supervisor position.
From this experience, I can now communicate work problems effectively to both my peers as well as supervisors in the workplace. I have learnt that communication involves not only speaking or sending messages. Rather, it involves effective listening and reading to understand the message as well as use of appropriate speaking and writing skills to pass the message. For effective communication about a problem, I require effective communication skills. This involves summarizing the information about the problem. This is to ensure that I do not communicate details which should not be revealed to my peers as well as my supervisors. This ensures we apply the right approach to solve the problem. Further, I would take part in any discussions with my peers about the problem so as to ensure that I find all the relevant information that I might have left out in my discussion. The following step involves determining how and when to present the problem to the relevant people. Some problems involve verbal presentation while for some, one may require audio-visual tools. During presentation, I would make sure that I give all the relevant data without leaving any crucial point. Communication in an organization involves presentation of information in the most appropriate ways to the relevant authority. (Bloom & Kitagawa 1999).
There are different time management strategies that individuals and organizations can apply to assist in time management. Time management is important since it allows one to manage performance of tasks to meet the timeline. Time management strategies include creating a rigid timetable or a flexible timeline. I would apply the use of a rigid timetable. A rigid timetable sets specific deadlines for a certain task without any alterations.. A flexible timetable does not give a person specific shifts, but one can appear when a task is available. A rigid timetable will give me a chance to perform all my tasks with the set deadlines and, at the same time, create free time for other activities. It discourages idleness. I will prioritize all my tasks with the most important ones appearing first on the timetable. The least important will appear last. The timetable will also provide time for relaxation (Gravells 2010).
During my work in a car dealership company, we were asked to perform several tasks as a team. In these tasks, the organization wanted to come up with new and effective ways to market second-hand cars as well as sell the current stock. The organization divided the employees into teams. Each team was required to market the cars in the dealership and, at the same time, deal people who wanted to sell their cars to use the services of the dealership. The team that would have most sales as well as recruit most clients would win. The team that would win would be promoted to run a regional office that the company was opening in the neighboring city. This was a chance for the employees to prove that they possessed their personal as well as interpersonal skills to enable effective teamwork. In our group, we divided into two distinct groups with each group taking independent tasks. My group would take the task to recruit new customers while the other group would take the task to sell new cars. The two groups would undertake marketing collectively since the dealership needed clients to buy and sell cars. I was the assistant leader for my group.
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In the task, we decided to come up with the most effective ways to enable teamwork. One of the requirements was that each group member had to make a contribution to the task at hand. This was important to discourage insubordination and make the all the group members feel accepted and appreciated. Each member was to pick any task at random and decide how to do it throughout the exercise. Every member would supervise each other without one definite supervisor. In the group, all members were equal with equal right to voice their concerns and propositions at the group meetings. The team leader’s activity was to coordinate actions of the two groups to enable them run as one. In the task to sell cars, the group performed well; it ran adverts on the local radio stations on car sales offers as well as posters in the city. Our group also ran adverts and posters. However, our main challenge was to talk with clients directly and convince them to apply the services of our dealership company. We had challenges in talking with customers to leave their cars in the dealership at a fee before we would find buyers (Trought 2012). At the end of the task, our team finished second of the overall six teams. We were promoted to be supervisors in the dealership.
Teamwork is an important skill in any organization. For teamwork to be successful, every member of the team must have effective personal as well as interpersonal skills so as to enable the relationship with other members of the team. The team members must be willing to work in the team dynamics to enable effective running of the group. There are different ways that a team might utilize in performance of different tasks. The first way is to choose group leaders as the supervisors and decide to work on the tasks collectively. This is similar to organizational structure with the group leaders acting as the managers. This method is effective since it translates structure of an organization to the group. The members feel as if they are in the organization. The other alternative is to allow team members to work as groups with each group tackling a single task. This is a more effective method since all the members perform on specialized tasks with the group leaders being the coordinators. The third alternative is to work without leaders with each member performing a specific task at random. All members are equal with equal suffrage in the team. This ensures that the members are comfortable without insubordination or supervision. However, this method is not always effective since it may cause chaos in the workplace. Teamwork requires proper relationship between the members to ensure that they work effectively (Overtoom 2000).
The main problem of dealership is the competition among its clients for employees. There are usually about ten employees and two supervisors in the showroom. The dealership pays its employees on the basis of commissions on sold cars, hence, when a customer comes in, one can see the employees rushing to meet him. The employees attempt to sell as many cars as possible. At times, the employees literary fight for the customers. Two or three employees meet a customer at the door and start talking at once. This is the main problem which discourages potential clients. It promotes negative organizational culture and portrays the employees as lacking efficient employability skills. Management in the organization must come up with the right interventions to change the customers’ attitudes towards the dealership. The organization needs to come up with interventions to increase employability skills of the employees. These skills should ensure that the employees perform their tasks effectively, and at the same time, are able to promote positive organizational culture (Gregory & Bazen 2000).
First, the organization can divide the warehouse into parts with each part having at least two employees. This will ensure that they employees are able to handle the customers effectively and without stiff competition. The dealership should also change the terms of remuneration for their employees. They should pay the employees a standard fee regardless of the number of cars they sell. Any additional sales should come with benefits such as bonuses or promotions. The organization should ensure that it promotes teamwork amongst its employees. This is by ensuring that it gives the benefits promotions from sales in teams rather than as individuals. This will motivate the employees to sell more and at the same time ensure that they stick to norms of etiquette in the workplace. The organization must also train its employees on specific requirements during sales. The employees might have skills in sales and marketing, but lack experience in car dealership. This will enable them to know how to approach the customer as well as how to talk to the customer without creating negative image of organizational (Hind & Moss 2005).
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The new interventions will have effects in the organization after their deployment. These strategies will enhance the employees’ skills to make them effective salespeople in car dealership. Dividing the employees into teams of three or four will also give them a chance to promote organizational development. The employees will be able to sell in teams and enjoy the benefits as a team. This approach makes the employees have a perception that every colleague is a teammate rather than a competitor. It also promotes positive competition whereby performance appraisal is by the basis of merit for a team. The approach will also eliminate the negative picture they portray by rushing for customers at the door.
Employees in an organization play a vital role in influencing the attitude of the customers and clients, since they come in direct contact with the clients. Therefore, efficient employability skills will lead to more sales and, thus, organizational growth. Enhanced employability skills make it easier for an individual to get promotion. In an organization, the management can train workers to become more skilful and at the same time employ workers with the skills. The methods that the organization will use to solve the problems will also enable the employees to set their goals to ensure that they improve their skills and become more employable (Bennett & Dunne 2000).