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Effectiveness

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					Describe factors which contribute to
the effectiveness of an organisation


Administrative Services Outcome 1
Learning Outcomes

   The Role of an Admin Assistant.
   The Qualities of an Admin Assistant.
   The Skills of an Admin Assistant.
   Recruitment.
   Skills Analysis.
   Effective Communication.



                                           2
The Admin Assistant

   The role of the Admin Assistant is a very
    demanding one.

   There are many duties an Admin
    Assistant is required to perform.

   The main aim of an Admin Assistant’s
    role is to provide SUPPORT to other
    employees/Departments within the
    organisation.
                                                3
In What Way Does an Admin Assistant
SUPPORT others?
                Creates
 Creates        Memos         Creates
 Letters                      Reports



Manages the    The ROLE of    Arranges
 Reception      the Admin     Business
   area          Assistant     Travel




 Responsible                 Responsible for
     for                        managing
                             telephone calls
photocopying   Responsible
                for filing


                                               4
    The Role of the Admin Assistant Explained
   WORD PROCESSING TASKS
       Creating letters – the Admin Assistant will be required to type letters for a variety of
        reasons eg. Informing customers of a new product; responding to a customer complaint;
        requesting new stock from a supplier.
       Creating Memos - memos are often used to remind others of meetings or update fellow
        workers on decisions. This is a very informal way of communicating with others within
        the organisation.
       Creating Reports – Admin Assistants could be asked to create a report which is a very
        detailed, professional document. For example, if your school was requesting a new
        building, then Senior Management would have to prepare a report detailing why the
        school requires a new building, ideas for the new site, who the builder would be etc. A
        Report is a very detailed document.

   MANAGING THE RECEPTION AREA
       There are many tasks the Admin Assistant would perform. For example:
             Work on the switchboard – make sure all telephone calls are dealt with.
             Ensure security measures are taken by providing all visitors with security passes.
             Arrange appointments – use an electronic diary for accuracy.
             Manage the visitor sign-in/sign-out book.
             Deal with any enquiries – any questions that visitors may have.

                                                                                                   5
            The Role of the Admin Assistant Explained
           MAKING TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS
                The Admin Assistant is responsible for ensuring that the employee’s travel
                 arrangements are all correct and that the trip has been very carefully planned.
                The following tasks are required to make sure that this happens:
                      Make sure that the dates of travel are correct.
This area will        Find out exactly what the employee wants – method of travel; any special requirements
be covered in          (vegetarian?); car rental? Etc.
greater detail        Book appropriate travel – this could be car, train, plane or boat.
 later on in
                      Book appropriate accommodation – Hotel or Bed and Breakfast?
 the course
                      Prepare an Itinerary – this is a document which clearly states the plan of the business
                       trip i.e times of travel; times of meetings and venues etc.

           REPROGRAPHICS – PHOTOCOPYING, FAXING, LAMINATING ETC
                The Admin Assistant is responsible for making copies of documents – this is known as
                 Reprographics.
                For example, if a letter arrives from a customer which needs to be read by 4 employees, then
                 the Admin Assistant will photocopy the letter and pass it on.
                Another example is, if the Admin Assistant created a poster for a Department displaying new
                 Health & Safety rules, then he/she would print it off and make many copies for the work area.



                                                                                                           6
The Role of the Admin Assistant - Summary
    As you can see the Admin Assistant is required to carry out
     a very wide range of tasks.

    The tasks can be very routine (i.e the Assistant performs
     these on a regular basis) or non-routine (i.e the Assistant
     deals with the situation when it occurs).


  Routine Tasks                                  Non-Routine Tasks
  • Filing documents                             • Dealing with a
                                                  customer enquiry
    • Answering the
      telephone                                   • Dealing with a
                                                    customer complaint
    • Photocopying

We are now going to consider what TYPE of person an Admin Assistant is by looking at the
          qualities and skills which are needed to be a good Admin Assistant.
                                                                                       7
The QUALITIES of an Admin Assistant

   There are many qualities an Admin Assistant
    should have. For example:

       PATIENCE – ability to listen at all times.

       TACT – ability to make sure that a situation is dealt
        with in an appropriate manner.

       POLITE – ability to communicate well in all situations.

       FRIENDLY – ability to welcome others.


                                                                8
The SKILLS of an Admin Assistant
   There are many skills an Admin Assistant should have.
    For example:

       ICT – Ability to use a range of software packages: word
        processing; spreadsheets; databases; desk-top publishing;
        e-mail etc.

       TEAM WORKING – ability to work with others.

       ORGANISATION – ability to manage resources and ensure
        that deadlines are met.

       USE OWN INTITIAVE – ability to make your own decisions
        and to solve problems without needing the help of a
        supervisor or colleague.
                                                                    9
Recruiting The Best Admin Assistant

   In Admin Services Outcome 3 you will
    learn in greater detail the role of the
    Human Resources Department however
    at this stage reference must be made to
    the 2 documents which are used to
    employ the best candidates for the job:

       The Job Description.

       The Person Specification.
                                              10
The Job Description
   The Job Description is used to show the following:

        What the job involves.

        The main duties of the post.

        Who the employee will be reporting to.

        Who the employee will be responsible for.

        The employee’s salary.

        The employee’s holiday entitlements.

        The benefits the employee may receive eg company car.

                                                                 11
The Person Specification
   The Person Specification is used to show the following:

        The skills that are required to carry out the job effectively.

        The personal qualities that are required.

        The skills required.

   The skills and qualities are divided into 2 categories:

        ESSENTIAL.

        DESIRABLE – these factors enable the employee to have a
         competitive advantage over other candidates.


                                                                          12
Skills Analysis
   It is important for an Admin Assistant to constantly monitor his/her
    skills and identify any areas which need improvement.

   This exercise is important because the Admin Assistant must
    ensure that the job is being done properly and to a high standard.

   There are two common methods used in today’s business
    environment which are designed to enable employees to identify
    their current skills and identify areas which need improvement:

        Skills Scan.

        SWOT Analysis.




                                                                       13
Skills Scan
   A Skills Scan enables the employee to identify the following:

        Skills.

        Level of knowledge and understanding.

        Qualities.

   The purpose of the Skills Scan therefore is to:

        Identify any areas in which the employee’s skills need
         developing.

        Identify the employee’s current skills.


                                                                    14
SWOT Analysis:
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

   The purpose of a SWOT analysis is
    to identify the employee’s:

       Strengths.

       Weaknesses.

       Opportunities.

       Threats.
                                                15
 SWOT Analysis
    STRENGTHS            WEAKNESSES
  These are things       These are things
the employee is good   the employee needs
        at.               to work on to
                            improve.




  OPPORTUNITIES            THREATS
 These are things       These are things
 which could boost         which may
  the employee’s         discourage the
      morale.              employee.

                                            16
Effective Communication
   In what way can we ensure that we communicate effectively with others?
    How do we ensure that we get our message across?

   We communicate in many ways, for example we:

        Speak to one another.

        Write letters.

        Text messages on the mobile phone.

        Body language (a very powerful method of communication!).

   Good, effective communication is vital for the successful running of an
    organisation.

   Consideration will now be given to the features of good communication.


                                                                              17
    Features of Effective Communication
   In order to be effective, communication must feature the 5 Cs!:

        CONCISE
         It is important that the information communicated is very straightforward and not full of
         ‘waffle’!

        CLEAR
         The way in which the information is presented must be done in a very clear and easy
         to understand manner.

        COURTEOUS
         Communication will always be received well if it is presented in a polite and courteous
         manner. It is important to use a friendly and calm tone when communicating with
         others.

        CORRECT
         In order for communication to be of value, it must be accurate and true.

        COMPLETE
         The communication must have all the information included otherwise the information
         can easily become misunderstood.

                                                                                                18
    The Value of Good Communication
   In order to realise the true value of effective communication, the information
    communicated must be:

        ACCURATE
         If the information is false then this will mean that poor decisions will be based on
         inaccurate information.

        TIMELY
         The information must be up-to-date at all times so that current issues are being
         addressed.

        RELEVANT
         The information must be fit for the purpose and relate to what the organisation is using
         it for.

        COST EFFECTIVE
         The information must be used effectively in order to justify the costs associated with its
         preparation.

        MEANINGFUL
         The information must be communicated using appropriate methods ensuring that it is
         presented in a suitable format.
                                                                                                19
         Barriers to Effective Communication
   There are some barriers which prevent communication being effective:

        The organisation has a TALL structure which means that there are many levels of
         communication – lots of levels of management. This will result in information taking a long
         time to filter through and may even result in the wrong information being communicated.

        Too much information communicated at the one time can be very difficult for an individual to
         understand and process.

        The wrong choice of communication may be chosen.

        If there is too much jargon used then the audience will switch off as they will not understand
         what is being communicated.

        The method of communication may be ineffective. For example, if using electronic methods
         of communication there may be technical faults resulting in loss of data.

        The information may not be accurate or concise therefore the audience will find it difficult to
         understand.



                                                                                                   20
Internal & External Communication
        Internal                               External
     Communication                          Communication
   This method of                    This method of
    communication will be more         communication will be more
    informal as the colleagues         formal and structured.
    know one another.
                                      An organisation will use a
   Communications will happen         House Style when
    in a less structured manner.       communicating with
                                       customers etc through letters
                                       and e-mails. This system
   Communications will be of a
                                       means that it is easy for the
    lighter tone.
                                       customer to identify who the
                                       communication is from.
   Examples of such
    communications are:
        E-Mail.
                                      Examples of such
        Memos.                        communications are:
        Local Area Network.               Reports.
        Regular Meetings.                 Presentations.
                                                                 21
Methods of Communication
   There are 3 main methods of
    communication:

     Oral


     Written


     Visual


                                  22
Oral Communication
   Oral communication is information which is
    verbally exchanged from one person to another.

   Examples of when oral communication occur are:

       A conversation.

       A presentation.

       Answering a query over the telephone.

       A meeting.

       An Interview.


                                                     23
      Oral Communication –
      Strengths and Weaknesses
           Strengths                              Weaknesses
   Information is very easily            There may be a conflict of
    transmitted.                           personalities which could result in
                                           the communication being very
   Information is very quickly            ineffective as conflicts could
    passed on to others.                   arise.

   If anyone has a question or           There is no written record of the
    comment then this can be given         communication therefore it is
    immediately. Feedback is very          difficult to refer back to the
    important as it confirms whether       decision made.
    or not the communication has
    been effective.                       Distractions and interruptions can
                                           devalue the information being
   Body language is used to               communicated.
    reinforce the effectiveness of
    communication – it is a very          If there are large numbers of
    powerful way of communicating          people involved in the
    through facial expressions and         communication, then it can be
    gestures.                              very difficult to control what is
                                           being said.
                                                                           24
Written Communication
   Written communication is information which is presented in
    writing and can be easily referred to.

   Examples of when written communication occur are:

        A poster.

        A letter.

        An e-mail.

        A report.

        Faxes.

        A memo.

                                                                 25
      Written Communication –
      Strengths and Weaknesses
           Strengths                               Weaknesses
   The information can be referred         Time is required to provide
    back to at any time as a record of       written information which is of
    what was discussed is made.              value.
    This is very important if you need
    to check what decisions were            Feedback is not immediate and
    made or who was given                    can often take a long time for the
    responsibility for certain tasks.        sender to gauge other’s
                                             opinions/thoughts on what was
   Information which is written             communicated.
    down is done so in a very concise
    and meaningful manner – very            Some individuals may find it
    easy to understand exactly what          difficult to understand written
    is being communicated.                   information.

   Individuals have more time to
    read and study the information –
    able to process it more
    effectively.


                                                                               26
Visual Communication
   Visual communication is information which is presented in
    an eye-catching way in order to grab the attention of its
    audience..

   Examples of when visual communications occur are:

        A presentation.

        A film.

        A chart.

        A diagram.

        An advert.


                                                                27
      Visual Communication –
      Strengths and Weaknesses
            Strengths                               Weaknesses

   The information is very eye-             The costs associated with
    catching and attracts the attention       creating and presenting visual
    of the audience.                          aids can be very high.

   The information is presented in a        Time is needed to prepare an
    very clear and simple manner.             effective presentation.

   It is easier for the listener to         If the communication relies
    understand and take in the                heavily on the use of ICT and
    information which is being                there is a technical fault, the
    presented.                                communication will be delayed.




                                                                               28
      Effects of Poor Communication
    To The Organisation                           To The Employee

   Poor relationships with customers        If the employee has
    and suppliers will have a very            misunderstood an instruction then
    negative effect on the                    he/she will complete the task
    organisation. The organisation’s          incorrectly. This will lead to
    reputation will suffer as people          frustration and lack of confidence.
    will begin to lose faith in the
    organisation.                            Relationships may be damaged if
                                              there is misinterpretation of
   If there are poor communications          communication.
    between management and
    employees there will be a lot of         If there are many
    disharmony which will result in           communications in the workplace
    lower productivity.                       this can be very stressful for the
                                              employee and can lead to health
   If employees feel that their voices       problems.
    are not being heard then low
    morale amongst the staff will
    develop.                                                                  29
Importance of Good Customer Service
   To ensure effectiveness in the workplace, it is essential that customer needs are met
    at all times.

   The organisation must ensure that communications with customers are efficient and
    effective at all times.

   It is true to say that holding on to an existing customer is a lot easier than trying to
    gain a new customer!

   As a result of this the organisation must create a positive customer service making
    sure that they are very responsive to the changing demands of their customers.

   The organisation must be able to do the following in a professional and acceptable
    manner:

        Deal with customer enquiries.
        Deal with customer complaints.
        Offer an excellent after-sales service.
        Create and maintain customer loyalty.
        Reward customers and give them a sense of value.


                                                                                               30
The Mission Statement
   In order to communicate to its customers why it exists and what it hopes to
    achieve, an organisation creates a Mission Statement.

   A Mission Statement communicates the overall goal of the organisation.

   The purpose of a Mission Statement is to create an image of the
    organisation and attract customers to being a part of it.

   In order to be effective a Mission Statement must be concise and
    meaningful.

   For example, British Airway’s Mission Statement is:

        “To be the world’s number one airline.”

   This statement clearly states where the organisation are aiming for and
    that it wants to be the best in the world!


                                                                              31
Effects of Poor Customer Service
   If the organisation loses its customers then it will very quickly fail!

   The organisation needs its customers in order to be successful and grow.

   There are many ways in which poor customer service can occur:

        Ignoring customer feedback.

        Not having a customer care policy.

        Having a poor appearance – lack of cleanliness; disorganised.

        Poor communications with customers.

        Unqualified staff who are unable to help customers with their problems.

   Ultimately, if the organisation gains a reputation for having poor customer service then
    this will result in customers leaving to go to their competitors and the organisation will
    find it very difficult to survive.




                                                                                            32
Customer Service - Legislation
   The Admin Assistant will be responsible for dealing with a range of
    customer enquiries and complaints.

   It is essential therefore that the Admin Assistant is aware of the legislation
    that is in place to ensure that customers’ rights are met and protected.

   The Admin Assistant would have to know and understand the following
    pieces of legislation:

        The Trades Description Act 1968.

        The Consumer Credit Act 1974.

        The Sale of Goods Act 1979.

        The Consumer Protection Act 1987.

        The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000.


                                                                                     33
The Trades Description Act 1968
   The Trades Description Act 1968 is designed to make sure
    that organisations do not make false claims of descriptions
    about a product or service they are selling.

   For example, if they are selling mobile phones they can’t
    pretend that it has Internet Services and a Radio if the
    design clearly doesn’t enable the mobile phone to do this.

   If organisations try and sell you something under a false
    impression and you later discover that in fact this wasn’t the
    product you wanted to buy, then you are entitled to have
    your money back.




                                                                  34
The Consumer Credit Act 1974
   The Consumer Credit Act 1974 protects those consumers who buy
    their goods on credit.

   Buying goods on credit means that the customer receives the
    product now and pays for it at a later date or over a specific period
    of time.

   This Act ensures that both the organisation and the customer have
    a written document stating when the full payment must be made.

   Customers will be charged interest for paying in this way however
    they will also be aware of what competitors are charging so that
    they can compare credit charges.

   Customers do have the right to cancel their order – this is termed
    the “cooling-off” period.

                                                                         35
The Sale of Goods Act 1979
   The Sale of Goods Act 1979 was created to ensure that the goods
    a customer receives are of a high quality.

   The Act clearly states that the goods must :

        Be of a satisfactory standard of quality.

        Be exactly as they are described – any advertising or manuals must
         present an accurate account of the good.

        Be fit for the purpose which means they must be able to perform all
         the functions and features that the supplier says it can.

   The Act is designed to protect the customer’s rights in that if the
    product fails to meet any of the above, then the customer will be
    able to demand their money back.


                                                                               36
The Consumer Protection Act 1987
   The Consumer Protection Act 1987 is designed to
    ensure that the prices of goods displayed in
    shops, magazines, adverts etc are correct.

   It is also designed to ensure that all goods are
    supplied safely to the shop owner or retailer.

   If suppliers knowingly provide goods which are
    unsafe or do not meet the required health &
    safety standards, then they can face prosecution.



                                                       37
The Consumer Protection
(Distance Selling) Regulations 2000
   The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 is to protect
    customers who have bought their goods without actually having face-to-
    face contact with the seller.

   The Information Technology revolution means that more and more people
    are now buying on-line whereby goods can be purchased at the click of a
    button!

   Customers can also buy from the TV, mail order or over the telephone.

   In order to ensure that the customer’s rights are protected, if they purchase
    goods in the ways described above, then they must:
        Receive written confirmation of what was purchased, how many items were
         purchased, and the exact price of the goods.
        Receive a guaranteed full refund if the goods received are incorrect or of a poor
         quality.
        Be protected against credit card fraud.



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