Importance Of Continual Self Development Management Essay

One of the approaches to leadership is the traits approach as identified by Mullins, 1999 where the assumption is that leaders are born and not created based on the theory of the so-called Great Person theory of leadership. However most of the major existing theories provide the basis that leadership skills can be developed such as the contingency model analyses the leadership styles which can be identified and learned to develop leadership skills.

Although leadership and management are seen similar but it has some distinction such as; leaders may not have a hierarchical position but the manager has which was identified by (Mullins, 1999); “Leadership does not necessarily take place within the hierarchical structure of the organisation.” To be an effective manager it is necessary to exercise the role of leadership (Mullins, 1999). The focus of my work will be on the personal development of managerial leadership where the manager is a leader within a formal hierarchical structure and the word manager and leader has been used interchangeably.

For developing leadership and managerial skills the primary initiatives must come from the individual where the opportunities are provided by an organisation.

1. Be Able to Assess and Plan for Personal Professional Development (LO 1)

1.1. The Importance of Continual Self-Development in Achieving Organisational Objectives (AC 1.1)

Continuous self-development is the continuous process of developing oneself by building his/her competencies and realizing his/her potential (Rothwell, 2010). Since leaders get others to follow (Mullins, 1999) a leader cannot build talent in others if the leader cannot do it her/him-self (Rothwell, 2010). A leader should realise the importance of continual self-development.

The basic concept of continuous self-development has been derived from the concept of continuous development and its objective is to achieve organisational objectives through the recognition of the links between learning and performance (Martin, 2005). An organisation is a group of individuals and as individuals develop, so do the organisations that employ them (Martin, 2005). The performance of employees is directly linked to organisational performance hence the achievement of organisational objectives and the performance of employees can be improved through continuous self-development process.

1.2. Assessment of Current Skills and Competencies against Defined Role Requirements and Organisational Objectives (AC 1.2)

Sainsbury’s is the second retail company in UK (, 2012) has various leadership roles and here is an assessment of the skills and competencies requirements against the roles of a café department manager and related company objectives;

Skills and Competencies Requirements

Role Requirements of a Department Manager of a Depot

Company Objectives Related to the Role of Department Manager

Leadership skills; Leadership skills are required for the specified role since the department manager needs to lead a group of people in the department and the manager is responsible for them.

Knowledge of health and safety requirements are important for the role as the manager will have to ensure safe and secure environment for both customers and other employees.

Other skills related with the operations.

And all the above skills are required to fulfil the responsibilities and to achieve the objectives.

To lead the entire customer restaurant operation to provide a delicious range of meals, snacks and beverages. This will involve providing leadership and coach to colleagues, making sure everyone is in the right place at the right time, and ensuring a safe and secure environment (Sainsbury’s, 2012).

The objective of the café department is to delivering an ever-improving shopping experience for the customers of Sainsbury’s (Sainsbury’s, 2012).

1.3. Identifying Development Opportunities to Meet Current and Future Defined Needs (AC 1.3)

Here the development opportunities have been identified to meet the current and future needs of the role of a department manager of Sainsbury’s;

Current Skills Needs

Future Skills Needs of 2020 Leaders of Sainsbury’s

Development Opportunities

The current skills that are required for a department manager are;

Extensive leadership skills,

Customer service knowledge,

Operational knowledge.

According to Sainsbury’s during the next decade, the retail sector will become a very different place (Sainsbury’s, 2012). To achieve the 2020 vision Sainsbury’s need the 2020 leaders with different skills and competencies such as;

Individuals with;

Outstanding intellect,

Business acumen and ambition (Sainsbury’s, 2012).

The development opportunities that will be provided by Sainsbury’s to meet the skills and competencies needs of a department manager under the 2020 leadership programme will be in two phases.

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First phase: The first phase will involve an introduction to various operational areas such as stores and logistics and then move to Sainsbury’s local where the manager will be trained on a wider range of retail issues than in a single department (Sainsbury’s, 2012).

The second phase; involves developing the management skills as a Deputy Store Manager or Shift Manager, supply chain management skills, exceptional customer services etc. (Sainsbury’s, 2012).

1.4. Constructing a Personal Development Plan (AC 1.4)

A personal development plan sets out the actions people propose to take to learn and to develop themselves (Armstrong, 2003). The responsibility is taken by the individual and the support is provided by the organisation and their managers. The purpose is to provide a self-organised learning framework as identified by Tamkin, Barber and Hirsh (1995) (Armstrong, 2003). A personal development plan follows the following steps as identified by (Armstrong, 2003);

Analyse current situation and development needs

Set goals

Preparing an action plan

Here a personal development plan as a café department manager in Sainsbury’s has been constructed below;

Analysis of current situation and development needs;

Current situation;

A newly graduate joined as a café manager.

No previous work experience

Development needs;

To obtain operational knowledge,

To obtain leadership skills,

To obtain knowledge about customer services.

To improve innovative and creative skills to contribute to the performance of the Sainsbury’s café. (Challenging)

Set goals; goals is set to the areas of development needs and they are SMART.

Specific: the goals should not be vague.

Measureable: the goals needs to be recognised when achieved.

Achievable: setting realistic goals.

Relevant: have a connection with the development needs.

Time bound: there is a time period for achieving the goals.

Here are the SMRT and challenging goals for the development needs identified in step one;

To read through the operational manual over one month to obtain operational knowledge and perform an MCQ test on operational knowledge.

To study books on leadership development and use of coaching and mentor to develop leadership skills for six months and to achieve feedback from the employees.

To seek for training on customer services management form the company within six months.

To talk with the customers and try to identify their needs and innovate new systems or product idea for improving the performance of the café department. (Challenging)

Prepare action plans;

The action plan for achieving the operational knowledge might be for example; to collect the operational manual from the office and make copy of them and arrange timely discussion with the senior manager to clearly understand the issues.

2. Be Abel to Plan for the Resources Required for Personal Development (LO 2)

2.1. Identifying the Resources Required to Support the Personal Development Plan (AC 2.1)

A personal development plan has been developed in the previous section here the resource requirement has been identified to support the personal development plan;

The availability of operational manual and access to it and also online learning resources to so that the operational knowledge can be obtained quickly.

An arrangement of training facilities with academic institutions to improve the leadership skills of employees and also different coaching and mentoring facilities to improve the leadership skills.

Training and workshop facilities for improving knowledge on customer services.

Facilities and options of customer survey to be conducted by the departmental manager so that the departmental manager can develop innovative ideas.

2.2. Developing a Business Case to Secure the Resources to Support the Personal Development (AC 2.2)

A business case is a justification of pursuing a course of action in an organisational context to meet stated organisational objectives or goals (Remenyi, 1999). The business case will look at how investment on resources required to support the personal development plan will help achieving various objectives of an organisation;

Investment on the resources as identified in section 2.1 will ensure that not only a departmental manager but also other employees will be benefitted to improve their skills and skilled employees will make organisational operations efficient and effective and organisational objectives will be achieved such as minimising costs by improving the efficiency of the organisation.

The café department of Sainsbury’s requires highly skilled employees and with good knowledge of customer services. Investment on personal development resources will help the employees of Sainsbury’s café department to improve their skills and knowledge with their self-initiatives and in a self-managed learning environment. Employees will improve their efficiency and will reduce the wastage level and minimise the costs hence improve profitability.

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3. Be Able to Implement and Evaluate the Personal Development Plan (LO 3)

3.1. Discussion of the Process Required to Implement the Personal Development Plan (AC 3.1)

Due to its significant importance in achieving organisational objectives the implementation of personal development plan should be taken very strictly since it is not just mere filling up a performance review from or a guidance note of what employees should do to improve their importance. The introduction of personal development plan requires the following process;

Informing the employees: If the employees do not know about the PDP clearly it will be impossible to implement such plan. Hence managers, team leaders and all individuals need to learn about personal development planning (Armstrong, 2009).

Participation of employees in the PDP process: Employees should be involved in deciding how the planning process will work and what their roles will be (Armstrong, 2009).

Developing a culture of self-learning responsibilities and allowing time and opportunities: It has to be recognised that everyone will need time and support to adjust to a culture in which they have to take much more responsibilities for their own learning (Armstrong, 2009).

Providing guidance: Guidance should be given to all concerned regarding how to identify learning needs, the means of satisfying the needs identified and how they should use the available facilities.

3.2. Evaluating the Impact of the Personal Development Plan on the Achievement of Defined Role Requirements and Organisational Objectives. (AC 3.2)

We have already considered the role requirements and departmental objectives of café department in Sainsbury’s retail stores in previous sections which are;

To lead the entire customer restaurant operation to provide a delicious range of meals, snacks and beverages. This will involve providing leadership and coach to colleagues, making sure everyone is in the right place at the right time, and ensuring a safe and secure environment (Sainsbury’s, 2012).

The objective of the café department is to delivering an ever-improving shopping experience for the customers of Sainsbury’ (Sainsbury’s, 2012).

If the café manager prepares a personal development plan such as to develop his/her leadership skills it will help him/her to fulfil his role requirements and achieving the departmental objectives for example the café manager has the responsibilities for leading a group of people and the leadership skills will help him/her in this regard and the leadership skills for example will help the manager to motivate the working group under him to work hard and improve performance of the department hence achieving the objectives.

3.3. Review and Update the Personal Development Plan (AC 3.3)

Personal development is a continuous process. Personal development plan is a systematic approach and follows sequential steps in a continuous way. The Scottish Qualifications Authority has identified seven steps process of PDP where the last step is the review and evaluation of the PDP. Review and evaluation of PDP assures that the concerned people have learned something from the PDP process and they can apply the process in the future personal development planning.

In the case of Sainsbury’s café depot the manager can review after frequent interval that the objectives relating to the needs from the PDP are met and take corrective actions and make new and revised plans.

4. Be Able to Promote Healthy and Safe Working Practices (AC 4.1)

4.1. Discussion of the Relationships between Healthy and Safe Working Practices and Organisational Objectives (AC 4.1)

The relationship between health and safety working practices and organisational objectives seems very vague at first sight. If we could think an organisation without people there would be no need for this discussion. Organisational objective is a broad concept and there are lot of objectives which pursue an organisation’s aim, mission and vision. For a simplified discussion we will chose a practical departmental objective of Sainsbury’s and discuss the relationship between health and safe working Practices and organisational objectives.

As it has been identified the objective of the café department is; to delivering an ever-improving shopping experience for the customers of Sainsbury’s (Sainsbury’s, 2012). The objective of the café department is very customer centric that the customer must be satisfied. The outcome of productivity inevitably make customer satisfied and in restaurant industries it is very obvious than others. The relationship between customer satisfaction and productivity in the restaurant industry is less ambiguous and customer satisfaction in many ways embodies the ultimate outcome associated with productivity (Gu, n.d.). Healthy and safe workplaces are fundamental to achieving productive work and high quality working lives (Minstry of Business Innovation and Employment, 2012). Hence health and safety practices in the café department can improve the employee productivity which in turn can achieve Sainsbury’s café department’s objective of customer satisfaction.

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4.2. An Explanation of the Process for Conducting a Risk Assessment (AC 4.2)

According to the Institute of Risk Management risk assessment involves mainly risk analysis and risk evaluation;

Risk analysis involves;

Risk identification: involves identifying an organisation’s exposure to uncertainty. This requires detailed information about the company’s environment, operation and clear understanding of organisation’s strategic and operational objectives. In Sainsbury’s café department an identified risk may be the control of hazardous substances.

Risk description: This involves displaying the identified risks in a structured way for better understanding. The above identified risk of Sainsbury’s can be described as; various cleaning materials used in the kitchen of the café department which are hazardous to health such as; bleach must be used in a guided way.

Risk estimation: This involves measuring the possibility of occurrence and the measurement can be qualitative and quantitative. There is a high chance that the cleaning chemicals might become in contact with food.

Risk evaluation: involves making decision about the significance of risks. What will be the consequence if such incidents happen; chemicals in food! Causing ill health to customers sues the company resulting to penalty.

4.3. Identifying the Actions Taken by the Manager in Dealing with a Breach in Healthy and Safe Working Practices (AC 4.3)

Health and safety in the workplace is a legal issue and in UK it is enforced by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The breach of the law will have serious consequences such as significant amount of penalty and also it has been described how it will affect organisational objectives by worsening employee productivity. The following plan should be under taken if health and safety working practices are breached;

To arrange for workshop to improve the knowledge of the employee about the healthy working practices.

To give first performance improvement plan if breached after the workshop.

To give second performance improvement plan.

To give final performance action plan.

To dismiss form the job.

4.4. Communicating Responsibilities for Healthy and Safe Working Practices to the Team (AC 4.4)

A good communication is essential for ensuring the health and safe working practices without proper communication the whole purpose will be destroyed.

Appropriate communication channel must be chosen to make sure health and safety initiatives are co-ordinated and well understood. This may include;

Formal: Workplace inspections, health and safety committee meetings, training, incident investigations and reports, or hazard registers; and or

Informal: Suggestion box, day to day interactions, tool box meetings or leading etc.

4.5. Relevant Records to Maintain to Demonstrate that Healthy and Safe Working Practices are Met (AC 4.5)

Healthy and safe working practices records are both voluntary and mandatory. In UK under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) it is the duties of the employers, the self -employed and people in control of work premises to report serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (Health and Saftey Executive, 2012). To meet the legal requirements accident and incidents reporting books are maintained by the employers. Organisations also must keep record of health and safety policies manual, health and safety training manual etc.


Nothing can bring success unless done in a systematic and organised way. Although personal development plan is mostly practiced at organisational level it should start form personal life to decide at a career goal of life and this will bring enrichment in personal life and for the society as well and what would be the meaning of life going on like a rudderless boat when PDP can create a meaning of life.

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