Business Level 2 knowledge quietsion answersWatch
1.1 Outline how a callers experience affect their view of an organisation
When a customer calls it is important that they are treated with respect and spoken to in a polite manner. This is crucial as if they are spoken to with disrespect they are unlikely to continue using your business and it would create an unprofessional look for the organisation. If a customer calls and the first thing they hear is “good morning my name is ... how can I help you today” they will feel comfortable and think that the organisation is professional. Also if the customer calls up requesting something if you do your best to fulfil the request this creates an image that the organisation is helpful and effective. If the call takes a while when it should be simple this will create an image of the organisation that looks like employees don’t know what they are doing.
1.2 Outline organisational standards and procedures for communicating on the telephone
Most organisations have procedures for answering the phone. These procedures may include a customary organisation greeting, answer the call within a certain amount of rings, the reason you are calling and where from. At Middlesbrough College the procedures are answer within 5 rings, greet them with Middlesbrough College and what your department is, state your name then explain why you are calling or ask how you can help.
1.3 State the importance of following organisational standards and procedures when making and receiving telephone calls
It is important to follow the organisational standards and procedures when making and receiving telephone calls as they are there for a reason. Most of the procedures are in place to create a professional view of the organisation. These procedures would also be in place as it will keep everyone in line. This is because if someone answers the phone following the procedures and then they call again and a member of staff doesn’t follow the procedure they may question if they really work for the organisation.
1.4 State organisational fault reporting process
If your phone breaks it would be best to call IT and ask them to assist you with your phone. Under no circumstances should you ever try and fix something yourself as it may be a health and safety risk and you may damage the equipment further. Another option would be calling a help desk and requesting assistance. Also you can log it on footprints.
1.5 Describe why it is important to follow security and data protection procedures when using a telephone system
Information contained may be personal, this means that it is covered by the data protection act, or it could be commercially sensitive which could give the competitor an advantage if it falls into the wrong hands. The principles of the data protection act says that all information that is processed must be processed fairly and lawfully and, in particular, must not be processed unless its accurate and kept up to date. Also it must be adequate, relevant and not excessive. No information must be transferred to a country outside the European Economic area unless that country makes sure an adequate level of security is provided. If the data protection act is breached then the organisation could possibly receive a fine and may result in the organisation being prosecuted. This would be because the individual’s health and safety could be put at risk.
1.6 State the information to be given out when transferring calls, taking or leaving messages.
When transferring calls it is important that the caller and the call recipient both know what is going on. Before transferring the call ring the call recipient explaining why you are transferring the call them and give them as much information as possible on the situation. When you have confirmed with the call recipient ensure that the caller is aware that they are going to be transferred, why they are going to be transferred and who they are being transferred to. Also on some occasions there may be instances where you have to pick up someone else’s phone call, and if you can’t help you may have to write down a message for the intended call recipient such as why they are calling, who the call was intended for, a phone number to call back and a preferred time if they have one. As well as this when someone is on the line and receiving a call you may also pick up the call and take the message. You could also set up an automatic transfer, which allows you to redirect calls to another phone if your line is engaged or unmanned. If a voicemail was required to be left it would need to include your name, the organisation, the reason for calling, your department and most importantly a phone number to call you back on.
1.7 State organisational guidelines for deleting voicemail messages
In my organisation there are organisational guidelines. The organisation requires that all voicemails left on my phone must be replied to within 24 hours by myself and deleted once dealt with. If the voicemail isn’t replied to within 24 hours this could look unprofessional on myself and the organisation. Also if the voicemails are left on the system this will create a backlog of voicemails meaning I will have to listen to all my old ones just to listen to one new one. Some organisation require the employees to leave the voicemails to be left on the phones as they may need to refer back to them at a later date.
1.1 Describe systems and procedures for storing and retrieving information
There are two different systems when it comes to storing and retrieving information which are either paper based or electronic. Some of the electronic procedures for storing and retrieving information are title or subject, category or reference number, date, authors and storage end date. Also paper based procedures for storing and retrieving information includes alphabetical, numerical, chronological, geographical or by storage end date. A main procedure for storing information would be data security. Data security ensures that all forms are kept securely and ensures personal information is not disclosed. This means when storing information it must be in a secure place to ensure the procedure expectations are met.
1.2 outline legal and organisational requirements for information security and retention
As an organisation we a required to retain information for different periods of time for contracts with various funding agencies. This information may be requested from the funding agency at any time for audit purposes. For this reason we store significant amounts of data relating to staff, students and their employers so it is important that we follow organisational and legal requirements when handling this information in order to keep it safe. In my role I am regularly requested to provide students with information relating to their enrolment or attendance. It’s important that I only pass this on to the person it relates to and I carry out a security check before doing so. This is also the case when providing information to staff relating to students. I would only pass information on to staff members who are authorised to receive it.
1.3 explain how to create filing systems to facilitate information identification and retrieval
In my current job role I use a lateral filing system with lever arch box files. These box files are separately labelled from A-Z (alphabetic). All of the boxes contain enrolment forms which are also in alphabetical order which make it easy to store and retrieve forms. Sometimes forms may be in the wrong place so if this problem occurs I can easily find the correct box and file the form correctly.
1.4 explain how to use different search techniques to locate and retrieve information
When searching for forms through a filing cabinet there are multiple methods of retrieval. One of which would be finding the corresponding letter/number and search through the box. The most common type of filing is alphabetic and if this system is in use all forms will be stored A – Z. In some occasions you will need to locate information from an electronic system (pro solution in my case). To retrieve information from pro solution it would require me to enter information such as date of birth, name or learner ID. Using these search methods would result the searched information being singled out and shown on screen.
1.5 Describe what to do when problems arise when storing or retrieving information
When a problem occurs when filing it is usually because the person who filed the form has misfiled the form. To try and resolve this it is best to go and ask the person who filed the form if they recall where it is or if there were any problems. If this is not any help then you could ask for help checking the rest of the filing cabinet. Another problem could possibly be retrieving incorrect information. If the incorrect information is given out then this could lead to possible loss of business. To avoid this confusion it vital that when you are retrieving information you must check the accuracy of the information carefully. A problem that may occur with electronic systems may be typing the incorrect information while using the search function. If you enter too many or too few terms then you may either get the wrong results or no results at all. To prevent yourself from doing this it is important that you take extra care when typing and check what you have typed before you click the search icon.
1.1 explain why different communication methods are used in the business environment
In a business environment there is multiple methods of communication. A common method used is written communication. Written communication is generally used for formal conversations/communication over text, email, letters, memos and reports whereas verbal communication can be used for either formal or informal communication either face to face or over the phone. Both of these methods or communication are used in a business environment as verbal communication tends to be faster and easier to understand where as written communication is better for physical evidence of communication and better for saving paper as documents can be attached.
1.4 describe the communication requirements of different audiences
There are different communication requirements for different audiences at work. As a college we communicate with students, their employers, their families and other members of staff. When talking to other members of staff they may have a different level of understanding/experience to you. If someone has worked for the company for a long time they may understand abbreviations or acronyms whereas a new member of staff may not.
I come into contact with a wide variety of people on a daily basis who all have different communication needs. We have a lot of students who are studying ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) so it is important to use simple vocabulary when speaking to them.
We also have students and staff with disabilities so I would be required to adapt my communication techniques when speaking to them.
1.3 explain the importance of using correct: A. grammar B. sentence structure C. punctuation D. spelling E. conventions
The above points are extremely important in written communication as it helps the reader to understand what you are telling them. It is also important for the professionalism of the business. If you were sending written information to external clients it may give the recipient a negative view of the college.
1.4 Explain the importance of using appropriate body language and tone of voice when communicating verbally
When communicating verbally it is important to use suitable body language. When talking it is crucial that a suitable tone of voice, volume of voice, pace of speech, pitch of voice and the rhythm of speech. This is so important as it will prevent you from sounding dull and monotonous. Also your body language gives off a message so sitting/standing straight, making eye contact, smiling and using gestures will suggest you are interested, focused, comfortable, approachable and friendly.
3.1 Identify organisational policies relating to personal development
Workforce development policy
The strategy is part of the College’s ‘One Ambition’ strategic aim. The aim of the policy is to “attract, develop and retain a highly skilled workforce who provide an excellent, stable and innovative learning environment”. The policy includes various priorities, including, “improving the quality and professionalism of all staff”. This includes the start for success programme which makes sure all new staff members have the information, support and guidance they need to enable a smooth transition in to the organisation. The policy also includes “improving responsiveness to employers and customer’s needs”. The college aims to develop and deliver enhanced Customer Service training to all relevant staff in order to enrich the experiences and meet the diverse needs of our learners, clients and external customers.
Staff Appraisal Policy
The aim of this policy is to provide a supportive process by which all employees can realise their full potential in their job roles. All members of staff who work more than 6 hours per week will have an appraisal and Share their aspirations and goals with their Appraiser who is normally their Line Manager. In the review there will be an overview of their contribution to the success of the College over the prior year. At the end of the appraisal it’s mandatory that targets and priorities are agreed and any training and support that’s needed to maintain and develop skills and achieve goals and targets are put in place.
3.3 explain the potential business benefits of personal development
Personal development improves awareness and identifies and develops talents and potential.
Personal development helps to improve the overall service provided to customers and contributes to the college’s overall mission “to provide education and skills that enhance the region’s economic & social prosperity”.
• Identifying talent and potential in the organisation - this helps to “Attract, develop and retain a highly skilled, value driven and passionate team of staff”.
• Improved workplace performance – This contributes to the college’s ‘One Ambition’ to “Deliver excellent teaching & learning and student outcomes”. An indirect benefit would be that you will enjoy your job more…..
1.1 outline the benefits of effective team working
Effective team working is crucial. Effective team working can create a good image for the employees and the business/organisation. Working effectively as a team could create opportunities which may result in greater outcomes. Also when a team is effectively working together this will demonstrate the individual is being supported. This creates a strong team and keeps morale high. When a team works together there are often a variety of levels of experience and knowledge. Having a team consisting of different levels of experience and knowledge can be seen as a positive, it can assist others develop skills further.
1.2 describe how to give feedback constructively
Constructive feedback is information specific, issue-focused, and based on observations. It comes in two forms which are praise and criticism. Praise is a favourable judgment as many don’t like to be unkind whereas criticism is an unfavourable judgment. It is crucial to get the correct balance as too much criticism could possible cause the individual to be unconfident, unhappy or annoyed. When giving constructive feedback it’s important that you are clear with what you are wanting the individual to improve and avoid giving off mixed messages. Also it’s useful to express your appreciation when giving positive feedback.
1.3 explain conflict management techniques that may be used to resolve team conflicts
One of the most difficult areas in a team is conflict. Team conflict would include avoiding. If the issue is unimportant/irrelevant one of the best methods is avoiding as most people believe it is not worth the effort. Also this may reduce the tension between the colleagues. Another method would be accommodating. Accommodating is when an individual will bend over backward to respect the views of other people, and do whatever it takes to keep the peace. This approach is suitable when you are either in the wrong or when the issue is unimportant. The third method would be competing. People using this approach must win at all costs. This approach is most effective when tough, unpopular decisions need to be made. Using this approach will often result in nobody wanting to present opposing views. The final approach is collaborating. People using this method try and see the whole picture and try to get solutions bigger than any individual views. In some occasions collaborating could waste time so this method may be avoided. There isn’t a method that works best it just completely depends on the people, situation and environment.
1.4 Explain the importance of giving team members the opportunity to discuss work progress and any issues arising
Discussing work progress and any issues arising with team members provides an opportunity to acknowledge team achievements and celebrate success. This is important as it can boost the morale of an individual/team. Some people prefer their achievements to be public (in front of other staff), whereas some people prefer their achievements to be given to them privately or find it more rewarding when higher management praises them. Also it provides an opportunity to discuss strengths and identify areas for improvement. If this didn’t happen then the members of staff would be having the same issues or keep making the same mistake over and over again. It is important to discuss work as it can motivate, build loyalty and develop skills. This can also avoid misunderstanding and give the staff a chance to agree on actions needed to develop skills.
1.5 Explain the importance of warning colleagues of problems and changes that may affect them.
It is important to make colleagues aware of any uprising issues as if made aware this will create time to make them aware of the upcoming events. If the colleagues are not made aware of changes they may need training or assistance. In my role I rely on updates from my head of department relating to funding. If I’m not made aware of these updates then I would continue to apply the same funding rules which may results in me enrolling ineligible students. It’s also important that my manager makes me aware of potential problems that may arise within my role. If I am not made aware of potential problems then I would not be able to deal with them when they arise. This could potentially make the problem worse. It also applies the other way around. If I encounter a problem within my role I may need to escalate it to my manager or head of department so that the issue can be resolved more efficiently if needed.
1.1 describe different ways of archiving information
When you store documents away it tends to be in a secure storage facility. Traditional document storage is often the method used to keep paper copies of their documents. This is often used as many organisations don’t have the room to keep them stored on site. Although traditional document storage is on its way out in comparison to more modern methods, a lot of bigger organisations still prefer to use it as their first choice, mainly as they have bigger budgets to be able to afford it. My organisation uses this method with all enrolment forms. At my organisation the facilities department store the document off site and if we request any document they will go to the off site location and retrieve them. Another method would be Document scanning to digital document management. There are specialist document scanning companies that will take your documents and scan them to digital files such as PDF. Also the companies will supply the documents on a disc, through FTP or into a digital document management system. This means that all the documents are still available at the office but the documents no longer need to be there in physical form. Also it makes for more flexible and productive work as the documents are easily accessible and can be shared, emailed and printed as and when staff need. Another method of archiving would be scan on demand. Scan on demand is a relatively recent scanning service. Scan on demand offers a flexible way of archiving which is the best of both worlds if an organisation isn’t sure they are ready to change to digital just yet. The scanning company will store your documents and when you wish to have a document digitised and sent over to you for use, you call or email the company to request it. A lot of companies are choosing this option as sustainable middle ground between the other two document storage choices. The fact that you can request a file at any time and get a digital copy back to you, makes it a better choice than standard storage for many. Finally another method my organisation uses is electronic archiving. At my organisation we use a programme that holds all old/ previous records. All staff members are able to retrieve the archived information. This method is very time efficient is also very easy.
1.2 Describe how to retrieve archived information
There’s multiple different ways of retrieving archived information. One of which is electronically. All documentation is stored on a system that will be available to the relevant people who need access. This method consists of using the search function and in my organisation this can be filtered by date of birth, name, address and reference number. Another way to retrieve archived information would be via off site storage. This way is also used at my organisation and requires a member of staff available to go and retrieve the documentation that is stored. At my organisation we have a department called “facilities” retrieve all stored documents one request. They will know where the forms will be as all departments label the boxes alphabetically and they are also labelled with what each box contains. The final way that people retrieve archived information is from external companies that are paid to scan across the documents on request. This occurs when an organisation pays an external organisation to store all of their information and to digitalise the documents. This method requires the organisation to either call or email the external company to get the digital copy of the documentation sent over.