Future Employment Skills Requirements: Part B
Name of the Student:
Swansea School of Education
Implications of the Part A findings on PCET Organizations’ Leadership and Management
Part A of this research examined the essential skills that ESOL learners in the UK should acquire in order to meet employment requirements in the future. The research indicated that organizations are thriving in a diverse and increasingly competitive business environment during the 21st century. One of the strategies taken by organizations to cope with the rapid changes in the external environment is to employ human resources with the ability to steer them to maintain or achieve competitive edge in the future. As such, organizations are increasingly attaching importance to the future human resource needs. Part A of this research identified several skills that PCET organizations in the UK should offer to ESOL learners in order to enhance their chances of getting employed in the future. The findings derived in part A indicated that most ESOL learners focus on gaining grammatical skills, on top of other skills that are directly applicable for their jobs. For instance, immigrants and refugees with experience in teaching, but are not native English-speakers mostly focus on gaining grammatical competence through learning grammatical skills. They often focus on sharpening their comprehension, oral language, phonological awareness, phonics, fluency and vocabulary skills. Although these grammatical skills are essential in employment settings in the UK, teamwork, problem-solving, decision-making, computer literacy and creative thinking skills are becoming very important to organizations, amidst increasingly competitive business environment. In other words, for ESOL learners in the UK to enhance their future employability chances, they must have such skills.
Although Part A of this project identified important skills that employees will be required to have in the future, the list was not comprehensive. Further research has identified that cultural pragmatic skills are very important in enhancing effective communication in all contexts. Cultural pragmatics refers to the patterns of interaction and rules of speaking of a given language (Wierzbicka, 2013). In particulars, cultural pragmatics constitute the speech acts that are applied by individuals in a given group or community within specific contexts (Wierzbicka, 2013). The theory of speech acts posits that people from different cultural backgrounds tend to use different communication strategies, whereas people from the same cultural background tend to use the same communication strategies. Learning pragmatic skills is important for ESOL learners in the UK. Although ESOL learners gain the essential grammatical communication skills needed for reading, comprehending, writing, listening and writing, they may not be able to send the correct messages when dealing with the native English-speakers. For instance, when making requests, a non-native English speaker may use direct language, without the use of syntax and lexical features. Such requests may be interpreted by the native English-speakers as rude or as a sign of impolite behavior. Gaining pragmatically skills is therefore essential in all contexts for ESOL learners in the UK, including at the workplace (Wierzbicka, 2013). Another weakness of the part A findings is that they only identified some of the future requirements for employment, without explaining why these requirements are important. Significantly, the findings failed to acknowledge the fact that some of the skills, such as decision making and problem solving may not be gauged by employers during job recruitment. Rather, such skills become important after joining an organization (McMillan, 2008).
The findings above findings have several implications on PCET organizations’ leadership and management. One of the major goals of such organizations is to provide students with instructional skills that match with the requirements of the employers. In this regard, the PCET organizations should cope with the changes in employment needs. In other words, the PCET organizations need to adapt to the changes in the external environment (Hiatt & Creasey, 2010). The school curriculum should be changed to include subjects that provide such skills. The skills can be incorporated in common courses that will be done by all students. The leaders and managers of PCET organizations should also plan to provide all essential instructional tools for such skills. Importantly, the existing staff should be provided with additional training so that they can provide the essential knowledge on the new areas to the students. Where need be, new staff with adequate instructional knowledge in the new areas should be hired (Edwinah, & Ahiauzu, 2013).
Such changes will definitely have a major impact on the existing culture of the PCET organizations. The organizational change theory proposes different approaches that leaders and managers should adopt in specific situations to enhance success during change. To achieve success in the implementation of changes, the leaders and managers at PCET organizations should adopt the bottom-up approach to change implementation, in which the opinions of the lower-level staff count as much as the opinions of the top leaders and managers in decision-making (Brown & Cregan, 2008). In other words, all the staff members at all levels should be actively involved in the change process. However, caution should be taken when incorporating the opinions of the lower-level staff; the management should incorporate the best opinions.
Implications on MEWN Profession
As Steenekamp, Botha and Moloi (2012) explain, organizations in both the private and public sectors are working hard to meet the challenges that are emerging during the recent years and to cope with the diverse working environments. Most organizations, especially in the private sector have already shifted attention to the importance of the additional skills that enhance productivity and quality of output. Organizations in the public sector are also devising strategies to enhance their volume output and quality of output, whether the output constitutes tangible products or services. Minority Ethnic Women’s Network Wales (MEWN), the organization that I work for is not an exception. In short, all organizations, in the near future, are going to recruit employees with ability to work in teams.
Working in teams has various impacts to an organization, including enabling workers to focus on organizational objectives and improving the morale of workers (Nielsen & Randall, 2012). Importantly, workers are able to correct each other for any mistakes. Eventually, the overall quality and volume of products produced or the services offered is improved. Team working, therefore, can help to improve the quality of services offered at MEWN. Although workers at MEWN tend to have positive spirit towards their job, they are not organized in teams. Consequently, there are instances of inefficient services offered by the workers, which can be avoided through team working.
Secondly, as technology evolves, it is becoming imperative for all MEWN to embrace the new discoveries that help to improve its services. Computer technology is one area that is advancing at a rapid rate many organizations are already trying to keep pace with the rapid changes. In the future, employees in many organizations will be required to have adequate knowledge to deal with computers, which are increasingly used by organizations to automate services, with the aim of improving quality. Currently, workers at MEWN have basic knowledge in operating computers but as the agency adopts the new technology, the employees will need to get more training to operate the new technology (Schermerhorn, 2009). Any new employee in the organization will need to have knowledge of specific computer operations. Decision-making skills are essential since they enable individuals at any level of an organization to select the best option to solve a problem in cases where there are several alternatives. Decision-making skills are part of problem-solving skills. The problem solving skills enable workers, whether working in group or not, to solve conflicts that emerge between them. At the same time, the creative thinking skills enable individual workers to come up with innovative solutions to problems (Schermerhorn, 2009). In this regard, such skills can help to improve the services offered by workers at MEWN. Although this may not be part of the key requirements for employment, any non-native English-speaker employed at MEWN will need to have cultural pragmatic skills in order to communicate effectively with the work colleagues and also the people who re offered services.
Although I have not assessed many my colleagues in the organization, I have noticed that some of us are not conscious of the importance of such skills, yet there are instances where the skills are directly applicable. I assessed myself and realized that I lack the problem-solving, decision-making and cultural pragmatic competence skills. I therefore, need to come up with a strategy to develop my skills in those areas.
Personal Action Plan for Professional Development
The following is a summary of my personal development plan
My Specific goals
The following are my specific personal development goals;
To learn how to operate the new computer technology that is installed within MEWN that has direct implications on my daily tasks
To understand the patterns of interaction and rules of speaking embedded in the English culture
To gain problem-solving skills
To gain decision-making skills
In order to achieve the objectives related to skills, I will need to seek for assistance from my tutors to provide me with instructional tools. With regard to pragmatic skills, I will have to ask my school colleagues to brief me about the speech acts that they use in specific situations. For instance, I will have to seek help from my school colleagues to inform me about the speech acts that are commonly used when making requests or apologies. I will have to keep on practicing using available computers in order to advance my computer skills. I target to gain all the skills within two years. The main constraints that I may encounter are lack of enough instructional tools and lack of adequate time to learn from the tutors. Gaining the cultural pragmatic skills will enable me to;
Understand the differences in patterns of interaction and rules of speaking between the English culture and home culture
Learn how to use polite language in English
Avoid cases of misunderstanding with the native-English-speaking colleagues
Measuring the Progress
The following will be my criteria for measuring the progress
After learning new computer operation skills, I will be applying directly in my work. I will be integrating the skills in my services at MEWN.
I will be asking my colleagues at school and at work place to inform me whether I am using the correct words in specific situations, such as when asking for help and when making apology
I will be applying knowledge about problem-solving and decision-making in suggesting solutions to emerging problems at work place, as well as assisting in solving conflicts.
Assessing Attainability of my Objectives
My goals will be attainable due to the following reasons;
There are computers in school and at work place that are provided for individuals to train themselves
There instructional tools (books and other resources) available to train students about my target skills in the school
Assessing whether my goals are realistic
My goals are realistic because they are directly applicable during daily activities, both at work place and in other contexts. As such, the goals exert a high motivational force on me.
Timeliness of attaining my goals
I will be able to attain all my goals within the set time frame of 2 years. In fact, some goals will be met within a shorter time-frame. For instance, learning pragmatic skills may take les than one year.
ReferencesBrown, M., & Cregan, C. (2008). Organizational change cynicism: The role of employee involvement. Human Resource Management, 47(4), 667 – 686.
Edwinah, A., & Ahiauzu, A. (2013). Employee involvement and organizational effectiveness. Journal of Management Development, 32(7), 661 – 674.
Hiatt, J., & Creasey. T. J. (2010). Change Management: The People Side of Change. New York (NY): Routledge.
McMillan, E. (2008). Complexity, Management and the Dynamics of Change: Challenges for Practice. New York (NY): Routledge.
Nielsen, K., & Randall, R. (2012). The importance of employee participation and perceptions of changes in procedures in a team working intervention. Work Stress, 26(2), 91–111
Schermerhorn, J. R. (2009). Management. London: John Wiley & Sons Steenekamp, K., Botha, G. & Moloi, K. C. (2012). Sustaining change in a learning organization. Africa Education Review, 9(2), 380-394.
Steenekamp, K., Botha, G. & Moloi, K. C. (2012). Sustaining change in a learning organization. Africa Education Review, 9(2), 380-394.
Wierzbicka, A. (2013). Cross-cultural pragmatics: The semantics of human interaction (2nd
ed.). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter