"Work in a Business Environment": A Personal Statement (NVQ Business and Administration Exam)
The Purpose and Benefits of Respecting and Supporting Other People at Work
Belonging to a team makes me feel part of something larger than me. In a team-oriented environment, I understand the mission and objective of my organization, I contribute to the overall success of the organization by working with my fellow members. I might have a specific job function and belong to a specific department, but even beyond that, I will work with others to contribute to the overall objectives and success of the organisation.
To work as part of the team or within an organisation, I need to learn to respect other people at work and support other people at work too. I need to know what the organisation does, what the structure of the organisation is, and why each team and department was built, what it does, and how it contributes. Every team and individual needs to understand where their work fits in the total context of an organisation.
When work is done with a team effort, rather than by individuals sitting alone completing tasks, an organization can flourish, because work will be completed on time and on budget. In order to build good team work, the members in the team have to communicate with each other and support each other. This connection teaches us to share work goals and plan objectives, and also helps everyone develop as an individual. When working as a team, we can identify each other's weaknesses and strengths. This leads to giving and receiving feedback to improve one’s work.
I work in a diverse work environment, and I come across different individuals with different personalities and from different cultures. As an organisation and as a team I have to respect and value every individual, regardless of race, customs, belief, appearance, etc. When diverse people work together, they bring various skills, talents and experiences together. This helps the team and organisation to perform to the best of their ability.
Before judging anyone, I have to step into their shoes, so that I clearly understand how that person feels. That way I will look at things from that person’s point of view. I always think about how I would feel if I was in that person’s situation. I need to respect their needs, their cultural values and racial differences when sorting out any disagreements. That way I make the person feel important, and show to them that I care and I am there to support them in every way I can. I make them feel valued by listening to them and supporting their likes and interests and value their needs and respect confidentiality of information where the situation requires.
I also learn a lot from people when I work in a diverse environment. I request observation and guidance when I need support. I also understand the importance of building relationships at work with colleagues and superiors and use other people as a source of inspiration.
Maintaining Security and Confidentiality at Work
Information security means protecting information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction. Information security is concerned with the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data regardless of whether the data is in electronic, print, or other forms.
Confidentiality is important for various reasons. Data relating to recruitment and management of employees is automatically sensitive. Apart from this, in my organisation, we deal with a huge amount of confidential data for our clients. They are all stored in the organisation's cabinets and servers. If data go into the wrong hands, this information could be misused to commit fraud, discrimination, and other violations.
Every organisation should be careful about how they handle and respect data that passes through their hands.
The following are the legal requirements and best practice:
• Data Protection Act 1998 (designed to safeguard the collection, holding and use of personal data.)
• Human Rights Act 1998
• Common Law of Confidentiality
Confidentiality is the duty of everyone. Staff should always feel free to discuss with their seniors or managers what this means on a daily basis in their handling of any material. Also all employees need to know what the rules are for whatever industry they are in, and know the process at their work place for dealing with suspected risks and violations.
Keeping the Business Environment Secure
When working for an organisation or a business or any work environment, it is very important to follow safety, security and legal procedures. Every organisation has its own confidential information and care has to be taken to protect these documents from the public, else it will lead to disastrous effects. The property has to be secured with locks that can be opened by only authorised personnel. In our organisation, we have secure locks that can be opened only by the employees of the organisation using their swipe card. The rooms of managers are secured with number locks. All confidential information and files are secured in cabinets that are only accessible by the employees.
The main door to entry to the offices is secured with locks that can be opened by swiping the card. Also when running the organisation, all employees follow all the legal requirements relating to how confidential information is used, and customer data protected. Also contracts are signed for any services that are provided and sought, stating all the legal necessities and the outcome if the product or service is unsatisfactory.
Employees working in the organisation are expected to carry their personal identity card, which details their name, position and organisation name along with their photograph. Also all employees should make sure that unidentified, unauthorised or non-employees do not enter the building without a reason. Any visitors entering the building have to sign in the register at reception, and sign out when they leave the premises. A record of all assets—office equipments, furniture and any items belonging the organisation is maintained in every office, along with makes and models. Every equipment is provided with unique codes which are put on the equipments along with the organisation’s name and telephone number. All items that (like laptops) that are not in use or are confidential are locked away securely.
Any items borrowed by employees, like laptops or projectors, etc are signed for on borrowing and returning. Employee valuables have to be locked away securely all the time. Care has to be taken to avoid after hours theft in the office, soo always make sure that all valuables and confidential information are locked up securely. Any items that are missing or you think have gone missing have to be reported to the office manager. Also you have to report theft and any suspicious activities to the police and take necessary legal action.
Confidential paperwork should not be just disposed of. They have to be shredded before disposal.
Incidents Involving Confidentiality
When it comes to confidentiality and security regarding my job and files that I deal with, I take utmost care in handling situations and documents. I lock away all confidential information and documents relating to employees and clients in a locked cabinet. Also confidential files that are saved in the hard drive are password protected, so that anyone that has access to the shared drive does not open the documents. This was a result of an issue that I came across last year. The _________________ (removed for confidentiality purposes) are saved in the shared drive, to which other colleagues have access to. I was not saving them in “My Documents” folder which is personal, as my manager needed access to those files too. I found that a co-worker had tried to open the documents from the folder where all the _____________(removed for confidentiality purposes) were saved. I had a discussion with my manager following this incident about what has happened, how it affected the organisation, confidentiality of other employees details and explained to her how that would affect all the other team members too. My manager then asked about what could be done, I suggested that we password protected all the files that were confidential. Ever since then all confidential files irrespective of where they are saved have been password protected and password supplied to only the concerned person who has permission to open the files.
In the office, we always deal with printers and fax machines and files that need recycling. Empty toner cartridges and fax ribbons can cause hazardous effects due to chemicals present in them. It concerns health and safety issues. So they are put into the area where hazardous waste materials are left for disposal and the collection company collects them every month. Also all the boxes and covers in which the toners, cartridges and stationeries arrive are disposed of in their respective skips, so as to avoid health and safety issues.
I also make sure that all equipment, like the printer, fax machine, and computers, are in good working condition. If there are any IT issues, I log a call with the IT service desk, and chase up on any delays quoting the case reference number.
P.S: On a kind note, please do not copy anything submitted here and display it in your file. This has been published here purely to help you gain an understanding of what they expect you to write and how you have to write. You will have to relate to your own work area and organisation and stick with it while preparing the files. Thank you for your co-operation.
Appendix: "Reporting Data"
This particular answer below has been added here, as there were requests from two candidates. This is in no way related to the personal statement above.
Describe ways of reporting data so that
a) It meets agreed aims and objectives
b) Is accurate and free from bias
Data is a group of information that are used for various purposes like analysis, evaluations and to arrive at certain results or conclusions. Data reporting is a process where data are extracted form a source or many sources and then converted into a format that can be used for a purpose. It is usually presented in the form of a report in tables or charts or statistics or graphs or on spread sheets etc. These data may be used to arrive at important decisions within the organisation or with external organisations. So the data report has to be produced in such a way that it meets the aims and objectives of the requirement and also has to be accurate and free from bias as data quality is very important.
The ways of reporting data so that it meets the agreed aims and objectives are:
- Always make sure that the data you collect serves the purpose of the report you are going to prepare.
- Check to see that the report is in the agreed style and format and that it can be easily understood by the people involved.
- Check to see if the requirement is for a detailed report or a summarised one and prepare the report accordingly.
- Keep the language as simple as possible if the report is to be distributed to a wide range of audience; again this depends on the purpose of the report and what you are trying to achieve or report.
- Check that the report has an agreed/acceptable structure and that the contents comply with the organisation’s aims and objectives. In short it has to have a logical structure, with clear ideas and be well organised.
- Arrange data clearly and neatly in different sections with notes or explanations wherever necessary.
- It is best not to name or label people in the report.
- The conclusion part has to be clear with the results of your research or analysis.
- Include recommendations if any.
- It is always good to summarise at the start as to what the report is about and its purpose and what is discussed. You can also include the reason why this report has been created. You can mention its limitations, if any, and suggest areas of improvement.
Ways of reporting data so that they are accurate and free from bias are:
- Never make any assumptions on data or conclusions as this can pose a threat to the functioning of the organisation.
- Check for grammar, spelling and accuracy of figures involved as these reports represent the quality of the organisation. If there are any calculations involved, double check them to see if there are any errors. It is always best to run this through another person or two for a review, to avoid any grammar or numerical errors.
- Do not have any repetitive or irrelevant information.
- You need to be very specific in your report, using accurate, clear words and figures, so that your report is free from bias.