(1.1) The apprenticeship I have taken is one which leads to the role of a business administration apprentice. While at apprentice level, my role has mainly consisted in assisting other staff in their jobs by ordering and numbering client’s invoices, filing and making spreadsheets in which I input the data I have been given. This allows people more experienced than myself to review the data and to charge clients the appropriate amounts of money.
(1.2) However, this apprenticeship could lead to me becoming a business administrator and a person of this role will operationalize task, organize workers and task to be completed, and have managerial responsibilities within their company while making sure their office runs smoothly. Other titles which hold similar roles to business administrator include CEO and General Manager, which are both positions I could hold in and outside of DBF.
(1.3) There are many sources of advice and information on my industry and training. The source I mostly use is my other co-workers as first-hand experience is extremely useful to form advice and allows me to learn from their mistakes and successes. Another source I used is the internet and websites such as Gov.UK as it explains my core roles, what to expect from an apprenticeship in this sector and job roles my apprenticeship can lead onto.
(1.4) Many organisations have different codes of conduct and practice, and DBF is no different. It stands on the belief that the company itself should be approachable, reliable, and timely. This means that clients should be able to feel that they can communicate with their accountants, that DBF is reliable and that the company will always meet its deadlines set. Because of these beliefs I am expected to be able to communicate with other staff, so we can work together to meet the deadlines set and to act in a professional manner to portray a sense of reliability to clients in the office.
(1.5) Public relations is important to all companies, and many will take public concern into much consideration. Much of the public is concerned about their privacy as recently it has been revealed many companies have compromised their customers’ details. At DBF we aim to keep these details as private as possible. Because of this concern, visitors are restricted to access of the building as they could potentially see a client’s important details such as NI number or bank statements. Also, any unnecessary papers which hold important information are destroyed through being shredded; which leads us to a second public concern which is the company’s environmental friendliness. At DBF a waste which is safe to be recycled, is. Boxes are often flattened and sent to recycling centre, plastic bottles are separated from the bin when removed and we try to dispose of waste paper in an eco-friendly way.
(1.6) Many job industries have representative bodies to protect people in that industry and to promote common views and interest such as how much people in the body’s industry should earn. There are different types of representative body in the UK. A trade association (or an industry trade group) is a group founded by a business and will operate in a certain industry such as building or teaching. A professional body or organisation is a non-profit organisation which works in the interest of individuals in that profession, public interest and to further that profession. If I feel that my working rights are being violated I can request advice or help from my representative body which I am part of in order to correct that situation. At DBF, as an accountancy firm, the representative body is ACCA. (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)
(2.1) Employers an employee both have statutory rights in the work place, and each right has a responsibility to pair its self with. All employers have the right to hire those who meet their expectations, impress them, and offer promise to improve their company. Equally, the same employers have the right to dismiss employees who do not reach what is expected of them, ignore the rules of the work place or work in a role which is no longer needed. (Also known as making the role redundant.)
However, with this power, employers mustn’t abuse their rank. Employers do not have the right to discriminate against existing or potential employees, allow workers to suffer sexual harassment in the workplace or allow victimisation or vilification to take place as stated in the Anti-Discrimination Act of 1991. If any of these do take place, the employer holds to responsibility to take reasonable action against the culprit(s) in different manners such as making them attend a disciplinary hearing.
Like their employers, workers also have rights to many things such as a minimum wage (currently £5.60 for those over the age of 18), freedom of discrimination privacy and a safe work place. It is an employer’s job to provide the rights and if a worker feels that these rights are not being made, they can put a complaint forward to their representative body.
(2.2) Most employers will have reasonable expectations for their employees to follow. Many work places have a dress code, for example at DBF Associates it is described as ‘smart casual’. Likewise, many employers will expect workers to attend work for a certain time, for many companies in the UK it is normally between 8:00am and 10:00am. Finally, many businesses expect their workers to be as professional as possible, no matter what work sector.
(2.3) One of the most known documents which protects those in the work place is the Health and Safety at Work Act or 1974. It states to employers that it is their duty to protect their employees’ health, safety and welfare and must do what they can to achieve these expectations. Because of this, employers must carry out risk assessments on tasks set which addresses any potential risk that may cause harm and any information on potential risk must be passed onto those who are completing the task set.
It is also the employer’s duty to give a contract of employment which states the employee’s name, job role, work base, start date and other important information such as when and how much workers will be paid, hours of work, holiday entitlement and protection against sickness absences other reasons why an employee may not be able to attend work as part of the original National Insurance Act (part 1) of 1911.
(2.4) Information on employment rights and responsibilities are easily found on the internet on websites such as Gov.UK and legal advice websites. It is also advisory to contact a representative body for information on employment rights as they are designed to protect employers and employees against being mistreated in the work place.
(1.1) In a business environment, there are many forms of communication used. The main methods used to communicate within a business are as follows;
Each can be used for different things and reasons.
Verbal Communication is also known as oral communication. It can be preformed face-to-face with someone, through phone call/video chat, etc. The main advantage of verbal communication is that it conveys information extremely quick and if the information isn’t clear it can be queried instantaneously. Verbal communication is the most common form of communication in and out of the work place as it is convenient, efficient, and often cost little to nothing.
Non-Verbal communication often is used in parallel to verbal communication. It is made up of body actions, facial expressions, appearance, etc. Non-Verbal communication can be harder to convey information with as it depends on how the audience interprets the action. For example, someone tells a co-worker to complete a task for the boss by saying, “Boss asked you to do this.” This generic sentence can be interpreted to determine the important of the task by the person’s non-verbal communications. If the person said this in a stern voice while making full eye-contact and standing with a good posture, it is more likely to be interpreted as an important task compared to being given the same information who says it in a joking voice, while not looking at the co-worker, etc. This form of communication is as important as verbal communication and adds further information to verbal communication through less obvious connotations.
Written communication has may mediums, including; Email, text, notes, letters, telegrams, contracts, etc.
Each medium has their own separate advantages and disadvantages. The most used forms of written communication in a business environment are Email, letters, contracts, and text.
Letters are probably the most traditional form of communication within a business. Because of this, letters often carry important information. Letters are often straight to the point but are often one of the more expensive forms of communication within a business as the sender has to pay for paper, envelope, and stamps, as well as insurance if the letter carries confidential information.
Emails quickly became the replacement for letters soon after being established and more businesses started using computers. This is because they act like a letter, but are much cheaper, and the recipient gains the information days quicker compared to letter. Because of this, Email is the more predominant form of written communication in the work place.
Contracts are used by most companies and are often legally binding. This allows companies to make agreements which will benefit each other and often require a person of authority’s signature from each business to show that the companies agree with the terms offered.
Texts are often used in business environments to pass information of little importance as they are quick and efficient and take seconds to write and send.
(1.2) How people who work in a business environment communicate with co-workers is often different compared to people who are from outside the business. (i.e.: customers, suppliers, etc.)
Most businesses and companies have their own language, and the language will be used daily. Most jobs which manually labouring will have a wide range while office jobs will have less. In office-based businesses, such as an accountancy firm, this language mostly consists of abbreviations. An example of this using codes which the company is internally registered as rather than the company’s name. A 2nd example of this is abbreviating forms of tax to the main initials such as Council Tax to CT or Value Added Tax to VAT. This allows co-workers to communicate with each other without taking extra seconds to give something its actual name and these languages can be used in written form and spoken form.
If the in-company language was used to a client or someone else from outside the company, there could be some confusion as it is unlikely the person would understand this language. Because of this, whilst speaking to someone from outside the business it is important to use the proper words with some degree of detail and correct grammar. This allows the conversations to run smoothly and the client/customer/supplier/etc to leave feeling that s/he understood what has happened in the meeting. This is important because it allows both parties to understand each other’s interest to a high standard, which means both groups can go to work with a clear idea of what to do.
(1.3) In business communications, the use of correct grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, spelling, and conventions are important.
The use of correct grammar can affect how easy something is to read. If something is written in poor grammar, it can be misunderstood as it is harder to read. To express your communication more clearly and more precisely, whether written or spoken, it is important to use correct grammar.
The correct use of sentence structure in communications within a business can also affect the readability of text. Using different sentence types can help emphasise different points and can strengthen how one conveys ideas. The correct sentence structure can help the communication to be understood correctly, where as the wrong sentence structure can lead to misinterpretation.
Using punctuation correctly can completely change to the meaning of a sentence. For example; “You’re 18.” Has a different meaning to “You’re 18?” Even though both sentences have the same words used. Punctuation is also used to separate sentences as well as clarifying the meaning.
Like punctuation, the correct spelling can affect the meaning of a sentence. Because of this, using the correct spelling is also crucial in business communications.
The use of conventions need to be adjusted depending on the audience, context, and purpose. Conventions are the way spellings, capitalisation, punctuation, grammar, and paragraphing are used to make a text more understandable to its audience. This allows the audience to read the text more fluently rather than wasting time trying to interpret it. If speaking to a colleague or client, there is going to be jargon and correct grammar, etc used within the speech, however, if someone is speaking to friend, the language will be adjusted.
The undertoned language which is used in all conversation is body language and tone of voice. These can affect the tone and formality of a conversation. The use of tone and body language indicates how someone feels on a matter and whether or not they feel something is worth their time. If the wrong body language is used, the wrong message can be conveyed and what is interpreted may be wrong.