AC 1

AC 1.1 Briefly describe the legal aspects of the disciplinary process
There are many legal obligations employers must consider such as;
The Employment Act 2008;
Sections 1-7, dispute resolution
Sections 8-14, minimum wage
Sections 15-18, employment agencies
Section 19, union member expulsion
The Equality Act 2010;
Part 5 Work
Chapter 1 Employment
Chapter 2 Occupational pension schemes
Chapter 3 Equality of terms
Chapter 4 Supplementary
These encourage employers and employees to resolve their issues internally where possible without having to go through an employment tribunal. Additional rules from May 2014 also require claims to be notified to ACAS for possible resolution before making a claim to an employment tribunal. The general principle behind the Code is the importance of dealing with issues fairly.

The main points of the Code are;
The employer must set out the reasons for the alleged misconduct in writing.

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The employee must be invited to attend a disciplinary meeting and has a statutory right to be accompanied by a representative.
The employer must inform the employee in writing of the decision.
The employee has the right to appeal.

The employer’s duty to make reasonable adjustments applies to grievance, disciplinary and other workplace procedures. 
While the code itself is not legally binding, any compensation may be adjusted by up to 25% if an employee or employer does not comply with the code

AC 1.2 Identify an organisation’s employment policies and procedures that could guide the manager in dealing with disciplinary issues
At my current employer there are several policies and procedures that help guide the managers depending on the background situation behind the disciplinary issues.

Equality and Diversity Policy
The employer has to make reasonable adjustments for certain employees covered under the Equality Act 2010. This could be changing sickness absence to disability leave when looking at the employee’s absence record. There could also be adjustments put in place during the disciplinary hearings such as providing allowing a carer or family member to attend the hearing to support the employee.
Grievance Policy
If an employee feels they have been treated unfairly during a disciplinary process then the employee has the right to raise a grievance and for it to be heard fairly.
Whistle Blowing Policy
This policy covers employees, who raise concerns of serious malpractice or impropriety, from reprisal.

Performance Management Policy
Where employees are not meeting the expectations set out by their line manager this policy provides guidance for the manager on how to proceed form initially raising the issues as part of a one to one to placing the employee on a performance improvement plan (PIP) to the final stage which is going down a formal disciplinary route.
Absence Management Policy
This policy provides guidance on the management of absences within the workplace.

Health ; Safety Policy
The Health and Safety Policy has been designed to remove or reduce the risk of injuries to employees, contractors or members of the public. Any breech of these procedures or the policy can result in instant dismissal due to gross negligence.

AC 2.1 Describe the purpose of disciplinary procedure
This procedure is intended to encourage a positive environment; free from blame, supporting all employees to achieve and maintain high standards of performance, behaviors and conduct.
It is used primarily to help and encourage employees to improve and will not be used just as a way to impose punishment.
Whilst the aim is to resolve minor conduct issues informally, where the matter is more serious it may be necessary to move to a more formal process. The aim of this disciplinary policy is to provide a transparent framework within which managers can work with employees in a consistent and fair manner to maintain satisfactory standards of conduct and to encourage improvement where necessary.

If the disciplinary procedure is not implemented correctly or used fairly then this can lead to low moral and a lack of confidence in employees that will be dealt with fairly and transparently. This in turn leads to employees leaving the business, an increase in grievances being raised and ultimately an increased risk of employees taking their claim to an employment tribunal.

AC 2.2 Identify the interpersonal behaviour and support skills required by a manager to monitor discipline in the workplace
As a manager dealing with disciplinary issues you need to be aware of your own needs, values and emotions and their potential to impact on your decisions so you do not predetermine or judge the employees subject to disciplinary procedures.

You also need to keep your emotions and reactions in check and behave appropriately when you have feelings that could result in confrontational behaviour
The ability to build a positive relationship and gaining the trust of the employee.

Conflict management and problem solving are key to managing differences of opinions and seeking resolutions that are to the benefit to both the company and the employee (win-win).

Active listening and communicating are also key skills that a manager needs as a manager needs to listen to other people’s perspectives and opinions while suspending judgment and to clearly communicate both during the disciplinary procedure and it’s outcome.

AC 1

AC 1.1 – Review the prevailing leadership styles in the organisation

Within Melita, many departments have appointed Managers who lead a small or large team towards the organisation’s goals. However, within our HR team, we have a HOD (Head of department) and a training and development manager leading the team. I have been observing both our HOD (Head of department) and Traning and development manager and have noticed that both use very similar leadership styles, both use the Participative style.
Our training and development manager usually makes the final decisions when it comes to closing a deal or issue, however, includes both myself and the other team member in the decision-making process. I have noticed that using this style, it usually encourages creativity from the team members. I have also observed that our manager has adapted her approaches when it comes to fit the situation at hand and this leads to being quite useful since the more styles our manager is familiar with, the more flexible she is with her team. I have also seen that the morale of the group usually remains on a higher level because there is gratitude for the chance to partake in decisions, for example, when a new task is at hand our manager always asks ” How are -we- as a team going to achieve this?”. This type of leadership style results in less turnover and assists in retaining the employees. I believe that our manager applies this type of behaviour and style due to the response that us as a team give out, such as being responsible for our day to day tasks, providing constant feedback with one to ones and involving us in meetings. We are also informed continuously of the actual situations that arise, under all circumstances. I have also reviewed the behaviour which I believe our manager is easily approachable even when as team members make mistakes, we are still continuously supported. As a team, we are also continuously developed and trained, and this behaviour is since we have show our skills and what we can achieve therefore we are coached into improving our skills further. This type of response is evidence that supports the theory mentioned above. On the other hand, I have reviewed another manager within the organisation to find that he is more of laissez-faire which actually shows in the way this particular manager manages his team, such as how he is very much hands-off and allows his team members to make decisions when it comes down to the department. The executives are provided with the tools needed to complete a task or skill set; however the manager does not partake, and this shows in meetings that I have had with this particular manager. Each time a meeting is held and discussion points are made or ideas provided, he has always informed us that he will give these to his executives. I have also noticed that he gives instructions about what tasks he would like to see, but leaves his team leaders or executives on their own. I believe that the reason that this manager has adopted this type of leadership style is that of the culture the manager used to work previously. I have noticed that one of our HOD’s (Head of department) within the organisation uses the Autocratic leadership style. One observation I have made is that this particular style is that this HOD makes the expectations very clear, the team members are also very divided between the management, and very little input is provided from the rest of the team. I have also noticed that the behaviour is quite controlling and dictatorial, which also leads to a lot of disciplinary action is used.
To conclude, all the mentioned leadership styles are supported by David McClelland Human motivation theory and even Douglas McGregor’s X theory and Y theory which are the behavioural theories.

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AC 1.2 – Assess the impact of the prevailing leadership styles on the organisation’s values and performance

Melita’s Values and background-
At Melita, we are driven by our four core values which drive how we communicate our brand and ensure that we consistently satisfy our customers’ needs. Being part of Melita means we are not just proud of what we do, we also want to celebrate how and why we do it. We all share the following set of values, the same values lived by everyone at Melita, to describe what working for Melita will give you, and what Melita will ask for in return.

Inspiring: Always an available source of inspiration for new things to do, to read, to watch, to write & to discuss.

Open: Easy to reach and talk to, with high consideration of customers’ needs and desires.

Ready to help Forward Thinking: Always hungry for new ideas, not only engaged in how to find them, but also in how to make them work.

Clear: Simple to understand and honest.

Our service culture supports our Mission ; Vision. It defines who we are as an organisation, emphasises our beliefs ; values and highlights the experience that we create for our customers and employees.

As mentioned above, there are entirely many leadership styles used within Melita, and I believe that some positively affect the organisation and some affect it negatively. Leadership is a critical skill that needs to lead a group of people or organisation towards one common goal, vision and mission. This needs to be a set, and apparent view for the team and the management need to find the right skill set, knowledge and also a group who will follow willingly as the manager influences, directs and motivates that particular team. Below you will find how the leadership mentioned above styles effect Melita and the values that we hold.

Autocratic positive-
Although the Autocratic leadership style would indicate that the person behind this style is just authoritative and has only a mindset of doing things their way, I believe there are entirely a few positive outcomes when a leader chooses to use this style. An example of this would be that managers within Melita who use this style strive for our vision to move forward, ensuring that the values are set within the team. I also observed that the manager does not micromanage their team, which allows that KPI’s are met by setting clear objectives for their team members. I have also assessed that the autocratic style within our organisation can inspire the team, and put forward any changes that need to be done, such as the re-branding of Melita. The policies within Melita ensure a natural extension towards this leadership style which helps the organisation’s mission move forward, ensuring these policies are adhered to.

Autocratic Negative-
However, I have noticed that within the department where an authoritarian style is used, can also be quite a stressful environment. The employees’ behaviour is that similar to the leaders and this results in demotivating the rest of the department. Although this type of leadership within the organisation can push forward towards the mission and vision of the company, it can also cause low employee morale, which in result can increase employee absenteeism. I have noticed and taken on feedback from some team members where a leader uses this type of style, and they have informed me that they do not feel safe to talk to the manager. The team also do not think that they can develop their skill set, which in result does not meet Melita’s values, both being forward thinking and open.

As a result in this style, I believe that these type of leaders can move their department and team forward in the short term, however, for the long term, this can affect performance and also the objectives that department holds and even the vision of the whole organisation. The issues would be the loss of motivation, there would be no employee retaining and tasks would not be completed due to staff turnover.

AC 2.1 – Asses own ability to apply different leadership styles in a range of situations

I believe that I use different styles when it comes to certain situations that partake at work. I also think that some techniques have more benefits than others such as the participative styles and behavioural leadership styles.
A few weeks back I had the pleasure of having two part-timers work with me as a subordinate, this provided me with the delicate task of delegating tasks, and prioritising tasks over others. I also had to train the new employee about any work that needed to be done and even training required to be able to help with the day to day task. These part-timers were not chosen internally; therefore, they were pretty much in the stage where clear direction needed to be given, this is to assure and provide a clear mindset of what was required to be done. This is where I used the situational leadership style since both part-timers had different methods of how they delegate work and also different strengths and weaknesses. By coaching both employees, I was able to see what motivates them, what get’s the ball rolling and also what type sets both employees apart.
I believe that this type of leadership style fostered different kinds of behaviour by both employees. I noticed that each employee had a different style of working, one employee would grasp the concept of specific tasks immediately than other, and this is where the coaching was hand in hand with how I managed the small team. I performed one to one meetings with both employees, and both provided positive feedback about the one to ones. Both had the vision cleared out for them, and I deligated tasks accordingly. An example of this would be that since I noticed both do not work at the same pace, I provided each of the employees equals jobs, but perhaps with different time frames. Both understand that by performing these tasks, they will be contributing towards the organisation’s goals, vision and also values. However, moving forward there were some issues, such as individual employees needed a different style of leadership, such as the Autocratic style. This was because specific tasks where not being handled expertly after repeated coaching and repeated one to ones. I made sure that before moving onto any disciplinary action I gave both employees the same support, the same one to one’s and coaching. However, at a point in time one employee was lacking in specific tasks and the situation needed a firm approach to it. While one employee had responsibilities delegated and was quite comfortable with their role, the other lacked the motivation to work, and after a series amount of coaching sessions and one to ones. I started to notice that this employee was not completing tasks and this is where I needed to be firm within the one to ones and with setting firm expectations. I also noticed that this type of leadership style that I used was not useful at times and it also drove the employee towards feeling demotivated and also not being able to trust even the whole team and me.

To conclude on the overall ability on my type of leadership styles used, I believe that I do not feel comfortable using the Autocratic style and that I can work further on improving this skill in different situations rather than going head-on with the Autocratic style. I also believe however with the feedback that I got from my team when using the participative style is that this style motivates employees and encourages them to partake in meetings and also one to ones. Overall, I believe that I can improve on setting clear and firm ground rules for my employees and providing more support.

AC 2.2 – Assess own ability to communicate the organisation’s values and goals to staff in private area.

Ability to communicate the organisation’s values-

As previously explained in section 2.1 Melita has a set of values that we live and breath by, and therefore with these values, we are able to set goals throughout the vision and mission and also documentation via KPI’s.
To communicate these values and vision and mission, there are some ways that I do this, apart from the yearly review where they are set in the documentation.
Each employee has different set goals within their, and therefore this is where we need to be careful about how I communicate the values. All of my team get regular one to ones and meetings, and this is where I am able to see how to better communicate these goals with them.
During the one to ones and meetings, I am also able to set their tasks and provide clear set goals for them, I also make sure they understand that their role fits perfectly well with our visions for the organisation. During the one to the ones, I also encourage that the employees provide feedback so that I am able to understand from their end, their own perspective as well. This also promotes positivity and trust between the team members and myself, which ensures a healthy work relationship between us. Apart from the one to ones I also hold buzz meetings with the whole team, this provides clear set rules to all the team members, making sure that if the communication throughout the one to ones was no clear and specific techniques do not work with all of the employees.

Ability to communicate the organisation’s goals –

To be able to enforce the values, it is essential that when I set the goals, they are grounded in the benefits, and the vision and mission. This obviously helps when I am placing in the goals and objectives for the individuals, making sure that the values are linked with said objectives, such as the KPI’s ( Key performance indicators.) I also make sure that by using the SMART goals this makes it much more transparent for the employees, and are easily identifiable for them.
Apart from these we also have workshops at Melita which provide re-freshers where we are able to send the message that the values are there, reinforcing them once more every few months. I have found that when we do the workshops, there is a slightly negative impact on them as they are held between departments, and at times these can turn negative.

To conclude, I believe that there are more positive aspects than negative when it comes to my ability in communicating the organisation’s values and goals to my employees. This is shown in how much time, and effort is shown with the one to ones, meetings and also workshops done throughout the whole year. I believe that by providing clear and concise communication, the employees have a general idea that their job is valued and falls into both the values and vision of the organisation.

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