A very important point is that online learning can be done individually or in groups (for example video conferences).
6. In general, in order to make a career choice one should be informed about the world of professions. Information about the profession that appears the most interesting and appropriate should be gathered. If possible, it would be important to read interviews or talk to people with similar jobs for a more accurate and realistic image. Another important part in a career choice is to assess individual strengths and weaknesses. Several personality tests are available for such a purpose (for example CPI - California Psychological Inventory, SDS - the Self-Directed Search questionnaire). For the persons in search for a career it is important to identify the skills they have and they most enjoy using. The career identified should be compatible with the interests and skills identified. In conclusion, a person who tries to discover the most appropriate career should pay attention both to personal characteristics (interests, values, skills), and to the information available about the world of occupations (understand how occupations and programs of study can be organized into interest and personality groups).
Another important tool that helps a person make a career choice is the assessment center. In the assessment center the person's potential for a certain role or the evaluation of the person's abilities for a job are provided. The result is a profile of the candidate, of his/hers strengths and weaknesses and recommendations can be made for future career steps. (Winkler, 2002)
7. The six clusters of skills in John Holland's system are: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional. The clusters make possible the creation of vocational matrices that correlate the code obtained with a personality and an occupational profile. The cluster that best describes me is SE (I) - Social, Enterprising, Investigative.
Social (Helpers): Helpers describe themselves as: helpful, warm, cooperative, sociable, tactful, friendly, kind, generous, patient and understanding.
Enterprising (Persuaders): they describe themselves as adventurous, energetic, optimistic, agreeable, extroverted, popular, sociable, self-confident and ambitious. As a working style, they prefer to lead a team to achieve a goal, like to commit to the bigger picture and have others to deal with the pieces of the plan (they prefer to delegate).
Investigative (Thinkers): they describe themselves as self-determined, intelligent, curious, logical, precise, analytical, reserved, independent and rational. (description taken from w2.byuh.edu/career/docs/documents/holland.pdf).
I believe the skill cluster represents my interest and skills and supports the career I have chosen (psychologist), because they reflect my interest in people, the high level of energy and implication and the cognitive, thinking skills needed in such profession.
8. As a manager it is important to view the bargaining unit as a partner with whom the well-being of employees at work is negotiated. Therefore, if I were the director of a company, I would adopt an open style of management. One of the most important goals would be to establish a very good communication and I would encourage all staff to have a voice in the organisation. This can be materialised at the meetings which would take place and at weekly staff briefings dedicated to the entire workforce. Such attempts would provide the opportunity for all employees' opinions to be canvassed and issues to be raised and resolved. However, adopting such an approach may suggest to most managers that they have a limited control over the organization. Such problems I would solve by a fair and prompt negotiation of all issues. I believe it is a good thing that people stand up to acquire benefits and rights and are organized in order to gain and support their rights. A form of organization like bargaining units allows them a faster and more persuasive impact on managers. Moreover, if they perceive they have a sense of control, they are likely to take their responsibilities more seriously.
Whether a bargain unit is appropriate is determined by the NLRB by means of a valid election process. The NLRB first checks the sufficiency of the union's showing of support. In order to obtain an NLRB election the union must file a petition supported by a manifestation of interest from at least thirty percent of the employees in the group that the union seeks to represent, typically called the bargaining unit. Unions typically use individual forms in which a worker states that he or she wishes to be represented by the union (authorization cards) as evidence of employee support. The cards should be obtained with legal assistance (without threats or false promises and with the accord of the employer). Otherwise, the bargaining unit can be declared inappropriate. The NLRB may also consider factors such as any history of collective bargaining and the desires of the affected employees." (Retrieved from the NLRB site).
The most important trend in membership in labor unions in the United States is a steadily decline from the mid-1950s to the end of the century. Lately, however, in the U.S.A., the number of union members in 2005 was 15.7 million, an increase of 213,000 from 2004 (according to U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics). Therefore, it seems that a number increase in union membership has occurred in the last two years. The AFL-CIO represents 9 million working men and women. Recent union organizing trends in the state tracks both National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) elections and less traditional organizing campaigns, such as those using "card-check" neutrality agreements, over the 1997-2002 period.
Along with traditional themes such as improved pay and benefits, job security, respect and dignity, the organization of unions also points out the social action, whether it is manifested in such areas as health and safety, employment diversity, social responsibility through charitable programs. Today's trade unions are trying a multi-faceted marketing approach. Traditionally private sector unions are organizing in the public sector while unions which historically represented public servants are now targeting factory workers.
9. Workplace violence has been broadly defined as violence or the threat of violence against workers. It can occur both at and outside the workplace and can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide, one of the leading causes of job-related deaths. Therefore, workplace violence is a growing concern for employers and employees. I believe violence in the workplace is difficult to eliminate as it can strike anywhere and has many forms. Some workers, however, are at increased risk. The best protection employers' can establish is by means of a violence prevention program or a manual of standard operating procedures that would be included in an accident prevention program as well.
The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) defines workplace substance abuse as the use of a potentially impairing substance to the point that it adversely affects performance or safety at work, either directly through intoxication or hangover, or indirectly through social or health problems. Generally speaking, substance abuse is considered to occur when a drug is taken without medical reasons, and impairs or jeopardizes the health or safety of oneself or others. The substance abusing employee becomes a serious problem at work because the substance does not only affect his performance but also creates risk for work accidents. In such serious cases, one has an obligation to protect both the employee from him/herself and to protect others from whatever safety risks that employee might take. It is important how such employees are approached. They should not be confronted about whether or not he/she has been drinking or drugging. A correct health evaluation by a Health Center is vital. If the employee does not seem to be fit for work, he should follow a help and work reinsertion program. Also they should be referred for counseling for addiction. The benefits from such programs are many, including increase in job performance and the diminishing number of job accidents.
10. Difficult employees have been considered those who manifest inappropriate behaviors at work - such as low performance, alcoholism, theft (fraud) etc. All managers have to deal with difficult employees at some point in their career.
HR manager, first of all should evaluate the gravity of the behavior. Then, in order to clearly determine the implications and basis of such behavior, managers should find proofs of the employee's acts. These actions help establish the seriousness and the type of behavior and consequences. Such records provide data for the elaboration of an intervention plan that make possible an effective confrontation with the problem.
Each problem implies a certain intervention plan. For example, the problem of ineffective performance is very complex. The causes of ineffective performance can be rooted in the person, the job, the manager, or the company. Usually ineffective performance is caused by a combination of several factors. Managerial actions concerning ineffective performance include close supervision and corrective discipline (criticism and maybe penalization, or a redesigning of job description, if it is…