Alabama Public Television Video: Workplace Essential Skills Video episodes of Workplace Essential Skills from Alabama Public Television. TRENDS AND PREDICTIONS: GRAPHS AND DATA This episode looks at data that businesses collect and how that data is used to make decisions concerning inventory, pricing, sales, and production. Tracking data helps keep profits up and costs down. The documentary segements look at ways that data is presented, and at the importance of evaluating data. For data to be useful it must be collected accurately and displayed clearly. Graphs and charts are used to display the collected data to show trends or activities. The dramatic segment presents a customer service representative for a phone company who learns that he needs to improve in certain areas of work. He improves his performance after following advice from a coworker who helps him see trends in product purchases. TRENDS AND PREDICTIONS: GRAPHS AND DATA nonadult Alabama Public Television MEASUREMENT AND FORMULAS This episode focuses on measurements, using formulas, different units of measurement, and presents a a variety of appropriate applications. It helps to picture the size of an object in a problem situation. Calculations and formulas should give the necessary answers but its good to double check that the answers are reasonable. The documentary segments feature carpenters and construction workers as they estimate and measure different jobs, a baker converting amounts into different quantities, a tool and die apprentice working with very exacting measurements, and people who are now starting to convert standard US measurements into the metric system. The first dramatic segment presents a nurse in a doctor's office who is learning to use the metric system and record a patient's health record. The second dramatic segment concerns a woman trying to figure out if there is enough storage room for a large order she may purchase. MEASUREMENT AND FORMULAS nonadult Alabama Public Television FRACTIONS DECIMALS AND PERCENTS This episode looks at how fractions, decimals, and percentages are used in the workplace, along with rations, rates, and proportions. Employees will find that they need to calculate discounts, combine measurements, and change recipe amounts. The documentary segments look at a baker having trouble with a recipe, musicians in a recording studio, and a woman laying out displays in a retail store. The dramatic segments show a bookstore employee learning how to give discounts on a sale, and a secretary in a doctor's office solves a scheduling problem. FRACTIONS DECIMALS AND PERCENTS nonadult Alabama Public Television SOLVING PROBLEMS The topic of this episode is solving problems using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Problem solving is the ability to make careful choices, such as how much, how many or is there a better way to do something. Frustration can arise if a person faces a problem but doesn't know how to solve it. The program recommends the following steps: understand the problem; gather the facts; set up the problem; estimate what the outcome should be; work the mathematics and check the answer. Estimates are also very useful in problem solving and examples are supplied. The documentary segments look at workers in a bakery, people dealing with wildlife, musicians, and people in a shipping department. The dramatic segments present two scenarios. One deals with a bookstore employee trying to buy velvet ribbon to make bookmarks with a fixed amount of money. The second story line deals with a restaurant manager affording an order of strawberries needed by the chef. SOLVING PROBLEMS nonadult Alabama Public Television NUMBER SENSE This episode demonstrates the variety of uses for basic math skills in the workplace and how to develop math skills. The program uses documentary footage and dramatic scequences to demonstrate the topics under discussion. The documentary segment looks at various jobs such as a baker, a file clerk, a road grader, a chef, and a grocery clerk. The dramatic portion of the episode shows a phone company customer service representative calm an angry caller whose bill has increased, and woman starting in a doctor's office as she learns a number-based filing system. NUMBER SENSE nonadult Alabama Public Television READING REPORTS AND MANUALS This episode deals withreading reports and manuals, their usage, organization, and how to develop comprehension skills. An employee needs to keep informed of policies and practices at work. This often means reading memos and postings. It is important to not only keep up with what's new but go beyond and know how to find necessary information independently. It is advised to use summaries and indexes to quickly find information in large reference sources. The dramatic segments of the episode deal with two women who are setting up a day care center and a construction crew use blueprints to problem solve. READING REPORTS AND MANUALS nonadult Alabama Public Television FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS This episode focuses on the role and importance of following directions, presents a variety of and some special features of instructions. Instructions tell how to do things and diagrams show how things are put together. The episode shows how people can expand their ability to work by following directions. Real job situations featured include computerised inventory and pricing, processing work orders, machine maintenance, hair styling products and procedures, prosthetic limb manufacture, and product display in a retail store. There are two dramatic themes that exemplify the documentary segments. The first dramatic segment presents two women developing a job plan to open a day care center. The second dramatic line shows men on a construction site involved with problem solving and using blueprint diagrams. FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS nonadult Alabama Public Television FINDING WHAT YOU NEED: FORMS AND CHARTS This episode demonstrates how charts and forms are used to organize information on the job, and make it easy to use. Forms are used to guide employees in doing a job. Many forms are on computer and tied to databases. The episode contains two dramatic segments. The first shows an employee at a music store going through an order form for a customer buying a customized guitar. The second segment presents two people in an car repair shop using graphs to analyze an engine and charts to find correct replacement parts. The documentary segments show a variety of people using charts and forms in such businesses as medical registration and scheduling, shipping and receiving, a broodfarm, and studio musicians recording multiple tracks of music. FINDING WHAT YOU NEED: FORMS AND CHARTS nonadult Alabama Public Television READING FOR A PURPOSE This episode, "Reading for a Purpose", looks at what people read at work, why they read, and how they use what they read to do their jobs. The documentary section presents people in very different kinds of jobs, such as shippers, pharmacists, and musicians, and what kinds of reading they do every day. People read to get information, learn new skills, and stay informed on new policies. An important factor is the purpose for reading. It's suggested to skim over long documents or manuals looking for guides or key words to see how the information is organized. There are two stories in the dramatic segments. In one scenario an employee at a music store learns how to string and play guitar by looking in a music book. The second story involves employees at an automotive garage reading pamphlets and parts manuals. READING FOR A PURPOSE nonadult Alabama Public Television WRITING MEMOS AND LETTERS This episode focuses on the importance of knowing your audience, the purpose of a letter or memo, and which format is appropriate. When a message has been composed it will need to be revised, proofed, and distributed. Each episode is a mix of dramatic scenarios and documentry formatting. The documentary segments feature people in different business explaining what kinds of writing they do. First is woman who owns her own chauffer service. She tells of how she started on the process of owning her own firm by writing a business plan. Sometimes she needs to write to clients asking for payments. Next is a woman who writes for a department at the University of Kentucky. She prefers the ability of crafting a message on paper over talking with someone when communication errors can occur. The third documentary subject is a nurse at a retirement clinic who is responsible for entering data concening in-coming patients. There are two dramatic stories that reflect the episodes goals. One story deals with a nursery coming to an agreement with an angry customer through a series of letters. The second dramatic segment presents an advertising agency working on a campaign and contacting a client through a series of memos. WRITING MEMOS AND LETTERS nonadult Alabama Public Television SUPPLYING INFORMATION: DIRECTIONS FORMS AND CHARTS This episode is entitled "Supplying Information: Directions, Forms, and Charts" and deals with developing accuracy and completeness. Most workplace writing is filling out forms and supplying short bits of information which is often critical for operations, scheduling, and accounting purposes. The documentary segments present employees at Cook County Hospital and TCI as they explain the importance of the forms they use. The dramatic segments reinforce the importance of correctly trasferring business information. SUPPLYING INFORMATION: DIRECTIONS FORMS AND CHARTS nonadult Alabama Public Television PROCESS FOR WRITING This episode focuses on the importance of writing in the workplace and using the writing process. Writing in business provides a record that enables billing, payroll payments, and operations. Effective writing must be accurate, well organized and clearly presented. Business writing leaves a paper trail that incudes work orders, time sheets, completion reports, and delivery slips. The process for business writing consists of knowing the purpose, the audience, and the format. Each episode is a mix of dramatic scenarios and documentary formatting. The dramatic segments present an advertising agency issuing memos to its accounting department and other staff for an extended program, and the owners of a greenhouse corresponding with a customer whose outdoor plants are dying. The documentary segments include a coach rental firm, a medical clinic, and TCI cable. The program explains how memos, agendas, schedules, inventory, and reports are used on a daily basis. PROCESS FOR WRITING nonadult Alabama Public Television COMMUNICATING WITH CUSTOMERS This episode focuses on communicating with customers. It's not enough for a company to offer a good product, it must offer customer satisfaction as well. The program stresses the importance of listening to the customer and fulfilling their needs. Each episode is a mix of dramatic scenarios and documentary formatting. The dramatic segments presemt a waitress working on her listening skills, and construction crew tries to please the woman whose home they are building. The documentary segments feature employees at TCI, a television cable company, the staff at a Hilton hotel, and coach service company, all of who realize the importance of pleasing the customer. COMMUNICATING WITH CUSTOMERS nonadult Alabama Public Television WORKING TOGETHER This episode focuses on employees working together, how that is defined, qualities of successful teams, and key personal skills and strategies. Each episode is a mix of dramatic scenarios and documentary formatting. Businesses of all kinds are relying on the use of teams to improve production. The dramatic segment presents a construction crew facing a deadline, and a small advertising company improving communication among members. The documentary segments look at a restaurant and a paper plate manufacturer and how these two different businesses use the team approach to solve problems and improve production. WORKING TOGETHER nonadult Alabama Public Television COMMUNICATING WITH CO-WORKERS AND SUPERVISORS This episode focuses on conflict resolution strategies in the workplace. The program looks at how to communicate at work, how to give and receive information, and how to handle tough situations. The programs are a mix of dramatic scenarios and documentary formatting. The documentary segment first visits a construction site and presents the flow of communication from the architect down to the carpenters and from the carpenters back to the engineers when problems arrise. The next portion looks at how staff members solve problems at a hotel. The program then looks at a broodmare farm and shows how tasks are designated. The dramatic segment shows an office staff exhibiting bad communication skills. Today, learning to work with people from other cultures and backgrounds is becomming part of the job. We can improve our ability to communicate by realizing common goals, focusing on solutions, avoiding blame, and listening attentively to others. COMMUNICATING WITH CO-WORKERS AND SUPERVISORS nonadult Alabama Public Television THE LANGUAGE OF WORK This program is a mix of dramatic scenarios and documentary formatting. This episode, entitled "The Language of Work", focuses on effecctive workplace speaking and listening strategies and skills. Successful communication must be two-way. The speaker has to make the meaning clear and the listener has to understand what the speaker means. It's helpful to ask for feedback from your listeners as you speak because it will let you know if you are making your message clear. The dramatic segment concerns a woman taking her first job as a waitress. She tries to be helpful but because she doesn't listen closely to what others say she finds the job difficult. Her boss and a co-worker help her to see her problem. THE LANGUAGE OF WORK nonadult Alabama Public Television LEARNING AT WORK This episode focuses on learning at work and shows how to cope with some of the pressures of a new job, how to fill out forms, how to get the most out of training on the job, and how to maintain an attitude that will lead to success. The programis a mix of dramatic scenarios and documentary formatting. The dramatic segment follows a husband and wife in their respective jobs. He is just starting out in the shipping department of a company. She is a supervisor at a medical facility. The topics stressed in the documentary segments are reflected in the dramatic segments. LEARNING AT WORK nonadult Alabama Public Television WORKPLACE SAFETY This program is a mix of dramatic scenarios and documentary formatting. This episode focuses on workplace safety and developing safety-conscious attitudes and skills. The dramatic segment features a husband and wife at their different jobs. The wife is a supervisor on a support team at a medical facility. The team is trying to find ways to keep abreast of special instructions in patient care. One of the team members is hiding the fact he can't read. The husband has started a new job in the shipping department of a business and is learning the ropes. He errs with his first shipment by sending packages that exceed weight restrictions. The documentary segments present people in different industries and the safety issues they face. The two main areas of safety training are prevention and response to accidents. The problems that can arrive from physical or repetitive stress, known as ergonomics, are discussed. Safety is often a matter of teamwork. WORKPLACE SAFETY nonadult Alabama Public Television READY TO WORK This program is a mix of dramatic scenarios and documentary formatting. The dramatic segment looks at a man starting a new job in the shipping department and his wife who has been offered a promotion to supervisor. The program stresses the fact that employers want people who are reliable, interested in the company's best interests, eager to move upwards in the company, and are willing to take on responsibility. READY TO WORK nonadult Alabama Public Television INTERVIEWING This program is a mix of dramatic scenarios and documentary formatting. The dramatic segments look at individuals wanting to improve themselves and get good paying jobs. The documentary portions feature employers, counselors, job seekers, and people who have gone through the process of self-evaluation, training, and job searching. This episode focuses on the interview process. An interview is a chance for an employer to see if a job applicant is right for the business and also a chance for the applicant to decide if the job is desirable. The program presents the four main parts of an interview: Opening - where you meet the interviewer and make small talk; Answering Questions - where you try to present your skills and experience in their best light; Asking Questions - where you ask questions you may have about the company; Closing Moves - where you find out what will happen next. Examples of interviews are given and employers talk about what they look for in an interview. INTERVIEWING nonadult Alabama Public Television