The case presented here, James management challenge is a complicated case where he is faced with a myriad of issues. Firstly we have introduced to James, a graduate of in finance and accounting, his specialist background. He lands his first job as a finance assistant. It is here that he is sponsored to get more specialized with a CIMA qualification. It takes four years for him to get promoted and after two years he admits the issue at hand that there was not enough opportunity for growth of his career at the council. We see the problems playing as per Goal theory; James’ goals determine how he behaves and how his decisions are made. He would like to get a better salary and improve his position consequently, due to lack of motivation to go on with the job at the council and decided to resign and move on. He gets a new job at Northern Housing Management as a manager. The management post is a challenge since we are told he had not received any formal training as regards that post. The finance department was a demanding environment coupled with a demanding environment with a high expectation for service delivery. Despite the overwhelming challenge he excelled. Similar to (Rees and Porter, 2001, p. 5) he saw his specialist activities go down as his managerial activity increase with the new job.
The case starts with the manager receiving an email confirming only a one present pay rise to be awarded and James is worried on the impact of the little pay rise on the morale of his workforce being that previous years did not see a better increase. James was young and therefore reduced the interaction with the workers inside and outside work, only focusing on work. He met the workers individually review their performances; give each the goals and objectives while correcting their failures finding a way to make each employee most efficient. This was a transactional leadership. This model of leadership has various challenges such as little motivational factor for the employees, dissatisfaction among employees and it does not encourage creativity. We see that James is the thought that often, the workers should be trained to improve their skills through training courses and to create a motivated workforce. However, the organization has not set up a fund provided for such activities, and in coping with the situation, and James avoids the topic from the meetings. Another issue we are shown is the employees’ inability to focus on work, bringing their emotions to work. Mark exhibited this after his mother had a stroke. This saw a decrease in his performance not drawing his full attention to the workplace. Leaving work early and requesting fewer work hours. On the other hand James the manager not being considerate, despite the fact that Marks mother had an illness that would require attention from the son, James was not willing to give his employee a chance to deal with personal affairs this was due to his prejudice of part-time workers.
There was also another inter-employee feud cooking up at the same time between Ben and Julie over Julie’s request to leave home early to pick up her child. This, by equity theory, people want to be treated the same, and failure to which may be a demotivating factor. Another employee Peter is sick and overly stressed; he takes off days to deal with that, workload in the office is piling up day by day. Personal matters here are seen to be affecting the work done and efficiency in the workplace. There is also the issue of some two vacancies still left, and there seems to be a delay in filling them, the people supposed to interview the candidates are stuck because of personal biases like the weight of the applicant. Another employee Paul is not managing all the demands and doing shoddy work. The epitome of their problems is that when James who is the ranking manager tries to address issues with the boss, he does not get the chance.
This case presents us with many issues at hand, some which can be solved independently as the Manager in the case would like while others would need intervention from other branches in the organization. On the issue of formal training for managers, I argue that workshops and seminars should be organized for managers to educate the managers on better managerial skills and how managers should conduct themselves. Bringing a better view on how to solve problems a manager will face and how a manager should hold him or herself for the benefit of the organization. This would have also resolved the issue of James’ choice of not being social with the employee under him for fear of being looked at differently due to his young age.
There was the major issue of little pay rise that seems to be a bitter pill for James to swallow. Given that money is the most readily accepted and most used token of appreciation or means of payment, the organization should, whenever possible, give a significant pay rise to its workers. If that is not an economically viable solution, other ways of rewarding the employees should be sort such as: extra off days, promotion of the junior officers who have done well, lunch with the bosses among others. This will see the employees feel well appreciated and more motivated to work. James was using a transactional model of leadership which is said to be so impersonal. Managers should explore other models of leadership that are less impersonal as this will make the boss seem more like a leader who should be followed rather than a manager who is feared. A balance should be struck between a transactional and transformational leadership approach. Leadership can occur within working teams and whole unit or organizations by people working together without a single leader (Gronn, 2000). James would like to see workers trained to improve their skills. I believe this is possible. Organizations should make a habit of providing training for their workers. This can be through partial or total sponsorships for the employees to seek further studies. It can also be through organizing workshops and seminars and inviting special speakers to train the workers on various skills that are helpful in the day to day work of the employees as they strive to improve their performance and that of the organizations.
Furthermore, online classes can also be arranged for the employees to enable the work while at the same time studying. If the organization does not have resources to do so, it can simply provide an avenue for employees interested in getting further training to do so. This can be through giving part-time work to employees pursuing further studies so that they can have time to further their knowledge. This will show a sense of caring for the organization towards the well-being of their workers and this will definitely give a positive morale to employees. In a case like Mark’s where personal issues interfere with work, managers should take an initiative to shown concern for the employee’s well-being. Giving them off when certain unavoidable circumstances face them while being hard on employees that use excuses to avoid work. Human resource departments should be conscious of what is going on with employees in matters that affect the organizational performance in a significant way. There will most likely always be Mothers within any organization, facilities like baby care centers should be provided so as to assist the mothers or fathers with the children and prevent that from affecting their work. Even though there are considerations given to parents, there should be some guideline set up by human resource departments that make for a good working environment for parents that prevent conflict.
Furthermore, employees should be taught to prioritize work and get other ways of dealing with their affairs without interfering with their work. Human beings often get stress over troubles and tribulations they face and it is normal. Every organization should employ or seek the consultancy of a psychiatrist ever so often. This is so as to make sure all employees are always in a good state of mind free from stress and any other emotional turmoil that may prevent them from performing to the best of their ability. An organizational goal is always to be efficient and a good state of mind is the first step in that journey. We also see two vacancies that have taken too long to fill. I believe different departments should be in charge of hiring help while also supervised by relevant bodies. This will help reduce unnecessary biases that may stand in the way of organizations getting employees as soon as possible to enable all tasks to be completed within time without unnecessary pileups. The same departments can also solve the challenge of the inefficient workforce. Here they will be monitoring the performances of all employees.
People being watched and monitored have the tendency to perform well and should they not reach the organization’s expectations the human resource can warn them and dismiss those that do not comply. To be effective, agencies should hire, develop and retain “”motivated capability””, people with ‘can do’ and ‘will do’ attributes. (Wilton, 2016, p.47). Employees were looking for other jobs. They should focus on a view of a new starter to get them to notice the new changes to be implemented. Finally, on the issues of insufficient management involvement, there should be an organizational structure set up where top company management meets to discuss on matters relating to the organization and help solve each other’s issues other than expecting everyone to be independent.
In the case given there are challenges that James needs to be addressed by the assistant finance director Katherine about the broader management of the department to improve performance and staff engagement. James should discuss Katharine first on the issue of employee rewards. There should be a mechanism for rewarding workers on job well done. He should negotiate a more significant pay budget to facilitate better salaries for his team that has worked so hard and gained recognition among the seniors. This will help motivate workers and furthermore retain the good workers who were online looking for better jobs because of the pay. He should also request a more frequent meeting with the managers to address the issues at hand. As we have seen he has had problems communicating with her due to the distance she has kept away from him. He should request her to organize a seminar or workshop to train the employees. During the evening she should bring in speakers who can address the workers on the issues that they face as employees within themselves and with the employer to straighten the few problems that have started to arise on their day to day work that may cause conflict within the organization. He should request her to make specific improvements to the human resource department this includes their role when it comes to hiring, they should do it fast with consultation with their department to replace the two vacant positions. The human resources staff should now start monitoring the performance of workers and dismissing those that do not perform well. This includes also employing people under a psychological contact to ensure people perform to their best and achieve the set goals and objectives.
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