Background of the Case
Nowadays, a fast-changing modernized world affects organizations with reductions and employee turnover due to an increase in competitive federal grant funding. The nonprofit agency where Laura works at is an excellent example of this. The agency grants aid to families and children. Laura is the associate director of the agency and the head of the department that is responsible for evaluating the skill-development programs that the agency grants to families. However, due to Laura’s hectic schedule that needs frequent travel out of the agency, she was not able to manage the department effectively. That year the agency was not able to hire new staff, and that increases the workload and responsibilities of the other team.
The staff in the department that was headed by Laura was in great distress and overworked. The managers that she supervises are frustrated because they were not able to solve the department’s problem and issues that were caused by a lack of crucial information and also Laura’s attitude and performance to work have a significant effect to them. She was not able to manage her team efficiently. Leadership is expounded as the capability to influence. Effective leadership plays a vital role in efficient management, and to be an effective leader, one has to learn how to communicate with others.
The fishbone diagram for the root cause analysis of the case study is shown in Figure 1.
The objectives of this case study are:
- To be able to utilize both management and leadership skills effectively.
- To improve leadership and management skills.
- To build staff confidence and boost morale for better performance in work.
- To improve communication between the head, managers and employees.
Alternative Courses of Action
Plan A– Study different management and leadership styles and conduct leadership training
Studying different management and leadership styles will help department heads and managers to acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses as a leader. This will help an individual to know how to use these strengths, and make use of different leadership styles to make up for the areas of weakness. Leadership training can help to increase productivity, implement effective leadership style for better decision making, and also expand employee engagement for a clear and precise communication around the work environment.
One of the main disadvantages of conducting training is it could cost a lot of money because it is required to pay someone to be the trainer. Even if it will be conducted internally or externally, spending money is still required. The other disadvantage is it uses a lot of time. This could cause a temporary staff shortage in a department due to the absence of the managers and department heads because of the training.
Plan B– Create an effective incentive program for the employees
An effective incentive program will increase employee morale and performance. This will increase their productivity and will help them grow in their roles. The employees will make a considerable effort to improve their skills and expand their knowledge about their work. It also escalates job satisfaction and loyalty to the organization.
One of the disadvantages of an employee incentive program is that it could cause a conflict within the organization. Due to its selection process, some employees might get jealous when they don’t receive an incentive when some of their colleagues have received it. That will lead some of the employees to think that there is favoritism among them. It could escalate unhealthy competition among the employees because some incentives are limited only to a few individuals of top performers.
Plan C– Conduct a team-building within the organization
Conducting a team-building will help to improve the communication between the employees, managers, and head. This will strengthen their relationship and will also help to reduce stress levels that were caused by the many workloads at the workplace. This will develop unity within the organization and will also cause in the increase of productivity and performance.
Conducting a team-building is an expensive process. It is required to pay for the cost of the activities and the labor of the staff for that team even though they are not doing something productive related to their work. It consumes a plenty amount of time. Some team-building’s achieved results are for short-term only. After the team-building event, some of the teams will soon return to their baseline and this only implies that in order for a team-building to beneficial, it must be conducted regularly, but this is not a practical solution.
Plan D – Utilizing transparent tools for team management
An example of a transparent tool for team management is the MeisterTask. It is a software that is used for team management to provide an overview of scheduled projects, tasks, and responsibilities assigned to the team. This will inform the team members of the task that are assigned to them, such as the details and the deadline. This will organize the workflow within the organization. This also helps the team members to understand clearly their role in a project and the managers and heads could lessen the hands-on approach to their members because all tasks and responsibilities are displayed transparently.
The use of transparent tools could consume a lot of time and an additional responsibility for the managers and heads because they are the ones who will organize it for every new project and task assigned to their team or department. Also, some transparent tool is not free to use; some require a monthly subscription to be able to use all of its features, therefore it will be an additional expense.
Prioritize accountability in conducting leadership training. This implies that employers should hold their employees accountable to take part in leadership training. The training should also encourage the employees to continuously improve themselves for better performance. The course of the training should fit the situation. It is also important to emphasize the goals of the training so that the participants will be aware of the purpose of the training.
In order to protect the integrity of the incentive, employers should set up parameters for it. Such as setup a limit or cap on incentive payments. For example, the incentive payments are three times the target or will not exceed 100% of salary. It is important to make sure that the employees’ focus is not only on the incentive because this might affect the quality of their performance and sometimes this will cause some employees to do unwise actions for the attainment of the incentive award.
It is also recommended that Laura and both the managers to undergo an evaluation of leadership and management styles. This will help them know their capabilities as a leader and what is needed to improve for them to be efficient in managing their staff. This will also help the two managers to understand each other capabilities and fully utilize it to help the manpower.
Leadership and management play a vital role in organizational success. These two must be present in an organization because if there is only good management but no leadership, the results might be bureaucratic. If there is only an efficient leadership but ineffective management, the results might be meaningless. Also, interaction between head, managers, and employee is required to build a better communication system within the workplace. Because effective communication helps to resolve the organization’s issues faster and smoothly. Efficient leadership inspires the whole team to strive for greater accomplishments, and effective management serves to motivate them to not lose sight of the organization’s goals and objectives.