When I joined the organization that I currently work for it was doing well or so I thought. The firm had many customers, and everybody seemed busy with their work. For instance, the company was getting so many orders that we could not service within the required timeframe. The management decided to add more people to the team. I thought that it would be a competitive process, but it did not happen (The CEC Report, 3). The HR manager and the finance manager hired their friend, and the general manager brought his niece. All the slots were filled without going through the competitive process. Yet the company continues to make mistakes in its business. For example, we missed the opportunity to offer our clients the lowest price. Since we are a travel company, the price will change with time, I think the company should provide the best and most suitable quotation for customers. So, I realized that there was a management problem at the top of the company.
Performance of the group. All the workers were divided into three groups so that they could pursue their goals more effectively. My supervisor was given two new members; James and Jane. I was required to closely work with them but unfortunately their performance was below average. They do not have the knowledge necessary to do the work required of them. Of course, they are also very good people, but they have not been exposed to this kind of work before. So, when I asked them to sell two products, they told me that they had no experience in marketing. They wanted to be trained in their new roles (The CEC Report, 3). My supervisor asked me to help them understand their new roles, But I’m also just an intern, and I spend a lot of time communicating with people in a second language. This made me feel a lot of pressure, because I was very worried about whether the content, I expressed was clear and whether the words would hurt them unintentionally. And I have my own goals to accomplish at the same time, I think I need to take some time to adapt and relieve my pressure.
I was lagging behind my goals because I had to train the new members. Besides, I did not have experience in training staff. I was quite new myself and had a hard time with my job duties… Furthermore, James was not productive. He did not put a lot of effort into his work. I felt that I was spending too much time trying to explain to him what is was required to do. He was also much older than myself and I thought that I ought to learn from him. Jane looked eager to know things, but it felt intimidating to be around her, as she was very close to the managing director. Therefore, it was difficult when talking to her. It was believed that she discussed her experience with the director. Another problem is that she failed to grasp whatever we were trying to do in our group, no matter how much she tried. I think the kind of work we were doing was too complex for her. She once told me that she would be better off in another department, that dealt with product development. However, her uncle, the managing director wanted her to learn about marketing. This kind of situation is also very common in China, I understand her mood very much, but I am just an intern, I can’t help her. But I think we should do our job well and we shouldn’t affect the interests of the company.
The company organized a performance evaluation exercise in which several staff members were determined to be performing below average. Supervisors of the affected teams recommended that the poor performers be terminated or moved to other departments. However, when the list reached the human resources department, it was decided that it must be reviewed further before it can be taken to the managing director (Amaral, 44). Some names were dropped before it was forwarded to the director. The final list contained only two names. Eventually, one was moved to another department while the other one was terminated. Another issue I noticed is how targets were determined. The top management had a meeting and decided on the targets of each and every department of the company. These targets were communicated to departmental supervisors without an opportunity for their input. Besides, the targets were revised upwards every time the departments met them. Therefore, the company’s leadership did not allow departmental managers to participate in decision making.
After a lot of reflection, I realized that there were leadership challenges in the company. The managing director was using his position to reward friends and relatives. The immediate top managers were also doing the same. The other problem was that there was no proper job description for the employees. People were just given roles that did not fit their training nor education qualifications (Amaral, 44). As a result, many people could not do their jobs. There was also a lot of cronyism in the performance reviews conducted by the company’s managers. Some people owed their positions to their relationships with the managing director and top managers. Another problem was that the company lacked a vision and a strategy towards its objectives (Amaral, 44). There was no strategy on how to achieve the targets developed by the top management.
When I joined the company, it seemed to be doing well. Everyone is busy with their work. However, the company had problems in hiring people. New employees reduce productivity and make mistakes, which cost the company. So does the pressure on employees. The hiring of staff is not a competitive process. Some, though underperforming, are still protected by management. In addition, the goal setting of the company did not involve the department manager. I also realize that some workers don’t have job descriptions. After much reflection, I came to the conclusion that the company was experiencing management and leadership problems.
Amaral Dionisio, Marcelo, “Strategic Thinking: The Role in Successful Management.” Journal of Management Research, Vol. 9, 2017, No. 4.
The CEC Report, “Leadership of the future Skills and practices for better performance.” CEC European Managers, Sept 2017, www.cec-managers.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/CEC-Leadership-Report.pdf Accessed 3 Mar 2019.
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