SHR079-6 Leading People in Creative Teams Assignment Sample

Introduction

In order to achieve immense success and competitive advantages, companies focus on their HR practices because there is no business without an effective workforce. The present report is based on the case study of G&K who has a chain of warehouses and out of town stores throughout the UK. The company deals in holiday or leisure wear, sport wear or equipment, and outdoor games equipment (Singh and Singh, 2018). However, the company faces tough competition and bear losses due to external or internal challenges. Among these ineffective HR practices has a significant impact on the company’s current condition. Therefore, the present report discusses the impact of command or control leadership over employee motivation and problematic management approach of the company. Also, recommend improving HRM practices and employee motivation to achieve organisational goals.

Impact of command-and-control leadership style on employee motivation

As per the case study, G&K Ltd is a warehouse type, out-of-town stores which engaged in providing goods. From many times, they are facing external or internal challenges like economic recession, unemployment, decreased disposable income, and life expectancy have increased (Salami and Alavi, 2017). One of some reasons includes that people are not willing to go on outings and they often spend their time on shopping and activities like watching TV, play electronic games. and use mobile phones. These practices create problematic situations for the company as they lose their market share. Internally, high competition and insufficient staff members are becoming challenges for the company. However, it is analysed that the leadership style of the firm is creating challenges which is command-and-control.

SHR079-6 Leading People in Creative Teams Assignment Sample

 

Figure 1: Command-and-control management style

(Source- Gordan, 2017)

Command-and-control leadership styles are defined as direct, forceful, and tough leadership. Such leaders do not think about their employees and other stakeholders before taking decisions. Leaders with this style are very focused on outcomes, especially the bottom line, and they wanted to achieve their goals at any cost. It can be effective in the short-term when business is in crisis and needs fast changes. Commanding leadership style can motivate employees when there is an actual critical or emergency situation and leaders have to make fast decisions and deliver orders quickly (Jin and Bai, 2018). Other than that, command-and-control leadership style is not actual as leaders who dictate their employees cannot sustain them which increase turnover rate. Further, it decreases employee morale and productivity because this type of leadership style creates tension and ruins the work culture.

In the given case, where G&K face a crisis from both internally and externally, command-and-control leadership can boost employee morale because the leader’s only focus is to manage the situation and overcome it. In order to handle the situation, a new CEO has been appointed along with a new HR director. On the other hand, some directors and senior managers have resigned. Through commanding leadership style, they drive their employees for high productivity and performance. Managers push their workers to increase sales or profit at any cost (Gordan, 2017). Further, they pressurised their staff members to perform better and try to achieve highly competitive advantages.

However, commanding leadership style is now redundant and no any leaders follow such style because it is not profitable for long-term (Adams et. al. 2017). It increases employee turnover rate and demotivates them. Hence, it can say that command-and-control leadership style influences employee motivation for short-term only and it has not any long-lasting impact or even it decreases employee motivation.

Problematic management approach in G&K

G&K faces internal or external challenges which impact its business, profitability, and HR practices. In order to cope-up with these challenges, the senior manager recruited a previous colleague from his previous company, Louise Perkins as new HR director. Louise investigates and analyses the situation and defines problems in the management approach of the company. The following are given problematic management approaches of G&K:

Command-and-control management style– As above mentioned, that G&K leaders and managers use command-and-control style which is effective for short-term only and in reverse it decreases employee motivation and their performance (Wegmann and Brand, 2019). It is the main problem in the management style of G&K. Moreover, it adversely affects employee engagement level in the organisation which significantly affects the productivity level as well as profitability of the company. However, this style motivates employees to work hard and achieve their goals but it is not sustainable for the long-term. Therefore, the managers should change their approach to manage the people and can adopt a transformational and democratic style where employee contribution is equally considerable.

Too many hierarchical levels- Louis analyses that the hierarchy level is high as there are 10 hierarchical levels between CEO or top executive members and trainee shelf-stackers at bottom level of G&K. It requires a lot of rules and regulations to govern employees comprehensively. Moreover, all operations of the company are delayed due to a slow decision-making process (King et. al. 2019). For example, when a customer complains to a frontline employee, then complaint has to be passed up through a store manager and then supervisor before it can be resolved. Such a long process takes up to a week and till then customer has to wait for their resolution. Hence, the long hierarchy and restricted decision-making authority can ruin customer experience and the company loses their customers as well as competitive advantages. Further, there are high chances to lose the actual information because in the long hierarchy someone definitely forgot to deliver all information in the same way. Hence, some decisions are made on the basis of wrong and half information which can affect associated operations.

High employee turnover ratio- The employee turnover ratio is very high in some stores with average staff member staying only a few months (Wales et. al. 2020). It is one of the main problems in the management of G&K. As they have to spend a significant amount of time to induct and train new employees. On the other hand, high turnover ratio increases management efforts to balance the situation. Further, slow recruitment and selection process make the situation worse because in this duration most of the posts remain empty. Thus, existing workers have more work pressure which adversely impacts their productivity. Further, it is difficult for the management to adjust with new employees as well as customers also face challenges every time to deal with new employees which make them dissatisfied with the employee services.

Unskilled staff members– In G&K there are more than 80% of employees who have worked at the company for at least 15 years. However, it is a good sign that they are loyal with the company and also, they satisfied their customers (Zeyada, 2018). But on the other hand, they become rigid to adopt new changes in the organisation as they resist innovation which is essential for the success. Further, in the present era, every company adopts new technologies and innovation to make them updated with new trends or provide adequate training to their employees to improve their skills. In this situation, G&K employees resist learning new things and improving their skills which ultimately affect the company’s productivity. In order to stay competitive and updated with new trends it is important for the employees to adopt innovation or changes for the company and also for their own development. Hence, it is also the biggest managerial problem of G&K.

Slow recruiting and selection problem- Louise’s initial investigation reveals that recruiting and selection process of new members of employees may take 12 weeks from moment staff demand request is made, to when new recruit is inaugurated (Bos-Nehles et. al. 2020). Thus, the long-time of the recruitment process may affect the productivity of the hiring manager and represent the ineffective process of G&K. Further, existing employees have to work double till the end of recruitment and induction process. As earlier mentioned, that there is a high employee turnover ratio and the slow recruitment process can significantly impact the entire productivity of the company as well as demotivate other employees.

Careless or irresponsible behaviour of employees– In the stores of G&K, the employees seem more concerned with talking to each other, messaging their friends, or hiding in stockrooms. On the other hand, managers spend a good deal of their time in their offices, completing forms for Head Office. Also, the supervisor often seems to be correcting employees’ behavioural deviations, negotiating shift changes, and interviewing subordinates who arrive late or have been absent without identifiable cause rather than focus on important tasks. Hence, employees and managers are busy with unproductive tasks and not concerned with the company’s critical situation (Milliman and Clair, 2017). Therefore, it is one of the major problematic management approaches of G&K which needs to be correct quickly.

In addition to this, customer feedback questionnaires reveal that seldom are very satisfied, the majority are mildly and strongly dissatisfied with the product, services, prices, retail environment, and the treatment they receive on their complaint. Further, customers have problems with the behaviour and attitude of staff and culture which are old-fashioned, intimidating, unhelpful, bureaucratic, and unfriendly. These feedbacks from customers proves that there are problems with the management approach in the company. Hence, senior management have to do needful actions in order to improve customer satisfaction and overcome critical situations.

Human resource management practices to add value in G&K

Human resource management practices add value in the company by persuasion company leaders to train and develop workers and recompense best performance through given compensation or benefits and regular promotion (Riemsdijk et. al. 2020). In the case of G&K who face a crisis and mostly due to ineffective HR practices, can improve their policy through the following HRM approaches.

Improve recruiting process- As per the given case study, recruiting and selection process of new employee may take 12 weeks from moment of demand request for an employee to the new recruit induction. It consumes the valuable time of the hiring manager as well as the candidate. Hence, G&K senior managers should redesign their recruitment process and align them with new recruitment tools and technologies. It facilitates the process from application reception, to select the candidate and provide adequate training. It saves a significant amount of time, effort, and cost of the company and smoothing the entire process. Further, it allows the manager to focus on recruiting highly skilled employees rather than sorting the application and CV of all candidates.

Creative positive work culture- Work culture refers to the certain behaviour followed by the employees by maintaining company’s ethics or value. It is one of the most important HRM practices to ensure that the work environment is positive and engaging (Zhou et. al. 2020). As effective work culture decides the way of working behaviour of employees and builds relationships with co-workers and managers. Thus, Louise should promote strong communication practice within the company because communication allows the employees to share their values and experience with each other which make the culture positive. Moreover, a positive work culture motivates employees to perform better and collaboratively. It also enables to reduce turnover ratio because employees like to work in a good culture.

Training and development- As mentioned in the case study, there are more than 80% employees who worked with the company for at least 15 years. Hence, they become redundant for the technological environment and also, they are rigid to accept new changes. In order to sustain them for the long-term and leverage their experience, the HR manager should provide them adequate training and development opportunities to accept changes and improve their skills as per the new technologies and market trends. Effective learning or development programs motivates them to learn new skills and bring innovation for organisation and self-development (Meisler, 2020). Additionally, it reduces turnover ratio and inadequate staff numbers in the company.

Increase sense of responsibility and seriousness- Employees in G&K have lack of seriousness or responsibility as they often engage with talking to each other, texting their friends, and hiding in stockrooms. Such kind of behaviour makes them lazy or rigid. Thus, it is important to stop this kind of practice and make them responsible. For that purpose, the HR manager should assign them more work and train them to accomplish the work in a restricted timeline. Further, offer them a promotion or bonus chance in the condition of work accomplishment. Thus, it can increase their dedication towards work or they become responsible and use their time for productive work.

Employee retention– In G&K, the employee turnover ratio is very high as an average staff member staying only a few months which is challenging for the management to recruit new members and induct them (Martin, 2017). In order to retain employees, managers should provide them attractive compensation and other benefits as well as non-financial incentives to motivate them for better performance. Further, improving the work environment and regular communication between managers and employees also helps to retain employees for long-time. In addition to this, focus on employee motivation and engagement enables employee retention which is profitable for the company to get high productivity and innovation.

Participation in the decision-making process– It is essential to realise employees that they are valuable for the company and their suggestions have an important place in the decision-making process. Hence, managers should invite the employees to participate in the company’s strategic decision-making process and consider their feedback or suggestions. It encourages employees to perform better for the company as they become loyal and trustworthy (He et. al. 2019). Further, it reduces the chance of resistance to new changes because employees are equally participants in such decisions.

Therefore, the above suggestion can be used by the HR manager of G&K in order to add value in the organisation through effective human resource management practices.

Motivate employees to achieve organisational goals

As per the given case, G&K face critical time and their HR practices have a significant role for such a crisis. Hence, Louise takes charge as HR manager and she is responsible to improve HRM practices in the company. Therefore, she is also responsible to increase employee motivation to make them more committed to achieve organisational goals. The following are given some suggestions:

Provide personal enrichment training– Managers should provide personal enrichment training or send employees to workshops or seminars where they can improve their skills. It further enables the managers to easily promote them. They also provide growth opportunities to motivate employees to focus on professional development (Sabir, 2017). It is best suited for G&K employees because they have worked with the company for the past 15 years hence, personal enrichment training motivates them to accept innovation and new changes in the company as well as they also started to focus on their own development.

Reward good performance– Admiring the efforts of team members by rewarding their good performance and also appreciating them personally is one of the best ways to motivate them for better performance as well as encourage others to perform better. Managers should complement them or express gratitude as their impact is long-lasting. Further, they also send hand-written or in mail thank you notes as their efforts have a great impact on the company. The managers should give them priority in appraisal cycles to set examples for others.

Set achievable goals- Set achievable or realistic goals also motivates employees to achieve them. In contrast, difficult or non-realistic goals demotivate employees and increase turnover rate. One of the main reasons behind high employee turnover ratio in G&K is the challenging goals as managers want to overcome critical situations quickly which is not possible for employees (Simon, 2021). Therefore, the HR manager should set short-term goals for their employees and once they get comfortable, then they can raise the level of goals. It also enables them to retain for long-run and achieve high productivity level.

Increase positivity– G&K face crisis from internally or externally which demotivate employees as well as managers. In order to increase their morale, the manager should create a positive work culture around them. Research shows that a positive or happening environment can significantly increase the productivity of the workplace. Further, it is beneficial for store staff members to become more responsible and focus on their job rather than wasting their time on informal talking or messaging because employees enjoy working in a positive environment.

Encourage mindfulness- Encourage workers to de-stress and take breaks for busy working schedules (Top et. al. 2020). For example, a brief walk outside the office or visit a nearby coffee shop. Arrange yoga or meditation classes to relax them as such activity motivated them to meet strict deadlines.

Share profit to enhance performance– Manager should start a profit-sharing program with employees that will recognize that they have a stake in the financial success of the company. However, G&K faces financial loss due to economic recession or tough competition. But they can offer the employees that profit will be shared with them if they work hard for better productivity. Moreover, they should offer non-financial incentives like extra vacation days, reduce working hours, or participate in training programs. Such efforts of the managers increase employee engagement and motivation level.

Other than that, the HR manager of G&K can use motivation theory and models for their employee motivation. There are multiple theories Hertzberg’s Two Factor theory, Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, Hawthorne effect, Expectancy theory, Three-Dimensional theory, and more. As per the given case about G&K, the HR manager should adopt expectancy theory where employee behaviour based on the outcomes. The theory has three elements:

SHR079-6 Leading People in Creative Teams Assignment Sample

Figure 2: Expectancy theory

(Source- Francis, 2016)

  • Expectancy– It is the belief that employee efforts will result in desired goals.
  • Instrumentality– It believes that reward will be received if employee performance meets expectations.
  • Valence– The value employees place on the reward.

Since G&K store staff wasting their time on talking or texting and Expectancy theory is best suited to motivate such employees. As employees will believe that they receive a desired reward if they achieve expected goals (Francis, 2016). In the situation where a company’s only objective is to overcome the crisis and become profitable, this theory is useful to motivate irresponsible employees and make them committed to achieve organisational goals.

Recommendation

As per the discussion about G&K, some recommendations are given below:

  • HR manager should redesign their recruitment and selection process and align them with new recruitment tools and technologies which helps to complete the process fast and select best suited candidate.
  • In order to resolve problematic managerial condition, the HR should provide adequate training to their staff members to adopt new skills and cooperate with new organisational culture. Moreover, they should change their managerial style like transformational or democratic as this consider employees as a valuable resource which ultimately beneficiary for both company and the employee.
  • Employee motivation is necessary for better productivity. Hence, the HR manager should ensure that their employees are motivated and engaged with the company. For that purpose, they should adopt expectancy theory of motivation and provide them financial or non-financial incentives.

Conclusion

The present report is based on the case study of G&K who deals in holiday or leisure wear, camping or outdoor game equipment, and so on. However, some internal or external events forced the company to retreat from its strategic or competitive aspirants. For that purpose, they hire a new HR manager who investigates the situation and finds a problematic management approach. The report highlights the command-and-control style role to motivate employees. Further, some recommendations are given to the HR manager in order to improve HRM practices to add value in the company, and motivate employees to make them more committed to achieve organisational goals.

 

References

Books and Journals

Adams, R., Owen, C., Scott, C. and Parsons, D.P., (2017). Beyond command and control: Leadership, culture and risk. CRC Press.

Bos-Nehles, A., Van der Heijden, B., Van Riemsdijk, M. and Looise, J.K., (2020). Line management attributions for effective HRM implementation: towards a valid measurement instrument. Employee Relations: The International Journal.

He, P.X., Wu, T.J., Zhao, H.D. and Yang, Y., (2019). How to motivate employees for sustained innovation behavior in job stressors? A cross-level analysis of organizational innovation climate. International journal of environmental research and public health16(23), p.4608.

Jin, W. and Bai, F., (2018), July. Present Situation Analysis and Future Development of the Command and Control Console. In International Conference in Communications, Signal Processing, and Systems (pp. 1188-1193). Springer, Singapore.

King, D.L., Delfabbro, P.H., Perales, J.C., Deleuze, J., Király, O., Krossbakken, E. and Billieux, J., (2019). Maladaptive player-game relationships in problematic gaming and gaming disorder: A systematic review. Clinical psychology review73, p.101777.

Martin, L., (2017). Do innovative work practices and use of information and communication technologies motivate employees?. Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society56(2), pp.263-292.

Meisler, G., (2020). Trying to motivate employees through intimidation? Think again. Personnel Review.

Milliman, J. and Clair, J., (2017). Best environmental HRM practices in the US. In Greening People (pp. 49-73). Routledge.

Riemsdijk, M.J., Bos-Nehles, A., Heijden, B. and Looise, J.K., (2020). Line management attributions for effective HRM implementation (Doctoral dissertation, Saxion).

Sabir, A., (2017). Motivation: Outstanding way to promote productivity in employees. American Journal of Management Science and Engineering2(3), pp.35-40.

Salami, H. and Alavi, A., (2017). Identify and determine effective factors establishing a military command and control information and communication system network-based with knowledge management approach. Strategic Defense Studies15(70), pp.101-124.

Singh, H.S. and Singh, P., (2018). Command-and-Control to Responsive Regulation: Taxation Administrations. GST Simplified Tax System: Challenges and Remedies1(1), pp.223-227.

Top, C., Abdullah, B.M.S. and Faraj, A.H.M., (2020). Transformational leadership impact on employees performance. Eurasian Journal of Management & Social Sciences1(1), pp.49-59.

Wales, W.J., Covin, J.G. and Monsen, E., (2020). Entrepreneurial orientation: The necessity of a multilevel conceptualization. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal14(4), pp.639-660.

Wegmann, E. and Brand, M., (2019). A narrative overview about psychosocial characteristics as risk factors of a problematic social networks use. Current Addiction Reports6(4), pp.402-409.

Zeyada, M., (2018). Organizational culture and its impact on organizational citizenship behavior. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences8(3), pp.418-429.

Zhou, A.J., Fey, C. and Yildiz, H.E., (2020). Fostering integration through HRM practices: An empirical examination of absorptive capacity and knowledge transfer in cross-border M&As. Journal of World Business55(2), p.100947.

Online

Francis, B., (2016). Expectancy Theory. [Online] [Available Through]: <https://wikispaces.psu.edu/display/PSYCH484/4.+Expectancy+Theory>

Gordan, R., (2017). Command and control style leadership will become kryptonite as your business scales. [Online] [Available Through]: <https://dynamicbusiness.com/featured/command-and-control-style-leadership-will-become-kryptonite-as-your-business-scales.html>

Simon, J., (2021). Critical Success Factors for Human Resource Departments. [Online] [Available Through]: <https://smallbusiness.chron.com/critical-success-factors-human-resource-departments-42707.html>

 

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