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Case No. 2 Not Measuring Up

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Not Measuring Up
Nathaniel H. Chan
Ateneo Graduate School of Business-Iloilo Campus Regis Program
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Not Measuring Up
Background of the Case
Cam Leslie is a middle manager of RTZ Corporation. The past two years, the company
has been conducting employee surveys for middle management. The goal of this process is to
give feedback on a variety of criteria including company and manager’s performance, potential
problem areas in the company, and as a road map for transforming the organizational culture of
the company. CEO Ronald Zeitland and Carole Wheeling, the owner of the consulting firm that
does the survey and score managers, are baffled with the results of Cam’s survey results. They
view Cam as a hard worker, intelligent and dedicated manager but his survey results are
disappointing. Although he has implemented some suggestions from his results last year, his
scores are not improving. The survey results show a low percentage of ‘favorable’ scores and a
lot of ‘neutral’ scores. It seems that the employees do not see him as their manager. The results
also revealed low levels of overall satisfaction and morale but Cam’s division is able to perform
well compared to the other divisions in the company. The problem now for Zeitland is how to
help Cam improve his scores on his management skills and job performance in the coming year.
Definition of the Problem
Given this background, the problem in this case is Cam’s lack of understanding and full
commitment to his organization’s cultural values. Ronald Zeitland has recognized that with an
increasingly younger workforce, changing consumer tastes and technology changes, he must
look at ways to improve employee satisfaction and create a positive organizational culture for his
business to flourish. A positive organizational culture correlates directly to better financial
performance. In Cam’s case, he is able to drive his people to achieve company goals but he is
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not able to inspire them to find a sense of purpose and fulfillment in their work. He focuses
more on the bottom-line results but he does not align these with his organization’s corporate
culture. This results to low morale and over-all satisfaction among his staff. This kind of
approach is not sustainable in the long run because there are no higher ideals that will unify the
people in the organization. Eventually employees will become frustrated and leave.
One possible reason for Cam’s behavior might be the failure of the organization itself to
define the organizational culture that will motivate him to perform better as a manager. There
might be a disconnect between the message and the messenger on the proposed organizational
culture that Cam might be getting the wrong signal as to what values the corporation wants to
promote.
Objectives for Problem Solution
To help improve the survey scores of Cam and make him connect better with employees
under him, the management should motivate Cam to better understand and uphold the
corporation’s cultural values.
Specifically, the following concrete steps should be taken:
1.
The top management should strive to better articulate what kind of organizational
culture it is trying to establish and make sure that it is a culture that its managers and
employees can share and promote.
2. The management should set a good example in trying to live up to the cultural values
that it is trying to instill in the organization.
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3. The management should help Cam to take concrete steps for him to better
communicate and motivate his staff to uphold the corporation’s cultural values and
also meet its performance goals.
4. The management should also investigate the reasons why Cam is not able to uphold
the organizational culture. Is the organizational culture promoting the happiness and
general well-being of its employees or is it putting too much emphasis on
performance and output? Is he a good fit to the organizational culture?
Alternate Courses of Action
After reviewing and analyzing Cam’s survey results, the management should be take
steps or effort to determine if the poor results are due to a basic flaw in the personality or
management style of Cam, or is it from a lack of motivation because of his lack of understanding
and commitment to the organization’s cultural values.
This is important because it will
determine the alternate courses of action that management can take in solving the problem.
If the reason is due to a lack of understanding and commitment to the corporate values,
the first alternate course of action is to take the following concrete steps to help Cam align his
personal values with those of the organization.
1. Management should organize a visioning seminar for its managers and staff to
articulate the mission-vision, strategic goals, and core values of the corporation. This
will make Cam better understand what the company stands for. It will also make
things clear that aside from creating a high-performance culture that values bottomline results, top management also wants its middle manager to ensure employee
satisfaction in terms of positive working environment, competitive salaries and
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benefits, and better quality of life. If Cam is able to assimilate the company’s values,
he will be better motivated to ensure that his staff’s actions and behavior are aligned
in meeting corporate’s strategies goals.
2. The corporation should also make sure that its top management serves as cultural
leaders in both their words and actions. It is not enough for CEO Zeitland to mouth
the lofty ideals and goals of the corporation but he must also show it through his
actions. If the top management, for example, are unethical or if they value statements
are not supported by good management behavior, this can have a detrimental impact
on the over-all culture of the organization. Instead of promoting positive culture, it
can lead to a negative culture that can destroy the organization.
3. The management should help Cam in improving his managerial skills, especially his
human skills, to make him connect better with his people. They can send him to
leadership or management trainings and seminars that will teach him on how to
improve his communication, coaching and motivational skills.
All the aforementioned steps of top management in forming and managing organizational
culture and helping managers to embrace this culture will result to a better performance for Cam
and hopefully his survey results will improve in the next review cycle.
If the management determines that the result is due to a basic flaw in his management style
or his personality, the second alternate course of action is to train him to become a better
manager or address the flaw in his personality. The following steps can be taken by management
to address the problem.
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1. Management should make sure that their hiring policies involve psychological and
personality testing to determine if the potential manager or employee can fit in with
the team. This is especially very important for middle and first-line managers who
directly interact with employees on a daily basis. If his test results will show a
personality or psychological disorder, it is up to the corporation to decide if he is still
a good fit to the organizational culture it promotes or they will let him go because of
this.
2. If his test results will show no personality or psychological disorder, then they can
send him to leadership and management training to hone his managerial skills. They
can then wait for the next review cycle if the training will improve his scores. If his
scores do not improve, management may again decide to let him go or give him
another chance.
Conclusion
In conclusion, the best course of action is to address the seeming disconnect of Cam with
the espoused cultural values of the corporation. The corporation should take concrete steps to
make sure Cam understands, believes, and adheres to these values. The top management should
also be cultural leaders and serve as good examples to the whole organization in practicing this
culture.
They should also help develop their managers through continuous training and
education by supporting a learning environment so these managers can better communicate,
coach and motivate the rest of the organization. All these efforts of management will help create
a positive organizational culture that supports employee satisfaction, supports positive values and
behavior, and enhance business performance.
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Reference:
Daft, RL. (2016). New Era Management. 11th Edition.
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