My and building on a good working relationship

My name is Shamin
and I am currently working in the warehouse of a manufacturing company. I have
worked as a warehouse operative for two years. During this time, I have been a
part of a five-person team. Recently the management of this company felt there
was a gap in the hierarchy of the warehouse team and asked if any current
operatives would like to apply for a new role as a warehouse co-ordinator. I
applied and was successful and am currently supporting a team of four including
myself.

My new role
means that I must now manage and delegate duties to operatives on a daily,
weekly and monthly basis. I felt that in order to be successful in this new
role I needed to gain some insight as to how to more effectively manage people.
I feel that this course material will help me to better understand my
colleagues needs and give me the skills which will be key to gaining and
building on a good working relationship such as how to motivate, how I can be a
better listener and how to time manage.

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For any
business to thrive it must have leadership and within this framework the role
of manager meets this need. A manger will drive the business to perform,
through individuals and teams, as forecast. A manger must have leadership
qualities to achieve the best outcome regarding staff, outputs and time. (Adair P. J., Action-centred
Leadership, 1973)
Prof John Adair’s Action-Centred Leadership Model is regarded as the ideal
design of effective leadership for a manager. The three key points to this
model are based on what a manger does in a) Meeting the requirements of and
developing an individual, b) developing a Team and c) accomplishing an
undertaking. An effective leader will have achieved well in all three of these
areas. For example, a manager who is primarily a people person may have
favourites leading to unsuitable promotion, criticism from other staff, reduced
co-operation and overlooking of potential talent. A manager who is more task
orientated will ignore individuals needs in favour of achieving a task leading
to an individual feeling ignored or feeling not reliable and who will then not
be inclined to communicate for the good of the organisation any suggestions or
ideas which might be of benefit. Also, a manager who leans more towards the
Team can create an era of non-action due to the constant need for a consensus
for every task. A manager who has a tendency towards one of these key areas and
neglects the others has the potential to alienate individuals within an
organisation. This will negatively impact on a manager’s ability to fulfil
their role.

There are three differing decision-making
styles of leadership recognised by Kurt Lewin in his experimental research as
published in the Journal of Social Psychology 1939 (Lewin, 1939), democratic,
autocratic and lassez-faire. The most successful manager can assess which style
is needed in each circumstance and use it effectively to attain the desired results.

A democratic style of leadership would be
more inclusive of other team members ideas to create a more team motivated goal
whilst still maintaining the driving force to achieve the teams aims and
desired outcomes. This style is believed to be the most effective way to
achieve the most from your team as team members are being actively lead, feel
motivated to reach targets as they have been part of the decision-making
process and they feel the support and back up of their manager which encourages
them and gives them a renewed sense of purpose.

An autocratic style of leadership is more
hierarchical in its approach, the manager makes all decisions alone without
consultation with team members and team members are expected to complete tasks
without discussion or consultation. While this style is less effective than the
democratic style there are some circumstances where it is much needed and very
successful. For example, a medical triage team during an emergency mass
accident or a police special task force. In these cases, team members are
expected to dutifully carry out tasks assigned to them without question and in
a timely fashion.

The final style of leadership is the
lassez-faire method. This is a very hands-off approach to decision making as
the manager steps away and leaves the team members to make any decisions, while
this is a good approach when dealing with fully trained, self-motivated team
members its can be detrimental to achieving goals if the team are not all
imputing the same amount of work or are not good decision makers. This tactic
is only achievable if the manager is fully aware of its teams’ strengths and
weaknesses and has a well-balanced group of individuals.

Using a managerial
assessment example  (Institute) in our course
handbook I scored 200, this shows that I understand what skills I need to be a
good manager and am using these skills successfully. I have evaluated all the
questions I scored badly in and most relate to delegating tasks effectively. I
do feel I can dictate tasks on the rare occasions this is required but this
autocratic style takes me outside my comfort zone. I feel more comfortable
using a democratic style when communicating tasks. I am a good listener and
feel I am approachable to all members within and outside of my team. I give
praise readily and I feel respected and trusted by my team and peers. I also
feel I can gauge when a team member is motivated enough to follow through on
tasks without the need for my decision making or overseeing. I feel I use all
three styles as each situation requires but primarily I favour a democratic
style.

Maslow’s Hierarchy
of Needs (Maslow, 1970) is one motivational
theory that can be used to ascertain what an individual requires from their
manager. This model based on a persons need to achieve certain needs and these
needs are met in a hierarchical form. The most basic form is physiological
needs such as food and shelter, on the next level is safety such as security
and order. The next need is Love and belonging such as friendship and trust
after this is the need of esteem such as dignity and achievement and also
reputation and prestige. These first four levels are known as dissatisfiers as
going without any will lead to reduced motivation but having these will not
induce motivation. The final level is self-actualisation such as self-fulfilment
and this level is a satisfier and will increase motivation and performance. For
example, giving an employee the responsibility and trust of their own task when
they are unhappy with their salary will not motivate or increase positivity but
give this responsibility to an employee who is happy with their salary will
help this employee to move up their hierarchy to self-actualisation. Conversely
offering a salary increase to an employee who requires achievement will not
motivate.  Understanding your team’s and
peer’s individual needs will maximise your ability to motivate and help
individuals achieve their goals thus allowing for better management of teams.

Herzberg’s
Dual-Factor Theory (Herzberg, 1959) is another model
that considers two separate sets of needs for motivation at work. One set of
factors determine an individual’s satisfaction while another set their
dis-satisfaction. Herzberg believed that these two sets of needs operated
independently of one another to give an overall level of satisfaction. Again,
understanding which needs are satisfiers and which are not is key to obtaining
the most from your team as an effective manager. Using the example above and
applying Herzberg’s theory, salary could be a dis-satisfier while extra responsibility
could be a satisfier. So, offering extra responsibility will increase
satisfaction but the salary issue not being addressed will increase
dis-satisfaction reducing the overall motivation of an individual. Equally if
extra responsibility is a dis-satisfier and salary is satisfier offering a
salary increase will hugely motivate an individual and create a positive environment
for work.

SAFETY,
HEALTH AND WELFARE AT WORK ACT 2005 (No 10 of 2005) PART 2 Chapter 2 Section 13
(Safety, Health
& Welfare Act 2005, 2005) relates to the
duties of an employee at work. It sets out what is expected on an individual
while in employment. As a manager you need to ensure you are complying and that
your team is co-operating with all health and safety provisions. The main
points to this legislation are that an individual must abide and co-operate
with employers in maintaining the safety of all employees by co-operating with
employers, being honest about the level of training attained and attending
training where required, notifying employers of any issues regarding unsafe
practices or infrastructure in the workplace. Having every member of your team
committed to working in a safe environment will motivate them to be vigilant of
any behaviours or defects which could potentially cause an unsafe situation in
the workplace. An employer must comply with the legislation by making any and
all necessary changes to plant, machinery, training and procedural practices.
In order to do this, they must have a workforce that has an understanding of
health and safety and a workplace consensus to maintain safety for employees
and visitors alike.

EMPLOYMENT
EQUALITY ACT 1998 (No 21 of 1998) PART IV Section 32 (ISB, 1998) specifically
pertains to an individual’s rights regarding harassment at the workplace. Harassment
is behaviour that is considered unwelcome, humiliating or offensive and can be
in the form of verbal, written or gestures. An employer is considered to be discriminating
against its employee if it does not take reasonable steps to adequately discontinue
the harassment.  Discrimination is
present if harassment is allowed by a co-worker, manager or client even if it
is not in the place of work. Also, discrimination is present if an employee is
treated differently in the workplace due to the acceptance or rejection of
harassment. In order to adhere to the legislation a business, more specifically
the managers of a business, should take all reasonable steps to resolve any
incidents in a quick and efficient manner. All accusations of discrimination should
be investigated and taken seriously and any resolutions monitored and reassessed
over an agreed period of time.

This course has given me the knowledge base I
was lacking to push my team to excel in their respective roles within our team.
My self-evaluation was a much-needed tool to help me gain insight into where I need
to improve and help me set my future goals. I feel I have a better understanding
of what my team needs from a good manager and how I can function better in this
role.