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Showing posts with label human resources. Show all posts
Showing posts with label human resources. Show all posts

Monday, July 13, 2015

Managing for Others or Managing for Yourself



Managing is an art form that relied heavily on critical thinking and communication skills to keep large groups of people working toward the same goals. Stronger managers focus on the development of their teams to meet market needs. People who can manage for others versus themselves is a great asset any organization. Managers who can meet performance goals and do so in a way that creates a better department should be in high demand. 

It is in our natural best interest to manage for ourselves and this can make it a difficult competing ideology against managing for others. When someone becomes aware they should manager for others they have done so against the backdrop of years of learning, insight and reflection.  People who create these conclusions have thought about what is important.

They must also be able to step above their biological and emotional needs to take a higher road in workplace decisions. When choices are required they look to promote the group over themselves. This can be difficult if someone is still struggling with unresolved issues.  We see this over and over again among people in leadership positions making self-interested decisions. 

Consider how one manager will take the credit for work by their subordinates while another will give credit where credit is due. The first still has overpowering needs to feel important, competent, secure and liked. They are willing to break social norms and trust in order to get the next promotion or raise.  The latter person has resolved their issues and can step above them to create greater trust with their team.

Hiring managers is more than meeting metrics. Even though meeting is important it is also necessary to continue to meet them over and over in a sustainable way. If a manager brings his/her team to a higher level of performance and solidifies their trust they can keep the performance at a higher level for longer periods. Poor managers will only hit the target for a short period of time until subordinate’s motivation decreases.  Building a team, keeping people engaged and motivating them to a purpose is the ultimate purposes of “management”.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Organizational Justice Builds Better Companies



Organizations are collectives of people that create mini-societies with rules, beliefs, and symbols. As a society, there are inherent values that each person expects from their employer that helps build greater forms of trust and commitment. When those values are inconsistently applied and result in distributive and procedural injustice the financial failure of the company is not far into the future.

Distributive Justice determines who receives rewards in an organization while procedural justice describes the treatment of employees based upon the policies & procedures of the organization (Fields, Pang & Chiu, 2000). Employees expect that companies are willing to reward them fairly based on effort as well as have their rights protected by the organization.

When distributive and procedural justice breaks down it is usually the result of the inappropriate application of rewards and punishments. Agenda driven individuals will change theunwrittenrules to ensure that the goals of making them look good and earn promotions are achieved. Poor management detracts from organizational objectives by wasting time and effort.

Employees will soon learn that the rules are not fairly applied and will either align themselves with the needs and opinion of the manager or leave the organization. People who need jobs to support their families are likely to accept poor management within an organization to maintain their livelihoods. As this encampment continues the value systems and culture of the organization adjust to a lower form.

What is the value of distributive and procedural justice? Job satisfaction and organizational commitment are related to perceptions of justice (Harvey & Haines, 2005). When people feel respected and treated fairly, they will have more commitment than employees who have been mistreated. The retention of progressive and knowledge-driven employees should be the goal of every organization.

Justice can be an elusive because it is subject to all types of interpretations. Those organizations that can create fairness in compensation and punishment are likely to reap the benefits of employee effort. Managers who place their interests first and the needs of the organization and its employee’s second do irreparable harm to employee trust and commitment. Each manager should focus their efforts on the organizational goals and aligning their styles appropriately.  Managing employees is about motivating them to see the value in themselves and the work they do.

Harvey, S. & Hains, V. (2005). Employer treatment of employees during a community crisis: the role of procedural and distributive justice. Journal of Business & Psychology, 29 (1).

Fields, D., Pang, M. & Chiu, C. (2000). Distributive and procedural justice as predictors of employee outcomes in Hong Kong. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 21 (5).  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Is Affirmative Action Still Effective?



As the twentieth century begins and in midst of Ferguson conflict and Selma fiftieth memorial march, a legitimate question emerges as to whether or not Affirmative Action and its application are still effective and compulsory. The historical background, legal ground and current social changes introduce many challenges to the half-a century-old policy. The authors wrote a solid reading of the policy from an academic perspective which presents a trial to understand the past, the present and the future for this act. 
This paper traces the elements of Affirmative Action from past to present towards a new approach for the act, using an analytical framework called the Archeology Method (Foucault, 1972). This qualitative method reviews past discourse and events, evaluating artifacts in order to assimilate different historical processes and draw conclusions for what is happening in the present.
 The authors modeled Affirmative Action in a multi-dimensional approach to purposefully serve the core cause of the act without violating human diversity. The suggested model draws a roadmap for college systems to establish admission policy to meet current diverse culture dynamics and to assure fair practices among students’ population.  
Authors: Dr. Hussein & Dr. Wiggin 




Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Using Action Plans to Increase Performance

Action plans offer the opportunity help people think through the various challenges they face and apply some type of plan on how to overcome these difficulties. Whether discussing students, employees our yourself it is beneficial to consider the benefits of implementing action plans in a way that encourages greater insight by the person writing them. Insight sometimes leads to higher levels of performance.

In my experience in labor relations and as a professor in business I find that performance issues may not be willful but are a result of a lack of experience or understanding. For example, in labor relations I have found attendance to be a major employer concern. Through the standard grievance process employees can promise to make it to work on time but without an action plan the problem isn't likely to be resolved soon.

The same idea applies to students who consistently fail to turn their work by class deadlines. Each assignment they scramble for some excuse that will get them off the hook. The problem is not the creativity of the excuses but their processes. Understanding how chronic poor performance is part of a process of thinking is beneficial for finding solutions.

Before giving grace to poor performance consider requiring an action plan to ensure the person has some understanding on how to improve the situation. Requiring the person to develop a plan on how to change their processes helps them think through what is causing the problem and how it can be improved. They can search through their strengths and weaknesses that help them discover equitable solutions to the problem.

Most of us live our lives by patterns and reflecting on those changes needed to adjust the pattern is beneficial to sustainable performance.  An employee who has an attendance problem could discover the necessity of starting early, putting out their items the night before, and getting plenty of rest. A student who turns their work in chronically late may need to start assignments at the beginning of each week and also devote a full hour to writing each day.



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Are Rude and Aggressive Managers Destroying Your Business?

We have become accustomed to the hard nosed manager that guides employees on the really important aspects of business. The problem is, such managers, even though well intentioned, lower satisfaction in the workplace and are counterintuitive to development. A study of 200 full-time adults found that positive relationships superseded mentoring even though both contributed to organizational commitment and job satisfaction (Madlock & Kennedy-Lightsey, 2010).


The image of the strong and tough manager that gives it to their employees straight is something that should be left in the manufacturing plants of yesteryear. The same can be said of the sarcastic and aggressive personality we often associate with upward mobile career oriented people. Their ability to develop greater commitment and satisfaction among employees is likely as them having a sunny disposition.


Researchers found that mentoring behaviors and positive verbal communication created higher levels of communication satisfaction, organizational commitment and job satisfaction. The opposite occurred when the managers were seen as verbally aggressive. Rude and aggressive managers may just be destroying your organization.


In a nutshell people didn’t like working with aggressive managers and often shun interacting with and listening to their needs. Companies that fill their ranks with gruff management personalities may find their turnover rates, absenteeism, industrial unrest, and commitment at rock bottom (Hargie, Tourish, & Wilson, N., 2002). The end result can be expected, as employees opt for better environments.


The next time your organization seeks to select a new manager consider the personality as an important predictor of results. Doing so may just help your organization foster the motivation and commitment needed to master the complex environments it navigates in. Seek those personalities that can hold people accountable, mentor them to the next level, and still maintain positive communication.


Hargie, O., Tourish, D., & Wilson, N. (2002). Communication audits and the effects of
increased information: A follow-up study. Journal of Business Communication, 39,
414-436.

Madlock, P. & Kennedy-Lightsey, C. (2010). The effects of supervisors’ verbal aggressive and mentoring on their subordinates. Journal of Business Communication, 47 (1)