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2011

Eduardo Rivera; Tara Mosby; Amanda J. Shea; Kecia A. Garcia

[BUSINESS CASE STUDIES]


The following document reviews and discusses business solutions for managerial situations that are relevant to todays business world. By using the tools gained in this course our team has evaluated, analyzed, and effectively addressed all issues in the case studies provided.

Project 3: Leadership Scenario- Integrating Teams after Downsizing


When businesses downsize, almost all divisions of the organization are affected. Once the dust settles, the management has to make sure the business continues to operate efficiently and maintain productivity levels. With the recent downsizing and layoffs in the regional office I work in, I have been asked to take over the management responsibilities of the homeowners insurance claims department, in addition to the auto insurance claims department that I am currently overseeing. For a manager at any level, this would be a difficult task. My first action will be to bring the two teams together, inform them of the change, and discuss what this means to them. I want to start this new journey by gaining the respect of my newly inherited staff, as well as provide a sense of team and purpose. People react to change in many different ways, and by holding this initial meeting I hope to gauge how each staff member, both old and new, will react to this change. I will continue with weekly team meetings to keep the communication lines open with all of my staff. From the weekly meetings, I will be able to monitor the progress of the team as well as each individual staff member. In addition to the initial team meeting, I will schedule individual meetings with each team member to provide a more private setting for him or her to voice any concerns that they wish not to discuss in the open forum. I will seek ideas on how we may improve any of our current processes, suggestions of any processes that could be eliminated, and any additional recommendations he or she has to offer. Through our conversation I will attempt to identify his or her strengths, what his or her individual goals are, and what he or she believes are the strengths and weaknesses of the team.

At the very least, I hope to build new relationships with and get to know each of the new team members on a more personal level after meeting with him or her on an individual basis. With the merger of the two claims teams, I now have staff that is specialized only in specific types of claims working on the same team. In an effort to be more productive, I would like to begin cross-training all of my employees on both auto insurance claims and home-owners insurance claims. I plan to accomplish this by having each of the teams train one another on a different topic each week during our weekly meeting. The teams will alternate each week and each individual on the team will contribute to the training. Not only will this refresh my knowledge of home-owners insurance claims, it will also reduce issues with reorganization in the future by producing more staff members with knowledge in multiple insurance claim areas. In the end, my goal is to create a cohesive and productive team that can overcome change and accomplish all of the goals that were set out to make. With a plan in mind, open communication, relationship building, and training, I believe myself and my new team can be just as successful as we were when divided before this organizational change.

Project 3: Leadership Scenario- Poor Interpersonal Skills


There are many individuals in this world that are extremely smart and talented. On paper, they have everything an employer looks for during that initial hiring process; in this case a bachelors degree and a CPA. However, intelligence doesnt always mean that they work well with others. Some managers in the workplace can be gifted, but yet, when it comes to managing others, they fail. It is important for a company in this situation to spend the time to coach and train a manager to be able to work better with others for the company, themselves, and the

associates. When a manager provides great results, it is in the companys best interest to tweak the areas of concern before they just let them go. In this particular case study involving an aloof, distant and uninspiring Accounting Department manager, I believe as the CFO, that I can coach Bethany to excellence. It is important to understand Bethanys personality before confronting her. Tailoring your coaching style to the needs of your managers will help you gain their trust in the beginning. Also, before I would have the conversation to confront the issues at hand, I would make sure I had documented everything I had observed that would show any cause for concern. I would want accurate and precise examples of particular instances that I could use during the conversation so it wouldnt feel like I was coaching based on emotions, but rather facts. Before I would bring Bethany in for our conversation, I would spend some time preparing my coaching session, making sure I knew exactly what I wanted to say, and how I wanted to say it to help me not let the conversation veer off course. I wouldnt start the conversation off by just telling her what shes doing wrong. She could feel attacked, and lose trust in me from the start. I would start with a positive intent by explaining to her that Im here to ensure her success in our company, and thanking her for all she has done thus far. After that Id ask how she thought she was doing as a manager, and if she enjoyed her job. Based on her response, Id go straight into what Ive been noticing using all my observations. Id get her to see the impact of her actions, and how they are affecting her success; not only hers but her associates and the company. The point would be to have her see that if she went about things differently, she would see different results. There are a few issues I would want to work on in order to see the results I was looking for from her. Her ability to influence people is my first area of concern. She is having difficulties
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not as a manager, but as a leader, and her communication between her peers and employees is lacking. Being able to influence others takes good communication skills, knowledge on how to motivate, and an understanding of the organizations culture and group dynamics (Certo & Certo, 2009) Being a good communicator would help in more than one aspect. She would possibly be less distant which would show others around her that she wasnt trying to alienate them. Bethany would also be able to present her ideas better, and work well in a team setting. It is important to hold your associates accountable when trying to improve on these particular issues. I would make an action plan with Bethany during our conversation. I would choose the areas of concern, write those down on paper, and we would figure out the root cause of these issues. Then wed come up with an action plan together on activities and tasks that I would expect her to complete in an appropriate timeframe. Wed meet back together to discuss her progress, and any areas we still think needs work. Encouraging employees to take an active role in defining, implementing, and communication progress on task is vital to making such actions plans successful. (Certo & Certo, 2009) After some time, Bethany should start showing signs of progress. Hopefully I would have earned her trust in me as the CFO, but also as someone who genuinely cares about her future.

Project 3: Supervising Experienced Workers


The job of a supervisor already seems tough enough and when throwing an inexperienced supervisor into the job of supervising experienced staff, it seems impossible. This is shown in Case Study 4, where Mason is relatively younger then everyone he supervises. Not only is he younger, but he also is newer to the company and is better educated too. Mason will need to plan and strategize ways to become a respected supervisor and not alienate his team members.

Mason first needs to recognize that this is a great opportunity for his career growth and to take advantage of it. Not only does this show that his current supervisor trusts his capabilities, but having supervisory experience on his resume will make him more marketable to other employers. Other than personal benefits Mason will receive from becoming the team leader; he can also take advantage of this opportunity by influencing new changes for the team. Since Mason has only been with the company for a year, he can better see what processes have opportunities to be re-vamped and changed for the better. Mason will need to get by-in from the experienced team members. He can get them excited about the potential changes that not only will impact the company positively, but also them. Showing and earning respect will help Mason become a good supervisor and not alienate his team members. As the supervisor, he should show respect and appreciation for the past achievements of the experienced employees, remembering that the team members have contributed to the successful completion of many tasks before he became the supervisor. One of the most effective ways for a supervisor to gain respect from subordinates is for the supervisor to show respect first. It is a good idea for the new supervisor to remember that the balance of power will change and the subordinates may be the supervisors someday. Communication is a valuable attribute to have in successfully managing a team helping to not isolate the team members. To avoid making unnecessary mistakes, new supervisors should ask for input, listen to advice and concerns from the experienced employees, and take advantage of the available talents. As a supervisor, it is imperative to listen to staff members, keep promises, and give credit where credit is due. Also, accepting diversity in the work place is

another key attribute in successful supervision. When a team member completes tasks in a way that deviates from the supervisors preference, it may not necessarily be inaccurate. It is imperative for new supervisors to recognize the diverse social and work experiences of the team members. Knowing these personal and professional values will allow the manager to develop more meaningful supervision techniques. As the new supervisor, it is important to realize existing staff members will have more experience in some areas, and instead of competing with employees, the manager should strive to enhance the team. Supervisors must have good relationships with team members from all generations, in order to successfully meet the needs of the company. With these suggestions on effective ways for a new inexperienced supervisor to lead a team, Mason will have a bright future as the team lead for his company.

Works Cited
Certo, S. C., & Certo, T. S. (2009). Modern Management Concepts and Skills. Upper Saddle River: Pearson.