Managerial and Personal Effectiveness in Human Resources Management
My name is XYZ. I’m a business graduate and an entrepreneur by profession. I remember what it was like being a student.
During my business graduate program that was spread across a span of 4 years from 2004 – 2008, I lead numerous teams and groups for our term projects. Over the years I realized that team leadership is one of my strengths. My projects would always reflect team spirit and team work.
During my graduate program I always aspired and dreamt of working as an entrepreneur and running a business at my own terms. So, once I graduated I set off to set up my own magazine publishing company in 2009. What I loved about setting up my own business from scratch was the huge learning experience that I went through, with unlimited scope and a journey that continues. Working for other established firms is good, but then you are limited to a certain role in an organization where procedures are already set and where your scope is limited. In your own startup you get to experiment beyond a boundary and find for yourself what works and what doesn’t; the learning is immense.
Being an entrepreneur is different from being a manager within a job. You’re not just an HR Manager or Finance individual or even just a Marketing Executive. A good entrepreneur has to ensure that he recruits and retains a motivated work force, attracts business, introduces cost efficient ways and earns a handsome profit for the organization. An entrepreneur is an all-in-one role for his/her respective organization.
When I first set off to set up my own Magazine Publishing Company I had nothing but a little money to invest, some educational background and understanding of business and a business idea. My job responsibility for the past 3 years has thus been the development of this business.
From getting business from advertising companies, to managing relationships with the retail channels and managing human relations, my job entails everything and more. Today, I manage a team of 12 people that include designers, writers and editors. I myself am the Chief Marketing Officer with most of my efforts geared towards business development.
Personal Effectiveness | Ability to manage self and others
When I first set up the organization I faced a situation all too familiar with most startups, the employee turnover rate was very high. Since companies take time in branding themselves as good employers, people generally treat startups like train stations, either just a platform to kick start their professional career or just a resting point between two jobs.
It is very inconvenient for organizations, especially startups, to spend time, money and effort in recruiting, hiring and training employees only to have them lured away by, what many might consider to be more attractive buyers in the market for labor. It is much costlier to replace employees than to retain them (Herzberg, 1987).
As a new business I lacked the resources to be able to pay higher than the market rate or to offer luring financial incentives. I thus tried to motivate people through more intrinsic incentives.
About 6 months had passed since the business was set up but the situational had not particularly improved since employees would join the organization but leave before their probation period would end. The additional costs of finding new resources, having them trained and then having them quit when coupled with the recession underway wasn’t particularly one of the scenarios I had dreamt of as the CEO.
As a student, I had always been automatically been trusted as the group leader and the skill was something that came naturally to me. However, it was the first time that I had to consciously put my skill to test and make an effort to be a good leader.
When I assumed the task of ensuring that the employee turnover rate would go down and the overall team spirit among all organizational members would rise, I was thrilled, perhaps, because I believed to be good at it.
Upon conducting a situational analysis of the company and measuring factors that might be held responsible in the company having a low retention rate, high turnover rate and generally lower levels of morale, I realized that perhaps I was underestimating the importance of extrinsic incentives that could have helped to achieve maximum managerial effectiveness. Having failed in motivating employees through extrinsic factors, I looked deeper into what could have been the issue.
Growth should be a mutually beneficial and mutually attained characteristic for any organization and its employees. As a manager I had overlooked something very important, I failed to see how important it was that an organization’s strategic plan should be able to support and match with an individual’s plans. For managerial effects to gain maximum effectiveness, organizational goals need to be made coherent with an employee’s personal goals.
When it comes to problem solving situations like these, Personal effectiveness can be categorized as one’s ability to solve the following 4: adaptation, goal attainment, tension management and integration (Sutton & Ford, 1982).
The process of Human Resource Management and applying management to oneself is a part of management known as Self-Management. It is important to note that one cannot simply hope to manage others if they cannot manage their selves. Any study of management is fruitless unless it is accompanied by positive changes in one’s personal life (Malik, 2010).
Effectiveness can best be explained as the outcome of a manger’s effort in trying to cope with a scenario or situation by properly achieving the desired results or meeting the set goals or targets in every organizational aspect. Personal and managerial effectiveness comes as an outcome of three main aspects, the personal knowledge of skills and qualifications needed to come up to the technical aspect, the understanding of the theoretical concepts and finally, the interactive effectiveness in guiding others towards the goal, the human aspect (Katz, 1974).
Achieving effectiveness in the management of all the above mentioned three dimensions will provide the recipe for productivity and efficiency by developing self and others.
To achieve effectiveness in personal management the manager is expected to be doing everything just right. The important point here is that personal effectiveness is the key to managing others and one’s self in the organizational environment.
Personal and managerial effectiveness matters most in an organization in situations where the chances of progress are most direly needed and wanted. However, little attention seems to have been paid to managerial effectiveness in comparison to some other aspects of organizational dynamics (Srivastava & Sinha, 2004)
When I had a team of 10 people with me, I tried to motivate them through intrinsic motivators. I did what I felt would have been the right thing to do and I focused the organization’s efforts to intrinsic rewards. The first of these efforts was an office get together where my intention was to get the employees socialize with one another.
Then we announced the employee of the month and it proved to be a double ended sword. To be precise, unfortunately, the efforts were not entirely fruitful and the employee retention rate didn’t significantly improve over a significant period of time.
I noticed that many of my employees belonged to the first and second stage in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the organization was moving towards a more intrinsically rewarding organization.
Initially, I was quite confident about the efforts I was putting in to motivate employees. I was positive that they will produce desired results.
I arranged an office get together to let the management and employees meet in an informal, friendly environment. It went well but wasn’t exactly a success. I did see several bored faces and overheard a conversation or two where people felt like they were dragged to a party while they wished to spend some quality time at home.
Next, I tried to announce the employee of the month. It did motivate the person who was awarded since he performed better in the months that followed but I noticed that it brought the morale of several other employees down to a great extent.
Having gained considerable experience since then, now as I look back I realize where and what I missed. Had it been then, perhaps I could have designed a more effective strategy, the strategy of career development.
Career Planning and Managerial Effectiveness
Career plan holds substantial importance in the management of Human Resources. Employers need to realize the existence of their employees’ concerns and help them achieve their career plans in order to attract and retain the best talent. Career planning can thus act as a crucial tool for employee motivation (Pat hargreaves, 2000).
The end objective of career planning is to prepare the employee for a journey that could be mutually beneficial for him/her and the organization s/he ends up working for. Career planning thus plays the role of a synchronizer between the missions and goals of the organization and the aims and aspirations of the employee. If these two start moving in harmony; the benefits of it are enjoyed equally by the employee and the employer (Schein, 1978).
The end result that one needs to achieve from effective managerial practices is boosted employee morale and a high level of employee motivation prevailing in the organization. It’s true that at the end of the day, all of us work because we have bread and butter to earn; for the salary we get in return. But then; there are people who would go for a lower paying job, because it gives them more authority and decision making power, or somewhere where the work environment is friendlier and open to ideas. These are all, but, some of the factors that are known as the motivators. Motivation is a drive to do or not do something and that drive can be as individual as the person (Lindner, n.d.).
The best thing about Career planning as an employee motivation tool is that unlike other incentives the strategy does not “assume” anything. Proper career planning and development programs call for the employers to officially interview and ask for each individual to express their individual goals and aspirations in life. A company can thus better adhere to these goals when they clearly know it, match those with some of its own goals and create an environment that synergistically nourishes both the organization’s and the employee’s goals (Douglas McGregor, 2006).
An entrepreneur has to be leader; s/he has to have the vision to be able to guide a group of people towards the long term organizational goals.
I’ve always learned and experienced that setting SMART targets for yourself and your subordinates is perhaps the most effective way of achieving a target. I therefore, set a target for the company to break even in one year. We had to make up for the fixed costs of setting up the business, setting up the company website and other fixed costs. All the while, we had to make sure we effectively start covering our operating costs.
As a leader I conducted regular meetings with the team and made it very clear how the success and the achievement of the target were important for each member of the organization. I ensured clear and constant channels of communications among team members, resolved team conflicts where they occurred and appreciated and encouraged team members wherever I felt that any effort was being made.
During the team discussion I would have an ideal way of going about achieving an objective but I was open to other people’s opinion too. Once or twice did it happen that a team member tried to impose their ideas and completely reject mine, however ultimately it was my word that was acted upon. We were able to achieve our target on time and within budget.
I was thrilled to lead a team of 12 people because I had not led that many people in the past and it obviously meant that I had a challenge to counter and that it would be an opportunity to stretch myself a bit. Of course I felt nervous, because previously even with the worst scenario I wasn’t exactly answerable to someone. This time however, my entire career and investment depended on my success.
On our orientation where I assigned roles, changed responsibilities for a few and defined rules to abide by, I felt resistance from my team members. Maybe it was something that I just felt because it got better later on as they began to feel comfortable with me and so did I. But that might also have been because I realized change wasn’t easy after all and that people are always resistive to change.
When organizations are adapting and going through change, a lot of skill is requirement to manage this change. Coaching is thus an extremely integral part of management in order to prepare the workforce on how to cope with the change (FRIED, 1987). I therefore, played the role of a leader and a manager as well as a coach.
Leadership plays an integral role in an organization and can at most times be a deciding factor for the success or failure of many (Bass, 1990). Good leadership can help the team and the entire organization through challenging times into good bright times. Every leader is a manager however, not every manager is a leader. While a manager tries to makes the best out of the limited resources s/he has in order to meet objectives, a leader tries to create opportunities with a unique vision. Having said that, what exactly is leadershipIs every leader equally effectiveOf course not
A leader can suppose several roles and in many different ways. A leader could be authoritative or s/he could be really friendly and down to earth who encourages participation. A leader could also be a guide who assists his/her team where and when needed.
In my role as a leader, I believe to have adopted the role of a participatory leader. However, I was strict and authoritative in my own way too. I would invite people when a decision was to be made and a direction to be selected and I respected people’s opinions and choices but once a direction would be set, I expected people to comply by it.
More than any two of the above I was also a coach to my team. There can be two main reasons why someone might want to coach somebody; these could be improving a person’s skill set by ultimately improving their performance and helping them in improving their self-image and making them believe that they have the ability and the desire to achieve something (Campbell, 2007).
Learning Outcomes | Final Reflection
Generally speaking, Entrepreneurs never consciously try to harm their organizations. They being human beings, just make mistakes which can at times have drastic impacts.
I, as an Entrepreneur, a manager as well as a team leader obviously would not have wanted my organization to bear any loss whether big or small. While I was successful as a team leader, I did fail as a strategist when it came to motivating employees for the first few months. The loss accounted to the mistakes that I made as a leader and a manager and that has accumulated into the following learning outcomes referring to each of the points discussed above;
As a leader, always indulge in positive criticism that does not humiliate the employee
When giving a negative feedback, focus on the solution and how the person can improve rather focusing on the weaknesses
Make employees a part of decision making and planning
Relate organizational goals to each individual’s personal aspirations and make them see how s/he can achieve his/her goals by achieving organizational goals
Listen carefully to employees and improve channels of communication between you and them
Slowly seep into the role of a coacher but don’t impose yourself on your employees.
That being said, personal and managerial effectiveness is an on-going process that one continues to learn as we move up the ladder in our careers. Effectiveness is achieved and is the most fruitful for an organization when you succeed in motivating and managing people through self-management. You are successful when you have a team of loyal employees because there’s no better asset on your balance sheet than a loyal work force.
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