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Complementary roles of new work practices

Discuss about the Constructive Relations at Top Trucking.

Organizations during the contemporary period are compelled to adopt to change on continuous basis after realizing that global markets in particular are continuously being characterised by uncertainty (Asrar-al-Haq and Kuchinke, 2016). This means that change is inevitable for companies that are concerned about achieving their desired goals in the face of constantly changing environments in which they operate. However, success in implementing change in the operations of the organization can be achieved through effective leadership (Saari and Judge, 2004). Leaders often adopt different leadership styles they believe can positively influence the behaviour of their followers in their endeavor to provide the direction towards goal attainment. As such, this report seeks to analyse how changes in Top Trucking Company’s workplace practices improved its performance as well as the complementary role they played to each other. The report also discusses the risks likely to be encountered in the event that the yard manager or George leaves company after full implementation of these new changes introduced. The last part of the report discusses the extent to which blue collar unions like the Transport Workers Union can undertake various workplace changes.        

The new manager brought a raft of changes to the Top Trucking Company’s workplace policies contrary to autocratic leadership that was used by George Psaros who would tell people what to do or at time would yell at them. Some of the workplace practices introduced by the new manager include but are not limited to the following: engaging both drivers and union representatives, rational approach to problem solving, continuously worked to improve occupational health and safety and the drivers received more training. These work practices were geared towards improving the overall working conditions of the employees within the organization in a bid to improve its performance as well.

It can be seen from the case study that the change brought by the new yard manager was transformational and to that effect, it can also be stated that he used transformational leadership style. Transformational leaders are leaders who show great consideration for individual needs of employees such as intellectual stimulation and they are also charismatic (Robbins, 1993). These are leaders who significantly inspire the followers to convert their personal interests for the good of the company. This is exactly what the new manager did to the employees at Top Trucking Company. The raft of workplace practices that were introduced significantly contributed to improved performance in the Trucking Company.

Risks of sustaining new changes introduced at the Trucking Company

It is evident from the case study that the workplace practices introduced by the yard manager complement each other. For instance, the yard manager made a policy aimed at engaging both drivers and union representatives. In this case, improved performance by drivers would complement the efforts of the union representatives to ensure that the working conditions of the drivers were good. The aspect of rational approach to problem solving by the yard manager played a complementary role with improved employee performance since the employees naturally developed respect for their new leader. On the other hand, continuous improvement in occupational health and safety also played a complementary role with improved driver competencies and skills in performing the tasks expected of them.

On top of this, it can be observed that both the leader and employees played a complementary role to each other since their collaboration in various aspects led to improved performance in the organization. Schultz (2007) suggest that  both leaders and followers in the organization play a complementary role to each other where the leader provides direction toward achievement of the goals while the followers respond by putting optimum performance to ensure that the desired goals are achieved. This notion has been supported by Asrar-al-Haq and Kuchinke (2016) found that there exists a significant relationship between transformational leadership and employee performance in their study. This shows the extent to which the employees and the followers in the organization play a complementary role to each other. Essentially, the efforts of the leader within the organisation should be complemented by the effort put by the employees in their work toward the attainment of the set goals and objectives.

There are risks that are likely to be encountered in attempting to sustain these changes in the event that George or the yard manager moves. First and foremost, it should be noted that leaders are not universal especially in the way they approach different workplace practices. According to Zaccaro (2008), leaders have different personality traits that shape their leadership styles.  According to Mohammed et al. (2014), leadership style involves different patterns of behaviour that are shown by the leaders when they deal with the employees.  There are different leadership styles and each leader can choose a style that suits his or her needs of steering the company towards the desired direction with regard to goal attainment.

A closer analysis of the case study of Top Trucking Company shows that the yard manager introduced democratic leadership style which was by far different from the autocratic leadership style that was used by George Psaros. Basically, democratic leadership, also known as participative leadership style involves persuasion and considers the feelings of the employees and encourages their participation in decision making process (Mohammed et al., 2014). This leadership style is designed to give the followers greater job satisfaction as has been the case in the above case study. Therefore, if the yard manager is to leave, then it may be difficult for the company to get a similar replacement in every respect. The employees particularly the drivers were beginning to realise the benefits of the changes that were proposed by the yard manager such that they would not question them though at first they seemed not to be comfortable with them.    

Personal reflection about the role of Transport Workers Union

The new leadership style utilised by the yard manager had slowly been adopted into the culture of the organization of which all the employees were happy to identify with. This shows that the yard manager utilised change-oriented leadership described as the ability by leaders to implement changes and finding persuasive communication methods to convince people about the significance of that change (Khuong and Hoang, 2015). Again, this shows that change is a process which can be implemented at a slow pace for it to be accepted by the members of the organization. In the unfortunate event that the yard manager leaves the company, this move can create a wide gap which may be difficult to close especially if he is replaced by a manager who uses a different leadership style. This means that the employees in the organization would need to be reoriented in order for them to familiarize with the new leadership style that would be introduced by the new manager who will replace the current one. This is quite a daunting task given that implementing change in the organization is not an event but a process that requires concerted effort by different stakeholders who are likely to be affected by it. The major risk in such a scenario is that the widely accepted changes by the current manager could end up being reversed should a different leader with different leadership style be appointed in the company. This will negatively impact the performance of the organization after witnessing significant developments that improved job satisfaction among the drivers.
4.0 Personal reflection about role of Transport Workers Union

In my own opinion, I think unions like Transport Workers Union are more of less likely to engage in changes of this magnitude than public and service sector unions mainly because these are concerned about collective safety of the employees under their jurisdiction. In other words, bodies like TWU are concerned with enforcing legislation that is primarily concerned with ensuring the organizations they represent adhere to the laws so that the safety concerns of the employees are taken into consideration. This type of union puts more emphasis on the safety of the employees and other stakeholders who may be affected by their operations. The reason why they may not be able to make changes in the workplace practices is that they are primarily concerned with providing a framework upon which their representatives can design policies that take into consideration all the safety requirements as stated by the law. In other words, it is the duty of the organizations to make necessary workplace changes they desire instead of the TWU performing that task for them. This is just an umbrella body that provides the legal framework for the operations of its members.

In order to establish if you are right about this claim made above, you only need to observe the internal operations of transport operations represented by TWU and see if they have any representative on the ground within the company. These blue collar unions promulgate laws which they expect all the transport operators to obey. They are only tough in the event that there has been a disaster in an organization it represents for failure of upholding the safety principles stated in the law they enforce to protect the employees. In other words, representatives from these unions do not directly make changes in the workplace practices of different companies since they operate outside companies. The TWU plays a major role in controlling the operations of their members through the use of legislation instead of them actively participating in making workplace changes for individual companies. This is the duty of the internal leadership of the organization that is aware of the importance of change at a given moment.   

Conclusion

Over and above, it can be observed that organisations are compelled to adopt change mainly due to the changes taking place in the environments they operate. Effective leadership is very important if the company is to implement change successfully. This has been illustrated by the case of Top Trucking Company which witnessed performance improvement in leaps and bounds following successful implementation of a raft of workplace practices by the new yard manager. These changes were also found to be complementary to each other and this significantly improved the performance as well as job satisfaction of the employees. However, credit goes to the leadership style of the new yard manager which was oriented towards fulfilling the needs of the workers. This notion has been supported by Mosadeghrad and Ferdosi (2013) who found in their study that employees’ job satisfaction and commitment depend on the leadership style used by the managers.

References

Asrar-al-Haq, M. & Kuchinke, K.P. (2016). “Impact of leadership styles on employees’ attitude

towards their leader and performance: Empirical evidence from Pakistani banks.” Future Business Journal, Volume 2,  Issue 1, p, 54-64.

Cooper, B. & Waring, P. (2009). Employment Relations: Theory and Practice. Sydney: McGraw-Hill.

Khuong M.N and Hoang, D.T. (2015). “The Effects of Leadership Styles on Employee

Motivation in Auditing Companies in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.” International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, Vol. 6, No. 4.

Mohammed, U.D. et al. (2014). “The Relationship between Leadership Styles and Employees’

Performance in Organizations (A Study of Selected Business Organizations in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja Nigeria). European Journal of Business and Management, Vol.6, No.22.

Mosadeghrad, A.M. & Ferdosi, M. (2013). “Leadership, Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment in Healthcare Sector: Proposing and Testing a Model” Mater Sociomed, Vol 25, (2), p. 121-126.

Robbins, S.P. (1993). Organizational behavior: Concepts, controversies and applications. 6th Edition. New jersey, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Saari, L.M. & Judge, T.A. (2004). “Employee attitudes and job satisfaction.” Human Resource Management, 43 (4) (2004), pp. 395–407 

Schultz, R. (2007). Human resources management. JB: Prentice Hall.

Swanepoel, G. (2000). Perspectives in human resources management. CT: Pearson.

Zaccaro, S. J. (2008): Trait-based Perspectives of Leadership. American Psychologist, 62-6-16

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