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General Analysis

Discuss about the Managing Effective Workplace Relationships.

The growth of any company heavily depends on how it is organized and the general running of its affairs. At the top of each company is the management. It is responsible for coming up with policies and regulations that govern a company. In relation to that, this report will be looking at how managers effectively manage workplace relationships; including employer-employee relationships. The focus of the paper will be to explain how Woolworths Ltd and Wesfarmers Ltd, two leading Australian retail companies, have used effective management of workplace relation to better their performance. The paper will look at manger responsibilities, employee responsibilities, management-employee relationships, and leadership.

Managers’ uses a variety of tactics ensure high performance among employees. These tactics include regular meetings with employee’s air out concerns, performance appraisals, ensures that employees know and understand what their job. Good managers will employ strategies like using an effective performance management process to create sustainable growth. This process helps to develop transparent reward systems, articulate shared goals and objectives, define expectations of individuals, departments, and the organization. Empowerment and authority is also used by managers to encourage employees to perform better. For instance, managers who decentralize decision-making give the employees an opportunity to have a voice in an organization and thereby increasing performance. It is also good to implement a customer-centric through their brand and how they relate with people. Furthermore, the most appropriate thing to be done at workplace is ensuring that there is continuous flow of information so as to ensure that every detail is effectively dealt with. Such a system will ensure that good relationships are created. It is also worth noting that managers who invest in their employees through training stand a chance to reap good fruits. Training helps in equipping employees with new skills and also horning those that they might have acquired.

Studies on successful managers indicate that one needs skills like patient, commitment, tolerance, and the ability to communicate effectively with his employees. Sociable managers tend to be received warmly by their employees because they are seen as understanding. It is also important for a manager to be goal orient and ensure that his interests are in line with organizational goals. That will help them to avoid conflict of interest and therefore have the ability to perform their duties effectively.

The roles of a manager were outlined by Henry Mintzberg where he divided them into three categories as to include interpersonal roles, informational roles, and the decisional roles. Mintzberg said that when a manage acts a leader, a liaison person, and figurehead, he plays an interpersonal role (Mintzberg 2013). The informational roles of a manager are dissemination, monitoring, and being a spokesperson. The third category which decisional roles are made up of responsibilities like resource allocation, disturbance handling, enterprising of the company and negotiating on behalf of the company.

Specific Responsibilities of a Manager

In terms of informational roles, Woolworth has a disclosure policy which requires the management to put all the necessary information about the running of the company in the public purview. They claim that the reason for so doing is to ensure that there is transparency and accountability. They also do that to comply with the law. In case there is an issues that needs clarity, the management is under a duty to make such respond to such doubts. Only the Woolworths directors are the authorized spokespersons of the company hence mandated to communicated with external parties. They therefore act as negotiators and dispute solvers. At the same time, the managers make contact with outside sources hence becoming liaison officers. They are responsible for representing the organization in any function hence figureheads.

The manager of this company mostly act as monitors of information on new trends. Will interacting with stakeholders as liaison officers, they gather are responsible for gathering information. The CEO of the company is responsible for representing company in meeting with the government and other non-governmental organization hence acting as figurehead (Rowe, Nowak, Quaddus, and Naude, 2014). At the same time, he has to negotiate for better deals with the government in terms of police formulation. However, they most impressed with being leaders, resource allocators and spokespersons.

Belbin said that team role is the trait of behaving, contributing and interacting with other people is a given way. Team roles include being resource investigator, teamwork, co-ordinator, specialist, monitor, shaper, plant, implementer, evaluator, and finisher (Belbin 2012).

Being a retail company, Woolworth has brought several employees together to create teams. The in their sales department for example, there is an information monitor, researchers on new trends and liaison officer. There also sales agent who ensure that the good reach the customer (Woolworthsgroup.com.au 2017). Sales agents are the real implementer while researchers supply the information. The company has employed many specialists like IT technicians to ensure that there is smooth running in all departments.

The fact that this company deals largely with food means that there must be teamwork to ensure that all that is needed is available. The heads of all departments, as required by the company policy to co-ordinate for the sake of uniformity (Spillan and Ling 2015). Furthermore, there must be sourcing hence a lot of resource investigation is carried out. Food specialists are also employed to check on quality and quantity. Most of the team members encourage teamwork and coordination (Rowe, Nowak, Quaddus, and Naude, 2014). However, there are fewer specialists.

Woolworths Ltd

The Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory explains what motivates people. According to this theory the hierarchy of needs is as follows: physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs (Robbins, De Cenzo, Coulter, and Woods 2013). Physical needs like food, shelter, water, healthcare, and air have a great impact on what an individual will do. Secondly, economic security and protection from harm will also guide an individual’s action (Cao et. al 2013). After these are satisfied, man will seek to interact with other, companionship and relaxation hence the temptation to choose job that guarantee that. Furthermore, the people ego will determine how they act if they have inferiority complex, they will be affected in terms of work. Self-actualization basically relates to the ability to achieve one dream.

This company has employed a large number of people hence offering an opportunity for people to get their physiological needs. Most of them are well paid which means that they are able to afford a decent living. As a result, the company record an ever growing market and profit base. This is a direct reflection of motivated people. The company also implements most of the employment law by entering into formal agreement with it employees hence giving them job security (Woolworthsgroup.com.au. 2017). High remuneration means that Woolworth attracts many employees who are qualified. Everyone is put into the department or unit of their speciality hence ensuring organization and co-ordination. Well-designed jobs ensure that employees know their responsibility hence increasing performance.

Just like Woolworths, Wesfarmers places much emphasis on physiological needs. High remunerations are what attract most people to work for this company. These also ensure that their fewer conflicts between the management and the employees (Bourne and Bourne 2012). However, the strength of Wesfarmers is in teamwork and co-ordination.

The trait theory of leadership can be applied here. It state that people or leaders are born and not made. That there are certain traits which are found in leaders that cannot be found in non-leaders. According to this theory, these skills should be horned over time to re-enforce them. The mental, physical and social traits should be considered in choosing a leader(Huber 2013).

Woolworths has exhibit the use of the trait theory especially by choosing leaders who are naturally sociable and brilliant to run its activities (Spillan and Ling 2015). It realized that such person can easily convince employees to work hard as well as bring change in the organization. At the same time, Wesfarmers, leaders are considered by many as sociable, tolerant and friendly. This trait can be hard to learn but one can be born with them.

Conclusion and Recommendations

There are so many intriguing similarities and differences between Woolworths and Wesfarmers. Both companies use teamwork and co-ordination in the management of their affairs. They also have several specialists in their ranks. However, diversification of Woolworths’ business means that it does not us all similar tactics always. There instances where it exhibits weak teamwork but strong monitoring channels. In a less diversified system, I would recommend that use of teamwork and co-ordinated approach. But in a decentralized system, it is good to give employees more independence. Finally, it is also good to use a multi-theoretical perspective. 

Reference

Belbin, R.M., 2012. Team roles at work. Routledge

Bourne, M. and Bourne, P., 2012. Handbook of corporate performance management. John Wiley & Sons

Cao, H., Jiang, J., Oh, L.B., Li, H., Liao, X. and Chen, Z., 2013. A Maslow's hierarchy of needs analysis of social networking services continuance. Journal of Service Management, 24(2), pp.170-190

Huber, D., 2013. Leadership and nursing care management. Elsevier Health Sciences

Miner, J.B., 2015. Organizational behavior 1: Essential theories of motivation and leadership. Routledge

Mintzberg, H., 2013. Simply managing: What managers do—and can do better. Berrett-Koehler Publishers

Robbins, S., De Cenzo, D., Coulter, M. and Woods, M., 2013. Management: The essentials. Pearson Higher Education AU

Rowe, A.L., Nowak, M., Quaddus, M. and Naude, M., 2014. Stakeholder engagement and sustainable corporate community investment. Business Strategy and the Environment, 23(7), pp.461-474.

Spillan, J.E. and Ling, H.G., 2015, January. Woolworths: An Adizes Corporate Lifecycle Perspective. In Business History Conference. Business and Economic History On-line: Papers Presented at the BHC Annual Meeting (Vol. 13, p. 1). Business History Conference

Woolworthsgroup.com.au. (2017). Corporate governance - Woolworths Group. [online] Available at: https://www.woolworthsgroup.com.au/page/about-us/our-approach/corporate-governance [Accessed 29 Apr. 2017]

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