The Managers Job

Because of this I will now look at various management styles and the theory behind them to help me gain a better understanding of why this particular manager acts and makes the decisions that he does and to see which theories the store manager at Wyevale. As many of these theories are fairly old, I accept that since they were written new theories may have been produced with more accurate and useful information; however I chose the most appropriate texts I could find and applied them to the best of my knowledge. The first theory I will look at is management by objectives.

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“MBO is a process of joint goal setting between a supervisor and a subordinate. It involves managers working with their subordinates to establish performance goals and plans that are consistent with organizational objectives” (Schermerhorn, Hunt and Osborn, 1994, p. 244). This theory promotes compromise between managers and subordinates, ensuring that the worker is aware of their tasks as they have contributed to setting the goal or objective themselves, as well as helping to clarify the order of tasks in rank of importance.

At Wyevale this theory is applied very rarely by the store manager, as he prefers to assign the Shop Team and the Horticultural Team a list of objectives and tasks to complete throughout the day, and once a single task has been completed it must be reported to him personally before he can set the next objective. It may be applied between managers and the four supervisors when discussing the day’s tasks to be delegated to the workforce, but ultimately the store manager ahs the final say.

This style is very autocratic, with all the key decision making very centralized, taking place at the top of the hierarchy, before instructions are passed down to staff on the shop floor, who can often be patronized and feel threatened by the managers strict and uncompromising attitude towards the employees. This has often led to an uncomfortable atmosphere between the manager and staff, as staff feelings on problems and possible improvements are often held back due to the lack of trust in their manager.

The strict approach he applies has led to a growing dislike towards him since he began in September 2005, which may account for the high level of labour turnover throughout the summer of 2006, as employees become de-motivated about their work and seek to find job satisfaction elsewhere, imposing further training, redundancy and advertising costs upon the company.

A more democratic approach to management may be more effective in motivating the current workforce, using a mixture of the managers ideas and plans with some of the staff views, as they are the face of the store and feel they deserve to valued higher and treated fairer, and as many staff are older, they feel their opinion should be valued and respected. Asking staff what could be done on things such as task delegation, would make the staff feel their opinion is valid and that the company is considerate of their views.

Another way to further motivate the staff would be to improve working conditions, as the current store has poor heating and air conditioning facilities, and often leaks when rained upon. If the staff feel safe and comfortable in their place of work, they make take more pride in their work and therefore be motivated to work harder. Recent monetary incentive schemes have also been effective in raising morale and motivating staff to work harder to achieve a higher bonus in the next month.

Recent efforts have made by the manager to improve the quality of the staff room have been met with skepticism from many employees, showing that their opinion of him is ridged and feel that he only makes effort in improving conditions because of ulterior motives. The store manager’s approach is better when dealing with employees on a one to one basis, as he listens to their view before offering his opinion and his solution, often willing to listen to compromise, tell the employ plainly what he expects and set targets for individuals to meet, albeit in a patronizing and cynical way.

However, this evidence is purely my findings from observing my own working routines and that of my colleagues and the general opinions of others and because of this cannot be taken as fact, but only opinion. In contrast to these views, the general performance of Wyevale, York has greatly improved under the current management team (mentioned above), possibly due to new incentive schemes and general attitudes towards work shifting due to wage increases under the new contracts, giving employees increased spending power as consumers.

Staff morale seems to be rising, which has a direct effect upon the consumers, as motivated and therefore happy employees will have a positive effect on consumer spending within the store. Overall I believe staff motivation is directly linked to the approach of the store manager and how he or she handle their staff and conduct themselves around them, that having a considerate, firm but fair management approach is more beneficial than a strictly autocratic one.