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With rise in market competition in retaining the employees, more and more organizations are opting more skilled managers for ensuring their success in the long run. Organizations are hiring skilled managers not because of the reason that employees cannot function in the absence of their direction but because manager has a key role to play in talent management. Developing manager and long-term employment which once cemented the employer-employee contracts have become a thing of past. Manager-employee team is emerging as a new building block of learning and development within organizations.
Organizations are realizing that good managers are helpful in attracting candidates, driving workplace performance, employee engagement and retention thereby, magnifying their contribution in the success and growth of business. One can also see the influence of managers on employee turnover and retention. The very first reason behind employees quitting their jobs is working with a manager who is disinterested in their professional growth and never helps them in learning more skills and acknowledges their contributions.
British Airways and Saga Holidays are the two organizations selected from hospitality and travel and tourism industry to be considered as example case study.
British Airways is UK’s biggest airline service provider and stands second only after EasyJet in terms of total number of passengers offering its services across 150 destinations around the globe. During the economic crisis of 2008, British Airways too had to bravely deal the large recession and make various changes for its survival. The global airline was at the threshold of being bankrupt. It was under the outstanding management skills of Willie Walsh that BA had successfully sailed out from the economic downturn. Willie Walsh who joined BA as CEO in 2005 himself describes his management style as “brutally honest”. Being labelled as a tough negotiator, Willie Walsh had always been at fore, be it implementing any change within the business, riding out severe economic downturns, endless industrial turmoil, turbulent opening of Heathrow Terminal 5 or the open-ended battle with Virgin Atlantic. In 2010, he planned and directed BA’s merger with a Spanish carrier Iberia for forming International Airlines Group which further took over British Midland International. Experts consider his management style as coercive or directive where the leader single handily takes charge of everything and gives no heed to conflicting opinions. Although this is the most chosen style for overcoming crisis but long-term practice of this style can give rise to other crisis such as employee dissatisfaction unless the leader chooses to move to another management style. (TheGurdian, 2013)
Having an experience of more than 65 years Saga Holidays is a leading holidays and cruise provider furnishing its customers with enduring vacations by tuning their holidays into an unforgettable lifetime event thereby, offering value to customers. Saga Holidays is most popular amid 50+ travellers because it ensures that the packages are tailored for meeting the needs of people in and above 50s. During the economic stagnation in 2005, Saga had withstood various problems and was at the brink of being insolvent but under the leadership of Andrew Goodsell, the tour operator made a fruitful comeback. One can see the reflection of active leadership style in his management, the key aim of which is to keep the employees motivated and giving encouragement to innovation. The employees at Saga Holidays are elated and fulfilled under the leadership of Andrew Goodsell because of his approach of leading others from the front. Achievement, responsibility and advancement are the three key elements behind employee motivation and job satisfaction. (Filipova, 2013)
One can observe the difference between active management style and coercive management style where the leader’s active style leads to employee satisfaction whereas employees working under a leader with coercive management style are mounted to pressure and stress leading to dissatisfaction.
Leadership is considered as the most important element in directing management functions. According to Koontz and O’Donnell, leadership is a manager’s ability of inducing his/her subordinates in working with determination and diligence.
Interpersonal Skills: leaders who have won the respect and trust of the employees/followers can further make use of this trust in moving organizations towards attaining its business goals. The interpersonal skills of such leaders are conducive in working through arduous manager-subordinate relationships and maintaining workplace unity. Furthermore, such leaders are good listeners and provide productive feedback. (MoneyZine, 2016)
Communication Skills: leaders who exhibit communication skills tend to be great speakers and listeners thereby, keeping the employees highly motivated and committed. A good leader listen to his/her followers and queries them for ensuring that they have clearly understood what he/she wanted to convey.
Values: a good leader values diverse workforce and understands its significance in brining a larger perspective within the organization. They do it by giving due respect to the employees/followers and distance from displaying any kind of favouritism
Organizational apprehension: a good leader understands the goals and objective of an organization and knows how they can be achieved by establishing networks within the organization further allowing the teams or groups in getting the work done. Moreover, they are also proficient into breaking down the organizational barriers and turning them into progress.
Confidence: carrying themselves with confidence is the most essential leadership characteristic which also includes taking the responsibility of every decision, be it correct or flawed. A good leader should have the ability of taking criticisms as learning and aware of one’s own deficiencies. (MoneyZine, 2016)
Flexibility: remaining flexible is another crucial leadership characteristic further allowing the leader in adapting their leadership styles according to the current demand of the situation. A good leader should be capable of working together with others for driving the organization towards achieving its business goals and shifting focus whenever needed.
Creativity Skills: leaders exhibiting creativity skills are capable of bringing out innovative resolutions to any problems thereby, developing broad solution to conventional queries.
Attain outcome: a good leader is expected in doing more than setting examples for the followers. They are gravitated in playing bigger roles in the achievement of business goals. They set a high level of performance standard within organizations through their skills, thereby motivating the employees even in crisis. (MoneyZine, 2016)
With the emergence of electronic communication, the hospitality industry should focus on emphasizing the execution of effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Having compelling communication skills are the need of hospitality especially hotel industry. As a result a large number of hotels make considerable hefty investments in training their staffs on customer interaction. (Weske, 2012)
Regardless of the communication form employed within an organization, the communication process involves three key components namely transmitter, message and receiver.
Two types of communication processes are followed in Saga Holidays:
Internal Communication: the key participants of internal communication within Saga are the upper level managers, line managers, lower-level employees etc. One can see that the tour operator exercises a transparent and open communication method where all the employees irrespective of their designations are encouraged for participation into decision-makings. The information flows through a proper channel i.e. the upper level manager passes on the information to the line manager who further transfers it to the ground level employees. (Weske, 2012)
Within Saga Holidays frequent workshops are arranged for allowing the employees in getting involved. Project groups are formed for looking into issues and helping in executing a policy into action. The management communicates with all the employees through its internal magazine called SagaMagazine which is distributed amid all the employees. Internal communications within Saga Holidays is carried out mainly through emails, posters, weekly briefings, documents or meetings. Detailed information is provided on intranet that can be accessed only by the employees.
External Communication: this kind of communication is equally important at Saga Holidays which operates from five locations across UK. Since it functions from multiple locations, very often it needs of conveying issues regarding legal or business matters to stakeholders. The official website of Saga directly links the outer world with the brand. People can read and download whatever information they are looking for with just one click. (Weske, 2012)
The kind of culture and structure an organization pursues influences the employees’ motivational levels and its organizational behaviour. One can describe organizational culture as the visions, values, rules, regulations, language, beliefs of a company which the employees tend to follow. A flat organizational structure is practiced at Saga Holidays brining all the employees at similar level further giving rise to clan organizational culture. Saga through its flat organizational structure has successfully cultivated a friendly and healthy workplace culture where employees are unhesitant in communicating with their colleagues and are encouraged in independently taking customer services related decisions and becoming more flexible. (Alvesson, 2012) At Saga, prominence is given to customer satisfaction. The employees, on the other hand, are encouraged in developing friendly relationship at work rather than just competing against one another. Being functional into hospitality industry, time and again Saga has to withstand rapid changes for enhancing its customer services for delivering maximum satisfaction. Cutthroat market competition has forced Saga to focus on the quality and standard of the products/services it furnishes to the customers apart from transferring job satisfaction to the employees for reducing turnover rate. Saga Holidays under the leadership of Andrew Goodshell has brought a massive organizational change which aims in providing maximum satisfaction to both employees and customers which eventually will escalate its profit margins. He had emphasised on forming project groups which had played a significant role in obtaining better results further cultivating the movement of market oriented culture within Saga. Until a few years back Saga was dealing with high employee turnover which led the management in following flat structure and clan culture at workplace. (Alvesson, 2012)
With the emergence of modern business scenario, employees today are getting more refined, well informed and determined compared to the ones a few years back. The behaviour and style of a manager has an immense contribution in cultivating satisfaction, dissatisfaction or de-motivation amid the employees often influencing adversely on the objectives of an organization. It has been observed that lack of motivational sources is one of the prime reasons behind employees quitting their jobs. Employees who are satisfied with their work and are happy with their manager/leader who always motivates them in giving their best shot, rarely search for other jobs even if the pay is more. Internal motivation is the most powerful motivator in comparison to external motivators in the form of incentives, promotions, bonus etc. (Shetty, 2011)
One can consider motivation as making the best use of inmost inclination of moving and guiding the employees towards achieving the professional cum personal goals by taking measurable initiatives and striving towards progress. During my association of working with Chef Jamie Oliver, I am about to lead his new restaurant in Covent Garden, London. For smooth execution of resource managing and operational planning it is important that I motivate the team by engaging them into the restaurant’s culture and structure for delivering quality food and services to the customers.
Since the start of my career I have observed that many employees do not think of maintaining a long-term association with the employer and quit immediately once they get a better opportunity. The key reason behind this situation according to me is high level of dissatisfaction amid the employees which may be because of company policies and procedures, unfriendly nature of the manager etc. To effectively deal with such situations, it is essential that manager or leader keeps the motivational level of employees high by increasing their engagement in day-to-day operations. This not only will evolve their confidence levels but at the same time will cultivate a sense of being valuable within them. (Shetty, 2011)
For retaining the skilled staffs, motivational theories should be implemented at workplace apart from designing a reward system and encouraging them to participate in decision-makings. Providing maximum employee satisfaction will allow the new restaurant in ensuring its market growth which is the prime objective of a business. Other than business growth, employee satisfaction will also establish a healthy working atmosphere which will build a stable and credible bond amid the leader and followers. Working under a positive environment employees start seeing themselves growing professionally with restaurant’s growth hence, they become unhesitant in walking the extra mile in giving outstanding outcomes and deliver value for money to the customers whenever they visit the restaurant. As a leader of the new restaurant, I personally believe that satisfied employees utilized their skills and potentials to the best. Since I have started my career from the grass root level under Chef Jamie Oliver, I am more prone towards Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which emphasizes on fulfilling the employees needs in a hierarchical order namely self-actualization, esteem needs, social needs, safety and psychological needs. (Shetty, 2011)
Since Chef James Oliver has made me responsible for leading the new restaurant, it is my utmost responsibility in ensuring that all the team members are provided with a healthy and friendly working environment further enhancing their commitment towards their job and the brand. Freedom given at work will enhance employees’ loyalty enabling the restaurant in being prepared for any challenge. As a leader in the new restaurant, I am responsible for looking everyday functions, resolving issues and keeping the staffs engaged and motivated. During the first six months since the inception of the new restaurant, poor performance was the key issue I had to deal with which hampered the restaurant’s business. Holding the top position I made a detail study to identify the reasons behind the situation and I realised that the problem lied with my autocratic leadership style. For resolving the situation, I expanded my limited knowledge over leadership theories and skills by studying real cases in both similar and dissimilar sectors via internet. The very first step towards identifying a flexible solution towards the preceding problem was to change my leadership style to participative and encourage the staffs to share and discuss their opinions and ideas making them feel valuable and also appreciating them whenever required for their hard work. Introducing more employee engagement programs will also enable me in minimizing the communication gap between me and other members. Changing my style will boost the motivational level of the employees. When I discussed the changes with Chef James Oliver, he not only appreciated the move but also recommended of introducing engagement programs like sensitivity and simulation exercises which will bring improvements in both inter and intra relationships within the restaurant further influencing performances and overall productivity. (Anca and Dumitru, 2012)
These six months had helped me in gaining significant experiences and learning how to deal with adverse situations and turning failures into success. The circumstance had allowed me in exhibiting my capabilities of leading a team single handily.
Self-managed learning has a significant role in the personal and professional development of an employee/individual further emphasizing on the need of growing ones employability skills. Blake Mouton grid technique is used here for understanding the type of leader I am and analyzing own managerial and personal skills. As a General Manager at Dorchester Luxury Hotel, by analysing myself based on this managerial grid, I have figured out that my biggest strength as a leader is motivation. Keeping the employees motivated is mine second important concern after financial profits. Balancing work and personal life is one thing which I have mastered and encourage my followers in doing the same for gaining maximum satisfaction. Immediate addressing of workplace issues and concerns is my approach which helps me improving the employees’ productiveness and the company as a whole. Interpersonal skills have equal importance in supporting one’s career growth and building long-term customer relations which is essential for business success. I totally agree to the fact that one happy customer will bring in ten new customers. In addition, my sound decision making and analytical skills have also assisted in self-evaluation in Blake Mouton grid. By growing my professional skills and I can relatively increase the chances of taking the topmost position in the hospitality industry and establishing myself as a CEO. (Kong, Cheung and Song, 2012)
The above disused skills are imperative for one to emerge as a good leader and it is my strong belief that possessing them I can reach my goal and evolve as an individual.
For successfully meeting the aforesaid personal and professional objectives, it is important that I focus on gaining right skills to perform the tasks and adequate resources utilization. For securing higher position within Dorchester hotel, I need to improve skills depicted in the PPD plan below.
Team building skills
Getting more social and implement the learning into practical
Working on deficiencies
Inducted in yoga and meditation classes
Public speaking skills
Enrolled into public speaking clubs and participating in business seminars
Learn professional software packages like
CRM, HCM etc.
Time Management Skills
Continuous learning process
Self-managed learning style. Maintaining a priority matrix grid or to-do list
Issue Management Skills
Continuous learning process
Learning while working with superiors having a diversified professional experience.
At the end one can conclude that there is a substantial interrelationship between learning and continuous employment. Employees undergoing training and learning activities either for self-improvement or upgrading their skills, are more likely in accepting organizational changes and gain an added advantage in the job market. Employees exhibiting conscientious about their personal development are more motivated, engaged, flexible and adaptive, making a preferred choice for every employer.
Alvesson, M., 2012. Understanding organizational culture. Sage.
Anca, V.?.C.A.R. and Dumitru, D.D., 2012. LEADERSHIP-A KEY FACTOR TO A SUCCESFUL ORGANIZATION-part I. Studies in Business & Economics, 7(3).
Filipova, M. (2013). Management Style in Tourism. (Online) Available at: https://ideas.repec.org/a/rau/journl/v8y2013i4.1p11-16.html (Accessed on 2/12/2016)
Kong, H., Cheung, C. and Song, H., 2012. From hotel career management to employees’ career satisfaction: The mediating effect of career competency. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 31(1), pp.76-85.
MoneyZine. (2016). Leadership Characteristics. (Online) Available at: http://www.money-zine.com/career-development/leadership-skill/leadership-characteristics/ (Accessed on 2/12/2016)
Shetty, D. (2011). A motivated team helps in achieving goals. (Online) Available at: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/168761/a-motivated-team-helps-achieving.html (Accessed on 2/12/2016)
TheGurdian. (2013). Willie Walsh: the tough guy that just got tougher. (Online) Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2010/jan/31/willie-walsh-profile (Accessed on 2/12/2016)
Weske, M., 2012. Business process management architectures. In Business Process Management (pp. 333-371). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.