EBooks are more popular than paper ones, and their publication can be a successful business. It is proved by the case of Global Green Books Publishing with almost 3-year experience. Established by two friends, this printing company was performing quite well during its first two years, while the third year has introduced significant challenges. As a result, the business witnesses many problems that must be solved. Thus, both Global Green Books Publishing supervisors and team members face essential challenges that require particular skills and competencies to achieve successful results.
Challenges Supervisors Face
As the publishing and printing company started cooperating with a local college, standard challenges began to appear. On the one hand, it refers to the quality of the books the company produces. The fact is that an increased demand makes the publishers work faster, which results in some errors and misprints. On the other hand, financial and time issues are also common things for the business. Since customers return the books with mistakes, the publishers should spend their time and money to fix them. Thus, the standard challenges of poor quality, lack of time, and financial losses are faced by the supervisors.
In addition to that, some specific challenges deserve particular attention. Firstly, it is about the number and requirements of separate orders. Thus, they do not arrive at once, while some of them can be rushed. As a result, the supervisors do not know how many orders and what orders they will need to complete until they accept them. Consequently, the publishing company cannot design working plans because of this ignorance. Secondly, the state of affairs is aggravated by part-time employees who have flexible schedules. They come to work at a different time, and the supervisors cannot know for sure which task they are going to perform next. Besides, some of them tend to call off from work at the last minute, leaving tasks not performed. Hence, the supervisors should find and assign another resource to have this task completed. Thus, these specific challenges prove a publishing business is full of essential issues.
Skills and Competencies Supervisors Need
The challenges above indicate that the supervisors should have particular skills and competencies to avoid severe problems. Firstly, they should be perfect leaders because they are heads of multi-person teams. They should be able to make employees complete this or that task. Secondly, the Global Green Books Publishing supervisors should be good motivators. This skill is similar to the first one with the only difference referring to the fact that mild motivation can be sometimes more effective than rough commands. Since the publishing company faces various problems often, it is up to the supervisors to inspire employees to solve the issues that arise. And last but not least, the supervisors should have a decent competence in how the business is running and what stages a single book production includes. It is necessary because the supervisors should be able to explain to particular employees what they are expected to do, which also introduces communicating skills. Thus, these supervisors should be leaders, motivators, and publishing experts to achieve successful results.
Challenges Team Members Face
Working on projects at Global Green Books Publishing creates some challenges for team members. Since there are part-time employees in the company, the main issue for them is that they should know the status of the work. It is a difficult question because the employees do not know what task they will be performing next. The second challenge is that they should be trained for special printing equipment. A lack of this expertise creates many problems for both them and their supervisors. Furthermore, various interpersonal conflicts represent the third challenge the team members face. Since all of them are with different tempers, levels of education, and states of mind, disputed situations are a common thing. Employees should know how to handle such cases to make the competitive environment disappear. Thus, the team members’ work at the publishing company is affected by a few challenges.
Skills and Competencies Team Members Need
Based on the information above, the team members should have particular skills and competencies to work effectively. Multitasking is one of the primary examples because of the flexible schedules. The employees often deal with performing a few tasks simultaneously, and this skill is of crucial significance in such an environment. Similar to the supervisors, the team members should also have perfect communicating abilities. The fact is that they can communicate with customers during the Receive Order phase. Besides, the work at a publishing company forces its employees to have printing competencies, and Global Green Books Publishing is not an example. The team members should have considerable expertise in printing and binding equipment. If team members have the skills and competencies above, they will succeed in doing their work.
Concepts of Project Leadership
As has been stated, supervisors need to be decent leaders, but it requires more effort than they can expect. Effective management of high-performance teams is possible when leaders implement sound leadership practices. According to Henkel, Marion Jr., and Bourdeau (2019), there are two different project leadership behaviors. They are task-oriented and relationship-oriented approaches, each of which represents its own peculiarities. Task-oriented leaders focus on details, paying little attention to what their employees feel and think. The relationship-oriented leaders, however, welcome their employees’ needs and “tend to focus on creating trust and respect” (Henkel et al., 2019, p. 4). A debate of which leadership practice is the best seems to be acute because each of them has numerous followers. Nevertheless, the truth is that sound leadership practices appear when leaders combine these two behaviors. Good leaders should respect their employees, but these sentiments should not prevent them from achieving fundamental goals.
The Most Appropriate Leadership Style
Successful results can be achieved if managers utilize the most appropriate leadership style for a particular situation. Afshari et al. (2017) state that directive, consultative, participative, and delegative leadership styles are the most common variants. Each of them can be used in a particular situation, and different outcomes can be expected. A leader who is directive has control over employees, and he or she is focused on a result only, without paying much attention to the employees’ needs. A consultative leadership style means that a manager discusses crucial issues with employees and involves them in the decision-making process. A participative leader often focuses on improving the team members’ skills and competencies. Delegative leaders provide their employees with initial guidelines and allow them to solve the issues by themselves. Based on the information, the participative leadership style seems to be the most appropriate for Global Green Books Publishing. The fact is it provides the supervisors with an opportunity to enhance the required skills and competencies of their part-time employees.
Leaders as Inspirers
Good leaders must be motivators and inspirers to create a high level of performance, and senior employees’ motivation is one of those phenomena that can improve it significantly. Motivation is especially at risk when a company is facing many challenges. A manager should resolve this issue; Osabiya (2015) states that an appropriate leadership style can with enough inspiration to cope with all the problems. As for Global Green Books Publishing, the supervisors can motivate their team members with the help of rewards, promotions, and a safe work environment. Besides, it can be reasonable to involve the team members in the decision-making process to make them feel their sense of worth. These simple steps can help the company achieve essential performance results.
Global Green Books Publishing is a printing company that is trying to run a business successively. Both supervisors and team members face particular challenges; sets of appropriate skills and competencies are required to resolve the issues. Furthermore, more considerable attention is paid to the supervisors and their leadership qualities. Since the printing company is a peculiar business, the supervisors should combine various leadership behaviors and use a participative leadership style to achieve successful results. In addition to that, the supervisors should be good inspirers to motivate their staff members to cope with the issues that arisen. The fact is that these staff members have a greater scope of responsibilities and that is why they should have all these specific skills.
- Afshari, J., Moein, Z., Afshari, F., Sharifi-Rad, J., Balouchi, A., & Afshari, A. (2017). A comparison of leadership styles with respect to biographical characteristics. SA Journal of Human Resource Management, 15, 1-7.
- Henkel, T. G., Marion Jr., J. W., & Bourdeau, D. T. (2019). Project manager leadership behavior: Task-oriented versus relationship-oriented. Journal of Leadership Education, 18(2), 1-14.
- Osabiya, B. J. (2015). The effect of employees’ motivation on organizational performance. Journal of Public Administration and Policy Research, 7(4), 62-75.