Professional Human Resource Management
A great article exists on the internet about how new managers should handle matters in their new job. This article can be easily accessed via the Forbes website in the blogs sections. A direct link to this website is http://blogs.forbes.com/work-in-progress/2010/10/20/letter-to-a-new-manager/
This article is written in form of a letter addressed to the new incoming manager. The writer begins by offering a short congratulatory message to the new Manager. She is however quick to let the manager know that not much of the attention should be about the post that the manager now has but rather it is about the employees that the manager now has. She further lets the manager know that now all the focus is on the employees. She further informs the new manager that there will be different kinds of reactions from the employees, i.e. some will be hateful but some friendly.
She advises the new manager to recognize the unique abilities carried by each employee. She thus tells the manager to also try and find that uniqueness in every single one of the employees. This is because once this unique attribute about an employee has been found it is only then that a high-performing team can be realized. Further, the new manager ought not to forget that they are still managers even outside of work. This is because they ought to keep what is secret about work secrete especially if some of their friends are the people that they now fall directly under their management.
Colette further advises the new manager not to share the new privy information that they may have access to due to their new position. The new manager also ought not to control employees but rather influence them. Managers ought to ensure that they are models to be admired by the team
The writer also informs the new manager that they ought not to be liked by every employee. Further, some of them might be smarter than the new manager however the manager is still responsible for their success. Therefore whatever decisions they make as managers will eventually affect the employees. Thus managers ought to make thought-through decisions and stick to their guts coz most of the time they might be correct. The writer signs off by hoping that the new manager is up for the new difficult and daring role and yet might be very rewarding (Colette, 1)
Relevance to Course Material
In her opening statement, the writer advises the new manager that more attention ought to be about the employee and not the manager. This is consistent with a case study of Southwest Airlines. This airline has even gone an extra step into re-naming the department of Human Resources to the people Department. It is to them vital that their people are comfortable at what they are doing since to the airline their people offer all the competitive advantage that they could ever have.
Much effort is thus taken into consideration while recruiting. One such example is that in the year 2006, 3,633 new employees were hired by this airline. However, it is amazing that the company had to sieve through all of the 280,000 possible employees’ applications. This company thus places a lot of time and money to ensure that they end up with only the finest employees. However, these efforts are very rewarding from the fact that the company now enjoys the lowest turnaround in the airline industry i.e. 5%
Therefore with the right employees, the company can benefit from satisfied clients at all times and with satisfied clients then finally comes the all-important cash (Jackson, 554).
Colette advises the new manager to be a model for the employees under him to follow. She advises the manager that an employee is not supposed to do something that a manager might fail to do. This consistently translates into a point that a manager ought to ensure that employees are satisfied with whatever they are doing. This is a clear measure of whether a company s succeeding or failing.
At Southwest Airline, employees are said to be more than satisfied with what they are doing and the positions that they are in. this is known to have caused made them most productive. An example is given of a single agent being used for staffing a gate. On the contrary in other airlines, crews of up to 3 employees are used for this same simple job. This could be attributed to the employees being happy at what they are doing and doing it so well.
At the electric company called Lincoln, employees are known to be participating in making decisions (Jackson, 566). Thus thought of a management strategy that is participative removes any kind of authoritarian atmosphere. Consistent with Colette’s letter to the new manager, she advises that as a new manager, you ought to appreciate the fact that some of the employees working under you might have smarter ideas than yourself as a manager. Therefore, you ought to involve them in the thinking process on how to further improve the working conditions. As much as you might be professional or an expert, you ought to listen to ideas presented by them and infarct you ought to listen to all of them and not just a selected small number of them.
In a letter from, the CEO to the shareholders of the Lincoln Company, the CEO acknowledges some losses that were incurred due to restructuring plans (Jackson, 575). However further down the letter, some profits were recorded and this too is openly shared by the CEO to the shareholders of who we might say are the employers of this CEO. In other words, the CEO is seen to be taking personal responsibility for any losses incurred just as much as he wishes to be the one taking the credit for the profit.
Consistently, Colette in her advice through a letter to the manager advises him or her to always take responsibility for anything that he or she might be in charge of. She tells the manager not to ask an employee or the team leader of a certain project that you as the manager were supervising to carry the bad news to the higher bosses. As the manager, you are on the contrary supposed to take any failures as you own and be the one to do liver any such heartbreaking news to the higher management. You are to be in charge of your team because you are in essence their captain. Therefore you are not to make one of them look bad but rather protect them but take a fall for the team.
Any person in charge of managing other people at a workplace should always know that they are there to specifically look after the well-being of their employees. They should thus make sure that the employees feel secure and appreciated. They also ought to make sure that their ideas are passed on as coming from them. This means that the higher management should not hijack a good idea from an employee and pass it along as theirs to receive credit while they do not deserve it. Lastly and maybe most importantly, the write of the letter to the new manager insisted on the manager thanking the employee when they deserved to be thanked. As much as they might not have done something that to you, you might consider spectacular, for your employees getting some form of feedback means a lot to them
Probably the two questions that the class might discuss are: when you are entering into a management position, should you try to make the people like you so that you get to have an easy time doing your management or should you let things fall into place? The second question is when higher management is giving you a tough option, what is the best way forward if you resigning in protest; you are very sure that the incoming manager is going to pass a tough decision for your team in your absence. However, should you refuse to perform and not resign, you will be fired. So what will you, as a manager who has deep caring for his or her team, do?
Colette, Martin. Letter to a New Manager. 2010. Web.
Jackson, Susan et al. Managing Human Resources. Spain: South-Western Pub, 2008.