Management is a very challenging job. Someone requires managerial skills to undertake such a challenge. There are three specific managerial skills that managers are supposed to possess depending on the level of management. The three managerial skills include conceptual skills, technical skills and human relations skills (Chapman, 2008). Top-level management mostly requires conceptual skills so that they can visualize the organization as a whole. Conceptual skill includes creative, analytical and initiative skills. The operations manager of Yahoo County required this skill so that he can easily solve the problems identified for the benefit of the whole organization.
In the case of Yahoo County, the operations manager has done a great job of identifying certain problems affecting the productivity of this organization. The problems which were identified included: decreased productivity, increased overtime hours, and an increase in mileage and gas costs. These problems were caused by the misuse of the county’s vehicles. Now, the challenge does not lie in identifying these problems but in the decision he has decided to take. The operations manager decided to install GPS tracking devices to minimize these problems.
The challenge of this decision lies in the implications it will have on the organization in terms of productivity as well as employees trust. One thing the manager should do so that the county can improve its performance is to win the employee’s trust. I would request him to introduce a rewarding system whereby the best-performing employee is rewarded after a certain period so that he can win their trust. Such a system will improve productivity and quality, boost their morale, foster teamwork, as well as increase competition among the employees and they, will struggle to provide their best so that they can be rewarded when the time comes (Ryan, 2007). Another thing that the manager needs to do before installing GPS tracking devices is to consult other counties which are using tracking devices. This will help him gather enough information on the nature of the devices he should use without facing problems such as employee privacy infringement.
The operations manager is the key driver of Yahoo County’s performance. This implies that he has to play a key role in ensuring that all the vices identified are rectified without destroying the reputation of the company. He must be able to implement his decisions in a wise manner since his success or failure will be influenced by the correctness of his decisions. Since the manager does not know how the employees may react to his tough decisions, he is supposed to play his cards well to avoid failing the organization rather than improving its performance.
What I would recommend the manager to do is to let the employees know the problems he has identified and explain to them some of the steps he is intending to take. This will alert the employees and they will be able to voice their opinions. Through what will be raised by the employees, the manager will be able to learn how they will react when new policies are put in place. When things are carried out this way, everyone will be psychologically prepared and it will be easier to decide on which direction to take as a manager. This will also evade misguided retaliation from the employees as well as bad feelings which might occur as a result of “on the spot” decisions. Reflex decisions sometimes are not good and they can hamper the performance of an organization (Chapman, 2008). Therefore, managers need to consider all the implications of the decisions they may want to implement.
A major factor that the manager should consider while implementing his decision is the financial implications of installing GPS tracking devices. The installation of these devices will obviously incur some costs such as supervisory control cost, training cost for staff who will be taken care of tracking, and cost for tracking modifications of the vehicles. I would recommend that the operations manager consider the repay back period of the cost to be incurred before implementing his decision. This will help in deciding whether the decision is worth the price.
A good cost-benefit analysis is supposed to be carried out to avoid wasting the organization’s resources. The operations manager for Yahoo County did not carry out a cost-benefit analysis of his decision. This affected the success of his decision and has influenced the employee’s productivity negatively. He needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with a concise solution before the organization collapse. A meeting with all the staff is necessary so that the management can deduce the problem with the new policies. This will assist the management to effect the necessary changes which will help in improving the performance.
Employee monitoring using GPS tracking devices in most cases is one-sided, that is, it favors the organization only (Iqbal, 2007). Some of the advantages which an organization can gain from the monitoring services include: an increase in profits as employees are working efficiently and workers are encouraged to be honest. On the other hand, employees get more negatives from this service compared to the positives. The only positive they can claim to be getting from the monitoring services are security (Mcnamee, 2005). Some of the negatives which the employees are getting from the monitoring services include privacy infringement, being tracked outside working hours and this information used against them, and the drivers may be unfairly disciplined.
GPS tracking is not considered ethical by the public at large (Joem, 2010). There are a number of changes that might occur when the monitoring system is introduced within an organization. The ethical issues discussed above will directly influence the productivity of the employees. Employees will feel demoralized when their privacy is violated, leading to decreased productivity. This can also take another angle where the employees can sue the organization for violating their privacy rights. Such cases will cause legal damages to an organization as well as destroy its reputation. Managers can also accuse the employees wrongly and possibly terminate their jobs. Due to such terminations, the organization will incur compensation costs for wrongful accusations. It is, therefore, very vital for the managers to consider all the negatives associated with the monitoring system before they implement it.
In conclusion, I would urge all managers to be cautious when implementing their decisions to avoid unnecessary hectic and resistance from the employees. To strengthen the performance of Yahoo County, I would request the HR department to introduce a consent form. The consent form should indicate all new policies by which the workers should abide. All employees should sign this form to make sure that they will work with an aim of achieving the county objectives. This form will ease the conflict between the employees and the management (Wang, 2008). The employees also cannot sue the organization since by signing this form they have already agreed to be monitored.
Chapman, A. (2008). Ethical leadership, decision-making, and organizations. Web.
Iqbal, M. U. (2007). Legal and Ethical Implications of GPS Vulnerabilities. Web.
Joem. (2010). Is GPS Tracking Ethical? Web.
Mcnamee, A. (2005). Ethical Issues Arising from the Real-Time Tracking and Monitoring of People Using GPS-based Location Services. Web.
Ryan, S. (2007). Rewards and Recognition. Web.
Wang, J. L. (2008). Privacy and Ethical Issues in Location-Based Tracking Systems.