Entry and Contracting
Consultant-client working relationships should premise on several stages of effective management in terms of entry and contracting. To begin with, the consultants Lynn, Roger, and Erica did not plan to investigate the case, but they met Drew, a manager at Peppercorn Dining, who asked to provide a piece of professional advice on dealing with the management issues. However, the case did not seem to employ all generally accepted stages of concluding an agreement and formulating goals and objectives of the consulting project. As per problem identification, the manager defined the challenge of retention and recruitment in an organization because of a lack of skilled and qualified workers applying for the position. The consultants set out the plan for the action and highlighted the areas and departments that they should visit to make conclusions about the situation at the restaurant.
According to Sears et al. (2006), entry implies establishing a connection with the manager of an organization whereas contracting premises on negotiating the requirements that a client defines to improve the situation in an organization and provide alternatives for future action. At this point, the consultants focused more on listening to Drew’s complaints about his work, as well as how he perceived the situation at the restaurant. Nevertheless, the dialogue took place while one of the consultants started making conclusions about the facts he heard. Both parties agreed on working and the consultancy team developed a consistent action plan to collect all necessary information and define directions that could be introduced in the future.
Data Collection Process
While proceeding with the data collecting process, the consultancy group has managed to embrace a wide variety of data, including personal observations, interviews, and facts. The source allowed them to review and analyze Peppercorn’s managerial structure, employees’ background, their experiences, job position history, organizational culture, and communication with customers. Some of the data obtained were premised on subjective, yet expert insight into the situation. The idea of restricting Erica’s participation in the investigation is reasonable because it can prevent the objectivity of the data collected.
The main aspect of successful observation lies in asking good questions during observations and interview to receive appropriate answers to the problem. At this point, the role of a consultant is confined to a change-facilitator who should search for constant progress (Rosenfield 2013, n. p). It is important to note that “because of the interpersonal nature of the instructional consultation process, a common data collection procedure involves the utilization of audiotaping” (Rosenfield 2013, n. p.). Indeed, note-taking and recording are vital because basing the feedback session solely on observation is not accurate and effective. In this case, it seems that consultants managed to adopt the audiotaping successfully because the case introduces transcripts from the interviews, which can be analyzed by other participants to introduce their outlooks on the case.
The use of graphs, tables, schemes, and numerical data is a tangible addition to the investigation because it provides a wider picture of the organization’s background. For instance, the scheme of the floor plan of Peppercorn Dining can allow the consultants to judge on the time management and activities distributions among the employees. The organization’s chart introduces responsibility allocation among the personnel. Additionally, understanding each worker’s experience and position at the Restaurant helped the advisory group define the pitfalls of inter-managerial relations. The observations conducted by Roger, Erica, and Lynn relied predominantly on workers and senior managers rather than on their clients’ perceptions. Nevertheless, Roger managed to make notes on the worker-client interaction and define the advantages and disadvantages of it.
As soon as the data was completed, the consultants gathered a meeting to discuss the details and facts they received during observations and interviews. Through these observations, it was possible to define the patterns of behavior among servants, cooks, and supervisors working with Peppercorn Dining. Some of the consultants approached the problem from a professional point of view. This is of particular concern to Roger who managed to make observations during lunch whereas Lynn was less strict and decided to make the observation process as natural as it was possible. From this perspective, Roger should have concealed his true intentions of visiting the restaurant while interviewing the workers because it could impose some subjectivity on workers’ responses. Lynn decided to hide information about the purpose and objectives, which permitted her to gain an objective insight into the situation.
While analyzing the collected data, the consultants should have constantly interacted with the clients and have made the corresponding changes to their plan (Buono and Jamieson 2010). However, the case proves that an isolated analysis of the restaurant’s activities does not engage the manager in it. Such a technique is beneficial because the absence of authoritative pressure can dispose the employees to reveal objective details of the conditions under which they were performing their duties.
An in-depth data evaluation of the co-workers’ experience, the consultancy group should have provided an assessment of the external environment, including policies introduced by All Americans University, the situation on campus, and the clientele of the restaurant. Social, economic and political aspects are considered the driving forces of a business organization’s success because they affect and define new approaches to financing, as well as outlines new techniques in mobilizing and distributing resources (Kubr 2002, p. 86). Additionally, developing new communication and information management strategies can expand the organization’s opportunity to develop a new framework for employee-client interactions.
Attention to detail during interviews and observations shapes the general picture of events at the restaurant. Therefore, the consultants succeeded in evaluating the leading roles, conflicts, and misconceptions that existed within the internal business environment. Such activity is congruent with the idea that “people do not generally resist change, per se. They do resist venturing into unfamiliar and potential harmful territory. It’s up to the consultant to provide maps, lightning, and warm closes” (Weiss 2003, p. 11). At this point, the schemes that consultants employed were quite effective.
The above-presented approaches to collecting and evaluating information received from observations and interviews could provide a solid foundation for shaping a new action plan for improving management strategies and defining new ethical, cultural, and moral frameworks to operate in a business environment. Therefore, before feeding back on the organization’s activities, the meeting will first discuss the basic elements of the assessment. Specific attention will be given to such aspects as staffing strategies, retention culture, recruitment procedures, development of new scheduling approaches, reward and promotion, stratification and managerial structure, communication and leadership, and responsibility distribution.
When it comes to human resources management, Drew should introduce a completely different view on this issue. To begin with, high performance and low turnover in an organization determine the profits and revenues, as well as establish moral and corporate social responsibility (Deresky and Crhistopher 2008). Therefore, it is highly necessary to introduce specialized training programs and performance tests to employees. Because the personnel is composed of a diverse staff, it is highly necessary to define the positions that can alleviate the conflicts and settle interpersonal communication (Cornelius 2001). This is of particular concern to the dish area in which workers experience the highest degree of pressure imposed on them. Changing responsibilities is another important stance that Drew should consider. For instance, the poor waiter’s responsibility does not provoke much enthusiasm and perspectives for professional growth. Therefore, it is necessary to provide a new position that can combine this occupation with some alternative duties, such as booking tables, escorting the clients to their places, and making orders.
Rewarding and promotion is other pitfall that the manager fails to consider properly. Apart from developing sick leave pay and focusing on turnover, Drew should also be concerned with introducing career promotion for employees who have been working for the Peppercorn Dining for more than 5 years. In such a manner, employees would become much more committed and dedicated to the organization’s activity and performance. Investment in human capital is another intangible variety that brings in revenues and profits to the company (Deb 2006, p. 86). Therefore, promotion is a kind of reward for successful performance and commitment to the organization’s goals.
Finally, communication and leadership are another significant factors that influences business prosperity. At this point, Drew should establish strict boundaries of business relations that could exclude the familiarity and provide a new organizational hierarchy.
Buono, AF, and Jamieson, DW 2010, Consultation for Organizational Change, IAP, North Carolina.
Cornelius, N 2001, Human Resource Management: A Managerial Perspective. Cengage Learning, Connecticut.
Deb, T 2006, Strategic Approach to Human Resources Management. Atlantic Oceans, US.
Deresky, H and Crhistopher, E 2008, International Management: Managing Across Borders and Cultures, Pearson Education, Australia.
Kubr, M 2002, Management Consulting: A Guide to the Profession. International Labour Organization, US.
Roselfield, G 2013, Instructional Consultation Teams: Collaborating for Change, Routledge, New York.
Sears, R, Rudisill, J, Mason-Sears, C 2006, Consultations Skills for Mental Health Professionals, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, Jew Jersey.
Weiss, A 2003, Organizational Consulting: How to Be an Effective Internal Change Agent. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey.