Joanna Reed considered all details of the work of the Donor Services Department and found several issues. She understands that the department is not efficient enough as employees do not understand their roles and do not complete their tasks correctly. Joanna concludes that employees need the training to be able to complete their work properly and avoid any errors.
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She also believes that the relationships within the department are not adequate as the employees do not respect their supervisor. At the same time, the supervisor lacks experience. Some employees are quite reluctant to work and often spend time talking while others are overwhelmed by the workload. Joanna thinks it is necessary to distribute tasks in a more efficient way. She also notices that the outline of the office is not efficient.
Since the number of employees in the department will increase, Joanna should recommend Sam to implement the change. In the first place, it is possible to start with the office layout. Elena (who has official visitors) should have a separate space (or a separate room) to avoid a lot of distraction as visitors often talk with other employees. It is also necessary to provide separate spaces for employees who complete similar tasks.
Employees need training, and it is essential to launch training sessions. More so, it is crucial to make sure that all workers understand their roles and their competences. Furthermore, employees should get tasks corresponding to their skills and experience. It is also possible to launch some team-building training to improve the atmosphere within the department. Finally, it is essential to work on motivation.
Translators may get training (if necessary) and work with English-speaking visitors. At that, there is minimum translation now, and the work completed by other employees should be delegated to translators.
Sam and Jose are inspirational leaders, but their style is laissez-faire. Leaders of this kind give a lot of freedom to their employees. Thus, Sam relies on Jose, who completes a part of his work exceptionally but lacks for attention to details concerning administrative work. Jose also relies on Elena and prefers spending time in the field working with people. Employees respect Sam and Jose.
However, this leadership style can be used with highly professional and trained employees who can work without supervision. This is not the case with the department in question. Elena is meticulous and does her job well. She sees the flaws of other employees but she does not want to confront them. Elena’s leadership style is democratic and sometimes laissez-faire. She tries to help employees and she listens to their ideas and complaints.
However, Elena does not exercise authority in the department and does not want to take hard decisions. In this department, these leadership styles will not work as employees lack for training, experience and ability to work in a team. Performance of employees and the entire department is poor, as a result.
It is possible to use autocratic style to develop a team of professionals and after that, the leader (for instance, Elena) can use democratic or even laissez-faire style.
As has been mentioned above, employees are not motivated enough. In this department, training can be one of the most effective motivation strategies. Employees should know how to work efficiently. Besides, translators should be equally involved in the work with English-speaking visitors.
They can also perform different administrative tasks to assist those who are overwhelmed by paperwork. Magdalena should not complete tasks that are below her level of competence and this will also be a motivation strategy. Clearly, monetary rewards or extra days off can be very motivational as well.
It is also important to handle Juana who shows disrespect and distracts other employees. First, it is necessary to explain to Juana as well as the rest of the employees (especially bilingual ones) that Elena is a highly professional supervisor who can run the office.
These employees should also understand their roles. It is possible to have a conversation with Juana and discuss such issues as respect, authority, subordination, ethics and so on. It can be effective to develop a code of conduct to prevent Juana and other employees from humiliating others. There is no need in firing her as she is a professional who fulfills her tasks properly.
There are some cultural factors affecting the case. One of the issues is religion. Elena practices another religion and other employees often offend her because of this. Admittedly, in Latin America, issues concerning religion are very serious and people pay a lot of attention to it.
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Apart from this, there is an issue concerning status. Bilingual employees expect to have more well-paid jobs and more respect due to their knowledge of another language. It is important to take this cultural peculiarity when implementing changes in the department. Of course, there is a lot of communication between English-speaking people and locals. This can result in numerous misunderstandings as still the culture of local people differs from that of visitors.