Analysis of leadership style
A senior executive whose leadership style has affected me positively is the director of the department that I work for in my current organization. His leadership style appears to be a combination of three leadership theories, namely, contingency, path-goal, and leader-style. The Contingency leadership theory supposes that by addressing leader-member relations, task structure, and position power, you are at the same time attending to the effectiveness of a leader. The director mediates between departmental staff members and the topmost executive of the company creating a productive relationship between these two organizational entities. In this manner, the staff members of the department feel that they are part of the company and are motivated to be more productive. The path-goal theory stresses increasing subordinate motivation by taking into account their ideas and making it clear to them how they can perform at their best.
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The director encourages departmental staff to share with him the ideas that they feel will improve job productivity. Personally, I felt motivated when I suggested a flexible working arrangement to the director when I had a pressing personal commitment and he agreed to it on the basis that it would not compromise my job performance. The leader-style theory guides leaders in making suitable decisions and also provides a measure of the extent to which subordinates can be included in the decision making process. The advantages of this style are that subordinates are committed to the organization’s objectives and it encourages leader-subordinate interaction. The director appreciates the importance of including staff members in making departmental decisions that will affect them. To him, cautiously winning staff support is a critical element in managing the department efficiently.
Analysis of organizational structure and culture
The organizational structure in question is a functional organizational structure. As such, it builds on job functions, with the direct aim of improving job and cost efficiency (Suttle, 2013, para. 3). The main organizational units in this structure are departments, whose heads are directors. The departments comprise of a team of employees with specific job skills. The director of the department reports to upper company executives and in addition mediates between them and his staff members. The organizational culture of the company inspires and supports continuous professional development (CPD). A professional setup demands that an individual maintains, advances, and broadens his or her knowledge and skills. Also in the same setup, it is imperative that this individual develops personal qualities that not only enable him or her to fit in but also to become very effective and efficient. CPD is the means through which individuals accomplish both of these. The company is striving towards achieving global standards of excellence and so it feels it has to encourage professional growth among its personnel.
Organization’s approach to team development
Considering that CPD is an important element in the company, team development as becoming of vital importance. The company generally uses all sorts of approaches to team development since team building is mainly an in-house activity. The CPD program implemented mainly consists of a mixture of team development approaches. I personally consider this approach effective in helping me develop workplace relations for the reason that I have learned to develop myself professionally through a CPD plan. Professional development planning involves a carrier reflection period, gaining self-awareness, and seeking outside input (Andragogy, n.d.).
Reflecting on your career assists in thought organization and synthesis (Andragogy, n.d.). A state of self-awareness means you are self-empowered to prefer a particular job to another because you have done a self-analysis to identify aspects of work that you are comfortable with and those that you are uncomfortable with (Andragogy, n.d.). Seeking outside input serves to ensure that you know all there is to know about yourself. A list of people that you can seek outside input from can include your mentor, supervisor, peers, or staff at your workplace. These three vital elements of a CPD plan are very useful in creating productive workplace relations among staff members.
Rating director’s performance
In terms of performance, I would rate the director as being very effective in motivating and empowering me to improve on my work performance. Ethics are the principles by which a person decides what is right and wrong. The ethical conduct of the director as encouraged me to choose him as one of the individuals from whom I seek outside input from in accordance with my CPD plan. The director possesses remarkable decision-making abilities that I mainly attribute to his ethical conduct and critical thinking culture. Critical thinking skills help an individual or organization act purely objectively and rationally (Kurland, 2000, para. 5). As mentioned earlier, the director encourages his staff to share ideas with him. To reassure staff that all ideas are welcomed he practices the best communication skills, which enable him to ensure that he listens and responds in time to all ideas and suggestions brought forward. Personally, I proposed an alternative working arrangement for myself and for others that might face a similar problem for which the director listened to, appreciated, and responded to in written form and on time. Being an important constituent of my CPD plan and a good communicator I rate the director as being effective in aiding me to improve my work performance.
Best practices for motivating employees
Three best practices that organizational leaders can use to motivate employees are equity, suitable team-working arrangements, and employee recognition. Equity in the organization ensures there are equality and fairness among employees. Suitable team-working arrangements ensure that an employee’s input in a team context is recognized and appreciated. Employee recognition ensures that there is recognition and rewarding of employees who put significant efforts in improving their job productivity. One of the potential benefits of these best practices is improving employee job performance. Clearly, motivated employees will perform better at their jobs than unmotivated employees. Another potential benefit of these best practices is reducing an organization’s operational costs by discouraging internal employee turnover, which occurs when an employee in an organization abandons his or her current position for a new position that is available to him or her in the same organization and more likely in a different department.
Challenges facing leaders in managing diversity
One of the challenges that leaders face in managing diversity in the workplace is dealing with individuals who resist diversity (Holt, 2013, para. 2). Such individuals refuse to take the organization’s diversity plan with seriousness. Their negative attitude towards diversity can undermine positive change and productivity in the organization. If employee integration workshops are unable to remedy the attitude of such individuals, it is a good management practice to lay them off. Poor communication is another challenge that organizational leaders face in managing diversity in their workplaces (Holt, 2013, para. 2). A diverse workplace commonly hosts multiple communication styles. As such, two employees with different communication styles can easily misunderstand each other. This can be a potential source of bad relations among employees and even conflict. According to Holt (2013, para. 3), encouraging the staff of an organization to “learn more about their coworkers and their communication methods” remedies poor communication due to diversity.
Another challenge that organizational leaders face in managing diversity in the workplace is developing and implementing an organized diversity plan. According to Holt, it is imperative that managers with respect to diversity plans “take an organized approach, implementing a plan that is well-thought-out and well-communicated to the staff” (Holt, 2013, para. 4). An organized approach to diversity planning can include hiring the services of a consultant who is well vast with the subject. Holt states, “one of the biggest mistakes managers make is not effectively communicating the diversity plan with the staff” (Holt, 2013, para. 4).
Ways in which diversity helps business to compete in the global market
One way in which diversity helps an organization to compete in the global market is through increasing the productivity of an organization (Andrade, 2012, para. 12). Diversity allows an organization to recruit diverse talent (Andrade, 2012, para. 12). The diverse talent while working towards a common goal tends to be more loyal and this subsequently facilitates increased productivity in an organization. Another way in which diversity helps an organization to compete in the global market is through increased creativity and problem-solving in the organization (Andrade, 2012, para. 14). As diverse individuals put their minds together creativity widens, which inspires the development of a wide range of solutions. Another way in which diversity helps an organization to compete in the global market is through the attraction and retention of high-value talent. Andrade states, making employees in an organization feel included as well as appreciated increases their loyalty to the organization (Andrade, 2012, para. 15).
Attraction and retention of high-value talent is an effective way of reducing external employee turnover, which has the potential of increasing an organization’s operational costs. Another way in which diversity helps an organization to compete in the global market is through helping to “build synergy in teams and enhancing communication skills, that brings in new attitudes and processes that profit the whole team” (Andrade, 2012, para. 16). Another way in which diversity helps an organization to compete in the global market is through good public relations. A diverse organization avoids discrimination lawsuits and therefore maintains a positive public image. Another way in which diversity helps an organization to compete in the global market is “it increases market share and creates a satisfying diverse customer base by relating to people from different backgrounds” (Andrade, 2012, para. 18).
An effective business strategy for addressing the above challenges
An effective business strategy that is useful in addressing the challenges raised above is the corporate business strategy. With this approach, an organization defines what it does, why it exists, and what it aims to become in the future. In addition to this, the organization further defines its operating market and business. The reason for choosing this approach is that it focuses on meeting stakeholder expectations; therefore, an organization manages a robust capital base that can fund consultancy and integration workshops.
Andrade, S. (2010). 6 advantages of workplace diversity. Web.
Andragogy: Creating a professional development plan. (n.d.). Web.
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Holt, M. (2013). Challenges of diversity management. Web.
Kurland D. J. (2000). What is critical thinking?. Web.
Suttle, R. (2013). Types of organizational structure in management. Web.