Working with and Leading People

Cool Sounds is an established music retailer throughout the UK and it has around 280 stores and 15000 employees, both full time as well as part-time. The products sold by Cool Sounds range from CDs and DVDs to software for computer consoles. The organization has a tall structure and most of the decisions are made from the Head Offices although leading people is usually the specific remit to store management team.
Cool Sounds has planned to open a new flagship store in Coventry and hire 80 more employees. I being the general manager of the store have prepared this paper to address some of the issues related to recruitment, selection and retention, leadership, performance appraisal, etc. (Anthony, Kacmar & Perrwe 2005). RECRUITMENT, SELECTION AND RETENTION What does Cool Sounds look for in its employees? Cool Sounds looks for a strong academic record when assessing the application of employees.
Past experience shows that academic skills are seldom sufficient to be a successful professional within a company as challenging, dynamic and diverse as Cool sounds. Therefore, Cool Sounds has identified four skills and qualities as being essential to performing to the high standards that they expect from their employees. Capacity, achievement, relationships and technicality are these skills identified by Cool Sounds. Capacity is the diagnostic ability to put problems in an extensive but in a relevant view.

Achievement is the ability to get things done. Relationships refer to the ability to work efficiently with others in a team and technicality is the ability to understand and approach technical issues coupled with an enthusiasm for technical challenge. The HR management refers to these qualities throughout their assessment and selection process, looking for candidates who can show them to a greater degree than their contemporaries. (Benefiel 2008). Applications and resumes
Cool Sounds offers an amazing range of recruitment in many different fields and also requires people from diverse backgrounds. Every year Cool Sounds examine its business requirements and accordingly they conduct external recruiting and for this, they should advertise in the leading newspapers and shortlist the candidates suitable by interviewing them after which they must select candidates on the basis of their degree, although work experience really counts but they should also recruit candidates on the basis of their answers and intelligence.
All applications should be assessed and candidates based on the above mentioned qualities and both internal and external selections should be done. Cool Sounds should recruit employees both internally and externally. (Butteriss 1998). The Interview Process Once the recruiters have reviewed the candidates’ application forms and CVs/Resumes, they must conduct telephonic or face-to-face interview and many other interview techniques and questions must be asked to determine the personality of the candidate.
Cool Sounds must conduct competency based interviews in order to evaluate the competence in a candidate. (Barker 2008). Situational interviews are conducted by asking questions like e. g. ‘A person in your team is disrupting information, how would you handle the situation? ’ Behavioral interviews should also be conducted in which Cool Sounds should inquire about the candidates’ achievements and any challenges they have faced e. g. ‘Please tell us about a time when you were under great pressure? How did you cope? What was the outcome? The content of the responses to the questions asked should then assessed by Cool sounds. Offer and Onboarding Once the candidates have been successfully selected to work in the organization, they should be called in for a management trainee program. (Clawson & Corner 2004). Offer To give their candidates the best value they can get, Cool Sounds should make sure that it provides the job that the person wants, for instance, if the employee is more flexible about their preferred job and location, the more likely should Cool Sounds should be able to give what the employee want.
After finding a suitable vacancy, the employee should be invited to a ‘Get to Know You’ session so that the employee meets the business managers they’ll be working with, as well as some of their team, and find out more about the position. This would also give the employees as well as the company itself to double check whether the candidate is suitable or not and if a suitable match is lacking at this point, Cool Sounds must continue to explore for more candidates. Gravett 2003). Onboarding This is when the employees’ career begins with Cool Sounds and the onboarding programs should be carried out so that employees can get to know the organization better. Moreover, the company should always be ready to guide its employees in the best possible way, so that the employees can have a feel of what their job role is in the organization, what they are supposed to do, and find out how Cool Sounds operates itself. Retention Rewards and Benefits
Rewards and benefits are major set of HRM activities and so Cool Sound should provide their employees rewards and benefits and the most common rewards they can give to the employees are worker’s compensation, social security and unemployment insurance. Reward System Reward system serves as a strategic purpose of attracting, motivating and retaining people, therefore Cool Sounds should provide bonus to their employees in order improve the performances of the employees.
By taking a look to the performance of the employee or his sincerity with the organization, the employees should be given rewards to keep them motivated. (John 2001). Pay Structure Pay structure is the difference of pays of employees within the organization and it is vital to give the same pays to the employees having same designation so that no sort of conflict arises between them; however the pay must only be different for employees on the basis of their performance. Individual Pay Decisions
To promote the employees, individual pay decisions should be made as well and Cool Sounds must ensure that employee’s individual contribution is recognized and rewarded through performance-related pay and bonuses, moreover, facilities must be provided to their hardworking employees and they should also work on the enhancement of the technical knowledge of the employees. Other factors of retention Health and medical benefits should be provided to the employees, every employee should be fairly treated and job security should be provided to them. (Kay 2000). Legal and ethical issues
When staff is to be recurited, some legal and ethical issues need to be considered. Code of ethics These include age and gender, race and religion discrimination and sexual harassment and it is mandatory for the HR Department of Cool Sounds to make sure a fair treatment of employees. Employees know that they are safe and they can approach someone in case they are unfairly treated by anyone. Legal issues The HR Department should act as a negotiator and works to establish cooperation between the legal entities, regulatory agencies, supervisors and employees to properly address and determine the issue prevailing.
BUILDING WINNING TEAMS. The culture followed by an organization highlights its personality. Culture basically comprises of the assumptions, the values and norms of an organization, the financial position of the organization and about its members and their behaviors. Whenever a new member is added to an organization, they don’t take much time to study and learn about the type of culture being followed by an organization. However, every organization has its different culture and although new employees may take time to adjust but they soon get to know about it and work accordingly and the culture of an organization makes an organization different from others.
The culture an organization adopts should be such that it should be accepted by all the employees and it basically helps to understand the human system in an organization and there are basically two types of challenges a culture has to overcome. Once an employee joins an organization, he has to get accustomed to its culture effectively and only those who can adopt it well can survive. After the employees adopt the culture, it leads to a collective learning process creating shared assumption and beliefs. Team learning
This refers to the learning that develops the ability in a team to create the results expected and desired by the other members. It further builds personal mastery and shared vision. Team learning leads to good results and growth becomes more rapid. Team learning is dependent on the type of members a team consists of and the way they think and take the other members. (Kline & SaCool Soundsders 1997). Problematic areas One of the major problems being faced by the HR department is because of the diversified workforce at an organization. Many people feel uncomfortable to working with people of a different age, sex, or culture.
Despite the fact that employing people from different groups is good but it can lead to a clot of conflicts. The management has to manage a diversified workforce effectively or it can effect employee satisfaction and productivity negatively and the employees who recognize themselves as valued members of their organization are more diligent, concerned, and innovative and this tends them to work harder. Another problem can be the economic unrest prevailing. People from diversified groups would be having different definition of ambition.
The outcome of ambition is mostly unpredictable, some ambitions begun in selflessness end in rancor; others begun in selfishness end in large-heartedness. It can at times be uncontrollable as well and some people may not be able handle ambition serving it as a grief to others. It also leads to jealousy. Other than that, people might opt any way to achieve their goals and these might be unlawful as well. Team Charter • Policy formulation – It is essential for the employees to obey the set of rules and policies set by Cool Sounds as this is essential so that proper regulation can be maintained at the work place. (Christensen & Irwin 1976) Knowledge Management – It relates to the programs such as the objectives of the organizations, creating ways to improve the performance of the employees, developing a competitive advantage and creating innovation. (Evans 2003). • Ethics – this is the most important area of philosophy is about right conduct and good life and is considerably broader than the common idea of analyzing right and wrong. • Customer Satisfaction – Serving the customers well. Team roles identified by Belbin These roles are identified on the basis of the behaviour of the people when they work in teams and these have a great impact on their performance as well.
The roles that Beblin identified are mentioned below. Action Oriented Role • Implementer – the role of the implementer is to translate the ideas and the decisions of the team into actions that can be managed. • Shaper – his role is rather goal directed and more challenging as he has to overcome obstacles and work under great pressure. • Completer/Finisher – the basic task of the completer is to meet deadlines. People Skills Oriented Role • Co-ordinator – facilitates interaction as well as decision making. • Teamworker – it is vital for the teammaker to listen attentively to his team members, to be collaborative and to cooperate with them. Resource Investigator – developing contacts, have excellent communications skills and exploring new ideas are the basic roles played by a resource investigator. Cerebral/Intellectual Role • Planter – his basic goal is to solve problems. • Monitor/Evaluator – having good judgemental and thinking skills are essential for an evaluator. • Specialist – constant learning and building knowledge. The ideas that are proposed by the team members should be implemented in the store if they are feasible. For instance, in the case of Cool Sounds, both the shaper as well as the completer is important so that the store can do its best.
To make the store operate in a better way, it would be good to discuss ideas with the team members so that new things can be implemented and this would give a competitive edge to the store. Moreover, it is also vital for the planter to solve problems and negotiate with the team members in order to keep things going in an orderly manner and to avoid conflicts. LEADERSHIP Leadership is basically the process of social influence in which one particular person is able to help and support the others in order to accomplish a common task. It is also about creating something that could help out the people achieve something that is extraordinary.
There are a lot of leadership theories proposed by many theorists. Leadership style is the manner or approach of providing direction; implementing plans and motivating people and according to Kurt Lewin, the 19th Century German psychologist suggested three different styles of leadership. All three styles of leadership can be used by Cool Sounds depending on the type of the employees they have hired. (Kouzes & Posner 2008) Styles of Leadership 1. Authoritarian /autocratic – Such leaders have full authority to take decisions and are preferred by such employees who need close supervision in order to complete the tasks assigned to them. Northhouse 2006). 2. Participative or democratic – Such leadership involves including the employees in decision making, however the final decision is taken by the leader. 3. Delegate of Free reign – The leader permits the employees to make decisions for them. However, in any event leaders are the ones who are actually responsible for all their decisions. This style is usually used where employees are few and have greater awareness. (Lee 1991). Skills in leaders The leaders are the ones who should encourage their juniors to suggest ideas that could lead to creativity and innovation.
The employees should be rewarded, supported and proper amalgamation should be provided for the processes. Fund learning should be encouraged. This can be done by prioritizing it into budgets and work plans and to make it accessible to the employees or it would be of no use. Trust and respect should be placed on all the levels of the organization. Free communication and personalization should be allowed. Constant training or at least monthly or yearly training programs should be held for all the staff to keep on learning new things.
The return on investment should be taken care of. The employees should know how much they are contributing to the company. These are some more factors that could help UN to retain their current employees. (Leat 2001). In order to manage conflicts, the leaders should use conflict management i. e. an amalgamation of different processes that aids in eliminating the sources of conflict and these processes includes negotiation, mediation and diplomacy and dispute resolution or alternative dispute resolution are other terms for conflict resolution.
Motivational techniques Empowerment It facilitates the process of making choices and translating these choices into decisions by enhancing the choice making abilities of involved individuals and groups. As a result of this empowerment, individual and collective assets are created which are crucial to the efficiency of organizational and institutional development which controls the utilization of these assets. (Schein 1993) Equity theory This is all about how satisfied an employee is regarding the distribution of resources.
The theory was proposed by John Stacy Adams in 1962 and he said that employees seek to maintain equity between the inputs and the outcomes. Everyone expects to be fairly treated and this keeps them motivated to stay in an organization. This theory is basically based on the ratio of inputs (contribution made by employees) to the outcomes (behaviors and contribution of the employees). This theory would be useful for Cool Sounds because it describes the relationship between the level of motivation that an employee has and the way he receives equitable or inequitable treatment.
This relationship is basically between the employee and the employer. With this, the issue to comparison arises as what the employees do is that they compare their input and outcome with that of the others. The inputs mainly are the time the employee gives to accomplish a task, his expertise experience and skills, etc. however, the outcomes are the monetary compensation such as the benefits the employees receive and likewise. Therefore, it can affect the morale, efficiency, productivity, and turnover of the employees at the organization.
Furthermore, there are certain assumptions of this theory when it is being applied to a business. For instance, if an employee expects a fair return for her contribution and by comparing her input and outcomes or is not being fairly treated. This comparison is called social comparison and this discourages the employees badly and if the management does not work on it and the result of this would be that the employees will start distorting their inputs as well as the outputs. Therefore, the organization must ensure that they take care of all this in future.
Expectancy theory This is basically about choice and the way in which people make choices. It is a motivation theory and was proposed by Victor Vroom. In this theory, the level of motivation of the employees is expected to rise when they put more efforts to do the tasks they are assigned to do and this makes them do better work and this leads to organizational rewards that are valued by the employees. Two things that the expectancy theory emphasizes is the self-interest of the rewards that the employees want and how the employees behave with reference to it.
According to this theory, the behaviour of the employees is a result from conscious choices among alternatives. The sole purpose of this theory is to maximize pleasure and reduce the pain involved in completing a task. This theory is based on three concepts that results in motivation. 1. Valence – this is what an employee prefers for a particular outcome and the employee must be motivated to prefer to attain an outcome than the idea of not attaining it. 2. Instrumentality – the extent to which a first level outcome leads to the second level. . Expectancy – Probability that an action will lead to the first level outcome. Therefore, Cool Sounds must use proper reward systems making sure that the performance of the employees is measured properly. WORK AND DEVELOPMENT NEEDS As the store would be divided into various sections that must function effectively, some work activities need to be analyzed. For this, it is important for the leaders to plan out things for each department efficiently and motivate the employees of the respective department to perform well.
The development needs of an employee can be identified by doing performance appraisal and it would also help to identify the effectiveness of the activities. Performance Appraisal Performance appraisal is done for the purpose of promotions. It is the assessments of an employee’s performance. It serves for administrative and developmental purposes. Administrative purpose provides information for making salary, promotion, lay-off decisions and documentation. Developmental purpose can be used to diagnose training needs and career planning.
Cool Sounds appraises its employees because feedback and coaching based on appraisal information provide the basis for improving day-to-day performance. (Perlmutter, Bailey & Netting 2000). Results Appraisal Cool Sounds should appraise its employees’ performance. Results appraisals tend to be more objective and can focus on production data such as sales volumes or profits. Management by Objectives A process in which objective set by subordinate and supervisor must be reached within a given time period. This is another name given to “Results appraisal. ”
Aim of MBO. Cool Sounds must use MBO to achieve a set of goals that is clear, specific and reachable, and when managers want to empower employees to adapt their behavior as they deem necessary in order to achieve desired results. The standard of performance at Cool Sounds should be based on job analysis after which performance standards should be notified to its employees. (Morgan 1997). Managers and Supervisors Cool Sounds should also use its managers and supervisors as a source of appraisal information because they are often in a best position to observe an employees performance.
Internal and External Customers Cool Sounds should use its internal and external customers as sources of performance appraisal information and it is a good idea for employees to evaluate their own performance. 360-Degree Appraisal Cool Sounds should also use multiple sources of appraisal to gain a comprehensive perspective of one’s performance because each source of performance appraisal information has some limitations, and different people may see different aspects of performance. 60-degree appraisal is beneficial and would be accepted by employee if not linked with increments. (Frappaolo 2006). Performance Appraisal Interview Employees want to know how they are doing, but typically they are comfortable about getting feedback. Cool Sounds should conduct performance appraisal interviews thoughtfully and must summarize the employees’ specific performance, and then supports the employees who are not performing well and appreciates those whose performances are good.
Conclusion. Therefore, it is essential for Cool Sounds to take care of the employees they select and recruit because the employees serve as an asset of an organization and so it is a must for them to retain them as well. Moreover, they must also manage the teams well and good leadership skills are essential to make the employees work well. Conducting performance appraisal is also necessary as it can help Cool Sounds find out the level of performance of the employees and how they can further improve their performance. (Lewis 2003).

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