The purpose of this report is to ponder over two organizational issues that have occurred and reflect about the causes and the solutions to the issues in retrospect. This exercise is meant to ponder over underlying reasons and the causes of this issue. It seeks to decipher how I felt personally and how the issue was indicative of personal and managerial effectiveness, so that a career development plan can be developed based on these reflections.
This is a for-action reflective report that first outlines personal effectiveness and then managerial effectiveness based on the analysis of these issues on the foundation of the Gibbs model of reflection.
The First Issue
The first issue has been that of employees not being able to write effective reports for their supervisors which means that the there is information missing from these reports and that these reports are not in the format that can enable easy decision making for supervisors. This creates a duplication of efforts as the supervisors then have to go to the roots of the issue themselves and factor in information that has been missing or that is not appropriately represented in the report.
The next issue has been that of employees being unable to adapt to the new software systems that have been installed in the company and that employees have been frustrated by the kind of work that is required of them to use it.
The Gibbs model of reflection is as follows:
Personal reflections of effectiveness for the first issue concerning employees not knowing how to report in the needed format is concerned the context of the issue is that a supervisor was overheard screaming at his subordinate that she did not know how to write a report and that he was already short of time, and ill prepared reports were taking away crucial time and energy. The issue happened during office hours and the criticism was publicly overheard in the office during work hours.
The shouting was not a onetime event, the supervisor had long been complaining of the report-writing problems as it had actually caused losses in the organization once before as well. The focus of the issue however will be on the process of report writing and will be evaluated on the basis of the outcome of the exercise which will be an improved report.
My thoughts at the time when this shouting was occurring tended to wander from one person to the other, the supervisor and then the subordinate and back to the supervisor again. I wondered which party was at fault, the supervisor who had not encouraged the subordinate to get training on the issue, or the subordinate who had too much work on her head, so that she couldn't complete her work properly, nevertheless ask for report-writing training.
Later I thought that maybe it is the fault of the HR department which did not hire the person based on skills required, and then did not even prompt to train the person, even if it did hire someone without some of the skills. My feelings on the other hand ranged from perturbed to unsettled and then to calm again -- when I thought that I would speak to the HR manager and ask him to arrange for a report-writing course in order to help those who needed it. I was perturbed that such conversation was overheard in the whole department and it was much to the subordinate's chagrin as he felt insulted along with his morale having been lowered.
At the end of the shouting regimen, things were not amicably resolved as the subordinate, having taken deep offence at this public humiliation said that she would resign with immediate notice and would only serve the stipulated remaining period as served by the contract. Therefore, things did not go well at all where the supervisor also took to the remark and indicated that he didn't care if the subordinate resigned. And that was where the matter ended, with the report, which was the actual work being thrown aside.
The factors that affected the outcome were the lack of skills and training in the subordinate that led to the frustration of the supervisor. The next factor was the reoccurrence of the same problem, which had not been resolved the first time around. Moreover what hindered the outcome was the lack of anyone else intervening and trying to bring an end to the issue at hand as no one felt that they had a right in the situation. The reason for this non-involvement was the strict punitive consequences that had to be suffered by any employee who was fond at the scene of a conflict, regardless of their actual involvement in the process. Therefore no one interfered.
The event happened as the supervisor and the subordinate were both stretched to their threshold of patience, with the subordinate not improving by learning and the supervisor not getting to the root cause of the issue.
Had the issue been handled the first time around, when the supervisor learnt that his subordinate was lacking in report writing skills, he should have nominated her himself for the training. Instead what he did was to make her write more reports in the hope that practice would make perfect. But the crux of the problem was that the subordinate did not know what she was doing wrong to even begin to counter it.
Had I been in the position of the supervisor, I would have asked her why she had done particular things. Having heard her part where I would have also asked her about her trainings in report writing I would have immediately nominated her for a course. However if the course wasn't possible, I would recommend some books as well as give her an example of a report to study and try to emulate till such a course was offered.
The negative event could have definitely been avoided had the issue been resolved amicably at the first time. Moreover even if it had occurred the second time the shouting incident could have still been avoided if the supervisor had accepted this problem and had anticipated it in retrospect. The positive events that could have been made more effective were that when the subordinate was listening and not reacting, the supervisor should have calmed down and kept his tone low yet assertive and explained gently what was required and in this respect this positive window of opportunity would have been utilized in a positive and a more effective way.
As far as the future action is concerned, this will have to be avoided at all costs by training all those who have not been good at report writing. Therefore in order to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome, which is a faultless report, I would work with HR to make sure that all new entrants who have not practiced report-writing in schools take the preparations. As far as the minimization of negative outcomes is concerned, I would make sure that public insult of anyone is taken as a punishable offence.
Managerial effectiveness entails whether the management has been successful in dealing with the issues or not. As far as the context is concerned, the issue in terms of the management could have been better handled where the managers of the company could have come in to mitigate the problems and played a more proactive role in the personality and skills development of its own people to its own benefits. As far as my thoughts are concerned, as regards to managerial effectiveness I felt outraged at the management's ineffectiveness and its inability to stop the problem and to take a more proactive step in mitigating it. Moreover, they also kept mum about what their clear-cut requirements were and in that respect report writing was not a standardized process with a set structure. The factors that affected the outcome where both parties -- the subordinate and the supervisor, started avoiding each other rather than collaborating was the lack of managerial and administrative will to resolve the issue constructively, and instead of training the young subordinate, they accepted her resignation. Therefore the issue was not satisfactorily resolved at all. (Picket, 1998)
Had the managers come to the scene and assured each that training would be provided alleviating insecurities among the rest of the workforce as well as mitigating the issue amicably. Another alternate action could have been the arbitration of both parties in order to bring them in alignment with the organization's objectives in relation to their personal objectives. If in case such an event occurs, the future action would be to engage both the parties in meaningful dialogue at a later date when emotions had cooled, and move them away from each other during the time that differences existed, putting organizational goals ahead of their needs.