In this second phase of interviews with senior management, both direct and indirect studies of the congruence of their behavior and actions with the cultural norms and values they verbally endorse will be compared with their actual behaviors and actions. Seeing if the senior management of Acme Software "walks the talk" of empowering employees and honoring their contributions will be evaluated. While these two attributes are not specifically called out in the case details, there is the very good chance that these values are regularly endorsed by senior management. The congruence of their many statements and their actions needs to be qualified through a series of observations and interviews, because disconnects at this level would reverberate quickly throughout the remainder of the company. If the senior managers below the C-level executives sense a less that complete commitment to making the most of peoples' talents and abilities, and allowing them to make the most of themselves, immediate managers below then will quickly realize that the talk of valuing employees is in fact that; just talk. This indeed does sound negative, yet given the high attrition and turn-over in the company, it is feasible that this dichotomy in what gets said and what gets done is occurring. Further research from the standpoint of asking specific questions will reveal additional insights into why the top managers of the company are leaving so frequently. Additionally, the steps of doing indirect and direct observation followed by interviews will also give the researchers an opportunity to monitor the morale of the company and the reasons for both positive and negative perspectives. Morale is no doubt waning in specific departments given the high turnover, and isolating the specific reasons why can be accomplished through this three-step process. Delving deeper into morale and its influence on making key members of the management team consider leaving the company the many issues of equality of rewards, both intrinsic and extrinsic, also needs to be monitored and evaluated. Finally, using a purely ethnographic approach to interview recently departed key members of the management team will be the capstone step in the research methodology, specifically focusing on the main divergences in attitudes, beliefs, and values. Performing this type of GAP analysis in expectations vs. The reality of the company yields further insights into why turnover is occurring in the senior- and mid-level management of the company. In further defining the gaps between intention and action, stated strategies and actual ones, and most importantly between valuing the contributions and unique insights of employees vs. just running the company as fast it can execute will be ascertained by a series of open-ended questions shown in the next session. This is critical for developing a 360 degree view of what is happening with senior management and their stated vs. real actions and beliefs when it comes to managing employees and their motivations. The next section specifically focuses on the questions which will be asked during the interview process with the hardest-hit area of turnover, those senior managers who are most critical to the success of the company and who have been the most prevalent in leaving.
Questions to be asked
The following are the key questions that will be asked during the interview process. These will be first validated through the indirect and direct observations with both senior and middle-management:
Reflect on the statement that your manager "Creates an open, trusting and respectful relationship with me," is this true or false and why?
Does your manager sets clear cut goals for you?
Your manager discusses the results you are expected to achieve? How often?
Reflect and comment on the statement "My manager assesses my work against identified goals and objectives." How often does this happen and is it thorough or just cursory?
Reflect and comment on the statement "My manager keeps me informed about the issues affecting my work and really listens to me." How true or false is this statement.
Do you agree or disagree with the statement that your manager really listens to you? If so, to what extent and how often?
Have you seen instances or situations where your manager can be disagreed with on work-related issues without fear of reprisal? How often has this happened in the last six months and what was the outcome?
To what extent to you agree or disagree with the statement that your manager "includes me in decisions and actions that have an impact on my work and takes my suggestions seriously to improve things." How often and to what extent has your manager exhibited this?
Comment on the statement "My manager can be counted on to keep his or her promises and her or she is trustworthy." In short, what is the level of credibility your manager has today...
Clearly the need for gaining insights into why senior and mid-level managers are leaving, and despite the claims companies typically rely on during this type of problem, it likely has nothing to do with salary or perks including amenities. In fact Acme Software most likely has a significant amount invested in these areas already to just be competitive in this marketplace. Instead, the challenge is of keeping the senior- and mid-level managers emotionally engaged and intellectually challenged in their work. It would not be surprising to find that Acme Software is running as fast as it can as an organization, with pure execution the goal with little regard for the coordination and broader synchronization with key employees. Often in high growth, high pressure environments there are also significant political pressures that emerge as it looks like one set of political allies will rise above another. At the most fundamental level however the majority of senior- and mid-level managers want respect, challenges that align with their core strengths, and in short, the opportunity to contribute to the depths of their expertise. By the time senior managers attain that level of achievement in their careers decisions become second-nature and the sense of what needs to be done comes easily to the most talented in these ranks of workers. Not allowing them to use the advanced skills they have in the service of the company and the ability to deliver superior performance based on their advanced skill sets is what these professionals crave, not additional perks or money. In conclusion the research will undoubtedly find that turnover is more due to a lack of control being shared at these levels of management, including the opportunity to define and execute specific strategies for their product and project areas.
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strategy for understanding turnover…
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