Management Challenges in Business
In the world of business, the management is at the center of all decisions and actions taken in the line of taking care of the business interests. It is, therefore, of the highest importance to ensure that due diligence is applied to check that the approach, nature and result of any steps made by the executives are cautious enough to guarantee that at the end, the objectives of the organization are reached (David, 2013). However, with the changing times, demands to the management are also experiencing transformations due to the diverse responsibilities that must be fulfilled concurrently to secure a smooth running of a company. First of all, management needs to ensure that conflicts are solved in a manner that all the aggrieved parties feel appreciated (Gibson, Ivancevich, Donnelly, & Konopaske, 2012). Besides, the executives have to make sure that employees are highly motivated as this is the only way to maintain efficiency in many institutions. Moreover, it is of great importance for individuals occupying senior positions to be conversant with the current trends in the field of management so that decision and action taken realigns the concerned organization in a manner that safeguards both its assets and interests. Along the same line of thinking, the following paper aims at demonstrating the common mistake many management teams make of not involving the staff into the decision-making process that highly demotivates employees as in the case of Sears Holdings (Sears/Kmart).
Management and Organizational Behavior
In any business, the organizational behavior is significantly influenced by human conduct currently existing in the concerned company. In other words, it follows the principles present in people’s behavior one way or the other (Gibson et.al, 2012). Therefore, for the management to have impact on the nature of the employees’ actions, there is a need to understand the variables involved in making them up. All these shape the approach and the nature of the decisions taken by the executives.
Variables at Play in a Business Venture
Any management needs to appreciate that there is a need for balance, discipline, motivation, and efficiency if their organization is to succeed. Moreover, employees need to feel the presence of leadership that helps to avoid the lack of coordination within the company. Therefore, there is a necessity for the senior managers to identify when to be strict and when to involve the staff members into the decision-making process (Gibson et.al, 2012). However, the latter is never present in many businesses with the whole process being concentrated in the hands of a few that is a phenomenon that not only demotivates the employees but also affects the quality if the decision taken. Nevertheless, it should be emphasized that the process needs to be as inclusive as possible since this approach is full of benefits.
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Poor Management Trend at Sears Holdings (Sears/Kmart)
Employees are very observant when it comes to how the executives are handling different occurrences within an organization. Conflict management, performance appraisal, and workers’ motivation are the primary issues that affect the majority of the staff members, and the way management deals with them can either make or break a company. There are many examples that demonstrate the fact that a lot of managerial decisions are carried out without consulting the employees that means the use of the top-to-down management approach where the final decision is understood by the workers as order. Despite this scheme being appreciated for its speedy decision-making process, the decisions taken with its help do not reflect the market demands (Robbins & Judge, 2013).
The mentioned above is the case in the Sears Holdings (Sears/Kmart). The Fox Business rated as one of the worst companies to work for in 2012 (McIntyre, Allen, & Sauter, 2012). Moreover, according to CNNMoney, sales in Kmart have dropped to alarming numbers with poor management being considered as one of the main contributors to the situation (Egan, 2015). Some of the analysts have gone further into affirming that the leader of the corporation, Lampert, is out to enrich himself without caring much about the business (McIntyre, Allen, & Sauter, 2012). There was a situation when Lampert was criticized by the press when he bought a $40 million home at exactly the same time his firm decided to close 173 stores (McIntyre, Allen, & Sauter, 2012). Employees, on the other side, have consistently asserted that the company’s “ancient system” is in urgent need of being fixed (McIntyre, Allen, & Sauter, 2012). Moreover, they constantly point out that the starting salary is way too small not to mention low wages as a result of limited working hours adding up to less than 32 hours per week (McIntyre, Allen, & Sauter, 2012). The fact that the management does not include the workers into the decision-making process can be proved by the fact that the executives are oblivious to the constant demands of the employees to rectify the aging infrastructure. Moreover, the staff members’ working for a few hours per week is a clear indication that the administration is not aware of the excess workforce.
The aforementioned facts are just but a few indicators that Sears Holdings (Sears/Kmart) is still utilizing the top-down management scheme where employees are puppets that need to follow predetermined orders. These are actions that highly demotivate the workers since they feel the management does not take into account their needs. Low wages, poor working stations, and executives that are not concerned with the welfare of the staff have become a reason of Kmart’s sales decline leading to competitors like Target making a fortune out of the misdoings of the business.
The Possible Solutions
Considering the case described above, one can notice that there is no cooperation between the management and employees of the corporation. This is evident from the fact that the employees views are not paid attention to as for example, in the case with few working hours leading to low wages, and the poor condition of shelves in different stores. Moreover, with the CEO of the company buying a lavish home while the chain is failing is an indication of an indifferent leader. There is, therefore, a need for a total managerial change where the manager will become a part of the team. When this happens, team-building becomes easy since the grievances of the staff are obvious and close to the executive (Lussier & Achua, 2012).
Involvement of the workers into the decision-making process is another aspect that Sears Holdings (Sears/Kmart) needs to consider. This highly motivates the employees since they feel appreciated; in addition, the Maslow’s Need Hierarchy proves that the feelings of belonging and love are crucial for any human being, and in case with the staff, this leads to the improved individual output (Gibson et.al, 2012). Moreover, there is a shared decision making resulting in the shared responsibility among all the parties in an organization which means better service delivery.
Furthermore, the management also ought to adopt servant leadership practices where the leader is there to serve and not be served. This brings about a situation where the person occupying this position is the pace setter and the first one to take up a task before others do (Schermerhorn, 2013). As a result, this instills self-drive among the employees leading to the improved efficiency.
In reference to low wages, there is a necessity to have an elaborate performance evaluation and payment system where the salary reflects the targets met. The good thing about having a performance appraisal is the fact that all workers are aware of the set goals and accompanying benefits. This does improve not only their motivation but also net output of a company emanating from the higher unit output per employee (Robbins & Judge, 2013).
Over and above, one should implement a workforce audit to ensure that the staff members hired are the required ones both regarding their qualifications and number. With regard to Sears Holdings (Sears/Kmart), this will lead to resizing the workforce with the remaining employees getting higher wages due to prolonged working hours. Lastly, the management need to ensure that the decisions made reflect the demands of both the workers and the customers as these are two critical components in any successful business venture.
It is evident that in management, any decision taken needs to be sensitive to both the market demands and employees’ ones. Moreover, it is obvious that in the line of striking a balance between various expectations in a business venture, there is a need to ensure that the decision-making process is inclusive. Besides, one can see that when the top-down model of management is utilized, most of the time the decisions taken do not reflect the demands of the markets since the input of the employees is not considered despite them being the agents with daily contact with the customers. It is also apparent that when the leader is a part of the team, the workers feel as a part of the organization that highly motivates them. In general, Sears Holdings (Sears/Kmart) management has to alter the decision-making process to ensure that the necessary realignments are made, and this will help the company engage in the market in a more competitive manner.