1. As you study Henry’s problem, think about what you would advise Henry to do.
I would advise Henry to assess the reasons why the supervisors are requesting transfers to other stores. Although Henry does offer his supervisors a pay incentive plan that provides financial rewards to employees who cut cost and increases sales, he does not take the time to communicate with his employees to find out if they have the tools that they need to perform their jobs effectively. Henry should meet with his supervisors once he discovers where he missed the mark. He will then be better prepared to improve his communication methods with his staff of supervisors. Once he makes this necessary change this could mean a world of difference in regaining the trust of his supervisors as this will display to them that he is listening and recognizes that there is in fact a problem and that he intends to right his wrong.
2. What does Henry need to know about communication competency?
Henry needs a basic understanding of communication competency, at the minimum. This would be the least amount required for someone in his position. It would be preferable that a manager have an extensive amount of experience in communication competency, but at the minimum, Henry should be able to effectively communicate with his peers and subordinates, including the two managers. In this scenario, Henry has not taken any proactive stand at any time to actually communicate with the managers under his supervision.
3. Discuss the relationship between communication and motivation. There is a strong relationship between communication and motivation. In order for employees and managers to both become and stay motivated, communication is essential. When there is an active dialogue between managers and subordinates, it provides motivation because the employees/managers are aware of exactly what is expected of them, and the lines of communication are open. Employees that know that the lines of communication are open are more likely to make use of the communication process by discussing grievances and other issues with their supervisor.
4. Directly reference the theories of motivation you have learned about in this unit. The rewards theory is predominantly used in this scenario. Henry is using a pay incentive program to reward the supervisors for cutting expenses and/or for increasing sales. By doing so, he is rewarding based on the actions of the supervisors and their ability to accomplish the goals that lead to greater pay through the pay incentive program.
According to the Rewards Theory, the actions of the supervisors will continue as long as they are receiving pay incentives which act as a reward for their actions. If Henry ends the pay incentive program, the supervisors will have less motivation to reduce expenses and increase sales, which will likely lead to a decrease in supervisor performance in these areas.
The Social Information Process Theory is also predominant in this scenario. This theory is based upon the premise that people’s needs and attitudes are determined by the information available to them at any given time. This can be applied in regards to Henry and the supervisors, each from their own standpoint. Henry has a lack of information as to why the supervisors are requesting transfers. Although it can be reasonably assumed that they are requesting transfers due to a complete lack of communication from Henry, he is unaware of the specific reasons.
The supervisors are not receiving information from Henry. His contact with his subordinates is very limited, or so it appears so based on the details of the case. This has created a condition where the lack of feedback and information given by Henry to the supervisors has created attitudes in the supervisors based on the lack of communication, which is a detrimental aspect of the relationship between Henry and the supervisors.
5. Relate the case to the following ten work-related items Be specific about the participants of the case and the work-related items.
1. Sensitivity to personal problems
Henry is under the impression that because he is busy and works hard that his complete lack of communication skills should be acceptable. He believes that the managers should be thankful for how hard he works for them, and to benefit them by what he believes to be always considering their best interests.
2. Interesting work
Henry believes that because he has given the supervisors a viable means to stay engaged in their work, that they should find the work interesting. This is not directly stated by Henry but is reflected in the intonation of his comments when he reacts to the news that the supervisors have asked for transfers.
Henry has added to the pay structure by implementing a pay incentive program for the supervisors. Henry believes that ideally the program should provide enough of an incentive for the supervisors to work hard, and to accomplish the goals of increasing sales and/or decreasing expenses. The managers likely feel that the pay initiative is an added benefit, but still completely lack any real form of communication with Henry.
4. Job security
It is apparent that the supervisors enjoy having job security, or they would have terminated their employment instead of requesting transfers. Henry likely has job security as well, but not enough information is given concerning Henry’s position to make an accurate determination or analysis of his position from a job security standpoint.
5. Loyalty of company to employees
Although it is evident that Henry believes he is being loyal to the supervisors, there is a complete lack of communication, and the degree of loyalty that the two supervisors believe is taking place would be much less than Henry’s opinion. It also appears that Henry has loyalty to the employer, which is indicated by his comment about working hard for the benefit of the managers. The managers also show loyalty to the company, because they request a transfer and do not terminate their employment.
6. Tactful and constructive criticism
Based on the information provided, Henry has not given the supervisors any constructive criticism. The pay incentive program does not constitute any form of tactful or constructive criticism because it is being used as a sole motivator with no feedback or communication. Because there is a lack of constructive criticism between Henry and the supervisors, Henry appears withdrawn and non-communicative with his subordinates.
7. Appreciation for work
Henry is under the impression that the supervisors don’t appreciate how hard he works. The supervisors have no indication if they are appreciated, because Henry has been completely non-communicative. The main reason that the supervisors want to be transferred is so that they can receive constructive criticism and feedback regarding their work, which they can then use to increase their knowledge, skills, and abilities for their given positions.
8. A sense of belonging
Because Henry has mostly isolated himself from the supervisors, there is likely a predominant feeling on behalf of the supervisors that they don’t belong. Henry has made no substantial effort to include the supervisors in any constructive manner. Henry feels he belongs to the company, which is indicated through his dedication and hard work, but he has isolated himself causing his subordinates to likely feel as if they don’t belong as a viable part of the company.
9. Good working conditions
Henry has not advocated good working conditions by his behavior. If the working conditions were solid, the managers would have never requested a transfer to a different location. In order to improve the working conditions, Henry needs to completely restructure his communication methods.
10. Opportunities for advancement
There is no indication that any employee, manager, or supervisor can advance from their current positions. Henry would be the main factor in communicating possibilities for advancement to his staff, and there has been a clear lack of communication. This also is hazardous to employee motivation and employee morale.
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