Nov 26, 2020 in Coursework

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Managing Performance

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Question 1.b

In organizations, managers have a huge role that they are expected to handle. The primary goal rests on the delivery of results (Mintzberg, 2002). This implies that the focus is on the performance. It is often assumed that managers are better positioned to achieve their goals. However, this is possible if they manage performance of workers well through commitment to their work. This is done through the commitment; a manager is able to spur workers to produce more than they would do without inspiration. A committed manager is more likely to instill the same attitude into the workers than a non-committed manager would. In turn, committed workers are likely to increase their efforts towards task completion, leading to improvements in performance. Thus, a manager who is committed would have to understand the needs of his workers and explain them why they should put in additional effort. The implication is that a committed manager empathizes with his workers, and this is an aspect that cultivates a good working relationship between the two parties. Similarly, through commitment, investors or owners of the entities are likely to invest more funds than they would do in the absence of committed managers. Hence, it is discernable that committed workers or managers can contribute positively towards increasing performance levels within an organization.

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Question 1.3

Role play: X is a sales accounts manager in an automobile company which has been experiencing a decline in revenue largely due to the declining levels of sales within the organization. Y, a new manager has been brought in to help boost sales in the organization, owing to his/her vast experience in sales.

Objectives agreed: X, the sales accounts manager is to ensure that, the unit increases the sales by 10 percent within the subsequent four weeks.

Job description: the manager will be tasked with the responsibility of overall company sales strategy. In addition, the manager will assign responsibilities to those working below him/her with a view to increasing overall sales within the organization.

Performance standard: the performance standard will be agreed upon by the manager and the shareholders. However, at the minimum, the company is required to improve overall sales by 10 percent. This is intended to help the organization to scale the former levels that the entity used to reach before events turned negative.

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Question 1.4

The first method considered in assessing employee performance is Observation and Feedback. When the objectives are set, the managers role would entail observing the performance of employees and providing frequent feedback to reinforce desirable performance standards. The manager would also need to encourage employees to improve. Informal feedback is provided almost every day. There are other methods at the disposal of assessors to measure the performance of the employees. They include Graphic Rating Scales, Management by Objectives and Forced Ranking (Pratt & Reilly, 2000). Graphic rating scales play a useful role in measuring performance of workers in production-oriented and other workplaces characterized by fast changes such as food and beverage industries. A rating scale involves lists of duties and work expectations. Often, a scale is rated between 1 and 5. The second method, management by objectives is employed in assessing employees who occupy supervisory roles. The approach entails identifying goals, listing resources to pursue the goals and drawing timelines for attaining the goals. After drawing a list, a manager should meet the workers periodically to evaluate the progress made. The measurement focuses on the extent to which the objectives are met. Finally, the third approach, forced rating applies to when supervisors or managers rank workers into three categories: the top performers (20 percent of the workers), average performers (70 percent of the workers) and the lowest-performing (10 percent of the workers). Thus, the approach involves looking at the performance of the workers against their peers.

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In the example given, the objective is to increase sales by 10 percent. Thus, the unit will be assumed to have underperformed in the event that it fails to achieve its target by a considerable margin. Specifically, any improvement in sales which is less than 8% is to be considered underperformance. Various reasons are advanced to explain underperformance. The first reason gravitates around the strategy that an organization employs in pursuing its objectives. After identifying the objectives, establishing the correct strategy that enhances attainment of the goals within an organization should be also done. Thus, underperformance could be attributable to a poor choice of approach or poor implementation of the approach.

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Another issue that may undermine achievement of the objectives and lead to underperformance is based on the inadequacy or insufficiency of resources. Resources are a primary driver of performance. In the absence of sufficient resources, attaining the set objectives would be difficult. In light of this, it is possible for underperformance to occur when an organization or unit is underfunded. However, other factors, such as external events to an organization could hamper the chances of succeeding, leading to underperformance. For instance, launching a campaign to increase sales may not work if the target market experiences a slump in economic performance.

Various performance improvement techniques are available to the managers. For instance, a manager should seek information on a strategy that is being adopted to test its efficacy. In addition, the manager should assess the financial feasibility of launching ambitious programs in addition to sourcing for funds, in case he/she is required to do so. Regarding external aspects, a manager should conduct a SWOT analysis in order to understand the business environment.

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