A Novice Manager’s Tale of Woe
Personal Reflections is a national chain of personal care and household products. Tricia Monet has just recently moved from Illinois with her fiancé to Sioux City, Iowa. Tricia has a bachelor degree in accounting, in which is the area she had been working in for a little less than a year. Recently though, she decided she missed direct interaction with people and decided to do something different. She applied for a position as assistant manager at Personal Reflections and was hired.
Personal Reflections seemed to have a very structured hiring and training program however the organization failed to have any formal ongoing/follow-up training. ...view middle of the document...
Her management style consisted of creating an atmosphere where all were treated as equals. For a while they work very closely with no evidence of interpersonal conflicts and work strongly as a team.
Tricia announces to her team that she considering going back to school. All most immediately the work relationship changes and becomes strained. Tricia starts feeling animosity being directed at her. She is surprised by the resentment that is being shown. The assistant store directors start ignoring Tricia and no longer consulting her with changes. They start questioning her on things she is allowed to do that they are not. It becomes clear that they do not see the difference between Tricia’s roles in the company versus their own. Tricia has lost control of her employees along with their respect.
Finding of Fact #1: Tricia had no real experience in management or leadership and Personal Reflection’s did not provide any type of follow-up training for her.
Recommendation #1: To address some of the problems more quickly the district manager needs to become involved with getting the store back into a functional state. Because Tricia lacked proper training for neither this position nor the experience to deal with conflict, additional help is needed. With the district manager getting involved store policies could be implemented to establish a better set of expectation for each person in the store. The district manager needs to address the ambiguity that is going on between the store manager and the assistant mangers. Expected norms could be implemented that are more productive of ways communication could move up and down the chain of leadership. Understanding of norms which “are the rules and patterns of behavior that are accepted and expected by members of a team or whole organization” is vital to the store (Hellriegel and Slocum).
“Role ambiguity is the uncertainty and lack of clarity surrounding the expectations about a single role” (Hellriegel and Slocum). Tricia failed to create boundaries that laid out a clear understanding of roles between herself and her subordinates. This has led to the assistant managers doing what they please and breaking the chain of leadership. The district manager now needs to help in explaining how there are clear levels of expectations for each member of the team.
The district manager should apprise all employees that they are to report directly to Tricia in all matters concerning store operation. The district manager should also notify the employees of the formal process for reporting problems/concerns. If after doing that, problems continue then a reporting system further up the chain of command could be explained for addressing issues.
Looking further to a long term solution, I recommend resolutions that involve creating a formal training program that is specifically geared toward management. A program such as this could address many...