A public service announcement aimed at the region of China: WE NEED TO IMPROVE AND LEARN FROM THE BAD EXPERIENCES OF THE LAST 2 WEEKS. KEEP POSITIVE
Recap on Mikes Bikes:
Our team was aiming to get the hell out of debt and optimise the generous help allotted to us. We were a team in a jungle learning survival 101 basically. We had long extensive meetings where we concentrated our efforts and decisions towards getting out of our debt, which was huge. We looked at all the reports provided, ranging from multifirm profit to the cashflow budget. We came to the basic understanding that our company went down due to lack of quality in some bikes in comparison to other firms, a price war led by Bob's bicycles (sorry for highlighting you), being slightly too optimistic and also we weren't following our strategy we had agreed to in the beginning of this journey. This roll over though we were quite conservative with how we spent our money, there were huge budget cuts for marketing, HR and production. We had to let go of 120 employees and as the HR manager my heart was bleeding, no joke. It sounds stupid but somehow I had become attached to my simulated employees, I was thinking about how their families financial status was affected and how much effort, time and money had been put into motivating them through large amount of training and pay rises. We had finally just gotten our employees to the desired platform of productivity, motivation and massively decreased turnover and now it seems all in vain slightly. Yet I supported and understood why there was an absolute need to let go of them, we werent planning on producing at the level we had previously planned and their wages were costing us 4.5 Million, which honestly could be better spent on quality control of our products for example. My focus for the next roll over is to get productivity and motivation back up and trying to reduce turnover. As the HR manager I think I have really gotten into my roll and I can imagine how traumatic and difficult firing people in real life would be.
This whole week's theme was learning from experiences and learning to become more effective in our roles, this tied in exceptionally well with our readings. All of the designated roles within a team are administrative in some aspect. Being an administrator is being an enabler of activity in other employees and is required to take responsibility for tasks and effort taken in order to to accomplish desired activity within employees (Katz, 1955). As a HR manager I am responsible for all workers form the bottom to the top, my role is to make sure that everyone is motivated, engaged, happy, satisfied and overall productive. In order to achieve this I have to review recruitment processes, selection processes, promotion policies and pay related policies etc. To be an effective administrator there is a need to possess 3 differing types of skills (technical, human and conceptual) (Katz, 1955). Technical skill refers to activity that is methodical,scientific, has certain processes and technique (Katz, 1955). In HR this is an understanding of how to increase productivity basically, hire the best employees, and maintain high levels of satisfaction in basic view. Where as human skill is referring to interpersonal skills, being able to work effectively with other individuals (Katz, 1955). Conceptual skill is simply put having the ability to the whole concept, metaphorically it is a visionary or a founder as they can see all the differing threads intermingling in an array to create a garment so to say (Katz, 1955). In our team the CEO is required to have a higher degree of conceptual skills in comparison to floor workers, and she does all of our decisions have to reflect our strategy (Katz, 1955). The labour force that creates bikes definitely needs to have a higher degree of technical skill, as they rely on those skills everyday and thats what their job primarily consists of (Katz, 1955). It is understood that all levels from the top executives to the lower levels require human skill as work is based as a social interaction (Katz, 1955). Therefore in order to more effective it is important to create an atmosphere where employees can express themselves clearly (Katz, 1955). Our CEO has achieved that, this week at the beginning of the week all of our group had a discussion based around where they went wrong and what we can do to improve our circumstances.
What stands out to me is that critically examining this article was how certain skills are emphasized at certain levels. It implies that workers at a lower level arent allowed to think and conceptualise in comparison to the executive level. This is limiting innovation as the workers who run into situations everyday would be able to come up with practical and novel solutions to issues. I believe encouraging different skill development at each level is important as it enables a organisational culture where every individual understand how they and everyone else contribute collectively to the organisation. This article was quite sexist as well, the manager is explicitly stated to of a male nature, yet it is important to remember the context when this was published, it was the 50's equality wasnt as prominent as today.
To end with I take away the consolidated idea that experiences are valuable regardless if they are positive or not. A quote that puts this eloquently is that " experience is not what happens to you; its what you do with what happens to you" (Huxley, n.d).
P.S I know my structure wasnt really "daudelin" approved but Im trying out something new (the critical examining).
Huxley. (n.d). Retrieved September 26, 2014, from https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=experience+quotes&es_sm=91&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=H-okVIGJG8WtogTL_IK4Dw&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1092&bih=679#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=pC9v3-XPbylAFM%253A%3BYzjE0unl_NOz3M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fmkalty.org%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2014%252F02%252Fexperience-is-not-what-happens-to-you-aldous-huxley.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fmkalty.org%252Fexperience-quotes-2%252F%3B480%3B350.
Katz, R. L. (1955). Skills of an effective administrator. Harvard Business Review, 33(1), 33–42.