Listo Systems: Cami Machado, Trainer Context: Listo Systems is a graphic service agency and is one of the leading companies within the sector. They recently implemented a new black box technology which resulted in a demand for trainings for the employees as well as “train-the trainer” sessions. Cami Machado is responsible for conducting these sessions and she feels well prepared. She is also the one who represents the company at an annual Computer Graphic Service Trade Show. Key Issues and Problems: Cami Machado has previous experiences and therefore feels confident and eager for the first session of the trainings.
However, the general evaluations of the course were poor and most of the trainers had no clue of what was expected from them. Although Cami is not worried, her manager realizes that something needs to be done. The second issue is related to the Graphic Service Trade Show where Cami routinely represents Listo Systems. This year because of the occurring changes, Listo has scheduled a private presentation for key contacts. Cami is assigned to give a flashy, multimedia overview of the clients benefits of the new “black box system”.
However, she is procrastinating and thinks that from sales or marketing would be better suited for this task. Applying concepts: Cami knows that she could do a good job making the “glamour show”, however she wants to have the presentation reassigned. In this case Cami is able but unwilling and therefore her performance readiness is R3 (at level 3). She prefers to talk to the “real” people with “real” questions. As for the trainings that she has been assigned to organize, Cami feels herself able, confident and willing (R4). In the past she has taught
Information Technology courses at a local university and for that reason she feels well prepared. She has spent two weeks preparing detailed manuals however the professional trainers do not share her enthusiasm and confidence. From their perspective, Cami is an R2, because even though she is very motivated and willing to accomplish this task, the other trainers are not satisfied with her work. She is not very effective in giving precise directions of what should be done and what is expected, and the majority of the trainers are lost and confused.
It is important to notice that the concepts of ability and willingness are an “interacting influence system”. In other words, that they are interconnected and a significant change in one will affect the whole. This is why the amount of knowledge, experience and skills often affect confidence and motivation. Cami feels that she knows what is required for the trainings to be successful because she has had experience at the University. However, it is hard to say whether she has all the skills that are necessary to train-the-trainers.
Comments from the trainers also included “lots of smoke but no fire” and “talks down to us”. We can therefore conclude that the reason why the trainers where not satisfied was not necessarily because of Cami’s technical skills, but maybe her relationship with the employees. Her directive behavior is very high but her relationship and supportive behavior not as much. Looking at the Situational Leadership model, Cam is using S4 leadership style, which includes low relationship and mostly delegating. Alternative Courses of Action:
In order to be more successful in leading the others, Cami should use the S2 leadership style, which includes selling and most importantly explaining what she expects from the trainers. Cami considers herself well prepared and experienced however the evaluation of the course was poor because of lack of explanations. Another reason why the employees were not satisfied was because Cami was “talking down to them”. To avoid this, Cami should be more supportive and use participative leadership style that will allow her to interact with the other trainer and to improve her relationship with them.
To make everything more certain, Cami should clarify the path by explaining the follower’s – in this case trainers’ work role. Only then she should display her motivations and effort to accomplish the work outcomes. The Chosen course of Action: The combination of all the above-mentioned solutions would work best for Cami’s situation. However, I believe that the biggest issue in this cause was that the trainers where unaware of what was expected from them. And therefore the best solution would be that Cami clarifies the goals of the trainings and only then tries to motivate and encourage the trainers.
Action Plan: Although Cami is a very valuable employee, I believe that her manager should be more directive towards her. For example, he shouldn’t let her procrastinate and reassign her tasks. It is obvious that Cami loves her job and making her tasks more certain and a bit stricter would make a positive change for everyone. The trainers and employees of the organization are already dedicated and hard-working, therefore no big changes are necessary. However, slight alterations could be beneficial as discussed above. Listo Systems: The New Security System – Buying In Context:
Listo Systems is a graphic service agency and is one of the leading companies within the sector. They recently implemented a new black box technology that caused different reactions from the employees. Key Issues and Problems: One of Cami’s team members, Steve, was unsatisfied because he just got used to the “old” system and doesn’t want to start all over again. He is thinking about transferring to another department within the company that doesn’t involve the use of the black box. The main issue in this case is that the implementation of the new security system can be a potential risk for losing the employees.
There might be other employees like Steve, who are not willing to adapt and who might take to decision to leave. In the long run this could negatively affect the company because the turnover ratio would increase. Applying concepts: Even though Steve was having difficulty adapting to the new system, there are other employees who are willing to do “whatever is necessary to keep the customers happy and them employed”. The majority of the employees want to keep their current jobs and this is what motivates them to learn and to adjust to the new security system.
The company is doing everything that is necessary in order to train the employees, so the main factor that is required for an overall success is the motivation of the employees. It is clear that Steve’s performance readiness was at the very bottom (R1) because he was unable, insecure and unwilling to learn how to work with the black box. He is displaying frustration and has a complaining behavior, which is typical to the level 1 employees. Angie, the second team member, is an R2, because even though the new black box is foreign to her, she is willing and is motivated to learn.
The third member, Dorothy, has an extensive experience with the black box, and therefore she is at the highest performance readiness level (R4). She has the right skills and at the same time we can see that she is willing to work with the new system, because she’s encouraging all the other members to support it as well. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, employee’s motivation and performance depend on various factors that need be satisfied at the first place. In this case, we can assume that the physiological, social and safety needs are satisfied. However, as some of the employees don’t feel confident, their esteem nd self-actualization factors are not fully satisfied. This demotivates the members of the company and negatively affects the productivity level. Alternative Courses of Action: As stated in the case, in order to diagnose the performance readiness level, the indicators of ability and willingness should be combined. You have to assess whether the individual is able (presently performing) and whether he is willing or unwilling to perform a certain task. A good way to do that would be by running an emergency survey, right after the implementation of the black box.
This would help to find out in which areas the employees need help and guidance, as well to assess the overall satisfaction level. In order to avoid losing more employees, the management should have more individual approach towards its employees. Some people are quick-learner while the other dislike major changes. The results of the survey would show who needs additional help, and the trainers could focus more on this specific group of employees. There is not an appropriate leadership style for this case, because every member needs to be approached in a different way.
The S3 level would be the most appropriate because the manager would be able to encourage and help its employees by participating more. The Chosen course of Action: The best solution would first of all be to run a quick survey within the department. After determining the indicators of ability and willingness, it will be much easier to find out the employees’ performance readiness and to decide which leadership style is the most appropriate. Action Plan: Different employees have different opinions and it is hard to keep every single member satisfied.
The survey would allow to asses the common weaknesses within the group and to fill the gap by organizing trainings. Listo Systems: Cami Machado – System Conversation Context: Listo Systems is a graphic service agency and is one of the leading companies within the sector. They recently implemented a new black box. Cami, the responsible for the system has taken the black box through all the recommended steps tests and it performed perfectly. The system has also been tested by a former CIA computer specialist and its was declared to be flawless. Nevertheless, Cami insisted to keep the old system “just in case”.
Key Issues and Problems: Even though everything turned out to work perfectly, Cami confessed that she has never been so nervous in her life. She had asked to keep the old system as well, however she was still very anxious and was sleeping only a few hours at night. Applying concepts: Cami’s performance level in this situation is R3, because even though she was able to make the switch, she was still not confident and very hesitant. However, she had asked to keep the parallel system, so in case if something went wrong, there was an alternative solution. There was no reason for Cami to feel nervous, even if the black box failed.
The leadership style that Cami’s manager should use is S3. He should support her in risk-taking and compliment the work. Alternative Courses of Action: The manager should not disempower Cami, because she has done a hard work and deserves appreciation. He should be very supportive and help her to deal with her nervousness. As mentioned above, this would be a S3 leadership style, which would result in building confidence, actively listening and encouraging. The employees should try to adapt to the new system, instead of leaving the department and creating more issues to deal with.
They should also be supportive towards Cami, and appreciate her effort. The Chosen course of Action: Cami’s manager should take more participation in the implementation of the black box. He should leave everything on Cami’s shoulders, even though she’s the one responsible for the project. A supportive leadership style would be very effective in this situation and would help Cami to work more productively with less stress and anxiety. Action Plan: With the help of her manager and her employees, Cami should be able to overcome the difficult period at her workplace and gain more confidence in the work that she is doing.
The management should help her to increase her performance readiness level to R4, by showing more support and encouragement. Listo Systems: Randy Mack, Trainer, Listo Systems Context: Randy Mack is an experienced trainer for Listo Systems and has worked with the company for a number of years. His evaluations have always been first rate and he has been able to develop a rapport with the people whom he trains. Key Issues and Problems: Recently, Randy is not happy with his job and had received below-par evaluations for the first time. His main concern is the lack of career advancement at Listo Systems.
Some of his training have ended in confrontations with the trainees. Applying concepts: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explains clearly why Randy is dissatisfied with his job. Even though he has performed perfectly for so many years, the lack of self-actualization and career advancement demotivates him. With all the new changes occurring with Listo Systems, the management is possibly more focused on profit and the technology rather then promoting its employees. This lack of attention has resulted in demotivation because Randy feels that his work isn’t much appreciated anymore.
His performance readiness is at R3, considering that he knows his job very well and his has been number one for a long time. However the lack of career advancement made him unwilling and decreased his productivity. Alternative Courses of Action: The management should use S3 leadership style, in order to improve Randy’s performance readiness level. Considering that he is a valuable employee, it would be a big loss for the company of Randy left. In order to avoid that, the management should try to show more encouragement and offer possible ways of growth within the company.
For example, another solution would be motivating him with financial bonuses. The Chosen course of Action: It’s Randy’s experience that makes him a valuable employee, and he cannot be easily replaced. For that reason the managers should compromise by either promoting Randy or suggesting other potentials ways of career advancement. Action Plan: The managers should make a quick decision before it gets any worse. They have to motivate Randy to stay by offering bonuses and showing that they appreciate his work.