Manager Interview

Manager Interview

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Manager Interview

Me: Thank you for availing yourself on such short notice. I am sure that you are a busy person based on the responsibilities that you handle within your organization.

Manager: There is no need for such pleasantries. I am actually interested in helping you with your research. Inspiring youthful students such as you is what I am considerably passionate about.

Me: Thank you once again Sir. If I may start off, it is evident that all organizational leaders usually have a certain way in which they manage their distinctive workplace elements. Based on the theories involving styles of management, which is your most usual managing style?

Manager: First of all, it is true that leaders have different ways of managing their organizations. The workplace is a diverse environment that requires the utmost attention in order to determine which style of management to utilize effectively. Hence, in light of this, I would say that the managing style that I use generally comprises a democratic approach.

Me: That is an interesting choice Sir. However, I am compelled to ask as to why you have not chosen other options. Why is that?

Manager: Usually, there are different styles of management. These comprise the autocratic approach, consultative, paternalistic, persuasive, laissez-faire, chaotic, Management By Walking Around (MBWA) and my alternative, democracy. Even though some of these styles may have a significant correlation, it is important to note that the management style utilized is dependent on the prevailing situation. Hence, based on the circumstance, it is imperative to carry out different management styles and set them out as suitable for a particular organization.

Me: Following up on your answer, why do you say that your approach is generally democratic?

Manager: I view employees as the greatest assets to any company. Based on that, I try to accord responsibilities to them as much as possible in order for us to work together. In this respect, I am usually more of a participant especially when it comes to projects. In most instances, the decisions that I make are usually contributions from the employees. Since the decisions that I will make as a leader will definitely pose an impact on them and the productivity of the environment, I try my best in involving my employees. This allows us to brainstorm, consider other alternatives and ultimately reach to a position that is beneficial for them, the company and the stakeholders in general. Aside from this, I also ensure that I regularly talk to the employees and know them more on a personal level. This enables me to be part of them to an extent where they are free to inform me of any issues they have.

Me: Thank you for that insightful answer Sir. I heard you mention projects in your previous answer. If I may ask, do you normally utilize team projects?

Manager: The answer to your question is yes. I use team projects on a normal basis. One of the main things that I emphasize on within the workplace is teamwork.  Usually, I work hard to ensure that each employee, irrespective of their diverse skills and capabilities, manages to exploit the strengths of their fellows. As such, team projects are the best method of ensuring that the positive attributes of the employees are emphasized upon.

Me: Could you please give me an example of a time where you used a team project?

Manager: At the start of the year, one of the main components that the company was trying to install in the company comprised a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). In overview, the main purpose of a SOA is to assist an enterprise in the management of It and business transformation through integration of the back office, front office and computing devices found within the general infrastructure of the Internet. Based on this, implementing such a platform would require adjusting the manner in which employees worked daily. For instance, it was imperative for employees to understand the importance of cloud computing and how it can be beneficial in the storage of company data in case of an unplanned and out-of-control event. Therefore, I grouped employees together into teams and tasked them with the duty of establishing programs that will be successful in allowing this change to take place positively for the whole organization.

Me: I understand you perfectly. So, the team project was centered on the initiation of change within the organization due to the introduction of the SOA?

Manager: Precisely.

Me: Indeed, is getting a group of employees to engage in that work challenging?

Manager: It is. Anything that gets employees out of their comfort zone is usually difficult.

Me: However, I am sure that there is a reinforcement scheme that you use in motivating them. Am I right?

Manager: Yes, you certainly are. Motivation is imperative in any organization. In order to boost the morale of the employees, it is important to have reward systems that work on positive reinforcement. As such, not only do these programs amplify their morale; but they also impose a positive effect on the level of productivity among employees.

Me: Interesting. What are the types of rewards that you use on a normal basis?

Manager: The types of rewards that I use are intrinsic and extrinsic. According to Jost (2014), intrinsic rewards generally comprise psychological incentives that employees receive from performing meaningful work and doing it well. They are normally based on intrinsic motivation, whereby an individual engages in the activity due to the emotional or psychological satisfaction it provides to him or her. Similarly, Jost (2014) views extrinsic rewards as tangible incentives that an employee receives based on the work he or she performs to an exemplary level. Based on extrinsic motivation, employees usually work based on the expectation of the physical rewards they will receive.  

Me: Could you give me a few examples of the intrinsic rewards you provide to your employees?

Manager: Intrinsically, I ensure that the employees gain a strong sense of importance. At all costs, employees should feel that they own the company and as such, have a meaningful purpose to fulfill that will result in real value not only for the organization, but for them as well. Secondly, the freedom of choice is also another incentive. I usually encourage my employees to understand they have the liberty in deciding the best way through which they can accomplish their work. In addition to this, I also make sure that they choose the work functions that are most sensible to them. Competence and progress are also rewards that employees attain intrinsically. By exceeding the performance in their activities, employees can actually feel that they are accomplishing something in relation to their efforts.

Me: What are the extrinsic rewards you provide?

Manager: The main incentives that I provide in this context comprise employee bonuses. I normally base such rewards on the values of competence and progress. I believe that intrinsic rewards establish the foundation through which employees are actually self-determined. Based on this, I normally reward employees who are self-determined and not considerably mindful on the remuneration packages that they will receive if they work hard. As such, the rewards that I give to my employees extrinsically come in the form of surprises. That way, it becomes simple to note self-determination rather than plain demand for materialistic incentives.

Me: In light of these forms of rewards, how do you then motivate your employees?

Manager: Interesting question. One of the ways that I motivate my employees aligns with my considerable support for intrinsic rewards. Hence, in order to boost their morale, I normally gove positive and constructive feedback to my employees based on the work they have been performing and how they have been during a certain period. A recent study by Schmid and Adams (2008) showed that feedback that is constructive and positive normally motivates employees into working harder. Personal conversation is also another form of motivation I utilize. By engaging with employees on a social level, I am able to form personal connections that make them feel linked to me, not only as a leader but also as their friend. Furthermore, my knowledge of the employees allows me to group good aptitudes and passions to certain specific tasks. At the end, employees are motivated enough based on my understanding of their strong attributes. Team building activities are also imperative, especially in raising the spirits of the employees especially on Monday mornings.

Me: Lastly, are there ethical issues that you have to deal with as a manager?

Manager: Ethical issues will consistently be part of every organization irrespective of the position you hold. In my respect, I normally have a dilemma when it comes to the utilization of performance review assessments. If you recall, I tend to provide positive and constructive feedback to my employees. In order to do this, I have to grade them from a scale of 1 to 5 in the specified areas of performance. As much as I encourage them to not measure their work based on scores, my utilization of such assessments tends to confuse them on my stance regarding employee rankings.

Me: I understand. How do you then deal with such dilemma?

Manager: To the best of my ability, I ensure that I communicate the intention of the scores. Some of the employees are usually skeptical but I try my best in ensuring that they perceive the scores as more of a guiding platform rather than a way of pitting them against each other in a competitive fashion.

References:

Jost, P. J. (2014). The economics of motivation and organization: An introduction. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Schmid, B., & Adams, J. (2008). Motivation in project management: The project manager’s perspective. Project Management Journal, 39(2), 60-71.

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