Leadership and Performance in the Workplace
Woody’s Veneer Factory is experiencing decreased productivity, an increase in garbage removal costs, and a loss of revenue. The floor workers are grinding up good veneer, an activity that increases garbage fees and decreases productivity and money. There is loss of production because the workers are more concerned with their revenge on management than on being productive workers. They work together using hand signals and text messages to warn others that management is watching so that no one gets caught destroying good product. This paper will analyze different group and team concepts and provide examples of leadership theories that management can implement at Woody’s Veneer Factory. Additionally, this paper will give examples of how management can use leadership styles to improve networking with the floor workers. Improving Group and Team Concepts
Woody’s Veneer Factory hires two types of work groups: management personnel and floor or production personnel. A work group is two or more people who interact with each other and share some tasks that are interrelated. It is the responsibility of the floor workers to produce the veneer and this in turn affects the management personnel through the production efficiency, sales, and costs associated with the production of the veneer (Spector, 2008). The company would be more successful if the two groups of employees had more respect for each other and improved their communication methods (Spector, 2008). Right now, there is a bulletin board where employees can read the latest news about the business. The management seems to disregard the floor employees as unimportant and the floor employees cannot stand the condescending attitude shown to them by the management personnel. The floor workers at Woody’s Veneer Factory show a remarkable ability to work together as a team; however, their effort’s this far have resulted in a negative turn of the company’s bottom line. A work team has three properties that are not always present in a work group (Spector, 2008). A team consists of individuals who perform coordinated and interdependent actions, each member of a team will have a specific role to fill, and the group shares the same objective. “All teams are groups but not all groups are teams” (Spector, 2008, p. 311). The floor workers currently have an objective to destroying good veneer and not be caught doing so by the management staff. There are four group and two team concepts that need understanding before a consultant can make suggestions to improve productivity and diversity in the workplace. First, each member of a group plays a particular role (Spector, 2008). These roles can be either formal (specified by the company) or informal (determined through group interaction) (Spector, 2008). Some of the roles the floor workers have been given are spies, who watch out for management sneaking around next to the administrative area, and look outs, who use hand signals to let others know that management is around and they should stop grinding up the good veneer. Norms are unwritten rules of behavior accepted by the work group (Spector, 2008). These rules can include style of dress or work ethic. Some groups enforce the norms to a degree in which most workers will not willingly go against them for fear of being ostracized from the group (Spector, 2008). Productivity may be driven either positively or negatively by the norms of a work group. The case at Woody’s is definitely negative. The floor worker’s demonstrate a high-level of group cohesiveness. Group cohesiveness is all of the factors combined that attracts people to the group and keeps the group together. The fundamental dislike of the management staff at Woody’s has increased the group cohesiveness of the floor workers to such a degree that they stay motivated to work together to destroy good product, hurting the company, and frustrating the management. Process loss is evident at...
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