“The Challenges Facing Management”
Management theory has evolved over the past century. Management has evolved from the days of compensating employees will make them happy to the current view of empowering employees. Today’s workplace is more challenging for management than ever before. The drive to stay competitive has forced management to make difficult decisions that affect many employees. The increased diversity of the workplace has forced changes in policy and training. Furthermore, the push to become more efficient has lead to an increase in empowered employees and teams. However, the more efficient push has pushed many valuable employees out the door. By embracing Total Quality Management tools and concepts, some stages and employees within the process have proved to be redundant. Mergers and overseas expansion have provided management with many workplace issues that must be resolved. Management must deal with what action to take with employees who are redundant and/or expensive to maintain. With the ever-changing workplace brings more issues for managers to overcome. A very important issue for management to be concerned about is workplace diversity.
Workplace diversity is an important issue for management in today’s workplace. With so many lawsuits being filed against companies for discrimination and harassment, the issue of diversity awareness has became increasingly important in the workplace. Not only is diversity awareness a means to ensure the company has harmonious work relations, it is also a means to avoid a costly lawsuit and poor public relations. For example, in November of 1996, news broke that Texaco’s executives plotted to destroy documents and used racial slurs against African-Americans (CourtTV 1). The lawsuit resulted in Texaco paying $176.1 million to 1400 African-American employees (Cohen). The Texaco example shows how management must be aware that discrimination will not be tolerated in any form at any levels. To facilitate diversity awareness, Texaco revised its company’s “recruitment and hiring procedures to reflect diversity in the workforce, focusing on career development and retention of current employees, and increasing the number of women- and minority-owned business partners” (CourtTV 2). With the diverse workplace comes the responsibility to do the right thing even when you think others are not around. Managers must make diversity awareness a priority in their company. From the lowest employee to the senior management, diversity awareness training must occur so that the diverse workplace can exist in harmony, without fear of discrimination. Training is just the beginning of the process. Employees must have an outlet to report discrimination and harassment without fear of repercussions. Employees must see managers who are genuinely concerned with improving workplace diversity. Distrust occurs when management implements policies without actions. Without diversity awareness and management that can be trusted, the team approach to an organization cannot occur.
Teamwork has changed the traditional workplace from one person doing a single job to an environment were many people collaborate on many different job tasks. Robert Ferchat, President & CEO of Bell Mobility, recommends that companies "free people to innovate so that your company can grow. Creativity is not the divine right of management” (Monster.com). Workers at all levels of the organization have different views and ideas about how a process should work. Tapping into this resource will give managers an edge by possible reinventing the wheel or building a better mousetrap. The “team” approach ensures that different ideas are shared and that a solution developed by many may be more effective and efficient than the decision of an individual. Teams are empowered to make decisions usually with a defined objective and other pertinent information. For example, a team may be...
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