According to Newstrom, in order to avoid problems, a solid downward communication style requires the proper use of four major foundations. These foundations are the manager’s need to develop a positive communication attitude, get informed about their organization and employee interests, consciously plan for communication, and finally, develop trust (Newstrom, 2015, p. 65). These aspects were not apparent in our organization, and the lack of proper communication efforts was evident in several ways. Performance metrics were not always known or discussed between managers, leaving senior management unprepared for internal and external customer complaints. Additionally, flow down from senior management was severely lacking in regards to organizational direction and objectives, and different teams within our group were not engaged or aware of what each other were doing or their impacts on other teams. An example of this was 9
ENGSTROM AUTO MIRROR PLANT: FINAL PROJECT SUBMISSION the disconnect between our contracts team and operational team. The contracts team is responsible for negotiating agreements with our suppliers regarding pricing, in-house repair turnaround time, warranty requirements, and other key program requirements. The operational team is responsible for executing those contracts with suppliers and managing supplier performance and customer expectations. The contracts team was not including the operational team in these negotiations or getting their feedback in regards to supplier ability to meet negotiated terms, customer expectations for turnaround time and pricing, and other key aspects. The result was that many of our supplier contracts were misaligned with customer expectations or with the business case for that particular supplier. Another issue experienced was that employees felt as if their careers were not progressing or being given enough attention by management, which when combined with the high urgency and stress of our industry led to high employee turnover. This high turnover implies that the quality of work life (QWL), the favorableness or unfavorableness of the total work environment, was poor. QWL is one way in which an organization can recognize their responsibility to develop a job and working conditions that are excellent for people as well as the economic health of the organization (Newstrom, 2015, p 269). One tactic management can use is job enrichment, which adds additional motivators to a job to make it more rewarding (Newstrom, 2015, p. 270). Devyn Feinman describes job enrichment in another way as a concept that involves redesigning jobs so that they are more challenging to the employee, also known as vertical job loading (Feinman, n.d.). The concept looks to increase employee productivity and satisfaction by increasing motivators such as advancement and growth opportunities. Four ways in which to accomplish this include reducing repetitive tasks, increase the employees’ feelings of recognition and achievement, provide opportunities for employee growth by increasing skills and 10
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- Spring '15
- Management, Auto Mirror Plant, ENGSTROM AUTO