s memo will discuss the type of leadership, motivational and group dynamic characteristics we are looking for in our manager to take forward our under preforming Leeds branch at Premier Leisure & Fitness (PLF). The reason we are looking at these three key requirements are due to the poor performance and having identified that it is down to poor staffing structure and unclear job roles, a demotivated workforce, poor group dynamics and weak management of the business. we are going to look at some key theories for each characteristic and apply them to the current problems being experienced at PLF to ensure the long-term sustainability of the business.
What does leadership involve? Slack and Parent (2006) state that leadership involves establishing a clear vision, sharing that vision, providing information, knowledge and methods and coordinating and balancing conflicting interests. Robinsons states that “Leaders are not necessarily managers” (Robinson, 2004, pg 159). So, what are we looking for at PLF? There are many common characteristics and traits between being a manager and being a leader and individual can have. Hoye et al (2006) puts forward that a leader should have key skills such as being goal orientated, be able to influence others and should have the ability to empower others. However, Quarterman & Thibault (2007) state that management is the process of working with individuals in an organisation to accomplish goals, whilst a leader would influence the activities of individuals to achieve common goals, the process of influencing people through leadership in a managerial role is called managerial leadership and this is what is needed at the Leeds site of PLF due to the SWOT analysis identifying that the weaknesses for the Leeds site is that there is weak management, a demotivated work force, poor group dynamics and unclear staff structure in place. All these weaknesses are down to the previous managers laissez-faire approach. One style on management that would be expected at PLF is a situational leader. The situational approach puts emphasis on the background factors such as authority of the leader, the level of work performed and the skills of the workforce and the nature of the external environment (Yuki, 1989). Hershey and Blanchard (1969) put forward that situational leadership is made up of two factors relationship behaviour and task behaviour, which in turn leads to the 4 styles of communication and leadership. The style of situational leader that would be best fitted to PLF is the selling style, this is due to the high relationship and high task that would help the demotivated workforce and the poor group dynamic of the staff. Comparing this to Bass and Avolio’s (1994) full range of leadership model. This suggests that there are three types of leaders, transactional, transformational and Laissez-faire. As stated before, the previous management style of PLF was the laissez-faire approach which lead to the decline in PLF due to the avoidance of responsibility and leadership of the previous manager. The most suited out of transformational and transactional to PLF would be transformational as it would be the leader changing the goals and process that are in place and inciting a higher order of needs for the staff and showing confidence in their capability to acquire new aspirations which is key but has its short coming that if there isn’t a change in process or in staffing structure when the new leader come in that the workforce might not change with it and still be demotivated. When applying transformational leadership, the weaknesses of a demotivated workforce and poor staffing structure would be solved. The needed leadership style at PLF would be transformational as it would mean a new process and new staffing structure would motivate the workforce and would solve the weakness’ that have been identified at PLF.
Motivation is an individual phenomenon and is the driving force of an individual to achieve a goal in order to fulfil needs or expectation (Mullins, 2005). Being able to motivate and inspire is a key requirement for a manager, especially in the manager needed for the Leeds branch of PLF due to the staff being demotivated. Mullins also states that there are two types of motivation, intrinsic tangible rewards such as salary and job security and extrinsic psychological rewards such as a sense of achievement and feeling appreciated. There are many theories related to explaining what motivates an individual. The first theory is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model (1943), applying this theory to the demotivated staff would give the new manager an insight into what effects the behaviour and motivates the current staff at PLF. The other theories that can be applied to PLF are process theories. These theories involve the cognitive process of motivating people. The first process theory is Vroom (1964, cited in Steers, Mowbray & Shapiro, 2004, p. 382) and his expectancy theory which states that an employee’s motivation to complete a task will depend on their perception of if the reward is worthwhile for example higher pay for better performance or recognition for performance. Porter and Lawler (1968, cited in Steers, Mowbray & Shapiro, 2004, p. 382) took Vrooms model further by saying that past rewards for better performance can also factor into an individual’s motivation. If the individual’s good performance wasn’t rewarded by good rewards, then it will decrease an individual’s motivation in the future. Applying this to PLF would give a further understanding into why the work force is demotivated and then could see what rewards would motivate each individual, whether that be job recognition or promotions and extra pay, if the rewards are good enough then it could motivate other employees to improve performance or motivate them to do the task themselves. The next process theory is Locke’s (1968, cited in Steers, Mowbray & Shapiro, 2004, p. 382) goal theory which implies that an individual’s behaviour is impacted and enhanced by the setting of measurable, significant goals. And the setting of vague, unclear goals will have a negative effect on an individual’s performance. Also, an individual with a more difficult goal will perform better than an individual with an easier goal. Using the process theory’s and the need theories to combat the demotivated workforce in PLF would also help in other areas such as poor group dynamics due to the team of staff all working together to achieve a common goal.
Due to the current poor group dynamics at our Leeds branch of PLF and the current staff being a group not a team. Hardingham (1995) stated that the difference between a group and a team are the shared goal(s), task or vision. So, what exactly is a group and a team? Humphries (1998) defines a team as a collection of individuals who each have their own thoughts, abilities, objectives, opinions and objectives but, a common objective, the willingness to share ideas and help others to succeed. Whilst Aider (1986) put forward that the common characteristics of a group are definable membership, group consciousness, a shared sense of purpose, interaction and the ability to act in a unitary manner. Applying this knowledge to the staff at PLF, we can see the poor group dynamic is due to the staff being a group and not a team and this could have a knock-on effect on the motivation of the workforce. Chang (1995) and Hardingham (1995) put forward the 5 stages of a team lifestyle model. The five stages are forming (drive), storming (strive), performing (thrive), mourning (arrive) and revive. Applying this to the staff at PLF currently the stage they are at is forming, this is due to the it being an underdeveloped team and having unclear structure and job roles in the organisation. The stage we want the current workforce to be at is storming and performing, this is due to it being the most efficient when achieve goals due to it being the strive and thrive stages and these stages would also help with the motivation of the workforce. The factors that the new manager would need to consider when trying to improve group cohesiveness have been put forward in Mullins (1999) factors contributing to group cohesiveness and performance model. This model states that the 4 main factors are membership (size and permeance), work environment (nature of tasks, technology, communications, physical settings), group development (Forming, Storming etc) and Organisational (personal policies, management, success and external threat). Analysing and applying this model to the current staff of PLF we find that they have a strong membership factor due to it being a young workforce and all having the common characteristic of age. The other factors can be developed through the implication of a clear work structure. Mullins (2005) also states that groups can develop within groups (into cliques and hierarchies) and it is important for the new manager to have this knowledge due to the different approaches the manager will have to undergo.
Using all the knowledge form the theories provided it is justified why we want the new manager of our Leeds branch at PLF to be a strong leader so that he can combat the weak management and to implement a clear structure of jobs and roles, someone who can motivate the work force individually and together to achieve the common goals that will the manager will set, and we need someone who is going to improve the group dynamics of the current staff and turn them from a group of individuals into a team who want to succeed and will help others succeed and doing all this by applying the theory discussed in this memo.
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