Money and financial reward
How do you approach different management roles? (Training, planning, appraising etc) Please include details such as, which aspects of your role do you enjoy the most and why? Which aspects do you least enjoy and why? Training – we have in house and on the job training i.e. I provide routine training for new recruits, which is updated annually. In our line of work the most valuable training is the one that workers receive on the job. I very much enjoy this aspect of my job as this gives me the opportunity to ensure my skills and experience is transferred to my workers who will in return give me a good work force.
Monitoring and Directing – monitoring and directing the production lines is an important aspect of my job. Also, as I am the sales manager, I am fortunate that I do not have to depend on another manager for the availability of the product. Planning – I am also a partner in the company; I am involved in strategic planning whereby we work out the direction on the company and how we wish things to progress in the long-term. This also gives me a direction to then do action planning within my own department (sales). I enjoy production planning – typically up to a year in advance and based on level required to meet budgeted sales demand. Satisfaction derived from seeing sales forecasts met and exceeded makes it all worth while.
Appraising – I hold regular appraisals with my staff and although it can be tedious at times, it is valuable as it helps me ‘sift the wheat from the chaff.’ Recruiting can also be tedious in this line of industry as keeping staff is difficult (drivers in particular). How do you handle certain situations and scenarios in your role? (Your greatest management challenge and worst moment.) Explain and describe any particular scenarios that may have occurred in your place that tested and challenged your skills as a Sales Manager:
I was hit by a particularly difficult challenge a number of years ago which really put my skills and abilities as a sales manager to test. My company has two main offices in the UK. I am responsible for both of them to a significant level; therefore my presence at them both frequently is required. My job is visit each office on a regular basis and build market penetration strategies with management and train and motivate the sales and customer service force. When the recession hit, the need to service those offices was more important than ever, yet the travelling costs were getting more prohibitive.
Morale was an especially important factor – you can’t let either office fell defeated. I reapportioned my budget and did the following: I dramatically increased telephone contact with the offices. I instituted a monthly sales technique letter – how to prospect for new clients, negotiate difficult sales and so forth. I bought and rented sales training and motivational tapes and sent them to my managers with instructions on how to use them in sales meeting. I stopped visiting both offices so frequently. Instead, I scheduled weekend training meetings in central locations throughout my area, one day of sales training and one day of management training, concentrating on how to run sales meetings, early termination of low producers and so on.
Analysis of completed questionnaire Now that I have the completed questionnaire, my next task is to scrutinize and analysis the answers given, this will enable me to draw out as much information as possible. My analysis will be broken down into sections for each question, whereby I will analyse each question in turn.
This was a simple yet essential question that I felt necessary to ask to my chosen manager. The purpose of this question was to extract information in regards to what the manager basically does in his day-to-day work. From this, I was given 6 tasks/duties that he carries out on a regular basis. I noticed that he used the word, ‘overseeing’ frequently. From this, I understand that he supervises and ensures that employees are carrying tasks and duties as they should. Handling sales and maintaining contact with existing customers and identifying customers were two tasks I expected to see. I understand from these tasks that his job is to generate sales which obviously involve developing existing customers and trying to identify new ones.
From the previous question, I have learnt the various tasks/duties that my manager is required to carry out on a day-to-day basis. This question is designed to find out what enables him to be qualified or educated to carry out these tasks. From this question I discovered that my manager has been educated up to A level standard and he possesses no vocational qualifications. So from an academic view point, he does not have a wealth of supporting evidence. However as I continued to read, I found out that he has over 30 years experience in his trade. This is a significant time period in which he has gained insider knowledge that perhaps higher education institutes or specially designed course can teach you. As he deals with clients so much in his work, he his built up a wealth of communication and negotiation skills which are vital for his job. My manager strongly believes that his wealth of experience outweighs the fact that he may not be as highly educated in terms of academic achievement as others.
The aim of this question was to uncover the type of managerial style my manager uses in his work. This would enable me to understand how and why he adopts certain methods of work and how they are beneficial to his job. He stated that he uses a combination of consultative and passive styles. This is similar to democratic, as my manager consults employees and staff when making decisions, however, at the end of it he makes his own decision. However, by consulting other employees, I believe it enables them to feel more valued, as their opinion is being taken into consideration. This can also lead to organisation that involves more team building and team work projects, by consulting other employees; it is likely that teams will be developed. I believe it to be significant that my manager has adopted a consultative management style as he is involving the entire staff and bringing them together, which is a sign of a good manager.
My manager also stated that he uses passive management as well; this would involve him overseeing employees as they work, instead of making decisions and helping them with projects. This enables employees to demonstrate what they can do independently. I believe it to be positive factor that a manager does this, as it shows what employees have learnt but more importantly, where they have weaknesses. A manager should not operate in a passive style too frequently, but I believe it should be carried out at intervals in order to determine what strengths, weaknesses and skills employees have developed.
My manager’s style, especially the consultative style he uses, relates to the management theory known as, Contingency and ‘what if’ modelling. This theory explains that managers/supervisors are either task-motivated (task-controlling and less concerned with the human side of the business), or relationship-motivated (more considerate of the feelings of others.) I believe Mr. Crowhurst to be a mix of the two; this is because he has adapted a consultative style whereby he takes into consideration the views of his fellow employees (relationship-motivated) but he makes the final decision based on his own judgement (task-motivated.
This question was designed in order to determine what motivates my chosen manager in his work. He answered this with three points, the first being that he is given a shareholding in the company. This is a financial reward as well as an asset. I can associate this with the following motivational theorists: Taylor (Scientific management) and Elton Mayo. These motivational theorists state the main motivational factor is money/financial reward. My chosen manager ranked his shareholding as his first point, therefore signifying that this is what motivates him the most. His second motivational point was the desire to see a job well done.
This would encourage him to work effectively has he gains a sense of self satisfaction from completing projects to a high quality standard. His last motivational point was that he has a need to provide a better service than the competition. This shows that he has a competitive spirit; this could be a common characteristic of a sales manager as it enables them to motivate employees and ensure targets are met. As employees look up to mangers, I believe it is important that managers have a certain sense of competitiveness in them.
The aim of this question was to find out the type of culture within my managers organisation, from this he told me he feels person culture best describes his organisation. From what he stated in the questionnaire, I get the impression that the organisation is informal and friendly. Decisions are made without too much hassle and debate and employees feel able and free to express themselves without constriction. This culture has lead to the development of another culture within the organisation, this being task culture. Employees tend to work in groups together in order to solve problems and complete tasks.
The objectives of the company are obvious but significant. The business has 3 main objectives as described by Mr. Crowhurst, these are to make a profit each year, to survive as a company and to increase market share. It is highly important that the necessary steps are taken in order to complete these objectives. For example, every company aims to and wants to make a profit each year, but how they go about fulfilling this aim will determine if they will indeed make a profit. Mr. Crowhurst explained that in order to make a profit, his department are required to meet and exceed sales targets.
The purpose of this question is to find out how my manager approaches the various management roles. In his response, he covered three of the main management roles, these being training, planning and appraising. As a manager, he regular trains new recruits and he thoroughly enjoys passing on his knowledge, skills and experience as he in return he receives a good work force and team.
As a partner in the company, my manager also has a duty to be involved in the strategic planning of the company. This is an important role given to only a certain people within the organisation; together they work out where the company is going and how it will get there. This enables my manager to use action planning in his own department, whereby he can break aims down into objectives, which can then be broken down into every day actions. My manager is also required to plan annual sales targets, it is especially enjoyable for him when he and his team met and exceed sales forecasts. My manager seems to least enjoy appraising as he describes elements of it ‘tedious.’ However, it is valuable as it enables him to discover employee strengths and weaknesses.
This last question was designed to see how my manager reacts to difficult and challenging situations, where his skills and experience really need to shine and prove he is fully capable of his job. My manager replied to this question by explaining a situation that occurred a number of years ago which tested his skills and abilities. The situation involved the negative effect of external factors which affected the company.
The UK was in recession, this is always bad news for businesses, there is no one to point the finger at, and businesses just have to make the best of the situation. My manger is required to travel between the two main offices, but with the recession and ever increasing travelling costs (fuel prices) this was becoming very expensive and was sinking into the company’s profits. Morale was low due to the recession and both offices were feeling the pressure.
My chosen manager took this in his stride and devised a plan to increase communication via telephone instead of actual meetings between the two offices – this would help to reduce costs as travelling would be less of an issue. He bought and rented sales training and motivational tapes to boost employee’s motivational levels and to be used in sales meetings. Instead of visiting the two offices as frequently as in the past, my manager decided to hold weekend training meetings in central locations throughout the area, alternating between sales training and management training. This is an effective and efficient way of saving valuable resources yet still boosting and maximising the productivity of the company.