Hrmt-502 Essay Sample
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In this paper, two contrasting approaches to management of a sales team are analyzed in the examples of managers A and B. We find out that positive influence, helping attitude, trusting employees and good communication skills help a manager in making his team successful. Negative attitudes like coercing, unnecessary micro-management and abuse of legitimate power results in backlash and eventual failure.
In order to achieve financial success, big banks like Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) realize the need for a skilled and motivated sales force. RBC is valued at $192 billion with the bank being the largest residential mortgage holder in Canada with 80 percent of these done by over 1200 mortgages specialists as prominent sales personnel (RBC Royal Bank of Canada, 2014).
ANALYSIS OF MANAGER A & B
Manager A has an overwhelming skill set. Due to this, his team is overly dependent on them and despite his best intentions, he leaves the team development behind, so he needs to enhance his leadership skills.
The team needs to learn from the leader in order to have a continuing effect but under Manager A’s dashing skill set, they haven’t experienced the consequences of actions and haven’t done anything by themselves so Manager A needs to do a vertical transfer of skills so his team can thinks and act on its own.
In contrast, Manager B was every bit of a micro-manager since he forces the specialists’ to submit spreadsheets and other tedious data that took a lot of time and since the specialists are working on variable pay, it becomes difficult for them to fulfill these unnecessary requirements of Manager B. As a result, the practice wasn’t taken seriously and a negative impact in the performance of B’s team was observed too. (Jaramillio, Mulki & Locandar, 2006).
When sales people are micromanaged, the result is lower job satisfaction, burnout and employee turnover (Jaramillio, Mulki & Locandar, 2006). The management of a variable pay team needs to be streamlined and smooth so, appointment of a micro-manager should have been avoided by letting some successful mortgage specialist managers take over the interviewing process in the form of a panel or engaging him in mentoring sessions in order to correct his approach.
Manager A influenced his team by power sources like resource, expert, position/legitimate and personnel like Hardy in Lam (2013). Rational persuasion, inspirational appeals, consultation, ingratiation, personal appeals, exchange and collaboration as outlined by Yukl (2009) were used to influence his team.
Manager A’s leadership effectiveness and ability to increase the team`s performance could be directly measured given his team surpassed annual sales targets every year.
He had a profound positive effect on his team turning low performers into average and average performers into top ones. He influenced through the use of resource, position/legitimate and personal power sources. Manager A practiced the influence tactics of rational persuasion, consultation, exchange and collaboration to develop relationships with referral sources within RBC.
He used the four primary tactics to influence people within RBC. He used his position as a highly regarded RBC manager to contact vice-presidents and managers in groups within RBC to whom his mortgage specialists don’t have any interaction with. He explained to these groups how working with his mortgage specialists of his team, they could get business referred to them in return and it would be a win-win situation for all. By using a potential win-win situation, he was able to direct more business to his team.
Since Manager A used his coupling influence tactics (Yukl 2009) to get more work, he motivated his team to work diligently with his connections in order to keep them on their toes and making more money. Due to his excellent relationship building, he was seen as a role model for cultivating promising business relationships.
The annual sales volume increased by 40% due to his referrals from internal relationships. The team received a boost due to higher earnings and placed trust in the manager A’s leadership beyond doubt. The increased job satisfaction and lesser turnover rate noted in the employee surveys exemplified his employee relationship.
Several factors contributed to the high job satisfaction and low turnover. First, Manager A leveraged leadership power sources, including resource, expert and personal power in order to influence the team on the road to success. Second, he used inspirational appeals, consultation, ingratiation, personal appeals, exchange and collaboration as influence tactics. Third, he made himself highly approachable to his employees.
He had such a record of positive rapport that his team members treated him like a friend. He was charismatic and open in his leadership style. He led by his own example and personally helped each of his team members. He was an expert in relationship building and his team was the proof.
He asked his team to be more collaborative and share information with each other when necessary. This helped build a strong team.
He tasked members to give updates to the rest of the team. In doing so team members would contact each other when they needed help and not the manager himself so in exchange, it would give him more time to develop new relationships for referrals.
He was always fair and distributed the referred work evenly amongst his team. He rewarded strong team members, and worked with low performers to boost results. Any improvement was immediately recognized and praised.
According to Higgs (2003), skills and competencies are incorporated into the leadership process. Manager A excelled in all areas where personal characteristics such as authenticity, integrity, will, self-belief and self-awareness were relevant. He knew how to get better results and had the skills to do it.
Manager A tried to benefit from every professional relationship he came across. He coached and influenced his team members for better performance. His team was of 100% commission workers so he cut some slack for members experienced more than 4 years.
With the help discussions with mortgage specialists he determined that micro-management like handling of spreadsheets was against the nature of the specialists’ work. (Jaramillio, Mulki & Locandar, 2006). Looking at the personal characteristics of Manager A, he played the role of a leader and didn’t act in a manipulative way.
He kept his professional commitments. He knew his goal and the path towards it. He was self-aware and knew what he could or could not achieve.
He was promoted to the Regional Vice President. Manager B took over the team from Manger A. Manager B was also promoted from a branch manager position to this position and underwent same training. He promised to carry on the good work of his predecessor, avoid micro-management and use inside influences to get more work.
The power sources Manager B used to influence his team were resource and position-legitimate as outlined by Hardy in Lam (2014). The influence tactics he used to influence the team were: Ingratiation, exchange, pressure, and legitimizing as outlined by Yukl (2009).
Manager B couldn’t live up to manager A’s success. For example, the team did not meet RBC`s annual team targets. Top producer became average producer and average producers became low producers. Inside relationships weren’t cultivated enough to get good work.
He started to micro-manage again. He thought this would be a good idea and help solve the problem. He didn’t have any ideas to help the mortgage specialists.
Since the team members were commission workers, they stopped working on the pipeline reports. He made monthly meetings mandatory and stopped having mortgage specialists present at monthly meetings.
He employed the position/legitimate power to force members to submit the pipelines, have one on one weekly sessions, and attend the mandatory monthly meetings. If his members didn’t submit their pipelines, he would use threatening powers of cutting off marketing budgets and transferring.
Using the threats Manager B was pairing the influence tactics pressure and legitimizing which may achieve compliance but not commitment (Yukl, 2009) and may upset or anger the intended target and make them feel coerced and manipulated according to Yukl (1992).
He would also use the exchange influence by giving referrals to only those mortgage specialists who did his pre-requisite paper work.
The team’s dissatisfaction showed in the employee polls and he was demoted to another position. Top performers left and he tried to hire 20 new mortgage specialists but he couldn’t get to keep any of them but 2 or 3. His micro-managing instincts were fully exposed and mortgage specialists preferred to leave the team or RBC altogether.
He wasted time in micro-managing and not enough in hiring and training new mortgage specialists. Due to this neglect of HR plan, he wasn’t able to fulfill the sales requirement. He had the power source of resource and used ingratiation as an influence tactic. He only rewarded top performers while alienating the low and medium dwellers that contributed to negative developments.
Applying the emerging model of effective leadership as outlined by Higgs (2003) that incorporates skills-competencies areas (envision, engage, enable, inquire and develop) and personal characteristics called `being yourself` (authenticity, integrity, will, self-belief and self-awareness), it can be identified that Manager B failed in all leadership roles. Looking at the skills –competencies first, with envision he expected or hoped to increase performance but did not have a plan how to get to the goal. He did not engage the mortgage specialist on his team and took no active role in improving their performance.
He did not empower his mortgage specialists. He did not inquire the team and engaged in unproductive and time wasting antics. Above all, he micro-managed when he wasn’t supposed to.
Personally, he wasn’t a natural leader and relied on manipulation. He wasn’t consistent and couldn’t deliver what he promised. He could have lacked self-belief in doing his job. If he had been, he might have performed better.
Manager A was clearly successful. He encouraged and helped others in achieving their goals. He influenced the sales results by pursuing large customers personally. Manager B focused too much on the details, while neglecting the big picture. He did not adequately incentivize the sales force, resulting in poor performance.
Among many other factors, manager B lacked leadership. The direction of leader determines the course of team. While it is true that a leader must inspire confidence in his team, a leader must also set expectations and push the members in achieving their goals.
An effective leader must know how to influence his team in a positive way. Negative influence is very damaging for the team overall.
RBC Royal Bank of Canada (2014). 2014 Annual Report. Retrieved January 15, 2014
Higgs, M. (2003). How can we make sense of leadership in the 21st
century?. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, (5-6), 273. Retrieved January 19, 2015 from http://0www.emeraldinsight.com.aupac.lib.athabascau.ca /doi/full/10.1108/01437730310485798
Jaramillo, F., Mulki, J. P., & Locander, W. B. (2006). The role of time wasted in sales
force attitudes and intention to quit. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 24(1), 24-36. Retrieved January 19, 2015 from http://0www.emeraldinsight.com.aupac.lib.athabascau.ca/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/02652320610642326
Lam, H. (2013). Essentials of Strategic Human Resource Management & Organizational
Behaviour (2nd edition). Nelson Education Ltd., 2014.
Yukl, G., & Tracey, J. B. (1992). Consequences of influence tactics used with
subordinates, peers, and the boss. Journal of Applied Psychology, 77(4), 525.
Retrieved January 19, 2015 from http://0-eds.b.ebscohost.com.aupac.lib.athabascau.ca/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=2eec48e7-81ad-40c8-914a-1ec3457142e4%40sessionmgr111&vid=3&hid=113
Yukl, G. (2009). Use Power Effectively To Influence People.
In Locke, E. (Ed.). Handbook of principles of organizational behavior: Indispensable knowledge for evidence-based management (pp.349-365). John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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