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Transcript of Growing Managers
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory
About ColorTech Greenhouses, Inc.
ColorTech was a privately held supplier of annual and perennial flowers to big-boss stores. Along with the rest of the color industry, ColorTech was facing increased price competition as well as a steady declination in sales. At this time, the market was experiencing a very low demand for the flower industry. ColorTech particularly was constantly receiving pricey customized orders, and being insisted upon for demands for lower prices. While the company operated its main U.S. greenhouses in Phoenix, Arizona; San Diego, California; and Columbia, South Carolina; ColorTech Greenhouses, Inc. operated in Nogales, Mexico, Colombia, and planned to expand into Ecuador.
ColorTech Greenhouses, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is a supplier of annual and perennial flowers to big-box stores. The company quickly became the largest and most global grower in the western hemisphere. The status of the declining sales from the Phoenix division was examined through the eyes of Melissa Richardson, a recently promoted sales manager for ColorTech corporate headquarters. This case discusses the reasons for the difficulties currently confronting the Phoenix ColorTech sales team.
Phoenix Office's Organization Chart
Regional Sales Manager
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Displays a pyramid of physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization needs. (Osbon & Uhl-Bein, 2014, p. 101)
Melissa was highly dominated by social needs; she was hoping for friendly environment and her acceptance in team and affection as well. For example, before going to the Phoenix office, she was imagining pizza lunches and ice cream in Fridays. She was friendly with her staff so that Ruiz did easily convince her to take his resume for higher designation through his good communication skill or talking friendly with her.
She was moderate to high in self-actualization because she was putting her potential to deal with her job. She had a goal too to achieve, she wanted to make Phoenix one of the best sales offices but somehow she distracted from her goal and instead fulfilling the requirement of this seat she was trying to accomplish her goal in other means like building good relations with others.
High Social Needs:
Moderate to High Self-Actualization Needs:
Acquired Needs Theory
Hoffman had a high need for power, illustrated by his refusal to change his methods based on Melissa's feedback. He had also a dismissive attitude about others. He hoarded his power by not sharing any kind of information willingly. He had an egoistical and status conscious mindset proved by his clear refusal to Richardson about contacting with every little mom-and-pop florist as well.
He had a high need for achievement because he was using his full potential to achieve his targets. This need caused him to be self-directed, independent and resourceful. This need for achievement is evidenced in his high sales figures and numerous awards.
Need for Power (nPower):
Need for Achievement (Nach):
Torres had a strong desire for friendly interpersonal relationships. This was shown in his welcome to Melissa when she joined the team; he was the only member of the staff to give her a welcoming present. He also stressed servicing and maintaining good relations with customers over new sales. His need for friendliness was also evidenced by his poor sales figures, as it prevented him from being a "hard-sell". Another example of his need for satisfying relationships was in June when the others in the office were falling behind in their paperwork, he was willing to complete his colleague’s reports in order to meet their deadline.
High Relatedness Needs:
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
The data given for Sarah Vega was not enough to judge her personality exactly. She was not high in any level of Maslow’s hierarchy except at physiological level. Because she was so unconcerned with her work, she often came late and left soon, kept on texting on mobile. She was so careless that her work was piled on her table but she did not bother to do that. She off and on went on leaves for different reasons. Her sales were so uneven. So she just concerned with her basic needs which were fulfilled from her recent designation and she did not need something more than that.
High Physiological Needs:
Two Factor Theory
High Job Dissatisfaction:
Chelsea was pessimistic and insecure about her job. She was nervous all the time. She was unable to build good relation with her immediate boss and to build her good impression. Her relationships with coworkers were poor; she criticized others while still being inexperienced herself and continued to think was eligible for promotion to the sales position, despite feedback from her supervisor. More evidence of her dissatisfaction was in her open hostility to Richardson in her first meeting.
Just as Chelsea was a good example of inequity theory, Nick is a good example of expectancy theory. He had high motivation due to his belief that his hard work would be rewarded by growth within the company. This ensured he would continue to increase his knowledge about the organization. He kept interacting people in other departments and asking about their jobs. He also knew about the product from his conversations with customers. He also built good relation with Richardson and convinced her to take his resume for sales post.
Moving from Team Member to Team Leader
Booth, B., & Cates, K. Growing Managers: Moving from Team Member to Team Leader (2012). Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Gentry, B. "3 Tips For Surviving As A First-Time Manager" Forbes. (2013) Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ccl/2013/05/10/3-tips-for-surviving-as-a-first-time-manager/
Harper, J. “10 Tips for New Managers:Must dos for first-time bosses.” US News. (2012) Available at: http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2012/07/12/10-tips-for-new-managers
Osborn, R. N., Schermerhorn, J.R., and Uhl-Bein, M. Organizational Behavior (2014) 13th ed. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Statement of Issue
The Phoenix Sales team lacks motivation and commitment to company goals, as evidence by their declining sales, dismissal of corporate expectations, and poor attitudes. These problems are exacerbated by poor management support.
Inconsistent or Declining Sales
Torres is unconcerned with meeting sales goals. His priority and passion lies in servicing the newly emerging customer base of small florists.
Vega is able to perform to higher standards, but does not apply herself to the task enough to have reliable performance. Her attendance is spotty due to outside forces.
While Hoffman seems aware of the problems the other two sales representatives are having, no mention of offers of assistance or coaching are present.
Inattention to Company Initiatives
Hoffman, as the star salesman, led by example in his refusal to promote the company's new line of fresh flowers.
Vega failed to comprehensively learn the various product lines in order to market them effectively to her clients.
Torres was more interested in his personal project regarding online servicing than meeting his current job expectations.
Hoffman is dismissive towards his new manager.
Peterson is hostile and aggressive, feeling entitled to a promotion despite lacking the necessary skills.
Vega is unconcerned with serving customers, allowing messages to go unanswered to extended periods of time.
Lack of Management Support
Campbell fails to be on site during Richardson's transition, nor does she take the time to get Richardson up to speed on the problems and expectations in the Phoenix sales office.
Richardson is made aware of several problems with her team; attendance, poor attitudes, dissatisfaction in their current role, etc. but does not take any action to address these concerns.
Clear communication is not practiced. Campbell does not inform Richardson of her predecessor's fudging of sales figures. She also chooses to spring the topic of Peterson's lawsuit on Richardson at the end of a meeting, rather than being upfront regarding the situation.
Key Organizational Concepts
Forces within an individual that account for the level, direction, and persistence of effort expended at work. (Osborn & Uhl-Bein, 2014)
Identify different needs that may motivate individual behavior. (Osborn & Uhl-Bein, 2014, p. 100).
Examine the thought processes that motivate individual behavior. (Osborn & Uhl-Bein, 2014, p.101)
Alderfer's ERG Theory
Identifies existence, relatedness, and growth needs. (Osbon & Uhl-Bein, 2014, p. 102)
Desires for physiological and material well being.
Desires for satisfying interpersonal relationships.
Desires for continued personal growth and development.
Acquired Needs Theory
Needs in an individual that are acquired over time (Osbon & Uhl-Bein, 2014, p. 102)
Need for Achievement (nAch)
Desire to do better, solve problems, or master complex tasks.
Need for Affiliation (nAff)
Desire for friendly and warm relations with others.
Need for Power (nPower)
Desire to control others and influence their behavior.
Two Factor Theory
Identifies job context as the source of job dissatisfaction and job content as the source of job satisfaction. (Osbon & Uhl-Bein, 2014, p. 104)
Posits that people will act to eliminate any felt inequity in the rewards received for their work in comparison with others. (Osbon & Uhl-Bein, 2014, p. 105)
Argues that work motivation is determined by individual beliefs regarding effort-performance relationships and work outcomes. (Osbon & Uhl-Bein, 2014, p. 109)
The process of developing, negotiating, and formalizing the targets or objectives that a person is responsible for accomplishing. (Osbon & Uhl-Bein, 2014, p. 112)
Integrated Theory of Motivation
Ties together the basic effort-performance-rewards relationship. (Osborn & Uhl-Bein, 2014, p.121)
Performance Management Process
Serves an evaluation purpose when it lets people know where their actual performance stands relative to objectives and standards (Osborn & Uhl-Bein, 2014, p.125)
Influenced by individual attributes such as ability and experience. (Osborn & Uhl-Bein, 2014, p. 121)
Approach to Analysis
The Phoenix Color-Tech sales team and its members will be assessed in relation to the OB theories of motivation and job performance.
Chelsea's behavior is a good example of equity theory. When she learned Ruiz may be rewarded for his work, she approached Richardson to attempt to ensure they remained equal. When she felt her conversations with Richardson were not have the impact she wanted, she hired a lawyer in a stronger show of force to balance out what she viewed as inequity.
Although Campbell isn't present much at the Phoenix sales office, her actions with Richardson illustrate Goal Setting. She set sales targets for the team to meet, as well as expectations regarding requirements for monthly and quarterly reports.
Strengthen Management Support Structure
While Campbell and Richardson do provide their team with sales goals, they appear to be solely generic and revenue based. Providing clearer guidance and expectations regarding not only the sales numbers, but the types of customers and products being sold will provide a solid foundation for the sales team.
Improving communication between Richardson and her team is key to strengthening the team dynamics. Richardson fails to clearly articulate with her staff what her needs are; an example of this would be Vega's spotty attendance and performance. Richardson takes no action to try and address the problem with Vega. Also, coaching and development should have been provided to both Ruiz and Peterson, as they both expressed interest in pursuing advancement within the company. Industry guidance for new managers states supervisors should "have regular check-in meetings with all of your direct reports every month or two. Give regular feedback – both positive and constructive. Mentoring others helps you become more effective and efficient in your own job." (Gentry, 2013)
Increase Team Cohesiveness
While the sales team is a group of individual contributors responsible for their own sales goals, steps need to be taken to repair their team dynamics to increase productivity and job satisfaction. Team building events and frequent exercises would be helpful in accomplishing this goal. The US News advises managers "By organizing a happy hour or bowling night, managers can halt tensions before they progress. Bonding experiences build trust." (Harper, 2012)
Effective Management Training
Richardson felt the management training she attended prior to her start did not adequately prepare her for her position. An engaging and effective course in management practices with annual refreshers would be a great help in repairing the Phoenix sales team.
The driver of every team is its management. With a failing supervisory role, the team fails. Strengthen the support from the top and it will in turn strengthen the team.
Flexible Work Schedule
Vega clearly has issues going on outside the office that are preventing her from working a typical 40-hour work week. By providing the option for a flexible schedule, it allows employees to set their own schedule and increases production and satisfaction.
Ruiz and Peterson clearly both want the opportunity to prove themselves on the sales team, while Torres wants to take a step back and concentrate on servicing. Creating a position that will allow for aspects of each of these roles will still keep the experienced Torres in the field, but provide the opportunity Ruiz and Peterson are requesting.
Customized Sales Goals
Hoffman has expressed his dissatisfaction with supporting the new product line and smaller customers, while Torres indicated his lack of ability in landing the larger customers (his lack of a hard-sell). Creating custom goals for each employee based on their strengths will allow for increased job satisfaction and, ultimately, a more productive team.
Employee Development Program
Ruiz and Peterson were both young professionals looking to grow within Color-Tech. Although there were no open positions for them to be elevated to, creating a development program to provide coaching, experience, and feedback will let the employees know the company is investing in them and build their confidence. A company wide development program will provide exposure for the participants to opportunities in other locations. It will also create a pool of talent as positions do become available.
The current structure of the team is leading to job dissatisfaction, as shown by the hostility, absences, and declining performance. Customizing the structure to support the growth and satisfaction of the individuals will lead to increased performance.
Although the sales team in Phoenix has some challenges, including inefficient management, frustrated and unsatisfied employees, and a lack of clear goals, actions can be taken to resolve these issues and create a team of high performing, motivated and productive employees.