When it comes to being a manager, everyone has a different style and mindset to help them reach the end goal. No two managers are alike, but every manager has a plan and a goal that they are looking to meet. Ronald Reagan once said “surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out” and to this day plenty of managers work towards finding the best employee they can find, delegating out the tasks at hand to the people suited best for them, and the following policy and helping ensure others are following the policy’s, only interfering when it is necessary for the good of the company. Within this paper, the five different aspects of management will be discussed to help a newly promoted Amazon manager successfully manage one hundred employees and the entire warehouse operations.
The first step in the five management functions is planning. “Planning is a systematic process in which managers make decisions about future activities and the key goals that the organizations will pursue” which means that planning is the first step you need to take when you are a newly promoted member of management. Planning can be the make or break point of your career. As a new manager at Amazon and at a new plant, planning will help create an effective team and will help create a culture that will make your job and your employee job much easier. When it comes to implementing an effective team and culture, you need to assess what the culture is already like. The first time meeting new employees, always ask them about themselves and about their job. The first step in making a successful work environment is to find what employees are happy with and what employees think need work. With the ideas obtained from employees, successful planning can begin.
When it comes to planning, there are some important steps that need to be followed (or closely followed) to be successful in the planning process. The steps are: “scan the environment, forecast future events, determine organizational goals, develop plans, and allocated resources”. With these steps, a successful planning can begin and hopefully, a successful business can continue to bloom. Planning involves looking at the bigger picture and thinking about a few years down the road because you have to be willing to struggle if it will help create a better working environment, better sales, and a better operation further down the road.
Another important part of planning is helping employees because to be completely honest, they are the most important part of the Amazon business (or any business in general because without employees you’re nothing). As previously stated, the first thing to do as a newly promoted and relocated manager, meeting with all the employees would be the first, and most important step. With employee meetings, you can find out if your current employees are happy with their job or where you can improve it. All managers are different, but we all must strive to be the best manager we can be. One thing that has been suggested when it comes to having success with employees is to set standards. “For you to perform at your best as a manager, you must set standards of performance, and even standards of excellent performance for each job and for each function in your area of responsibility” which means one of the first things you need to do as a new manager is to set standards and you need to make them known. It’s hard becoming a manager in a place you are unfamiliar with and there will be some employees who fight with you, but they need to know that you are there to help everyone succeed within the company. The standards are set in place to also make sure you don’t have anyone not pulling their weight or slacking, and this will help later with performance reviews. The second function of the effective management steps is organizing. “Organizing is the process of bringing people and resources together to create products and services in an efficient manner” which means we need to make sure we are bringing in the best employees for the jobs at hand and we need to make sure we are sending out the best we have to offer. Our employees and our products speak a lot about a company. When it comes to organizing there are three main steps you can follow to help you be successful in this area as well. The first step is to “create specific, yet flexible job designs” which means we need to reevaluate the current job designs Amazon has in place and we need to reevaluate the job designs that are currently being used in the warehouse and within the supervisors as well. The first step would make sure the job design is clear as to what the job entails. The job design needs to emulate what we are looking for in each employee in each section of the warehouse. Another important aspect of organizing is to make sure you departmentalize. Departmentalization means “the organizing of people into different departments or divisions in which collections of tasks are placed together such as accounting, marketing, and production”. When you departmentalize, you need to make sure you are separating tasks and duties where they need to at, and you need to make sure that each department has its own set of tasks. With this being a warehouse job, you have different job titles for each employee. There are packers, shippers, supervisors, and the list goes on. The first thing that needs to be done is to have proper titles for each department and a detailed task list in ensure that all the work that needs to be done is getting done. There are some businesses that are working towards not using this anymore because it promotes favoritism within the departments but when it comes to a warehouse type setting like Amazon, I think this is something that is needed to ensure all work across the company gets completely in a timely fashion.
The third function that is essential to be a successful manager is staffing. “Workforce planning is the foundation of strategic staffing because it identifies and addresses current and future challenges to a firm’s ability to get the right talent in place at the right time”. Anyone that has been in a management position knows how staffing plays an important part in any organization. When it comes to staffing, you must be careful who you select to work for you because not everyone is cut out for the work you need to be done. When it comes to staffing, a simple interview can work wonders. One interview can tell a lot about a person and even if they don’t say much, you can read body language just as well. When it comes to finding new employees, job ads online are the way to go anymore. There are tons of different websites that help people get jobs. Another way to really draw people in is by word of mouth. When people hear how great a company is to work for, then they want to work for it as well, or they will tell others that are looking for a job.
Another important part of staffing is replacing current staff members once they decide to promote or if they decide to leave. When an employee decides to promote, the first step in replacing a person is to start looking at the employees you have. The best practice when promoting an employee to a management position is to find an employee who is great at their job. Now when an employee leaves, the best practice is to perform an exit interview to find out why the employee is leaving. There are plenty of reasons why an employee might leave the company but with an exit interview, we can find out why they left and improve on ourselves. If an employee left because of a negative work environment, we can find the issue and deal with it before we lose any more employees. When it comes to the HR process, the standard drug and background test would also help with staffing. We want to hire the best employees possible, so to ensure that we hire the best we need to make sure they are not abusing drugs or have possible felonies. I believe that the HR process is great as it is. With all the current tools in place, staffing should not be an issue.
Another important function is leading. “Remember that managing is about coping with complexity. Leadership is about coping with change. Both will be high priorities for supervisors, middle managers, and executive managers of the future”. This is a very important passage within the textbook because it states just what I’ve always said, no two managers are alike, and no two employees are alike. When first becoming a manager, the first thing you learn is that every employee is different. They will react to criticism differently, they will respond to praise differently, and they will work differently. There are two different types of leadership that have been discussed: transformational and transactional, and both leadership styles are different in more ways than one.
When we look at both leadership styles, “transactional leadership is a style of management based on the distribution of rewards and punishment” and “transformational leader garner trust, seek to develop leadership in others, exhibit self-sacrifice, and serve as moral agents”. Personally, transformational leadership is the best option to use. When it comes to transformational, you are truly listening to your employees and you are working towards bettering their work life as well. Employees not only want to be appreciated but they want to further their careers as well and with the help of a manager, they can go as far as they can. The plan is to help each employee strive to be the best they can be, find potential new supervisors, and help each employee continue to grow as needed. Trust is an important part of any relationship and this holds true for working relationships as well. If your employees don’t trust you, you’ll fail. It’s as simple as that. When it comes to leadership, you need to be the best leader possible to succeed and to help others succeed as well.
The last thing that will be discussed is controls. This is another important part of being a manager as well. “Controlling is the process of evaluating performance against established goals and creating appropriate methods for taking corrective action to maintain or improve performance in any area of the organization” and the reason this is important is because evaluating performance can be beneficial to maintaining employees or getting rid of employees that aren’t helping the company. There are four steps when it comes to controlling and the first is establishing standards. As stated above, standards need to be established from day one. With the employees knowing what is expected of them from the beginning, there won’t be room for error. Also let the employees know that if the standards aren’t being upheld, there will be consequences for their actions. The second step is measuring performance. With this step, there are two ways to really approach it. When giving performance reviews, giving an employee a list of things, they do well and a list of things that they can improve on can help an employee understand just where they stand within the company and can also use the information to better themselves for possible promotion. The third step is comparing performance. With this step, the best way to approach it is to not use real employees. No one wants to hear how they don’t compare to a fellow coworker. When completing this step, the best is to create a model employee that has been working the same amount of time as the employee you are evaluating.
Finally, you need to decide. This could mean firing an employee, which could be difficult, but if it’s for the good of the company then it must be done. Being a manager is no easy task and it is not one for the faint of heart. In order to be a successful manager at Amazon, planning and making sure everyone is happy, organizing and making sure all tasks are being finished, staffing and making sure the warehouse is completely staffed, leading and making smart decisions for the company, and finally making sure you have control of your employees will all help to form a successful manager.