Read the case below and respond to the questions that follow:
Garvey Group is a family-owned retail and hotel company in Ireland, with 13 stores and hotels across the south of the country. A core belief is that investment in employee’s learning and talent development produces results to the bottom line. A modified balanced scorecard (Kaplan and Norton, 1996) is used to provide a framework for integrating learning and development into the overall business strategy.
A corporate recruitment and training plan is prepared annually, costed and evaluated through measures such as sales and profitability. Linked to this a similar annual plan is prepared for each branch. Existing employees’ training needs are identified using the appraisal system, with the dual objectives of both providing opportunity for individuals to self-identify learning needs as well as informing a needs analysis conducted by HR for each job role. Induction and initial training for new starters is also planned at store level.
The company uses a competence-based framework, with much emphasis put on behavioural competences applicable to all jobs, such as customer care, working as a team and ‘subtle selling’. The framework informs job design, selection and reward as well as learning and development. For managers in particular, as well as the core competences great emphasis is placed on leadership skills, decision making, strategic thinking and interpersonal skills based on high emotional intelligence. These skills are seen as essential for achieving business strategy, because sales, repeat business and reputation are so fundamental to corporate performance in this sector and managers are responsible for ensuring all staff contribute to achieving those measures.
When management training and development is planned, objectives are set for metrics such as increase in sales and return on investment.
Source: Based on a case in Stewart and Rigg, 2011
All submissions should be in the region of 3,000 words plus or minus 10% and references should be added in the Harvard Referencing Format. There is a Harvard Referencing tutorial in the Resources Area which outlines the formatting required.
Leadership is seen to be both a practical as well as a research area that incorporates the potential of leading, prompting or even providing guidance to others. Its defined as the ability to convince people to help or participate in a given task or the realization of a specific goal within a specific time frame. Leadership as opposed to management, is more involving in terms of the level of interaction with the subordinates. Leadership advocates for in depth engagement, the leaders are more aware of what the employees, how they do it, their challenges and their views and suggestions on various issues. Leadership is also about one going over and beyond their expected roles to achieve their objectives. Leaders provide guidance, advice and direction for their employees unlike management which just gives directives to be followed without much concern on how the activities will be done. There are also several traits associated with leadership and they include:
Intelligence- Leaders are more intelligent as they understand the entire process and how things are done and the reason why they are done the way they are. This makes them more involved and interested in their work and thus more productive at work as compared to managers.
Assertiveness- Leaders are also very assertive, in that they know what they want and they make decision for the greater good of the firm. They are willing to take chances and maximize all opportunities available to them. Their decisions are also firm and they are not easily carried away.
Determination and self-drive- Leaders are also very self-driven people, in that they have an internal motivation to accomplish their goals to get inner satisfaction. They are determined to do whatever it takes and within their means to see that the firm accomplishes its goals.
Good judgement- great leaders make sound judgements and decisions that are informed, timely and effective. They always make strategic and calculated decisions for the benefit of the firm. And also, most have the charisma to lead and thus, they make good judgement.
Motivators- leaders are also naturally motivators they encourage their employees to go beyond their ability and achieve more. They also identify the employees’ strengths and try build on them to maximize on their potential.
Effective leaders make effective teams: Effective leadership results to a culture of togetherness and cohesion in the firm. This builds trust and strengthens the interrelationships and thus the teams are more strengthened. They motivate and lead by examples as opposed to sanctioning the employees.
Increased productivity- good leadership stirs the employees to feel that they are working towards a common goal and they each have a part to play. They therefore become active participants of the shared goal and thus are self- motivated to work harder in realisation of the objectives.
Reduced staff turnover- great Leaders are known by retaining as many employees as possible. They try look for alternative ways of handling situations and thus avoid staff turnover which has a negative reputational impact on the firm. Great leaders identify other opportunities for these employees and other ways of resolving disputes instead of laying off staff. By so doing, they reduce the high costs of hiring and recruitment.
Identifying opportunities- Good Leadership skills spots opportunities for growth and development. They are visionaries and goal oriented people. According to Success Stream (2021), this means the businesses have a niche in the competitive market as they are able to stay competitive and relevant.
Increased revenues- great Leaders also ensure great returns on investment. This is because they have the ability to identify business opportunities, create resources and maximize the available opportunities for increased business proceeds.
Great Change Management- great leadership also allows for ease of Change Management and adaptability. They are able to help their staff to comfortably adapt to the market changes, become more competitive and thus maintain their market niche (Goodwin, 2019).
Management Development is defined as the procedure of enhance management skills and competency for the managers. Management Development may take various contexts which include; coaching, mentoring, job rotation, supervisory trainings as well as conducting professional growth. Management Development is a key aspect as it enhances the performance of the managers, motivates them to be more productive, helping them to develop their potential and talents, assisting in their planning skills and also enrich their execution and decision making skills.
Management Development can be practiced through Management Development Programs (MDP) which enhance the comprehension of concepts, approaches and practices that dictate management. Here, the members interact with each other, exchange ideas on management, grow their evaluation skills as they are exposed to real life circumstances and encouraged to air their opinions and suggestions. Through MDP, they gain real life tangible experience that they can apply in their various management functions such as planning, monitoring, controlling and decision making.
In the Garvey Group, Leadership will have a greater impact as they already believe in the investment in employees’ learning and development having great outcomes in their bottom line performance. Unlike Leadership, Management Development will improve the performance of the managers and this might take time before the same values, skills and insights are trickled down to the employees. Further, based on their company-based framework, which emphasizes on behavioural competences, Leadership will strengthen the Team Spirit and Subtle Selling.
The contribution of leadership as opposed to management development to successful performance in the Garvey Group;
Business needs should be interpreted to leadership results- this then proceeds to assist in establishing a Leadership Model in the Garvey Group which is more practical as its customized to the company’s needs. Coming up with such a model demands leadership skills to be available as it covers areas such as people leadership and personal efficiency. This will help the Garvey Group by ensuring that both employees and management are on the same page with regards to leadership results.
Shifting focus from skills and training to characters and personal efficiencies- in the Garvey Group, since people focus is the approach used by the management, Leadership will ensure that the traits of employees is more critical towards the actualization of their objectives. Employees will work on their attitudes and consecutively their actions and how they impact on subtle selling.
Leadership ensures integration of personal responsibilities for development- in the Garvey Group, employees should be well informed that they are expected to develop their leadership skills individually. This empowers them to make some decisions and they are then held accountable for their actions. This will prompt them to be self- motivated and responsible and act only in ways that benefit the company; failure to which they will be held responsible for their decisions.
The theories related to Leadership inform Leadership in the Garvey Group by providing insights on how best to tackle the circumstances based on previous tested hypothesis. Based on Corporate Finance Institute (2021), the theories provide guidance on the way forward when it comes to Leadership skills and characteristics. Some of the Leadership theories include:
Great Man Theory – it states that the potential to lead is natural. It argues that leaders are born and they rise to leadership positions when need be. They are seen to be valiant and ordained. Their leadership skills are definitely recognized by others without much doubt. However, it argues that people can be born with or without strong leadership skills.it utilizes the nature as opposed to the nurture approach. It was named, “Great Man” since previously leadership was associated with mostly the male gender as opposed to now that females are also taking up leadership positions in Organisations and competing with men in terms of performance and output. It suggests that the charismatic leaders can be trained to enhance their leadership skills.
Behavioural Theory- here, the concern is mostly on the leaders’ activities and performance as opposed to their personal characters. It advocates that leadership is an outcome of various acquired skills and competencies. Leadership here is defined from three perspectives; technical, conceptual and human. Here, leadership is made (learned) and not necessarily born. This theory is founded upon behaviourism; the leaders’ actions as opposed to their mental qualities. Thus, leaders can be made through coaching and also observation. It supports Leadership training and development as leaders can be trained to be behave in a given way.
Trait Theory – it gives a comparison between the potential leaders and the current successful ones. It therefore produces a prediction of how great leaders should be. Some of the traits researched on include the physiological (weight, height) and demographics (age, background and judgement) attributes. This theory suggests that some of the great traits of great leaders comprise of: self- confidence, being extroverted as well as being courageous. However, the limitation of this theory is that some people have these traits but don’t make great leaders while others who don’t have these traits necessarily make great leaders. It proposes that leadership development should focus on an individual’s traits.
Situational Theory- it argues that leadership is dependent on the prevailing circumstances. Leaders thus are known based on how they handle situations and their response based on the current activities and the people. In cases where the leader is the most competent person within a group, they might use the authoritarian style, while in a case where there are many specialists, democracy might apply. The circumstances thus dictate the leadership style to be used. The theory argues that leadership development should encourage leaders to take responsibility on the different circumstances they encounter.
Contingency Theory- its founded on the principle that no single leadership design is suitable for all circumstances. It advocates that the best leadership style that is best is one which integrates character, situation and needs. Great leaders take into account the prevailing situations, the needs of their employees and strike a balance on the best cause of action. They are objective ad consider all aspects and not just their behaviour. These leaders end up being more effective since creating a balance helps to establish a common ground for employees to perform. Leadership development thus ought to empower leaders to apply the different leadership styles based on their prevailing situations for maximum results.
Participative Theories- this theory advocates that great leadership is one that considers the views, opinions and suggestions of other relevant parties. These leaders motivate their members to air their opinions which makes them feel appreciated and involved during the decision making procedure. The employees thus will act towards the realisation of the company’s objectives as they feel part and parcel of the team. This makes them more committed to their work and consecutively increases their productivity at work. However, the leader controls the inputs put forward to ensure that they are within the mission and vision of the firm. The theory advocates that leadership development should involve all relevant parties when making decisions and strategy formulation.
Management Theories- also called transactional theories. Their major interest is the function of organisation, performance and supervision. They advocate for rewards and punishment. These theories are majorly applied in the business setting where; when employees achieve their targets they are rewarded through gifts, promotion or even praises. Meanwhile, when they fail to achieve their targets, they are punished or reprimanded. This system is very rigid as it does not allow for flexibility and creativity; employees only do what is expected of them and no more. Learning development should also consider rewarding employees when they perform well and encourage them to avoid mistakes.
Relationship Theories- also referred to as transformational theories. They emphasis on the links and relationships created between leaders and their members. They assist the members to see the value and the greater benefits to be obtained of a given assignment. The leaders here build strong interpersonal relationships and their goal is the full maximization of the employees’ potential. These leaders are more likely to be very ethical and they observe high moral standards. They leverage relationships to get things done. Its contribution to leadership development is it allows employees to be creative and exploit their full potential.
Leader- Member Exchange Theory- According to Brandley (2020), this theory is more or less like the transactional theory. It emphasizes on the presence of an in group and out group. The in group (smaller in size) consists of the management while the out group (bigger population) consists of the employees. Here, the out group does its responsibilities which the in group analyses and determines if the work has been done satisfactorily. The good out group is rewarded while the poorly performed out group is punished. The theory suggests that leadership development should concentrate on the strengths of employees and reward them for their achievements.
Servant Leadership Theory- the theory advocates that leaders are identified by determining the various wants of their members and then coming up with ways of assisting them. The leaders’ major role is serving their members and ensuring their comfort and doing whatever it takes to meet their needs. The theory contributes to leadership development by ensuring the servants needs are always considered by the leader.
These theories related to leadership inform leadership development in the Garvey Group through:
Listening- the servant leadership learn how to first listen before coming up with final decisions thus ensuring their decisions are informed. Listening gives the employees a sense of importance as they perceive if their leaders listen to them, then they matter in the Organisation.
Awareness- Leaders have to be well aware of the circumstances that their members are in. this will ensure they make decisions which are impartial and fair.
Stewardship- Leaders are expected to take responsibility for all their actions and decisions. This motivates the members also to be responsible in their actions.
Empathy- leaders should be empathetic towards their members and try reason with them. This requires them to take their suggestions and opinions and consider then while making strategies and decisions.
Inspirational- leaders should be motivational by their speech and actions. They should focus on empowering their members to be the best version of themselves and thus actualize their potential.
Intellectual stimulation- leaders ought to have the ability to push others to think far and wide. They have to urges others to think wide and make bigger plans for themselves in a bid to maximize on their abilities.
Regulate distress- Leaders ought to create an environment which is conducive for the employees to address their work and personal tensions. This encourages the employees to be open and builds their trust with the leaders.
Collaborative approach- leaders seek to have collaborative approaches to work. They look to achieve more by carefully including all the relevant parties to join in accomplishing a given task. This results to better performance as each party contributes what they are best at making the overall performance a success.
HR Department plays an important role in ensuring that the Garvey Group Leadership is developed. They are charged with various responsibilities with this respect and this includes; identifying the potential leaders, grooming them with the good leadership skills and then assigning them positions in the firm to test and grow their leadership capability. Majorly this is done with the intention of ensuring personal development as well as for succession purposes. This means that when leaders retire, resign or pass on, they can easily be replaced with others and hence, a smooth transition without hiccups. This smooth transition ensures that the firm does not incur unnecessary instability which might have very dire impacts on their competitiveness in the industry.
The Role of HR in ensuring effective leadership.
Leadership coaching and growth- HR may help in the leadership development through identifying the training needs of leaders. This information is obtained through appraisals or even through observation. The leaders then can be trained by experts on how to better their leadership skills and as a result, motivate them. Their strengths should be openly commended to build on their self- confidence and suggesting areas that require improvements. Further, HR may support leadership development through proposing suitable course and mentoring prospects for the leaders. This ensures that Garvey Group is able to generate for itself its leaders as opposed to hiring outside leaders when its leaders retire or resign (James Cook University 2019). The in-built leaders are much better in performance and strategy establishment as they understand the company with lots of in depth information compared to the outsourced leaders who need time to understand the company culture and operations.
Promotion incentives- HR should ensure that there is a system in place that promotes the employees based on their technical capacity, skills, soft skills and personality traits. This is key as Leaders have a big impact on the staff morale and thus, during promotion, they have to assess the impact on the employees. Further, HR should ensure that those promoted are well coached and mentored to allow them reach their full potential for the benefit of the firm. HR must also ensure existence of a clear definite Succession Plan to guide on the continuity of the firm when a Leader retires or resigns.
Employee-centric Concept- HR is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the employees are well aware on what effective leadership is. This can be achieved by HR documenting the qualities of a good leader and their desirable qualities. This helps the leaders to grow their inter-personal skills and soft skills and thus strengthen their relationship with other employees. These strategies ensure that the systems used for hiring and retaining tem members are highly effective thus minimizing instances of employee turnover.
Team- based focus- the concentration on working in teams results to better performance generally. This has been attributed to the fact that while working in teams, the strengths of each individual are well utilized and their weaknesses are minimized as they support each other in accomplishing the various team activities. The team spirit ensures that all the team members are included into the team’s activities and therefore leaders can be able to identify future leaders within their teams based on their performance to allow for smooth succession and transition.
Top Management and HR Collaboration- this co-operation is key in guaranteeing Leadership Development. The collaboration ensures that the Top Management avails resources for Leaders to be trained and mentored either by the internal mentors (HR Department) or even by external mentors. The collaboration ensures that the Learning Development Initiatives are also in line with the company policies and strategies. The employees tend to benefit more when this collaboration is rolled out as they get approval to also grow their personal Leadership skills while they work under the supervision of their mentors (James Cook University 2019).
Brandley, K 2020. “10 Leadership Theories”. Available from www.connect.extension.org (04/02/2021)
Corporate Finance Institute 2021, “Leadership Theories”. Available from www.corportefinanceinstitute.com (04/02/2021)
Goodwin University 2019, “3 Benefits of Effective Leadership for an Organization”. Available from www.goodwin.edu (03/02/2021)
James Cook University 2019, “5 Ways HR Can Help Develop Leaders”. Available from www.thehrdirector.com (04/02/2021)
Success-Stream 2021, “7 Benefits of Effective Leadership for Organisations”. Available from www.success-stream.co.uk (03/02/2021)