Ashford University Human Resource Management Discussion Questions

Category: Business & Finance

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Question 1

Discuss a time when you have been a member of a team that has not performed well. Why was the team not effective? What role did the leader play in the team’s inability to perform? What steps should have been taken to address the issues? Cite your sources appropriately to include the recommended readings and the textbook.

Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts with constructive ideas, comments, or suggestions.

Student Reply 1 Dean 

Team,

    We would all like to suppress the moments when our teams have not performed well. Yet, it is from these situations where I feel we grow! A time where I have been on an ineffective team was when I was in-charge of the wheel and tire shop for my base. This shop is where all of the wheel assemblies for the 94 assigned F-15s come to be inspected, overhauled, and reissued. We do it through strict adherence to governing guidance to ensure we always provide a reliable product. I worked for a Chief that was in-charge of the overall efforts of the entire squadron. His leadership style was very appeasing and he avoided conflict by any means necessary.

    The ineffectiveness came when our sister squadron began to change their wheels while they were still serviceable, but expected me to change the tire assembly anyway. A tire that costs $1045 each. On-top of that, I had guidance that told me to return that asset to service until it was no longer serviceable. Therefore, I up-channeled to my leadership that I could not change the tire until its service life was exceeded. This caused severe turbulence with the relationship between our squadrons. My Chief decided that instead of push back against the other squadron, that my shop would throw the serviceable asset away. This is where we became ineffective. We had team authority differentiation. “Team authority differentiation refers to the extent to which a team has a designated leader who orchestrates the team process and a clear structure that differentiates members’ authority” (London et al, 2012, Section 4.2). Those assigned to my shop looked to me as having the authority to say no to my Chief, because his way forward for the process was immoral. This conflict of interest for the sake of my Chief avoiding conflict led to my Airmen and myself being torn and confused about what we should do. My Chief’s inability to uphold what our guidance told us to do made him weak in our eyes. He was unable to support his team and the guidance that which we were legally obligated to operate under, because he was unable to be confrontational. All he had to do was provide the guidance to the other squadron as justification as to why their practice should stop…but that would lead to conflict. After one conversation I had with him, he told me in a worried tone, “Their Chief is going to yell at me…”.

    What I feel should have been done was that he listened to the voice of his people, armed with the legal guidance of our operating processes, and put an end to the process at that point in time. Instead, this daily battle continued for over 6 months, leaving our integrity to be jeopardized on a daily basis. Our leader, who we look to for guidance and support, did not have our back. He made decisions that led to Airmen losing faith in the system and debating on whether they should continue their service in the Air Force or not. Luckily, our Commander was involved in the situation, and had the confrontation in order to stop the process. This renewed our faith in leadership, and all 4 of my Airmen reenlisted, and are still serving today.

Dean

References:

London, M., & Mone, E. (2012). Leadership for today and the future. (2nd. ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Student Reply 2 Katie 

Discuss a time when you have been a member of a team that has not performed well.

I was on an established team in my current role as an operations specialist to help champion a process that impacted several business partners within the company.

Why was the team not effective?

The team was not effective initially as there was no initial guidance from the team lead. Everyone came together with no individual or team expectations provided. Therefore, it was chaos at best. No one knew what the end goal was for the team. Therefore, no one knew who was responsible for what or even what to be responsible for.

What role did the leader play in the team’s inability to perform?

The leader’s role in the team’s inability to perform was the lack of developing her leadership style. She lacked the strategic planning and communication of the shared vision and goals of the team.

What steps should have been taken to address the issues?

The first step the leader should have taken was to identify the team she was leading. According to London & Mone (2016), “There are many types of teams in organizations, each of which has its own challenges” (Chapter 4.2, para. 2). By identifying what type of team was in play, the leader could have better understood any barriers that may have existed and better understood how the group would function.

References:

London, M., & Mone, E. (2016, December). Leadership for today and the future (2nd ed.). Retrieved from https://content.uagc.edu/

Question 2

One important skill for leaders to improve team performance is to be able to empower employees. Read the article Get Your Employees to Work ‘Like Nobody’s Watching’ (Links to an external site.). In the article, three ideas for encouraging employees were described. As a leader, how would you implement these ideas within your organization? How would implementing these changes improve team performance? Cite your sources appropriately to include the recommended readings and textbook.

Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts.

Student Reply 3 Carol 

Hello everyone, 

The article we were asked to read provided three ideas for encouraging employees. Kotter suggests that “creating a safe environment, rewarding risk-taking, and encouraging participation from all levels” (2014) are the best ways to do so. Working in an environment that empowers you stimulates growth, willingness to learn, and camaraderie. “Leaders play a crucial role in shaping the work environment experienced by their employees” (Zhang et al., 2018). As a leader, I would implement these changes by encouraging my team to step out of their comfort zone. Never fear making a mistake because every mistake can be fixed and viewed as a learning experience. I would also reward learning milestones by acknowledging individual achievements, encourage sharing these achievements with the team, and provide incentives for the entire team meeting a collective goal.

Our text mentions, “leaders who are not empowering their team members are leaders who micromanage the team’s activities, monitor behavior, discourage members from acting on their own, and convey having little faith in the team’s ability to accomplish the challenging tasks ahead” (London & Mone, 2016). This leadership behavior is disadvantageous to the team by causing members to disengage from learning and contributing to the team.

I learned a valuable tool used to encourage growth and measure achievements and setbacks. It was introduced to me by a previous leader. It is referred to as the “plus delta approach.” The plus delta approached is explained by Cheng et al., as a debriefing strategy in which participants are asked to reflect on the entire simulation event and assess their individual or collective performance” (2021). On a large flip chart, we carried it out by jotting down what went well and what could be improved on for next time. We would break down the areas that needed improvement, develop teams to brainstorm ways to improve these problems, and return to review and make improvements on what we needed to do next. Using this approach, the team decided how to make things better and created more opportunities for improvement. This activity empowered the team to make the change they wanted to be in the organization.

-Carol 

References

Cheng, A., Eppich, W., Epps, C., Kolbe, M., Meguerdichian, M., & Grant, V. (2021) Embracing informed learner self-assessment during debriefing: The art of plus-delta. Advances in Simulation (London England), 6 (1), 22. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.1186/… (Links to an external site.)

Kotter. (2014). Get Your Employees To Work “Like Nobody’s Watching.” Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkotter/2014/01/16… (Links to an external site.)

London, M., & Mone, E. (2016, December). Leadership for today and the future (2nd ed.)

Zhang, S., Ke, X., Frank Wang, X., & Liu, J. (2018). Empowering leadership and employee creativity: A dual?mechanism perspective. Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, 91(4), 896–917. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.1111/…

Student Reply 4 Deryk 

The three ideas for encouraging employees from the articles are creating a safe environment, reward risk-taking, and encourage participation from all levels. As a leader, I would include all three of these and for me, I believe that creating a safe environment for my associates to learn, be creative, realistic, and vulnerable is one of the most important key point in being successful as a team. According to Kotter (2014) “When managers encourage their employees not to worry about the consequences of failing, their people try new and different approaches.” This helps to boost team’s morale to participate without the fearing of being judged. Second, rewarding associates when they take risk can help individuals to step out of their comfort zone and help them to understand that it is ok to take risk without the fear of being punished. Lastly, I would highly encourage participation from all job families. According to Kotter (2014) “Creating a safe network environment where it’s okay to innovate helps empower employees at all levels to step up and become leaders. Why limit developing leadership to those only at the top of hierarchy?” This is extremely true when it comes to a leader only developing those they believe to have potential. For me, I see a potential in everyone to become a leader from all job families and positions.

Implementing the three ideas can help to improve individual development while making sure that everyone understands that it is ok to make mistakes, be creative, and learn in a safe environment. Leaders who lead with fear and casts shadows do not understand that if their followers grow, so will they. As a transformational leader who casts light and illuminate my follower’s career paths. I want to make sure that I am growing because of them and are learning with them as well. This helps to empowering employees to get “in the zone”. According to Kotter (2014) “They’re in a mode of discovery, trying things that may seem ridiculous, dangerous, or outright wrong. But they’re exploring with such passion that it can capture your attention – just like catching someone dancing like nobody’s watching.” This resonates with me when I observe an associate taking risk and doing what they can to understand the process and how to become successful while helping their fellow teammate and just like that, it is empowering to watch!

Reference

Kotter. (2014). Get Your Employees To Work “Like Nobody’s Watching.” Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkotter/2014/01/16…

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