The Function of Manager: Roles and Skills Assignment Help
You are required to analyse the following situation using the STAR method.
Case study :
At the beginning of each day, Kim, as head of Housekeeping and Public Areas for a 5 star Hotel in the Melbourne CBD, checks with the shift supervisor regarding any issues that may need her attention. Today she is concerned that two of the housekeeping staff have phoned in "sick;" one of them for the 3rd time in two weeks. The shift supervisor asks if she can take Leanne from public areas and put her on rooms for a few hours to cover for the absent staff. However, Kim is aware that there is a big convention today in the Hotel's function area and the foyer and surrounds need to look good - the CEO will be there assessing how well the public areas are being cleaned.
Before a decision, Kim rings reception to ask if there are any special requirements and learns that a large group of Japanese tourist is arriving early, about 11.30am and that level five rooms need to be ready.
Despite that issue, Kim decides to leave Leanne in public areas for now. The windows, mirrors and chrome need to be spotless as the hotel will be "on display" and the work of her team will be judged publicly. The shift supervisor for rooms is not happy saying he can't be expected to get the rooms on level 5 finished on time with limited staff. Kim, using her knowledge of room cleaning suggests to the shift supervisor several in-room activities that can be delayed until "turn-down" time later that evening - but to ensure that the next shift know to complete those activities.
Kim checks her emails early, as she is aware that executive directives are often determined later in the evening before. She makes a note in her diary to have a talk with Roger, the room attendant who has taken so many days as sick leave. She also decides to talk to the afternoon shift supervisor about the added activities and so leaves a message asking her to contact her when she comes in. She is concerned that the CEO has called an emergency meeting with her and other managers at 9.30 this morning. This sounds important.
Kim takes her last monthly report to the meeting - although it is not required. The CEO announces that the profits for the last few quarters have been steadily declining and that the board has asked for all departments to submit plans as to how their department can save money - or increase earnings where possible. Moreover, the CEO indicates that there may have to be staff cuts to make up for the falling profits.
Kim feels she should speak up on behalf of her staff, saying that the workers are doing their best under trying conditions and that they could not possibly cope with any further cuts to staff numbers.
But the CEO has got her measure. He reminds Kim that there has been a lot of absenteeism in her department and that maybe she, Kim, needs to attend to this matter.
"If they don't want to work," says the CEO, "then get rid of them. Kim, that's what I'm paying you for."
Kim leaves the meeting calling her assistant asking her to schedule a meeting with her shift leaders for later that day at crossover to discuss improved methods of room preparation to meet the CEO's requirements. She dreads having to tell them about the proposed staff cuts. She considers a meeting of all housekeeping staff - but that would have to be on company time and she is not sure if the CEO would approve.
Kim decides to inspect progress in the foyer and public areas for the convention. A text from the shift supervisor upstairs on level 5 says that unless he can get extra staff, he cannot get the level 5 rooms ready for the Japanese tourists by 11.30.
Kim knows she has to think beyond the immediate problem to find a solution. She has to see "the big picture."
And in doing so, Kim approaches the front desk and telephones the tour company bringing in the Japanese tourists. She learns that they are scheduled for a bus tour of the city at 12.45pm that day. She then organizes with front office to have their luggage stored upon arrival and complementary refreshments to be provided in the second lounge - she informs public area staff to "freshen-up" the second lounge then informs the bar to provide complimentary refreshments. "Who do we charge the refreshments to?" asks the bar supervisor. Kim says "hotel", knowing this bill will come across the desk of the CEO - just after she has been informed of the cost cutting measures. She phones the tour company to keep them informed and they are very happy with the arrangements. "That's why we choose your hotel, you always look after our guests," is the reply.
Kim decides not to inform the shift supervisor in rooms that there is no longer an urgency to get the level 5 rooms ready by 11.30am. She does this because, given what the CEO has said, she is eager to see if staff can work more efficiently.
Kim looks at her watch; 10.45 am, morning tea time and she heads to the coffee shop. Her phone then rings.
Taking the call she learns that there has been an accident in one of the rooms on level 5. A staff member was trying to work too quickly and was cutting corners. Instead of getting the small stepladder from the service room down the hall, she used a chair with wheels to stand on and fell.
"Hold the Latte," she says to Michael, who gives her an understanding smile, "I'll have to deal with this."
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Every manager faces a certain situation in their work tenure which tests them for all their knowledge and skills. This case study illustrates one such situation where Kim, the manager has to make certain decisions which are extremely important for her company, her staff members and her own career growth.
In this case study, we will analyze Kim as a manager using the STAR methodology and how she has fared in this situation, keeping in mind the entire scenario. The analysis will provide a thought into how managers are supposed to act, make decisions, influence the work environment and manage problems.
The STAR methodology is used to analyze the leadership skills of an individual based on their response in a certain situation, based on the following parameters: Situation, Theory, Action, and reflection (Higgins, 2014). For this case study, we will analyze Kim and her managerial skills using this methodology.
The given case study underlines the issue of inefficiency and cost-cutting. The Hotel is deemed for inspection and is expecting a delegation of Japanese guests at the same time. With the service staff being short-handed and understaffed, there is a lot of pressure on the staff to perform well to get good rankings for the Hotel (Forsey, 2018). Kim as the reporting manager has a lot of issues to deal with one by one. She has to streamline the staff efforts and direct them to get maximum efficiency in getting the rooms ready, she has to ensure that she gets maximum time for her staff to ready the room and most importantly she has to manage the staff cut strategy proposed by the CEO to save cost. These are all the situations that Kim has to single handily take care of as a manager. Here, Kim is not only understaffed but also lacks a motivated team as well.
In order to solve the issue at hand, there are several management tools that come to Kim's aid, such as the Mintzberg: management roles, Katz: Skills required of managers and Fayol's: functions of management. All these theories will help in understanding the problem independently and give a solution, or at least a structured way to get going and correcting the situation at hand.
According to the Mintzberg theory, a manager has several functions and roles, and they are all influenced by various situations. These ten roles are a figurehead, leader, liaison, spokesperson, conflict resolution, negotiator, monitor, Entrepreneur, and disseminator. These roles are divided into three categories based on the skills of the leader. Kim can apply this theory by realizing her strengths and her weakness with respect to these and understand her priorities among all the problems to solve them in a better way (Ollila & Yström, 2016).
Under this section, the actions of the manager are analyzed. Here, we have to understand all the corrective measures which were taken by Kim, the application of skills and domain knowledge to get hold of the situation and how she managed to do this.
One such example, where her presence of mind can be applauded is when she tried to buy her team some more time to clean the room. Kim contacted the travel agency bringing in the Japanese guests. She very cleverly gave them free refreshments on the house so that they do not go directly to the unprepared rooms. In the meantime, she did not tell her time about the extra time they had in order to maintain the pace of the work. This way, she not only got some buffer time, but she also ensured the team worked well. this action of her shows her farsightedness and how she thinks of the bigger picture and not simply managing the present situation only (Andersen, 2011).
Overall, Kim is the ideal manager who has a lot of energy. She is the kind of manager any team will be lucky to have. The way she manages the situation is always prepared for her roles and is always ready to take the hit for her team shows how she has developed as a professional and as a person. These are the kind of people who develop good relations and shall be retained. Kim has shown the good presence of mind on several occasions and has even not backed down from making adjustments on her personal time.
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