BSBLDR511 Assessment 2 – Case study/Scenario

 

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Scenario responses

 

In this assessment, you should read and respond to 4 scenarios that relate to a simulated workplace. You are required to answer a series of questions relating to each scenario.

 

In doing so, you should recognise and respond to the emotional states of other people in the workplace, using emotional intelligence knowledge and skills to help build effective relationships in the diverse organisation.

 

Complete all parts of the assessment with supporting documentation as required. Submit the assessment task in the required format and within the timeframe agreed with your assessor.

 

Scenario A

 

You are the new General Operations Manager for Australian Hardware. Your Store Manager has had a stressful month. It is the end of the financial year and sales revenue in the Timber, Plumbing and Electrical departments are not on target, almost certainly due to increased competition from smaller operators competing for trade contractors’ business.

 

Just this week, the Store Manager held a meeting in which she shouted at all the department managers (including you) and instructed them to work out a way to improve revenue. Obviously, the outburst did not make much sense, as the department managers in such a large business do not have the capability to raise much revenue directly. Marketing and distribution innovations that could have an effect are mainly a head office responsibility. The Wollongong store’s inability to counter the threat from smaller, more nimble trade suppliers has been the main reason for the revenue deficit.

 

Naturally, the atmosphere around the store and  in the management team is quiet, and a few managers have discussed leaving the  organisation; other managers have responded by pushing unreasonable sales demands onto their sales staff.

 

You are now feeling pressure to do something to address the concerns expressed by the Store Manager. You don’t wish to act contrary to budget planning nor increase pressure on the team to offset poor performance in areas beyond their control.

 

In your opinion, this leadership behaviour was disrespectful to all the managers, created unnecessary concern about job security and undermined trust. There has been a clearly negative flow-on effect down through the store, which is now affecting people at a lower level. You are justifiably angry at the manager’s behaviour and blame her for making a bad situation worse due to poor leadership and poor emotional awareness.

 

Based on this scenario, provide written responses to the following:

 

  1. In approximately 80 words, outline what may have occurred in the Store Manager’s emotional journey and her subsequent response in the meeting.
  2. Describe at least 2 of the principles of strong emotional intelligence that the Store Manager did not demonstrate in this scenario.
  3. Provide at least 2 strategies that she could have considered while planning the meeting, and link these to probable productive results for the business.
  4. Managers reporting to you have asked if you would approach the Store Manager on everyone’s behalf. List 6–10 sequential bullet points that would provide a well- planned approach to guide this conversation with the Store Manager.
  5. Outline at least 3 potential benefits for store performance if morale could be lifted across the team.
  6. Describe in approximately 75 words how you would model positive leadership behaviour in this situation, based on emotional intelligence theory. You may include bullet points.

 

Scenario B

 

You are the new General Operations Manager for Australian Hardware.

 

It is the end of the financial year and sales revenue at the Wollongong store in the Timber, Plumbing and Electrical departments are not on target. This issue is almost certainly due to increased competition from smaller operators competing for trade contractors’ business; nevertheless, some action should be taken by management to lessen the effect of this issue on the store overall.

 

After management discussions, it has been decided that some employee performance targets will be increased where capacity exists, and some programs (such as training) will be delayed. These measures will have the effect of potentially increasing revenue and reducing costs to compensate for overall poorer-than-expected performance in the Wollongong store.

 

Each manager will have responsibility for implementing this group decision in their area of responsibility. It will be important to consider the emotional impact on staff and any consequential impact on health, safety and wellbeing, as well as the impact on performance and the achievement of organisational goals.

 

In your written response to the above scenario:

  1. Describe the relationship between emotionally effective people and the attainment of business objectives.
  2. Describe how considering the emotional impact of decision-making could lead to better decision-making (with respect to business objectives).
  3. Describe what a decision-making process that takes emotional impact into account could look like. Decisions in this case include, for example, setting performance targets, or selecting what programs can be delayed.
  4. Identify policies, procedures or legislation that will need to be followed to satisfy internal and external requirements related to managing emotions in the workplace.
  5. Describe how health and safety legislation is relevant to managers’ implementation of business decisions.

 

Scenario C

 

You are the new General Operations Manager for Australian Hardware.

 

An employee has come to you expressing concern about an issue involving a co-worker. In general, the sales force is a fairly cohesive team, but now a relatively new member of the team is rubbing people the wrong way.

 

The newer team member never participates in drinks or other social occasions outside work. She never involves herself in the common, day-to- day conversations about family, popular movies or culture. The team is beginning to form the opinion that she is too aloof, doesn’t like the other team members and they are expressing discontent about her place in the team. The sales team believe it is really important to be able to feel a connection with other team members. This connection provides a sense that they can rely on each other. It facilitates mutual support such as relieving another team member who needs some personal time, sharing information as required and helping to serve customers in a collaborative manner.

 

You happen to know that the sales staff member in question is a valuable staff member with good customer skills and product knowledge. You understand, however, that as a foreign-born, conservative,  religious woman, she is having trouble relating to the other team members. Many team-bonding opportunities involve activities that she cannot participate in, such as out-of-hours parties, drinking alcohol or using confusing cultural references. The newer team member believes she is in a bind because she would like to be accepted by her colleagues on her professional merits. It seems that all avenues to team-bonding are closed off and she therefore feels marginalised and senses that others see her as an unfriendly person.

 

In your written response to the above scenario:

  1. What emotional cues would you look for in the initial conversation with the employee expressing concern? Explain how these cues would guide your response.
  2. Identify at least 3 key points that you would discuss with the employee raising this issue, ensuring that cultural misunderstanding is addressed in the meeting.
  3. Develop a plan that identifies how the team in this scenario can raise their awareness of cultural expressions of emotions and promote effective communication to avoid further misunderstandings.
  4. Drawing on your knowledge of emotional intelligence theory, suggest 2 strategies that you might consider using with the newer team member to help alleviate her feeling of isolation.
  5. Prepare a list of at least 3 benefits that could be realised by the sales team and the business as a whole, if this challenge can be satisfactorily addressed.
  6. From your personal experience in the workplace, provide at least 2 examples where misinterpretations of expressions or behaviour occurred due to a culturally diverse workforce. What were the consequences of these misunderstandings in that workplace?

 

Scenario D

 

You are the new General Operations Manager for Australian Hardware. An employee that you manage really gets on your nerves.

 

It’s not that their performance is all that bad. For example, the employee always does what is required of them in terms of professionalism, administration tasks and dressing appropriately. They meet sales targets, and their customer service ratings on their performance scorecards are good.

 

On the other hand, the employee does not really respond to the team training and team-building sessions that you have initiated which have proven so effective in sustaining team morale and driving others to success. Other team members seem to thrive on, and draw energy from, these team sessions, while this employee, if anything, appears emotionally drained from interacting with their peers. They say that  they would rather work individually and that all the team stuff is suffocating. You’ve really tried hard to build a culture of teamwork and this feels like a slap in the face.

 

In your written response to the above scenario:

  1. Describe how you would set aside your own emotions to focus on and identify how the employee (probably) feels. Refer to relevant principles of emotional intelligence.
  2. Describe how knowledge of learning styles, personality types or communication styles might be able to help you relate to and understand the employee better and adapt your response.
  3. Describe how you could use your awareness of your own feelings and those of the employee to adapt your response so that the following needs are satisfied:

a).  Own needs (emotional needs, need for team cohesiveness, need to meet performance standards)

b).  The employee’s needs (emotional needs, need to develop and perform within a team environment).

Refer to relevant principles of emotional intelligence where applicable.

 

 

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