Sylvan Learning Centre is an organization that concentrates on improving the academic performance of individuals by customizing solutions to their academic needs. In essence, it is among the corporate and franchised learning centers that act as supplementary to the American schools. The center mainly deals with offering personalized instructions to people for state exams and college entrances. Largely, the fields that this center offers assistance on range from writing activities, mathematics tutorage, reading, test preparation and homework support. The center targets students at the primary and secondary stages of education. Their programs are in most cases personalized. This is so in order to ensure that personal needs of the students are addressed. Without personalization of the programs, it would be difficult to address problems that each individual faces (Hendricks et al. 2011). This would beat the essence of the center as boosting the academic performance of the students.
W. Berry Fowler is credited as being the person behind the center. The Sylvan center has developed several learning centers, which are situated in several cities. The center has been recognized by the Entrepreneur Magazine, which has ranked Sylvan 25 times. Despite the success that the center has enjoyed over the past years, it would be ignorant to assume that the center does not have problems. Most organizations have problems of their own. To address them, they have their internal mechanisms that they employ in order to ensure the organizations have a smooth run. Sylvan Center is no exception to this because it experiences several problems that must be critically analyzed in order to ensure the intended purpose is met.
The first problem that is experienced at the Sylvan Learning center is the role conflict. In a classic scenario, this problem arises when employees are exposed to incompatible demands, the extent to which compliance to both by the employee becomes difficult. In a real life example, employees in most organizations often find themselves with directions to address several issues at a time, which may become difficult for them. These conflicts may be for a short time or the long term. In some circumstances, the conflicts may be due to situational experiences, making it difficult for the employees to comply with the several requirements that they are expected to meet.
Role conflict in Sylvan can be divided into two major categories; intra-role conflict and inter-role conflicts. Intra-role conflict takes place within one domain in life. This is the most common role conflict in Sylvan. In essence, this conflict occurs when two major officials in an organization require the employee to perform some task, which makes it difficult for an employee to accomplish them at the required time. Due to the scarcity of trainers in Sylvan, the teacher-student ratio is very small.
Taking into account the fact that the organization’s essence is to provide personalized training make it difficult for the trainers to address each individual need the students may have. In such circumstances, the trainers find it hard to comply with the students’ needs, effectively making it a problem in the organization.
Inter-role conflicts, on the other hand, occur when the employees of the organization are required to attend to several issues, both within and outside the organization (Sylvan Learning Center, 1994). The most common example for this is the work-family conflict. This happens in cases where an organization’s employees have to address to other issues that are not related to the work, at the expense of the organization’s time.
At times, Sylvan Centre’s teachers may decide to pursue further education to enhance their careers. This will be a distraction to them as they will not fully devote their time to teach the students. Teachers are human beings and as such, they may have their own personal needs. In Sylvan, for instance, a teacher may be in such a position that he is required to attend to the students, and at the same time be at home to address their personal needs. This may cause discomfort to them and affect their service delivery. If this happens, then the students will be at a loss since the customized care and assistance will not be effectively delivered.
The role conflict, as already argued above, affects the productivity of employees negatively. To address this problem, Sylvan Learning Center should increase the number of employees in order to ensure that the needs of the students are easily met without the students being affected.
In Sylvan Learning Center, communication is another major problem that needs to be worked out. In any group, communication is a key factor if success at the level of departments or the general organization is to be a success. The teams that are formed in organizations often have the aim of improving the productivity of the organization through collaborations. In order to coordinate the functions of the business and get proper solutions to the organization’s companies, communication should be taken seriously. However, poor communication among other problems may have a very negative impact on the organization or business.
Sylvan Learning center faces many challenges as far as communication is concerned (Ruben, 2011). First, lack of clear goals in an organization may lead to communication conflicts. A perfect example to this is when the company leaders fail to give adequate directions to members of a group. In essence, the members fail to go through necessary processes to set their goals, which is essential in the development of the organization. Proper interaction among group members is essential in developing effective goals.
Other important aspects in the organization such as task assignments and assessing the progress of the employees depend on the communication patterns employed in the organization. Due to this reason, proper goals need to be set, since uncertain goals may mislead employees. This happens in situations where an employee may base their activities on their own ideas rather than the ideas of the organizations.
The Centre’s management, in most cases, fails to direct the teachers on the goals they need to cover. To some extent, the poor management that is exhibited in the organization where the teachers are assumed to know what is necessary to do cause this. When this happens, it becomes difficult to determine the relevant course of action that should be adopted. This calls for proper decision making within the organization.
Communication problems in Sylvan Centre, to some extent, have taken the Facts vs. Feelings method. Essentially, this happens when the employees of the organization fail to separate facts from feelings in a discussion. This will certainly lead to a conflict among the members of the organization. In most cases, when the conversation is based on facts, the result is that the points given are unchallengeable. Since, facts come with proof and evidence, it becomes very unlikely for them to be challenged and consequently, there is an aversion of conflict on the organization.
However, when feelings are included in conversations, emotions are bound to dictate the arguments that will follow. This is very risky in the organization since it brings about disagreements (Nelson et al. 2001). Such conflicts may hinder the members from achieving their set goals since it will be difficult for the employees to appreciate any action from another employee. This has, in most cases, applied to Sylvan Center.
In order to solve the problem that might be brought by the communication problems, it is wise that the members be advised to always ensure they communicate effectively. This means that they should, in most cases, ensure that their arguments are based on facts rather than feelings. Facts bring about emotions, which may hinder the relationship between the members of the same organization. Proper communication will work wonders in ensuring the goals that the organization sets are met, since everybody will be made aware of the rules he or she is expected to play by.
In any organization, lack of cohesiveness with diverse members will certainly affect it negatively. Employees in any organization should work as a unit in order to achieve the set goals. Despite this being a straightforward idea, enhancing group cohesiveness has always proved to be a difficult challenge to many.
Different people have different opinions ideas. They also have different perceptions about certain issues in the society. Importantly, these differences in idea and opinion may lead to the cohesiveness of the organization being threatened. Cohesiveness is essential in that it unites the employees of a company and ensures that they work together with the aim of achieving a common goal. Organizations that lack cohesiveness are mostly bound to fail in their attempt to meet their goals.
In Sylvan Learning Centre, a number of factors bring up lack of cohesiveness. For instance, the teachers in the institutions are collected from different locations. Diversity in culture and practices may see certain employees having a negative attitude to whatever other employees could be doing. This is very suicidal for the organization since, in most cases, they may not support the idea. Coordination problems are also likely to be the result of the organization’s lack of cohesiveness (Pederson et al. 2007). This problem is very rampant in many organizations, and has largely proved to be a hindrance to their development. As such, it is essential that a necessary solution is looked for in order for the organization to achieve its goals.
Excessive intergroup conflicts, in most cases, negatively affect the organization’s performance. Different issues bring about the intergroup conflicts. The nature of the organization or the group will certainly determine the relationship that will exist between the members of the same group. Goal variances, work interdependence and differences in perceptions promote intergroup conflicts. In most organizations, roles interrelate to each other, to the point that it sometimes becomes difficult to differentiate which role are to be played by some individual. Group conflicts have the impact of weakening the relationship between different members of the group. This is very risky for the fact that the members of the group will tend to ignore the roles that they should play to ensure that the company succeeds.
Sylvan Learning Centre has various qualities and values that it embraces. These are always created by the organization and inculcated in its culture. In essence, this should ensure that all the employees are guided by some principles in their endeavors to achieve the set goals. The relationships that exist between the different members of the organization determine the efficacy and productivity of the organization. It is a waste of time when the members of the same organization share interests, yet their directions are parallel. This negativity in the manner that different members view others will most likely lead to poor coordination amongst the members. Because of this, excessive intergroup conflicts should be efficiently addressed. This is essential in order to ensure that the organization’s objectives are easily met.
In solving the excessive intergroup conflicts, several issues must be taken into account. Importantly, the cause of the conflict must be found. The necessary steps must then be taken to avoid the conflicts from happening again.
When the conflicts arise, it is wise for the management of the organization to ensure the affected parties are reunited. By so doing, the cooperation that arises between them will likely have a positive impact to the productivity of the organization. Sylvan Learning Center, for instance, will ensure that the personalized services are easily achieved because the teachers will be in a position to share their ideas on what the necessary actions should be (Ruben, 2011). This is very essential in that they will get the right solution that will be employed to ensure all the students are attended to in an equal manner. Through this, the reputation of the organization will be increased. This is necessary because the officials will be encouraged to improve the services they offer in order to address issues that have never been addressed in the past.
In conclusion, Sylvan Learning Center has played a big role in ensuring the performance of students is boosted. The fact that they provide customized services to the students means that personal problems and weaknesses are addressed too. However, despite all the hype about the organization, it would be nice to know that various problems have threatened the organization’s attempts to cater for the students. Such problems such as role conflicts, communication problems among many more others make it difficult for the organization to effectively deliver its services. Due to these, recommendations given above should be promptly employed in order to help the organization meet its set objectives.
Hendricks, S., Reich, R., & Ebrary, Inc . (2011). Notes on Teaching: A Short Guide to an Essential Skill. New York: RCR Creative Press.
Nelson, D., Western Illinois University, & Consortium for the Application of Technology and Learning Innovation in Schools of Education (2001). The commercialization of teacher preparation: For-profit providers in teacher education. Macomb, Ill: Center for the Application of Information Technologies, Western Illinois University.
Pederson, J. P., & Cengage Learning (Firm) (2007). International directory of company histories: Volume 22. Chicago: St. James Press.
Ruben, M. K. (2011). How to tutor your own child: Boost grades and inspire a lifelong love of learning, without paying for a professional tutor. New York: Ten Speed Press.
Ruben, M. K. (2011). How to tutor your own child: Boost grades and instill a lifelong love of learning, without paying for a professional tutor. New York: Ten Speed Press.
Sylvan Learning Center, & National Association of Secondary School Principals (U.S.) (1994). Voices from the classroom: Results of a nationwide study of student attitudes on education reform. Burke, VA?: Sylvan Learning Centers.