Application Papers: “Leadership Moment”
Wal-Mart has successfully established a strong business that has conquered the retail sector. The company’s strategic management is attributable to its great performance. However, the organization is presently facing a challenge that has the potential of undermining its undertakings. Strategic reviews indicate that most Wal-Mart’s employees are not proud of working in the company. There is an overall low employees’ morale since the company has failed to adopt friendly policies that would enhance workers’ morale. Most employees are complaining of the company’s managers who are using dictatorial approaches when relating with them (OnLabor, 2013). Furthermore, the company shows less concern about its employees’ welfare. Employees identify repeated incidents of harsh control by managers who psychologically oblige them to follow their terms. For example, an employee at Wal-Mart argues that following the company’s philosophy that focuses on reducing costs, employees are often sent home early or their working hours reduced when the work is low. Surprisingly, the company fails to pay the employees after sending them home. Moreover, employees are overworked since there is a load of work to be done at any time, yet few employees are put on the bond to reduce the cost (OnLabor, 2013).
The Wal-Mart management team has focused on reducing cost to maximize the company’s return ignoring other important factors. In essence, the company has failed to value the significance of establishing a motivated pool of personnel. The poor management strategies adopted by the company is attributable to the identified low employees’ morale. With the low morale, the employees are likely to be less productive which will affect the overall company’s productivity (Blokdijk, 2008). This highlights the significance of channeling attention to this issue to rescue the company. Through applying effective human resource management model, Wal-Mart can successfully address this challenge.
Wal-Mart management team should adopt a strategic leadership behavior that will make employees develop a sense of pride of working in the company. The current leadership strategy seems to ignore employees’ needs and concerns. The Wal-Mart management should apply the Path-goal theory to address the presented issues. The theory focuses on promoting employee performance and satisfaction by investing in employee motivation. This leadership concept focuses on the relationship between the leader’s style and the habits of the subordinate and the work environment (Northouse, 2012). It is apparent that employees at Wal-Mart are having low morale because the management has ignored these factors.
The path-goal theory is informed by the assumption that employees are likely to get motivated if they are made to believe in their ability and when sure that their efforts will be acknowledged. Furthermore, the theory guides that subordinates should be made to acknowledge the value of working hard (Northouse, 2012). These are practical assumptions that can successfully resolve the issues identified at Wal-Mart. Through adopting a leadership strategy that aligns with the employees’ characteristic and the work settings, employees will develop a notion that the company is concerned about their welfare (Rao & Krishna, 2005). The Wal-Mart management should motivate their employees into working hard by making them believe in their potential and rewarding individuals who present excellent performance (Reddy, 2004). For example, promotion should be based on performance to make the employees believe in the beneficial outcome of their efforts. Furthermore, the management should embrace and implement sub-components of Path-goal concept such as participative leadership that include encouraging subordinate to participate in decision-making (Northouse, 2012). Involving subordinates in decision-making will make them feel part of the team, thus working hard toward realizing the formulated goals. Through attending the needs of the subordinates as guided by the path-goal theory, the Wal-Mart management will be able to restore high employee morale (Northouse, 2012).
Blokdijk, G. (2008). Change management 100 success secrets: The complete guide to process, tools, software and training in organizational change management. S.l: s.n.
Northouse, P. G. (2012). Introduction to leadership: concepts and practice (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications.
OnLabor (2013). “Working at Wal-Mart, Part Two: Employee Morale and Frequent Complaints” Retrieved on 4th June 2014, from http://onlabor.org/2013/11/22/working-at-wal-mart-part-two-employee-morale-and-frequent-complaints/
Rao, V. S. P., & Krishna, H. V. (2005). Management: Text and Cases. New Delhi: Excel Books.
Reddy, R. J. P. (2004). Personnel management. New Delhi: APH Pub. Co.