Journal Article Critique
BUS318: Organizational Behavior
Article #1 Flexible Schedules
The article, “Williamson Inc. learns flexible schedules work” highlights the benefits of schedule flexibility. Work life balance, traffic reduction, employee recruiting and retention efforts are all discussed at length. According to a survey done in 2015, 75% of employees said that schedule flexibility is the most important perk or benefit a company can offer. Matt Largen, the CEO of Williamson Inc., believes that by recognizing his employees and their personal lives will make them stay with the company longer and it will ultimately make them better employees. Flexible schedules not only benefit the employees and the company, the community also wins. By allowing compressed work weeks, earlier start times and work from home options, traffic congestion is drastically improved. The only potential concern, is productivity. In order for a company to offer the benefit of flexibility, the employees must be accountable to work plans, goals and metrics .
While I am not a fan of compressed work schedules, I absolutely love the idea of schedule flexibility. Single family parents and dual income families are very common these days. If a company can strive and continue to grow all while offering this benefit, then they should absolutely offer it. Parents need to provide and adults need to follow through with financial commitments, but it can be very hard to accomplish everything that is necessary when working traditional schedules. Reports say that flexible schedules reduce stress, lowers turnover, absenteeism and tardiness, all while increasing overall employee commitment .
The article mentions the possibility of lowered productivity. I too share this concern, especially when it comes to compressed work weeks. I believe for this to truly be successful, it will take commitment from the employees and dedicated leaders. Productivity absolutely has to be monitored, regular check-ins should be routine and consistent performance evaluations should be conducted.
Article #2 High Performing Managers
The article, “6 Things High-Performing Managers Do Right: What you can do to become a high-performing manager,” is based off the study of 96 managers in diverse industries. Not all companies offer the tools and the training to develop high performing managers, many achieve it on their own. There are six common steps that have been identified for a manager’s success. Hire off personality and drive. Use shadowing as a training tool, set clear expectations and build confidence. Value hard work and verbally recognize employees regularly. Engage employees individually to build relationships and learn strength and opportunity areas. Provide consistent and real-time feedback. They should also get their hands dirty and do what their employees are expected to do. Following these guidelines, any manager can be a high performer .
I think this is a great article, but it is just the foundation to becoming a high performing manager. All of these steps are equally important, but there is more to be done. A high performing leader also has to learn to leverage team member’s ability and skill. They should always create a sense of urgency, keep goals and expectations high and communicate high standards . The article is a little cookie cutter, and in my opinion one size doesn’t fit all. Sometimes, you inherit or take over a team, so you have to find a way to instill drive in those that lack it. I think the article should be 7 Things High-Performing Managers Do Right, rather than 6. The author left off the most important thing a high performing leader should do. Self-development, learning should always be put before ones earning. A good manager, should always be focused on getting better. This can be done through reading, attending seminars or even watching motivational YouTube videos. A good manager remains relevant by bringing new ideas and trying new things. I also feel the article missed the importance of relationship building. It talks about it, but not enough. It should be the first step. People won’t listen until you’ve earned the right. High performing managers, know their numbers, they know their people and they always have a plan.