I am in a team associated with carpentry and our main target is the common man. We don’t have a hugely wide market range as we have always been focused on the quality of our products. My team and I have several main roles, where everyone on the team is contributing including me, as follows to the measuring, designing, assembling and fitting any type of home furniture. As a team leader I am mostly focused on the customer service that we offer and quality control. Our market grows dally which means that there are more potential customers, but our goals are to offer top quality ,good variety of products, five star customer service and increasing productivity without decreasing the quality. We aim to be top of the range furniture manufacturer and keeping our customers ours even after their purchase. We strongly believe that wooing a customer accompanied by outstanding product quality will allow us to expand ourselves as a company with the highest product standard.
The only way to accomplish such a task is by reaching consensus between the team members. A meeting has been scheduled every two weeks where every team member has to point at least one benefit and one liability even if their opinion is that there are none. I welcome competitive attitude in the team and the agenda behind that is revealing strength and weaknesses, raising productivity and quality, bouncing off ideas and motivating each other. During the work process we have established that awareness and criticism are effective boosts as to one can review mistakes based on the opinion of the rest of the team. I consider myself democratic and try to be as much competent as I can. Having a democratic leader who radiates competence is very useful for the team chemistry and achieving the set goals. The way my team recognise me allows me to be part of the team not only as leader but as a support as well regardless of the matter. Our company` policy is not to flood ourselves with orders, essentially one job at a time which gives us the benefit of reducing the confusion in case we are working on several different projects.
We possess a very strict schedule and we familiarise ourselves and our customers with it. The idea behind this specific act is to give the customer the experience of being put on pedestal. It also tends to motivate the team by covering the expectations which are set by us and the customer. The team finished two large tasks where we had a few difficulties along the way. Unfortunately someone from the team accepted a project whilst we were busy with the first one. I said to the team: “it is a common mistake or confusion, bottom line is we have two major projects we need finish in two week time”. I let the team know that there will be consequences only if we don’t manage to finish the jobs in time and the important thing to do now is to defend our reputation. Also looking from the bright side, we will have a nice bonus at the end of the week. I wanted to show understanding since mistakes happen and left the punishment aside to be considered in a better for the company time. This shows the team my dedication to solving the issue that appeared and that I also can let go for the sake of the work process.
I have combined both democratic and laisser-faire leadership styles because I want my team to notice that I am fair in my decisions. After the stand we took I gathered the team and we held a short meeting. I revealed them that a small amount of their salary will be deducted and the money will be invested in optimising the schedule calendar. I assured them that I will include a deduction from my payment and explained since I am also part of the team it is fair for everyone to take responsibility. I have received feedback both positive and negative about the way I handled the situation. The majority of the team ware happy with the confluence of the circumstances and it was because: “We faced a challenging situation with a problem, we managed to finish before our deadline, we kept a good employer-employee relationship and now we are having a drink. Couldn’t be better”
The individual who complained has this to say: “I admit I have made a mistake, but after that I was stressed which caused me to make more mistakes due to the fear of punishment in case we don’t succeed. I am happy with our achievement and the reward, but I dislike the pressure from you and the team”. The information I gathered from the feedback helped me realise the benefit of being democratic and my effort to stay competent at all-time have made the team much more open about their needs and feelings in their work place. Provoking guilt in an individual of my team was unexpected, I said I was sorry about making him feel that way and made sure he knows that my main idea was to motivate the team. He was the newest member of the team and shared with me that he feels he doesn’t fit in the team. When I asked why his arguments ware because he is making most of the mistakes and feels he is dragging the team down, bad punctuality and due to the fact he quit smoking recently he tends to get irritable. The next step I took was to initiate a casual conversation with the idea to motivate him individually by reduce his fears of being rejected.
I already knew the opinion of the rest of the team about him where they said: “He is not perfect, not a quick learner, but he follows instructions well, takes criticism and he is putting a lot of effort” I also had an opinion which I didn’t reveal to the team and suggested to ease on the criticism or we might lose a valuable asset. After the team meeting that took place that week I pull the individual aside and explained him: “You are the newest in the team give yourself some time don’t rush into everything most of the time we are not chasing deadlines and you are making so much more progress compared to your predecessor that’s what the team said about you. I am very pleased to hear you are concerned about time keeping that shows me you care and willing to improve, so for every five minutes I will deduct a fiver and for every fifteen minutes I will deduct a tenner.
For every day you stay calm without a cigarette I will reward you with a fiver”. The following week I noticed his time keeping has been improved drastically so I complimented and encouraged him. The next meeting I revealed some of his concerns to the team such as: Making mistakes and getting irritable quickly. I was aware of the consequences and I wasn’t surprised when some of the team members shared their experiences of how to quit smoking and the moved on quickly to the mistakes. Overall their opinion was, he need to slow down a bit, overlook every detail and promised they will be less critical. I was pleased with the outcome so I revealed the new electronically improved schedule calendar.