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Elizabeth Graham

Job Position: Manager
By: Elizabeth Graham
College Now Course - BA 10

After the previous manager left his job at Kelly's Department Store in Flushing, NY, I decided to leave my job as assistant manager at Payless and apply for the open position as manager. After I went through with the interview and completed training, I was given the job and started work the next day. After a couple of weeks, I noticed the workers that I supervised were very unenthusiastic and were sluggish. I knew if I still wanted the business to stay open and keep my job, I had to do something about this.

I spent a week watching employee's actions throughout the store and realized several things through my scrutiny. First of all, their tasks were redundant and petty. They probably figured that if their responsibilities weren't important, neither was the job and choose not to put much interest in their work. Second, workers frequently looked at their watches. This showed that they thought the job was incredibly tedious and the only interesting part was lunch and closing time. Third, employees weren't committed to the goals of the organization. I believe that this is caused by the fact that their past manager didn't give much rewards for their work. Also when I created a survey and distributed it to all employees, I was surprised at the answer to the question of what the goals of the organization was. Approximately 87% didn't know these goals.

Looking at all of these observations, I came to the conclusion that I needed to apply Douglas McGregor's Theory Y. My employees will accept responsibility and work toward organizational goals if by doing so, they'll also achieve personal rewards. The employees didn't usually detest work; it was just that they'd work towards goals to which they are committed. People become committed to goals when it is clear that they have the potential to accomplishing the goals and that it'll bring personal rewards. Also, I noticed that the business didn't generally make full use of their human resources, which are the people.

I also decided to apply Reinforcement Theory. This was based on the idea that conduct that is rewarded is most likely to be repeated, whereas behavior that has been punished is less likely to persist. The particular reinforcement that I planned to reinforce was positive reinforcement. This will strengthen desired behavior by providing a reward. For example, if an employee manages to do more than expected work for the day or week, they'll get my recognition and a free lunch or an extra discount from the store.

It has now been three months since I applied Theory Y and the Reinforcement Theory to the organization and it has grown successful. I see more contentious faces on the employees and even more customers and an increased amount of applicants for jobs that are now filled. The only problem is that employees are always looking for a new and more difficult task since they've finished their usual tasks way before time.