Let us talk about Management

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Life throws us curve balls which at times we seldom see coming. When that happens, we can do one of two things; one, we can stand up to it or two, we can cower and hide forever. If we challenge our foe, chances are we will come out victorious. If we run and hide, we will do so for the rest of our lives. Life is a mystery that can take many lifetimes to unfold or be solved. While we are on this journey of life, we will meet lots of interesting people. Some such persons are called managers. These managers come in different forms and plays distinct roles. Let us look at who a manager is and how those roles are played out here in our beautiful Grenada. 

Who is a manger? 

Google refers to a manager as, “a person responsible for controlling or administrating all or part of a company or similar organization.” So, we know that the manager, whoever he or she is will either be managing an entire company or part of it. We also know that all administrative duties are carried out by the manger as part of a portfolio. He or she does the job themselves or hand it over to underlying or people who form part of their staff. Whichever way they choose to perform their duties, they must get it done or they too will be in danger of being called up by their superiors. Google also refers to a manager as one who motivates their employees. On a scale of 1-10 how many managers here in Grenada we can say motivates their workers? 

How many of them can we say have their worker’s best interests at heart? And who are the selective few? In my line of duty as a worker I have come across some very caring and motivating managers, however, the dictators outweigh the democratic ones. Managers who encourage or boost their workers spirits with words of encouragement and goodwill, have the best and jolliest workforce with excellent performance ratings. A democratic manager can be firm without being condescending or rude. He or she can dish out punishments without being seen as destroying the worker emotionally or spiritually as such punishment will be in keeping with the labor laws of our country. 

A question was asked, “how do you describe a manager?” google gave this reply, “a good manager has solid communication skills that are tailored to each situation.” Now let us look at “solid communication skills.” Here in Grenada, I know of several workplaces where communication skills are nothing to write home about much more to talk about solidly. in one such workplace a person must wonder if there is any line of communication at all. If it is there, then it is very invisible. This company is one where no one within its walls knows what is going on from one department to another. From the head to the very last worker, communication around and within seem to vaporize into thin air. And paperwork gets lost quickly. 

Most junior managers in Grenada here are rude, disrespectful, disgruntled, abusive, arrogant, antagonistic role players. Personal revenge and vindictiveness against a worker who dears to cross their path is carried out under the guise of management, being supported by the higher ups in the company. You may ask, “but why is that way?” it is so because one, in Grenada no one sues a company for the behavior and attitude of their managers, and two, managers stick together no matter what. So, oppression of the weak goes unnoticed and is swept away or hidden beneath the carpet. Some of these same persons instead of being chastised for their action are moved from one establishment to another, given bigger positions with higher pay. 

Some business establishments here have managers who gives off the impression they are doing employees a “favor” by employing them and paying their salaries. Every person that is employed by any establishment is being hired for their skills or should be hired for their skills. You show up, you do your job and at the end of the week, fortnight, or month, you get paid for your skills. Another similar establishment wishing to hire you gets your skills and pay for it. When you leave, you leave with your skills and not the company. No company hires people to just show up and look good. You must have what they are looking for and that is why they are employing you. It’s your ability to perform. Your salary should not be seen as a handout but reward for your labor. 

 A manager’s role as google defines it comes under five categories, planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. Of the five categories, the only one manager does exquisitely well is controlling. Staffing especially in terms of rotation cannot be done without the expected malice and prejudice involved. Some businesses both large and small refuse to see their staff safely home by arranging suitable transport but are still cutting salaries when employees leave to get the last bus. Consideration is not given to whether the person lives on the out skirt of another parish. The norm is, complete my hours and go home how you could. If we do not see you next morning, we have someone here to take your place. 

Junior and senior managers alike here on this lovely piece of paradise behaves in a manner that says we are beyond reproach. Their attitude says, they cannot be corrected or told they are wrong. I know of managers who talk down to their workers; shouts at them in a crowd when they go against a particular rule or just make the department difficult for them to work in. There are people in managing and acting managing positions who have limited knowledge of the job at hand but are there because someone at the top is close to them and pulled some strings on their behalf. So, in our society it is not about your education, but who you know that will get you through a corporate door. 

A reason in my estimation why Grenada has so much bad eggs in leadership positions. There are those who are qualified but are equally as bad. These allow status to cloud their judgement and way of thinking and has grown what we call, swell headed. The desire to do the right flew out the window the moment they were given free rein to do as they please, coupled with the huge salary, you will see why most are walking on clouds or flying like superman. I have noticed that you cannot tell a manager he or she is wrong or stand and say why you think their suggestion will not work (the dictatorial ones that is). The moment this is done, you are under the term, “progress killer.” You can be sure, after that, your job will be on the line from then on. 

The most common mistakes managers make that can cost their companies. 

Here in Grenada, we know that mistakes such as those mentioned hereunder goes unpunished and ignored. This is not the case in the wider world according to WRIGHT & KIMBROUGH. On their website wkins.com they have listed and explained several mistakes a manager can make that will cost a company big buck. These are: 

  1. Ignoring complaints – the website states and I quote “the biggest mistake a manager can make is disregarding an employee’s complaint of being unfairly treated or illegal actions.” unquote. Being unfairly treated is a song sung throughout the length and breadth of the Grenadian workforce for years. Some have even cited complaints to heads of department being thrown back at them or cast aside. 
  1. Mistakes in the interview process – wkins.com expresses this thought when speaking about interviews. “Many companies are sued for rejecting candidates, particularly if they are more qualified than others.” one does not have to think long and hard to figure out that this is an age-old tactic which we have incorporated into our working practices and society.  
  1. Poor documentationwright & Kimbrough gives this sentiment on the subject matter. “If someone complains about discrimination, it is of utmost importance that you document everything they say.” I bet some of you can recall a time or two that you went to the manager and complain about being unfairly treated and your efforts was brushed aside or seen as problematic. How many times have you gone in the manager’s office to speak about a wrong done to you and the manager did not even look at you much more to write what you say on a piece of paper? 
  1. Ignorance of company policies, procedures – “All of your supervisors and managers should know your organization’s policies and procedures.” this is according to W&K. In our country the question that should be asked is, how many of our managers and supervisors make decisions based on those very policies and procedures?  
  1. Jumping the gun on firing – “If you are going to fire someone, you need to make sure that you have documentation to back up why you are doing so. Nobody should be fired on impulse.” says wkins.com. This is a statement of fact that should be taught in training classes to managers here which would save a lot of heartache and pain in the various workplaces. 
  1. Not knowing the law – speaking on the law as you browse the website you will see where it says, “You should hold refreshers on laws that affect human resources that also include updates on new regulations and laws that affect the workplace.” Am in a quandary as to whether managers here in Grenada are trained at all or on a regular basis and if those training includes updates on revised regulations and labor laws of this country. 
  1. Being mean and rude – if I say it once I have said it a thousand times. The most productive workforce or department is one where its employees are jolly, motivated, and free spirited. It boosts not only productivity but also sales and encourages the workers to turn up to work daily and on time. When describing a disgruntled worker or work area the website had this to say. “The most stressed-out employees are those who are subjected to bosses who harangue, dispirit and demean them on a regular basis.” 
  1. Not keeping the story straight – I have experienced firsthand a situation or two where the manager has changed the story line to either save face or look good in the higher ups eyes. I have also experienced where those above did not investigate the matter before casting aspersions. That is why W&K says that if you change your story as to why you made an adverse employment decision, it can cost you in court.  
  1. Handling accommodation demands – Several workplaces here have made accommodations for persons with disability however, more can be done on a wider scale to accommodate such people as they too have a life to live which includes paying bills and sustaining themselves. 
  1. Dishonest reviews – praising an employee’s performance in your report when indeed you are aware of their lack of performance can come back to haunt you whenever that person gets fired for under performing. It is better to reprimand the worker and keep the records straight and honest than to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawsuits afterwards.

Some may see the employment situation and working conditions here in Grenada as an easy squeeze, while others may see it as laborious and psychologically stressful. As humans with decision making positions, we can do our best to create a less stressful working environment with a high productivity rating that can benefit everyone involved. Too many times, distress on the job has led to disruption of some sort in family life among other things. 

Written by N. Regis

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1 Comment

  1. Bert Pursoo on 12/15/2021 at 1:20 am

    This is a rather extensive treatise on the state of Management in Grenada. I once asked a student in my Business Management class (in China) what is the role of an employee as regards the manager. His answer was quick and simple: “To support and obey the Leader”. The Manager is seen not just as one who administers the day to day affairs of the Company but is the effective leader. My point is that no offence to Google, but Management has a great deal to do with national collective culture as much as it has to with Law and Education

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