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Professional Skills of an Accountant
In the present world, the competition for limited resources such as talented workforce, market for selling produced goods and services and the space for expansion have increased more than ever before. This has made the world to appear like a jungle, where only the organizations that have the necessary competitive skills are deemed to survive and develop, while those which do not have the competitive skills are rendered bankrupt and finally eliminated from the market. For these reason, most business owners are determined in embracing measures that would enhance the competitive edge of their organizations. Some of these measures are not limited to product differentiation, motivating employees through performance appraisal, recruiting talented workforce, embracing technology, conducting market research and development, embracing diversity, encouraging innovation, among others. In this regard, human resource management plays a fundamental role as far as the success of an organization is concerned. As a human resource manager, I need to have a broad scope of knowledge and skills that would not only motivate employees, but also facilitate the achievement of the set organizational goals and objectives within the stipulated duration.
The scientific management theory was proposed by Frederick Winslow Taylor and his main emphasizes was the need for analyzing and synthesizing workflows in order to achieve or improve economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. Taylor had observed that in the past, most employees were learning about work procedures by themselves or through the previous generations and considering that there was no assurance that this way of doing the work was the most effective one, and in order to address these challenges, he developed four management principles. The first principle entails developing a science of each element of work. In this principle, Taylor stipulated that there is need to have norms and rules that should embraced in order to establish a good relationship between the employees and the organization. He also divided work processes into small parts and analyzed them in terms of their course of movement and lead time, and through this he proposed the need for identifying and eliminating interference factors. The second principle focuses on the importance of orienting, selecting, and training employees in order for them to be effective and efficient in the performance (Bauer, 2009, p. 3). Employees need to be advised or guided on how and when to execute the delegated tasks. In addition, the scientific management theory proposed the importance of motivating employees in order for them to complete the delegated tasks effectively, efficiently, and within the set duration. The third principle emphasizes the importance of having a cooperative relationship between the employees and the management in order to ensure that work is performed according to the science. This principle emphasizes the importance of ensuring a team work culture in an organization, as well as effective communication between the employees and the management. Lastly, Taylor proposed the importance of work sharing as well as changing the attitudes of employees towards work.
On the other hand, the human relations theory emphasized the importance of understanding human attitudes, capacity, and potential or capabilities of performing organizational tasks in order to achieve organizational effectiveness. This theory focused on the notion that employees need companionship, sense of belonging, and satisfaction in the social relationships that they tend to form in the working environments. Just like the scientific management theory, the human relations theory emphasizes that employees are not only motivated through financial rewards, but also through a wide range of social factors such as having a sense of belonging, praise, feelings of achievement, and pride in one`s work (King & Lawley, 2012, P. 32). Precisely, the management personnel need to create a working environment where employees would not perceive work as a punishment, but a form of their personal and organizational development. However, unlike the scientific management theory which proposes the importance of having a set of rules and norms that govern employees, the human relations theory proposes that employees should be given full autonomy of performing tasks.
These theories can greatly help me in enhancing my managerial skills. For example, through these theories, I have established that a manager should treat his or her juniors like valued assets of an organization, as this makes the employees to not only improve in their performance, but also enhance their loyalty to the organization. Considering that the level of competition has greatly increased, treating employees like valued assets would reduce the late of turnover and this would help in retaining talented employees. In addition, through these theories, I have learnt that employees` motivation plays a fundamental role as far as their productivity is concerned. I have also learnt the various ways in which I (as a manager) can motivate my employees, including the use of financial rewards and social factors. I have also learnt the importance of being effective and efficient in the utilization of limited organizational resources. In addition, through these theories, I have learnt the importance of establishing effective communication between the management and the employees, as this is the only way in which both parties can manage to collaborate and address issues that might be affecting them. Moreover, I also learnt the importance of recruiting employees based on their merit, orienting the new recruits, and regularly training employees on how to perform various tasks. Through these theories, I have also learnt on the importance of meeting social and psychological needs of employees. Additionally, I have learnt the importance of ensuring that a teamwork culture prevails in an organization, in order for the organization to meet the set goals and objectives within the stipulated duration.
Diversity and equality in an organization plays a fundamental role as far as the success of such an organization is concerned. For example, diversity and equality policies helps in curbing discrimination in an organization, as this is a major threat to the effective performance of employees. Precisely, organizations which are dominated by discrimination tends to create unfavorable environment and atmosphere for most employees, especially those who are perceived as lesser beings. Due to workplace dissatisfaction, the victims of workplace discrimination embrace negative trends such as frequent absenteeism, reporting to work being late, poor performance, and to the worse, emergence of conflicts between among the employees (Thompson, 2017, p. 53). Diversity and equality policies ensure that everyone is treated fairly regardless of age, education, gender, religion, and cultural background.
In addition, diversity enhances innovation and solution to a number of organizational challenges. For example, in an organization that embraces diversity as part of its organizational culture, different individuals tend to have different ways of thinking and different capabilities, and when all these minds are placed in a common pool, no organizational challenge can fail to be solved. In addition, innovation is a rare resource in the present world, and it helps in enhancing the competitive edge of an organization. In this accounting firm, diversity will help in developing new ways of doing things, in order to not only enhance the reputation of the firm, but also to satisfy and even exceed the expectations of the clients. In addition, diversity and equality policies helps an organization to enhance its sales through increased customer base. Precisely, an accounting firm is deemed to deal with a wide range of clients and when diversity is in place, chances of staffs encountering individuals whom they understand their local dialect is possible, and this may end up winning the loyalty of those clients.
I will broadly advise the board members concerning the various ways in which they can ensure effective diversity and equality policies are in place. For example, I will advice the members concerning the importance of embracing a recruitment process that is guided by fairness rather than favors. Precisely, the board should ensure that in case of a job opportunity, everyone should be invited to apply, a fair interviewing process is embraced, and the best candidate is selected based on his or her qualification. A potential applicant should not be rejected due to his or her gender, religion, or ethnic group. Consecutively, recruiting individuals based on their merit ensures that diversity is achieved. In addition, I will advise the board members of this accounting firm to ensure that promotion and performance appraisals are awarded based on individual employee`s performance but not how well an employee relates with the top management. In addition, I will advise the board members to lead by examples in order to encourage the other staffs to embrace diversity and equality within the organization. Moreover, I will also encourage the board members to be taking stern actions to staffs who are reported to propagate discrimination and favors in the organization.
As a manager to the city organization, I would ensure that a systematic way of appraising the performance of employees is in place. In order to achieve this, I will embrace a systematic performance appraisal process, which entails six core steps. The first step entails establishing performance standards. In this step, I will establish the skills, outputs and accomplishments that I will evaluate. Apparently, I will draw these standards from the job analysis and job descriptions. Focusing on establishing these standards before proceeding to the actual aspect of appraising the employees ensures that fairness is embraced and no employee can complain of being discriminated or favored. The second step will entail communicating the established standards to the respective employees. Precisely, I will inform the employees what I expect from each one of them and the duration at which the performance appraisal will focus on (for example from January to December). By communicating these standards, I will ensure that I have given each and every employee an opportunity of performing the delegated tasks based on what the organization expects from him or her (DeNisi & Murphy, 2017, p. 431). In addition, in order to confirm that the employees received my messaged concerning the performance standards, I will seek to obtain feedbacks from them. Seeking feedback from employees can also give me a chance of revising or modifying the performance standards.
Thirdly, I will measure the actual performance of each and every employee from various sources such as statistical reports, written reports, personal observations, and oral reports. For example, I will check on the number of days that the employee had reported to work being late, absenteeism, the effectiveness and efficiency in the completion of the delegated tasks, and any other form of complain. Fourth, I will compare the actual performance of each employee with the established standards. By so doing I will manage to identify the deviation between the actual performance and the expected performance. In order to be effective and fair in doing this, I will embrace the use of a performance rating scale, as this will enable me to award points based on each phenomenon being evaluated. The fifth step will entail discussing the appraisal with the employee. By doing this, I will manage to establish the strengths and weaknesses of each employee and help them accept the appraisal in a constructive way. It is at this point that I will reward employees who have performed exemplary well through various appraisal methods such as job promotion, financial rewards, some days off, and word of mouth such as keep it up, good work, maintain, congratulations, perfect, among others. Lastly, I will initiate the corrective action especially to employees are have been performing below the expected level. The corrective action may entail regular training, job orientation, provision of the necessary materials (if need be), among others.
In such a point, I will first seek to know why some employees are performing above the expected levels while others are struggling with their work. Through this preliminary assessment, I will manage to find factors that might be contribution to this. In order to help those who are struggling with their work, I will encourage all employees concerning the importance of teamwork, as this will help those who are struggling to improve in their skills with time (Iqbal, Akbar & Budhwar, 2015, p. 517). In order to ensure that this is achieved, I will embrace job rotation in such a way that I try to interchange or mix employees who are performing well with those who are struggling to complete their tasks. Precisely, I will ensure that in each working station there is at least one employee who is performing beyond the expected level and mandate him or her to orient those who are struggling in completing the delegated tasks. In addition, I will also embrace the aspect of holding regular training to employees who are struggling with their tasks. The training will help in orienting and enhancing the skills of the employees who are performing below average.
Bauer T., 2009. Compare and contrast scientific management and human relations theory. Retrieved from, https://media.hugendubel.de/shop/coverscans/199PDF/19991304_lprob_1.pdf
DeNisi, A. S., & Murphy, K. R. (2017). Performance appraisal and performance management: 100 years of progress?. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), 421.
Iqbal, M.Z., Akbar, S. and Budhwar, P., 2015. Effectiveness of performance appraisal: An integrated framework. International Journal of Management Reviews, 17(4), pp.510-533.
King, D., & Lawley, S. (2012). Organizational behavior. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Thompson, N., 2017. Promoting equality: Working with diversity and difference. Macmillan International Higher Education.