Joe Salatino, President of Great Northern American Case Study sample essay
Joe’s employees need to understand how people form perceptions and make attributions for several reasons. As they are in a selling business, employees need to know how they can best be perceived as to earn the trust of their customers. It is important to know how to be ethical in selling as well as trustworthy so that customers feel confident in choosing their services time and again. Aside from how their customers may perceive them, they must also be aware of how their employer sees them. It is important to employers to find capable, confident and hardworking potential employees.
In 2011 CBS news did a story on how others see us and how we see ourselves. This report asserts that it is more important to know how others see us as it is by their reactions to who we perceive them to think we are that our own actions come from. They give a couple of examples right off about how a first date can leave you feeling defeated or conversely very confident. Just because you walk away feeling one way or another is not necessarily an indicator of how the date actually went or what the other party thought of you.
Another example is given in that it not necessarily important for a company’s top executives to have a positive opinion of their product or service, it is more important that the consumer have an idea of their offering that generates more and more business. This usually comes from a positive perception of what they have to offer. These principals easily align with the idea that it is important in general to do what you can to have others form a positive impression of you. So, what makes a good first impression?
Forbes magazine proposes theses 5 traits. First, “set an intention. ” This means to visualize what you want out of whatever you are undertaking. For example, if it is a job interview, see yourself in the position with the traits you deem necessary for success at that position. You will be much more likely to pull off an air of those attributes if you have first taken the time to role play in your mind a successful turnaround of the event. Second, “think about your ornaments. ” In other words, pay attention to the details of your outward appearance.
For men this may mean choosing the right watch to portray the success they see themselves having, for women it may mean jewelry or makeup that puts them in that same space. For both genders hair, shoes, and clothing are important factors in building the perception you are seeking. For instance, someone who is running for congress would want to choose more conservative and sophisticated looking “ornaments” whereas someone seeking a job with Vogue magazine may want to dress very current and “edgy” for their interview to show they are relevant for the position they seek.
We can easily apply this to Joes employees as they will want to know what type of companies they anticipate receiving business from. If they know that they are dealing with a very “traditional” client they may want to dress for success that day by choosing clothing that portrays a traditional and trustworthy image. Conversely, if they are meeting with a client who takes big risks and hopes for their partners in business to as well, they may want to choose a look that portrays confidence and a spunky, no holds barred attitude.
At Verizon Wireless we have a very relaxed work culture that more often than not is fun and youthful. However, when interviewing for a new position within the company it is no different than most traditional settings. Candidates seem to do better when they are dressed professionally and are well polished overall. Going back to the Forbes article, the third tip is to “be conscious of your body language. ” Pay particular attention to your posture, handshake, eye contact and what you are doing with your hands. A confident person is not going to be slumped over, slouching and have their arms crossed.
A confident person is going to sit or stand up straight, give their attention to the person with whom they are seeking attention by offering polite eye contact and also by using their hands to emphasize they are open to the others input. Fourth on the list of must do’s for a good impression is “avoid bad days. ” Often in the business world networking is a key part of building strong business relationships. Forbes suggests that if you are having a terrible day at work then it is likely you are not going to be up for dealing with people.
Your courtesy and smile are going to appear in genuine if you are not really in the mood to be there and people will pick up on that. If you can skip that mixer you had planned to attend go for it. If not, do something that will lighten your mood and hopefully get your head in a more light-hearted place. Lastly, “be interested and interesting. ” Who wants to spend their time on the dud of the group? Be interested in those you are serving. No one wants to only hear about you, and no one wants to feel like you certainly have more important things to be doing than helping them. Learning Theory
Joe has several theories of learning to choose from in how he prefers to teach his employees. The two main theories in discussion today are Social and Operant learning theory. For general understanding let’s look further into the specifics of each. Mosby’s medical dictionary defines Operant conditioning as “a form of learning used in behavior therapy in which the person undergoing therapy is rewarded for the correct response and punished for the incorrect response. ”(2009) In other words, a leader demonstrates desired behaviors and rewards others when the same behaviors are demonstrated.
Second is Social theory. Mosby’s states, “A concept that the impulse to behave aggressively is subject to the influence of learning, socialization, and experience. Social learning theorists believe aggression is learned under voluntary control, by observation of aggressive behavior in others, and by direct experience. ”(2009) In short, people will not engage in reproduction of a behavior without motivation. The best way for Joe to motivate and empower his employees in this situation is with Operant conditioning.
This affords Joe the chance not only to demonstrate the correct behavior he desires, but also gives him a platform to modify negative traits as well. Joe is looking for people to showcase his business and put forth the same united front of loyalty and customer respect that he has put in place at Great Northern American. Improving Employee Performance Operant conditioning is best in the work environment as it gives a more level playing field for all to succeed. Some people are born naturally more talented than others, but this does not in any way make them less important in the workforce.
Some people may never be number 1 overall in a company (and some don’t desire to be as it requires a lot of commitment) but that does not mean that they are incapable of modeling successful behaviors and attaining top notch ratings. Operant behavior allows for these individuals to succeed where as Social learning theory only really rewards one person overall rather than celebrating the victories along the way for each individual. I personally find it more rewarding to have encouragement along the way. Too often I’ve come in second place and have nothing to show for all my hard work.
When this happens I’ve had nothing in the way of reward though I put in significant amounts of work in hopes that I could be the best. Verizon Wireless rewards us along the way and I have certainly been motivated to do better and try harder because of that. I appreciate that Operant conditioning is consistent throughout the entire work year whereas Social learning builds up to one pinnacle moment.
Verizon sets attainable yet challenging goals for each individual and once you have met or exceeded those goals, you are pushed to reach for the next rung of the ladder (I. . going from Representative to Sr. Representative) and with that next step you are rewarded with a pay increase and more opportunities for further career development within the company that will help you in future upward mobility opportunities. Likewise, if you are not meeting the minimum expectation you will not be afforded the opportunity to move into the next level of your position, and you may possibly be put on a “corrective action plan. ” Joe could apply this in practical ways as Verizon does with rewards and consequences along the way of career progression.
Value of Self Efficacy Joe can best use his evaluation of potential employees’ self-esteem to hire the best by taking stock in his own first impression of a potential employee. He will have a gut instinct reaction to this first impression and he should feel confident in the portrayal each candidate puts forth. Verizon does a good job of asking employees how they would like to be “coached. ” Joe could put something like this in place with potential employees to see if their learning style matches that of the culture of Great Northern American.
Self-Efficacy is something that a potential employer (Joe in this case) can look at and determine how driven someone appears. Psychology Today states, “For instance, people high in self-efficacy take better care of themselves, see tasks as something to be mastered, and they feel more empowered. They’re not controlled by circumstances. They see setbacks as challenges to be overcome and can cope with hardship better than those with low self-efficacy. They learn from failure and channel it into success, like Thomas Jefferson, Walt Disney and J. K Rowling.
People higher in self-efficacy also have a greater sense of motivation and persistence. ” (LaVan, 2010) With this in mind a correct assessment of self-efficacy can ensure Joe his is hiring someone who will seek to succeed at whatever task he or she is given. To compliment this assessment, Joe must also be willing to “pump up” his employees. He should offer compliments to good work and publicly praise achievements. This will keep his employees motivated to continue putting their best foot forward for him long after the interview process is completed and the candidate is settled into their job function.
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