An academic education makes it possible to acquire skills and knowledge that can be applied in the workplace. In many cases, people do not get the opportunity to apply what they actually know. Instead, they end up having to learn new skills while on the job. One of the important skills that students need to have when joining the market is the ability to make the right decisions. Everyone has the ability to make decisions but making the right choices is a totally different thing. The purpose of this personal experience essay is to highlight previous life experiences that have allowed me to gain decision-making skills through my work as the manager at Sara Floral and Wedding Company. The paper will reveal how I have used my decision-making skills to improve operations and delivery of service at the company.
Overview of Experiential Learning in Decision-Making
In 2010, after years of working as a mortgage specialist, I embarked on a new career as the manager at Sara Floral & Weddings. When the housing market crashed in 2007, I decided to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming self- employed by opening my own business. Growing up, I had watched my father excel in his business ventures. He has maintained his success through hard work and dedication. More importantly, it has helped me gain a better understanding of how to manage a business and apply good decision-making skills, which is vital in any business endeavor. Driven by my interest and motivated by my father’s success, I was finally ready to put all the years of learning to test.
I knew exactly what kind of businesses I wanted to start; one that involved planning weddings in combination with the floral business. I have always had a particular interest in weddings and all the preparations that they entailed, especially Pakistani weddings. Pakistani weddings are always extravagant, highly detailed and require a great deal of preparation. Ever since I could remember, I have wanted to be a part of that preparation. I was committed to form a team of people working on different tasks of the reception and finally coming together to see the final product. It was exciting and I loved every part of it. Sara’s Floral and Weddings combines two passions: weddings and my interest in business.
Although I had watched the wedding industry with a lot of interest when I was young, things had changed much since then. The industry is still lucrative as it has always been, but the customers have become more selective in their preferences, and their tastes have changed to reflect the contemporary lifestyle of Pakistanis. For example, people today are more inclined to having tailored made floral services as well as the incorporation of different cultures in their wedding arrangements. As the manager at Sara Flora and Weddings, I have the responsibility of making decisions on behalf of the company with the aim of increasing business. This has been prompted by the fact that more wedding and floral businesses have entered the community with different packages to meet the different preferences of the customers.
Demonstration of Learning in Targeted Courses
The course presents a practical examination of decision-making processes. The goal is for students to be able to use a proven problem-solving framework to generate potential solutions for effective decision-making. The discussion will look at how culture affects decisions made within a company set up inclusive of the expectations of various stakeholders. Topics also include analysis of root causes, uncertainty and risks, factors critical to success, psychological traps, key performance indicators, and all of the additional steps necessary to help ensure that effectiveness is guaranteed both before and after the implementation of the decision. Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses:
After completing this course, you should be able to:
- Apply a problem-solving framework to define problem(s), discover root causes, and generate potential solutions for effective decision-making.
- Assess the boundaries, limitations, and cultural influences, including stakeholder expectations, to countermeasure risk and uncertainty in decision-making.
- Define critical success factors and generate relevant alternatives to enable selection of an optimal solution.
- Develop a plan that monitors results, engages in feedback, and addresses performance and change management considerations to optimize the success of the decision outcome.
Outcome 1: Apply a problem-solving framework to define problem(s), discover root causes, and generate potential solutions for effective decision-making.
As the manager at Sara’s Floral and Weddings, I organize and make arrangement agreements that are suitable for my client’s specific needs. It requires a sit down appointment with each client to discuss details of the wedding reception: everything from the color theme all the way to the venue. I manage a staff of ten employees, with each being responsible for different tasks. Having worked in the mortgage industry for a long time, I didn’t have the prerequisite knowledge for starting a wedding and floral business. However, I knew very well that this is the kind of business that I had admired for a long time. Thus, I determined that the first step was to take a training course that could assist me in my work. Now that I was entering a new kind of field, I decided to look for courses from institutions that were offering wedding and floral business certificates for managers.
As the manager of Sara Floral and Weddings, I have the responsibility of developing an organized arrangement that is suitable to the client’s specific need. Since the wedding and floral business is dynamic and competitive, I needed to have the skills to solve complex problems both from the perspective of a company manager and from that of the customer. I needed to be able to understand what customers required and how the dynamics of the field of wedding planning could be shaped to work in favor of the services and products that we were offering. One of the important things that have I discovered as the manager of Sara Floral and Weddings is that time was of essence. I had mastered this skill in my previous work in the mortgage industry; but when it came to shifting to wedding planning, this presented a new challenge. Even factors such as the fact that flowers are easily perishable and need to be used within a set amount of time had to be taken into consideration. Moreover, my customers have different preferences in terms of the kind of weddings that they want. To this end, the services and products need to reflect the variety preferences of these customers. This means that I had to acquire specific skills in business and customer analysis to be able to determine the trends in terms of the tastes and preferences in the wedding planning industry.
More importantly were the budgeting and preparation skills including the agreement with customers, the writing of the business proposals, as well as the execution of the designs and plans of the company. Specifically, I needed to acquire legal skills in developing contracts with customers. Even though most wedding planning contracts are short-term, I anticipated that there would also be a few contracts that would be long term and hence needed special skills to analyze them and draft a document that could meet the business needs of the company. Many of the long-term contracts that I deal with involve subcontracts with fellow wedding planning agencies that do not offer floral services or other specialized services like providing wedding limousines. In addition, I also needed to acquire skills in creating package deals for different customers, preparing lists of guests and appointments, as well as offering wedding essentials. These tasks meant that I had to have enough skills and knowledge to be able to attract customers and compete effectively in the community.
As a new entrant in the wedding and floral business, I was entering an industry that required proper skills to solve problems, identify the causes of certain problems and develop long-term solutions through an inclusive decision-making process. I discovered that these skills were crucial to my continued business success and this is the reason I decided to take a course program that enabled me to have the skills that I needed. I acquired a copy of Norah Hunter’s book The Art of Floral Design, which I used to learn the finer details of the wedding and floral business. This book was instrumental in giving me the overview of the smallest details in the floral industry and how I needed to move forward as a manager of an already established company. The fact that Sara Floral & Weddings had been in operation for the last five years was advantageous to me as a manager.
The employees at the company had knowledge of the challenges and opportunities in the market. Although they had failed to break even into the industry, I had come in as enthusiastic and motivated to rejuvenate the vision and mission that the company had initially when it was originally launched. The first thing I realized was that neither the previous manager nor the employees at the company were motivated with their work. They did not seem to bother to come up with solutions even to small problems like ensuring that they had a contract with the customer before offering their services. Also, since Sara Floral & Weddings received its products like formalwear and flowers from vendors, they were not able to keep track of the best vendors who delivered the products according to the specifications. When I came in as the manager, I immediately reckoned that we needed to have a single supplier for our flowers and other accessories in the short run and work towards being our own supplier of the products. In addition, I initiated plans to track each activity of the company, including the list of customers whom we had previously served with the intention of using them as marketers of our company. I also created a new department that specifically focused on analyzing the industry and the trends in the market to ensure that the services and products that we were stocking up were those that were preferred by customers in the community. These were small activities that had previously caused the Sara Floral & Weddings a dime when it comes to succeeding in the wedding and floral business.
Outcome 2: Assess the boundaries, limitations, and cultural influences, including stakeholder expectations, to countermeasure risk and uncertainty in decision-making.
As a manager, the knowledge about the dynamics and factors that affect the business are crucial for my work. Working in a market that includes people from different cultural backgrounds, I have the responsibility of assessing the boundaries that exist between different cultures so that the services and products that we offer as a company meet the needs of our customers. When I took over as manager, I needed to develop a list of limitations to our services including the cultural influences, expectations from the customers, countermeasure practices to mitigate our company from risks and uncertainty when making decisions. Also, I needed to assess our strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats that we faced as a company and develop strategies to take advantage where we had strengths and put in place measures to improve on our weak areas.
My clientele largely consists of the South Asians who carry out their weddings in various contexts. Due to the diversity of culture, religion, and lifestyle, we needed to develop packages that were both serving our interest as a business and also helping us to compete with other companies in the community effectively. This meant that we made a deliberate decision to separate our business agenda with the need to compete with other wedding planning services. Additionally, we were increasingly entering into contracts with our customers. Therefore, I developed a mechanism to ensure that we kept our obligation to customers while also watching out for any possible breach of contract. I initiated a training program for my marketing team on contract negotiation with a view of empowering them to identify any breach of contract from the side of our customers.
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Sara Floral &Wedding Company had been in operation for five years without a marketing strategy. As part of my assessment of boundaries, I developed a marketing strategy that I envisaged was going to help the company remain within the focus of its objectives. One of the things that I considered essential was identifying the company’s niche area and ensuring quality and high standard services to the customers. This was not an easy task to achieve since I had to negotiate with stakeholders ranging from company owners, suppliers and customers. This meant that I also had to set up the limitations in terms of the services that we were offering as a company. I realized that previously, the company had failed to identify one area that was essential and improve on it in terms of providing quality services.
This worked against the company because it meant that there were too many suppliers, customers too scattered and the services were unclear to the extent that it was difficult to focus and perfect on one area. Also, although the company had a vision on the paper, it did not have clear-cut objectives that could drive it towards the achievement of the vision. To this end, I developed five objectives that included establishing of a system for selling flowers. I also focused on offering services that could enhance the romance of the customers, developed a niche market by segmenting our customers, and initiated strong market drives during low season. Other key areas were establishing a flower gift program that features custom designs, personalized services and quality products delivered to our customers.
I also put in place measures to ensure that the company was positioned well to target different cultures and lifestyles from among the customers we serve. Within the positioning element, I collaborated with my staff to come up with a positioning strategy that targeted affluent consumers of our products by developing customized services including flower delivery, and highly skilled flower arrangements in our shops beyond just at weddings.
Previously, the Sara Floral and Wedding Company had operated as a homogeneous company that sold flowers and accessories in addition to provide wedding services, but without distinguishing its customer base. The problem with this particular arrangement was that some of the services were too expensive for the average customer while others were underpriced. For this reason, I decided that we needed to have a well defined marketing mix that separated our customers into primary, secondary, and tertiary consumers with a view of tailoring the services and prices according to their classification.
As the manager, I am involved in the various advertising campaigns that help to market the company to potential customers. The floral and wedding industries are sensitive to prices and competition in the sense that consumers of our products and services are always looking for high quality at affordable prices. Moreover, they are looking for a company that is trustworthy and has experience in the provision of floral and wedding services. Wedding planning requires a carefully drafted legal contract that covers all of the bases. In view of this dynamism in the market, I spearheaded the development of secure contract with the aim of improving customer service as well as the products that we provide. This is a task that requires intuitiveness and high specialization in terms of skills and knowledge. For this reason, I have put in place systems and tools including records and check lists to track and monitor personal sales opportunities.
I have also been able to come up with innovative and creative ways for selling the company products including the use of social media, radio, and television to enhance our presence in the market. One of the important tools that I helped to create to improve our promotional activities was the company website. Although the company has had a website since it was founded, it was not as regularly updated as it should have been. The website was also poorly organized in a manner that did not reflect the quality of service that we provide to our customers. I used my web development skills to redesign the website to be attractive and appealing to the people who visited it. I also ensured that it was a true reflection of our capacity and desire to provide world-class floral and wedding services. The promotional programs that I was involved in creating were meant to optimize revenue by expanding our sales and reach throughout the community.
Most of our consumers are seasonal. However, our Pakistani clients are regularly looking for a service and product provider who can be trusted within the short time that they are planning to have a wedding. This requires that we develop a contract tool that allows us to gain the trust of the customer. Prior to joining the Sara’s Floral & Weddings, I had been involved in developing contracts at the mortgage company where I worked. Entering the floral and wedding industry as a manager gave me an opportunity to once again exercise my skills in contract writing and execution. I knew that one contract bridged by a company could ruin the reputation of that company throughout the industry. But I was determined to design contracts that could mutually benefit us as service providers and consumers. I involved myself in designing wedding service contracts that involved the provision of package deals according to what the customer ordered. Also, the package included all of the essential wedding requirements to provide the customer with a one-stop shop for all the services and products that they needed for a memorable wedding.
Through my experience working as a mortgage specialist, with the responsibility of selling mortgage products to consumers, I have been able to apply the same customer service to reach out to potential customers with the services that respond to their needs. The floral and wedding business requires identifying the areas that the customers really want to be attended to and ensuring that the services that we provide address these areas. I discovered that I could not truly know the interests of the customers across the classes and cultures that I served without having knowledge gained through research. Therefore, I initiated plans to have regular research training for my team that were aimed at empowering them with the skills to identify the needs of the customers through market research.
During my initial engagement as the manager of the Sara Floral & Weddings, I was tasked with the responsibility of giving company direction in terms of mission and vision. This task involved carrying out a survey of the skills that we had among the company employees and identifying the gaps in skills that needed to be filled. The crop of employees at the company was de-motivated and lacked the capacity to implement the strong marketing approach that characterizes the floral industry. This situation was the result of the employees being assigned to job roles that were not in line with their capacity and skills. The mismatch of skills and work descriptions resulted in losses to the company. Moreover, customers were not forthcoming as regularly as expected and suppliers were claiming payment to the services or products that they did not offer.
To position the company better, I analyzed the weaknesses in the employees and the overall systems that were used to provide the services to the customers. I suggested ways of improving the performance by training of staff in certain aspect and initiating a voluntary retirement plan for employees who could not continue working at the company. I also took the initiative to design proper documentation of the activities that involved the operations of the company. I envisaged improvement on the work force and systems at the company as the first area to solve the challenges that the company faced. As opposed to the current workforce that lacked motivation, I envisaged a motivated workforce that could give ideas to different departments on how the company would enter the different niche markets for floral and wedding services. I was also keen to identify how the company could best utilize the available resources to market the services to customers, ensure customer trustworthiness, and compete effectively with established companies in lucrative niches. Because of the improvement in the motivational aspect of employees, we have begun to receive more requests from customers than we can handle.
Outcome 3: Define critical success factors and generate relevant alternatives to enable selection of an optimal solution.
Managers are normally engaged with top management at the company and never indulge themselves in issues that concern departmental heads. However, when I first came to Sara’s Floral & Weddings, I knew I had to act as a leader with the task of defining critical success factors as well as produce relevant alternative measures in an effort to ensure that we only selected optimal solutions to our problems. In order to solve these problems, I needed to know where we are going as a company. This entailed coming up with a list of critical success measures against which we would gauge ourselves as a company. First, I needed to have a team that shared my vision for the company. This meant that I had to initiate better training programs and acquire new tools and put in place the technical aspects in our company. I also had to hire new employees with fresh ideas and skills that I could work with. This was challenging in terms of the cost to hire new employees. Not everybody at the company warmed up to the idea of hiring new staff when some others were being asked to voluntarily retire. As the manager, my responsibility was to get them see where I wanted us to be as a company through an efficient and capable staff. Also, I needed to convince them that it was better to invest money on getting qualified and experienced people who could do the work we wanted to do because then it would translate into more revenue and profits to the company.
In order to identify the critical factors that were subservient to the operations of the company, I implemented promotional activities during the high seasons. This was done with the view of increasing revenue to the company while also enhancing an environment where we could share the knowledge about our products with our target customers. Additionally, the promotional programs and tools that we used provided us with an opportunity to share the story about our company and our products with the consumers. The tools that we used such as brochures, appreciation letters, product catalogues among many others allowed our sales staff to make personal recommendations to our customers through direct engagement. The customers also had an opportunity to reach out to the company whenever they needed information about our services through contacts that we provided.
I had discovered in my former work how important effective communication is to a business. When I came to Sara’s Floral & Weddings , one of my focus areas was developing effective communication tools within and outside the company. Through effective communication that responded to the needs and requirements of our staff and clients, we managed to introduce an enhanced pricing strategy and promotional activities that reached out to the people with the clear message about our communication. Besides just being a tool to promote our services and products to the consumers, effective communication was employed in the engagement with customers who visited our shop and tremendously improved the bargaining skills of our sales people. Priority was also given to the knowledge of the market so that our products and services could be offered at an affordable price. As the company was still heavily relying on suppliers, communication channels were also opened up to enable them to deliver products that are in line with the specifications in our orders. It helped us avoid delivering the wrong products, which had been the norm previously.
Working as the manager to Sara Floral & Weddings, I am responsible for initiating effective communication training programs for our staff, partners, customers, and all the stakeholders involved in the running of the company’s activities. As an expert in market analysis, I personally was involved in explaining to the staff the importance of embracing modern communication approaches to market our services to the consumers. One of the traditionally effective tools of communication for companies has always been the use of brochures. Even though we are living in a time when technology has simplified the way information is passed from one point to another, brochures are still effective tools for communication. It is especially so when a lasting impression is needed in the mind of someone receiving the information. Initially, when I proposed that we first use brochures to reach our customers, there was unease among some of the staff who thought that we could not reach enough people with this kind of marketing. I discovered that customers require useful information about the services and products that they needed before picking on a company that can offer these services.
As the manager, I established a process that allows our staff to explain everything in detail to prospective customers and assist them in understanding how these services and products add value to their events, whether it is a celebration of Valentine’s Day or a wedding event. For customers who came with complaints, I explained to them that Sara Floral and Weddings was in the process of streamlining its services to ensure that they are the best in the industry. I also put in place measures to compensate such customers with gifts or discounts on their purchases with the hope of retaining them. I also initiated a system where every stakeholder in our company could offer suggestions and requests on where they thought improvement was needed. This was done with a promise that their suggestions or requests would be given to the relevant people concerned with each request. It was also my responsibility to have skilled and knowledgeable people in strategic departments who could assess the suggestions and the scope of work required with a view of prioritizing them in our future services. To me, the customer is always right when it comes to providing wedding and floral services that fit their lifestyle, culture, and tastes. They are the greatest partners of our company and addressing their needs in a precise manner motivates me, especially when they come provide positive feedback about our services.
As the manager, I am also in charge of training new staff in relation to our services and products that we provide. Even though I do not engage directly with training new staff, I ensure that our human resource person has developed plans for training new people who are hired. I directly participated in the development of the training manual that focuses on our vision of providing the best possible services. The training programs that I have put in place at the company are focused on training everyone on customer service through enhanced communication, priority identification, risk identification, and service delivery. I emphasize the need to have proper documentation of each activity and requests forwarding process. Also of great importance has been how workers should handle customers who come to the company for business. Every Friday, we have a conference meeting with the staff to share their experiences throughout the week and identify areas that should be improved in our company. This has not only improved the way we provide services to customers but also improved the relationship among their employees; it has also helped to raise the motivation and teamwork within our staff so that everyone is playing their role towards the achievement of a common goal.
As the manager, I am involved in explaining the operation of our company to the stakeholders. I discovered that floral and wedding customers are sometimes impatient with the planning process. Some customers have called and demanded that their orders be delivered to them without having to follow the necessary steps. To such customers, I have developed a mechanism whereby our sales staff is expected to explain to them the steps that must be followed to ensure that the services are high quality and meets our standards. We also have the responsibility to provide the services that meet all legal standards. My aim as a leader has always been to design solutions that adhere to the requirements, review them often in order to comply within these regulations and built a team that is skilled in the services that they providing. When implementing all this activities, I ensure that our stakeholders are involved in each step and know the reason behind each of the changes that we make in our operations. When customers and staff are trained on following each system we put in place, it becomes easier for them to understand the objective of our initiatives and become more supportive and cooperative with orders and instructions. They are also able to remain mindful of the input that we are making as a company in terms of new operations. In this way, the requests and orders from customers are implemented more efficiently and smoother. It is, therefore, beneficial to the company in terms of its operations and implementation ability.
Outcome 4: Develop a plan that monitors results, engages feedback, and addresses performance and change management considerations to optimize the success of the decision outcome.
Among the important roles of managers during a change in management is the ability to develop a plan that helps to track the results, allows the management team to engage with the stakeholders, addresses the performance of the staff and manages change through effective decision-making process. As the manager for Sara Floral and Weddings, I am involved in planning activities that are aimed at monitoring the results of the various streamlining programs and change management activities to ensure that we get the best from the changes as a company.
In many cases, a problem is likely to arise where there is no system to monitor the results and stakeholders are not informed about the purpose of the major changes in the way the organization does its business. Some of the changes could even involve a change of names, the phasing out of some of the products and services, or the rebranding of the company’s image. I always consider that failure to have engaging feedback symbolizes negligence or ignorance on the part of the company towards its stakeholders. In order to avoid this kind of situation I have the responsibility of ensuring that the systems to monitor and manage changes are in place so that the processes are regulated and controlled to avoid an overflow of ideas. The systems that I have put in place as a manager allow me to review the present operations in floral and wedding services with regard to the activities that we are engaged in as a company. The essence of such a review is to identify the weak points that need urgent attention from the relevant people. The weak points usually dictate how we move on as a company when we are looking forward to enhancement and improvement of our services.
Managing a company that needed to adjust to new ways and processes meant that I had to prioritize the areas that are essential to our purposes. I am responsible for creating a comprehensive plan during and after the event at the company to ensure that each expense and step that we make is accounted for in terms of how it is going to contribute to our larger vision. In addition, I am directly involved in the assignment of the point of contradict for every activity that we carry out with the intention of ensuring that we have consistency not just in our services but also in the way we deliver the services to our customers.
A competent manager has the responsibility to ensure that all tasks that take place at the company are well managed and that the implementation check of all-important items is provided. Equally, I had to ensure that new staff members are supervised in accordance to their skills and training and that employees are engaged and have the necessary skills to negotiate with customers. The floral and wedding industry is sensitive to a small change in the type of products or services that are provided. Being able to explain the changes to the people concerned means that the company stands at a better position than its competitors of meeting the needs of the customers. Having employees who are motivated and well equipped with the knowledge and skills is also a good point to enhance work performance and execution of the plans that are put in place.
While developing new processes and systems at Sara’s Floral and Weddings, I use an approach that allows for a quick fix whenever something creative is discovered later in the process. This kind of approach allows the management and stakeholders at the company to play their roles while also gathering more information on the areas that need immediate improvement. The dynamic process design is aimed at allowing the customers and other stakeholders to have a clear conceptualization of the floral and wedding industry and also have a seamless interaction with the company’s sales and marketing team. The customers who come to our premises are guaranteed the highest standard of services that compete with the best practice in service delivery. The importance of allowing customers to come to our premises during show days is because of the enhanced usability of our services, expedition of customer interaction and ensuring that orders and requests are attended to within the right time.
Through examination of business processes at the company, I managed to design programs that addressed the problems with direct solutions as well as increase the operational and functional response to the needs of customers in the market. I also ensure that the company gives priority to the development of skills and experience among its employees to allow a situation where we have the best skills in the industry across the country. It is important to remain focused on the areas that are essential to the running of the company while also considering the dynamic nature of our customers, competitors and the overall floral industry in the country.
Employee performance reviews are important for ensuring that the work done at the company remains within the necessary boundaries. The line managers are normally judged with the responsibility of evaluating their employees through employee performance review. These are the people who are in daily interaction with the workers and, therefore, best know their ability and weaknesses. As a manager, I have come up with plans to ensure that employee performance reviews are carried out regularly at the company with the intention of promoting and encouraging better performance from our employees. It is also vital that as the manager, I am in tune with the progress of staff welfare and development at the company to be able to initiate new plans where they can improve their performance levels. For this case, I have developed appraisal system to allow customers who comes in contact with our staff to write an evaluation of that particular employee’s level of performance. The people who are apprised in this arrangement include senior managers and all the staff that work under them. We also have a system where customers and suppliers are also evaluated as well for us to get a broader picture on how our staff is performing. This kind of operations requires resources and time to be able to complete successfully. As the manager, I have liaised with the finance department to set aside funds for employee welfare improvement. It includes carrying out an evaluation on their performance through various systems of appraisal.
Among the challenges that managers face when trying to evaluate and appraise the performance of their workers is the failure to incorporate them when they plan and execute the process. As a result, in most cases, an employee performance review is always viewed as an opportunity to weed out non-performing workers. As the manager at Floral and Weddings, the first thing I did was to sell the idea of employee performance review to the employees so that they were prepared and supportive of the process. The process involved explaining to them why we needed to have a review of their performance and how they could contribute to the overall process. For instance, I asked them to focus not just on the new developments but their development and performance since we started on the process of improving our work in the industry. I also encouraged them to identify areas where they have performed well with intention of awarding them and encouraging them to come up with more solutions to the problems in their areas of work.
The process of employee performance evaluation was implemented by planning for time and resources. In some departments, which are very important, this started as a continuous activity which involved the setting aside of a day to evaluate the performance of employees. I encouraged line managers to use positive comments and appraisal forms only when evaluating the workers under them. The reason is that this allows the company to have a unified system of evaluating its employees. I also encouraged line managers to have regular meetings and share the results of the previous evaluation process and determine whether they are achieving their set objectives as a team or as a department. More importantly, I have always insisted on the workers getting positive feedback from line managers to avoid demeaning or de-motivating the workers. Positive and constructive feedback helps to achieve high morale among the workers and improve their performance.
The use of a check list as a tool in monitor results, addressing performance, and managing change is also come out strongly in my management approaches. The checklists are used in different occasions as a tool of helping the staff and customers to ensure that what they are taking out of the company is what they ordered for. The checklist is important as it also assists in optimizing decisions about success and performance indicators. Finally, the checklist also helps the management in making decisions. Through this process, we are able to have a visual representation all the items that are required in our operations. We also have the logistical reference points especially when it comes to our interaction with suppliers and vendors where we get our materials. In the past, Sara’s Floral and Weddings did not keep a catalogue of suppliers and vendors. Therefore, it did not enjoy the benefits of purchasing in bulk or hire purchase. As the manager, I have created a logistical reference points for all our partners including customers and suppliers. The aim of these reference points is to allow the company management to create an inventory of customers and suppliers who can be relied on to continue with business at a time when the conditions in the industry are not favorable.
In my engagement as a manager at Sara’s Floral and Weddings, I have demonstrated my skills in decision making in nearly all areas in the company. The journey has been a learning experience and I get an opportunity to practice some of the skills I learnt in school and never had an opportunity to apply. For instance, I have been directly involved in the creation of communication tools like the company website even though I had not practiced web designing basics I learnt in my first year in college before dropping the course. Having worked as a mortgage specialist before coming to the floral industry and having watched my father in business when I was young, the challenges and opportunities that I have encountered at Sara’s Floral and Weddings were not surprising to me. I think that they are the same challenges that anyone should expect in a dynamic and a sensitive industry such as the wedding and floral business. Since joining this company as its manager, I have acquired numerous skills and knowledge in areas of planning and implementation, prioritizing, budgeting and training, among many others. I have ensured that I complete each task and responsibility assigned to me as a manager. I have even gone beyond my mandate to engage in marketing and development of marketing strategies for the company.
Due to the experiences and skills that I have gained at the company, as a manager I can manage and control a company that is facing difficulties in its operations with high level of efficiency and effectiveness. My negotiation and bargaining skills will come in handy when trying to push for a decision that may not be popular with the stakeholders. Through my experience as a manager at Sara’s Floral and Weddings, I have learned to develop performance appraisal forms as well as logistical reference points for our customers and suppliers. This is something that I had never done before, although I had some basic knowledge based on reading books and listening to other managers. Since then, I have known how to review and confirm the legal and standard requirements for flowers and other wedding accessories required for an even. I have also become more engaged with staff and customers to get their opinions, suggestions, and requests on how we can improve our work as a company. I understand and can facilitate a training of new employees for a floral company even though I am a manager and not a trainer. My input in coming up with training manual has enabled me to have an experience of what to expect in any training ground for new people who are coming into the company.