Individual Report: The Leadership Types of Barclays South Norwood Branch and UNICEF UK Branch

Free «Individual Report: The Leadership Types of Barclays South Norwood Branch and UNICEF UK Branch» Essay Sample

Introduction

Leadership is a process involving influencing people with the goal of achieving enhanced results in an organisation or any other group. It entails motivating and organising the staff towards committing to the company’s vision. Leadership is crucial for the smooth functioning of an organisation and performance of the daily activities. In order to ensure effective leadership, an experienced leader is required. This is a critical requirement since a good leader is a catalyst that converts mere potential into realism. Thus, the behaviour and characteristics of their leadership determines the success of the organisation. Many leaders and, in this case, management use a number of leadership styles depending on the situation, employees and the structure of the organisation. In other words, there is no style of management used instead of a styles combination.

This report evaluates the leadership types of Barclays South Norwood Branch and UNICEF UK branch comparing each style critically analysing the behaviours and characteristics of the leadership in both organisations as well as explains to the reasons for the obtained outcomes.

Leadership Styles

Leadership Style of Barclays Bank South Norwood Branch

The management of Barclays Bank South Norwood branch applies a combination of different effective  leadership styles to direct, implement plans and motivate the employees. The main leadership styles used in this organisation are auticratic, democratic, and transactional style described below.

Autocratic Leadership Style

Barclays South Norwood utilises autocratic leadership style during the periods of crisis since it is very effective when an urgent change is needed. It emphasises prompt, predictable and systematic performance required during crisis. Moreover, the management of the bank is able to maintain close control over its employees by closely regulating procedures and policies provided (Alden, 2013).  In addition, they form professional relationship with their employees in order to show separation between them and the employees. Moreover, this style of leadership enables management to retain authority and responsibility by assigning clearly defined tasks to the employees. Despite their use of this leadership style, it has negative aspects such as the presence of criticism, which destroys the morale of the employees. This is the reason for which it is used only during times of crisis.

Democratic Leadership Style

The bank also utilises the democratic leadership style to direct its employees towards achieving its set goals. This style is also referred to as participative leadership. The organisation uses this style of leadership when the course the bank should  take is not clear. While implemeting the democratic leadership style, the bank uses the combined wisdom of its employees to solve the problems and accomplish the tasks (Barclays Bank PLC , 2014). All the features of the decisions are expresses by the combined minds of the employees whereas the final decision is taken by the management, which controls the boundaries of employee participation. Unlike the autocratic leadership where the management was separated from its employees, this type of leadership encourages socialisation between employees and management. Both parties discuss and share ideas that develop the personal growth of the employees (Barty & Ricketts, 2014).

Transactional Leadership Style

Transactional leadership is another leadership style applied by the bank for directing its employees. The management uses this style of leadership when the employees are demoralised and there is need to motivate them to raise their level of productivity in the bank. Transactional leadership style employs a system of rewards and punishments (Frankish et al., 2009). The requirements of the staff members are clearly defined by the management together with the corresponding rewards. When the employees fail to follow the defined requirements, they receive the equivalent punishment. Transactional leadership in this context is mainly concerned with the policies of the bank than implementing changes in the organisation. Through transactional leadership style, the management standardises the organization’s practises to assist it in achieving the set goals, increase productivity, efficiency, and reach ultimately maturity.

Leadership Style of UNICEF UK Branch

UNICEF UK is a branch of UNICEF, a United Nations organisation that provides humanitarian assistance to the children in the United Kingdom. This organisation uses leadership styles that motivate employees to accomplish this organisational goal. It is clear that the type of work execited by this organization needs to involve the employees who are happy and feel comfortable in their jobs, hence the decision of the organisation to use leadership styles that do not undercut the morale of the employees (Goethals et al., 2014). Some of the common leadership styles, which are utilised, are participative, paternalistic and free reign leadership style as described below.

Participative Leadership Style

Participative leadership is one of the key leadership styles used by the organisation.   Singer (2011) affirms that thecompany’s management uses this style to create a class of employees committed to the organisational goal of providing humanitarian services to the children in the UK. This is implemented by the leaders sharing the decision making responsibilities with the employees, which is vital in promoting their interests. In addition, it boosts their morale when they are allowed to participate in discussions, debates and share their ideas about the organisation because they feel valued by the leaders. Even though the employees assist management in making the decisions, the ultimate final decision is made by the management.

Paternalistic Leadership Style

As mentioned above, the type of work performed by this organisation requires happy and contented employees. Unhappy employees are not in a position to provide humanitarian assistance to the suffering children, hence the decision of the organisation to utilise the leadership style, such as paternalistic one, that allows involving the best skills and possibilities of the employees (Jolly, 2002). The management care about the employees and show their concern. In return, the employees give management their complete trust and loyalty as a critical factor for enhancing the performance of the organisation. Consequently, the relationship between the employees and management is solidified. For this reason, the rate of retention in the organisation has been boosted. The employees are able to perform their humanitarian work correspondingly and project the care they receive at work to the suffering children they help in the UK.

Free Reign Leadership Style

This leadership style is also known as laissez faire. It is used to make the employees feel valued and protected by the organisation. Management bears fewer responsibilities and delegated power to the employees.  Jolly (2014) opines that the workers make decisions alone without interference of the management in their work. This leadership style is highly flexible since it permits a certain degree of autonomy and, at the same time, provides guidance and support when needed. UNICEF uses this leadership style because its employees are highly skilled and experienced hence can do their work well without supervision. Moreover, its employees equally take immense pride in their job and are driven to implement it successfully without any supervision, which is a significant factor determining the success of the style in the organisation (Wibbeke & McArthur, 2013).

The leadership styles of the two companies are different but, at the same time, share some common aspects. For example, both organisations use the participative leadership style since it allows employees to contribute to the decision making process implying that both organisations want to gain the loyalty of their workers. However, the disparity is shown by the rest of the styles used. For example, Barclays Bank South Norwood applies autocratic and transactional leadership while UNICEF UK uses paternalistic and laissez faire styles (Matachi, 2006).

Leadership Behavior and Characteristic Analysis

A leader is expected to behave in a certain way and possess certain characteristics. For this reason, many organisations have determined a list of characteristics and behaviours they expect from their leaders to be capable of. Both, UNICEF and Barclays, have set certain character traits and ways of behaving that they expect from their leaders as described below.

The behaviour of a leader is a direct reflection of the organization’s image. For this reason, both companies expect from their leaders to behave in a manner that presents a positive image to the whole organisation. Specifically, the leaders should present themselves in a dignified manner. Their posture, gesture and appearance should exude leadership.

Similarly, the organizations’ leaders should possess characteristics and traits that will enhance their performance and also the performance of the organisation. An analysis of some essential character traits of both UNICEF and Barclays’ leadership are as described below.

First, both organisations expect from their leaders to be proactive (Sreenivas, 2006). A good leader should be able to anticipate a crisis or any other problem before it occurs. This implies being three steps ahead. The leaders who are proactive are able to be three steps ahead by mastering their environment which assists them in anticipating possible changes and, therefore, take the necessary steps in order to manage these changes.

Another critical character trait of a leader is flexibility. Townsend and MacBeath (2011) agree that a good leader should be flexible and able to adapt quickly to a changing environment. They should be able to handle themselves in uncomfortable and unexpected situations as well as to be open-minded to the new ideas and new ways of solving problems in the organisation.

Thirdly, a leader should be a good communicator. It is essential to remember that a leader fulfils his role by issuing instructions to his followers. Therefore, it is critical that the leader possesses excellent communication skills to prevent confusion in the organisation and to enable successful performance of the tasks. High-quality communication skills also include being a good listener (UNICEF, 2007).

A leader should also be a delegator. It is important for a leader to realise that they cannot accomplish everything on their own and, therefore, they should be willing to delegate the tasks. The reason is that the success of the organisation depends on the personal efforts of each staff member and not just of a single person.  Watson (2009) asserts that a leader should take note of the talents and capabilities of his employees, thus delegate the tasks accordingly.

Outcome of the Leadership Styles

The consequences of applying the leadership styles discussed above may be positive, but, at the same time, quite negative. It is, therefore, vital for the management to evaluate the situation as well as to use the most appropriate leadership style that will be most effective for the organisation.

Outcome of Using Autocratic Leadership Style

As mentioned above, autocratic leadership brings positive results during the crisis. It is not advisable to use this style during normal everyday working circumstances. It may raise unmotivated, unhappy and dissatisfied mood among the employees (Larson & Wilson, 2010). Autocratic leadership uses a lot of criticism, bossiness which undercuts the morale of the employees. Therefore, it is considered as ineffective style of leadership.

The Outcome of Using Democratic Leadership Style

The outcome of using democratic or participative leadership can be positive since it boosts the morale of the employees who feel valued because they are included in the decision making process of the organisation. At the same time, the result could be disastrous when used during the time of crisis. The reason is that the crisis is an urgent event and requires quick decisions to be made instead of consesus, which will take time to reach.

The Outcome of Using Transactional Leadership Style

Transactional leadership applies a sytem of rewards and punishments allowing management to identify the needs of their employees and reward these needs  in exchange for a certain level of performance.  Obay (2014) reiterates that the outcome of using this leadership style in the organisation is growth in maturity, increased productivity, and improved efficiency. On the other hand, its effect on the employees can increase the level of emotions because they compete for rewards or it may raise tension between them and management due to the punishments.

The Outcome of Using Paternalistic Leadership Style

The use of paternalistic leadership results in tightened relations between employees and management (Pelzer, 2013). In other words, if the management treats the staff members as a parent behaves with the child, the employees feel cherished by the organisation. Consequently, such employees become more loyal to the company. On the other hand, the organisation enhances its rate retention of the employees and, therefore, a positive reputation.

The Outcome of Using Free Reign Leadership Style

By applying the laissez faire leadership style, the employees get autonomy. Consequently, they become motivated by the trust given to them form the organization to work on their own. However, free reign leadership can lead to the lack of productivity among the employees since there is nobody to follow their work performance. For this reason, this style of leadership can only be applied in the case where the employees are experienced, trustworthy, and highly skilled (Renfrew et al., 2012).

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Conclusion

The report defines that the style of leadership, its characteristic and behaviours have a direct impact on the success of an organisation. Good leadership requires using more than one single style and, instead, it is advisable to combine several styles in managing different situations. The outcome of the leadership styles employed in an organisation may be positive or negative depending on the situation in which the style has been applied. Consequently, the management should critically assess the situation before deciding what leadership style to employ. Lastly, it is necessary to define clearly the needed behaviour and leadership characteristics to be possesed by the leaders in an organisation. They should have such character traits that represent a positive image of the company.

Recommendations

Based on the findings discussed in the report, the following recommendations are given. Firstly, it is recommended that the management should use a combination of several leadership styles to effectively provide leadership to the employees (Rossi, 2014).

Another recommendation is that the organizations should define in clear terms the expected behaviour and character traits that the leaders should posses.

The third recommendation is to choose the leadership style and to use it after analysing the situation in order to apply the style that matches the situation accordingly.

Fourthly, it is recommended that the management should apply leadership styles that motivate employees and do not undercut their morale (Singh & Dutta, 2010).

Lastly, the management should first consider the expected outcome of using a given leadeship style before applying it in order to prevent any negative consequences.

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