The purpose of this report is to develop learner’s knowledge in the context of management principles, managerial potential, its roles and responsibilities and so on. These kind of practices will enable the learner to develop their skills towards management and managerial practices by considering:
- Identify the principles and practices related to management behavior in Thomas Cook.
- Discuss own potential and capabilities to being as a prospective manager.
- Evaluate managerial skills within Thomas Cook.
- Construct a career development plan in the context of business and services industry employment.
- Discuss own skills, responsibilities and performance.
- Determine the dynamics of working with others as well as problem solving approaches.
- Provide a clear understanding over self-managed learning and evaluate how it can enhance lifelong development.
- Discuss the responsibilities for personal and professional development.
- Analyze acquired interpersonal and transferable skills.
In present scenario, the area of travel ad tourism is growing rapidly over the world. Tourism is for leisure, recreational and business purpose; with more than 600 million people travelling annually as it becomes one of the largest industry in respect of revenues. UK being a vast and diverse country which has something new to offer travellers and its glorious infrastructure helps in attracting wide range of tourists over the world. Travel and tourism has becoming leading service industry by contributing 5.68% of national GDP and 8.78% of total employment rate (McNiff, 2010). In today's world, tourism industry has been totally changed now firms are tend to acquire new and innovative techniques which can gives new direction to tour operations. The present assignment is based upon Thomas Cook, it is one of the largest travel and tourism company which was formed in 2007 by the merger of Thomas Cook AG. The group owns has various tour operators and airlines which are based in UK, Germany and Belgium. Thomas Cook also owns the booking website Hotels4u so as to provide hospitality services to people. Along with this, the overall revenue of the company is £9,007 million whereas its total operating income is £330 million. There are over 22000 employees are presently working in Thomas Cook as the firm is also focused on providing training to its workforce in order to gain high performance targets. The prime objective of Thomas Cook is to deliver effective and qualitative tourism services to people as they can attain and retain within organisation.
Apart from this, the assignment will be described various management styles which are required to handle overall working activities and tasks at workplace. There will be discussed various leadership characteristics which supports to influence people for completion of specific tasks. The assignment will also defines a career development plan for an individual so as to determine current and future development needs. Furthermore, own roles and performance objectives are also discussed later and then provided necessary recommendations for improvements. It is essential for tour operators to focused on self managed learning styles so as to deliver efficiently.
1.1 Compare different management styles
Management – It is a universal phenomenon. Management helps and directs the various efforts towards a definite purpose of the company. Basically, it is an art of getting things done through and with the people in formally organized groups. It is the responsibility of management to create such conditions which are conducive to maximum efforts so that people are able to perform their task efficient and effective manner (Moon, 2013). It encompasses with ensuring availability of raw materials, determination of wages and salaries, formulation of rules & regulations etc.
Different management styles
- Autocratic style - This type of management is characterized by a top-down approach. The manager makes the decision, and all others below must fall into line. Autocratic leadership style can utilizes this style will expect full compliance from their subordinates.
- Consultative management style – In this management style, leaders prefer to take employees' feedback before reaching at conclusion. Consultative leadership style leads a good relationship between employee and employers. In context of tourism organisations, it may involve an open door policy where employees can share any thing to their managers (Management Styles, 2018).
- Persuasive style – Here, managers' still retain a control on business decisions. They take best decisions which are beneficial for the company. Persuasive leadership style generates employee buy in when management successfully describes what they are going to plan. It is supportive while an expert comes into evaluates firm's operations (Elliott, 2011). In this management style, there is a one way communication process which states that employees feel alienated.
- Democratic style – In this management style, decisions or drawbacks are based upon majority of participants. In large business associations, like Thomas Cook decisions can affect the whole firm; it is well suited activity which helps in employee retention; it means people will work hard to execute final decisions. A democratic leadership style encompasses with open forms of communications at level within organisations so as the imperative business decisions can be made easily.
1.2 Leadership characteristics
Good or efficient leadership is fundamental for every business organisations which supports in assembling a team to bring it together and accomplish goals and objectives. Although, leaders are the key human resources in firms in respect of developing better employees who enables to develop unique products and services. Below is defined main characteristics of leadership -
- Collaborative – Openness and transparency build trusts, while connecting teams and have an interest in getting high employee participation; it is essential for leaders to be transparent with their subordinates (Zepeda, 2012). It means leaders should share all the necessary information with their followers in order to win their trust.
- Visionary – A leader have to be practical and realistic; it means the should determine all the real situation and set team visions. Their goals and objectives are based upon real situations and related with organisational context.
- Influential – Having a strong influential power is the key of successful leadership but it cannot be done by command and controlling power. In this modern aura, digitalisation has set new rules for leaders hence leaders are required to influence others by taking respect and be gracious as well as persuasive at the same time.
- Innovative and grounded - Strong leadership requires to generate new and innovative working styles which attracts others and improve their knowledge level as well. Management innovation is becoming one of the enduring source to obtain high competitive advantage (Reeves, 2012).
1.3 Communication process
In order to communicate with target audiences and employees, Thomas Cook is following a systematic communication process which is stated as under: -
(Source: Communication Process, 2018)
- Sender – The entire process of communication starts with sender; he or she is the person who convey the message. While delivering a message verbally, body language and facial expressions are highly required (Kumari, 2011). For this purpose, a effective channel is chosen, i.e. formal and informal. For instance – branch manager explains about new products to sales team.
- Message – A message is a signal which triggers to know the response of receiver. Messages can be in form of verbal and non-verbal, i.e. spoken, written, body language, yawns, appearance, sighs etc.
- Encoding – Afterwards, sender is require to encode the message, for this they selects verbal and non-verbal methods of communication so as to send message. While encoding a message, there should be analysed which content will be include and how the receiver interpret on the same.
- Channel – It involves the choice of medium that can affect relationship between sender and receiver. Basically, communication channels relies upon urgency of the message that is going to be send. Selection of channels also consider several factors, like – number of receivers, importance and actual cost of information.
- Receiver – A receiver is an individual to whom message will be delivered. In the best circumstances, a message can easily reach to the receiver without creating any problem. Apart from this, in imperfect organisational world, it occurs several problems. Sometimes, oral messages might be forgot by the listener (Avalos, 2011).
- Decoding – In this stage, receiver tries to decode the message and understand the meaning of words and symbols. The process of communication can be done in effective manner only if the receiver clearly recognise the meaning of message as it was intended by the sender.
- Feedback – It is the final step of communication process which ensure that receiver has gained the message and explicate it in correct manner as same as intend by the sender. It enhances the effectiveness of communication process. Although, receivers' response can be in verbal and non-verbal form.
1.4 Organisational cultural and change in Thomas Cook
In this over dynamic environment, tourism organisations are tend to acquire quality culture in their working styles so as to gain high cutting edge and market growth. This kind of organisational structure is focused on performance level of bottom line as everyone in an association is committed towards accomplishing business goals and objectives (Croft and et. al., 2010). Travel and tourism companies, like – Thomas Cook build up an environment in order to maintain quality . it will influence long term plans of the company which helps a company to attain its mission and vision. Organisational cultural of Thomas cook to focus on encouraging and valuing the diversity of its people, through strong management and effective supporting policies. It supports the company to make fair treatment for staff members in respect of age, gender, religion and liabilities of dependents etc. It helps in generating positive working environment at workplace so as to gain high competitive edge. Thus, employee centric organisational cultural helps in developing workers' trust or faith towards the firm so as to accomplish all tasks and activities in the best possible manner.
On the other side, there are several changes has been occurred in travel and tourism industry which can affect its working activities and processes. Technological advancements has given new direction to business organisations in terms of raising innovations or inventions. For example – Online flight check-ins which has substantially cut down the time of travelling which they spend by standing over airports.
1.5 Review own potential as a prospective manager
In order to become a good manager, there is needed certain specific skills and competencies that supports to become a good manager. Although, managerial skills are supportive so as to complete all tasks and activities in the best possible manner; it will lead to provide direction to staff members as they can perform effectively (Brody and Hadar, 2011). In order to become a prospective manager, in order to review my certain skills, such as -
- Problem solving – Due to lack of working experience, my problem solving skills are not so good; it results I am not capable to deal with different work based issues and problems of employees. In order to become an efficient manager I need to train myself in this field by attending various seminars and workshops. I also have to determine issues which might be arise in future.
- Leadership skills – It is one of most imperative skills of a manager because without having leadership abilities, managers cannot influence their employees to do a specific task or activity. My strong leadership skills aid me to manage entire workforce within organisation; with this skill I am able to guide and inspire my subordinates and get them together to accomplish organisational goals and objectives (Mwalongo, 2011).
- Communication skills – In travelling sector, communication is crucial as it helps people to get interact with others in the best possible manner. As an extrovert person, I have strong communication skills; this will supportive for me to communicate with overall staff members and reach at better conclusion. Strong communication also helps to share ideas and thoughts with top management which are related with business and market expansion.
- Decision making skills – If a manager is able to take fast and quick decisions then it helps an organisation, like Thomas Cook to grab better future opportunities. My decision making skills are not so good because in order to analyse the entire situation I need to take some time. It results I cannot take instant decisions whenever it required. Thus, to improvise this skill I have to consult with my senior managers and attend group meetings as well.
Very Rare (1)
Problem solving skills
1.6 Personal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
In order to determine personal strength, weakness, opportunities and threat of an individual, there should be conducted SWOT analysis. This will assists to boost up capabilities of doing specific tasks in an imperative manner. Following is defined SWOT analysis of an individual: -
As a manager of Thomas Cook, I have learned lots of things at there, it helps me out for my career development and growth in terms of driving my promotions.
My another strength is my extrovert nature which helps me to interact with my colleagues and build positive relations with them.
I believe to work with openness and transparency; my this strength helps me to win trust or faith of my senior managers as well as my employees.
My biggest problem is my problem solving skills; due to lack of managerial experience I cannot find out instant solutions of work based problems.
Lack of professionalism in my talking way, affect behaviour of my colleagues and senior managers as well. In order to improve this skill I have to work on realistic solutions.
Having strong leadership skills will be greatest opportunity for me to become an efficient and successful leader in future. Due to emerging markets, there will require strong leaders who have capability to handle a group of people with diverse nature.
I also have good knowledge of technical areas which will helps me to generate new and innovative tools of production so as to enhance the quality of goods.
Lack of decision making skills is a biggest threat for me, because now these days there is required to those managers who can take instant decisions for growth and success of business organisations.
More competition in my field
Obsoletes in training and education.
1.7 Set and prioritise objectives and targets to develop own potential
In order to get rid out from weaknesses and threats; it is essential for me to set out certain objectives so as to develop my own potentials, such are stated as under: -
Learn leadership skills
To attend workshops or classes of personal development and also participate in group meetings.
Executing learning on my team members
New and advanced Technologies
Taking coaching and guidance with senior authorities.
Using latest and upgraded technology while completion of working activities
Improving decision making skills
By reading management books of various authors and pre-analysed that situations which can be occurred at workplace in future.
Trying to take fast decisions.
1.8 Lead and motivate a team to achieve
Leading and motivating workforce is beneficial for enhancing performance level and passion among workers. For this purpose, managers of Thomas Cook uses various techniques, such as – compensation and rewards, provide them safe and pleasant workplace, set clear goals and determining opportunities of self development. Along with this, if managers pay employees as per their worth and abilities then it motivates them work hard and in systematic manner. Rendering a pleasant working environment helps in raising business operations and procedures (Bauer, 2010). Such kind of environment will create positive atmosphere and forces employees to behave in ethical and well being manner. On the other side, to lead and motive staff members managers can also set clear goals and convey them to employees as they can understand their roles and responsibilities. Following is defined main motivational theories which helps in inspiring or encouraging employees to emphasis on effective completion of all tasks and activities, such as -
- Maslow's need hierarchical theory – The theory is based upon fulfilling basic needs of people as they can effectively perform. Maslow's theory states that if all basic needs of employees will be fulfilled in pervasive manner then they easily focused on completion of all tasks and activities. The theory identifies five levels in his need hierarchy, such as – psychological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and self actualisation needs.
The present assignment is based upon three main aspects, i.e. developing managerial skills, employability skills and personal & professional development. In order to improve skills and knowledge of managers, it is essential for them analyse each and every situation and determine relevant solution of the same. The entire report relies on travel and tourism industry, thus its managers attend training sessions so as to deal with tourists. Apart from this, evaluation of career goals and objectives can be done through by develop a PPD plan.