The purpose of this report is to define an interview conducted on March 3, 2022, with Sahil Chhikara, an Engineer at ELK Logistics, to gain necessary knowledge about how a business operates, how it operates within an organization, and how it contributes to the provision of special services to customers. It guides on current issues or industries in which they are popular and the challenges that companies face today. This report is based on the findings and recommendations of numerous sources. The Interviewee is aware of certain organizational challenges, including decision-making, organizational change, and team effectiveness. The report makes various recommendations for resolving the company’s issues. ELK Logistics must arrange seminars and contractual meetings, one-on-one conversations with employees, increase internal connections and delivery, and assign responsibilities to adequately skilled employees. Appendices include interview confirmation and a detailed questionnaire.
Summary of Business
ELK Logistics Company is a U.S.-based tracking company situated in Winnipeg with major focus on reliable and on-time logistics solutions. ELK Logistics offer quality truckload transportation services to their clients in America and Canada. Similarly, the company has over 420 employees and total revenue of $100.30 million across all its locations (USD). ELK Logistics Inc’s corporate family consists of 64 firms. It also provides an excellent working environment to all its employees. The management led by Sahil Chhikara (owner) is excellent, and practically every member of the staff is polite and helpful. Although the volume of work made certain days difficult, I relished every hour spent interviewing Sahil Chhikara. When everyone in the office gathers in the cafeteria for lunch, it is the most relaxed moment of the day.
Strengths Identified in the Interview
Sahil Chhikara’s team exemplifies what is possible when people work together and believe that anything is possible. They collaborate to build an organization that respects their differences while remaining effective. Their identities shape who we are and their diverse cultural backgrounds make each day interesting. Their ability to communicate effectively and express ideas facilitates collaboration while ensuring that their time is well spent. A conflict arose between Sahil Chhikara’s team members when a customer called, enraged that she had waited more than two weeks to respond to the sales team regarding a product query.
They needed to respond to the customer’s concern as soon as possible and figure out what had gone wrong with the standard query-response process. Sahil Chhikara apologized to the customer and took her information, which he forwarded to the head salesperson, who contacted her right away. He looked into why the question had remained unanswered. The customer no longer checked a mismatched mobile number and an out-of-date email address were the root cause. He let the customer know about the change, updated her contact information, and gave her a discount code for a future purchase. Not only did the customer continue to place orders with them, but she also tweeted about her positive experience and left them a five-star Yelp review.
Sahil Chhikara’s current team’s strengths include effective communication, collaboration, active listening, and problem-solving abilities. Because they each have unique leadership characteristics and communication styles, they can push and support one another while shining in different areas. They are aware of the factors that contribute to establishing an environment that fosters team success in any task. As a leader, Sahil Chhikara considers himself to be highly receptive in a variety of situations. He has always tried to be the one who assures everyone that everything will be fine. He enjoys knowing that people are comfortable around him, and He values any positive or negative feedback.
Areas of Improvement Identified in the Interview
His current team can improve in the areas listed below:
- Time management: Individuals who excel at multitasking, meeting deadlines, and effectively managing their time will be more productive at work. Furthermore, effective time management skills can help makes their jobs less stressful, allowing them to devote more time to projects and opportunities for career development that interests them.
- Problem-solving: Strong problem-solving abilities will assist in identifying a problem, evaluating the available solutions, selecting the best solution, and finally putting it into action. Problem-solving skills can also assist in resolving workplace conflict, overcoming project roadblocks, and devising new ways to achieve goals.
- Interpersonal skills: Interpersonal skills, or the ability to effectively communicate and interact with others, can assist people in forming bonds with coworkers and customers alike. Individuals who possess these abilities can be more effective team members and provide better customer service.
- Leadership: To achieve their goals, solve difficulties, and communicate with the teammates, everyone needs effective leadership qualities. Developing leadership skills can help individual contributors organize effective meetings and projects and team up with their coworkers.
OB Concepts Linked to the Business
A leader’s ability to make decisions is critical for his or her success in the workplace. It’s vital in one’s personal life daily, too. Some decisions are easy to understand and make on the go, but others might be complex. Making the wrong choice might have long-term consequences, as explained by Schoemaker & Russo (2014). We waste a lot of time and energy trying to decide what to do in everyday situations. Compromises and trade-offs are a part of life. Some people put off making decisions because they procrastinate, while others find it difficult to make even the most fundamental ones, including where to eat, what to wear, and what to buy. Several decisions must be made immediately, whereas others must be carefully weighed for several days or weeks. Effective management and leadership necessitate the ability to make sound decisions. Some people are unfit for leadership roles due to their inability to make decisions.
When the company was in a dilemma about whether or not to fire an underperforming employee, Sahil Chhikara felt empowered to make decisions at work. In this employee’s case, he made a sound business decision. He had only been with him a few months, but there was a time when they were consistently late for work and called in sick more frequently than any employer would like. While this employee appeared competent and enthusiastic about his work, he believes he would have been fired without fanfare in any traditional company, particularly one with a larger workforce. He contacted this employee and had an open discussion about their recent performance decline and any underlying issues (he mentioned personal problems at home). He devised a strategy to assist him in improving his performance. He still hadn’t met his expectations after two weeks, but he had made progress. As a result, I extended the plan by two weeks, which paid off; he was back on track and performing better than ever by the end of the month.
Employees were previously stressed out due to time constraints and overwhelming demands. When under a lot of stress and strain, the decisions one makes will almost always be bad ones. Work-life balance is becoming increasingly important to many companies. While the majority of management teams advocate for it, they do not support it. In ELK Logistics, decisions are made by the Board of Directors or the shareholders. Shareholders decide in their capacity as owners, whereas directors decide in their capacity as business managers. Employees do not participate in decision-making. The entire organization stands to gain by involving them in decision-making. It will be easier for them to make good decisions when surrounded by the right individuals with the correct combination of talents and expertise and those likely to respond. Encouragement of distributed authority will improve decision-making at this company. Empowering employees at all levels with decision-making authority will result in increased agility and responsiveness.
A group of people, often with complementary skills, can work together to fulfill goals set by an authority figure, team members, or team leaders is referred to as team effectiveness. Models of team effectiveness aid in determining which management strategies are most effective in enhancing team output, as suggested by Kozlowski (2017). To get the most out of a group, managers should keep these things in mind. Project managers and leaders who are aware of their teams’ unique dynamics and relationships regularly improve team performance. Google, a company known for its innovative teamwork approaches, spent years researching what makes some teams more effective than others.
Change in the workplace can be terrifying when we break from our habits and try new ways of working. It’s difficult to adapt to change when it’s so easy to go back into old habits. However, change is necessary for many business and professional areas (Stouten et al., 2018). Companies that do not change are prone to being stagnant and underdeveloped. Our modern world is constantly evolving in terms of technology and several other creative yet challenging ways. If employees can confront these new difficulties head-on, it will benefit the company and its people. Adapting to change is critical for keeping ideas fresh and moving forward in the workplace.
ELK Logistics was rebranding all of its products at the time. As part of the rebranding process, they identified their mission, renamed the company, and redesigned the brand and identity. They determined as a company that using email as the primary form of communication during the rebranding process was the best option because it fevered all of the individuals involved. The management was delighted since the rebranding represented a new beginning for the company, particularly economically.
It is just half the battle when it comes to long-term success for an organization to attract and retain a talented team. The other half of the challenge is encouraging employees to stay long enough for the organization to achieve long-term success and retain talent. The best outcomes can only be achieved if the motivation of employees is founded on things that are meaningful to them. Depending on the employee, these variables can change.
Consequently, it is imperative that you have a thorough awareness of what motivates your workers. Throughout addition to specific employee incentive programs, efforts should be made to build motivation in the company’s work culture. Rather than being a one-time endeavor, motivation becomes a part of everyday work life. It took Sahil Chhikara longer to get things done when he felt unappreciated and unwelcome at the company he worked for. Even in the most important meetings and decision-making processes, he was frequently left out. Consequently, no one ever heard his voice.
Formal and personal powers are two of the most common sources of power. Personal power is determined by the leader’s personal characteristics, but formal power is determined by the organization. It is understandable that a leader may have more than one source of power. Formal power is determined by a person’s position in the company. According to the job description for the position in which the person is employed, the employee’s power is stated. Sahil Chhikara’s power as a leader is derived from his position as the organization’s manager. In his role as a manager, the company has given him all the authority he needs to ensure that the duties are completed on time and on budget. Supplier contracts and subcontractor recruitment are his responsibilities; he has the right to do so. When it comes to daily operations, he is also in leadership.
The Sahil Chhikara team approaches conflict resolution with a win-win mindset, considering it as an opportunity to reach a mutually beneficial settlement. It necessitates analyzing their underlying difficulties and devising a solution that addresses the interests of both parties. This conflict style is useful because it allows both participants in a discussion to feel satisfied with their agreement and that no party has lost. Sahil Chhikara aims to transform the way team members’ deal with differences by giving everyone the opportunity to communicate and be heard.
There are several ways to improve the overall performance of ELK Logistics organizational change. To improve the performance of the ELK Logistics, changes should not be made carelessly, as explained by Fløvik et al. (2019). This means that a lot of investigation is needed before getting started. Motivating forces must outnumber restraining forces to bring about change. There is a strong resistance among certain employees to change. Skeptics of change must be dealt with and their concerns and observations listened to by leaders and managers. They will be more receptive if opponents believe that their concerns are being addressed. Regardless of their views, some change resistors must be destroyed.
During change, the role of leadership is important (Errida & Lotfi, 2021). All of these aspects must be carefully planned and implemented to ensure the initiative’s success. Having a launch event is essential because it will allow the leader to explain the change, its purpose, and its benefits to the workforce. As the last step, leaders must identify the main obstacles to change and devise a strategy for implementation. Everything about this event has been planned to be both enjoyable and energizing. It could be done by providing T-shirts and other mementos of the change endeavor. New ways of doing things are required because of change. It is in everyone’s best interest to ensure that employees are well-prepared for the change. This aspect involves a needs assessment to figure out exactly what is needed. Choosing the right training program is the next step. Providing just-in-time training is the best option at this stage.
Changes must be monitored and measured (Fløvik et al., 2019). Changes can either be useful or damaging based on how they affect people’s lives. The leader is in charge of overseeing the entire exercise and keeping everyone updated on what is happening. It is necessary to make adjustments and course corrections whenever there is a change. ELK Logistics ability to thrive is directly related to recognizing and rewarding its leaders and employees. It encourages people to work harder and accept change more fully. To keep everyone involved in the project up to date, regular progress reports are distributed to all parties involved. To achieve this goal, the company should employ its publications, memos, meetings, videos, and emails. The leader should frequently meet with his or her staff to discuss the most important topics at hand.
Changing a company is a difficult task (Errida & Lotfi, 2021). Now, the leader’s role is crucial, and he or she must understand the goals and responsibilities of the project manager and staff and his or her role in implementing change. As the global economy gets more competitive, organizational transformation principles are always changing and evolving. Because people are naturally resistant to change, a viewpoint on change management is crucial today. As a result, ELK Logistics must involve all its employees early to completely understand and support the change endeavor.
There are a variety of ways to deal with opposition to change. People become aware of the necessity for change as a result of both education and communication. Oral presentations, meetings, written reports and journals can all be used to achieve this goal Leaders and workers must believe in each other for this to function. Employees must have faith in their leaders if they are to obey and follow them. The entire organization must be involved in the process of participation and involvement. Involved employees are less likely to reject change. Participation and the rationale for the change promote employee commitment to the change.
The ability of a leader to facilitate and assist the execution of change is essential. This necessitates being open to employees’ ideas, allowing them to voice their opinions, and then acting on those ideas. Creating a pleasant and stimulating work environment is their responsibility. When it is possible, employees should take advantage of any training opportunities. Cooperative employees must be rewarded for their cooperation to reduce the likelihood of a backlash during negotiations and recognition. Bonuses and salary increases are possibilities.
Errida, A., & Lotfi, B. (2021). The determinants of organizational change management success: Literature review and case study. International Journal of Engineering Business Management, 13, 184797902110162. https://doi.org/10.1177/18479790211016273
Fløvik, L., Knardahl, S., & Christensen, J. (2019). The Effect of Organizational Changes on the Psychosocial Work Environment: Changes in Psychological and Social Working Conditions Following Organizational Changes. Frontiers In Psychology, 10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02845
Kozlowski, S. (2017). Enhancing the Effectiveness of Work Groups and Teams: A Reflection. Perspectives On Psychological Science, 13(2), 205-212. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691617697078
Schoemaker, P., & Russo, J. (2014). decision-making. The Palgrave Encyclopedia Of Strategic Management. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137294678.0160
Stouten, J., Rousseau, D., & De Cremer, D. (2018). Successful Organizational Change: Integrating the Management Practice and Scholarly Literatures. Academy Of Management Annals, 12(2), 752-788. https://doi.org/10.5465/annals.2016.0095
APPENDIX A: Interview Questions
- Tell me about a time that you felt empowered at work and as the owner of the ELK Logistics?
- Can you describe a time when there was a poor decision made? What factors lead to this issue?
- How are decisions made in your company?
- Are employees involved in decision-making? Please explain.
- Would you change anything about how decisions are made at your company?
- How can decision-making be improved in your organization?
- How would you describe the dynamic of the team that you work with?
- Think about a time when there was a conflict on your team, what factors led to this conflict? How was this resolved?
- What are the strengths of your current team? What are the areas that require improvement with your current team?
- How well does your organization respond to change?
- Tell me about a time when your organization was going through change. How was the communication? How did the leaders behave?
- What recommendations do you have to improve how change is managed in your organization?
APPENDIX B: Interview Evidence
Details of the interviewee:
Name: Sahil Chhikara
Company: ELK LOGISTICS