Employee training program: Enron Case

Introduction

Employee training programs have strategic importance for the effective management of organizations. Employees are the life-blood of business organizations. Employee training is therefore a useful tool for equipping the workforce with appropriate skills for effective implementation of their tasks. A robust organizational structure and culture are needed to act as the foundation for designing the training program (Bush, 2003). The Enron case reveals shocking revelations on how crafty and amorous executives systematically conspired to bring its downfall.

Enron being a large energy and gas company with an ambitious expansion strategy empowered its top executives to engage in external business ventures to increase its gains (Benston, 2003). However, loopholes in Enron’s organizational structure and culture rendered it vulnerable to amorous schemes by its top executives harboring selfish materialistic motives. The giant energy corporation lost billions of dollars in shadowy deals and external business ventures orchestrated by systematic manipulation of books of accounts and fictitious investments. Employees were blindfolded with high salaries to cover up the developing scandal across the corporate ladder. Essentially, accounting officers, top executives, and their subordinates colluded to loot the giant energy organization its valuable assets. The company’s liquidity status was therefore manipulated through crafty schemes in the accounting department to reflect a profitable organization before investors, shareholders, and a lukewarm board of directors. The audit also got tempted to participate in the financial scandal by ignoring facts and figures of Enron’s books of accounts.

Team Member Skill Inventory

Employee training is part and parcel of an effective and innovative business organization. Team learning is one of the affective dimensions of the training program. Group member wellbeing is ascertained through effective leadership (Darling & Nurmi, 2007). Teamwork ensures that collaboration among employees is strengthened and social bonds solidified. Group interactions allow the exchange of innovative ideas to the advantage of the organization. The top leadership of the business organization delegates managerial responsibilities to respective leaders granting them an opportunity to develop their leadership skills. Tasks are assigned by the interests and talents of the respective groups.

The composition of the teams is strategic to the realization of the organization’s objectives. Team members should be selected from a talent pool that reflects various skills and potentialities. Learning goals for the teams are derived from a multifaceted approach that incorporates the development of learners’ communication, presentation, computer, and public interaction attributes (Kazanas & Roth well, 2009). A value system is required to define group interactions to safeguard integrity and professionalism in their collaboration. Common values and objectives are end goals that group members strive to achieve. Different departments in an organization provide a structure that can be exploited for designing the teams.

Members of a team do not necessarily need to be employees of the same department in an organization. Employees working in the same department are likely likely to abuse their social background to engage in unethical behavior such as manipulating books of accounts witnessed in the failed Enron. A corrupt leadership influenced the entire organization to manipulate facts and figures of the company for cheap financial gains. Team members need to be motivated to subscribe to a value system that matches the central values and goals of the business organization. Commitment is central to attaining group goals (Bush, 2003). Individual team members should confirm their participation in mutual group activities. Punctuality and honesty are important values that team members must adhere to in pursuit of group goals. Time and computer problems are quite risky to the attainment of team activities.

Team leaders should therefore identify individual member weaknesses for appropriate remedy. For instance, a team member lacking proficiency in computer applications can be helped by colleagues conversant in computer skills and applications. Team members should cherish communication skills. Effective communication is important for fruitful interactions to take place. Meeting schedules should be respected by committed members. Each team should have an elaborate system for evaluation of their progress from time to time. Regular audits should be carried out between teams and documented.

Ground rules

Team members should be left to design rules for their interaction and activities. Penalties and rewards should be imposed appropriately to team members engaged in either positive or negative behavior. Daily meeting schedules and meetings should be clearly defined including the team agenda (Darling & Nurmi, 2007). Consistent flouting of the team rules and terms of engagement should be punished as directed by team leaders and managers in higher authority.

Conflict management

Potential conflicts are bound to arise during team interactions. The intersection of positive ideas and divergent opinions should be harmonized by team members in a specified manner. The established code of conduct and ground rules should define the approach for solving group conflicts. However, teammates should be encouraged to participate in group activities without fear of reprisals (Kazanas & Roth well, 2009). Team members should be encouraged to solve internal problems without unnecessarily escalating minor issues to senior authorities. Two or more members of a team can assist a member whose opinion appears contrary to mutual goals to adjust his/her attitude and perceptions. A positive attitude is central in creating an enabling environment for group interaction. Team members can effectively engage one another in constructive discourses.

Weaknesses should be exploited as an opportunity to strengthen their social bonds and personality traits. Communication is essential during team interactions and in disseminating facts and requirements of individual assignments. Group members should be encouraged to respect and appreciate one another to avoid petty conflicts. Respect facilitates effective group interaction particularly when divergent opinions arise. The problem of missing funds at Enron supposedly invested in fictitious business ventures is a possible area of conflict. Accounting officers can be subjected to aggressive debates by assertive stakeholders and fellow employees during meetings to obtain direct feedback from them.

Conclusion

The leadership style at Enron reveals a haphazard approach in organization structure and system in business operations. Top executives were a law unto themselves resulting in gross abuse of the company’s finances. Team members should therefore identify such an important issue, after which they should investigate openly possible solutions to the matter. Team leaders and group members should interact with each other as equal partners. Conflict management should serve as an opportunity to solve company problems under investigation. Divergent opinions on the subject matter can be tolerated as long as a member’s personality is not brought under attack. Active group participation is central to the realization of common goals and values which promote cohesion, transparency, and accountability in an organization. Leaders should be mature enough to adopt and adapt findings of team discussions into company policies. Decision-making and problem solving should therefore be diversified across an organizational managerial hierarchy.

Reference list

  1. Benston, G. (2003). Following the Money: the Enron Failure and the State of Corporate Disclosure. New York: Brookings Institution Press.
  2. Bush, T. (2003). Theories of Educational Leadership and Management. New York: SAGE.
  3. Darling, J. R. & Nurmi, R. (2007). International Management Leadership: the Primary Competitive Advantage. London: Rout ledge.
  4. Kazanas, H. C. & Roth well, W. J. 2009. Building in-house Leadership and Management Development Programs: their Creation, Management, and Continuous Improvement. London: Greenwood Publishing Group.

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