The area in which Mrs. Miles showcases her exemplary leadership skills is in the area of policy implementation. An effective leader knows when to enact a new policy to push his/or her office in the right direction. Mrs. Miles has implemented several office policies that have increased office productivity and efficiency. For example, in a recent staff meeting, she instituted several new policies. Some of those policies include requiring each Petitions Clerk to complete 20 petitions in the course of a workday, requiring each employee to spend a day answering incoming phone calls regarding current cases, and requiring each employee to arrive at work on time and to promptly return from breaks.
To the average person, these policies might not seem like they have the power to impact an entire organization, but they do. The Tax Court receives about 100 petitions per day from all over the country and has a total of eight Petitions Clerks to handle the workload. Mandating the number of petitions that have to be completed per workday ensures that the organization will not develop a backlog.
Being the only Tax Court in the country, our organization receives thousands of phones calls each day from petitioners, attorneys, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is the responsibility of the Petitions/Intake section to address each phone call during the course of a day. Before the new policy of two employees being responsible for the phone call was enacted, employees would allow the phone to continuously ring, which resulted in the petitioners not getting the help they needed. As a result of the new policy, each phone call is answered in a timely manner and petitioners are receiving the help that they need.
Continually having employees arrive to work and return from breaks late will have an impact on an organizations overall productivity. Requiring employees to be punctual on a regular basis has helped to increase the overall productivity of the office because the time that was wasted due to tardiness is now being applied to work.
In order to enact such policies, a leader must be aware of the organizational power that is at his/her disposal. It is important to understand how important the concept of power within an organization really is. A quote that illustrates the importance of organizational power is, "Power is a universal constant: it is needed to run the most trivial functions of organization or project," (Sinh, 2009).The organization power(s) that Mrs. Miles used to enact these new policies are Legitimate, Reward, Coercive, and Expert powers. Each of these powers played a significant role in the acceptance of the new policies.
Legitimate power comes from a position of authority within the organization (Colquitt, Jason, Lepine Jeffery, & Wesson, 2011). Mrs. Miles has this power because she is currently the supervisor of the Petitions/Intake Section and has formal authority within the organization. This power automatically gives the new policies authority because she is the acting supervisor. However, this power alone does not guarantee acceptance of the policies.
Reward power exists because an individual has the power to advance on enhance someone position within the organization (Colquitt et al, 2011). Mrs. Miles has this power because she writes the performance appraisal for every employee in the section, which gives her ability to promote or advance any employee. This also helps to validate the new policies, but is not the primary reason why they are accepted.
Coercive power exists when an individual has control over sanctions or punishment within an organization (Colquitt et al, 2011). Because of her supervisory position, Mrs. Miles has the ability to reprimand any employee via a suspension.
Expert Power exists because an individual has attained a certain level of expertise in a specific area (Colquitt et al, 2011). Mrs. Miles has worked in the Petitions section of the Tax Court for over 25 years, which makes her an expert in all of the policies and procedures associated with section. This power is the most influential because every employee in the section is aware that she knows what it takes to properly manage the section. When an individual has that much experience in one section and they are that well respected people tend to listen to what they have to say. In a study done by Amarjit Sinh, he notes that individuals will choose to work with a competent person to try to expand their own knowledge (Sinh, 2009).