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 Title Head: ESSENTIALS OF MANAGEMENT; LESSON 14

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The Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation has consistently ensured that employees get their pension after retirement or when the firm or company they were working for collapses. This is an excellent initiative by the federal government without which many employees would lose their pension contribution mostly to firms which go bankrupt. As a future employee, I would prefer the defined contribution plan rather than the defined benefit plan in view of the projected future of PBGC. CFFI has suggested that in 15 years, PBGC will most likely not be able to pay employees their benefits due to lack of enough money. Already the corporation operates on a deficit of serious magnitudes and if the projections any ting to go by, it will be impossible or very difficult to get pension benefits from the government corporation due to lack of enough money (Byrness, 2004). A contribution plan will ensure that I get pension commensurate with my contribution and earnings. It is mush safer to opt for the defined contributions plan because in this case pension benefits are provided on the basis of the contribution of the employee as well as that of the employer as opposed to monthly contributions. This offers guarantee for payment.

Despite the fact that pension benefits are so costly, workers need them so badly due to the fact that this is their only source of livelihood upon retirement or in case of job termination either through redundancy or by way of the company going bankrupt. The managers of the various companies that deduct money towards the pension benefits plan for the workers should make sure that they insure this money with a reputable corporation so that it may be easy for the workers to access their money when they retire or if their work is terminated. The managers could also cooperate with the government to make a legislation that will ensure that the money is secure even as the company goes bankrupt or is liquidated. This money should not be held as part of the company’s property or accounts and as such managers must make sure that this is clear to their creditors so that the accounts of pension benefits can not be attached. It is clear that most of the private companies are not very keen on ensuring the security of workers pension benefits and it is only logical that the managers liaise with PBGC to secure the workers pension benefits. PBGC has had to bail out several companies which have gone bankrupt and as such it is more secure to entrust the funds with the government which is answerable to the employees for whom it keeps pension benefits. The managers should also separate the accounts department from the pensions department so that the pension money can not be diverted for purposes other than paying retired employees their pension benefits.

The federal government should take it as its responsibility to bail out pension funds in the case of a company going bankrupt. The main reason for the involvement of the federal government is that the employees are the obvious losers in such incidences and it is only the federal government which can help them. If the government, through PBGC, does not step in and ensure the payment of pension to the employees of a company that has gone under, these employees automatically lose all their contribution because the company is already legally bankrupt. The workers can not summon enough legal might to fight a bankrupt company and the only solution is for the federal government to take over the scheme and pay the employees. The government has the means to recover this money rather than entrusting it with the company. It is a fact that legal battles are costly and tricky. Legal battles involve a long and expensive process very few employees can afford to undertake and even then, employees could end up spending more than they would get in case of a successful suit. When a company goes bankrupt, the workers can only hope that their pension benefits are secure because this is their only remaining hope for a lifeline. Very few companies can be trusted with the pension of their employees in cases of bankruptcy and it is for this reason that the federal government should take the responsibility of bailing out the pension funds of the employees.

I Have once worked for a business research firm where charged with the responsibility of conducting research on the factors that contribute to the financial woos and collapse of most micro-finance institutions. I was in a four-member working team. We all came from different fields of specialization with each member charged with different tasks, all with the aim of facilitating the success of our research. I was answerable to the project coordinator who would in turn report to the manager. My team Functioned very effectively as members would delegate certain duties to others who had the relevant expertise and we were as a result very effective in our work. We would consult each other and share knowledge on several issues touching on the project. The project coordinator was mostly democratic in the way he led the team as he was fully aware each member knew their duty and would function without supervision, which is exactly what I and my colleagues did. I was supposed to take care of my research budget as I was the only expert in business affairs and I made sure that there was no misappropriation in allocation funds for the various activities that I would have to undertake till the successful completion of the project. I was also time conscious and I spend every minute that I had allocated for a particular task in the right way. No time was wasted and the manager was very satisfied upon the successful completion of the project.

Some companies have a divisional structure of organization and others use the functional organizational structure. Personally I would be comfortable working for a company that uses the functional structure because unlike in divisional structure whereby employees are grouped into three; product, market and geographic, the functional structure offers more room for specialization as employees are grouped according to their areas of specialization. I would be happier working in the sales department with people who are professionals in the field unlike in a divisional structure where grouping is mostly random as it is not entirely determined by one’s qualification. The functional structure of organizational is very motivational to the workforce and production is boosted by the fact that professionals of a particular field are put in the same department and as a result they tend to be more effective in performing their task. They combine their varied ideas and knowledge on a particular task and as a result they come up with the best solution. The chances for promotions are a lot higher in this kind of structure as the roles are well defined and progress for each individual is easily monitored.

I am more interested in working for a company with a matrix structure because it would offer me an opportunity to give my best without interference from overbearing managers who may not have a clue about my area of specialization yet they insist on dictating the pace and standards that are to be met. A company with a matrix structure would offer me the best opportunity to exercise my skills as a professional since the channels of reporting are broken down into smaller units and professionals can share information concerning a particular task, making it easier to approach. Matrix systems are the best for companies whose workforce is comprised of professionals and the main aim is to share information which is the major driving factor in success. I have always preferred working in a free environment with people of different expertise, sharing knowledge concerning our different fields so as to arrive at the best formula for approaching a given task. Success is guaranteed when working in an environment where the people report to different managers because there is freedom to liaise with colleagues in the workplace and the deadlines to meet a certain target are set by the professional handling it in consultation with the concerned employees. People working within a matrix structure live in mutual understanding and respect for each other and I treasure this a lot because it is through these two that an employee can do their best to deliver the desired results. Working for a company that uses the matrix structure is a tricky affair and needs someone who is disciplined in their approach to the given task. I would first have to create rapport with my fellow workmates to facilitate a working relationship that will enable consultations and sharing of knowledge. I would also work on my speed so that the set targets are met on time. No one has monopoly for knowledge and as such it is important to work through consultations using the freedom given by the absentee executive so that work can be done without pressure. This is the most ideal type of management where one can achieve effectiveness. I would work hard to ensure that I do not lose focus as in a matrix structure; a person can be tempted by sideshows which can undermine effectiveness. I would also make sure that I understand the hierarchy so that I may understand the way the system works. This would enable the company to have the right chain of command that is able to coordinate the fragmented centers of authority.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

 

Byrnes, N, (2004). “The Coming Business Crunch”. Business Week Online, Sept 15, 2004. Available at: www.businessweek.com