Phillips Financial Services Company’s Challenges

Introduction

Phillips Financial Services is a fast-growing consulting company that currently employees fifty people of diverse backgrounds and cultures. The main issue of this business is the need to structure and formalize the operational activities to ensure that new staff members can be successfully integrated into the work environment. Based on the employees’ ethnicity, age, and gender, one can argue that Phillips Financial Services has to address the creating of an appropriate culture within the organization. This proposal will address the issues that can obstruct the growth, development, and proper functioning of Phillips Financial Services by proposing to establish an organizational structure, culture, and anti-bullying program.

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The industry that Phillips Financial Services works in is highly competitive, with a large number of well-established companies such as Deloitte, EFS Strategic, PWC, KPMG, and others. Moreover, the work involves advising clients and analyzing their records to help them enhance their operations, which often has to be completed in a short deadline, subjecting the employees to stress. The overall performance of the Phillips Financial Services can also be affected by the fact that it is a labor-intensive industry. Kaplan argues that this industry is going to experience a major disruption since, according to the cited IDIS World report, this industry’s competition is based on efficiency and not innovation. Hence, Phillips Financial Services should be ready to face two significant challenges – improving the effectiveness of work while growing to increase the margins and respond to challenges by adopting new services for clients. Both can be achieved through a better structure, culture, and ethics established within this company, which will help improve hiring practices and workflow.

Organizational Structure

When Phillips Financial Services was a small consulting firm, the need for establishing a strict culture did not arise since such businesses require more flexibility and potential issues can be resolved through face-to-face communication. Deloitte argues that its organizational structure allows the member companies to have autonomy in decision making while allowing employees to benefit from the global network and knowledge sharing opportunities (Network structure n.d.). Hence, it is advised that Phillips Financial Services adopts the proposed structure, which will organize the workflow between different departments and services and will allow this company to grow and establish new branches or subsidiaries.

Since there are three main services offered by Phillips Financial Services, this proposal offers to develop a work structure around these services using a matrix structure. The primary benefit of organizational structure is the mapping of the workflow within the organization (Borse 2016). From the perspective of Phillips Financial Services, this means that new and existing employees are able to focus on the work tasks without a need to discuss the infrastructure of a service. This approach is more flexible when compared to a traditional hierarchy, and it allows different departments to cooperate with each other easily, in case a client requires both accounting and advisory services simultaneously (Egelhoff & Wolf 2017). Each department will have a manager responsible for the workflow organization and team members working on client projects. The marketing department already has the position of senior manager, as well as the financial operations division. Since these elements do not have employees, and no growth is anticipated in the following months, it is advised that the two managers report directly to the CEO.

Workplace Culture

The workplace culture at Phillips Financial Services has to be established considering the diversity of the employed personnel, including their age, gender, and nationalities. Currently, one can perceive that the culture of the company is typical for a small organization – most decisions are made by the founder, Marketing Manager, or Chief Financial Managers. The people within the organization function and interact based on their personal beliefs and perception of the values that Phillips Financial Services has. Deloitte argues that for a consultancy firm, ethics is an integral part of operations because it reflects the values of the employees and executives, allowing the clients to understand the vision for operations (Ethics n.d.). The establishment of company culture will also help Phillips Financial Services attract a more skilled workforce. One can conclude that currently, this company has a disjoined culture, which means that Phillips Financial Services does not operate according to its core values, and power distribution is unclear.

Phillip’s leadership style has an essential role and influence on the workflow, employee motivation, and the overall culture present at this company. An industry example is a report by Deloitte (n.d.) outlining the leadership’s vision of the standards that all the employees have to uphold, such as integrity and ethical behavior, while Craig states that each employee affects the culture. Leadership and company hierarchy are interconnected and impact the culture as the first element regulates the day to day work, and the second serves as a representation of the core values. Lee, Idris, and Delfabbro’s research suggest that leaders using transformational style an empower the personnel while dictatorship negatively affects the work perception and feeling of meaningfulness. Faas argues that only leaders capable of establishing a stable culture, where all goals and rules are clearly defined. The statement has to incorporate nor only the ethical values crucial for Phillips Financial Services, but also emphasize the need for fair treatment of all employees and respect for the diversity that exists in the company.

Essential aspects that should be considered are channels through which employees can report their concerns either anonymously or without the fear of disclosure. Positive and ethical workplace culture can be implemented by firstly establishing an organizational structure that will reflect the workflow and power division within the company (Ethics n.d.; Corporate culture n.d.). In this context, the employees must know whom they can contact, either a manager, supervisor, or specially assigned person, in case the ethical principles declared by the organization are not followed by some staff members. Next, the vision of Phillips Financial Services, as well as the behavior standards, should be declared by the leader, and displayed by him to promote the described culture.

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Workplace Bullying Prevention Program

As was mentioned, the diversity of the labor force at Phillips Financial Services can lead to issues with organizational culture and lead to bullying if not addressed adequately. This company employees people from varied backgrounds, including individuals from India, Brazil, United Kingdom, United States, China, and New Zealand and it is possible that in the future the diversity will increase even further. Hence, it is crucial to develop and support events that will educate the personnel on the customs and beliefs of the different cultures. According to Harlos and Knoll, in similar environments, employees silence about the peers’ bullying behavior or mistreatment leads to an adverse impact on motivation and personal well-being. Hence, the main goal of this proposal is to help this company establish communication channels through which the personnel will be able to consult a specialist and report inappropriate behavior. One important suggestion is the need to address gender, ethnicity, and other personal characteristics as the main predictors of bullying.

This report suggests that Phillips Financial Services should implement the workplace bullying program, using the information presented above. The company should support information sharing, both professional and personal, that will help enhance the internal culture. Thus, employees can participate in events where they explain their relationships or provide details about their culture and beliefs (Ethics n.d.). Additionally, it is vital to ensure that the employees are not silent regarding bullying behavior. The Workplace Bullying Institute (n.d.) suggests educating employees on the three essential steps that can help overcome bullying on a personal level. This includes naming the issue as it is – bullying or psychological harassment, distancing from the exposure the harassment, and speaking up about the issue. Hence, education, availability of communication channels for reporting, and events that support diversity acknowledgment are the key to establishing an anti-bullying program at Phillips Financial Services.

Conclusion

In general, Phillips Financial Services operates in a highly competitive environment that relies on its workforce and can experience a significant disruption facilitated by innovation or novel services. Hence, this report offers to implement a matrix structure that will organize the three major departments – Accounting & Tax, Business Advisory, and Self-management Superfunds. This company should declare its ethical standards and encourage employees to report bullying behavior to ensure a healthy workplace environment.

Reference List

Borse, FA 2016, ‘Establishing the structure for organizational growth’, The Entrepreneur. Web.

Corporate culture n.d. Web.

Craig, W 2018, ‘The role leadership has in company culture’, Forbes. Web.

Egelhoff WG, & Wolf J 2017, Understanding matrix structures and their alternatives, Palgrave Macmillan, London

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Ethics n.d. Web.

Faas, A 2017, From bully to bull’s eyes: move your organization out of the line of fire, RCJ Press: Toronto.

Harlos, K & Knoll, M 2018, ‘Employees silence and workplace bullying’, in P D’Cruz, E Noronha, E Baillien, B Catley, K Harlos, A Hogh, & EG Mikkelsen, E.G. (eds.), Pathways of job-related negative behavior, Springer, Singapore, pp. 10-18.

Kaplan, S 2011, ‘The business consulting industry is booming, and its about to be disrupted’, Inc. Web

Lee, MCC, Idris, MA, & Delfabbro, PH 2017, ‘The linkages between hierarchical culture and empowering leadership and their effects on employees’ work engagement: work meaningfulness as a mediator’, International Journal of Stress Management, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 392-415.

Network structure. Web

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StudyCorgi. (2021, August 27). Phillips Financial Services Company’s Challenges. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/phillips-financial-services-companys-challenges/

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