The point that has come out clearly in both articles is the importance of employees in the success of the organization. How they perform their duties is directly affected by the environment that is created in the office. The buck surely stops at the employer and specifically the managers when it comes to creating an enabling environment where very employee will feel motivated enough to maximize his or her potential in carrying out their duties. (Banfield et al. 2008, p 201)
There are many examples where a particular company appears to have a fantastic product but the sales figures beg to differ. This divide between the company objectives and the consumer’s prerogative can be traced to the level of commitment the employees are showing in their work. Small and medium-sized companies are the ones who are most likely to be afflicted by this problem because the nature of their business demands them to quickly adapt to changing market forces to stay relevant in a sector that is probably monopolized by a large company. This adaptation demands a lot from every employee who in most situations are required to think outside the box when coming up with new ideas. (Banfield et al. 2008, p 203)
A lot of an employee’s productivity depends on the quality of management that is overseeing their duties. The management skills that are being used should be dynamic enough to adapt to evolving challenges that are facing businesses. Every manager should first be enlightened enough to identify which style will translate to the greatest productivity from his staff. He should demonstrate transparency and consistency when assigning duties and making decisions. The second thing management should realize is if you treat your employees with courtesy and respect, they will reciprocate it to the customers.
They are the ones who are in direct contact with the customers so it’s very important for the two parties to have a cordial relationship. The second article raises a rather controversial issue of giving employees a platform to air their grievances. You as the employer could end up regretting this if you do not display a strong character in dealing with these issues but if such complaints are handled in a democratic manner, employees will be prepared to go the extra mile in their work since they believe the company has their best interests at heart. (Deci et al, 1985, p 235)
The major cause for declining employee commitment can be attributed to poor salaries being paid out for the work they have done. Interestingly, most employees admit that they can tolerate the riot act from their boss week in week out if they are sure of getting a handsome paycheck at the end of each month. The major problem usually arises when some employees feel they are underpaid and this could be from they are putting in too many hours or the skills they are bringing to the company are not being sufficiently compensated. It is the employer’s role to know minimum level of compensation for each task being performed in his company.
This can be easily done by conducting a proper job description and evaluation which must take into account the similar services being offered by different companies in the market. Furthermore, the management should communicate early to the members of staff if their pay checks will be late to avoid unnecessary bad blood especially with the subordinate staff. All deductions that will be made from an employee’s pay slip should also be communicated before they are sent. Most employees are content with receiving a meager paycheck for an otherwise difficult job; what they will find hard to swallow is a suspicion that their boss is stealing their hard-earned cash. (McKenna, 2000, p 556)
It is also important for the company to go the extra mile in assuring their employees of job security. Whether you are a part-time or permanently employed, uncertainty in your employment status will be a source of major mental anguish when you are performing your duties. For the case of part-time employees, the company should be distinctively clear when hiring them as to whether there is a possibility of them being employed permanently.
If the company is going through a financial crisis or is facing bankruptcy, the management has the obligation to communicate to the employees if they will be downsizing or transferring jobs overseas. Remaining mum only adds unnecessary pressure that has a direct effect on employee performance. If an employee hears a rumor that their entire department will be eliminated in a couple of weeks, do you think he will perform his duties exceptionally while he is waiting to be fired? (Taylor, 2002, p 59)
It’s a well known fact that most companies use the reward and punishment principle to motivate their employees. A highly motivated employee will show more commitment in his job. While you might reward an employee with free tickets to the football game, punishment for handing in your assignment late and the fear of losing your job is also a strong motivator in the office. However, how you reward your employees can make or break your plan of improving employee commitment.
Cash rewards should only be handed through an increased paycheck; physically giving them money for improved performance sets a bad precedence whereby they will be expecting more and more cash rewards for improved performance. Failure to this results in poor workmanship. Instead, coupons to dinner or movie tickets should be the offer on the table. Electronic appliances like a microwave are also commonly used to reward employees. The rule however should be to reward long term performance through promotions and moving to a higher pay grade. This way, employees have a clear target of what they are working towards.
When someone is promoted, everyone in the office can see this came through hard work and commitment that’s accumulated over months. Every employee aspires to be promoted to a managerial position and if these promotions are done fairly, it motivates others. Adding to this, movement to a higher pay grade or receiving bonuses should go hand in hand with the work input. (Taylor, 2002, p 60)
The main goal of the human resource department should be to increase the employee commitment and this can be achieved with the drafting of proper policies. However, their objective can be hindered when the company retrenches employees and forces some them to take pay cuts. Both of these factors plus a shrinking economy that the global economy is currently going through has resulted in declining commitment amongst employees in almost every organization. However, there are certain practices that management can engage in to motivate these employees even in these trying times. (Taylor, 2002, p 62)
Every manager should ensure that his staff have all the necessary resources to enable them perform their tasks. Setting deadlines for the handing in of typed reports yet the company has not invested in personal computers makes the employees question the level of commitment the company has on their welfare. While drawing up a business plan or policies that are to be implemented in that financial year, analyze your current resource status and try and look for loopholes that might present themselves during the implementation step.
Even if you are more than certain that your employees can find other alternative ways of performing your duties, this is not the proper way of running a company. Provide the necessary resources that will be required in the implementation of these duties. (McKenna, 2000, p 556)
Managers should try to involve employees in the decision making process especially in issues that directly affect them like the healthcare plan and the pension scheme. Consulting them before introducing a new software program or newer standards of quality control should be done so that employees know what is expected of them. Occasionally, managers might see the need to by-pass the opinions of the employees when implementing policies that are in the company’s best interests but this should not be their modus operandi; maybe occasionally to jerk up employees who are too casual in their duties. The key here is to keep the lines of communication open between the superiors and the subordinate staff.
Every person should know what is expected of them and what their role in the organization is. Just finishing your daily tasks should not be your objective in the company; try to add value to your job description by exploring new and better ways of improving the quality of your work. (Banfield et al. 2008, p 212)
Banfield Paul, Kay Rebecca, 2008, Introduction to Human Resource Management, Oxford University Press, pp. 201-212.
Deci Edward L, Ryan Richard M, 1985, Intrinsic Motivation and Self-determination in Human Behavior, Springer, pp. 231-236.
Taylor Stephen, 2002, People Resourcing, CIPD Publishing, pp. 59-63.
McKenna Eugene F, 2000, Business psychology and organizational behavior, Psychology Press, p. 556.