I would like to start by saying that in early 1990s many large public relations and advertising companies in UK employed occupational experts to conduct a teambuilding working workshop to identify issues inhibiting the optimum performance of their senior management team. The typical 1-day workshop used the teamwork exercises. The individual styles of team members and the dynamics and interactions of this intact team were identified. In the following essay I will speak about why an individual may not be performing his job as effectively as he could from the following 1- individual reasons, 2- interpersonal reasons, 3- organization reasons.
1. Individual reasons, or the reason applicable to an individual which needs to apply the newly learnt skills at the workplace. The primary reason why individuals might not be performing as well as they originally want is because of their lack of personal competencies required to understand oneself. The person needs to understand how the given training seminar affected him/her as an individual and what changes it brought to the personality. In order to better understand the impact of the seminar or a workshop, participants need to fill out special forms in which they would indicate what they learnt, understood, not understood, and found interesting/not interesting.
Individual reasons are linked directly to employee motivation and unless the management understands the motivation of its employees, not workshop will do much help and provide any value to the organization. Motivators can broadly be divided into two main categories all of which to different degrees are present in each employee:
- Physical motivators or the external motivators. These motivators are typically represented by physical objects such as fancy cars for best workers, high salaries, pizza parties or paid vacations. Once an individual achieves all of these desired motivators he/she will either lose motivation at all (e.g. Jack wanted to get a Ferrari, so he worked from dawn till dusk for 2 years. Now he got it and starts to work much less, simply because he got what motivated him and because he needs to have time to driver that Ferrari) or will develop more emotional motivators (Englund, 64).
- Emotional motivators or the internal motivators. These motivators are represented by personal view of oneself and the respect from others. Different honor rolls, medals, ribbons, thank-you cards, corporate pins, or the privileges to use corporate cars, and corporate housing is what makes people feel important and necessary for an organization. As long as the same awards are equally available to all corporate achievers, people who need greatly emotional motivators will be prompted to work better and harder to generate these inexpensive yet emotionally valuable items.
Developing self-assessment questionnaires and their regular use within organization to keep track of ever-changing motivators will allow organizations to keep the employees motivated enough to adhere to the best policies and behavior, which will allow them to pursue proper interpersonal relation, thus minimizing the interpersonal reason for ineffective work (Burke, 240).
2. Interpersonal reasons comprise all the reasons which involve a relationship of an individual with other people in the team or in the group. While the workshop might work on the ways to build teams and better relationships between individuals it takes personal understanding of each individual to properly grasp and interpret the existing group dynamics and the role diversity and each other participant’s differences play in the group. The role of effective communication cannot be underestimated when developing proper interpersonal communication (Anderson, 132).
One needs to understand that the workshops only teach people how they should communicate and work within an organization to increase its competitive and efficiency. No workshop will make people work well unless they crave to do so. To achieve proper level of interpersonal communication one needs to have well-motivated employees as discussed earlier in the essay as well as the clear guidance and policies defining corporate relations as to what can be done and what cannot be done with respect to colleagues (Kotter, 87).
3. Organization reasons are reasons that apply to the factors applicable solely to the organization rather than people that work there. These are the factors that do not depend on people yet rather depend on the organizational layout, processes, procedure, rules and policies. While the workshop might stress the importance of functioning well in the organization it might not take into account all the organization-specific factors that influence the way people in the organization work, and communicate. The organizational problems typically fall into the following two broad categories:
Communication system. This involves the lines of command in the organizational hierarchy, the process of reporting and the means of reporting, as well as the measures taken to assure the consistency of a message that passes from top to the bottom and from the bottom up to the organization’s top. While the workshop might stress the importance of correct information dissemination, in a particular organization with several levels of management and absence of direct communication between lower and upper levels of management, the message and information might be changed in a way to harm the organizational perception of the situation (Molden, 190). As a result, the top management based on the incorrect information obtained at the bottom will issue incorrect orders and form incorrect strategies which will only increase pending problems at the bottom, thus generating more complaining message and grievances which due to their large numbers and improper reporting and communication system will likely further mislead the upper management and create an never-ending miscommunication spiral that would suck up corporate resources, increase inefficiencies and widen the communication gap between different levels of management. Consequently it will contribute to personal dissatisfaction of employees and will contribute to the personal reasons for not doing the job properly. Disgruntles employees whose voice is never heard are likely to develop inappropriate interpersonal communication practices which would contribute to interpersonal reasons for not working efficiently for the organizational good.
Therefore it is vitally important when assessing organizational factors and reasons to focus on the communication and reporting system, since it, just like other organizational elements discussed below directly impact the personal and interpersonal reason for doing or not doing the right job.
Resource availability is another factor which impacts the way employees work and function within organization. In simpler terms it means that all the required resources necessary to get the job done right should be available upon demand to the corresponding employees. Corporate resources besides regular means of production such as tools and technology also comprise Hertzberg’s hygiene factors as noted below:
- The company and its policies. The company needs to constantly promote its image to the stakeholders which comprise not only investors and customer but also the workforce and the management. Employees need to feel that they do the right job for a company they take pride in. The corporate policies need to point out to the best employees and allow everyone to excel in the company. Employees who do not like their company or consider it to be a loser, will work unproductively.
- Supervision while on the job. The supervision involves the process of corporate oversight over how things get done. Properly developed supervision will encourage productivity and loyalty to the company and will discourage absenteeism and lax attitude (Senge, 311).
- Working conditions. The working conditions involve all the necessary utilities, bells and whistles that employees might need to feel satisfied enough to work productively for that company. Thus, there should be the right amount of light, presence or absence of noise, the right temperature and humidity to satisfy the employees and enable them to use these ‘extra’ resources for getting the job done right.
- Status and security. The company needs to provide employees with the right level of respect and protection while employed at the organization. It means that the employees should not worry about their car left outside the building or about what they will eat after work, or wear on the weekend.
- Adequate compensation. This implies that the employees are given a clear explanation of how their salary is formed and what can be done to increase it. Adequate compensation does not mean necessary high salaries. It should be the right salary for the labor input of an employee as well as a clear explanation of what can be done to receive even higher salary.
References: Kotter, John, Leading Change, McGraw Hill, 2002. Anderson, Dean, Beyond Change Management: Advanced Strategies for Today’s Transformational Leaders, Prentice Hall, 2001. Burke, Warner, Organization Change: Theory and Practice, Penguin books, 2000. Senge, Peter, The Dance of Change: The Challenges to Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations, NY Random House, 2001. Englund, Randall, Creating the Project Office: A Manager’s Guide to Leading Organizational Change, Penguin books, 2002. Molden, David, Realigning for Change - 8 Principles for Successful Change Management in Company’s Organization, Prentice Hall, 2001.
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