Finding and Keeping Motivated Employees Essay

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  • Cultivating Organizational Leaders:

    Finding and Keeping Motivated Employees

    Jayson T. French

    Human Resources Management and Development, MGMT 534

    Professor Dulce Pena, J.D.

    March 13, 2011

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    Jayson French

    Professor D. Pena

    MGMT 534 (HRM)

    March 1, 2011

    Cultivating Organizational Leaders

    Finding and Keeping Motivated Employees

    There is a solution to every problem. There is an idea, design, product, and or

    service that can solve any issue. The disposition is that ideas require the effective

    implementation of their creators and the most productive workforce to take the

    appropriate action. Without such human capital or the tools necessary to fix these

    concerns of society there is suffering. The limitations of resources are the gaps any

    organization faces in their pursuit to achieve monetary reward for fulfilling customer

    needs. In order to promptly utilize the workforce to close this gap there must be a strong

    system to foster employee growth in an organization. To accomplish this management

    must employ a human resources system that supports and challenges their employees to

    achieve the vision and mission of the organization.

    The development of a human resources (HR) program within any institution is

    essential. Jack Welch, ex-CEO of GE, states in his book Winning that there is a strong

    need to elevate HR to a position of power and primacy in the organization, and make

    sure HR people have the special qualities to help managers build leaders and careers

    (Welch, 2005, p.99). In essence it is the HR functions vision to grow the organization

    into leaders. Nothing matters more in winning than getting the right people on the field

    (Welch, 2005, p. 81). The HR system must provide the best people possible to enable

    employees the support to grow into superior leaders. It is the HR leader who must

    differentiate that before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself and that

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    when you become a leader, success is all about growing others (Welch, 2005, p.61).

    HR leaders are those who advise, counsel, service, design and carry out policy, and are

    the advocates of the employee (Bohlander, 2010, p.32). Without having an HR function

    to grow leadership in a company it is unable to best implement the use of its ideas,

    designs, products, and or services properly and in result it loses the opportunity of

    competitive advantage and eventually can become useless to society.

    In the January 2011 report entitled Keeping Talent: Strategies for Retaining

    Valued Federal Employees by the Partnership for Public Service with Booz, Allen, and

    Hamilton; there is presented a concern that managers and HR professionals do not invest

    into retaining the newly hired and experienced workers already on the job and that the

    consequences and substantial costs of turnover produce unwanted attrition within an

    organization (Public Service, 2011). The associated costs that are accrued by dissatisfied

    employees leaving an organization include the loss of specialized knowledge and

    experience that can be impossible to replace. The gaps created also seem to cause

    deterioration of employee commitment and loyalty throughout the organization. In affect

    demoralized co-workers and the work left by empty positions are consequential reasons

    for low levels of manager productivity and thereby create high levels of attrition. This

    can cause for a system slowdown or if untreated an institutional collapse. Therefore it is

    irrefutable that organizations must be able to find and keep motivated employees that

    limit attrition.

    An organization that finds and keeps motivated employees is able to raise its

    competitive advantage and therefore allow itself to better reach its vision. This requires

    the knowledge of the company and the human resources toolset. The creation of a strong

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    strategy is important to building culture, reputation, and prestige inside and out. The use

    of proper recruiting processes is important to finding and sorting to select the right

    people. Investing in employees by promoting growth and wellness is also critical to

    keeping employees. The fundamental background psychology of motivation and job

    satisfaction is also important to understanding what employees need to be satisfied.

    Altogether these tools directly correlate to finding and keeping employees in the

    workplace motivated. Without all of them collectively there is insufficient ability to

    retain leaders that best fulfill the vision.

    The establishment of a strong innovative planning strategy from management and

    HR allows current and perspective talent to latch onto internal values and lead from the

    heart. It is within Reframing Organizations, authored by Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E.

    Deal, that prescribe that the HR role is to have a philosophy that gives guidance and

    direction for employees (Bolman, 2003, p. 135). This includes developing a mission, set

    of corresponding values, and an ultimate vision. The corporate strategy is to be designed

    to thereby instruct the entire organization how it is to build its systems and how to

    carryout its philosophy in every other aspect of the business. The mission directly

    answers to employees how the business wants to win. The values are associated to how

    the company wants its employees to behave in fulfilling its mission. It is incorporating

    the mission of a company and the ability to focus on values that directly reflect the

    mission that are most essential (Welch, 2005). The vision gives clarity as to why the

    mission and values are important as it provides the ability to measure the results of the

    goals assigned and behavioral values prescribed in a mental picture of the future.

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    Without having a place where the mission reins true employees can find it rather

    unimportant to fulfill the hypocritical demands of management. To counteract this

    requires incorporating a strong sense of candor and performance reward-based systems

    that drive employees to pay attention to more than just words on a sign. Employees must

    be given the chance to give feedback on the corporate strategy and also contribute toward

    its development. More importantly it shows how Leaders in HR must shine the light to

    where employees are to build. Management must believe and act out the mission through

    values in such a way that employees trust through sincerity. This gives employees the

    direction and guidance to enable employees the security to grow.

    To be able to develop leaders HR must be able to advise managers exactly what

    they need to be looking for in their employees. This requires the ability to find the right

    person for each position because strong companies are clear about what they want

    (Bolman, 2003, p. 137). Through the use of a job analysis the company is forced to guide

    the employee of the responsibilities and the measurement of performance requested of

    them. Doing research into the exact position requires gathering information from current

    employees and understanding management concerns. Job descriptions help everyone to

    know what the duties of the position are. This puts focus on knowing the exact candidates

    to refer to in regards to the necessary education, background experience, skills, abilities,

    and company culture fit needed for the position. Employees also desire the respect and

    ownership of their position and the duties and recognition assigned to it. By being

    organized it also lets the employee work towards something rather than leave due to

    insufficient long-term succession planning. That is because employees desire to grow in a

    company and need achievement. The use of a systematic authority structure and

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    succession plan is key to attaining employees who are willing to gain the extra

    requirements of promotion and lowers HR costs for outside entrants. It is by having such

    a system that provides a sense of direction for the employee for the length of their careers

    and encourages growth and leadership.

    In order to attract the right people and keep them within an organization there

    must be the right incentives such as compensation available to entice the employee to join

    stay with the company in the first place. The CEO of Costco, James Sinegal, proclaims,

    if you pay the best wages, you get the highest productivity (Bolman, 2003, p. 138). The

    idea being that what you pay is what you get. This may illustrate that compensation and

    benefits attract employees that are better qualified by negotiating higher pay for higher

    qualified entrants, but evidence does prove that keeping employees motivated and

    satisfied is not solely based on the money.

    Another incentive is the use of performance-based compensation programs that

    give employees the drive to compete to new levels of effectiveness. This adds in an

    additional aspect not related to compensation but rather on performance challenges and

    competition-based achievement rewards. It is true that the employees should be paid for

    achieving goals assigned and it is fair to claim that receiving bonuses for doing so is

    appropriate. A monumental performance-based compensation system was implemented

    at The San Diego Zoological Society and illustrates a real world example of how such a

    system can turn an organization around (Bohlander, 2010, p. 402-4). The Zoo had

    previously used a performance evaluation system that was not tied to compensation. The

    Zoo had been facing low success and was facing a challenge to turn its employee

    retention and quality around. The HR director implemented a new online-based

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    performance appraisal that allowed employees to keep a continuous online journal with

    their direct supervisors. Managers were to set five goals that directly adhered to the

    companys objectives. This gave employees the benefit of setting challenging goals that

    provided a reward based on achievement. Knowing how much emphasis is placed on

    compensation in todays business climate there is other research pointing toward more

    than just the money that makes employees want to stay at the organization. The use of

    employee based support and wellness programs are other examples of incentives that

    provide motivation for employees to grow within a firm.

    Further evidence of the HR function points toward the need to instigate programs

    that facilitate employee wellness. According to the World Economic Forums report

    entitled The Wellness Imperative Creating More Effective Organizations, which stated

    that research suggests organizations are seen as two and a half times more likely to

    perform when their employer places an importance on the well being of the employee

    (Dornan, 2010). The report further stated that organizations are seen as four times less

    likely to lose talent within the next year and most importantly organizations are seen as

    three times more likely to be productive (Dornan, 2010). This research illustrates how

    the HR function can take a prominent role in yielding effective organizational

    productivity by promoting policies that deliver a sense of wellness to the employee. In

    essence investing in the growth of the employee keeps them effective and lowers

    turnover.

    Within the field of organizational behavior there is a strong emphasis placed upon

    creating employer productivity by fostering job satisfaction. In exhibit 3-3 of the book

    Organizational Behavior, authored by Stephen P. Robbins and Timothy A. Judge, that

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    there is almost no relationship between average pay in a job and job satisfaction of the

    employee beyond around forty thousand per year (Robbins, 2009, p. 86). An example of

    various employee-based motivators that are more effective in creating job satisfaction

    include providing mentally challenging work, equitable rewards, supportive working

    conditions, and supportive colleagues among others. These satisfiers can be cultivated by

    the use of the proper values in an organization. Giving more autonomy to take risks and

    create self-directed goals can instill a sense of challenge to the employee. Using

    performance-based pay, equal pay for comparable work, and nondiscriminatory rewards

    or punishment are all ways of incorporating equitable rewards into HR policy. In order to

    foster supportive relationships there should be more team development. Teams play an

    important role in facilitating a social atmosphere. Introducing support with teams that

    form trust through social intelligence and empathy-based exercises will indeed cultivate

    better colleague support. Therefore it is important to employ a competitive set of

    incentives that collectively motivate perspective recruits, enforce current employee drive,

    and retains leaders long-term.

    The fundamental principle of knowing how to find and keep motivated

    employees requires the understanding of the basic motivational theories of psychology.

    That is to comprehend how various tactics specifically motivate an individual to produce

    at the psychological level. The formal definition of motivation is the processes that

    account for an individuals intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward attaining

    a goal (Robbins, 2009, p. 175). This focuses on the individual mindset and what

    motivates him or her to achieve a goal. The importance of motivation is that it is by

    definition what enables employees to produce the vision of an organization. Thereby

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    making it the most prominent study of HR and management. It is also a fundamental

    element of finding and keeping a productive workforce.

    The history of motivation is based upon a set of early theories of motivation that

    include Abraham Maslows hierarchy of needs, Douglas McGregors theory of X and Y,

    Herzbergs two-factor theory, and McClellands theory of needs. More contemporary

    theories of motivation include that of cognitive evaluation theory, goal-setting theory,

    self-efficacy theory, reinforcement theory, equity theory, and expectancy theory.

    Understanding some of these main concepts allow for higher productivity by delivering

    the best approach to motivation when used correctly.

    In order to comprehend the desired motivational theory applicable to the work

    environment David Sirota (Ph.D.), and founder of Sirota Consulting Corporation, in his

    article entitled Human Motivation in the Workplace: What Workers Want. Sirota

    explains, it is insane to focus on just one goal as the primary motivation of workers and

    that doing so returns high rates of failure(Consulting Corp., 2002, p. 4). Rather than

    focusing on one central motivator he prescribes to ask the employees themselves in the

    most direct way possible (Consulting Corp., 2002, p.4). Sirota created his very own

    motivation theory and in doing so learned a modern approach to achieving productivity

    and morale within an organization.

    The Sirota Three-Factor Theory of Human Motivation includes the goal of equ...