For an organization to accomplish its objectives, it is important to follow certain basic principles, as indicated by the scientific management theory. These principles, according to Frederick Taylor (1917) in Gozdz (1992 p 107) include; ensuring that the organization adopts the best way for performing its tasks, ensuring that all the activities in the organizational operations are allocated to the most suited employee, monitoring and supervision of employees while administering punishments for poor performance and offering rewards for outstanding performance that works as a motivating factor for employee productivity, and also ensuring that the management is able to plan and also control the manner in which activities are carried out in the organization.
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In the case of Alleco, the organization has been effective in choosing the most appropriate way of performing the marketing activities. It is true that if the organization disregards wholesalers through selling its products directly to the final consumers, it is likely that the wholesalers may not find reason for stocking these commodities. This relationship with wholesalers and creation of awareness amongst consumers is significant in maintaining high sales volumes.
Salaries are some of the motivating factors for employee productivity. It helps in retaining skilled workers and attracting professionals in to the organization. In terms of determining who is to receive a bonus when an organization achieves its targets, it is important to consider all the employees who played a role in facilitating the organization’s accomplishments (Edwards p 79). Giving bonuses to the senior management alone demoralizes the rest of the workers, which lowers their overall productivity. The organizations that maintain happy employees usually achieve their targets sooner than those that disregard their efforts.
Workers with an optimistic attitude more often than not take pleasure in the work that they do and feel encouraged and acknowledged for their participation. That worker who is not contented and does not in actual fact get pleasure from the work, but is basically working for a take-home pay generally produces at a low level. Such a worker develops a negative outlook and normally pulls others down. The productivity of a worker is dependent on his rapport with his direct manager (Chapman 2007 pp. 21-24).
Health issues for the employees and their families are vital for their productivity. Unhealthy employees are generally unhappy and distressed. Poor health is naturally a drain on a workers capability. Managers should ensure that the health of workers is upheld in order maintain their productivity. Exhaustion and fatigue are a major cause of reduced productivity in workers. Psychological problems caused by fatigue leads to absenteeism and a reduction in the working capacity of employees. More over, it can cause serious mistakes in the production process especially if the workers are involved in operating machinery that requires high alertness. Properly equipped employees are more productive.
Managers should pay particular attention to ensure that the workers are happy with the gear provided for specific duties. Other issues include ranks in the organizational management. Employees will tend to work hard in order to attain a particular title that is in a higher ranking. All these are issues related to job satisfaction, failure to which employees opt to leave the organization for a better one that caters for their needs. There is need for Allecco to evaluate its performance in terms of maintaining skilled workers for the sake of the organization’s profitability.
Analysis of the Situation at Alleco
The organization has evidently a great potential for high productivity looking at its annual turnover of about £200 million. This can be attributed to the capacity of human resources in accomplishment of organizational goals. If this turnover is to be sustained, it is important for managers to understand that the worker’s morale has to be maintained. The changes in the top management level need not become a barrier to the realization of business goals. The fact that the organization has always been regarded as a good employer for many years is one factor that may have attracted skilled workers who in turn bring in innovativeness in the business, and hence the high profitability.
Replacing Gordon with Eric as the managing director meant a lot for the organization’s management hierarchy. The fact that Gordon had worked with Harry in the position of managing director may have had adverse implications when he was replaced with Eric, and given a lesser position in the management. This may have been done without much explanation. Although Eric brought with him a number of previous workmates from another organization, it should be understood that Gordon, just like any other employee would be expected to react, anticipated that either Eric would replace Harry, or he would be given a lower position than Gordon. This is the issue that arises when employees attach high value to their titles in an organization, or the vehicles allocated to their position (Edwards 2006 p 82). It was a prudent decision to let Gordon continue enjoying the pleasure of his top of the range vehicle.
All in all, it is generally frustrating that Gordon has to report to Eric who holds a senior position that was initially held by Gordon. That alone is enough to generate some negative reactions that are likely to be transmitted to those below Gordon. Even the other managers whose positions are lower than that of Gordon such as the Technical Manager, the IT Manager, the Purchasing Manager and the Export Manager report directly to Eric. In an ideal situation, it would be expected that the managers who are junior to Gordon report directly to him, who then reports to Eric. But the status of the management hierarchy demonstrates a situation whereby there is only one senior manager and several others below him. They seem to be equal in terms of authority, but for the fact that Gordon is allowed to drive a high class company vehicle.
From the figure above, it is clear that the Managing Director receives reports from two junior directors and five departmental managers. The reporting relationship is satisfactory since the tasks have been allocated in a standard way. This means that the staff are well aware of whom to report to. The human resources are a vital component of any organization. The manner in which they are treated and the extent to which their rights are observed largely determines their productivity. An inspiring work atmosphere should be characterized by fair treatment of employees (Edwards p 81).
Regardless of the status of a particular employee concerning the business practices all together, it is necessary for the administrators to allow every worker to participate in the business processes. Certainly, stimulation of allegiance is an important component of inspiring employees hence the increment in their overall productivity of functions. The motivator for good workers is the capability of seeing assignments all the way through to completion (Knights and Willmott 2006 p 56). This is the significance of such a standard relationship structure in Alleco.
Technology is known to improve the productivity of many organizations. The organization does not allow staff to use Information and Communication Technology, something that may be discouraging to them especially in tasks whereby they feel they largely need them. Besides a strong level of communication and individual motivation in the place of work, its outlay is of utmost importance if managers need to maximize output (Staw and Cummings p 83). Whereas many administrators and entrepreneurs decide to work with a definite least amount of office equipment, they tend to ignore the factors that can form impediments on the productivity of employees. It is important to make the employees feel respected and responsible. Denying them an opportunity to use ICT like other companies makes them believe that their employer is of the view that they are irresponsible and unable to use the recent advancements in technology to improve their performance.
The practice of providing equal opportunities for all is an important factor in enhancing diversity in an organization. Allecco has tried this but has not accomplished much in trying to maintain female employees in the organization. This is an issue regarding organizational flexibility. Organizations that have perfected this practice are capable of maintaining work-life balance amongst its employees, thereby making it possible for women to work and look after their families (Knights and Willmott 2006 p 58). It has also not perfected ethnic diversity which is important in order to bring diverse ideas and cultures that may assist in upholding employee productivity.
The organization has the strength of career development for staff through training. This is an important aspect of organizational behaviour. Emphasizing on training, explaining processes, giving instructions on particular tasks and constant worker upgrading is fundamental to realization of the customers’ requirements (French et al 2008 p 66). Workers’ performance can be taken up and reinforced in order to instil positive thoughts in them regarding the managers as well as the customers. Managers should embark on taking into service employees who are competent in doing a particular job. They should also be willing to do it and are controllable when employed. These consequences in contented employees, whose productivity is a major contributor to customer contentment.
Being careful on the way that employees are treated is an asset to the management. Treatment of workers has an effect on their job performance. Careful managers are diplomatic and present directions that avoid sounding like orders. Rather, they treat workers in a fair manner and shun preferential treatment. They pay attention to the workers’ point of view. They are always accessible for assistance and encourage proposals. Establishment of individual development goals which are in line with organizational requirements culminates in happy employees (Anderson. 2004 pp. 57-66).
The behaviour of Gordon in one training day when he began shouting at the employees and raising accusations on one of them is undesirable especially for top managers. The humiliation caused on staff in front of fellow work mates is a major factor that can lead to discouragement and eventual loss of experienced staff. Employees who lack a straight link with the organization or feel unappreciated and oppressed do not find it necessary to work harder or sacrifice more of their time to produce the best results. They do not own the organizational goals and their productivity is low. Failure of the manager to honour his promises, giving recognition when appropriate, making unenthusiastic remarks, or blaming the employees for mistakes that should be solved collectively largely impacts on the productivity of employees (Gozdz 1992 p 103). It lowers their morale and happiness and consequently affects their output.
Getting infuriated in front of staff leads to embarrassment amongst the staff. Those who would never wish to be in such a situation in future usually opt to leave such an organization. The regional managers are great assets for Allecco. Their encouragement for the salesmen is significant in increasing the turnover. Change programs such as team building ensure that the salesmen are empowered to perform their duties confidently while improving their skills. Cooperation is a way of encouraging participative running of an organization. Promotion of self-directed work groups is an important illustration of the ordinary development of the participative management model. In cooperation, workers and their supervisors have to gain knowledge and put into practice new skills and approaches while developing new responsibilities and conduct while working with one another. People appreciate when they are allowed to use their knowledge to assist in solving problems, thereby providing advanced solutions and improved productivity (Gozdz pp. 99-101). The practice of allowing the less confident salesmen to be accompanied by the experienced ones is a strong aspect in the organization.
The people who were introduced to the organization by Eric may have left the organization because of behaviours such as that of Gordon. Even if the bonus system can serve as a motivating factor for the employees to remain in the organization, mistreatment and lack of respect for their dignity may lead to their departure. The managers need not misuse their high ranking positions in the organization to become impediments for the productivity of employees. Instead, they should use their position to develop cordial relationships within the organization. Sick leaves should not be considered as a favour. Rather, they are part of employee rights that must be observed always (Edwards 2006 p 79). The issue of Gordon pestering one of the employees because he allowed him an afternoon out to attend to his child is uncalled for in any organization.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Alleco is largely losing skilled employees due to problems in the management. This is largely attributed to the behaviour of Gordon towards the junior employees. Constant irritation, harassment and threats are a factor that makes employees discontented and embarrassed when working for the organization. The early morning phone calls are not a motivator for the employees, but an interference with personal privacy. This is because there is the time that is in the agreement between the employer and employees regarding the working hours, after which people engage in private business. Women react differently from men in case of intimidation, and this is one factor that may be attributed to lack of female employees who can stay longer in the organization. It may be that they can not withstand Gordon’s intolerable behaviour.
It is strongly recommended that the rights of employees be respected. Their privacy should not be interfered with. The issues regarding the circumstances that led to the removal of Gordon and appointment of Eric should be discouraged at all levels of the work force. It may be the reason that Gordon behaves in a peculiar way towards the employees. This is because as a human being, no person would agree to be regarded as the loser especially having worked as a senior officer in an organization and then assume a lower rank. Whenever employees are angered by the actions of Gordon, under normal circumstances, the perception that he was removed from the position of director because of lack of performance will be stronger. In case Gordon overhears such sentiments, he is likely to develop even more negative attitudes, making it difficult for employees to perform. This is the reason why it is recommendable for issues of ranks should be suppressed.
Under all costs, the rights of women need to be respected. It is recommendable that a program for empowerment of women employees in the organization be established. This program will present the management with an avenue for evaluating the reasons behind the discouragement that is evident amongst female workers who do not stay in the organization for long after getting employed. Even the male workers need to be empowered to speak up the issues affecting them. This will help in getting over the organizational culture that has developed amongst the employees, always feeling intimidated and spied on. The new employees in the organization should be given proper orientation to avoid picking up this undesirable culture.
Gordon needs to become more responsible in matters concerning his relationship with the other workers. Issues such as discussing Eric with them are not supposed to come from a senior person of his rank. He also needs to understand that he is one of the employees in the organization and therefore there are the organization rules and regulations to be followed. These need to be emphasized so that no one interferes with the work of another employee. The management hierarchy should be made clear so that Gordon does not cross over to oversee other managers who are not under his jurisdiction. When the people are empowered they do not work in fear; rather, they point out what is wrong with courage instead of opting to quit. This will help the organization in maintaining the skilled employees.
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