The articleaims to understand why high performance work system are important for anorganization to function in an efficient manner that helps the organization ingenerating shareholders wealth.
Employee engagement and satisfactionare the two main drivers for an organization to achieve its set goals in atimely and efficient manner. This essay will talk about how high performancework systems lead to better management of employees which in turn helps theorganization in achieving efficiency. Lets look at a few companies that haveestablished work systems that have helped them in obtaining superior results.
The tech firm FullContact every year offers its employees a paid vacation of $7500. Thecompany has only one rule, the employees actually have to travel somewhere andcan’t do any work or answer work related calls or messages. The company feelsthat employees that return from a vacation are in a better state to work andare pushed towards achieving the goals of the company. This policy makes theemployees feel that their hard work is being recognized.
American Express is another organization that has been rated one ofthe top workplaces in the world. The company provides its employees paid leavesand health insurance. They also provide their employees options of on-siterecreational activities like on site gym and cafeteria at its headquarters inNew York, they give their employees an option to work from home as long asthere is no dilution in the quality of work. The social media giant Facebook has been rated one of the bestplaces to work. They provide their employees with perks like gourmet foodcourts, on site-doctors, chiropractors, laundry and dry cleaning services,bikes to commute around campus, and four months of paid parental leave formothers, fathers and same sex couples. Southwest Airlines has been the mostprofitable airlines in the past three-decade in the United States of America,the company every year uses its retained earning to share them more equitablywith their employees than growing the airlines. It is known for providing thebest customer service and it builds this by engaging employees in successfulways. So it is possible, we can design a successful company by listening to theemployees and by engaging them in decision-making as well as provide highquality service.
Both Amazon and Microsoft have been known for setting ruthlessperformance measurements. But in order to grow further even Amazon had to bringin the concept of high performance work systems. Earlierit used a Rank and yank approach, which meant rewarding the top employees andfiring the poor performers but then it, started a training program called Pivotwhich gives a chance to the employees to visit an in house counselor beforefinally quitting the job, so that they don’t feel demoralized and dissatisfied.The employees of an organization are the intellectual assets, which can attractand develop powerful and strategic decision-making that helps the organizationto succeed. These are just few examples of companies that have focusedon promoting employee engagement and satisfaction using high performance worksystems in order to get superior results. It is important for all organizationswhether small or big to have work systems that motivate their employees towork. Even for companies that are just starting up, it will be very helpful ifthey inculcate this culture within the organization from the start. Howto achieve Employee engagement? Profit is one of the main reasons a company enters into abusiness.
Employee engagement helps companies in achieving their goal ofgenerating profits. It is important as it improves the performance and productivity,which in turn will lead to higher revenue and better bottom line. For ensuringemployee engagement it is important for employers to have the right workenvironment, challenges and incentives for its employees. Employee engagementcan depend on several factors like: DefinedPurposeA purpose is like a vision, which helps employeesunderstand what the company does, who they work for and what are they expectedto do.
EmployeeRecognitionIt is the responsibility of the manager to evaluate andreward employees for superior performance, this motivates employees to workharder Managerand Employee RelationshipIt is important to maintain a good reputation with theemployees and gain their trust. It makes employees feel more secure and canlead to better performance. Relationshipswith PeersFriendly relationships with colleagues can bring in asense of team spirit, which can lead to employee engagement. RemunerationEmployees should be paid on the basis of their performanceor as per industry standards.
This practice can help keep the employeesmotivated GrowthOpportunitiesSufficient growth opportunities should be available to theemployees. These opportunities allow employees to learn new skills and keepsthem engaged It is important for every manager to understand whatmotivates his/her employees. He should ensure that he provides them with anenvironment that helps both the employees and the organization to achieve itsgoals. HighPerformance Work Systems HPWS is not a one size fits all model, it is a combinationof HR practices bundled together for maximizing employee knowledge, skill,commitment and flexibility.It is a framework that aims at creating an environment in anorganization where the employee has greater involvement and responsibility.HPWS helps the organization to understand what kinds of jobs are needed by theorganizations; it also helps them in designing these jobs and identifying theright candidates for these positions. FW Taylor developed a scientific model oforganization, this model aimed at finding the right jobs for the workers andrewarding them with adequate compensation. He believed that unions wouldn’t becreated if the employees were paid well.
There are four principles of High Performance Work Systemsnamely: 1) Egalitarianism:Employees should feel like a part of the team, the aim of thisprinciple is to eliminate the power and status differences among the employeesat different level and promote teamwork, which leads to productivity.2) SharedInformation: This principle encourages employers to share importantinformation about the company with the employees and invite productivefeedback; this helps in creating a peaceful and healthy work environment in theorganization and also makes the employees feel that they are part of theorganization. 3) KnowledgeDevelopment: This principle aims at promoting skilled development ofemployees; the manager should encourage and promote their team members to learnmore skills so that they can provide more value to the organization.
4) Performancereward linkage: Employees should be given incentives and targets thatmotivate them in order to get better results. Performance based rewards givethe employees a feeling of being important as their contributions arerecognized. The companies should create HPWS revolving around the keybusiness of the organization, the system should help in establishing workenvironment that promotes teamwork, and it should also benefit from the uniqueskill sets of all employees.
The system should promote decision-making amongemployees and should also provide work that is more meaningful. Lets now look at theories, which will help organizationsin developing high performance work systems: HawthorneEffectThe Hawthorne effect, named after Henry A Landsbergeraimed at increasing the productivity of an employee by singling them out inorder to make them feel important. According to the theory people performbetter when someone is observing them. Maslow’sHierarchy of NeedsThis theory was coined by Abraham Maslow, which said thatthe organizations should aim at meeting he basic needs of the employee so thatthey are motivated to achieve higher level needs. The hierarchy is made up of 5levels: Physiological:Basic needs to survive like food, shelter and waterSafety:Personal and financial security that ensures well beingBelonging:Need for friendly relations and familyEsteem: theneed to be confident and respected by everyoneSelf-Actualization: Thedesire to achieve your highest potential According to this theory these needs should be fulfilledin the same order to get best results for the organization.
Hertzberg’sTwo-Factor TheoryFrederick Herzberg developed this strategy; he found 2main factors that influence employee motivation and satisfaction: MotivatorFactors: These are factors that satisfy and motivate employees inorder to make them work harder. These factors aim at ensuring that employeesenjoy their work and feel that they are recognized in thr organization. Theyshould also feel that they are progressing in their careers.
HygieneFactors: These factors if absent can lead to lack of motivationand dissatisfaction among the mployees.