Employee development is an on-going, joint endeavor on the part of employees and the company for upgrading the employee's skills, knowledge and capabilities (Michie and Sheehan, 2005). Effective employee development calls for a balance amid a person’s career requirements and objectives as well as the company’s need for getting the task accomplished (Howard, 1995). Employee development initiatives make constructive contribution towards organizational outcome. A highly accomplished workforce could attain more and the employers could attain more as staff members gain in knowledge and experience. Additionally, retaining employees saves a large amount of company’s resources and money (Cohen, 2003). One technique of retention is to offer prospects for developing new abilities. In research carried out for assessing what retained staff members the most, development was observed as being one among the chief three retention techniques (Michie and Sheehan, 2005). Developing staff members involves enhancing their abilities in their present job and developing them for potential accountabilities and new positions. The study argues that focusing on the concepts of “systems” or “bundles” is an effective HRM strategy. This strategy has the potential of retaining staff members because it addresses various issues that are attributable to increased rate of employees’ turnover. Michie and Sheehan further emphasize the need of assuming models that foster good relations and reimbursement performance appraisal. Other strategic approaches for retaining employees include offering the necessary training, organizing team-based programs and offering motivating compensations and rewards (Michie and Sheehan, 2005).
Taking a step ahead, opportunities for development and growth help employees a lot in expanding their knowledge, abilities and skills and applying the competencies they hold to new situations (Pot, 2011). The prospect for gaining new experiences and skills could perk up employee job satisfaction and motivation and help them to more efficiently deal with job stress (Howard, 1995). This could transform into constructive advantages for the company through increasing organizational efficiency and augmenting work quality, and through aiding the company in attracting and retaining expert employees. Through making available opportunities for development and growth, companies could perk up work quality of the staff members and realize the advantages of developing employees to their maximum ability (Pot, 2011).
Opportunities for employee development and growth take in continuing education course; counseling services or career development; tuition reimbursement; skills training offered in-house or via outside training units; prospects for internal career advancement and promotion and lastly, coaching, leadership development initiatives and mentoring (Cohen, 2003). Effective employee development results in employee well-being; higher organizational performance; decreased stress; greater customers’ satisfaction; increased productivity; higher self-esteem and decreased employee turnover (Michie and Sheehan, 2005).
An organization that emphasize on employee engagement grows stronger, thus maintaining a strategic advantage over its competitors. The strategy ensures that the employees have the knowledge, experience and skilled to adjust quickly to the demands of the marketplace. Furthermore, with the high commitment, such employees respond to the customers’ needs with increasing effectiveness and efficiency. This is beneficial to the company as satisfied customers are loyal and returning. The overall implication of such a state is increased performance (Cook, 2008). A state of strong engagement and commitment is also vital in ensuring value-creation that is realizable through establishing a high degree of customer service and loyalty.
The Case of Fuji Xerox
Fuji Xerox looks for staff members who could act and think for themselves are capable of adapting to alterations and initiating innovation (FUJI XEROX, 2014). The company implements several measures for ensuring that each staff member could develop their skills in a self-determined and self-reliant manner, and to facilitate them to reinforce their capabilities for creating careers wherein they could sense their individual growth (FUJI XEROX, 2014). Fuji Xerox carries out proactive and focused personnel development through having their staff members build up diverse experiences. Staff members make use of not just their experience attained in their present positions but also during their past positions for discovering their strengths as well as weaknesses for voluntarily and proactively planning for next career (FUJI XEROX, 2014). Moving ahead, the company has set up an internal recruitment approach that offer employees the opportunity for choosing the career challenges they want to deal with (FUJI XEROX, 2014). Fuji Xerox proactively recruits not just for divisions associated with business improvement domains of global promotion and service but for Fujifilm functions as well (FUJI XEROX, 2014). The company aims at fostering synergy all throughout the Fujifilm Group by reinforcing operations through widening career path options for staff members and personnel exchange.
Employee Relations simply refer to skills-set within the work body concerned with upholding employer-employee and employer-employee relations, which make a contribution towards satisfactory outcome, morale and motivation (Michie and Sheehan, 2005). Employee Relations is concerned about the resolution and prevention of issues that engage people and occur out of or have an effect on work conditions (Howard, 1995). Advice is offered to the managers on ways to effectively deal with poor performance, employees’ issues and any type of misconduct on the part of employees. During such situations, progressive discipline as well as regulatory requirements must be taken into considered in effecting disciplinary practices and in solving staff appeals and grievances. Companies also provide information to the staff members for promoting a superior understanding about management's policies and goals (Michie and Sheehan, 2005). Information is also offered to the staff members for assisting them in dealing with off duty misconduct or poor performance, and addressing personal concerns, which have an impact on the workplace. There are a number of business benefits, associated with sound employee relations such as:
- Augmented staff satisfaction, leading to lower level of turnover, enhanced ability for dealing with change, augmented outcome, considerable knowledge retention and savings
- Superior name recognition, enhanced reputation and bigger pool of talent, leading to decreased recruitment costs and higher unsolicited applications
- Decreased absenteeism, accidents, injuries, disability, healthcare costs, compensation costs, life insurance costs, property damage costs, temporary employee training costs, fines and lastly, insurance premiums
- Augmented staff competencies and skills.
Employers who deal with their staff members in a proper manner could do better than their peers in revenue growth, customer satisfaction and overall profitability (Howard, 1995). It is highly essential that staff members share a sound relationship with one another within the workplace. Sound employee relations are important within a company and for the employees.
- Firstly, there exist various problems on which a person alone cannot form decisions. He requires the advice and guidance of others also. At times one might overlook an important point however the fellow associates might put forward an outstanding idea that could help in achieving targets at a quite speedy rate (Howard, 1995). Prior to executing any plan, the benefits and drawbacks need to be examined on an open forum where all employees hold the right for expressing their views freely. Individually, one would never discover where he/she is going wrong, one needs individuals who could perform as critics and correct anything wrong is being performed (Howard, 1995). If the employees don’t enjoy a sound relation with one another and the employers there could prevail an atmosphere of tension in the workplace.
- Secondly, work becomes easy if it is shared among all. A sound relation with among employees and employers could help in easing the workload and eventually perks up the outcome. One could not perform everything individually. Accountabilities need to be split amongst team members in order to achieve the allotted task within provided time-period. If there exists, a sound relationship with the colleagues and employer, the overall task could be made easier.
- Thirdly, the company becomes a joyful place to function in case if the staff members operate collectively like a family. A person is likely to lose concentration and focus in case if his/her mind is at all times occupied with needless stress and tension. It has been viewed that if individuals discuss and talk things with one another, one feels better and tensions automatically evaporate. Learning to have faith in others, one would feel relaxed.
- Fourthly, a person feels encouraged in the company of others whom they could trust and ask for guidance whenever required. One feels confident and secure and therefore puts in best efforts (Howard, 1995).
- Fifth, sound employee relations also prevent fights and conflicts amongst people. Individuals are likely to adjust more instead of finding faults in one another. Employees do not waste time and energy in worthless disputes and conflicts, instead ay focus on their task and put in high efforts for performing better.
- Sixth, a sound employee relation trims down the issue of absenteeism and turnover at workplace. Employees give high importance to work and are fully geared to go an extra mile for the company. Employees do not take regular leaves and begin enjoying their task. The likelihood of employees quitting the job also decreases. Staff members stop complaining against one another and give in their best efforts.
Moving ahead, taking into consideration the case of a well-known computers and electronics company i.e. Dell it can be observed that the company employs a diverse pool of individuals. As a result, there exists a high need for the company to ensure sound relations among employees and with employers. Dell has set up discussion forums, organizes regular communication and interaction among employees and with employers. This helps the company to ensure helpful and positive work environment.
The importance of good employee relations cannot be re-emphasized considering its straightforward effect on employee’s morale. It is clear that low morale in the workplace has the potential of causing severe detrimental effect on the quality of work and employees’ output. Uncooperative employees can easily bring down the company, which asserts the need of relating well with the employees to foster cooperation. In contrary to the case of uncooperative employees who are likely to object and go slow on the organization’s strategies, satisfied employees work hard in ensuring that their firm becomes successful (Williams & Adam-Smith, 2006). In this context, good employee relation is essentially since it ensures that employees are satisfied and motivated.
Commitment refers to a psychological condition, which binds a person with the company (Meyer and Herscovitch, 2001). It implies towards the probability that people would remain with the company, feel psychologically connected with it, whether the task is rewarding or not. Corporations frequently mix staff retention with commitment. It would be incorrect to state that staff member who remains with the corporation is committed (Meyer et. al., 2004). The several kinds of commitment exist at the same time, still are noticeable from one another (Meyer and Herscovitch, 2001). High-performing corporations are familiar with the fact that staff commitment is an important contributing force towards maintaining lasting success and generating value.
According to Williams & Adam-Smith (2006), organizations need to acknowledge that employee commitment is the central factor towards ensuring lasting success and creating value. Engaged employees are satisfied and passionate about their work, which make them assume a positive attitude that drives the organization to great success levels. It is also apparent that an engaged workforce enables the organization to optimize and retain talents as employees are committed and motivated to remain despite the availability of other employment opportunities (Cook, 2008). In this context, it is indisputable that investing in strategies that focus on promoting employee commitment is a worthy undertaking. Studies assert that the major drivers that ensure employee commitment include concern for employees, Satisfaction and Fairness and Care. Being concerned about the employees’ issues makes them feel that they are valued and appreciated. Consequently, the employees build confidence with the organization, thus are not easily lured to leave the firm in bid of taking up other opportunities in other companies. On the other hand, a satisfied employee is self-motivated and highly committed to the employer. Such an employer invests all his/her effort in executing the assigned duties instead working hard trying to find other opportunities that are being offered by other companies. Moreover, Cook (2008) argues that employees who trust their leadership and are acknowledged by their leadership present higher levels of commitment and are eventually more productive. These employees performance well because they have confident in their undertakings and the strategies spelt by their employer. In essence, they acknowledge their position in ensuring successful implementation of the organization policies and strategies.
An engaged staff member is drawn in and excited about their acts and work in a way that would promote the company’s interest (Meyer et. al., 2004). An involved workforce aids in optimizing and retaining talent for long-time since the staff members prefer staying, even at the time when other employment options are present (Cohen, 2003). Committed staff members offer high competitive advantages of the company taking in greater productivity and lesser staff turnover. Companies of all types and sizes have invested considerably in practices and policies, which promote commitment and engagement within their workforces. Employee commitment is vital for the reason that high commitment levels result in a number of constructive organizational upshots (Meyer and Herscovitch, 2001). It mirrors the degree to which an individual’s identify with the company and committed towards its objectives.
Cohen (2003) states that employees’ commitment is a vital issue since it might be used for predicting employee’s absenteeism, performance, and other behaviours. Howard (1995), states that the organizational commitment is regarded as being the division of staff commitment. A remarkable degree of research endeavours have been carried out for understanding the conceptions and identifying implications of organizational commitment on employees’ performance within the workplace (Cohen, 2003). It has been observed that employee commitment has high impact on two aspects i.e. on job performance and turnover intentions (Meyer et. al., 2004). Employee commitment results in positive organizational upshots.
Taking a step ahead, it has been observed that organization commitment results in behavioural outcomes i.e. lower turnover and greater outcome (Meyer and Herscovitch, 2001). Highly committed employees are likely to hold low intention of quitting the job. There exists a positive link between job performance and employee commitment (Howard, 1995). Staff members who are committed towards their respective company are expected to exert higher efforts towards organizational objectives and as a result, are expected to display higher performance as compared to uncommitted staff members (Meyer et. al., 2004). Employee commitment could benefit company in several ways like it could perk up outcome; decreased absenteeism, and turnover by this means leading to sustained outcome (Meyer and Herscovitch, 2001). Commitment towards company is positively linked with several desirable results like motivation and attendance and is negatively associated with outcome like turnover and absenteeism.
Staff members having high level of commitment make available a stable and secure workforce and as a result, offering competitive benefit to the company (Cohen, 2003). The committed employees have been observed as being more imaginative; they are less expected to leave the company as compared to those who are not committed. Sustained productivity enhancement relies greatly on company’s human capital (i.e. knowledge, skills, competencies and outlooks which are present in individual staff member of the company) as well as its social capital (i.e. trust, communication, confidence, cooperative working dynamics, partnership, interaction, shared values and teamwork amongst individuals) (Meyer and Herscovitch, 2001). A committed staff member is perceived as being one, who remains with the company even during hard times, protects corporation’s assets, attends work regularly and lastly, shares corporate objectives (Cohen, 2003). It becomes obvious that sustained outcome, employee commitment is a vital aspect (Meyer et. al., 2004).
The Case of Employee Commitment at Incult
A survey conducted at Incult highlighted that involvement and commitment levels amongst staff members of Incult dropped considerably between 2003 and 2004 due to application of poor HRM strategies (Ramsay and Finney, 2006). This trend was attributable to the fact that personnel management strategies adopted by the organization during this time were not engaging and motivating. The Incult valued less the significance of engaging in effective employees’ performance appraisal. Furthermore, the organization had invested poorly in employees’ retention and motivation plans. This led to laxity that resulted to low involvement and commitment as the employees did not see the significance of remaining committed. These staff members account for around 40 percent of the organization’s workforce, offer service as well as support to buyers. The involvement and commitment survey results of Incult pointed towards various spheres for possible actions. With noticeable urgency, the corporation carried out Six-sigma analysis for recognizing the chief reasons of the commitment issue (Ramsay and Finney, 2006). Remedies started during 2004 and targeted front-line leadership training in order to provide managers with superior coaching abilities and Incult’s incentive and performance measurement system that the corporation revised for offering employees higher flexibility (Ramsay and Finney, 2006). As a result, in just two years of execution of such initiatives, the involvement scores of the employees increased by around 16 percent (Ramsay and Finney, 2006). There was also an increase in the number of satisfied customers. The performance and revenue levels also increased of the company (Ramsay and Finney, 2006). All this was possible due to higher involvement and commitment of the employees. Ramsay and Finney (2006) study concluded that ensuring that employees are engaged has the potential of ensuring that employees remain committed to their organization.
It is evident that organizations have the responsibility of ensuring that they are offering fair, healthy and democratic work environment that values employees’ involvement to foster employees’ performance. Furthermore, elements such as job safety, work-life balance, workplace association, individual development and physical work atmosphere are of great relevance when thinking about employees’ retention. The need of establishing a work environment/set up that account for these important factors assert the significance of focusing on improving employee development, employee relations and employee commitment. Employees’ development empowers individuals with efficient communication and interaction skills, which result to improved employee relations. Good employee relation avoids conflicts at the workplace while ensuring that the employees are comfortable with the spelt working terms. This also has an effect on the employee commitment since satisfied or comfortable employees are likely to present high commitment to their employer. In essence, employee development, employee relation and employee commitment function together in establishing a welcoming and motivating working environment, thus enabling an organization retain its employees.
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