An important cog in the performance of the organization is the way in which individuals and teams are managed. After the session I realized that the goals and objectives of the organization depend on the performance of its employees and how effectively they are being managed.
Individual employees have two key objectives when they are part of any organization:
a) Good performance in their jobs
b) To be part of the organization which they admire the most.
In similar way managers also have two key objectives when they are part of any organization:
a) To maximize their job performance
b) To ensure longevity in the firm
A good performance acts as a stepping stone for an individual’s growth in the organisation. Employees therefore engaging in citizenship behavior and are good at particular job tasks show signs of superior performance. These employees also restrain from involving in counterproductive behavior which can negatively affect the organisation. For e.g. In Frito-lays the company decided to align the performance of the individuals to its vision. By prioritizing the job tasks according to the situations they were able to increase the individual job performance. Therefore I learnt that as a manager who is looking to maximize the job performance of an individual I can use tools like MBO, BARS, 360-degree feedback, and forced ranking practices to manage employee performance. These performers will always have high satisfaction levels related to his / her job. And the higher the level of job satisfaction the higher is the task performance and citizenship behavior. After the classes I have come to realize how the times have changed and unlike in the past the business leaders now do not consider the employees as mere machines but as creative beings who can be motivated to give better performances. There are also a number of factors which help in evaluating the employee’s job satisfaction like pay satisfaction, promotion satisfaction, supervision satisfaction, coworker satisfaction, and satisfaction with the work itself.
One of the important factors influencing job performance is the cognitive ability. Many organisations are using tests like Wonderlic personnel test to hire new people. This is because the organisations want to check how an individual uses the information to make decisions and solve the problems. The more the cognitive ability the higher is the job performance. Organisations are not only looking for employees who are problem solvers but who are dependable, hardworking and reliable. Therefore conscientious employees having these characteristics show higher levels of task performance. For example employees of BMW demonstrate their conscientiousness during important times such as when a new technology is getting introduced or production volume is being expanded. During this time employees from other factories move into temporary houses nearer to their factories or offices so that they can devote extra hours on another plant’s line. The examples cited helped me to understand that paying attention to human assets can produce tremendous results. With conscientiousness comes trust. Organisations look forward to encourage and motivate employees who are open and honest with them. Such employees will show a high level of voluntary participation in organisational growth activities.
Motivation of the employees acts a major factor on the job performance. Self-efficacy / competence has the strongest effect on job performance followed by goal difficulty, the valence-instrumentality-expectancy combination, and equity. Goals form an important part of motivation to the employees. As explained by Robert Ruffolo, chief R&D at Wyeth Inc. that goals should be continuously monitored and changed. The scientists in Wyeth were offered a bonus for discovering 12 new drugs every year. They achieved the goal and now they are aiming for 15 per year. The continuous evaluation of goals therefore keeps the scientists motivated to perform better. But every task assigned to an employee may gradually become stressful. It depends upon the employee to take advantage of this stress as an opportunity and work accordingly to make the difference. These types of stressors are also called as challenger stressors which help the organisation to identify the best from the good. Organizations are also making sure that stress among the employees can be reduced by offering perks. For e.g. Google where performance expectations are very high offers perks like free breakfast, lunch, dinner, medical facilities and also going to the extent of providing massages, yoga and meditation.
Any organization which is very large and has multifarious functions to perform has organized teams within it to help the employees achieve their goals effectively and also help increase their productivity. These teams sometimes act as stress-busters to employees by breaking down their tasks to smaller ones and not dumping the entire burden on any one of them. The teams can be very useful to the organization if they are employed properly. After going through the book and the sessions in the class I can now clearly segregate the teams largely into work teams, management teams, parallel teams, project teams and action teams.
Work teams are usually of permanent nature. They are generally required to be fully committed to the project or organization they are affiliated with and are thus stable in nature. A work team may be considered traditional or self-managed or autonomous. Traditional work team members are directed by their supervisors and have specific duties to accomplish. The self-managed work teams are not bound by specific set of jobs and they may decide among themselves and divide the task and diversify to accomplish their goals successfully.
E.g. Hyundai’s emphasis on work teams and training has increased the quality of its cars, like these models built in its Montgomery, Alabama, plant.
Management teams are usually permanent teams comprising of individuals at the highest level (CEOs, CFOs) of the organization. They have day to day responsibilities of ensuring that the task assigned to other teams are completed efficiently and in a manner which is most benefiting to the organization.
Parallel teams consist of people from varied jobs. They are generally employed for their recommendations or suggestions which can be beneficial to the organisation and for advice on solving problems which may arise from time to time.
Project teams are usually selected for a project which may be completed in a short time or take years to be completed. They are fully committed and may either work upon improving the existing task or may be employed for an entirely new one. On completion of the project the members may return to their home units or move on to new projects.
Action teams are highly specialized and may be required to work full time or only part time depending upon the type of project they are involved in. They are formed for specific purposes.
E.g. football teams, flight crew on airplanes, performing surgery or producing audio/video albums, rock bands etc.
I now firmly believe that teams play a vital role in any organization. They are very much needed in performance of tasks that are different and complex in nature, essentially in vast organizations where diversified types of work are involved and where there is a need for individuals possessing multifarious skills to run the organization effectively. Good teams can instill harmonious understanding and creativity beneficial to the organization. Good team leaders help in inducing interdependence, motivation and respect amongst each other and help in strengthening task effectiveness and working towards the common goal in an organized manner. Parallel teams’ discussions and meetings with the managerial teams can prove to be very effective to enable them to get greater and good quality performance from the employees and enhance overall performance of the organization. This leads to an overall happy, enthusiastic and friendly environment amongst the staff which reaches out to the consumers also. It was a great learning experience for me as I learnt how to cope with the stress of the rapidly changing nature of jobs in the work place and use it to my advantage. It has enhanced my decision making and effective communication management between different groups or persons.