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The company, being in a small town, had its advantages, had its own pace of work and culture. It was acquired by larger company, forcing changes, which was welcomed in terms of increased job knowledge and standardization it brought in. With the advent of newer technologies like, internet, mobiles, etc., relevance of newspaper went down. With costs increase and lesser sales, layoff was the option, which took place once. But that was not sufficient, hence the second layoff. Challenge remained that good people will leave the company and extra work load will be dumped on underperformers, where there could be a resistance. There could be a factor of mistrust among the staff towards the company because there have been frequent layoffs.
Andrea Zuckerman is at crossroads of a previous unpleasant layoff and the obvious unstoppable layoff. As the corporate had decided for a layoff, due to the disturbing circumstances in the newspaper industry, moreover, corporate has implanted a person to make sure the layoff happens; Andrea has no choice but to announce the decision. In the four justice dimensions, she has to choose the informational justice. Informational justice “focuses on explanations provided to people that convey information about why procedures were used in a certain way or why outcomes were distributed in a certain fashion” .
It is expected from the corporate that Andrea follows the instructions of corporate and execute the instructions. Corporate further made sure for implementation of the instructions by sending the HR personnel Jessie Vasquez and sending a consultant. While announcing the decision of downsizing, one needs to understand the nature of the instructions, which were to be delivered and implemented, hence the choice of informational justice. She needs to be honest about the entire issue. Facts and figures need to be shown, and one has to tell as to why downsizing is the order of the day.
There has already been a round of layoffs in the recent past; hence there would be a lot of sensitivity among employees about the present layoff, which is going to be sudden and subtle. Corporate on the other hand, would be morally aware of such impending circumstances, where they would have taken care of ethical sensitivity and moral intensity of the situation. With the previous layoff, the corporate would have become a bit more mature about layoffs and would have thought of taking the right decision, considering the circumstances. Though the circumstances are such that one needs to guard oneself against the unprecedented responses one may get from announcing the downsizing, but one has to announce the same. Andrea has to prove her loyalty to the corporate, as well as create a semblance among the employees. Even though one knows that the morale of employees will be shattered as they have been through one layoff, she has to put up a front, which has to be that of congruence.
Prior to the present layoff, there had been a layoff. Experience of the previous layoff had been that, good employees had to leave, plus employees with high salaries were also asked to leave. General impression drawn is that employees with higher salaries are typically good workers. For good working, companies generally reward their employees with good salaries. This time also corporate will ask employees with higher salaries to leave, in order to save costs, leaving with the fact that good workers will leave, staying behind will be not so good workers, which will impact quality work in the organization. Second problem posed is that few people will have additional jobs of the people who would have left. After the first layoff, the remaining staffs were given additional work. This has been practiced over the years, and Andrea had a list of complaints regarding the same. This time also, additional work load will be given to the remaining staff, which may lead to resentment. To compensate the resentment, previously a permanent raise was given. Question arises whether the same tactic will work this time, keeping in mind the resentment of additional workload.
In the entire process, Andrea would have lost some trust among the employees. In order to retain employee and to add responsibilities, she will have to pursue for a permanent raise. Since the staff with higher salaries will be laid off, additional raise to the remaining staff will still ensure that the cost of salaries will be low. This action will fulfil the safety and social aspect of Maslow’s need hierarchy, where one’s need of security is established and one’s need of belongingness enhances . Trust that has an unmistakable relationship with job performance and unequivocal relationship with organizational commitment will be enhanced.
Continuance of work in this organization means doing the same work, which they have been doing and which they love. Getting additional pay for extra work would mean that they will learn some other work either related to their work or a new work. This will mean enrichment of job, which is a common motivational technique . According to Job Characteristic Theory (JCT), there will be a variety in skills, which will lead to meaningfulness of the job and in turn will lead to job satisfaction and enhanced performance . According to Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory, job enrichment leads to fully utilizing the ability of an employee and employee who shows willingness in taking additional responsibility, should be given added work .
The very first action after down-sizing would be allotting additional workload for the remaining staff. Those showing interest in additional work, willingly will take the offer. Problem may remain with those who have been complaining of additional work load in the previous years. One can argue that with additional work load, satisfaction of additional pay would be sufficient, this would also mean that in the due course, promotions may come in.
Learning additional skills, would mean job enrichment, working ability of a person would increase. According to JCT, meaningfulness of work would increase. According to Equity theory, one could be over rewarded in relation to their present skills, but that is one risk that has to be taken, in order to take out the best performance of an employee. Expectancy Theory says that the external motivating factor of increase in pay, Extrinsic motivation will trigger off. Simultaneously the inner motivational factor called Intrinsic motivation of knowledge gain, self-interest will trigger. This theory advocates self-interest of an individual who wants a high level of satisfaction and no dissatisfaction. With the help of this theory, managers can match the result with targeted performance levels (. Andrea, with the help of the above facts, can confidently handle the afternoon meeting.
First aspect would be that staff will be demotivated and on the other hand there would be sighing of relief that they are not in the layoff list. It will show that the company has a faith in their work. As per JCT in the critical psychological state, the knowledge of results, the outcome is taken care of. When additional responsibilities are given the cognitive based trust will play its role. Two aspects of McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory, namely Need for achievement (nAch) Need and for affiliation (nAff) will play its part. On the other part there could be fallacies as well. Employees, who perform well and are resistant to the idea of extra work load, may leave the organisation, creating more work load for the remaining employees. The two layoffs may create distaste among the employees, and it may create a panic among them and instil a fear that there can be further layoffs in the future.
The fears are realistic and in order to create trust among them, one needs to bring in the factor of trust, recognition, integrity and benevolence. Need for power, achievement and affiliation needs to be created.
Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs motivational model. (2014). Retrieved from www.businessballs.com: http://www.businessballs.com/maslow.htm
Colquitt, J. A. (2001). Justice at the millenium: A meta-analytic review of 25 years of organizational justice research. Journal of Applied Psychology , 86, 425-445.
Expectancy Theory of Motivation. (2014). Retrieved from www.managementstudyguide.com: http://www.managementstudyguide.com/expectancy-theory-motivation.htm
Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory (Two Factor Theory). (2014). Retrieved from www.netmba.com: http://www.netmba.com/mgmt/ob/motivation/herzberg/
Job Characteristics Model. (2014). Retrieved from https://new.edu: https://new.edu/resources/job-characteristics-model
What Is the Meaning of Job Enrichment? (2014). Retrieved from www.work.chron.com: http://work.chron.com/meaning-job-enrichment-5481.html