With the increasing challenges in most organization, the management has been compelled to embrace strategies that harness the employees’ efforts and also utilizes technological advancement to sharpen its competitive edge (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). The changing consumer needs and variations in the entire business environment are some of the important influences that have converged the management reasoning into executing all the organization functions as a family. Success, therefore, calls for proper coordination of human labor to utilize the available technology to offer excellent services that can propel the company to a further level. It thus calls for better human resource management practices that sharp across the employee selection process, training and development and finally the compensation programs (Fauzi et al., 2013). Usually, the red flags for unsatisfied employees resulted by crooked workers management practices includes but not restricted to the following; high rate of turnover reduced individual performance and productivity, decreased revenue base, poor quality services and more. It is, therefore, required for the management to be on the watch out and enact superb measures that can entirely thwart the possible occurrence of employee discomfort (Bhatla & Pandey, 2014).
The possible approach for handling employee discontentment in the workplaces can be through epitomizing on best practices. Therefore, this report has specifically addressed the employee engagement and health issues in the workplace. However, these two aspects have remained major challenges in most organization. It is because some leaders employ discriminative strategies that aim to benefit the organization but fails to address the workers interests. Moreover, the paper has explicitly explored the topic and offered solid recommendations that if embraced and implemented accordingly, the organization can manage to control its workers and incline them towards the company short and long term purposes.
Description of the organization
This study focuses on an organization established in the 1940s with headquarters in Subang Jaya. It specialized in providing retail and consumer products to customers in the country. It has more than 260 outlets with stores and hypermarkets across the country. Further, it was founded before the World War II, but because of the devastating effects of the war, it was burnt down before it was re-opened again in 1940. From then this company has made some good progress, though, they are normal developments that can be expected for a company of this age to have. Having operated in the business for long, the pace of growth has been very low which indicate that there is a problem in the management (Tay, 2011). Up to date, this company has only 18 hypermarkets and 47 mini-marts. However, it cannot ultimately be asserted that this company is poorly performing but the 77 years it has been in existence it should be rated among the top retailers in Malaysia and even expanded its operations to international markets. Over the period, this company has not fully achieved its mission of being the leading wholesale and retail company by offering variety and excellent services to customers. Apparently, the primary cause of these challenges was as a result of poor human resource management practices that failed to address the required aspects.
Besides, a keener assessment as to why the company grew for sometimes but unexpectedly reduced the pace of growth and over the years revealed that the market share is decreasing because of the factors like entry of new players into the industry, changing consumer needs and preferences, hostile business environment, economic influences like inflation and more. With such factors in play, the disorganized administrative structures ended up causing this company to remain stagnant (Kirsten, 2010). From the review of this company, it was noted that over the past ten years, the rate of employee turnover has been so high, whereas those who are there do feel they are not in a better place to work. Perhaps, some customers are retained just because of the strategic locations of the stores and quality of the products sourced from suppliers within and outside Malaysia.
The relationship between health and productivity of employees
With enticing rewards and programs enacted by the management of various firms, workers tend to remain focused on job activities. However, this determination has caused some to neglect health issues and continue being present despite being affected by the work pressures. Though most organizations have implemented different programs to address employees’ health and safety and health issues the fact is that such measures are not adequate in handling workers’ safety and health requirements (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). Surprisingly, the health and security programs are incorporated with the core objective of assisting the company to achieve its primary goals by avoiding absenteeism issues. The health programs are intended to keep employees on business activities for extra hours. Usually, policies are incorporated based on the management assessment of its impacts on the long-term flourishing of the enterprise (Sultana, 2014). Despite the employee health and safety matters being a regulatory concern, companies need to assess its effects on the workforce and implement effective strategies that can keep the employee's health fit for them to remain motivated in enhancing the achievement of the company goals (Katz et al., 2014).
There is a quantifiable relationship between productivity and the health of employees. It thus makes it crucial for the management of any organization to identify the health issues that can influence workers and plan accordingly how these issues can be addressed. The productivity aspect covers both the quantity and quality of the output (Okeudo & Cmilt, 2012). When measuring the productivity, the management should assess the quantity produced within a particular period and contrast with the projections as well as the previous years. Also, the management has to examine the magnitude of satisfaction consumers derive from the products and services (Saha & Gregar, 2012). Usually, the satisfaction stems from the quality where effectiveness and convenience are the requisite metrics assessed.
For a company to realize quality and quantity aspirations, it has to invest in workers safety and health significantly (Reddy & Chandra, 2011). Unsafe business environment and sick people tend to consume most of their time attending to health matters to seek medication. The physical and mental uneasiness in employees significantly destructs them. Because the future of an ill person is usually blank, the motivation level is affected, and the need to grow with the organization no longer lingers in the individuals' mind (Kirsten, 2010). Therefore, establishing positive health and safety policies that adequately take care of the employees’ interests can assist the organization to succeed. It is because individuals will be delighted to be part of the community at the level of not allowing personal stress to interfere with organization programs. One will voluntarily optimize all the efforts just to see a particular objective is realized (Mensah, 2010). Undoubtedly, good health practices in an organization enhance success and vice versa because human labor is a requisite for coordinating other factors of production for the company’s sake.
The reasons for diverged opinion
The increased employee turnover in the organization spurred the speculation of how the management had overlooked workers health and safety issues. It is worth noting that anything talked about by the masses sometimes carries the truth in it. Naturally, it is rare for something to emerge and be discussed publicly with a cause. It is for this reasons that the research was build to gauge the validity of the information (Blacksmith and Harter, 2011). It is from the interview that the following reasons for diverged opinion were unfolded:
The accusations were due to inadequate reward systems that made several employees feel discriminated and unappreciated for their efforts. Usually, motivation is a critical factor that most employees base at while discharging some of their responsibilities. Besides intrinsic motivation, the extrinsic motivation equally plays a key role in building a determined workforce (Hassan et al., 2013). Shockingly, this organization had taken decades without restructuring workers rewards systems. Remaining insensitive to changing economic forces was one of the key reasons that even the HRM acknowledged to be a primary cause (Johari et al., 2012). Such a feeling of inequalities in compensations programs of the company creates diverged feelings among the employees and can only be addressed if stable strategies are incorporated by the administrative specifically the human resource department.
Furthermore, the workers were assigned heavy duties that sometimes were stressing. In the distribution of roles, some workers complained that duties were not assigned based on individual capabilities. Employees were moved from department to the next without considering factors like education qualification and experience. The company desired to have employees who can multitask and service in various departments. It was a strategy embraced to reduce operational expenses. It was perceived that including employee training and development was an investment with an insignificant value to the company (Amin, 2013). The duties were randomly assigned without considering different capabilities. It is apparent that the missed point here included employee involvement where such initiatives promote open communication (Janjua & Gulzar, 2014). As a result, all pressing issues could have been addressed using the right channel.
Additionally, it emerged that workers were not adequately involved in the decision-making processes. Most of the decisions were made by the executives whereas workers were imperatively required to implement them. The bitter part of the story was that even minor decisions that were supposed to be formulated by the line managers used to come from above. The collective bargaining agreements and union actions had been compressed to the ground level. This approach further worsened everything and discouraged the dedicated employees who felt their efforts will never be appreciated if such filthy policies persist (Gallup, 2013). Lastly, the human resource manager disclosed that the organization violated workers’ rights like sick leave and others could be fired because they overstayed home than allowed time while on sick leave. The working conditions were unfavorable and exposed employees to stress. Therefore, the non-consideration of the worker's safety and health issues observed in this organization signified non-contentment irrespective of the few in senior positions who are entitled to good health and safety programs.
The operational struggles experienced by this company regarding safety, health, and involvement of the employees in the organization can be overcome in the following ways:
- Formulate good reward and remuneration systems. The workers should be compensated according to their contributions to the organization. Motivation programs should be formulated to appreciate those that achieve excellent results to act as an encouragement and appreciation(Hong et al., 2012). Since intrinsic emanates from personal employee decisions, those who require extrinsic motivations should be enticed with monetary benefits to encourage them to exert maximum efforts towards organizational issues(Daoanis, 2012). Healthy remuneration and rewards programs encourage individuals to work hard and actively participate in corporate development matters.
- Secondly, the human resource should assign roles to people based on their capabilities. With the recent revolution in the management practices, most organizations are preferring individuals who can malt task(Hoekstra, 2011).However, the need is not only restricted with malt-tasking but the capability. To ensure that individuals are in a position to discharge various duties without stress, the HRM should develop training and development practices to align workers with current organizational demands (Akter, 2012).
- Thirdly, the management should significantly involve the employees in decision making. Inadequate engagement can spur a feeling of discontentment among the staff. For instance, the inadequate representation can make them feel under looked which can consequently result in some magnifying a small issue into a subject of discussion by many people. They may disseminate a wrong message in the outsiders to demean the management and attract the rapport of the society(Gallup, 2013). Furthermore, the management should respect the CBA inked with employees and bought some of the brilliant proposals from the workers rather than making them total subjects to implement all the decisions reached without their knowledge. Apparently, workers usually support decisions they participated in formulating for them to avoid being seen as failures (Bal et al., 2014).
- Finally, the company should comply with ILO safety and health issues. Moreover, it should establish a conducive working environment where workers well being are specially treated. Because employees are implementers of strategies by the use of technology, it can be wise to treat them fairly. For instance, those under sick leave should be paid and allowed time to recover before retiring on jobs. The workloads assigned to individuals should be reasonable not to cause stress to employees. Also, the working conditions should not expose workers to the risk of falling sick. It, therefore, depends on the management ability to discern what is good for employees rather than planning and implementing programs that only incline to enhance firms’ level of outputs at the expense of the staff(Osemeke, 2012).
Wrapping up, employee safety and involvement is a paramount aspect that the management should assert a great focus. Because the employees are the major factor of production with the capability to coordinate and unify other factors of production, it is imperative that human personnel need a special treatment by the management. Employees’ safety and health in the workplace should be a priority. It thus calls for formulating appropriate policies regarding the working environment and also the level of workers involvement in decision making. As discussed in the report, workers significantly support the decision that they were involved in the formulation with a core aim of avoiding to be termed failures. It becomes straightforward and cheap to monitor an idea that was initially suggested by the implementers. Good safety programs and employee involvement, therefore, are primary factors that can determine organization success or failure.
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