Discuss about the Case Study for Managing Performance of Top Trucking Company .
Human resource management is a critical function in any organization and thus requires an organization to pay a lot intention to the aspects that may affect the performance of the employees. Human resource is the most fundamental resource in the firm (Brad & Jia, 2008). This is because it organizes the other organizational resources so that the company may realize its desired goals. Therefore, the management of this critical resource requires the managers to have essential skills and attitude to be able to execute their functions effectively. It also should be noted that the responsibility for ensuring the welfare of the employees is catered should not be solemnly centered to the human resource department rather it should be a collective responsibility for all the organizational leaders ranging from the supervisors to the top management of the company (Uzonna, 2013). Employee relations mainly entails how the employers relate to the employees at the workplace (Chandrasekar, 2011). The poor employee relations results to the several consequences for the organization. For example, in the event of weak relations between the employer and the employees: the overall organization performance may drop; the conflicts between both the employer and the employees as well as the trade unions can become a continuous affair. Despite, poor employer-employee relationship having the adverse effects some of the organization are not aware what it entails an effective human resource management. They still have the traditional ideology of treating the employees as the only resource which can be used for the benefit of the organization and disposed of when it loses value. However, the organizations adopting this ideology have continued to supper greatly due to low employee performance as well court litigations cost resulting the cases filed by the trade unions. For the further and comprehensive discussion of how poor employee relations can have serious consequences for the performance of the organization, this report uses the case study Top Trucking Company.
Top Trucking Company Employee Relations Overview
Top Trucking Company had been a great performer in the local market. However, the employees’ welfare was not appropriately addressed. Additionally, the manager was rude and authoritative when issuing orders and directives to the drivers. This means that drivers were not supposed to offer or suggest creative ideas as they were supposed to follow the manager's directives strictly. The worsening was that the trucks were wearing out, and the company was not ready to re-invest in the new trucks. The results of this poor management and leadership style were the creation of hardcore drivers, poor performance among the employees and trade union conflicts. However, the things changed dramatically when the company was purchased by the National Transport Group. The new investors were willing to venture into the business heavily so as to raise its performance above the bar. The new management adopted transformative leadership and also, it was willing to improve the welfare of the employees. As the result, the company performance improved its reputation grew bigger. Besides, the drivers become appreciative of the new management, and even the positive relations between the company and the trade union was enhanced. Therefore, this report seeks to use the Top Trucking Company case study to answer the following three questions. First, how the transformative workplace practices brought by the new management complimented each other. Second, the risk of sustaining the company new workplace changes. Third, comparison of blue collar union with the public sector unions regarding workplace changes.
The complement of the New Workplace Practices.
The new management introduced the changes which were deemed to improve the welfare of the drivers. For example, the new uniform and the trucks bought for the drivers enhanced their motivation and the company performance also increased. In addition to the new working facilities, also the health and safety of the drivers were improved. From several perspectives, it can be argued that the company management was meeting the employees’ rights as well encouraging them to improve their performance. As Lee (2006) noted the crucial responsibility of the manager at the organizational workplace is to get the task executed through the efforts of the employees. To achieve this vital objective, the employees have to be propelled by a driving force called motivation. However, Ganta (2014) argued that the term motivation is easily said within the organizational workplace environment but rarely practiced. The Top Trucking Management recognized the importance of motivation and initiated the changes which could help the company attain competitive advantage in the market.
The overview and the analysis of the Top Trucking Company human resource management under the two different managements portray how the human nature can be complex and sometimes very simple. Dobre (2013) noted the understanding of the human nature at different scenarios is the prerequisite to efficient employee motivation as well as effective leadership and management. The drivers under the company old management were treated badly, and the motivation incentives were not forthcoming. Besides, the manager adopted the autocratic leadership style an act which drivers felt it regarded them as unimportant. They felt that the company was only focused on fulfilling its objectives without putting the welfare and the interests of the drivers into consideration. However, under the new leadership, the manager seems to understand the importance of the employee motivation. The new manager seems to adopt transformational leadership style whereby his decisions, whenever there were grievances among the employees, were based on the rational approach.
Importance of Employee Motivation Principles
Research findings indicate the motivated employees improve their creativity and productivity (Zafar, Ishaq, Shoukat, & Rizwan, 2014). Again, Safiullah (2015) argued that it is beneficial and morally right to treat human dignity on all scenarios. Relating to the Top Trucking Company old management, the drivers felt that the arrogance and autocratic behavior of their manager was disrespectful. As a result, the performance as well the reputation of the company started to decline. As Ganta (2014) noted if the employees are not motivated the total contribution of the employees on the organization success declines. This is because the employees do not channel all their energies and efforts in alignment with the desired goals of the organization. This phenomenon has been briefly illustrated using the diagram below.
Source: Accel-Team (2015)
Motivation and Performance
The performance of the employees will majorly depend on how they are motivated (Mohsan, Nawaz, Khan, Shaukat, & Aslam, 2011). The sources of motivation may either come internally or externally. The employees’ major sources of internal motivation are job satisfaction, challenging task and the importance of the job. On the other side, the external motivation comes from the management of the organization. Some employees have the self-motivation drive and other who have to be driven by the motivation to perform (Manzoor, 2014). However, both group of employees needs to be motivated to improve their performance. For effective management of the employee performance, leaders should base their motivation mechanisms on the following strategies: positive reinforcement; appropriate punishment and discipline; treating all the employees well; meeting the employees’ demands; restructuring jobs and rewarding employees based on the performance. Motivation being a critical factor in determining employee performance, the majority of the managers do not know what motivation mechanism to adopt.
In one of the major study of Minneapolis Gas Company which involved forty-four thousand potential employees with the aim of determining what the employees desire most from a job (Hafiza, Shah, & Jamsheed, 2011). The study which was carried for the period of twenty years found out that job security, work itself, development and proud of the company to work for were the main factors resulting in employee motivation. This was in contrast to paying that majority of the managers' believed was the core foundation of employees’ motivation. This explains why under the old management of the Top Trucking Company the drivers were always in conflict with the management despite being paid. However, the new workplace practices under the management of the company new investors contribute to the total motivation of the employees. Despite, being paid the drivers other needs such as improved working conditions and health and safety are catered for.
Risk of Sustaining New Workplace Changes
Different stakeholders ranging from the employees to government discourage the organizations to establish unsustainable workplace practices (Ouye, 2011). As it has always been the case developing, the workplaces changes are not the tough; the task is maintaining the same. Always the changes in the organization come up with modification of the employees' behavior and attitudes to adopt the desired change (O’Neill, 2013). For the new changes to be implemented the human resource manager has to reinforce the employees to adopt the right behavior (Carey & Parsons, 2009). However, this comes with a big challenge among the managers. This is because during the implementation of the new practices the employees may be influenced to adopt a certain behavior. However, when the influence is no longer available, the employees may reverse to the earlier behavior and thus putting the sustainability of the new practices at risk (Reid, 2012).
Top Trucking Company is faced with the same risk. The company employees have adopted the new change under the new management. However, it should be noted the organizations are separate entities and thus have perpetual existence, unlike their owners. This is the same risk which is facing the new human resource practices in top Trucking Company. From the analysis of the company's case, it is evident that the employees have embraced the change and thus it will be difficult for them to revert to the initial behavior. However, the sustainability of this change is under threat because the initiator of the change in no longer available. The manager who was in the charge of the yard and who ensured the practice of improving the employee's welfare continue to exist has been promoted to the head office. Now, the risks of change sustainability are set in whereby the new manager may not be willing to continue with the similar style of the employee relations. Otherwise, he or she may come with the new leadership styles which may not favor the employees thus receiving resistance from them.
Comparison of Blue Collar Union to Public Sector Unions
Similarly, as the public sector, blue collar unions can get involved in the workplace changes. However, their involvement in the workplace changes is greatly limited. Therefore, it can be argued that the blue collar unions are less involved in the workplace changes than the public sector or service unions. Some factors are contributing to this difference. First, blue-collar workers are less paid compared to white collar workers. This means their payment dues to the blue collar union do not contribute to union much as that of the white collar workers. Therefore, with economic power public sector unions becomes more involved in the workplace changes than the blue collar unions. Second, the number of the members of the public sector unions is much higher than in the blue collar unions. This increases the collective bargaining power of the public sectors unions, unlike the blue-collar unions. Therefore, with the powerful bargaining power, they become very influential and impactful in ensuring workplace changes.
Effective employees’ relations is the determinant of the successful employee performance. Managers should adopt effective leadership styles to ensure that the health relationship between the employer and the employee is maintained. Effective leadership alone is not enough to ensure sufficient employer-employee relationship, and therefore it should be supplemented with motivation. Again, motivation will not be enough, and thus it will need to be accompanied by the taking care of the employees’ welfare. As it has been for the case of Top Trucking Company the performance of the company has only improved when the new manager has initiated the new management performance techniques. The employees seem to embrace the changes as well as appreciate the new manager for his effective leadership techniques. This is contrary to the old company management performance which was poor hence resulting in conflicts between the employer and the employees as well as the trade unions.
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