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Significance of Organisational Behaviour Theories and Strategies

Question:

Discuss about the Employee Motivation and Retention Strategies at Microsoft.

The aim behind developing this report is to have an in-depth understanding of the significance of organisational behaviour in the organisation and at the workplace. Organisational behaviour is a broad term that plays a major role in the building of the organisation. There are not only the buildings, machinery or the operations that form an organisation but the individuals that develop a flow of communication and interaction with each other for the accomplishment of the mutual objectives and aims. There are various theories of organisational behaviour that support the managers to develop a strong level of understanding among the individuals in respect to their feelings, performance and their level of perception in the organisational setting. (Alfes, et al., 2013). There is a great significance of the organisational behaviour theories and strategies to have a good control on the organisation, the organisational employees and the future sustainability of the organisation. The organisational behaviour can be considered as a deep study that supports in evaluating the influence posed by the individuals, groups and the organisational structure on the behaviour of the organisation (Ali and Aroosiya, 2012). In the organisational behaviour, the motivation and retention of the employees is of key significance as kit influences the behaviour as well as the performance of the employees. There is a strict need that in present time, the organisations must have their major focus on these factors for achieving a better organisational behaviour and enhanced productivity. The paper will understand the role of organisational behaviour and the employee motivation and retention in respect with Microsoft as it is one of the key example which can provide a better understanding if the aspect with its practical example.

The leader of the technology industry, Microsoft Corporation was established in the year 1975 by the efforts of Paul Allen and Gates. The organisation has developed rapidly and is presently the most recognized and largest serving multinational organisation in the technology industry cross the globe. The first programming language was developed by Microsoft in 1975 named Altair Basic which gained huge success and presently used in almost all the computers. In the year 1977, there were key launches of Microsoft named FORTRAN, IJ 1978, COBOL and also developed version of BASIC. In the year 1980, there was a huge success gained by Microsoft when it had an agreement with IBM for developing an operating system (Chakraborty and Gupta, 2010). There was development of Q_DOS also which IBM used in its computers and which was later recognized as MS-DOS. This helped the company in achieving great recognition in the releasing of the operating systems across the globe. Later to this, there as developed a window operating system which acquires a considerable market in the technology industry. The continuous success and growth of Microsoft demonstrates the skills of the company and its key persons. In past few decades, there has been developed a strong organisational culture with a motivated workforce. There is a strong team which helps in developing quality software products. There is a strong culture in the organisation that supports in motivating the staff and delivering the best outcomes. And thus, all this initiatives helped the organisation to remain at the top in the industry (Chakraborty, 2010).

Microsoft Corporation: A Brief Overview

There is a renowned and recognized name of Microsoft for being one of the employers of the choice as it is one of the top most organisations that embrace the most effective and best retention as well as motivational strategies at their workplace. There is a robust organisational culture at Microsoft which is the biggest factor in fetching the attention of the talented and competent employees and acquiring workforce that is extremely skilled and competent offers a series of competitive advantages to the company and helped Microsoft to drive success. The higher the level of motivation is the greater the level of productivity which also results in a better quality outcomes. The strong organisational culture that emphasis on having string motivational level of the employees was there till the time period of 1900s but after that the organisation started experiencing some or the other human resource issue (Chakraborty and Gupta, 2010). The key factor behind these issues according to the experts was less focus of the mangers on the organisational culture in the period of achievement of huge growth and thus it resulted in deterioration of the organisational culture (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014). There were number of factors that have resulted in high issues at the organisational workplace such as highly innovative culture, risk taking culture and the changing working environment. There was a high level of frustration that took place because of the ignorance of the satisfaction and importance if the employees. To have a better profitability and growth, the organisation established a different structure that has diverse set of HR practices. Because of the aim of enhancing profits, the organisation cut down the expenditure used to done for the development and growth of the employees and this negatively impacted the work and motivation of the workforce. And it resulted in occurrence of numerous human resource issues and resulted in increased turnover rate of the employees at Microsoft (Batt and Colvin, 2011).

There are several issues that occurred at the workplace of Microsoft because of the deteriorated workplace culture. The first and the key issue were its management and the existence and follow of bureaucratic leadership. In the initial stages, there was a better and effective  management because of the small organization so it can be handled and managed easily. But after the expansion phase of the company, there were several new members entered in the organisation for effectively managing the organisation but due to success and expansion, there was neglected the  effective management of the employees. And the less emphasis upon the structure of the management, there was enhanced level of bureaucracy in the organisation and in the management of the employees which ultimately resulted in negative implications upon the performance of the organisation (Bratton and Gold, 2012). And this made it complex and challenging for the new recruits to work as most of time they were disregarded. There was high level of rigidity in the decision making process and to have single change there was a need of approval from the higher authorities which made inconvenience for the employees to work in such a bureaucratic environment. And to manage the employees with increased level of diversity, it became challenging for Microsoft and thus the bureaucracy leadership and management structure has reduced the productivity and efficiency of the employees (Boxall and Purcell, 2011).

Microsoft's Organisational Culture and Motivated Workforce

There are number of employee motivation issues that are also related to the rough management of the organisation as there was always a rough and strict way used by the organisation for managing the employees there were numerous issues that took place because of such leadership following the workplace. There was a strict behavioural aspect that was used by the organisational managers for forcing the employees to work hard and deliver increased level of productivity. This imposed high pressure on the employees which resulted in work-life issues for the employees and the overall productivity of the workforce decreased. The rough and strict management of the employees didn’t work well and there resulted in attrition of the employees due to inflexibility and high work pressure (Buller and McEvoy, 2012).  There are human resources and employee related issues in respect with the low level of competition. Because of the fact that Microsoft was recognized as the leader in the technology sector and was highly known for its perfection, it became essential for the organisation to deliver the best quality to the customers and satisfy them. And this offered a big competitive benefit to Microsoft in comparison with other competitors. Therefore, the low level of competition has given success to the company and so there was less emphasis upon the human resources which led to occurrence of number of employee related issues in the organisation (Harzing and Pinnington, 2010).

Another key issue faced by Microsoft in terms of low level of motivation of the employees was the risk taking culture of Microsoft. There was a tendency or culture of taking high level of risks by the organisation. There was avoidance of the errors and mistakes that were taking place at the workplace and there was increased pressure on the employees for being accountable for any negative outcome as well as for all their actions. Each and every employee remained liable for his or her job at the time of their work (Crook, et al., 2011). There was a complete justification asked from the employees when occurs any kind of error and they were charged for the same. And this threatened the workforce to perform any action which might pose a negative impact on the organisation. Therefore, the innovative culture of the organisation lost somewhere due to increased level of risks. Thus, it resulted in decreased level of organisational productivity.

There is one major and key issue which affects the motivation and retention of the employees’ i.e. the high level of discrimination at the workplace. It was claimed by some of the organisational employees that there take place high level of discrimination at Microsoft. The African American employees filed a suit against the organisation due to experiencing discrimination at the workplace. It was clear and evident from the case that those employees were discriminated in respect with various factors including performance evaluation, rewards and recognition and workplace promotions (Hong, et al., 2012). A few cases were also filed against the unlawful termination of the some of the Blacks from the organisation. As well as, it was also realized by the employees that there is high level of discrimination in offering compensations and bonuses to the employees. The management of the organisation get shuddered with such cases and majorly the impact was on the financial performance of the company in the market. It was argued by the organisational management that there follows a hundred percent non-tolerance policy which used to follow in the organisation in respect with the racial discrimination issues. Thus, the issue occurred because of the fact that the organisation was failed to enforce the policy in an effective manner. There were laws and policies but the enforcement was not done. There were also few complaints highlighting the presence of discrimination in offering training to the employees (James and Mathew, 2012).

Human Resource Issues at Microsoft

There are various strategies which have been used by Microsoft in order to overcome and resolve the human resource issues at the workplace and to have increased level of employee motivation and retention in the organisation. The first and the most vital strategy used by Microsoft were making changes in the employee benefits programs and schemes. In order to reduce the cost and increase the profit, the employee benefits were curbed. But to resolve the issue, Microsoft included several things in the employee benefits such as offering discounts, health related benefits, child care facilities, transportation facilities and availability of food. Such employee benefits played a vital and significant role in gaining trust of the employees and motivating them (Jiang, et al., 2012). Such employee benefits resulted in increased satisfaction of the employees and they had a commitment towards their work and the organisation once again and the issue of attrition rate of the employees somehow get resolved. Therefore, the offering employee benefits act as a source of resolving the issue related to motivation and retention of the workforce. It offers a sense of opportunity to the organisation for offering high benefits and competitive wages to the workforce like other competitive organisations and as a result the employee benefits act as a the motivational factor for the employees (Kinicki and Kreitner, 2012). The high level of benefits and increased remuneration are highly satisfied and as a result become more productive and efficient. Thus, the increased levels of employee benefits were vital in resolving the issues and improving the organisational culture and motivation of the employees.

The next strategy used by Microsoft was changes in the communication system. There was established a system that encourages occurrence of a smooth flow of communication that comprises of flow of communication in both direction i.e. up and down horizontal as well a vertical communications. There were introduced a series of programs by Brummel such as “listening tour” under which there was movement from one place to another for fetching the viewpoints of the employees and mainly the newly recruited workforce (Chakraborty and Gupta, 2010). The enhanced flow of communication resulted in fast resolution of the human resource issues and increased employee engagement that improves the motivation of the employees (Mathis and Jackson, 2011). The better communication system offers a chance to Microsoft to improve the organisational culture through taking ideas from the employees for the betterment of the organisational workplace. And thus, increased involvement of the employees also resulted in enhanced motivation because of the fact that employees feel a sense of belongingness as their opinions are given importance and heard. Therefore, changing in the communication system helped Microsoft in increasing employee motivation and retention (Nwokocha and Iheriohanma, 2012).

Employee Motivation and Retention Issues at Microsoft

There was also a new workplace set up for offering much comfort to the employees. It was one of the most innovative ways to resolve the issues of employees. The more reformed, innovative and creative organisational set up results in increased communication among the employees. It also supported in dev eloping a team spirit as there were closed workstations of the employees and thus it enhances the productivity. And thus it resulted in increased cooperation and unity among in the organisation. it further promotes a satisfied and comfortable organisational workplace and environment that resulted in increased level of efficiency (Scullion and Collings, 2011). The establishment of the creative work stations was first realised as not appropriate and loss of investment but the outcomes gained were different as it helped in declining the issues and also encouraged workforce in delivering high level of productivity. It was considered as a big initiative in order to attain improved level employee retention and motivation. As well as, the improved workplace set up developed the boding among the diverse set of employees and issues related to diversity also declined. Therefore, the improved and newly designed workplaces helped in motivating the workforce for increasing the level of retention (Sandhya and Kumar, 2011).

The next strategy used by the company was implementing sound performance appraisal system in the organisation. Microsoft always used to work upon a ‘forced curve system’ that offers rewards and recognition only to the top level employees and thus there results biasness issue in the organisation which decreased their motivation level. This approach of management does not offer an equal opportunity to the employees to grow and develop. The African Americans were the ones who felt high level of discrimination on the basis of such systems and thus they felt de-motivated. To overcome such issue, Brummel established a new and improved performance appraisal system for eliminating the biasness in decision making (Chakraborty and Gupta, 2010). The performance appraisal system rewards the employees on the basis of their performances rather than any other factor. Therefore, it increases the fairness and equity in the organisation which motivated the employees to retain in Microsoft and give their hundred percent for the work and this also enhanced their motivation level (Sparrow, Brewster and Chung, 2016).

Microsoft is taking continuous initiatives for achieving improvement in the motivation and retention as well as for the attainment of an improved HR system in the organisation. There are few other recommendations or factors which are required to be more focused in order to achieve a highly motivated and retained group of individuals in the organisation. The primary recommendation is that there must be effective training and development sessions as it is one of the most critical aspect which supports in increasing the level of satisfaction of the workforce as well as to keep them motivated (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014). There is always required continuous growth of the competencies and knowledge for keep an individual motivated. The potential candidates seeks those organisations that offer improved development and training programs to the employees for achieving both personal as well as professional development. Therefore, it is essential that Microsoft must offer good training to the employees for improving their level of motivation and retention. The second recommendation to Microsoft is that there must be integration of the organisational culture and the human resource practices (Zheng, Yang and McLean, 2010). The culture of an organisation is one of the key aspects which help in implementation of the effective HR practices. As well as, it will also help in making the new recruits aware regarding the newly developed reforms. Therefore, a supportive organisational culture will help in fetching more competitive advantage of possessing retained and motivated workforce. There must be improved level of flexibility and transformational leadership rather than bureaucratic approach towards the new recruiters. It will help in achieving a highly motivated workforce that have an increased level of commitment towards the organisation and also retain for a longer time period (Tiwari and Saxena, 2012).

Risk Taking Culture of Microsoft

Conclusion

Employee retention and employee motivation are the two vital and significant aspects for an organisation that impacts the organisational culture, human resource and the organisational behaviour. The motivated workforce is one of the most precious assets for any organisation as they deliver high level of efficiency and productivity to the organisation in comparison with the de-motivated staff. Therefore, it results in upsurge revenues and growth of the organisation which also offers competitive benefits to the organisation. From this paper, it can be concluded that there are numerous strategies foe employee retention and motivation that entails workplace set up, reward and recognition, communication, etc. It is concluded and recommended that there can be achieved more improved and motivated workforce through embracing effective trainings. Therefore, the most potential way for implementing the HR practices for the motivation and retention of the employees is having integration with the organisational culture.

References

Alfes, K., Shantz, A. D., Truss, C., & Soane, E. C. (2013). The link between perceived human resource management practices, engagement and employee behaviour: a moderated mediation model. The international journal of human resource management, 24(2), 330-351.

Ali, H., & Aroosiya, M. (2012). Impact of job design on employees’ performance.

Armstrong, M., & Taylor, S. (2014). Armstrong's handbook of human resource management practice. Kogan Page Publishers.

Batt, R., & Colvin, A. J. (2011). An employment systems approach to turnover: Human resources practices, quits, dismissals, and performance. Academy of management Journal, 54(4), 695-717.

Boxall, P., & Purcell, J. (2011). Strategy and human resource management. Palgrave Macmillan.

Bratton, J., & Gold, J. (2012). Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave Macmillan.

Bratton, J., & Gold, J. (2012). Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave Macmillan.

Buller, P. F., & McEvoy, G. M. (2012). Strategy, human resource management and performance: Sharpening line of sight. Human resource management review, 22(1), 43-56.

Chakraborty, B (2010). Employee Motivation and the Retention Strategies at Microsoft Corporation.pp. 26-32.

Chakraborty, B. & Gupta, V. (2010). Employee Motivation and the Retention Strategies at Microsoft Corporation. Centre for Management Research, Case Reference no. 410-033-1.

Crook, T. R., Todd, S. Y., Combs, J. G., Woehr, D. J., & Ketchen Jr, D. J. (2011). Does human capital matter? A meta-analysis of the relationship between human capital and firm performance.

Harzing, A. W., & Pinnington, A. (Eds.). (2010). International human resource management. Sage.

Hong, E. N. C., Hao, L. Z., Kumar, R., Ramendran, C., & Kadiresan, V. (2012). An effectiveness of human resource management practices on employee retention in institute of higher learning: A regression analysis. International journal of business research and management, 3(2), 60-79.

James, L., & Mathew, L. (2012). Employee retention strategies: IT industry. SCMS Journal of Indian Management, 9(3), 79.

Jiang, K., Lepak, D. P., Han, K., Hong, Y., Kim, A., & Winkler, A. L. (2012). Clarifying the construct of human resource systems: Relating human resource management to employee performance. Human Resource Management Review, 22(2), 73-85.

Kinicki, A., & Kreitner, R. (2012). Organizational behavior: Key concepts, skills & best practices. McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Mathis, R. L., & Jackson, J. H. (2011). Human resource management: Essential perspectives. Cengage Learning.

Nwokocha, I., & Iheriohanma, E. B. J. (2012). Emerging trends in employee retention strategies in a globalizing economy: Nigeria in focus. Asian Social Science, 8(10), 198.

Sandhya, K., & Kumar, D. P. (2011). Employee retention by motivation. Indian Journal of science and technology, 4(12), 1778-1782.

Scullion, H., & Collings, D. (2011). Global talent management. Routledge.

Sparrow, P., Brewster, C., & Chung, C. (2016). Globalizing human resource management. Routledge.

Tiwari, P., & Saxena, K. (2012). Human resource management practices: A comprehensive review. Pakistan business review, 9(2), 669-705.

Zheng, W., Yang, B., & McLean, G. N. (2010). Linking organizational culture, structure, strategy, and organizational effectiveness: Mediating role of knowledge management. Journal of Business research, 63(7), 763-771.

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