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Motivating Employees

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Motivating an employee to work hard for any organization is difficult without the necessary encouragement and plan to foster those motivations. Culture is not something executives hand to employees; it is something for which each of us has ownership. It is in the way we treat each other and how we perform, communicate, manage and work together. Organizational systems such as job design and goal setting, performance appraisals, base pay, and career development are reliable ways of establishing an atmosphere of efficiency.

An employee’s job design helps to influence their motivation toward excelling in that position. Job design is the process of linking specific tasks to specific jobs and deciding what techniques, equipment, and procedures should be used to perform those tasks. (George & Jones, p. 203) Motivation can occur through employee-realized abilities. They are now in a position to realistically set goals for themselves within the organization. A goal is what an individual is trying to accomplish through his or her behavior and actions. (George & Jones, p. 222) The premise of goal setting theory in organizational behavior is that specifying, setting, and assigning difficult goals for employees, when accepted or generated by the employees, usually leads to improved and increased performance. “They stressed that there were no job definitions in the plant, and that therefore everyone was responsible for making top-quality canisters profitably.” (Clawson, p. 6) Goal setting gives each employee the shared accountability for the success of the organization no matter what his or her job demands. Goals motivate by focusing employees' attention, increasing their effort, and increasing their diligence. When comparing the motivation factors of the Aberdeen employees and the Green River, Aberdeen employees show no fear of losing their jobs when making honest mistakes in regards to putting into action new or innovative measures to improve the organization. Green River does not share the same type of work ethic because their current practices do not allow the flexibility of making potentially costly mistakes or cross training to help with other positions.

A candid form of identifying the achievement of personal and organizational goals is through a performance appraisal. A performance appraisal is traditionally a formal and systematic evaluation of how well a person performs his or her work, and fills the appropriate role within the organization (Newstrom & Bittel, p. 294). Aberdeen’s system for evaluating employee performance was achieved through a peer-review process. This process gave each employee continuous feedback from it’s co-workers of their contributions to the team. Green River employees are evaluated by management. If the manager were in charge of several employees, producing an accurate and fair evaluation would be impossible because managers will not be fully aware of the various accomplishments of each employee. My recommendation would be a hybrid of what Aberdeen is currently using: consider 360-degree reviews. This will help to gain insight as to the relationships within the organization, while seeing different perspectives of one’s workmanship. Self-appraisals may also prove effective, as it will aid in employees discovering their own attitudes and behaviors. Most are more critical of themselves than others would be. This can lead to positive changes in behaviors, thus increasing work ethic and productivity. This technique ensures management will use that knowledge and can take into consideration other occurrences that could have an affect on employees’ performance. It also allows for focus on more objective than subjective factors.

A performance appraisal has the ability to directly affect an employees’ pay. Most positions are assigned to a salary grade based on the position description. Salary grades are a mechanism for grouping positions, which through the job evaluation process has been determined to have similar external market value and internal responsibilities. For most areas of business, base salary is the primary means of attracting and retaining talented employees. Within a sales organization, base salaries will be competitive and incentive opportunities will be the primary attractor. At Aberdeen, each employee is paid on a salary. Employees who are a part of production are paid their normal salary plus overtime for hours worked more than the traditional 40-hour workweek. Aberdeen does not reward their employees through annual bonuses, profit sharing or stock options. Green River employees are also paid according to salary from the traditional job descriptions. However, Green River has the highest compensation pay among all FMC

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