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The term "Organizational Climate" was introduced in 1939 followed by a study of children's school clubs by Kurt Lewin. It is one of the most important and significant characteristics of a workplace. Organizational climate plays a very important role in growth of any organization. How the employees behave inside the organization reflects the behavior of the leader and overall environment of the workplace.
Organization climate should be positive and healthy. It has been clear that behavior is a function that determines both of a person's characteristics and the nature of his or her environment. Important environmental features in work settings have sometimes been brought together under the general heading of "climate", usually measured through individuals' perceptions of their organization's policies and practices.
The objective of the following research assignment is to know about the relation between organizational strategy and organizational climate on strategic work behavior and how to increase firm's overall performance and productivity and detect possible imbalances and mismatches.
A large unit, manufacturing electrical goods which have been known for its liberal personnel policies and fringe benefits is facing the problem of low productivity and high absenteeism. How should the management improve the organizational climate?
To promote a real Human Resource climate within any organization, it is very important to have the prevalence of supportive climate. The general climate of the organization is basically a combination of support from all the concerned departments. A good combination of supportive personnel policies, practices and positive attitudes is required towards development of people in organization.
Why climate is important
Stressful and political climate leads to decrease in productivity of employees and destroys the discipline of any formal organization. Sometimes people work well under the stress and they perform better. But this is not same of all the employees and so depends upon individual to individual.
If they are not able to perform under the stressed situation then number of absentee's and employee's turnover increase. So climate and overall results of organization depends on feelings of the employees and feeling of employees totally depends on attitude of individual employee.
So if the climate is healthy employees are more innovative as compared to employee working in the stressful climate. It increase the productivity level of the employees and ultimately results in high productivity of the organization.
Here in the situation given, Liberal personnel policies and fringe benefits have led the problem of low productivity and high absenteeism within the organization.
Liberal personnel policies
The culture of the place reflects the attitude and style of the leader. There are mainly two types of policies, "Liberal" and "Conservative". In liberal personnel policies HR policies are in favor of the employees. Employees are given many benefits and advantages. In liberal policies employers are given chance to THINK on their own. They can make their own decisions and can also participate in bigger organizational decision. They have their own freedom. Freedom to manage own situations allow employees to experience growth within and outside the organization. A talent pool of employees is thus created and this group of individuals can take up new positions as well as responsibilities. Thus the culture of the organization should be as such that it is liberal in terms of its employees and employees also work in favor of the organization.
Fringe benefits are those benefits of employees working in the workplace that are separate from their wages and salaries. These are the compensation provided to the employees. Some fringe benefits are fairly common such as sick leaves or paid vacation time. Others can be significantly greater, and rarer. Key executives in large companies might also enjoy fringe benefits like use of time-share condominiums, use of a company jet and use of a company credit card, discounted or free health club memberships, and a significant amount of paid vacation.
So for any organization where there are liberal policies and fringe benefits for the employees, generally employees are likely to give high productivity to the organization with showing less absenteeism. But in the case given it is not so. Organization is facing the problem of low productivity and high absenteeism. It happens when the workers or employees consider the management (controlling them) as a lax management. They tend to think that they can do whatever they wish to and there is nobody that can stop them from being continued from work with having good salaries because most of the people have this tendency that they get away with things they can get away with. So if the employees have interpreted this then the management needs to find out the causes and then solutions for this kind of major problem. Management has to make it clear that the perks given to the employees are the benefit of doing their job, and if they can't keep up their job they are not going to enjoy all the benefits. This way management can make a comfortable workplace without being a pushover.
Low productivity and its relation with absenteeism
Low productivity in any organization is directly related to absenteeism. Absenteeism is one of the most difficult areas in the employees discipline to be controlled. This is because of the reason that the problem is not properly monitored- supervisors ignore the problem of absenteeism on the basis that the employee won't get paid for the day anyway, so it is his own fault. Problems of low production, other workers getting upset because they have to pick up the workload of the absent employee, and so on are not even thought of by the supervisor at all. The pay office or wages department don't even notice it- they are only concerned with compiling pay slips for hours worked. Absenteeism and the reasons for it are not their concern according to them. Attendance of the employees is also badly monitored and there is no doubt about that. The fact is that proper attendance at work is a very basic duty of any employee, and no employee should be absent without any good reason.
How to control absenteeism?
It is essential to have a Company Attendance Policy same for all the employees working within the organization.
By having a properly constituted policy communicated to the employee, awareness is thus created among the employees that their attendance is carefully monitored and that unauthorized absenteeism or absenteeism without good reason will not be tolerated. The policy should state as a minimum, that all employees must be aware that proper attendance at work is a basic common-law duty of every employee and that when an employee accepts employment with the company he or she acknowledges that attendance at work will be daily as required, and attendance will be for the contractual working hours.
Management should monitor employee's attendance records on a regular basis and that any employee who absents himself without a valid and acceptable reason shall be guilty of an offense in terms of the Company Disciplinary Code, which may result in dismissal.
As far as the liberal policies are concerned, liberal benefits policies (assuming good health insurance and such) would not cause low productivity and high absenteeism. But If, by "liberal personnel policies" we mean that management tolerates unexcused absences and slack work habits, then that is what needs to change. Management would need to promote a culture of hard work.
Use of "carrots" and "sticks" can be done. "Carrot" means giving rewards to the "worker of the month" or any other rewards. And by using "stick", it means punishment for failure to meet work requirement and high absenteeism. Preferably management should use a mixture of both of these so that the climate gets tougher but workers do not feel completely oppressed.
Also in the case given, organization is of manufacturing electrical goods; that is the job is a repetitive kind and so employees generally have this tendency to get bored easily. Few employees give their best effort because of the intrinsic reward of doing a good job; a uniform policy on absenteeism that is consistently applied is so helpful. It is important for management to set expectations for workers.
Problems with Liberal Personnel Policies
Excess of everything is bad. If the policies are liberal at a great extent and results into misuse of resources: Human resources or other resources such as monetary resources then these liberal policies may hamper the organization's goals and objectives.
Some common problems with the liberal policies other than low productivity and high absenteeism are are:
Liberal personnel policies are ultimately high in cost. It requires good amount of money to be spent by the organization towards their employees.
Conflicts arise within the employees in case of liberal policy. If one employee is getting rewards or fringe benefits more than the other then It is likely to increase the conflicts among employees and employers.
Lack of Control
Liberal policies also lead to lack in control among the employees. They think of management as a "lax" management. And ultimately this thought of employee decreases the production of the organization.
How to improve the organization climate in the above case:
Changing the organization climate requires proper organizational strategy. A strategy plays and important role in the management of the firm or organization. Strategy gives direction to the plan management has in mind and implements the ways by which the management wants to achieve their goals. In the case given the upcoming goal or say requirement of the organization is to increase its productivity rate and decrease the number of absenteeism.
OPENNESS & TRUST
Openness within the organization should be coupled with action orientation. Openness surely results in satisfaction within the employees. It build the trust in the minds of employees for the organization. Once this trust is achieved the openness should be coupled with the goals of the organization. Organizational goals, organizational problems; all should be shared with the employees because ultimate work is accomplished by the employees only. Management can only plan and organize the things. Employees should be motivated in a way that they understand that any problem organization is facing or any goal it needs to achieve is not only of the organization but their own also. And they will then work according to that.
Motivated employees are core of any organization. Motivation is an internal feeling that cannot be observed directly. By observing the action of individual, management can interpret the behavior of its employees. In the case given employees are showing frequent and high absenteeism. This tells the management that they now need to understand the underlying motives of the employees and motivate them accordingly. Motivating the employee by coupling with the organization goal is what management needs to do now. It should be goal oriented for the management.
There should be a quality management model for high performance of the organization. In any manufacturing organization this is a must not only for the products it produce but also for the employees working within the organization.
Employees should get value according to the work they perform or we can say that they should get rewards and also punishments according to their performance
Being a manufacturing Company that manufactures electrical goods, employees have tendency to get bored with what they have been doing since long. As technology is same in case of manufacturing firm and do development in technology is frequently made then in this case management should try to get the latest technology for its workers or employees. Latest technology enhances the overall performance- of the product and as well as of the employees.
EDUCATING AND TRAINING OF EMPLOYEES
In order to successfully change the organization climate, the employees must be indoctrinated in new relationships, taught new skills, and helped to change attitudes. Whenever there is new technology to be used, employees should be trained well beforehand. Different processes can be seminars, classes, meetings and conferences.
ENCOURAGE WORKERS TO VOICE COMPLAINTS
There are many reasons why employees don't contribute critique of management or their company's culture - from fear of retaliation to hesitation to appear ungrateful. To get to know about staff complaints, voice complaints should be encouraged. It gives a sense of openness and trust among the employees towards the employers. Even if their problem is big enough for management to solve, employers are satisfied they are atleast heard by their management.
Authenticity is the willingness of a person to acknowledge of the feelings and make coordination between what he says and does. This value is important for the development of a matured culture within the organization. Authenticity is closer to openness. The result of authenticity brings openness in the climate of the organization. If a person be authentic or genuine in his life it becomes very easy to predict his behavior
GOOD WORK ENVIRONMENT
Working conditions are very important to the way employees feel about where they work. How the office looks, pictures on wall, fresh plants all add on to create a good and healthy environment to work in.
TAKE ON FUN VOLUNTEER ASSIGNMENTS
Fun volunteer assignments can be taken by the management that are different from the routine work of the employees. Employers should help employees to create some of their most inspired work. Employees should be given charge on organizing few events they want. This helps in creating a healthy environment in the organization.
Development of an organization depends upon the organizational behavior and organizational behavior is affected by the behavior of individual employee. Individual employee's behavior is influenced by organizational climate. So, it is like a chain. If organizational climate is favorable, then organization will grow smoothly. On the other hand if employees carry a positive attitude then also organizational climate can be favorable.
So for any organization there should be no compromise with the overall performance of the organization. If at any stage it is found that liberal policies are hampering the organizational goal and organization's performance is being affected; then management needs to take particular steps without any delay keeping in mind the inner behavior of their employees.