The intent of this paper is to analyse the impact of organizational cultural changes in Gladiator and resulting motivational changes on their own part time employees. Gladiator is one the oldest, largest insurance group in the world with operations over 27 countries. The organization have 3400 managers across India with 30,000 part time employees (FPA-Financial Planning Advisors) spreaded in 224 branches and close to 3000 locations. The current issue I am discussing is in Indian Industry of Gladiator, in my own branch's parallel business team. The organization was performing highly and was going to expand 3 months after I joined in the late 2007.The hiring of a new Middle manager for the expansion, whose inability in adapting to the present tested and proved company culture led to a creation of a new, wrong sub culture within the same branch and subsequent de-motivation of the majority of performing FPA's. The paper highlights the link between the sub culture and motivation and performance of the FPA's.
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The new sub culture was a result of a new Middle manager introduced for the expansion of Gladiator in the area. He had different beliefs and practices which were put into practice through his team. These practices were different from the dominant organizational culture in practice. Gregory (1983) supports this by suggesting that sub cultures develop as result of a new leader and his practices. The new Manager inducted a new management team and whose different assumptions and practices caused cultural changes which is supported by Rubenson & Gupta (1992) who asserts that, culture changes with a new management team which was further supported by Helms, M & Stern, R (2001). Pascale (1984) defined organizational culture as "The way we do things around here". These new ways and practices had a definite Impact on the motivation of majority existing FPA's who was mapped to this new team and who was familiar with the dominant organisational culture .Most of the FPA's couldn't accept this new culture of management and this resulted in a subsequent de-motivation and degradation of performance of the FPA's.
So which all factors of the new sub culture led to FPA de-motivation? To understand this let's take a single unit manager team of 10 FPA's into our perspective. The team consists of individuals coming from a variety of background (pensioners, Housewives, non resident Indians, business men, self employed etc.) and who gives importance to various needs like, physiological, social, self -esteem, recognition etc in different priority. So in what manner the new sub culture failed in manipulating the work environment? In order to get the best out of FPA s from different backgrounds, managers needed to manipulate the work environment to satisfy the various FPA needs. The new unit managers did not understand the FPA needs nor were they manipulating their work environment to get the best of the FPAs. They where only concerned about their own targets and was pressurising the FPA for achievement of their targets. This was supported by Mcclelland (1961) where he suggests to manipulate the work environment for different employee needs for achieving high performance. My personal experience and my view is that managers should manipulate their environment for getting the FPAs in their side. This would have helped in a better rapport creation between managers and the FPAs thereby helping the managers to attain their targets and at the same time the FPAs would be happy and motivated for the task.
The particular job the FPA's is involved in is high in achievement and all other rewards and pay are related to whether they achieve or close enough business. Because of this it was very important for the managers to keep FPA motivated by always creating a hypo on their achievements. This particular job varied over situation and time and was supported by acquired needs theory of Mcclelland (1961). The new middle manager developed a sub culture of not conducting unit meeting and branch meetings where normal culture was prone to such meetings twice in a month. This was a huge stage where the FPA's are recognised for their performance In front of over 300 FPA's in branch level. The hypo created in these meetings led to the further motivation of achieved FPA's and new FPA's were motivated to achieve newer heights like the achieved. The sudden change to this sub culture led to job dissatisfaction due to lack of recognition for their achievements and work. Herzberg 's motivation hygiene theory support this fact. (Schneider & locke, 1972) further supported this saying hygiene and motivation factors influence employee satisfaction. From my personal experience I do agree to both of them because pay and other rewards are given to all, but they do expect recognition for the work done through hardship. This can be universally applied on all FPA's.
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One other factor was the lack of identification of needs of individual FPA's by the unit managers in the new sub culture. As each FPA's are coming from a different backgrounds, their interests and needs varied for pay, recognition, achievement. Some very rich retired personals and business men who worked as FPA were only interested in recognition in the national level and representing the organisation in international stages. They gave little importance to pay and other rewards. Maslow says that individuals satisfy needs only in a hierarchical order. But (Mcclelland, 1961; Lawler & Suttle,1972,Rauschenberger et al, 1980) are against the Maslow's Hierarchy .I does agree to them as the needs and motives in this case varied over individuals. Some were only interested in recognition and self esteem and gave less preferences to pay and other perks. Maslow also says that needs once satisfied cannot act as motivators in future. I am totally against this view as from my experience I have seen that people value to get motivated many times for recognition of the same work in different situations and in different time. Unit managers in the new team were unable to understand the needs of FPA. This was a result of the failure of the middle manager in socialising the newly recruited unit managers. He dint socialise the new managers with senior members of the team to create attitude, mission and for understanding of the business. Wanous (1980) suggest the importance of socialising new members by senior members for adapting them to the organisational culture. I do agree to this suggestion as I was myself inducted and trained by the senior members of the branch, adapting me to the dominant performing culture of the organization. Adapting to the new sub culture by new unit managers resulted in a failure to identify the key factors required for successfully motivating and repeatedly getting the best performance out of the FPA's. This highly affected their performance and motivation.
Was there any influence of the new sub culture on the recruitment process of new FPA's? Recruitment of FPAs is a process which requires the unit managers to prospect for quality people. They should then be able to reach an agreement with the newly prospected FPA's for doing business. Then the FPA's are trained for financial products and in general about the finance industry following which they have an exam. Only after the successfully clearing the exam they are allowed to do financial business as per the regulatory body IRDA. The major issue in this lengthy process is that the FPA will not be receiving any payment during this initial period of around 75 days. Majority of the FPA's will be keen to getting an immediate remuneration after joining. But in the absence of pay the chances of the FPA being de motivated was high and the rate of attrition was high even In the dominant organizational culture , where there was proper methods to overcome this issue. The new managers tried to recruit FPA's but were unaware of what to do to maintain and keep the recruited FPA motivated because of the sub culture they were in. This Led to high de-motivation of FPA and as a result majority (7/10) of recruited FPA tend to drop training and exams without which they can't do business. The company was spending 6000 Rupees on each person irrespective of their Exam appearance. This resulted in the lowering of company profitability in terms of new business and expenditure. Additionally it minimised the entry of new FPA's in to the organisation and thereby reducing competitive advantage and high pressure for new unit mangers. The sub culture rejected the organisation ways and unwritten processes involved in recruitment. Couke & Rousseau (1988) advocates that counter cultures formed reject dominant organisational beliefs, process, ways and develop their own ways of propagation through a new leader or manager. This view absolutely fits into this scenario .I personally suggest that the recruitment process should start by the rapport creation between the FPA and unit manager. This will help in retaining the employee in the long run and maintaining and keeping the FPA motivated in the initial non-remuneration period.
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All the above views generate the interesting question: Is there any relation between motivation and pay for some FPA's? My humble answer is yes. Each of the FPA has to put in huge effort in suspecting, prospecting and closing a financial customer with an intangible product to sell. So from my experience the majority of the FPA's do expect a fair amount of pay for the work they put in. There were cases in which the payout was delayed or not provided due to cancellation. (Cameron and Pierce, 1977) suggests the importance of pay and rewards for employee motivation. The FPA used to face a huge amount of de-motivation during this period and the manager's role was to keep the spirits up. The new sub culture was devoid of the supporting attitude among the unit managers and caused issues of motivation in the FPA's .Here it is relevant to ask whether performance is related to motivation. In this case a definite link was seen between performance and motivation. Actually this can be further simplified depending on the reward given for performance. It was seen that when the reward is good FPA motivation is good and vice versa. Thorndike (1911 ) suggests that the repetition of performance is linked to the reward given for performance. If the reward is good the employees are motivated further and are likely to repeat the behaviour. I too agree to this view in this case of FPA. The reward for FPA was in many ways like pay, quarterly and monthly schemes and gifts, being sent abroad as company ambassadors etc. It's seen that the FPA's who are more successful in achieving these rewards, constantly try to repeat the performance and improve own levels. But Durst (1987) challenged the link between performance and motivation. This was further supported by Richardson & Nejad (1986) suggesting no link between performance and motivation. Milne, P (2007) countered this by arguing that rewards are positively linked to performance and interest in an organization .The views against are not fitted in the current case of FPAs and I cannot agree to the view points of Durst (1987) and Richardson & Nijad (1986).
So what was the normal reaction of the performing FPAs to all these major factors influencing their motivation in this new sub culture? The FPA began to compare their situations in Gladiator to other competitive organizations. This was fairly easy as many of their old unit managers who recruited them where middle managers in other companies .The FPA started to make comparison with the effort they put in and the various rewards and recognitions they now get and in other companies. Most of the times they were satisfied with the pay they were getting, but were not satisfied with the recognition they are getting. Lachance (2000, p. 3) suggested the importance of recognition in retaining the employees. Lack of recognition led to FPA de motivation in Gladiator and they started shifting to other competitors for the same part time work where they expected to get the better recognition and motivation from their old unit managers. This was supported by Adams (1963) equity theory. He suggests that people will make comparisons on their positions with similar persons in similar situations. The result will be that they will face inequity or equity. In this case, an inequity was found and the FPA started to seek alternative employments in the same sector .My view point in this case agree to this Adam's view point as I have seen lot of highly paid and potential FPA's shifting to competitors due to the de-motivation they faced in Gladiator's new sub culture. This also establishes the view point that, how a bad change in organisational culture, led to loosing of competitive advantage of the Organization and the same happened in case of Gladiators.
Let's have another look into the vanishing of the monthly unit meeting in the new subculture. What was the direct and indirect impact due to that? These meetings are the places where a manager can understand much about each FPA in person and understand their individual aspiration in their life. The manager can thus relate the FPA task in Gladiator to the aspiration of that individual in his life thereby attaining a motive for task. But due to the vanishing of this activity in new sub culture FPA was facing an alienation .Their task was not related to any of their aspirations by the manager. So even if a performing FPA get self motivated and achieve the aspiration, it was not likely that they will get motivated again for the same task under the same sub cultural manager. This is because the manager dint had any focus on the final outcome of the task. Vroom, V (1963) agrees to this by saying that the achievement of final outcome after pay is very important for the Instrumentality by which the individual get motivated again for the task. The managers in the new sub culture were not linking the pay to FPA's aspirations and their desired final outcome nor were they motivating them according to FPA's aspirations.
But the fact of existence and evolution of new sub cultures cannot be denied. In fact they are present and evolved in almost all organizations. Schein (1985) treat organizational culture as a single large unit. The paper analyses how a wrong sub culture evolution impacted the performance of an organisation in an area. The impacts were severe which led to the decline of motivation and performance of its own employees. Moreover it led to loosing of the competitive advantage of the firm. Gregory (1983), Rubenson & Gupta (1992), Wanous (1980) and Couke & Rousseau (1988) supported the impact of the sub culture formation on the organisation and it s employees. Their studies were supported and based the issues that happened in the Gladiator. Mcclelland (1961) (Schneider & Locke, 1972), (Cameron and Pierce, 1977) and Milne, P (2007) supported further on the impact of motivation, performance and recognition of the employees. The analysis helped me in understanding the issues happened in my own work environment and how an invisible organizational cultural change will have an impact on the employees of the organisation. It further portrayed the importance of proper culture in organisations and why it is important for the success of an organisation. When I return to work environment in future I will take necessary steps for identifying the proper way of doing work in an that particular organisation which will in turn help the motivation, morale and performance of at least my own employees. From this paper culture can be identified as a key factor for the success of any organization.
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London Metropolitan University, MBA