In the business field, there exists a strong link between management and productivity. Planning, co-ordination, and organisation of the entire workforce as well as the implementation of various production policies play an integral role in the success of a business franchise. In firms where the relationship between employees and the management teams are friendly and work oriented, the production levels tend to increase. However, in situations where the management teams and the junior employees exhibit frosty relationships, the productivity levels go down. In this essay, I will explain the need for management teams to develop viable management policies to ensure success in an organisation. Consequently, I will explore the probable problems that may arise in cases where management fails in this role.
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Employment of best practice techniques in the business firms plays a significant role in productivity. Customer service delivery forms the most important aspect of business; therefore, every commercial entity strives to develop the best methods of customer satisfaction. Firms with proper employee management strategies enjoy better chances of executing this goal. In the latter stages of this paper, I develop an in depth analysis of the link between employee motivation and productivity in any business field.
Statement of the Problem
Amazon’s Swansea Warehouse remains the largest business supply chain in the world. The firm stocks more than 100million different items and boasts of owning the most efficient services to the consumers. The service delivery of the warehouse relies upon the customers making online orders. Employees sort out the orders, pick and package, and finally deliver the orders to consumers. This system involves a series of movement among the casual employees of the warehouse. The physical nature of the movement that employees undergo when sorting, packaging and sending the items for delivery is hectic. The work conditions remain harsh and the terms of references are exploitative. Customer satisfaction goals of the warehouse override the employees’ conditions. Temporary employment terms and contract with agencies for employment of casuals worsen the situation due to the inability of the casual labourers to develop a collective bargaining body.
Amazon’s major objective is to guide customers in getting their orders on time. This increases efficiency of the operations. Employees with medical problems have to suffer dire consequences of taking more than three medical leaves within three months. Termination of contract and dismissal is at its peak as management seeks to impress customers at the expense of developing a motivated workforce. Unemployment rate in the area only worsens the situation. Several jobless individual continue to take up the jobs available at Amazon Warehouse even if it provides salaries that are relatively less than the salaries they earned from their previous employments.
In this case, there exists a vacuum between employee motivation and retention systems within the firms’ employment policy. The warehouse management team is too preoccupied with the convenient delivery of the items to the customers. Proper structures are indispensible for reversing of the scenario to introduce employee encouragement structure and motivation session from the managers. This will come at a relatively cheaper cost even though the resulting workforce will be more productive than the current demoralised employees.
Managerial Perspective of the Statement of the Problem
Productivity in workforce is the basic measure any employer use for recruitment of employees. A happy working environment translates to high productivity, thus resulting into happy customers. Happiness among employees revolves around the conditions at the workplace. This implies that managers must develop management techniques and policies that ensure proper working conditions. Most employees demand for fair, respectful, and healthy working conditions. In such set up, they remain productive and motivated at work.
Stress free employment environment, adequate salaries and proper remuneration, high degree of job security, proper work-life balances, and workplace relationships among the management team and the junior employees play an integral role in improving the performance of the workforce. These factors coupled with adequate and reasonable physical working condition creates an ideal working condition that every employee admires (Alvesson & Willmott 1992).
Amazon warehouse’s management team remains adamant in developing policies that put the above conditions into reality. The permanent employees in this business firm may enjoy short-course refresher trainings to improve on productivity albeit less frequently, but casual employees receive none. Safety of the casual workers remains the sole responsibility of employees, as they take care of the safety gear at the workplace. The employees purchase their own safety boots, reflector jackets among other safety equipment. If the management team develops a system of providing employees with such equipment, the chances of high motivation among employees increase resulting in more productivity. There exists a communication barrier between the junior employees and the casual junior employees at the warehouse (Fritz & Omdahl 2006).
This inadequate audience demoralise junior employees; this lowers productivity. Therefore, senior managers in the warehouse must develop a regular communication system with the junior employees to develop a common force towards the goal and mission of the warehouse. Adequate visibility with the employees remains necessary in building trust among the junior and senior employees. When managers develop techniques for rewarding exemplary performers in the warehouse, chances of productivity levels increasing remain high since the level of staff motivation increases.
Relation to Marx Theory
The system of management presented in the warehouse properly depicts the Marxists system of management. Karl Marx in his work on the study of organisational culture developed from a simple critique of the human relationships at schools (Segal 2007). From the structures that existed within the school management and the students’ body, Marx argues that the organisational structures are simply tools designs to maximise profits. This seems to define the mission and ambitions of the management team at the warehouse. Their main goals remain profit maximisation with little respect to the staffs’ working conditions (Segal 2007).
Marxists theory believes in rationality; the ability of all the stakeholders in a system to get a common working ground developed through a system of consultations. This school of thought argues that human relations fail to challenge the exploitative nature of the organisation structures as evident in the warehouse. For this reason, managers use the irrational structures in place as tools to exploit and control workers. Marx, being a communist in thinking, believes that most organisation structures that offer inadequate space for employees are system developed in the capitalism paradigm, which mainly focus on the future of the organisations in question. All these descriptions define the existing nature of organisation structures present in Amazon Warehouse (Bakan 2004).
Critique of the problem
Management strategies present in this case study remain superfluous and with little regards to employee status. In order to correct the situation, proper policies are necessary. The management team must clearly define the workplace practices and improve employee working conditions. Managers of the warehouse must develop viable policies on issues such as recruitment, retention and promotion, disciplinary actions on rogue employees, dismissal, and compensation that directly affect employees’ working conditions.
In the current competitive world, flexible working conditions provide a basis for attracting productive employees. These conditions revolve around paid work and family care, education support, recreational and fun activities for employees among others. Similarly, flexible work schedules, bankable hours, reduced workload, and leave of absence are essential components of a real work-life balance (Reilly 2012). In the warehouse, even a medical leave has the potential of resulting in dismissal of an employee. The payment rate on the hourly basis remains relatively low and the physical working conditions are tasking. Markedly, all these create a recipe for medical problem that arise from stress and excessive workload. This leaves an employee with the sole goal of maintaining his/her job even at worst health conditions (Costa et al. 2005).
For example, a sixty-year-old man still works as a casual at the Amazon Warehouse despite his wearing age and deteriorating health conditions. In the health sector, the safety of employees remains questionable due to poor safety equipment that they acquire for themselves. The warehouse management literally lacks a system of viable work-life balance for the employees.
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Training and Development
Employee development is necessary for success of any firm. Trainings and refresher course of the emerging trends in production are indispensable in any organisation to keep up to speed with the rising competition in the business world. Such trainings are also vital in improving the performance of employees in their current employment positions as well as preparing them for future responsibilities (Olzbilgin 2009).
Similarly, trainings help in the orientation of the new employees into the job descriptions to ensure high and continuous productivity. In the warehouse, all these systems are absent. The newly recruited employees find themselves learning the responsibilities at the workplace. Inadequate direction and little orientation remain evident. For the casual workers, training and short course on productivity remain a pipe dream. In addition, the warehouse lacks mentoring programs within the management structures, coaching and professional support for the junior employees (Davenport & Harding 2010). Even though the permanently employed individuals undergo training, the frequency of the training fails the test of the expectations since they occur after a long duration.
UKRD Group Case
Happy, committed, and motivated workers play an integral in the success of most of the best companies in United Kingdom. The sole source of motivation and encouragement is the concrete relationship between the senior management staff and the junior employees. In the UKRD Group, the senior management spends at least two weeks every calendar year to visit different radio stations in the country. Lawler (1992) in his works on creating a highly involved workforce explains that such visits play fundamental roles in bonding the senior managers and the junior employees as well as creating an avenue for assessment of the previous year performance. Similarly, the stations keep and update monthly profits or losses to keep employees with short-term targets.
Doherty and Guyler (2008) in the guide to work place analysis explain that communication and information sharing between senior staffs and their juniors creates ample environment responsible for trustworthy relationships since the junior employees feel part of the team responsible for the organisation’s success. This further improves their level of motivation, hence increasing productivity. The ideal employee any company should yearn for is one with an open mind, definite goal, and outgoing team player with adequate communication skills. Such an individual possesses the ability to create a flexible working condition and communication channels within the organisation’s structure (Cadwalladr 2013, p. 19).
Increased employee satisfactions, reduced absenteeism, and increased staff competencies and skills are some of the benefits that come with proper implementation of employee friendly management techniques. In order to achieve all these necessities at any workplace, an assessment of an employee’s needs is indispensible. The management team needs to understand the specific priorities and needs of all employees (Earley & Erez 1997).
In this context, managers stand a better chance of understanding the situations under which individual employees seek employment, hence creating a better avenue for understanding employees’ behaviours in future. Similarly, the management team needs to develop a holistic approach to the development of business and management policies that they intend to execute. This ensures that all the problems experienced at the execution stage are minimal. The inability of permanent employees to interact with the casual employees creates an environment of poor performance (Zeytinoglu 1999).
In this easy I have explored the importance of clear-cut management strategies in any business field. Similarly, I have explained the need for employee motivation, especially by the management team. Moreover, I have explored how leadership structures determine employees’ feelings towards their seniors and the business. Adequate leadership structures, therefore, is a basic ingredient for employee motivations.
Work-life balance, employment benefits, and personal growth opportunities add spices to the ideal employer-employee relationship. Once an organisation puts in place adequate and viable structures, success of the organisation is foreseeable. High productivity and customer satisfaction all emanate from a committed and motivated workforce. Therefore, it is imperative for all organisation and business franchises including the Amazon Warehouse to develop viable organisational structures that take into account employees’ conditions in order to achieve business success.
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