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Can HPWPs be implemented in any organization? This question has continued to confound managers, workers and scholars across the globe especially when they relate it with their organizations. High performance work practice systems (HPWPs) are mechanisms that influence the organizational performance, the design characteristics, individuals and the collective outcome of a given organization.
The implementation of the HPWPs can be done in any organization provided the organization’s internal structure, design and practices comply with the procedures of the HPWPs. The procedure of the HPWPs requires that the organization offers two principle roles. First, it is the mandate of the organization to offer motivation to its employees among other opportunities like allowances and awards.
Secondly, it is the duty of the organization to enhance the internal social circle of the organization.The organization is charged with the responsibility of determining the social welfare of the employees through proper analysis of their social well being and interests (Szasz, 2007). Examples of organizations that embrace the implementation of the HPWPs include banks like the Swiss bank.
HPWPs cannot be implemented in any organization and therefore, one can disagree with the first argument. Most organizations do not employ the procedures of the HPWPs and hence experience failure in their implementation. An example of a company that has experienced failure is the Japanese Construction Company that I work for based in HK.
As a human resource manager and administrative assistant, I have realized that during the half year in which I have been working in this firm, the company has been faced with many challenges. First, the company’s staff is in a short term contract with the firm that runs till 2015 and this fact has made the firm to be strict on the utilization of resources on the staff.
Secondly, the turnover rates of the company are very high and therefore, the firm tends to develop strategies to reduce these rates by bringing down the expenditure. Thirdly, the staff only works in the company because the latter is stable and hence workers can secure their jobs and enjoy benefits like allowances, leaves and promotions.
In determining the relevant practices and benefits to be implemented as per the HPWP’s stipulations, two important hypotheses should be considered. The first hypothesis considers the use of positive tools to improve organizational performance. If a given company agrees to implement HPWPs, then it has to employ this hypothesis.
Benefits attached to this hypothesis include better individual and organizational outcomes in form of productivity and growth. My company disagrees with the hypothesis because it cannot meet the demands of the staff because the latter are bound by certain contractual agreements with the company. They employees are expected to abide by the rules and respect the contract of the company.
The second hypothesis evaluates the links that exist between HPWPs and organizations. It also assesses the link between workers and HPWPs. In this context, the relationship between HPWPs and organizational performance is portrayed to be greater than that of individual performance.
The conformity to HPWPs’ management practices by the organization ensures higher performance by the employees and consequent realization of better outcomes like increased profits. Any given company can succeed or fail depending on its compliance or failure in adopting HPWPs’ values of high performance, work practices, internal design, motivation, empowerment, efficiency, flexibility, productivity and competition.
Every organization, company or business individual aspires to attain the best standards of performance in the market for higher, greater and best performance to remain relevant in a competitive business world. Performance can be individual or collective based. Individual performance is evident when particular people within the organization outdo others in terms of results.
Studies have shown that in an organization like the Swiss bank, Japan Airlines and the Fly Emirates, different individuals are assigned different roles and they are expected to perform to their optimal levels. Positive results can only be realized when there is a line of difference between the different individuals within their firm. Collectively, the performance of an organization like ours can be determined homogenously.
No particular worker is expected to assume individual success especially those who are involved directly in the field. The honor mostly goes to the management. If a particular branch within the same link produces higher performance, the management headed by the project directors and engineers take the entire honor. The same case also applies when it comes to lower performance which is not usually a criterion of HPWPs.
The blame shifts to the management. The management of the organization is expected to offer direction, guide performance and project results to the workers in order to realize positive outcomes. An organization’s performance is defined by the work practices it employs in its management and production.
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A healthy work practice system can be evaluated through its staff. The staff of any given company should be motivated socially, psychologically, economically and physically. According to HPWPs, a socially motivated member of staff is capable of producing better and distinct performance. He or she is capable of performing better than other members within the firm through creativity and alteration.
He or she is able to use simple ideas and translate them into positive prospects. The social welfare of any given employee like family provisions, food, clothing and housing should be taken care of by the organization. If these aspects are fulfilled, the individual becomes settled and is able to concentrate towards the performance of the organization.
Many a times, individuals fail to perform because the organization does not meet their social needs. A positive correlation exists between poor performance of employees and the failure to meet their social needs by the organizations like good housing facilities and medical care. Food and security for poorly facilitated employees becomes a challenge because they have to look for it themselves.
Every worker in our firm is usually expected to use his or her own means to meet the social needs. The organization can only offer salaries and wages till the termination of the project. Issues involving the family are not addressed by the company and are not therefore worthy of consideration. HPWPs recommend that companies should fulfill the psychological needs of their staff members.
A worker should be in a stable psychological condition to perform to his level best. A disturbed mind is bound to produce poor results and performance. The employment of specialists and counselors can help the staff especially those faced with family challenges. Psychoanalysts can also be outsourced from outside the company if a given company does not have its own counselors.
The Swiss bank for example allows its staff to enjoy the benefits of psychological services like the ones offered by major hospitals and schools. The employees are able to express themselves especially on their fears and aspirations. Once the psychological needs are met, the staff is able to concentrate on achieving the organizational goals.
My company’s work schedule is a rigid one and every worker is expected to perform during the working hours. No time is allocated by the company to cater for the psychological needs of its employees. At the end of the day, what counts for the company is the amount of effort put in the project and not the individual satisfaction and levels of complaints by the employees.
Economic success appears to be the most considered factor by many organizations and other aspects like employees’ needs are treated as secondary. The expenses incurred by many organizations are expected to be transformed into large profit margins and outcomes. It is the role of the organization to meet the economic needs of the staff and organizational units.
My company highly prioritizes the economic commitments of the organization and disregards its financial obligations to its workers. The company employs strategies that ensure utilization of minimal resources in order to achieve maximum results. An economical expenditure is an approach adopted by the firm to boost its input and profit indexes. The company remits high amounts of taxes to the Japanese government.
This fact is necessitated by the big amounts of revenue that are accrued by the company. The physical needs of the staff and employees should be met in order to recommend a higher performance system for the Japanese Construction Company. Physical needs are also manifested in the provision of a good working environment by any given company.
A good working environment can be achieved through the availability of an efficient organizational structure and layout, better piping and sewerage systems, eco- friendly ambience and a good infrastructure and telecommunication network. A good land layout and structure allow easy movement of workers and materials. The environment offers security to both the employees and the resources.
A good telecommunication and infrastructural network facilitate steady economic development by ensuring there is efficient supply of goods and services, all being handled by the organization. An eco-friendly atmosphere also increases efficiency in production by prioritizing the environment and health of its workers and these aspects reflect the requirements of the HPWPs.
The internal design of an organization refers to the structural framework that a particular firm employs. The framework may be evident through staffing and general structure of the organization’s facilities. Staffing is a fundamental unit in ensuring high organizational performance.
The arrangement of different workers depending on their type of work, experience, knowledge and expertise improves the operations of the company because of a smooth flow of activities and a well defined communication structure. An efficient staffing program maintains coordination and preserves respect among different individuals.
For instance, the Swiss bank employs a competitive staffing system. In the bank, every worker has an identifiable role, duty and responsibility. Workers can be identified by the work they do, their departmental units and by their dress code and identification tags. The manager’s office is always clearly labeled and any one can also identify him through his identification tag.
It is difficult to identify the workers of my company because there are no parameters that have been set up by the company towards enhancing a workable staffing system and a clear organizational structure (Lum, 2011). All the workers usually work in similar looking aprons making it difficult to even distinguish the supervisors from the other workers.
To the company, the concept of work refers to the carrying out of activities stipulated by the company and how industrious the employees can be. The company does not consider it important to define the roles or duties of its employees. Only the senior management personnel in the office have a program for duty allocation. All the staff is expected to work collectively under similar work conditions.
The company mainly insists on getting positive results and making profits. The general internal structures of an organization may be analyzed by the arrangement of the different offices or subunits. Departmentalization is an important aspect of the organizational structure. In departmentalization, the organization is divided into units that deal with similar tasks (Kritek, 2002).
A particular unit or department is headed by a specific individual. He or she acts as the manager and oversees the performance and activities of that particular unit. He is responsible for its operation and creation of its short term goals. A marketing manager in a Swiss bank is responsible for holding the marketing procedures and strategies. He is responsible for creating awareness on marketing techniques.
My company in most case does not engage in departmentalization especially in the lower fields or construction sites. At the construction site, all workers engage one another and control the machines without anyone specifying a particular role except the experts and experienced ones who supervise their performance.
Various theories of motivation have tried to explain what motivates an individual. Abraham Maslow’s theory of management depicts that it is the unsatisfied need that motivates a given individual towards fulfilling it. The unsatisfied need may be inform of food, clothing or shelter. Construction workers in my company are only capable of working hard if their basic needs are yet to be met.
Their unsatisfied needs define their motivation to work. In his theory, Maslow outlines needs into a hierarchy comprising of basic, social and self actualization needs and achievement. A firm’s strategy may influence the employees’ performance by the method it employs in motivating them. Motivation comes in form of rewards, commissions, allowances and recommendations.
The Swiss bank for instance employs approaches in motivating its employees towards self dependence. The bank gives recommendations, awards, field trips, educational programs and allowances for extra work done by its employees and staff. In this regard, the employees are motivated to work harder, smarter and be result oriented. My company has its own motivational program but it is usually unpredictable or undefined.
Certain employees may benefit from allowances and awards while others may succumb to overwork. The HPWPs advocate for economic, social, political and psychological empowerment of all its employees. A powerful firm is strong enough to face challenges in market competition and performance. Power in an organization should flow through a straight chain that starts from the management to the junior staff.
Once the management is empowered, the junior staff becomes strengthened too. The empowerment link is stimulated by the motivation factor. Organizations should comply with the legislation and policies of the government for them to realize reliable benefits. For instance, the Japanese Construction Company has to work under the legislation and authority of Japan and any other state in which it may be based.
Conformity to the law for any company ensures freedom to do business and make money for the company (Reardon, 2004).
Flexibility and quality of production
Flexibility in an organization should be integrated into job operation and decision making. The HPWPs base the job operation of a firm on training, selectivity, information, sharing and compensation. Flexible work schedules and conditions should provide an enabling environment towards the achievement of organizational goals for employees.
The organization is expected to offer training and compensation to its staff based on their levels of performance. It is also supposed to offer justifiable compensation based on the amount of risk the organization or individual incurs. A high amount of compensation should be offered when a given employee incurs a loss or risk. Information empowers workers and every staff personnel should be entitled to the access of information about his organization.
Information about the company can be availed to the employee in form of training programs, education tours, memos and technology. Easy and fast decision making is a crucial parameter in assessing the benefits and motivating factors of both the workers and the management. A flexible organizational structure offers the management and working staff the opportunity to grow professionally and improve their skills.
The employees can expand individually or collectively as a firm. An opportunity for growth is what most professional organizations advocate and many employees desire. The need for growth is an important factor towards high performance of employees in given organizations.
The growth of the employees may be evident in the management and in the subsectors. In the Swiss bank for example, the workers are offered an opportunity to grow. Interviews are commonly held on term basis to assess the potential of employees. If the employees are found to be qualified, the organization promotes them and consequently, their salaries and other benefits are improved.
The evaluation programs help the organization to make better decisions in terms of whom to recruit and at what time. The company is also offered an opportunity to adjust its work schedule for the interest of the workers and customers. Flexibility can also be manifest in the manner in which the organization addresses its challenges and disputes.
Disputes should not bring about reduced performance in an organization. Effective and efficient measures should be adopted to solve the conflicts without negative effects on the wellbeing of the organization. The Japanese Construction Company may at times neglect the affairs of its workers by allowing them to solve their differences outside the organizational framework (Saylor, 2012).
This approach may have a negative impact especially to the social and psychological wellbeing of the organization. The value of productivity has been linked to that of higher performance since the parameters involved are similar. To target its market links especially the outside market, the organization is supposed to focus its attention on the quality of products and services it offers to the clients (Plunkett, 2008).
A manufacturing organization should consider motivation of its employees towards high productivity and flexibility in its internal structures. In the manufacturing sector, the interpersonal evaluation of employees should be evaluated regularly. In this regard, there should be a relationship between the employees and customers.
The two parties play an important role in marketing and consumption of an organization’s products. They are responsible for conveying information about the firm’s quality and productivity. My company tends to thrive on productivity and quality. The management is always at the fore front in encouraging productivity.
This aspect can qualify the company for HPWPs but the other values like performance practices, flexibility, internal structure and empowerment disqualify the company based on its rigid working schedules and its policy of using minimum resources on employees.
The Swiss bank on the other hand qualifies for HPWPs under the values of quality production because it employs the policy of provision of quality services to both its employees and customers (Lewis & Roehrich, 2009). In this respect, approaches are adopted to inspire and motivate both individuals and work teams towards a common goal of fulfilling their organizations’ objectives.
Teamwork is highly appreciated and practical knowledge is offered to the employees in handling customers to ensure that their sales’ volumes are uniquely high.
Theme of performance
To derive positive outcomes, the HPWPs’ values have to be integrated into a given organization for the firm to qualify for the practices (Jeong & Nor, 2007). Manufacturers should appreciate the value that HPWPs can bring into their organizations. Organizational performance is a key factor for any organization given the high levels of competition in the market regardless of whether a company incorporates HPWPs or not.
It becomes clear that a firm that meets the values of productivity, quality, competitiveness, flexibility, efficiency and motivation qualifies for HPWPs’ implementation. Without the HPWPs’ practices, firms risk losing not only their workforce but also customers and potential marketers. The HPWPs have shown a diverse and intense contribution toward economical stimulation of organizations.
Trade and marketing are crucial variables in the economic development of every nation. All firms and companies within a particular state should embrace HPWPs to enhance economic development of the particular state (John, 2010).
I therefore advocate for the adoption of HPWPs in every firm and company that is determined to thrive economically and maintain an advantage over its competitors in both local and international markets. Economic success of organizations is linked to their products and marketing strategies. It is also important to appreciate the benefit accrued from individual performance.
A firm cannot motivate its employees to perform highly if the workforce is mistreated or works under oppressive conditions. The work schedule of a given firm should be adjusted in line with the economic, social, psychological and physical needs of the workforce. Even in the building sector, the policies for flexibility and productivity can be implemented if the employees’ wellbeing is considered.
Business competition has existed in the field of commerce for centuries and without effective competition, no business, trade or discipline can thrive. Every organization that is able to carefully align its goals and objectives towards fulfilling the market requirements becomes competitive in the market and is able to attract many clients towards the purchase and use of its products or services (Fry, 2001). Business competition serves to strengthen the practices and operations of businesses.
Organizations that cannot lay down mechanisms of improving their services and products continuously risk losing business to their counterparts. In HPWPs, business competition forms a viable basis for creation of a competent workforce. Organizations should engage in the training and motivation of their employees to derive optimal productivity from them.
Competition within a firm can be experienced in two different ways and these are the internal and external forms of competition. Internal competition also known as intra-specific competition is exhibited when the struggle for performance is done within the organization. It is evident when workers and staff compete among themselves.
The employees of a given organization can be motivated by factors like allowances, leaves, awards and credit facilities. The motivating factors can be the main driving force towards this form of competition. Intra-specific competition has an advantage of improving the organizational performance to a level that is worth noting especially to the outside world (Dumville, 2001).
Competition elevates performance and facilitates quality of both goods and services. Intra-specific competition is a crucial parameter towards economic prosperity and achievement of higher performance in the organization. The external form of competition also known as inter-specific competition underscores the importance of diversity in an organization.
The inter-specific competition involves the outside world as its basis for high performance. In this form of competition, different firms that deal with the same product or service compete for the top honor and prize. They compete against one other for the market share. Underhand strategies can at times be used by the companies to achieve market domination.
This type of competition may at times stimulate publicity and create the need for use of advertisements. The companies can use a lot of resources and advertising strategies to convince their clients that their products are the best in the market in an effort to outdo their competitors (Aaker & McLoughlin, 2010). Advertising text is carefully presented and the marketing strategies are aggressively implemented to convince the clients.
Reputation becomes a subject of interest in this type of competition. Certain firms work towards protecting their reputation and subsequently reducing the popularity of their competitors. Other firms work towards asserting their quality and credibility in inter-specific competition.
Both intra and inter-specific competition are important in achieving the organizations’ market goals. The two methods have to be coordinated in order for them to achieve a self sustaining market venture for the organization. Stiff competition among organizations engenders improved marketing strategies. The Swiss bank is known to use both intra and inter-specific competition in the attainment of its market prospects.
Intra-specific competition is demonstrated within the organization where the workers compete among themselves for top honors, respect and benefits. The clamor to outdo their colleagues in a fair and amicable way without compromising the reputation of the bank is a vital aspect of the workers of the Swiss bank (Brown, 2001). In this regard, the given individuals employ strategies that define their strengths over others.
The high performance work practice systems may or may not be implemented in any organization. An organization that intends to integrate HPWPs in its structure must define and consider the value of productivity, higher performance, quality, flexibility, efficiency and motivation (Barrow, 2005). The firm has to put effort in motivating its workforce in order to target its market links.
The theme of performance becomes crucial to a company that has embraced HPWPs. The consumers or customers are able to appreciate the performance and the efforts the firm puts in ensuring its success.
The Swiss, Barclays and Standard Chartered banks are effective organizations that qualify for HPWPs and their services. My company on the other hand fails in a number of practices like performance, flexibility, empowerment and productivity. In most occasions, the organization is reluctant to invest its resources on workers or staff. Its focus is based on outcomes and results.
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