“Verizon Communications Inc., headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.
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Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, serving more than 93 million customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world” (Verizon, 2010).
The company was established in 2000 as a result of the merger between Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE. Corp Verizon. The company had a competitive edge from the very beginning on account of the fact that the two originating organizations had experiencing considerable market exposure and had developed into well-known brand names.
The company has evolved significantly with a human resource capital of over 222,900 employees across the world (Hoovers, 200). The company offers a wide range of telecommunication products and services. These products encompass wire-based as well as wireless products and services. The company is led by the highly experienced CEO McAdam Lowell.
I am responsible for a diverse set of responsibilities in the company. This diversity in responsibility is present on account of the fact that I am a junior manager in the supply chain department. As a result, I find myself facing challenges of different nature on a daily basis.
However, in essence, senior personnel in the department identify the responsibilities of a junior supply chain manager to incorporate the identification, organized acquisition and subsequent distribution of information and goods in order to facilitate the operation of the supply chain.
In specific terms, I ensure that the supply chain for raw material remains efficient and operational without any hindrances. The raw material I acquire is subsequently used for the production of the company’s products. In order to ensure that the raw material supply chain keeps running smoothly, it is essential that I contribute to the efficiency of the supply chain process on a consistent basis.
I generally attempt to make this contribution by actively seeking out problem areas and developing strategies to ensure that they do not come up again. I also engage in the development, implementation and monitoring of supply chain policies.
As a result of my position in the company, I was able to become aware of numerous organization-level problems. The problem statement will serve to provide the paper with the direction for the research. The problem statement for this paper is: Why is job satisfaction in employees low? “Employee satisfaction refers to the employee’s sense of well-being within his or her work environment. It is the result of a combination of extrinsic rewards, such as remuneration and benefits, and intrinsic rewards, such as respect and appreciation.
Positive changes in the HRM systems and the way in which managers and supervisors interact with staff on personnel issues can increase the level of employee satisfaction. While a high level of employee satisfaction cannot be absolutely tied to higher levels of retention, motivation and performance, a low level of employee satisfaction is a definite source of low levels of performance” (Management Sciences for Health, Inc., 2009).
There are a number of triggers that can lead to the development of job dissatisfaction. In some cases, the employee may experience an event that unsettles the employee and contributes to the establishment of a decision to leave the organization for the first suitable alternative that comes by (Barling & Cooper, 2008, p. 200). In other cases, the job dissatisfaction may come down to a level where the employee may choose to leave the organization without deciding on an alternative course of action before leaving the organization.
Job Satisfaction and Performance
Employee job satisfaction plays a significant role in determining the efficiency with which employees commit their efforts to the organization. Under normal circumstances an employee’s job satisfaction represents the combined effect of a number of key variables. For one, employee job satisfaction relates directly to the clarity in the employee’s job description.
One of the most fundamental sources of employee job satisfaction is the absence of a concrete job description (Jennifer, 2009, p. 92). This leads to confusion in the employee’s responsibilities and results in the development of chaotic situations during times when the employee’s performance is of crucial importance to the organization. However, it is extremely important to realize that employee job satisfaction is not directly related to employee performance.
Employee performance is only one of the many variables that are influenced as a result of employee job satisfaction. It can therefore be deduced that low performance does not always indicate low employee job satisfaction (Larson, Lakin, Bruininks, & Braddock, 1998, p. 25). The literature analysis revealed that employee performance is frequently associated with job satisfaction and this mistake often leads to major mistakes in strategy development.
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Intrinsic and Extrinsic Influences
Job dissatisfaction can be caused as a result of a number of reasons. While modern day research has asserted that job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction may not necessarily represent two extreme opposites, it is imperative to note that the presence of job dissatisfaction is often caused as a result of some of the extrinsic and intrinsic characteristics of the job.
The job satisfaction and/or dissatisfaction that an employee experiences, is generally considered to be the combined influence of these extrinsic and intrinsic variables. These extrinsic variables may include the working conditions in which the employee is functioning, the remuneration that the employee is receiving, the security of the job in question, and the career path that the employee perceives is open to him/her (Sullivan, 2009, p. 276).
Intrinsic characteristics of the job that have been established to be key influencers of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction include variables such as the self-actualization that the job provides to the employee and the characteristics of the job that instill a will to grow in the employee. In addition, the employee’s job dissatisfaction/satisfaction may also be influenced by the achievements and recognition that the employee manages to acquire in his/her occupational capacity.
Job Dissatisfaction across the Hierarchy
A major source of job dissatisfaction is the conflict between co-workers. This conflict can take place horizontally across the hierarchy as well as vertically. According to research, the most common hierarchy-associated job dissatisfaction comes as a result of the presence of a relationship between a superior and a subordinate that develops friction as a result of the differences between the two (Hollenbeck & Wright, 2007, p. 336).
In such cases, the self-esteem and pride of the disputed co-workers can create considerable complexity and job dissatisfaction often deteriorates at both ends. Both the employees begin to feel that they are not being taken seriously. Another case in which job dissatisfaction can harm an organization’s growth is if the subordinates begin to perceive that their managers do not consider them to be significant parts of the organization.
In such cases, employee performance may also experience consistent fluctuation and job dissatisfaction may increase dramatically. In essence, management related issues can have a significant impact on job dissatisfaction. Furthermore, management related issues demand attention in order to ensure that employees engulfed in them do not enter a downward spiral of job dissatisfaction.
Job Satisfaction and Turnover
A discussion on job satisfaction cannot be considered to be adequate and complete without highlighting the relationship between job satisfaction and turnover. Researchers have indicated that the relationship between employee turnover and job dissatisfaction is not as strong as it is generally perceived to be (McKenna, 2000, p. 280; Kail & Cavanaugh, 2007, p. 458).
However, this does not mean that there is no relationship between decreased employee satisfaction and turnover altogether. As employees continue to experience low job satisfaction, the idea of leaving the organization moves from being an idea to becoming an opportunity. The perceived opportunity cost of leaving the organization experiences a significant decrease.
Mobley’s Turnover Process Model
Once employee experiences job dissatisfaction, the initial train of thought invites the employee to evaluate his/her value. This then proceeds to evaluate the opportunity cost of switching from the present organization to another organization. The employee ten initiates a search for better options and continues to evaluate them (Barling & Cooper, 2008, p. 197).
Every option that appears to be feasible further enunciates the job dissatisfaction and the process eventually comes to a conclusion with the employee quitting the current job and switching to the alternative.
In The Verizon Perspective
This dimension, when placed in the perspective of the current subject, is of extreme importance because Verizon has come a long way in a very small period of time. This exponential growth has taken place on account of the invaluable talent that the company has managed to acquire and retain over the last few years. If low employee job satisfaction brings up employee turnover, the company will lose one of its most important strategic assets.
Yet another disadvantage of employee dissatisfaction is that the employees can move from being an asset to the organization to becoming a liability. In such cases the employee may cause harm to the organization. As a result an employee suffering from employee dissatisfaction should be treated with careful consideration. Unless the source of the job dissatisfaction is addressed the employee cannot be expected to commit to the organization for long instances of time.
The problem at hand has been created on account of the fact that the employees are not being able to perceive the growth opportunities that are open to them (Robbins, 2004). This form of job dissatisfaction is generally observed in cases where the employees feel that their growth in the organization has reached a stand-still and there are no opportunities for them to move up the corporate ladder.
In such cases, the employees tend to give only partial attention to their responsibilities and begin evaluating alternative job openings in other organizations in an attempt to find positions that promise them more growth opportunities. In addition, the development of this attitude also places employees in a position where they choose to take relatively less interest in projects that demand commitment and consistency.
This can also be seen as an influence of the job dissatisfaction on the employees. Verizon has come a long way in the past few years and such an attitude amongst the employees can place Verizon in a high-risk position where it may lose key employees in the most sensitive of times.
In addition, the recent global recession has made the job market shrink which has only resulted in an active desire in employees to ensure their job security. Employees now tend to switch readily to jobs that promise them more growth perspectives in an attempt to avail the opportunity while it is still available.
There is a need for dynamic leadership in this problem. The management is faced with a problem that should not be present at an organization-wide level. The presence of job dissatisfaction can be dealt with easily when it is present at an individual level or at a department level. However, it becomes extensively complicated when the problem is present at an organizational level. This is because the resolution of such a problem at the organizational level requires wide-scale changes to be implemented.
The problem becomes more complicated for Verizon because the job dissatisfaction in this case is because the employees in the organization perceive that the organization has no more growth to offer them. In order to eliminate this problem, the solution needs to be one that instills the employees with self-actualization and allows them to realize that the organization recognizes and subsequently rewards their hard work and efforts.
However, since the problem encompasses that job dissatisfaction is present at an organization-wide level, there is a need to ensure that the measures implemented bring a decrease in the job dissatisfaction and do not simply lift up the scale so that each employee finds himself facing the same dead end at the end of the day. The management needs to establish the precise nature of growth that each employee desires in order to provide them with a solution to their job dissatisfaction.
The first solution considered for the purpose of the resolution of the problem of increasing employee job dissatisfaction is that which borders on training employees. The solution asserts that the employees experiencing job dissatisfaction should be given the opportunity to pursue training in marketing techniques. This will not only enable them to function better but will also allow them to experience positive intrinsic and extrinsic exposure.
The solution rests on the rationale that by training the employees, it will become more convenient for them to see their potential career paths and to come closer to achieving self-actualization (Vashisht, 2006, p. 159; LaRock, 2010, p. 135). The solution also rests on the premise that the employees are experiencing job dissatisfaction on account of job related variables and are dissatisfied with their position and prospective growth opportunities in the organization.
The second possible solution is one that seeks to take a direct and uncompromising approach to the removal of job dissatisfaction. The approach asserts that employees should be given higher salaries and commissions in an attempt to reduce turnover rate. The solution rests on the understanding that the monetary motivation is the strongest of all motivations and should therefore remove job dissatisfaction (Jensen, 2001, p. 203).
The solution also entails that the organization will seek to adopt a remuneration policy that will give the employees higher rewards for profits made. The solution recommends an organization-wide increase in pay-scales and will rely significantly on the company’s profitability. The solution is one that seeks to proceed by implementing an organization wide change in an attempt to address individual issues.
The third possible recommended solution is that a relatively specific approach should be supplemented with a case-to-case basis approach. This potential solution asserts that the employees should be allowed to discuss the issues that are causing the generation of job dissatisfaction.
This can be done through monthly or bi-monthly meetings in which the employees are given a chance to discuss the factors that are causing job dissatisfaction. Once these factors have been singled out, the management will then take decisions to ensure that policies and changes are made to address the factors causing job dissatisfaction.
This is an approach that seeks to function by taking individual employee job dissatisfaction reasons into account and then creating a number of generic solutions to address them (Bornat, 2006, p. 193; Webb & Grimwood-Jones, 2003, p. 55). This will eventually lead to a corporate setup that will be tailored to the needs to the employees experiencing job dissatisfaction.
Considering the three possible solutions given above and the literature analysis, it is clear that an appropriate solution in the subject case would be one that seeks to take a specific approach. The third solution fits the bill.
The first solution does not qualify because it will address only a specific set of factors influencing job dissatisfaction. The training will allow the employees to function better but may not necessarily address issues such as inter-organization conflict and the like.
The second solution cannot be implemented because it takes a very broad approach to the problem. While it may allow employee turnover rates to decrease, it will not facilitate in the removal of the need for training and the need to facilitate better coordination between co-workers.
As a result, there is a need for a solution that can take individual job dissatisfaction causing factors into account so that each can be addressed. This approach will not only enable the organization to acquire a better understanding of the demands of the employees but will also serve to provide every employee a sense of value (Baumeister & Vohs, 2004, p. 16).
The process will instill a sense of individuality in the employees and will also enable the company to acquire an understanding of employee trends. The information acquired from the interviews will also come in useful to address future observations of job dissatisfaction.
This solution will also adequately answer the problem statement because it will allow the company to acquire a clear perception of the individual reasons that are resulting in job dissatisfaction. Once the causes for the presence of job dissatisfaction have been identified, the organization can create categories from the causes collected in order to make it easier to address the problems.
While this approach will prevent the organization from channeling extensive resources towards efforts designed to meet the needs of every individual employee, it will also enable it to address employee needs with a considerably specific and individual-based approach.
The solution has been chosen on account of the increased need to address the employee’s specific needs. However, it cannot be denied that the company has a vast human resource capital and therefore if the assessment of individual employee needs will require the organization to engage in a move that will require the channeling of extensive capital towards human resource development.
As a result a favorable approach would be one in which the human resource management department will be assigned the responsibility of carrying out organization-wide surveys and interviews to assess employee satisfaction. These surveys and interviews can be developed to facilitate information collection and processing. The surveys can be customized to acquire an insight into the intrinsic and extrinsic variables that are of key relevance to job satisfaction.
This case study allowed me to benefit on multiple levels. At a personal level, I felt a sense of accomplishment after solving this case study. Thanks to the requirements of this case study I became aware of the invaluable knowledge that this course has provided me with. I now feel significantly confident about my managerial skills.
At an academic level, the study allowed me to acquire a better understanding of research design. I was able to assess the efficiency of my research approach. I observed that by the end of the research I had streamlined my understanding of research approaches.
At a professional leadership level I was able to determine how it is possible to identify the problems that can befall the best of business practices and how these problems can be eliminated through careful consideration. In addition, I also learnt about the relevance of the role of a manager in such problematic scenarios.
In terms of the contribution that this case study made to my knowledge of managerial development, I consider this case study to have been extremely useful. Thanks to the time I spent researching for this case study, I was able to understand the function of managerial development to an organization. I was able to understand how decisions made for managerial development can have organization wide implications.
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