Peterson Fan is majorly dealing with an employee attitude problem. Employee attitude problems have a very negative impact on an organization and especially on the bottom line performance. Most often, employee attitude is attributed to poor work conditions, employee inadequacy and a lack of employee appreciation programs.
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In this regard, employees at Peterson Fan are not coordinated and often show up to work late. These are clear signs of an attitude problem among employees. This is the main problem Peterson Fan faces and drastic measures need to be taken to ensure the organization doesn’t further slow down in performance and experience low profits.
Firm’s Strategic Options
The first option management has is to get commitment from the employees through a consultative approach. Management therefore has the duty to explain its concerns to the employees so they may understand why it needs to change the status quo. The ideal situation in this kind of strategy would be that employees are supposed to exert some form of self-control and improve performance in the long run. This approach is better than blindly carrying out an order which the employees wouldn’t understand why its been employed.
However, this strategy requires mature employees in order for it to work. In a more ideal situation, the employees should see themselves as part of the managerial hierarchy and also be positively motivated for the strategy to work. Though all these factors are not present at Peterson’s Fan, management should use this strategy because it is better than the autocratic approach of giving orders to fire all poorly behaving employees.
The implication of this approach is improved employee performance in the long run. This approach is supported by social studies done by Douglas McGregor which emphasize that controls or punishment are not viable methods of solving employee problems.
The second approach the management could have undertaken was motivating employees into good work performance. Motivation should however be done through many structures such as improving the work environment, increasing the pay among other methods.
Management can also review its company policies to ensure they are flexible enough for the employees to feel motivated enough to work. They also need to equally review supervisory practices and hygienic conditions in addition to improving employee appreciation programs and increasing their willingness to promote them. In this manner, employees will feel there is room for growth.
The implications of this strategy may involve an internal restructuring of the company; especially if management is willing to consider employees as part of its management hierarchical structure. The strategy may also force the company to introduce new programs aimed at improving the motivational level of employees.
Additionally, this may involve a change in leadership styles and management attitude. This strategy is also supported by the two factor theory that identifies hygiene and the need to motivate employees as some of the most important elements in improving employee attitudes.
The company’s management took an authoritarian strategy of firing all poorly behaved employees without any consultations at an employee level. Theory X developed by Douglas McGregor explains this approach but it has been proved counterproductive in most modern practices. This theory is normally based on a fallacy that employees will avoid work at all costs because of their laziness and that typically, employees dislike work. The assumptions to this theory are largely false.
Instead, management should have discussed the poor employee performance with the employees before taking any drastic measure. The confrontational approach the company took was uncalled for because they should have first probed why the employees were behaving the way they were, so as to improve their level of satisfaction in the long run. In this manner, management would have known the root of the problem.
Management should therefore have made it clear to the employees what actions were wrong and which ones were acceptable. The consequences of a continuation of unacceptable behaviors should also have been openly communicated to the employees. In other words, even if management had decided to consider firing poorly performing employees, the least they could have done was to warn the employees and notify them of the consequences of a continuity of their behavior.
Management should also have been straightforward with the employees and refrained from exhibiting any threatening signs. However, before coming up with such solutions and consequences, they should have been willing to discuss their decision with all employees. This strategy is still supported by Theory Y, developed by Douglas McGregor.
The management of Peterson fan took a wrong approach. They should have adopted a consultative approach to dealing with disgruntled employees. This strategy has been proved to have better chances of success than the authoritative approach it took.
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Management’s approach is therefore not expected to yield much result in the long run because the strategy they adopted is based on false presumptions that employees are lazy and dislike work. They should have therefore discussed the problem with the employees and come up with an amicable solution.