Employee Satisfaction Proven Effects on Ultimate Success of a Business

Executive Summary

Business success is achieved through a working implementation of a multi-dimensional stratagem that will harness the efficiencies of the entirety of an organisation’s facets. Organisational fronts have to work together in synergy towards the accomplished of shared and declared goals. Many organisations that have downplayed the importance prioritising employee morale and satisfaction have suffered the dire consequences culminating in business failure. Various business management and leadership bodies of knowledge have various theoretical contributions that can and must be considered for application to champion business success through enhancing and sustaining the effectiveness and efficiencies of the human resources. The paper presents various theoretical tenets germane for ensuring business success through feasible human resource management models. The paper entails a business success case study outlining the merits of championing employee satisfaction.

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Organisational Theory and Employee Satisfaction

Organisational Theory and studies focus on the systematic explorations of; and analysis of how people as individuals and as groups function within organisational operational frameworks. Robbins, Stephen P. adds that, “In this view Human resource management is thus viewed as a strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organisation’s dynamic, versatile yet precious assets, the personnel who function within organisations both as groups and as individuals towards the accomplishments of organisational objectives.” From another perspective the theme of organisational culture which is crucial to employee satisfaction and production is defined as the aspect that entails the attitudes, values, beliefs as well as experiences of an organisation.

Organisational culture is largely viewed as the particulate assortment of the values and customs commonly shared by the people within an organisation, from personnel up to the top structures of management. Handy, C.B. notes, “These are perceived to the very influential in determining manners in which the people within the organisation will interact with one another as well as with external stakeholders of the organisation”.

The foregoing presents a feasible context within which personnel can be manipulated to have their enhanced for the effective functioning of the entirety of the organisation towards the accomplishment of shared goals and vision. It this outlined theoretical and conceptual framework, this paper presents extensive exploration of how the motivation of workers and the entirety of an employee satisfaction stratagem can enhance the productivity of an organisation and enhance the accomplishment of its shared goals.

Various mainstream endeavors in the domains of employee satisfaction and production have shown that aspects like team work can boost the moral of workers and thus impact positively on the company’s productivity. This runs with the understanding that team work has tremendous effectiveness in getting things done in organisations. This view is commensurate with McGregor’s X-Y Theory which is useful in illustrating the reasons why empowered teams achieve great results in their group undertakings.

In outlining nuances from McGregor’s theory Burns, J. M. (1978) states that empowering team members is about attitude and behavior towards the personnel than the essence of manipulating of tools and processes. He adds that, “Ways of enhancing the merits of teamwork border on fostering the aspects such as respect, enthusiasm and courage for personnel opposed to exploiting and driving people”. The diagram below illustrates tenets of McGregor’s X-Y theory in way of demonstrating its applicability to the dynamics and merits of the explored team work experience.

McGregor’s X-Y theory
Figure 1. McGregor’s X-Y theory

McGregor’s model suggests that Theory X which represents that authoritarian and repressive personnel management models results in crippling control of an organisation’s personnel which results in a lack of development and thus produces a limited and depressed culture. On the contrary the model’s “Y” dimension holds that liberating and pro-developmental personnel management models are the feasible paradigms for people management. The theory suggests in its core that much accomplishment is obtained through enabling, empowering and sharing of responsibilities across an organisation’s personnel “This is true of team activities designed to afford personnel to share responsibilities in various steam building task and activities. This enables employees to feel enthusiastic about their work and translates to a significant boost on a business’ productivity” (Johnson, G. 1988).

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Employees must be engaged in activities that will assist in developing their communicative and intercultural skills. This has been perceived to diminish the proportion of negative factors that can be classified in the McGregor’s theory as de-motivators. One of way of developing personnel in this dimension with the object of boosting and protecting their workplace morale entails the running of tram building exercise. These must be packed with various activities that will enhance personnel skills. One of the crucial components of the team building expeditions is the conducting of mind tasks.

The objectives no the mind task dimension are in tandem with the theoretical tenets of Frederick Hertzberg motivational theory. Hertzberg’s theory holds that key motivational channels in team work and individual performance in organisations is tied to the inclination of personal development or advancement that exists in individuals. Hertzberg’s work has largely been related to other insights coming from the psychology research work around domains of motivation. The motivational theory hinges on the proved inclination of personnel to various forms and degrees of desired Psychological development.

Leadership and Satisfaction

Organisational culture and HRM motivation and theoretical concepts and tenets can not be explored in isolation of other organisational aspects.

Bass, B. M. (1985) posits that in transformational leadership thrusts individuals will follow someone who is inspirational to them. He notes that, “A team leader with vision and passion has a lot to achieve since the feasible way of getting things efficiently done is to infuse enthusiasm and energy to team members and the team will function effectively ad a unit”.

Legge, Karen (2004) presents that transformational leadership which is largely inclined to the process and demands of organisational change, makes the team work experience a great and uplifting experience. He notes, “Transformational leaders will ensure that team members function with their full support and that everyone operates with passion and energy in all tasks. Transformational leaders want their followers to succeed in what they are undertaking”.

UPS Case Study

UPS is a US based global leader in the parcel service industry and has business network coverage spanning over 200 companies. By the 1990s UPS had grown way beyond everyone’s expectations. They were undoubtedly the best in the industry. UPS however aimed at making it to higher levels. They let the core business remain the distribution of goods whilst looking to branch out to different fields. They started acquiring already existing companies and tried to utilize these companies to serve their customers in better ways. By 1995, UPS had acquired a company called Sonic Air, and then was the first company to introduce ‘same day next flight out’ delivery.

UPS Human Resource Management and Production

The company’s remarkable record makes great case for the exploration of employee satisfaction and business success. UPS has clearly adopted a multi-dimensional strategy towards the achievement of goals on the aspects of effectiveness and efficiency by focusing on employee as well as customer costumer satisfaction. An interview with one of the company branch manager Lisa Bradshaw has highlighted some ways adopted by the company’s HRM organs to retain staff and minimise the impact of staff turnover.

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“Our employees feel appreciated because of the way we treat them and thus they feel motivated and loyal to the company. We offer a range of employee benefits including medical insurance (healthcare, dental etc) which also helps to reduce staff sickness, and other schemes such as flexible works, university scholarships and of course our employee shares plan that allows them to buy shares at a reduced priced which in turn gives them an interested in the company and how it performs’ (Lisa Bradshaw)

In addition to the foregoing the company has made use of meaningful ways of emboldening workers’ sense of belonging.

Dessler (1999) notes, “The expansive melting pot of cultures has lead to many accolades in the package service. The employees are the company most valuable assets. They share a sense our ownership because they are offered stock options. United Parcel Service has recently been awarded one of Fortune magazine Diversity Elite 50 Best Companies for African American, Asians, and Hispanics. In addition, Fortune also recognized United Parcel Service as the World Most Admired Global Mail, Package, and Freight Delivery Company. These accomplishments have led to better customer satisfaction, employee fulfillment, and overall success.”

Is notable that much to the reinforcement of company’s sustainability and competitiveness long term strategy, the HRM organ at UPS adopted various staff development programmes aimed at equipping workers for the evolving parcel service work landscape highly influenced by the surge of technological development.

UPS Leadership style and employee satisfaction

UPS has evidently thrust significant strides to convert itself from an operations-oriented business into a market driven industry. Recent findings suggested the need to achieve better external customer satisfaction leveraging on the merits of employee satisfaction. The steps taken were to improve the overall of all customers that utilize the services at UPS. Senior Vice President John A. J Duffy asserts, “Corporate Strategy is Industry leadership and growth are contingent upon anticipating customer needs and market dynamics long before they occur; and then aligning our organization accordingly by motivating our persons in various ways to enhance delivery”. This has been the launch pad for the company’s embracement of transformational leadership styles which are comparatively pro-change employee-needs-orientated than the likes of structural and transactional leadership models.

Transformational leadership has a powerful influence on job satisfaction both directly and indirectly through its influence on a person’s intrinsic task motivation (empowerment). Transformational leadership tenets that emphasise the essence of flexibility are deemed feasible for the prospects of adopting and implementing customer oriented organisational culture as well as masterminding complimentary staff development programmes.

Unlike transactional leadership, which has no effect on empowerment; transformational leadership model was adopted by UPS for the implementation of a paradigmatic shift process that enable the company to reorient its thrust towards employees and of course customer satisfactions above operation. The shift enabled UPS personnel to move off traditional and typically product-pushing approaches to employee satisfaction inclined approaches.

Although transactional leadership does have a direct effect on job satisfaction transformational leadership augments the effects of transactional leadership in remarkable ways. Passive management by exception is negatively related to job satisfaction and empowerment. UPS service delivery optimisation has been done in cognisance of attested relationship between service quality and employee satisfaction hence retention as well as the links between personnel communication and behavioral skills and customer satisfaction.

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Sustainability requires business management and leadership to be clairvoyant in a way of anticipating future hurdles and formulating feasible pre-emptive ways of surmounting them. As competition started stiffening in parcel delivery industry, UPS strived to ensure employees would have the skills, knowledge, and the experience needed to function well in increasingly complex work environments. This attests to the pro-change and predictive merits of the transformational leadership style embraced by UPS. IT can be noted that UPS leadership style together with other factors and variables has championed the fruition of the company’s growth and sustainability strategies, a further testimony of the merits of the job satisfaction on part of the employees in direct relationship to their productivity.

UPS has also made use of some operational and performance management models such as quality assurance to improve and maintain optimum service quality much to the satisfaction and subsequent retention of the company’s formidable clientele base. Burns, J. M. (1978) posits that “Operational and performance management do not only ensure high quality service but also imply satisfaction for employees as they endeavor to perform at their optimum capabilities stimulated by these management models”. The new more structured system on quality assurance enables business development to operate more closely with the sales people to resolve customer problems. In this performance management model the staff have a refined sense of purpose. When employees are set up to the link between their work and the results their morale is boosted and this has tremendous results fro an organisation’s efficiency and effectiveness as well as employee and customer satisfaction prospects.

UPS Bureaucratic management and leadership approach and employee satisfaction

The analysis of various operational models that UPS has adopted and implemented over the past years indicates that the company has adopted a bureaucratic management and leadership styles. Management entails in it core means of the attainment of organizational goals in an effective and efficient manner through planning, organizing, leading, and controlling organizational resources. Throughout the years UPS has continually fine-tuned its work and management effort to become an efficient giant in the package delivery industry. UPS has taken significant steps to transform itself into a market driven company with distinct customer focus.

No one management style can be thought to suffice in the execution of a company’s long term and short term plans w taking into cognisance the crucial aspect of striking a balance between vision and employee satisfaction. In an interview with the researcher UPS centre Manager for UPS Feltham concurs in the foregoing, “… I cannot give specific information on our corporate strategy but we do use common textbook theories such as Bases of Social Power, The Explanation of Core competence, Implementation Management, and Smart Management etc.”

Having mentioned that, it can be argued and noted that UPS has embraced a bureaucratic management style especially at the operational management fronts.

The bureaucratic approach of the company management system with taut rules and regulations, and a well-defined division of labour in each plant from top to bottom is key to the company’s success which is leveraged largely on the prioritisation of the worker’s need among other things”. (Schein, E.H. 2005)

Throughout the years the company has continually fine-tuned its work and management effort to become an efficient giant in the package delivery industry. UPS has taken significant strides to convert itself into a market driven company with distinct customer focus. They concentrate on maintaining and building long-term employee relationships. UPS has also made use of some operational and performance management models such as quality assurance to improve and maintain optimum service quality much to the satisfaction and subsequent retention of the company’s formidable human resource and clientele base.

Business success and employee satisfaction

Table 1. UPS Growth Financial Record and Forecasts

Earnings Growth Rates Last 5 Years FY 2008 FY 2009 Next 5 Years 08 P/E
Company +13.10% -14.10% +13.00% +11.80% 17.80
Industry +7.80% -9.90% +11.60% +13.70% 20.20
S&P 500 +11.80% +8.40% +6.60% NA 13.00

Earnings Growth Rate [Source: http://moneycentral.msn.com/companyreport?symbol=UPS]
Figure 2. Earnings Growth Rate [Source: http://moneycentral.msn.com/companyreport?symbol=UPS]

Table data indicate that UPS has enjoyed growth of plus 13% over the past five years against the 7 percentage growth of the parcel delivery services industry. Forecast presented in table indicate that UPS will post growth records of over 11% against the plus 13 % growth of the industry. The success of the business is of course attributable to its multidimensional business leadership and management thrust which has also significantly entailed and prioritised the aspect of employee satisfaction on its Human resource management thrust.

Learning opportunities as sources of motivation at UPS

UPS personnel have had expanded opportunities or career development in the enunciated company’s change thrust. “Through technological development oriented staffs training UPS workers share opportunities in diversifying into other related job domains as the company diversifies to offer more functionality to the corporate and social world whilst also boosting the morale of workers by giving the m the opportunity to transform into dynamic liveware” (Bass, B. M 1990). Data obtained from the published company literature on UPS operations designs indicated that the company cashes in on the aspect of providing Information Businesses Need: UPS presents Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) with the information they need in their attempts to keep ahead in their global expansion strategies. By using the technological interfaces that UPS has set up UPS businesses can trace the location of their purchased orders. The facilities also enable customers, both businesses and individuals to research international markets and business costs as well as calculate total shipping costs. By extension the provided services also include the enabling of customers to calculate duties and taxes as well as transportation charges.

A crucial dimension o the expansive framework as Outlined by Fuller and Unwin (2003) entails the participation dimension which brings an unpacking of the expansive and restrictive approaches to workforce development in relation to the ways in which personnel acquire expertise. The scholars posit that, “An expansive view of expertise entails the creation of environments which allow for substantial horizon, cross boundary activity, dialogue and problem solving. This aptly applies to the change and sustainability strategy of UPS which has expanded workplace learning opportunities for its personnel in particularly technology and customer-satisfaction related problem solving domains. Fuller and Unwin (2003) contributions on the dynamics and theoretical tenets of core work place learning models provide invaluable insights that can be applied to better under how workplace learning can perceived to be essential in complementing efforts of boosting personnel morale at enhancing their efficiency and effectiveness by empowering them with requisite skills in order meaningfully execute their day to day duties.

In light of the foregoing it can be argued in summation that the extensive bodies of knowledge related and relevant to the organisational management and leadership offer comprehensive theoretical thrusts and tenets perceivably germane to championing business success in reinforcing the importance of the prioritisation of employee satisfaction. Business leaders must on up to the challenges posed by the ever evolving human resource dynamic. Transformational leadership models present feasible models that further foster a pro-organisational change management and working environments in tandem with efforts to surmount contemporary on the path towards an accomplishment of the ultimate organisational goals. In a nut shell, business that highly regard employee satisfaction will have low staff turnover levels, high personnel retention levels and are more likely to meet their organisational goals as opposed to organisations that down play the importance of this management dimension.

Job satisfaction and (Dis) satisfaction in healthcare

Davidson et al (1997) in a research drive outcomes publication cite that in a survey in which healthcare professional were probed on the subject in the changes obtaining in the healthcare industry and the impact of changes on their job satisfaction, results show that 75% of the healthcare professional who indicated higher levels of job satisfaction had also correspond production trends. Davidson et al (1997) observes that the aspect of job satisfaction has always been an important indicator of health care professional performance, cost saving s as well as quality patient care. The scholars note that diminished job satisfaction and the incidences of burnout usually obtain in fast-paced job settings where-in nursing professionals’ duties are emotionally taxing and undergoing rapid changes. “Hospital job environments are particularly vulnerable to these factors within the turbulent precincts of managed care” (Davidson et al, 1997).

Attesting to the foregoing Hinshaw et al (1987) note that like most career lines, nursing professionals seek job fulfillment in particular and ever evolving nursing practice conditions. “In case where the nursing employees’ job fulfillment needs are not met crippling forms o dissatisfaction may follow. The cited scholars have noted that dissatisfaction may come out through the indication of low productivity, proliferating absenteeism, multiple work mistakes due to noncommittal performance, poor judgment, defensive conduct, and hostility and the diminished creativity as well as instances of job turn over.

Hinshaw et al (1987) perceive nominal levels of turnover as, “…the result of job satisfaction and commitment, which are in turn caused by organizational forces like routinisation, instrumental communication, as well as collaboration in an organization as well as demographics and the environmental force of parallel job opportunities.” Various literature forms have documented hard and quantitative data outlining the negative and pervading effects job dissatisfaction on the part of the nursing professionals in terms of transforming nursing practice, employment, remuneration, and morale.

References

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