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Sikorsky Aircraft Company’s Employee Relations

The company covered in this blog is Sikorsky Aircraft. The company manufactures commercial and military helicopters. The company has its headquarters in Strafford Connecticut and has branches in other states like Texas, Florida, and Alabama. The company has a large number of employees. This makes effective communication within the organization a priority. The company values its employees a great deal. This is why the well-being of the workers remains a priority. There are still improvements that can be made to the company’s organizational structure. Most of these would be aimed at improving the internal communication of the company. This company was to be the subject of blog responses that have been submitted over this semester.

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During the second week of the course, the assignment was to take a personality test. According to the test, my personality fits into introversion, sensing, feeling, and judging categories. There are several implications of having such a personality. For instance, as an introvert, it is usually harder for me to forge many new relationships that may help in furthering my success. Besides, my personality set lacks intuition. As a result, my decision-making process is mostly delayed. I am also prone to procrastination. This quality is not always a burden. Sometimes it is a great asset too. For example, by not relying on intuition, all my decisions are subsequently professional. Previously, I have had problems with judging others. However, I have been able to master this shortcoming. The main lesson in this week is that one’s personality determines his/her performance. It also determines what work positions are best suited for each individual.

The third week’s assignment was to access the attitudes that were prevailing among the employees at Sikorsky. The behaviors resulting from these attitudes were also covered. According to the blog, Sikorsky’s employees have varying attitudes. Some of these are positive attitudes while others like anger and misery are negative. Positive attitudes bring forth good behavior while negative ones are the source of bad behavior. Attitudes are assumed in the earlier stages of life. This makes it harder to change an adult’s attitude. This is why Sikorsky has embarked on an attitude-changing mission. One way in which the company accomplishes this is by ensuring good workplace decorum. Those with positive attitudes are highly rewarded. The company tries to accommodate those with somehow negative attitudes and helps them change for the better.

The fourth week covered employee motivation at Sikorsky. The company was found to have a good employee motivation policy. One way of achieving this is by ensuring that the communication process works smoothly. At Sikorsky, communication between departments is enhanced to ensure that all employees stay motivated. The company also takes care of its employees as if they are members of the same family. Such personal care is a major source of motivation for employees. This personal touch is emphasized especially during times of huge workloads. Employee motivation can be enhanced in still other ways. These include making the work environment more relaxed. This would in turn increase the productivity of the employees. One way of achieving this in my company is by putting television monitors in lounges where employees take breaks. These monitors can also be used as a communication tool by the company. In this way, employees can feel like they have a sense of belonging. Employee motivation should be the main priority for any company. The level of motivation is directly related to productivity. The heads of Sikorsky Aircraft realize this and put a lot of effort into it.

Another thing that was learned through these blogs was the difference between formal and informal communication within an organization. My company practices both forms of communication. However, instances of formal communication are usually more common. An example of formal communication at Sikorsky is the memos that are usually sent from managers through supervisors to the employees. This chain also carries oral information. Informal communication, on the other hand, is usually through random encounters between any two workers. For instance, a supervisor can request an employee to work overtime without going through the formal process. This request would still be valid. Other types of informal communication take place within the company. These usually take the form of gossip. This communication form usually has no impact on a company’s operations. However, it can at times have slight impacts on some workers’ productivity. Informal communication is sometimes beneficial because it offers some employees a healthy outlet for their emotional burdens. The lesson during this week was that a company should ensure that both formal and informal forms of communication are well defined. This would ensure that employees would know how to handle the information they receive from any of those forms of communication. There are instances when even formal communication is abused. Company heads should refrain from this practice.

Week six featured an interesting topic on the Abilene paradox. This is when members of one team fail to come to an understanding of an issue. An example of an incident when a team disagreed was during a volleyball match. Consequently, the team lost because of this disagreement. Another incident was during a group assignment. In this incident, the group was able to come to an agreement and deliver the assignment on time. Both incidents indicate that disagreements do not usually end the same way. When a group triumphs over such disagreements, there are usually good results. Abilene paradox refers to scenarios in which people are not able to articulate their feelings and emotions. Instead, most people turn to personal attacks against members of their group. If a company does not make it possible for employees to express their emotions and opinions, disagreements are likely to emerge. Moreover, the people occupying leadership positions in an organization should understand the dynamics of this paradox. One way a company can ensure this is by arranging retreats. During such retreats, employees might feel more comfortable and healthily express their feelings.

Decision making within the company was covered during the seventh week of the course. In Sikorsky, decisions are arrived at through a competitive process. Cost considerations also have a big impact on this process. For instance, the company recently decided to start environmental conservation efforts. This decision was made after two considerations. The first was that the decision was in itself a cost-cutting mechanism, and the other was the popularity of this decision. The company’s executives classified this decision as strategic. This is because the effects of this decision are far-reaching. The rational decision-making model specifies a good decision-maker as one who goes through a series of steps before making a decision. Poor decision-makers, on the other hand, make quick decisions and hope they did the right thing. Good decision-making is all about making the best possible choice. Decisions can also be made by incorporating an individual’s creativity into the process.

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During week eight, the topic was the relationship between leadership and power. It was established that power and leadership are intertwined. At Sikorsky, power is evenly distributed throughout the various departments. To avoid concentrating power in one station, the company’s organizational structure ensures that most leaders do not possess absolute power. The organization also encourages collective decision-making. The leaders at Sikorsky possess power but in good rations. The organization recognizes that achieving power is a skill, not an art. Most of those who possess power often achieve it without realizing it. Before the company elevates an employee into a power-wielding position, there has to be a thorough vetting process.

Week nine’s topic was a continuation of the previous one, and it tackled the uses of power. The relationship between power and culture is also covered. In my organization, those in positions of power influence others systematically. For instance, workers are mostly organized in groups with every group reporting to a specific supervisor or leader. There are differences in how different leaders use their power to influence others. Some do it positively, and this results in motivated and contented group members. In Sikorsky, some leaders have been dismissed due to misuse of power.

The last topic in this course was the organizational structure. The blog entry reveals that Sikorsky’s organizational structure is in three levels of operation. There is the top management, there are the supervisors, and then there are the rest of the employees. This structure is predictably efficient because it is time-tested. This model has also been used by various organizations since the early nineteenth century. For instance, in this structure, employees report to their supervisors. It is a prediction most people can accurately make.

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