The tactic influence used by Siegel in his attempt to combat smoking and obesity is pressure. This type of influence is manipulative and dishonest even though the intentions are positive. He imposes the issue of losing weight and abandoning smoking on the employees such that they are faced with the choice of either cooperating with the management or facing penalties which might be as bad as being terminated. The good part about this initiative is that they set the rule and provide support to any person willing to take it. This brings out another influence tactic which is legitimization. In this, they ensure that the actions they take are within the law or they format the decisions according to the legal standards (Dubrin, 2010). All the decisions arrived at in this context are consistent with the policies of the organization as well as the traditions of professional ethics.
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Rational persuasion is also used in some cases especially where the employees are educated regarding the dangers of excess weight and smoking to their health and the organization as well. When they are aware of this, the management can now take the action of ensuring that the laid rules in this regard are followed. Since smoking and excess weight affects the operations of the organization adversely, the management has the right of protecting the interests of the organization even when the individual affected does not care much about their health. That is why at some point the employees have to be pressurized to adopt these health benefit plans (Dubrin, 2010).
Suggestion for the weight control plan
One of the steps that Siegel should take to be successful in influencing employee weight control is to establish a gym on the organization’s premises. As a result of this, the employees will not have the excuse of not being able to access a gym or not being in a position to cater to the expense. He should also develop a weight-watching system where all the employees have their weight recorded after a certain period. This should be established as an independent department under the control of human resource management (Bass & Avolio, 1994). The person in charge should have a detailed record of the weights for purposes of follow up as this will enable them to know the trends of the employees. Some people tend to lose weight faster than others and so establishing such trends will ensure that such cases are handled differently.
There is no law against a CEO trying to influence the health of the employees. However, past cases indicate that people with obesity are protected under the American Disability Act. Despite the argument that this step was for the good of the employees and the organization, the CEO is not entitled to issuing threats to the overweight employees irrespective of whether the weight gain is voluntary or not. The employers must provide health services cover to their employees and owing to this they may be tempted to try and cut down on the health premium cost by imposing some personal health policies on the employees. This is fine as long as it does not threaten are not involved and the person is given the liberty to choose whether they want to follow the plan or not. For example, the management can set up a gym in the organization but they are not allowed to force the employees to attend the gym sessions. It is up to the employees to decide whether they need this or not. Obese individuals tend to develop many complications such as heart attack and most of the time their bodies are inactive (Bass & Avolio, 1994). For some of them, the level of obesity has reached the point where it cannot be reversed and imposing exercises on them only makes them more fatigued and in some cases may lead to a heart attack.
Bass, M & Avolio J (1994). Improving Organizational Effectiveness Through Transformational Leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Dubrin, A.J. (2010). Leadership: Research Findings, Practice, Skills. New York, NY: Cengage learning center.