European Club is currently experiencing a period of crisis characterized by low employee morale, dissatisfaction, and, as a result, poor performance. There is an urgent need for the Human Resource Manager to facilitate an improvement in the existing strategy. The understanding of the approach that will enable the highest productivity among employees and ensure their retention in the workplace calls for considerations of how individuals learn and what benefits their development. There are various perspectives on learning, and understanding the differences between them can allow distinguishing between the approaches taken to train employees. Cognitive learning theory, for example, studies the way in which people think because mental processes influence the manner in which information gets absorbed. The theory suggests that both external and internal elements can impact learners. In the workplace setting, employees will benefit from asking questions, failing, and thinking out loud when expressing their thoughts and opinions of the situations that are occurring. Such strategies can help employees understand how their thought processes work and how they can become better at dealing with workplace challenges.
Behaviorist learning theory is another approach to learning and suggests that the way in which individuals behave depends on their interactions with the environment. The external forces represent the dominant influence in theory, with positive reinforcements serving as a tool for encouraging or discouraging behaviors. In the workplace, positive reinforcement takes the form of tangible or intangible rewards for good employee performance, while not meeting the set expectations of a job may entail either tangible or intangible punishments. Workers that receive positive reinforcement from their managers are more likely to sustain good levels of performance moving forward, which is a direct consequence of the behaviorist learning theory (WGU, 2020). Because there are different approaches to learning that may explain the various ways in which individuals learn and develop in their profession, it is expected that HRs and senior managers will evaluate employees to determine the approach that benefits them the most. It is important to note that there is no all-encompassing strategy that is guaranteed to help all employees learn effectively and show high performance, which calls for a personalized approach to the issue.
Methods of Organizational Performance and Appraisal
Performance appraisal is a method that does not only benefit workers. Organizations that employ the results of performance appraisal to set apart the areas of strength from which they can benefit. Also, they can help point directions for leadership development, succession planning, and performance improvement. Standardized performance assessments enable organizations to aggregate, measure, and analyze the results to show where performance is strong (Dailey, 2016). Such areas of strength then represent specific benchmarks and opportunities for sharing best practices for other organizational areas. In terms of the identification of training needs, the results of the evaluation may offer indications that workers are collectively scoring low on specific items that are directly connected to the immediate responsibilities of their jobs. These can become target areas for the development and implementation of training programs intended to boost competence and performance (Dailey, 2016). Finally, performance appraisals can serve roles as inputs to succession planning by identifying workers with specific competencies that an organization considers valuable and improved and needed for the future. Such a process can help highlight external factors that influence the need for new skills.
As there are several reasons for conducting performance appraisals, there is also an abundance of methods that can help boost employees. For instance, management by objectives (MBO) is a performance appraisal method in which managers and employees work together to identify, plan, organize, and communicate objectives on which to focus within specific periods of appraisal. The approach is beneficial because it allows for matching the overarching organizational goals with workers’ objectives while also confirming and validating objectives using the SMART approach. MBO is best used for measuring the qualitative and quantitative output of senior leaders at organizations. The Assessment Centre Method is another example of performance appraisal that enables workers to get a clear picture of how others perceive and observe them, as well as what impact this has on performance. The core advantage of such a performance appraisal is that it will not only assess the existing performance of a worker but also help predict future job performance. It is also beneficial for enhancing participants’ knowledge, boosting the thought process, and improving efficiency. Besides, it can be adjusted to meet the demands of different roles, competencies, and organizational needs.
360-degree feedback is a method of performance appraisal that evaluates workers based on the feedback collected from their circles of influence, such as peers, managers, clients, or direct reports. The approach is beneficial not only for eliminating bias that can occur in performance reviews but also for offering a comprehensive understanding of workers’ competence (Bracken, Rose, and Church, 2016). 360-degree feedback is differentiated into five crucial components. The first component is self-appraisal, which provides employees with a chance to reflect on their past performance and understand their strengths and weaknesses. The second component is managerial reviews, which are performed by managers as a part of the traditional approach to appraisals. The reviews usually include worker ratings given by supervisors as well as team evaluations or programs implemented by senior managers (Bracken et al., 2016). The third component is peer reviews, which allow coworkers to help determine employees’ capacity to work in a team, take up various tasks and initiatives, as well as be reliable contributors to the team. Although, it is important to consider the problem of friendship or animosity between coworkers, which may contribute to bias and the lack of objectivity, which can distort final evaluation results.
The fourth component is the subordinate appraising manager (SAM), which allows employees’ subordinates to evaluate their performance. Despite the benefits of such an approach, it may be limited by the fear of retribution, which may skew the results of the appraisal. The final component is customer client reviews, that is represented by performance appraisals conducted by the clients of an employee being evaluated. Even though client reviews can give a better perspective on employee output, they can be limiting because clients or customers cannot offer a perspective on the processes and policies that are relevant to the organization.
It is recommended to incorporate the 360-review feedback into European Club’s HR activities because of the need to strengthen the retention of personnel and to identify the areas of improvement that will be addressed during training. It can help support individuals’ awareness of their performance and the influence they have on stakeholders and an organization as a whole. The approach serves as a key for initiating the activities related to coaching, counseling, and career development, all of which are lacking at the club as identified by the workers of the organization. In addition, once HRs understand the activities that need to be implemented based on the findings of performance appraisals, they can promote the culture of self-development by embracing change management (Adler et al., 2016). Performance appraisals that are being done consistently allow for integrating performance feedback into the organizational culture and facilitate the promotion of engagement and retention among personnel. However, HR should consider several possible challenges that occur during 360 appraisals, namely, leniency in performing reviews, cultural differences, increased competitiveness among staff, lack of adequate planning, as well as possibly misguided feedback that workers or their managers provide.
Motivation theories represent the bulk of research dedicated to understanding what makes an employee work harder to accomplish a specific outcome or goal. Such theories are especially relevant in the organizational context because motivated employees are more productive, and higher levels of productivity entail greater profitability of the business. There are several branches of motivation theory, although there are two core factors that help understand how workers get influenced and motivated in the workplace. Specifically, extrinsic factors represent the set of factors that take place externally, such as bonuses for hard work or punishments in the form of sanctions for not meeting the expected objectives (Feldman, 2011). Intrinsic factors are such that characterize the desire of an individual to satisfy their human needs. For instance, an employee may desire to please their manager to reach personal and professional goals.
Because all employees are different, there is no single strategy that will motivate them in the same way. For example, financial rewards can be very powerful to improve their performance both on a short- and long-term basis; however, this applies only to a few of them, and there is no impetus for other workers to increase productivity to get financial rewards. Positive incentives, represented by financial bonuses, or negative incentives, represented by the fear of being laid off for failing, can affect people differently (Steinhage, Cable, and Wardley, 2017). Some individuals may get inspired to get better to achieve the established goals, while others may experience severe anxiety due to fear, which can have an adverse impact on their productivity in the long run. Therefore, it is part of HR’s job to understand what makes employees motivated and what does not. While it is a complicated task, the benefits that it will bring over time can be highly important to organizational success.
The recommended reward system for the club should entail the use of up-to-date information and proper techniques that help align the level of performance to the rewards with which workers are presented as a result of their work. The HR and senior managers will work collaboratively to develop, implement, and revise the program of rewards. Besides, it is necessary to involve all employees, or representatives from different positions, to facilitate communication between employees and managers about the reward process. Specifically, a targeted and individualized system is the most likely to bring benefits to the organization. For employees who have identified that extrinsic rewards are the most encouraging to them, such a program of rewards will be implemented. For workers who are more likely to get motivated intrinsically, the approaches that fit within their perspective will be applied. This is necessary for ensuring that individuals see the rewards that are given to them as worth the effort. Managers should learn to value and appreciate their workers, and this can be possible by engaging them in the process of developing rewards.
The performance-related pay (PRP) system will encourage high-performance levels by linking performance to pay with the effort to facilitate increased engagement and retention. The focus is placed on encouraging high performance first, supported by effective performance management systems, with payment being used later as a means to help achieve the goal (Ogbonnaya, Daniels, and Nielsen, 2017). For creating a sustainable and high-performing workplace, the variety of financial and non-financial rewards should be carefully designed to ensure that they can support and are being supported by the PRP in place. Notably, the introduction of PRP in the public sector setting causes some issues, namely, the possible difficulties measuring the separate efforts of workers in their roles. Besides, there is a possibility of some public sector workers being more motivated by non-financial rewards, which may limit PRP implementation. Therefore, HRs are presented with the strong challenge of determining which employees will benefit from the PRP system and which will not.
Employee Voice Management
When it comes to the management of employee voice, there are initiatives for incorporating employees’ opinions in organizational decision-making. With the global decline of workers; participation in labor unions, there has been an upward trend in the development of strategies supporting workers’ voices. The traditional approach associated with using employee voice includes the exit, voice, loyalty, and neglect model (Budd, Gollan, and Wilkinson, 2010). Thus, staff with high attitudinal commitment is more likely to use their voice. To increase the use of employees’ voices at the club, its leadership should facilitate consistent two-way communication, active listening, and proactive participation. Therefore, transformational leadership is recommended to get embedded into the culture of the organization because it will allow the creation of dynamic processes for generating high levels of motivation and participation by using employee voice.
Managing Employee Stress
There are several factors contributing to employees’ stress at the organization. For example, the outdated system of operations hinders efficiency and makes workers frustrated at the time it takes to complete processes. In addition, the strictly defined hierarchy stifling creativity and proactivity is problematic because it makes employees unhappy with their managers. To manage workplace stress at the organization, it is recommended for the management to avoid setting unrealistic expectations, which often result in unfavorable workplace conditions and increased pressure. Another recommendation includes increasing flexibility for employees to allow them to spend more time and effort on reducing stress, participating in worker wellness programs, taking regular breaks to rest, as well as taking care of themselves.
The final point for consideration related to the improvement of HRM at the European Club relates to the ethics of managing a diverse workforce. Ethical management of a diverse workforce entails promoting equal opportunities among the existing and potential workers to be promoted or hired based on merit and not due to race, gender, or ethnicity. A diverse workplace is important because it allows for capitalizing on a variety of experiences, perspectives, and skillsets, which cannot be achieved without a diverse workforce (Hofhuis, van der Rijt, and Vlug, 2016). As suggested by Forsey (2018), it is crucial that an organization has diverse perspectives to allow the team to brainstorm innovative and unique solutions to complex problems as well as challenge the traditional way of thinking. To manage a diverse workforce, it is recommended to implement targeted and individualized management because the same approach applied to each worker can have a negative impact on diversity. It is also necessary to overcome any possible biases in the process of assessment and interview to make sure that the process of candidate selection is free of prejudices and that workers are promoted and hired based on merit.
To conclude, European Club is due a human resource management overhaul to facilitate the improvement of relationships between employees and their employers. The company is challenged by immense employee dissatisfaction and stress, which contributes to high rates of turnover and, as a result, decreased performance. The HR at the organization should work on creating an environment of transparency and flexibility in which the voice of every worker is heard and considered. Promoting a diverse workplace is essential in this scenario because it will allow facilitate an abundance of new ideas, perspectives, and experiences, which, in turn, can help increase performance and employee retention.
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