Employee Motivation Theories

Employee Motivation

Employee motivation and motivation in general can be defined as a psychosomatic process that directs a person to behave and react in a way that helps them to satiate certain unfulfilled needs (Latham G., 2011). Motivation is what provides the stimuli and direction towards which employees can execute their duties (Lauby S., (2005). Motivation can be broken into three distinct categories that depend on each other for success. First of all, individual choices are driven by persistence, which reminds them of their unfulfilled needs. The choice taken will make an employee change their behavior in order to be in the right direction that would allow them to achieve those needs. Thirdly, there is the upholding of that behavior, which will go on until those needs and desires are achieved. Motivation however occurs differently in varying situations. Achieving a specific goal requires a particular motivational strategy and that same strategy cannot be used to achieve another goal.

Employee Motivation Theories

Need-Based Theories

According to Gary Latham (2011), employees draw their motivation from unfulfilled needs that they need to satisfy. Were it not for those deficiencies, then people would never have enjoyed work. The motivation to work therefore is directly equated to human needs. Once those needs are fulfilled, then the morale to work goes down. These theories were however opposed and criticized strongly by many researchers (Latham, 2011). They argued that individuals did not receive motivation to work due to fulfilling certain needs. Research conducted by these groups reveals that apart from just fulfilling their needs, many people engage themselves in jobs for enjoyment. An artist will not just draw a beautiful portrait of Zeus just to sell it and make money, but also to practice and enjoy what they do best (Latham, 2011). Examples of need-based theories include Maslow’s theory of needs, McClelland’s theory, ERG theory and Herzberg’s two factor theory. This review will only discuss the Maslow’s theory of needs and Herzberg’s two factor theory.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

This theory views motivation as a desire that changes over time and these shifts are governed by different levels of needs. These needs are the actual drivers of employees to work hard in order to achieve their goals by all means. According to Hiam Alexander (2003), these needs are organized into a certain hierarchical order that one must follow in order to reach the highest levels. While coming up with this theory, Maslow suggested that needs already satisfied can no longer motivate someone to work hard. Once they achieve their purposed needs, employees begin to drift towards fulfilling needs that are situated at a higher level in the hierarchy. This theory was however criticized strongly because one does not have to follow the order as put by Maslow in satisfying their needs. The order that Maslow proposed starts with biological and physiological needs at the base, followed by safety needs, belongingness and love needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

As much as Maslow tied employee motivation to hierarchical needs, Hiam believes that recognition, involvement and participation are among some of the factors that motivate a worker at the workplace.

Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory

According to Crouse Norm (2005), factors such as involvement, achievement, autonomy, participation, delegation and recognition are what increases the motivation of employees towards achieving a certain goal. Apart from that, hygienic factors such as working conditions, salary, and policies also influence the motivation of employees. As Crouse (2005) further states, poor hygienic conditions and poorly managed administrative policies lowers the morale of workers in an organization.

This theory suggests that employers should play the role of motivating their employees and is key to employee motivation. They should strive to ensure that all the factors involving working conditions go in favor of the employees – considering these factors will improve performance and bring better results for any organization. Both the two factors proposed in this theory work alongside each other.

No factor is independent on its own. Once the hygienic factors are fulfilled, the motivational factors can also be satisfied. Trying to satisfy only one set may lead to the lowering of work morale among workers, though. After doing away with the dissatisfaction in hygienic factors, employers should look forward to involving their employees in participating and developing programs. This will influence how they will perceive themselves as a part of the organization, with their due respect and recognition. This will make them improve their performance in the workplace, for they will not only increase the returns but they will also make the working environment appear more healthy and active. The model below demonstrates how Herzberg’s two factor theory is carried out.

Employee Motivation and Motivators

Ego/EsteemJob Enrichment
Self ActualizationJob Enrichment
Hygiene FactorsJob Enrichment
SocialJob Enrichment
SafetyJob Security
PhysiologicalSalary
Employee Motivators

This theory was also criticized severely by Bruce Anne (2006), who argued that it did not serve the motivational needs of employees universally. Employees experience socioeconomic conditions differently and this makes them behave in variance. Herzberg’s theories assumed that the socioeconomic experiences of all employees are the same.

Process-Based Theories

Unlike need-based theories, these theories focus mainly on job aspects that motivate employees and change their behavior towards achieving their needs. According to Bruce (2006), these theories look at how employees fulfill their needs, while at the same time bargaining between behavioral choices that will suit their motivational patterns.

Cognitive Evaluation Theory

It is believed that extrinsic factors are independent from intrinsic factors in employee motivation. However, this belief does not work in contemporary organizations, because such intrinsic factors like participation and involvement are closely linked to extrinsic factors like financial incentives in the motivation of employees. This is where this theory comes handy, for it provides dependence between the external and internal factors and merges them also in the realization of an employee’s needs. Cognitive evaluation theory argues that satisfying internal factors first before proceeding to satisfy the external factors does not work. Both these factors are supposed to be satisfied at the same time for any improvement to occur in an organization.

Giving employees financial incentives and denying them an opportunity to participate and involve themselves in organizational matters such as decision-making will not motivate them fully towards achieving the goals and objectives of that organization (Latham, 2011). Some of the internal factors to be considered in employee motivation include appreciation of self-worth, employee autonomy and rewards for the achievements made. Organizations should consider such factors before coming up with job designs. The model below demonstrates various reward aspects.

Importance of Aspects of Reward

 ControllingInformational
Proposition 1Locus Of CausalityFeelings Of Competence
Proposition 2External/InternalSelf Determination
Intrinsically Motivated Task Behavior

Model adapted from Latham, 2011

Cognitive evaluation theory can help organizations to attract talented employees because of the commendable pay and the participation of employees in decision-making.

Goal Setting Theory

This theory was proposed by Edwin Locke and Latham in 1968. They viewed goal setting as a major basis and foundation of employee’s motivation. According to Latham (2011), the intention and objectives of an employee in a workplace is innate and that is what drives motivation. The more complex the goals become, the harder the employees work, thus improving performance. Organizations are therefore supposed to set more challenging goals for their employees in order to improve productivity. Motivation is the process that controls a person’s behavior in realizing and achieving certain goals and objectives.

As Latham further states, this theory only looks at the increasing complexity of goals with other factors remaining constant. In case there is an interruption in other contributory factors, then the challenge to achieve those goals becomes void. Apart from that, employees are supposed to accept the challenge of achieving their needs as presented to them by the goals set. Failure to accept those challenges will instead reduce the motivation towards performance.

Leaving the employees to set their own goals and objectives will result in better performance than when they are set for them by their organizations. According to Purcell John (2003), that autonomy makes employees believe in themselves and set goals that will be achieved more readily than if the goals had been set for them by others. Purcell (2003) further suggests that an employee who is restricted too much is less likely to get motivated than one that is left to participate in goal setting and decision-making processes. Contemporary organizations are supposed to therefore understand the needs of their employees before setting goals.

The Relationship between Managers and Employees

According to Ritter Joseph and Anker Richard (2002), the relationship between managers and their employees greatly affects motivation. Managers are supposed to come up with strategies that will ensure that employees remain motivated all the time. One related strategy is formulating a plan where the employee can have live forums with their supervisors and managers on a regular basis. Through those forums, managers are also supposed to recognize the behavioral patterns of their employees. Every employee has their own distinct behavior that cannot be compared to another. By understanding and appreciating the behavioral patterns of their employees, managers will be able to know which incentives and techniques to use to increase employee motivation.

Better communication between managers and their employees is also another factor that strengthens the relationship between them. Managers who rarely communicate with their employees suffer a blow when it comes to the overall outcomes of the organization. Ritter & Anker (2002) further point out that the closer the managers are to their employees, the more motivated the latter become. Regular communication between the two also makes managers understand the needs of each personal employee, thus knowing which technique to use to motivate them. According to Bruce (2006), most managers generalize the needs of their employees. This generalization is what leads to dismal performances in most organizations.

A study carried out by Sdrolias Maria, Terzidis Konstantinos and Vounatsou Maria (2005) shows that active, friendly and less strict managers are more inclined to motivate their employees towards achieving the organization’s goals and objectives. The study was conducted on eight employees of the Tech Organization in Canada. All the eight employees admitted that their manager was close to them and that he understood the individual needs of each of them.

Three employees said that they were more motivated by intrinsic factors than extrinsic ones, while the remaining five revealed that extrinsic factors carried the weight in their motivation. However, both extrinsic and intrinsic factors mattered in motivating these employees. If asked whether their manager understood them completely, all of them responded that he was a man who understood all their individual needs without generalizing.

Training as a Motivational Factor

Employee training is also another component that keeps employees motivated. According to Latham (2011), employees are supposed be trained on a more regular basis concerning the new technologies introduced in an organization. Most organizations introduce fresh changes in order to remain relevant in the market. Although such steps are taken to improve the performance of the organization, a issue arises when the employees fail to incorporate those technologies in their working systems. Many organizations will carry out a short-term internal training for their employees. According to Bruce (2006), this training technique discourages most employees because they are not given enough time to master new technologies. Instead, both internal and external training are supposed to be done. Employees should be sent out to a plethora of seminars and conferences that deal with the technology particular to the company.

This will not only give them exposure, but they will also see themselves as important players in the organization. The criteria used by some organizations to only send out only their supervisors and managers for further studies is never taken well by the employees. They see themselves as less important and this lowers their morale towards job performance thus reducing employee motivation.

Apart from technological training, organizations are also supposed to train their employees in special skills that will help them overcome difficulties and stress at the workplace. According to Bruce (2006), stress and other psychological issues like depression reduce the motivation of an employee drastically. Specialists are supposed to be brought and teach employees how they can reduce and manage their stress levels. It is difficult to realize the obstacles employees are going through unless managers develop a closer relationship with them.

A study conducted by Salmela Katariina & Numi Jari-Erik (2004) at Stanford University revealed that the non-teaching staff is motivated to work by the regular training they receive in their areas of expertise. One of the employees in the kitchen said that she strove to make the best food and serve her customers jovially. This, she said, was attributed to the program introduced by their manager to carry out a training that ran for 4 days for all the employees every month. She revealed that this not only helped her to improve her cooking styles, but it also encouraged her to be friendly and courteous to the people she served.

Teamwork as a Motivating Factor

According to Hiam (2003), teamwork is also one of the major components that determine the degree of motivation. In most companies and organizations, sales are achieved through teamwork. What determines motivation in a team is the type of task assigned and its expected outcomes. Once members gather together to fulfill a certain task, the bond and relationship among them heavily determines how that task will be accomplished. Team members are supposed to encourage one another and act as an example to others. Managers and supervisors on the other hand are supposed to evaluate and understand each team separately.

According to Latham (2011), every team in an organization has its own motivational factors which might be different from those of another team. To achieve their desired goals, managers should break down the assigned tasks into smaller and measurable units that will enable team members to easily assess the information on how they have performed. This will greatly help them in determining the amount of effort they are supposed to exert in order to complete remaining tasks. The selection and formation of teams should be done on the basis of compatibility. This step requires managers and supervisors to understand their employees well and how they can perform and react in certain situations. Even though it is useful to understand an employee on an individual basis, some employees are understood best in their various teams (Hiam, 2003).

The empirical research conducted by Latham (2011) shows that teamwork is actually one of the factors that contribute towards employee motivation. The study was conducted on employees of a bank in India. According to Latham (2011), banks are among the institutions that are generally believed to be dependent on individual efforts. This study, however, shows that bank employees feel more motivated when they work as a team and not on an individual basis. Ten bankers were interviewed and all of them agreed that consulting each other while on the job encourages one to work harder in order to achieve the set goals and objectives.

One of the respondents admitted that a career in banking is full of challenges and difficult moments. He cited some of the challenges which included serving fraudulent customers, attending to customers who had not fully complied with all the rules and even attending to clients whose money had been withdrawn by conmen. Due to these challenges, he argued that they should be given freedom to consult their workmates in order to be successful on the job. All the respondents said that their bank manager was strict and he rarely allowed them to communicate to each other, but they found themselves breaking that rule in order to seek help from their team members. All the respondents agreed that they would be more motivated to perform better if their manager allowed them to freely consult with each other while in the course of duty.

Employee-Motivation-Theories
Employee-Motivation-Theories

Employee Motivation – A Summary Showing the Relationship between Motivation and Job Satisfaction

Purcell (2003) points out that motivation is the key factor in determining the success of a worker. As observed from the above cases, motivated employees are more likely to meet the demands of a job than those who are not. Motivation is an innate aspect that drives one’s behavior towards achieving certain goals and objectives. Managers are supposed to understand the psychological needs of their employees before drawing work plans. Such psychological disturbances like stress and depression are likely to reduce the motivation of an employee in carrying out their duties. Employers are supposed to understand the behavior of their employees before delegating duties to them. Both the need-based and process-based theories discussed above reveal that intrinsic and extrinsic factors are supposed to be satisfied concurrently for better performance. Motivating an employee by financial incentives alone is not enough, for they will need to be recognized and appreciated as an important person in that organization.

Appreciating an employee can be done through many acts, including training and educating them on the rising issues in the organization. Employee motivation should therefore be considered as a key aspect of job satisfaction.

References

Bruce, A. (2006). How to Motivate Employees: 24 Proven Tactics to Spark Productivity in the Workplace. NY, McGraw Hill Professional.

Crouse, N. (2005). Motivation is an Inside Job: How to Really Get Your Employees to Deliver the Results You Need. Oxford, iUniverse.

Hiam, A. (2003). Motivational Management: Inspiring Your People for Maximum Performance. NY, AMACOM.

Latham, G. (2011).Work Motivation: History, Theory, Research and Practice. NJ, SAGE.

Lauby, S. (2005). Motivating Employees: Career Planning & Talent Management. Washington DC, American Society for Training and Development.

Purcell, J. (2003). Understanding the People and Performance Link: Unlocking the Black Box. NY, CIPD Publishers – Employee Motivation.

Ritter, J. & Anker, R. (2002). Good Jobs, Bad Jobs: Workers’ Evaluations in Five Countries. International Labor Review, 141(4), 331 – 358.

Salmela-Aro, K., Nurmi, J. (2004). Employees’ Motivational Orientation and Well-Being at Work. Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 17 No 5, pp. 471-489.

Sdrolias, M., Terzidis, K. and Vounatsou, M. (2005), Significance, Defining Factors and Consequences of Mental Alienation of Enterprises Personnel from their Work Environment in Organizational Culture, Corporate Governance and Competitiveness. Selected Proceedings of the First International Conference on Business, Management and Economics, 16-19 June, Izmir, Turkey,Vol.2, pp.27-41.

Relevant Links

HRM Dissertation Topics

HR Performance Motivation

Theory of Motivation

Did you find any useful knowledge relating to employee motivation in this post? What are the key facts that grabbed your attention? Let us know in the comments. Thank you.

Strategic People Management

Strategic people management is a key function in every organization. This article seeks to discuss the three strategic people management areas in England’s National Health Service (NHS). Specifically, the paper will analyze leadership and management, talent management, and training and development in the NHS. Finally, the paper will recommend ways forward for the NHS in keeping best practice and improving areas which are more problematic.

The competitive advantage of an organization is based on several things like investing in new technologies, financial management, and effective human resource management. The style in which people are managed in an organization has a critical role in achieving the goals of an organization. Poor management of people can lead to poor performance or to the collapse of the whole organization. To avoid the demerits associated with poor people management, three areas referred to as areas of strategic people management have been devised.

The three areas are leadership and management, talent management, and training and development (Bailey, Mankin, Kelliher, & Garavan 2018). This article seeks to compile a report on England’s National Health Service (NHS) department and highlight the importance of strategic people management.

In 1948, the NHS was established to manage and regulate health services in the United Kingdom. The objectives of establishing the trust were to offer comprehensive health services, free at point delivery, and to centralize the health services. 70 years after its establishment, the trust is yet to achieve some of its objectives. It has been accused of poor health care delivery, failure to cater to the ageing population, long waiting times, over management, and insufficient staff training. The junior staff of the trust have complained of high workloads while the senior management complains of poor funding. A report by King’s fund supported the claim that the trust is poorly funded and refurbished the allegations by the critics that the trust is over-managed (Ham et al., 2011).

Strategic People Management and Leadership

Great Man Theory of leadership suggests that everyone is born with certain leadership traits (Spector 2016). This theory means that if you put together several people to work together in different leadership positions, a great result can be obtained. The NHS in England has tried to employ this theory by having many leaders in each department. Over the last two decades, the trust has increased its number of leaders significantly. In England, there has been an increase of 37% in the number of leaders in the last 19 years. However, many leaders can lead to leadership bureaucracy because no single person can be held responsible for a failure. Managerial positions are entitled to managerial remuneration, therefore, increasing the number of leaders increases the administrative costs for the trust which is already under-funded.

The NHS has been attacked by political parties and other critics of being over managed.  Currently, the trust has over 6000 board member and 700 doctors practicing as directors. The critics accuse the doctors of working as directors in contrary to their calling of treating people. However, positioning doctors as directors only cater for distributed leadership. Experienced doctors should the nurses and other doctors to address the issue of poor care and in implementing clinical processes. It is also easy for doctors to hold clinical officers accountable than other professionals. Health care is a complex service and should have many leaders. The NHS should not be accused of being over-managed due to the complex nature of health care.

The Audit Commission and the national audit office have accused the trust of poor leadership styles. Collectively, the two critics have accused the trust of spectacular managerial failures which has led to poor care, hospital acquired infections, surgery deaths, and long waiting times for the patients. Due to the increase in the aging population and the situations at hand such as long waiting times, the leaders have to change their leadership styles. The leaders seem to stick to their styles regardless of the increasing challenges in the trust.  The contingency leadership theory suggests that leadership style should be changed to cater for certain situations for there is no single way of leadership. It is the high time that the leaders in the trust changes their style of leadership to address the current issues of long waiting times, poor care, and caring for the ageing population.

Exchange leadership theory urges that leadership is only effective when the leader gives a motivational value or a reward, either motivation or punishment to his follower (Zhang et al., 218). This theory means that a leader should be given sufficient time to reward and motivate the juniors. Demotivating the followers will lead to poor results. However, the current managerial culture in the NHS betrays the Exchange Theory of Leadership.

Leaders are given a short tenure of two years. Two years are insufficient to reward and motivate the juniors. In addition, the short leadership terms cannot enable the leaders to handle the problems in the trust. The external pressure from critics and political parties demotivates the managers. The leaders should be given room to lead the trust and managers should have longer tenure for them to address the current issues in the trust (Jiang, Hu & Wang 2018). Blame games demotivate the employees. The trust has a culture of blaming the employees or a manager in case there is a failure. The managers and medical directors have blamed the nurses and clinical officers for the failures in the hospitals. The blame games demotivate the nurses and the clinical officers rather than motivating them.

Training and Development

Service delivery is depended on the level of training staff gets before and on the job (Larsen, 2017). Job training gives one chance to learn through experiment (Saks 2015). Experimental learning theory suggests that one can best learn through experimentation, reflective observation, and abstract conceptualization.

Organizations should, therefore, have training sessions for their staff. Training also gives a chance to incorporate new staff into the current organizational culture. The NHS staff should be trained in managing people and on business finance. So far the NHS has shown a willingness on training its staff by coming up with business finance course aimed at training all their staff regardless of their positions. Changes in technology and continuous research by health professionals call for regular training to equip the staff with the new skills being invented in the health sector all of which can be deployed using strategic people management.

To train the employees, the NHS has established several courses. The employees can access short-term courses, bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees. It gives a chance for nurses and clinical officers to subscribe to different courses and enhance their skills. This shows that the NHS is committed to improving the quality of health care it offers. The trust faces negative issues of caring for the ageing population and long waiting times. In contrast, none of the courses offered by the trust is concerned with the two issues.

Strategic People Management and Culture

It seems to be part of the NHS staff beliefs that long waiting times are normal and nothing should be done on that. A staff training should be carried out to change the attitude and beliefs on long waiting times. Theory of planned behavior purports that training changes the attitude and belief in certain behavior (Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015). The NHS, therefore, should organize training aimed at changing the attitude on long waiting times. 

Strategic People Management Dissertation
Strategic People Management Dissertation

It is commendable that the NHS organize in-house induction with updates in statutory areas on annual basis. The NHS managers hold meetings with staff on a regular basis where training and development opportunities are discussed. The staff are also allowed to apply for funding in case of a professional development course. However, the course must fulfil a professional need and support of the manager is required. 

The training offered by the NHS is only concerned with health care and not human resource management. Good health care can only be delivered under the effective leadership of people. The trust should come up with training programs aimed at equipping the staff with leadership skills. The trust participated in the South Central Leadership Program. The program was aimed at enhancing the leadership program for the senior staff. Skills development in health care is essential in health care and not a mere luxury. South Central Leadership Program should, therefore, involve all health staff regardless of the positions they hold.  The NHS continues to call for applications of their courses which open to anyone who wished to work in the health care department.

Talent Management

The first step of managing talent is on recruitment (Davis, Cutt, Flynn, & Mowl 2016). The human resources department should come up with a rigorous recruitment process aimed at selecting the best staff to work for the trust. However, talent management is not a function purely on the human resources department. The top management has to manage talents once the employees have been selected.

The human resources departments should offer assessment tests before recruitment and give a probation period before an employee is confirmed. This will make sure that the best employees are employed by the trust. Once an employee secures the job, a room should be given to express self-initiative. However, the current situation at the NHS does not give room for self-initiative. The blame game from the managers and pressure on the employees due to high workloads impairs their self-initiative. The external pressure on managers by critics also scares the managers from expressing their self-initiative.

For performance appraisal, the NHS has come up with a policy to identify the poor performing employees. Employees performance will be assessed according to complains received from visitors, fellow employees, and the observation of the manager. In case of a poor performance the employee will be asked to give feedback to the manager. The managers are supposed to fill a performance form for each employee in their department.

However, the NHS does not propose differentiated workforce in its policy and only proposes penalties for the employees who perform poorly. In the differentiated workforce, the best performing employees are rewarded better than others (Collings 2017). The differentiated workforce is to recognize the best employees and to avoid losing the key and the experienced employees to other organizations.

The NHS also lacks a wide pool of talents since people from other organizations are reluctant to work for the trust due to undue pressure on its employees and high workloads compared to the people working in private hospitals and those working for NGOs. The trust also has a culture of appointing people who have worked for it before which keeps away candidates from the private sector and other government institution.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Strategic people management is very important for every organization and should never be undermined. Poor management of people results in poor performance of the whole organization. The NHC has many managers. However, due to the complex nature of the health department, it can be concluded that the trust is not over-managed. There should be clear roles for every manager to avoid leadership bureaucracy. The trust faces a lot of pressure from external bodies and within itself. The trust has a culture of blaming employees of any fault during the line of duty. The trust also has a culture of having short tenures for its managers.

The trust offers training for its staff but the training given is a drop in the ocean since it is not concerned with managing people. The training given is only concerned with increasing treatment knowledge to the staff. The trust lacks a wide pool of talents due to its recruitment policy which selects people who have worked for the trust before. The performance appraisal policy of the trust only forces the staff to perform better but it does not recognize the best performing employees through differentiated workforce.  I wish to recommend the following to the NHS;

  • The South Central Leadership Program should involve both junior and senior staff. This will increase the chances of creating future leaders for the trust.
  • The public and critics should avoid giving undue pressure to the leaders of the trust and give them room to lead.
  • The trust should increase the tenure of its leaders. A longer tenure will give them time to fix the current problems facing the trust.
  • The NHS should recruit managers from the private sector and other government organizations. This will help in increasing its pool of talents.
  • On top of South Central Leadership Program, the trust should establish a leadership center for mentoring future leaders, offering training, and to support innovative programs.
  • Adopt a more robust approach in relation to strategic people management.

Bibliography

 Bailey, C., Mankin, D., Kelliher, C. and Garavan, T., 2018. Strategic human resource management. Oxford University Press.

Collings, D.G., 2017. Workforce differentiation. Oxford handbook of talent management, pp.301-17.

Davis, T., Cutt, M., Flynn, N. and Mowl, P., 2016. Talent assessment: A new strategy for talent management. Routledge.

Ham, C., Baker, G.R., Docherty, J., Hockey, P., Lobley, K., Tugendhat, L. and Walshe, K., 2011. The future of leadership and management in the NHS: no more heroes. Report by The King’s Fund.

Jiang, Z., Hu, X. and Wang, Z., 2018. Career adaptability and plateaus: The moderating effects of tenure and job self-efficacy. Journal of Vocational Behavior104, pp.59-71.

Larsen, H.H., 2017. Key issues in training and development. In Policy and practice in European human resource management (pp. 107-121). Routledge.

Montano, D.E. and Kasprzyk, D., 2015. Theory of reasoned action, theory of planned behavior, and the integrated behavioral model. Health behavior: Theory, research and practice, pp.95-124.

Saks, A., 2015. Managing Performance through Training & Development, (Canadian ed.). Nelson Education.

Spector, B.A., 2016. Carlyle, Freud, and the great man theory more fully considered. Strategic People Management12(2), pp.250-260.

Zhang, X., Zhang, Y., Sun, Y., Lytras, M., Ordonez de Pablos, P. and He, W., 2018. Exploring the effect of transformational leadership on individual creativity in e-learning: a perspective of social exchange theory. Studies in Higher Education43(11), pp.1964-1978.

Relevant Posts

Recruitment Practices NHS Dissertation

Leadership Strategies for Improving Performance

I do hope you enjoyed reading this post strategic people management and how it impacts the NHS]. There are many other titles available in the HRM Dissertation Collection that should be of interest to human resource management students and CIPD professionals. There are many dissertation titles that relate to other aspects of HRM such as employee engagement, HRM Theory, absenteeism, training and development to name a few. It took a lot of effort to write this post and I would be grateful if you could share this post via Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you.

Workplace Violence Legal Consequences

Workplace Violence is one of the prevalent issues that the world is facing today because of the diversity in the workforce brought about by the globalization. The term globalization may seem positive for major reasons, but in some note, it could create problems in the society, even in the work force. Since the organizations are now composed of people from different races, different backgrounds, opinions, philosophy and level of education, rift between parties are not a surprise.

Since it’s inevitable that workers in the organization may have some disagreements on the ideas or point, it is therefore important for employees, management and all members of the organization to understand the concept and definition of workplace violence in order to create a benchmark if the arguments are just plain arguments or it already falls under the category of violence. In this way, management will now be able to design the best strategy to address this certain issue.

Workplace violence is not only happening in your organization or in your friend’s organization. It can happen in everyone, anytime and anywhere. Therefore, it is just important that companies have policies with regards to the situation and appropriate consequences for the perpetrator or assistance such as counseling, training, experts’ opinion for the victim.

To better understand of what is workplace violence, the root causes of why this is happening, this research aims to address this issue and seeks to recognize the real cause of violence in the workplace. This paper also contains information that will give additional information for employees on how to overcome workplace violence or how to defend themselves when they’re faced with such kind of situation.

This paper also address company’s hurdle with regards to workplace violence and  some strategies on how to monitor the behavior of employees (e.g. CCTV) and methodologies to address workplace violence in the organization (e.g. seek experts opinion, design policies, etc). At the near end of this paper, the researcher also discussed the legal issues with regards to the topic in order to supply information to the reader that there are laws that address workplace violence. Lastly, at the very end of this paper, the researcher highlighted some bigger challenges with regards to this issue. Thus, after reader reading this paper, the researcher hopes that the reader will gain new insight about workplace violence and spread the knowledge gained to help lessen the occurrence or incidence of this practice.

Introduction

Globalization has greatly affected our lives and our lives processes. Goods and services from one country are now widely available in other countries and workers from one country are now welcomed to work in other countries. This phenomenon allowed other workers of different races to work in one company, which now comprise the diverse workforce in the world. Businesses are composed of diverse people working together for the success of the company. These people working for the company comes from different background and place of origin.

It’s inevitable to have complications and rift among the attitudes of the people in the organization because of these differences, this rift may be one of the causes of Violence in the Workplace. Violence is happening in our surrounding though sometimes we are not aware of it. Violence may happen in school, organization, work place and even in our own house. In this regard, we will be discussing work place violence and relate it to strategic management of each company. In this paper, we will also be discussing on how to overcome

Understanding Workplace Violence

Work Place is defined by the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as any violence that happened in the place of work against a co-worker or any staff that works for the same organization or event from other firms. It can be a form of threat, physical violence, homicide, verbal arguments or any other unspoken gestures.

This workplace violence may be the result of differences that are not settled, jealousy over co-employee or just a simple understanding because of the differences in opinion, ideas and ranks. Due to changes in company structures, people and the organization of functions, workplace violence is one of the growing concerns of companies nowadays. According to the US Department of Justice, in the year 1987 up to 1992, the number of work-related violence has increased gradually and reported that one of six violent crimes are actually happening in the workplace either co-employee being attacked, harassed or abused. The growing number of workplace violence poses threat to employees that’s why some are actually seeking for work from home jobs in order to avoid such incident may happen to them.

According to the article of Sharif, B. (2003) of the California State University at Los Angeles entitled Understanding and Managing Job Stress: A Vital Dimension of Workplace Violence Prevention, one of the prevalent causes of Workplace Violence is the Job Stress experienced by an employee. Job Stress may be the result of changes in the organization, workloads, pressing deadlines for proposal; technology used job function, sales quota and others which may add burden to the employee.

According to the article of Sharif, Job Stress is one of the Top ten causes of health problems and violence in the workplace as job stress triggers physiological, emotional, and even psychological difficulties for the employees and according to the researches of Blix, Cruise, Mitchell and Blix (1993), it caused the firm about $150 billion annual loss because of absenteeism, hospitalization and other medical benefits. In this regard, companies are continuously seeking for professional advices on how to prevent, stop or avoid workplace violence in the organization.

How to Overcome Workplace Violence and its legal issues

Workplace violence is now one of the issues or challenges that the companies are facing. No companies are spared with this violence, even small companies are actually experiencing these problems and up until now some of them are still searching for alternatives or solutions to overcome this problem. However, since the structure of each organization is unique and the culture, practices and customs are different from that of the others, laying out resolution for this type of problem or issue is very hard for each organization needs to suit the solution to their own protocol and based on the issue that arise in the company.

Therefore, there is no fix or one single strategy to resolve this kind of problem in the organization, hence, every organization should design their resolution in relation to their company policies and the type of violence they are experiencing. Thus, each organization needs to have multi disciplinary approach to the workplace related violence. Also, there’s no organization that can make single approach to different type of violence in the office for different violence may need different solution and needs to be given different level of attention by the management or the human resource department (e.g. attention to sexual harassment and bullying).

Therefore, in order for the concerned agencies to identify the best solution to the issue, they should understand first the root cause of the behavior or the instance that had happen in the workplace. In order to address this issue, companies are designing module which contains readings and things to remember by employees when they are faced with such issues.

According to the article of Rita Rizzo & Don Philpott about workplace violence, companies can actually design a model of violence-prevention protocols for the whole organization along with proper training, orientation and hand out materials to be given to the employees; companies can conduct awareness programs in the office or drill so that the employees will become familiarize with the defense mechanisms; or companies can put up counseling group that would help the victim recover from the trauma.

Workplace Violence Project
Workplace Violence Project

The US Department of Labor also suggests that companies should provide employees enough education about the issue and on how to protect themselves; securing the workplace by installing CCTV or surveillance cameras on all the corners of the workplace to monitor employee actions; and just by developing set of do’s and don’ts that all employee should follow to avoid issues or problems, thus, avoiding workplace violence. Other agencies are also proposing several ways on how to prevent or avoid workplace violence, however, the best weapon still depends on the employee or the victim themselves – knowing the proper defense mechanism or strategies when cornered in certain situation. Lastly, reporting the incident will also be a huge help for the management to give certain attention to the issue and correct the behavior of the doer or lay out appropriate punishment to the perpetrator.

In some cases, Workplace violence up to some extent already falls on the legal action. There are actually laws that protect an individual in the workplace or even the company from the situation. In Australia for example, under the occupational health and safety laws designed for their workers, employers are the one that should ensure the safety of each worker especially during work and in the constitution of Australia especially in the Work Cover New South Wales, an employer shall be punished in failure to perform the duty of protecting the employees. The penalty according to their legislation is $550,000 for the first offense and about $55,000 for other cases.

The Biggest Challenge in resolving Workplace Violence

In the US, there are 20 million workers who worked for non-governmental offices which most workers works for firms that have 20 employees or fewer. Though some researchers said that employees in small firms are getting the least paid and is composed of lowest status worker, they are not spared from workforce violence than any other type of business.

Since these companies are small, they don’t usually have budget or programs for workforce violence, less training capabilities and they offer less security for employees making the employees more at risk and they are the ones who received less prevention from workforce violence. Also, owners of small businesses tend to have less knowledge on human resources issues, legal matters and other workplace violence resources that they could use when they are faced with this kind of situation.

Since these small businesses employs large chunk in the workforce statistics, the government and even non-governmental organization are seeking a bigger challenge on how to protect the people working in this segment and up until now, it is still on the debate on who should protect the workers for small businesses.

Conclusion

I am aware that there are violence that are happening in my surrounding but honestly, I don’t have the idea on what are the causes of these violence and what triggers a person to harm a co-worker or just commit that kind of actions. As innocent as it may be, I just know that since people are just working for the company, they just basically do their job for the whole day then go in and out of the office.

The primary purpose of a person to go to the office is work on the job he/she is assigned based on the job description presented on the date of employment. However, after reading articles about workplace, I came to understand that in the workplace, people also socialize with his/her co-workers, and thus, they get to exchange ideas with each other.

I do know that globalization has greatly affected our ways of living, our culture, customs and tradition. Everything is changing from the clothes we wear and the languages we speak, this is because of globalization. Since change is inevitable in this type of world, people, the academe and even the businesses are going with the flow or adopting to this change in order to not to be stock in the past and discover possible benefits of this changes in our world.

Being able to adapt to changes also means that the personality or the company is flexible enough and are expected to last for sometime because it is able to adapt to its environment. In business, there are also gradual changes that happened in the operation, work force, customs and practices, technology and even with the management which poses threats, stress and burden to the employees and anyone who are part of the organization. Some may be able to adapt to this changes without any flaws, some are not, thus, they often result to bad habit and later on, they are committing violence which does not only hurt the themselves through their performance, they are also hurting the company customs.

After reading the articles related to workforce violence, I have learned that workplace violence isn’t contain on physical violence inflicted on other person but also involves verbal abuse, bullying, nonverbal communication and others. An employee might not notice at first that he/she is facing certain degree of workplace violence because of some unspoken violence because of non-verbal form of violence.

Because of this critical present issue, companies are on the rush on designing their own mechanisms and strategies on how to overcome this so-called workplace violence in order to protect their core employees and as well protect their company’s reputation. Based on my readings and based on the writings above, I have learned that businesses are designing policies; methods to supply more information for their employees, conduct trainings for employees, and consult legal experts about the issue and other companies even install numerous CCTV or surveillance cameras in the office in order to monitor the behavior of its employees. In such way, companies are hoping to resolve the issue as they occur and be able to keep their employees aware of how to defend themselves when they’re faced with such kind of situation.

Though the world is facing a greater challenge in the future because of the proliferation of small businesses who are less likely to implement a violence protection program for their employees, I am still confident that as of the moment, there are lots of concerned organization that will take care of that up until these small companies will be able to design their own protocols with regards to this issue. Thus, addressing this issue in casual or legal ways is still very important for employees in order for them to fell secured when they’re at their place of work.

References

Chauhan, D.S. ()Bowling Green State University. Preventing Violence in the Workplace: Threat Assessment and Prevention Strategies. Public Administration & Management: An Interactive Journal 4, 3, 1999, pp. 370-374

Isaacs, Arnold R. (2001). Workplace Violence: Issues in Response. US Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Critical Incident Response Group National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia. Edited by Eugene A. Rugala, Supervisory Special Agent Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2001

Philpott, Don and Rizzo, Rita. Workplace Violence: A Seven-Step Process to Address and Manage Potentially Violent Situations in the Workplace, Covering the full life-cycle of the event from Prevention – Threat Recognition – Mitigation – Response. Published by Government Training Inc. ISBN: 978-0-9844038-7-5

Sharif, Behjat A. Ph.D., CHES (2000), Associate Professor, California State University at Los Angeles . Understanding and Managing Job Stress: A Vital Dimension of Workplace Violence Prevention. Posted in the International Electronic Journal of Health Education, 2000; 3(2):107-116

U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (2002). Workplace Violence: OSHA Factsheet

WorkCover. Workplace violence and legal consequences. Work Cover New South Wales and the National Children’s and Youth Law Centre ACN 062 253 874

Relevant blog posts

HRM Dissertation Topics

Workplace Health and Safety

Did you find any useful knowledge relating to workplace violence in this post? What are the key facts that grabbed your attention? Let us know in the comments. Thank you.