A cover letter for applying for PhD positionFull description
contoh motivation letter
Royal College Of Arts, Science and Commerce Topic: Motivation Subject: Human Resource Development Class: Third Year Banking and Insurance Submitted To: Professor Jalpa Parekh Submitted By: Vineeth Puthran (28) Rahul Salian (31) Pratik Damani (34) Bipin Radhakrishnan (28) Academic Year: 2008-2009
Acknowledgement This project is prepared by us under the guidance of Ms. Jalpa Parekh, who gave us necessary support and guidance which was very well directed. We would like to thank our Principle Mr A.E Lakdawala for giving us a platform to express ourselves.
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Introduction Theories on Motivation Designing Jobs that Motivate and Challenge Employees
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Job Design Job Description Job Characteristics
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Ergonomics and Job enrichment Work Schedules
Other relevant points
Introduction The most difficult job that faces a supervisor is learning how to effectively motivate and keep his/her employees motivated . The average person when asked how to motivate someone will tell you what motivates him or her. Unfortunately, everyone is different and what motivates one employee may only make another employee angry. The method we use to motivate each employee must be tailored to the individual employee. We must offer them something that value as an incentive to work towards a goal. One size does not fit all when it comes to motivation. Government employees too are not immune towards this need to be motivated. They want to be recognized to ascertain their value for existence. Motivation, or rather the lack of it, is not a problem peculiar to the public sector. However, as government employees are highly visible, our motivational problems are often in the spotlight. In the following sections of this booklet, we will be discussing ways of tackling motivational problems and provide suggestions on ways you can take to turn lethargy into energy and apathy into commitment with your employees. Organisational Culture Staff motivation is the cornerstone of open, flexible and caring management culture, which the Government aims to establish through HRM. To put it into practice, "open" means not only to listen to staff suggestions and opinions, but also to empower staff, accept their constructive criticisms and use their suggestions. To be "flexible", we may need to change the traditional ways of doing things. As far as staff motivation is concerned, the biggest challenge perhaps is to stop focusing on problems and the guilty party (police behavior) and start looking for those responsible for things gone right (coach behavior).
"Caring" calls for a human leader who would give emotional support to individuals, and at the same time attend to the overall emotional needs of team members - which includes treating them all in a fair and impartial manner. That's how we live the belief that "people are our most important asset". The basic principle underpinning motivation is that if employees are led effectively, they will seek to give of their best voluntarily without the need for control through rules and sanctions -- they will eventually be self-motivating.
Theories on motivation The expectancy theory of motivation is suggested by Victor Vroom. Unlike Maslow and Herzberg, Vroom does not concentrate on needs, but rather focuses on outcomes.
Whereas Maslow and Herzberg look at the relationship between internal needs and the resulting effort expended to fulfil them, Vroom separates effort (which arises from motivation), performance, and outcomes. Vroom, hypothesises that in order for a person to be motivated that effort, performance and motivation must be linked. He proposes three variables to account for this, which he calls Valence, Expectancy and Instrumentality. Expectancy is the belief that increased effort will lead to increased performance i.e. if I work harder then this will be better. This is affected by such things as: 1. Having the right resources available (e.g. raw materials, time) 2. Having the right skills to do the job 3. Having the necessary support to get the job done (e.g. supervisor support, or correct information on the job) 4
Instrumentality is the belief that if you perform well that a valued outcome will be received i.e. if I do a good job, there is something in it for me. This is affected by such things as: 1. Clear understanding of the relationship between performance and outcomes – e.g. the rules of the reward ‘game’ 2. Trust in the people who will take the decisions on who gets what outcome 3. Transparency of the process that decides who gets what outcome Valence is the importance that the individual places upon the expected outcome. For example, if I am mainly motivated by money, I might not value offers of additional time off. Having examined these links, the idea is that the individual then changes their level of effort according to the value they place on the outcomes they receive from the process and on their perception of the strength of the links between effort and outcome. So, if I perceive that any one of these is true: 1. My increased effort will not increase my performance 2. My increased performance will not increase my rewards 3. I don’t value the rewards on offer 4. ...then Vroom’s expectancy theory suggests that this individual will not be motivated. This means that even if an organisation achieves two out of three, that employees would still not be motivated, all three are required for positive motivation. Here there is also a useful link to the Equity theory of motivation: namely that people will also compare outcomes for themselves with others. Equity theory suggests that people will alter the level of effort they put in to make it fair compared to others according to their perceptions. So if we got the same raise this year, but I think you put in a lot less effort, this theory suggests that I would scale back the effort I put in. 5
Crucially, Expectancy theory works on perceptions – so even if an employer thinks they have provided everything appropriate for motivation, and even if this works with most people in that organisation it doesn’t mean that someone won’t perceive that it doesn’t work for them. At first glance this theory would seem most applicable to a traditional-attitude work situation where how motivated the employee is depends on whether they want the reward on offer for doing a good job and whether they believe more effort will lead to that reward. However, it could equally apply to any situation where someone does something because they expect a certain outcome. For example, I recycle paper because I think it's important to conserve resources and take a stand on environmental issues (valence); I think that the more effort I put into recycling the more paper I will recycle (expectancy); and I think that the more paper I recycle then less resources will be used (instrumentality) Thus, this theory of motivation is not about self-interest in rewards but about the associations people make towards expected outcomes and the contribution they feel they can make towards those outcomes. Other theories, in my opinion, do not allow for the same degree of individuality between people. This model takes into account individual perceptions and thus personal histories, allowing a richness of response not obvious in Maslow or McClelland, who assume that people are essentially all the same. Expectancy theory could also be overlaid over another theory (e.g. Maslow). Maslow could be used to describe which outcomes people are motivated by and Vroom to describe whether they will act based upon their experience and expectations. Theory X In this theory, management assumes employees are inherently lazy and will avoid work if they can. They inherently dislike work. Because of this, workers need to be closely supervised and comprehensive systems of controls developed. A hierarchical structure is needed with narrow span of control at 6
each level. According to this theory, employees will show little ambition without an enticing incentive program and will avoid responsibility whenever they can. The Theory X manager tends to believe that everything must end in blaming someone. He or she thinks all prospective employees are only out for themselves. Usually these managers feel the sole purpose of the employee's interest in the job is money. They will blame the person first in most situations, without questioning whether it may be the system, policy, or lack of training that deserves the blame. A Theory X manager believes that his or her employees do not really want to work, that they would rather avoid responsibility and that it is the manager's job to structure the work and energize the employee. One major flaw of this management style is it is much more likely to cause Diseconomies of Scale in large businesses.
Theory Y In this theory management assumes employees may be ambitious, selfmotivated, and exercise self-control. It is believed that employees enjoy their mental and physical work duties. A Theory Y manager believes that, given the right conditions, most people will want to do well at work. They believe that the satisfaction of doing a good job is a strong motivation. Many people interpret Theory Y as a positive set of beliefs about workers. A close reading of The Human Side of Enterprise reveals that McGregor simply argues for managers to be open to a more positive view of workers and the possibilities that this creates. Theory X and Theory Y combined For McGregor, Theory X and Y are not different ends of the same continuum. Rather they are two different continua in themselves. Thus, if a manager needs to apply Theory Y principles, that does not preclude him from being a part of Theory X & Y.
McGregor and Maslow's hierarchy McGregor's work was based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. He grouped Maslow's hierarchy into "lower order" (Theory X) needs and "higher order" (Theory Y) needs. He suggested that management could use either set of needs to motivate employees. Criticisms Today the theories are seldom used explicitly, largely because the insights they provided have influenced and been incorporated by further generations of management theorists and practitioners. More commonly, workplaces are described as "hard" versus "soft." Taken too literally any such dichotomy including Theory X and Y seem to represent unrealistic extremes. Most employees (and managers) fall somewhere in between these poles. Naturally, McGregor was well aware of the heuristic as opposed to literal way in which such distinctions are useful. Theory X and Theory Y are still important terms in the field of management and motivation. Recent studies have questioned the 8
rigidity of the model, but McGregor's X-Y Theory remains a guiding principle of positive approaches to management, to organizational development, and to improving organizational culture. There are a number of different views as to what motivates workers. The most commonly held views or theories are discussed below and have been developed over the last 100 years or so. Unfortunately these theories do not all reach the same conclusions! Taylor Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856 – 1917) put forward the idea that workers are motivated mainly by pay. His Theory of Scientific Management argued the following: Workers do not naturally enjoy work and so need close supervision and control Therefore managers should break down production into a series of small tasks Workers should then be given appropriate training and tools so they can work as efficiently as possible on one set task. Workers are then paid according to the number of items they produce in a set period of time- piece-rate pay. As a result workers are encouraged to work hard and maximise their productivity. Taylor’s methods were widely adopted as businesses saw the benefits of increased productivity levels and lower unit costs. The most notably advocate was Henry Ford who used them to design the first ever production line, making Ford cars. This was the start of the era of mass production. Taylor’s approach has close links with the concept of an autocratic management style (managers take all the decisions and simply give orders to those below them) and Macgregor’s Theory X approach to workers (workers are viewed as lazy and wish to avoid responsibility). However workers soon came to dislike Taylor’s approach as they were only given boring, repetitive tasks to carry out and were being treated little better 9
than human machines. Firms could also afford to lay off workers as productivity levels increased. This led to an increase in strikes and other forms of industrial action by dis-satisfied workers. Mayo Elton Mayo (1880 – 1949) believed that workers are not just concerned with money but could be better motivated by having their social needs met whilst at work (something that Taylor ignored). He introduced the Human Relation School of thought, which focused on managers taking more of an interest in the workers, treating them as people who have worthwhile opinions and realising that workers enjoy interacting together. Mayo conducted a series of experiments at the Hawthorne factory of the Western Electric Company in Chicago He isolated two groups of women workers and studied the effect on their productivity levels of changing factors such as lighting and working conditions. He expected to see productivity levels decline as lighting or other conditions became progressively worse What he actually discovered surprised him: whatever the change in lighting or working conditions, the productivity levels of the workers improved or remained the same. From this Mayo concluded that workers are best motivated by: Better communication between managers and workers ( Hawthorne workers were consulted over the experiments and also had the opportunity to give feedback) Greater manager involvement in employees working lives ( Hawthorne workers responded to the increased level of attention they were receiving) Working in groups or teams. ( Hawthorne workers did not previously regularly work in teams) In practice therefore businesses should re-organise production to encourage greater use of team working and introduce personnel departments to encourage 10
greater manager involvement in looking after employees’ interests. His theory most closely fits in with a paternalistic style of management.
Maslow Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970) along with Frederick Herzberg (1923-) introduced the Neo-Human Relations School in the 1950’s, which focused on the psychological needs of employees. Maslow put forward a theory that there are five levels of human needs which employees need to have fulfilled at work. All of the needs are structured into a hierarchy (see below) and only once a lower level of need has been fully met, would a worker be motivated by the opportunity of having the next need up in the hierarchy satisfied. For example a person who is dying of hunger will be motivated to achieve a basic wage in order to buy food before worrying about having a secure job contract or the respect of others. A business should therefore offer different incentives to workers in order to help them fulfill each need in turn and progress up the hierarchy (see below). Managers should also recognise that workers are not all motivated in the same way and do not all move up the hierarchy at the same pace. They may therefore have to offer a slightly different set of incentives from worker to worker.
Herzberg Frederick Herzberg (1923-) had close links with Maslow and believed in a twofactor theory of motivation. He argued that there were certain factors that a business could introduce that would directly motivate employees to work harder (Motivators). However there were also factors that would de-motivate an employee if not present but would not in themselves actually motivate employees to work harder (Hygienefactors) Motivators are more concerned with the actual job itself. For instance how interesting the work is and how much opportunity it gives for extra responsibility, recognition and promotion. Hygiene factors are factors which ‘surround the job’ rather than the job itself. For example a worker will only turn up to work if a business has provided a reasonable level of pay and safe 12
working conditions but these factors will not make him work harder at his job once he is there. Importantly Herzberg viewed pay as a hygiene factor which is in direct contrast to Taylor who viewed pay, and piece-rate in particular Herzberg believed that businesses should motivate employees by adopting a democratic approach to management and by improving the nature and content of the actual job through certain methods. Some of the methods managers could use to achieve this are: Job enlargement – workers being given a greater variety of tasks to perform (not necessarily more challenging) which should make the work more interesting. Job enrichment - involves workers being given a wider range of more complex, interesting and challenging tasks surrounding a complete unit of work. This should give a greater sense of achievement. Empowerment means delegating more power to employees to make their own decisions over areas of their working life.
Designing Jobs that Motivate and Challenge Employees Bernie Erven Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics Ohio State University Introduction Managers have the opportunity to influence the motivation of employees through design of their jobs. Well-designed jobs help accomplish two important goals: getting the necessary work done in a timely and competent manner, and motivating and challenging employees. Both the business and the employee benefit from successful job design. Poorly designed jobs leave to chance whether the expected tasks will get done in a timely and competent manner. Poorly designed jobs, moreover, are likely to be discouraging, boring and frustrating to employees. Even if employees would otherwise be enthused, competent and productive, poorly designed jobs almost certainly lead to employee disappointment. Managers have the responsibility of designing jobs. If they ignore this responsibility, employees will design their own jobs. Not surprisingly, the jobs designed by employees are more likely to be attuned to employee experiences and preferences than to the goals of the business. Neither the business nor the employees are long-term winners from managers defaulting job design to employees. Job design starts with determining the duties, tasks and activities for each job. The process of determining the content of jobs is called job analysis. Job analysis is sometimes considered the foundation of human resource management. The content of jobs, job descriptions, hiring, orientation and training are all built on what is learned from job analysis. In this paper, we will consider four keys to the design of jobs that motivate and challenge employees: job analysis, job design, characteristics of desirable jobs and fine tuning of jobs
through job enrichment and adjusted work schedules to further increase their capacity to motivate and challenge employees.
Job Analysis Job analysis is a process of obtaining the information necessary for job design. Job analysis requires efficient collection of data about existing jobs and needs that new jobs are to address. A manager has several important sources of data about job needs. In most businesses, the people now doing a job understand it best. Their experiences and insights are critical to understanding what the job is, the extent to which it is meeting the needs of the business and opportunities for an improved design. A cautionary note to keep in mind is that employees may fail to understand that job analysis is a process of gathering data about the job not an evaluation of the person doing the job. Managers need to explain carefully to employees that the goal is to improve their jobs not find a substitute for annual performance reviews. Supervisors can add additional understanding of a job. In many farm and ranch businesses, managers and supervisors have often done many of the jobs in the business. Therefore, their experiences in the job are a valuable source of information. Job analysis should generate data about tasks, duties and responsibilities of the person in the job. For a milker, the tasks, duties and responsibilities might include: with one other person, prepare and milk 300 cows; examine cows for health problems; clean milking equipment and milking parlor after milking; and perform preventive maintenance on the milking equipment. The equipment that will be operated and tools used are also included in job analysis. For an officer manager, the list of equipment and tools might include a computer, copy machine, fax machine, paper shredder and telephone. The job analysis also shows the knowledge, skills, abilities, experience and licenses
necessary for the job and the performance standards for the person doing the job. For a truck driver, this list might include at least two years of experience in over-the-road driving, valid commercial license and no moving violations during the last two years. The performance standards might be safe operation of the truck, no moving violations and timely delivery and pick ups as assigned. Determination of physical demands is also important for some jobs, e.g., be able to lift a 50-pound box to a height of 48 inches and carry the box 20 yards. It is difficult to illustrate the importance of job analysis with a few simplistic examples. Perhaps a set of questions can give an added sense of the importance of job analysis. Note that all of the questions are trying to clarify what is or is not a part of the job being analyzed. • Does the officer manager need to know how to design a computerized payroll system or will the person in the position simply be doing payroll with a system already in place? • Is the truck driver responsible for routine maintenance of the truck? • Is the head milker responsible for annual performance evaluations of milkers or are these to be done by the herdsperson? • Does the crop manager help plan the year’s cropping plan or just carry out the plan developed by the farm manager? • Is the cow manager responsible for decisions about which cows to cull or is this the responsibility of the herdsperson? • Who is authorized to buy parts for machinery repair? • Who is authorized to answer questions raised by a newspaper reporter who makes an unannounced visit to the ranch or farm? One can easily see from this short list of questions that the importance of job analysis grows as a business grows, becomes more complex, and involves more employees. At some point in size and complexity of a business, managers must either take a more systematic approach to job design or deal with the many 16
problems of inconsistency across employees, supervisors and crews. Job analysis also paves the way for determination of policies, procedures and rules to guide employee decisions. Job analysis and the resulting job design do not provide all the guidelines for employee behavior. Policies, procedures and rules complement job design.
Job Design After the job analysis has provided the necessary job data, managers are ready to design jobs. The job analysis provides an important reminder to keep employees in mind as jobs are designed. Job design is the structuring of jobs to improve the efficiency of the business and improve employee satisfaction. Uninteresting or boring jobs will cause problems. Employers can capitalize on employees’ interests and the advantages they see in farm work. To illustrate, people who love
animals are motivated by the opportunity to work with
animals. Jobs emphasizing animals attract such people. Some people like machinery much more than animals. Others enjoy repairing machinery more than operating it. Some people like office work; others want to be outdoors. Job design provides guidelines to help get appropriate fit between employees and their jobs. The results of the job analysis make it possible to design jobs while taking into consideration the tasks that must be accomplished for the business to succeed. Managers can add consideration of what individuals want in their jobs. Sometimes minor changes in job design can dramatically improve a job in the employee’s view, e.g., changing a calf feeder’s job to include, or no longer include, explanation of calf care to farm visitors. Another example is asking the 17
employee to work closely with the veterinarian to improve calf health instead of simply reporting problems to a supervisor who in turn talks with the veterinarian. Job design cannot overcome the fact that no job is perfect. Farm jobs have some disadvantages managers need to address when designing jobs. Each of the following job qualities responds to often stated disadvantages of farm work: reasonable number of work hours per day and per week, proper equipment in good repair, well lighted and ventilated work areas, training, some flexibility in scheduling work hours and regular communication with the supervisor. Paying little attention to these common concerns about farm jobs makes it almost certain that employees will not be satisfied with the jobs. Definition: Job Enlargement is the horizontal expansion of a job. It involves the addition of tasks at the same level of skill and responsibility. It is done to keep workers from getting bored. It is different than job enrichment (see sidebar). Examples: Small companies may not have as many opportunities for promotions, so they try to motivate employees through job enlargement.
Job Characteristics Anticipating what job characteristics will help motivate employees is important in job design. Managers can do their best to give each job the following five key characteristics. First, design jobs whenever possible to encourage employees to use a variety of skills. Remind yourself of the reasons that assembly line jobs are boring. Standing in one place using only one or two skills doing the same thing repeatedly is not satisfying for most people. One reason that many workers like varied work is that they get to use a variety of skills. Second, design jobs whenever possible so that an employee does a total job, e.g., all aspects of calf raising as contrasted with just feeding or a milker position that includes more responsibilities than just milking. Even such a 18
simple task as repairing gates may be more satisfying if one person has the responsibility to do everything including determining what parts are needed, buying parts, taking the gate apart, replacing parts, reassembling and testing to be sure everything is in order. Third, design jobs so that the employee understands the significance of his or her job to the farm. Why is power washing important? Why is calf raising important? What contribution is the person making by doing a good job with dry cows? What problems are caused later on if pigs are not given proper care? The employee should have answers to these kinds of basic questions. Fourth, design jobs so that each employee has responsibility, challenge, freedom and the opportunity to be creative. This requires the supervisor or owner/operator of the farm to delegate some authority. Delegation can be a powerful tool for improving a job. “You can do the job however you want as long as you get results.” Such powerful words, such effective de3 legation and such important responsibility are likely to have positive impacts on employees. Finally, make feedback a part of job design. Well-designed jobs anticipate the need for communication. Most employees want to know what is expected of them in the job, how they are doing, how they can improve, what latitude they have in changing how they do their tasks, what should be discussed with a supervisor and when the discussion should occur. Employees rarely complain about too much communication with their supervisor. They often want more communication. Ergonomics The tradition in farm and ranch work is to expect the person to adjust to the tool. A “one size fits all” mentality is common. The size may refer to an operator’s seat, chairs for a staff meeting, volume of music in the milking parlor or length of handle on a tool. The message is, “You need to adjust.”
Ergonomics turns the “one size fits all” mentality on its head. Ergonomics asks how the machine can be made to fit the person rather than how the person can fit the machine. Examples include adjustable operator seats, flexible lighting, variable temperature controls, padded floors, safety equipment, work areas adjustable to appropriate heights and angles and comfortable yet durable work clothes. An increasingly diverse work force has made ergonomics more important. Men and women may use the same equipment. A 65-year-old man 5 feet 6 inches tall may take a turn operating a machine usually operated by a 20-year-old man 6 feet 6 inches tall. Clearly, it makes no sense to expect all employees to adjust to an unadjustable machine. Job design can contribute to employee motivation by taking advantage of the many advances that have been made through ergonomics. Job Enrichment Sometimes employees want more from their jobs than is now possible. Job enrichment is a response to employees ready for more responsibility, variety and challenge. Wanting more is only part of what is required to make job enrichment a success. Employees must be able to handle the enriched jobs that are being developed for them. Managers need to consider carefully each employee’s physical capabilities, mental skills, organizational competence and capacity for learning before inviting an employee to take on an enriched job. Forcing more on employees than they are capable of handling will likely hurt the business and frustrate the employees. The usual dimensions of job enrichment in the farm and ranch setting include thefollowing: • Make a job more challenging by making it more difficult. The job may be made more difficult, for example, by including more problem-solving, increasing the number of people with whom cooperation is necessary, increasing the complexity of tasks included in the job and providing less specific directions and rules. 20
• Assign challenging new tasks that the employee must learn to do through selfstudy, off-site training, on-the-job training, experimentation and/or contact with others who have the necessary expertise. • Delegate responsibility and authority to an employee. Some examples include delegated responsibility and authority to: improve a part of the business such as pig mortality, resolve a specific problem such as employee turnover or gather the necessary information for determining the best alternative for replacing a major piece of machinery. • Ask the employee to become the farm’s expert in an area of interest to him or her, e.g., corn varieties. • Provide the employee with performance reports about enterprises or major cost categories and ask that he or she provide analysis and suggestion on how to improve performance. Job enrichment is a tool for improving employee motivation through satisfying a need for more challenge. Job enrichment pays more attention to employee needs than to needs of the business. In particular, job enrichment responds to employee need for achievement, self-esteem and self-fulfillment. Job enrichment is likely to be counterproductive when employees do not have these higher level needs. Such employees are likely to see job enrichment as little more than employers trying to take advantage of them and frustrating them unnecessarily. Job enrichment has compensation implications. One would expect that an employee who takes on an enriched job with no loss in work quality would realize some financial benefit. However, the impetus for job enrichment is increased motivation through more challenging work rather than higher pay through more responsibility. Job enrichment recognizes that nonmonetary rewards are important to job satisfaction. Furthermore, to have a sense of progress in their careers, many employees need more
than gradually increasing compensation. Job enrichment meets the need for nonmonetary progress by providing a steady increase in challenges and professional development.
Work Schedules The eight-hour work day/40 hours per week is the standard for most of the country’s labor force. For several reasons, this has never been the standard for farm and ranch work. The Fair Labor Standards Act exempts farm and ranch work from overtime pay requirements when the workweek exceeds 40 hours. Thus, a farm or ranch employer can have a standard workweek of six, ten-hour days and have the same hourly pay rate for all 60 hours. The work ethic common to farming and ranching also contributes to acceptance of long workweeks. The seasonal nature of agriculture requires an all out effort during some weeks of the year. Consequently, work schedules have been dictated more by how to get the work done than by seeking ways to increase employee motivation. Some employers outside agriculture have made adjustments to traditional work schedules. Most common are flexible beginning and ending times, a compressed workweek and job sharing. These adjustments remain uncommon in agriculture. Nevertheless, farm and ranch managers sometimes have the option of changing traditional work schedules. Flexible beginning and ending times, usually called flextime, eliminate common beginning and ending times for employees doing the same job. Instead, employers permit employees to choose daily starting and quitting times. To illustrate, a manager with five employees might have two beginning work at 7:00 a.m., one beginning at 8:30 and two beginning at 9:30. The manager might also offer flexibility in both time and length of the mid-day break. Quitting times would also vary greatly. 22
Flextime obviously cannot work in many situations. A crew working on a multiperson task would need to have common starting and quitting times. For example, harvesting might require a two-person crew. Milking might require a three-person crew. On the other hand, employees may have individual responsibilities that do not overlap with the work of other employees thus making flextime a possibility. A farm office with a single employee might not open until 8:00 a.m. even though all other employees start at 6:00 a.m. Employees are generally enthusiastic about flextime because of the control it gives them over their work and nonwork schedules. Employers like the positive impacts of flextime on productivity, tardiness and absenteeism but not the increased difficulty of monitoring workers. The compressed workweek has a reduced number of days worked each week with a corresponding increase in number of hours worked each day. A compressed workweek might be four days, each 12 hours long, rather than six days, each 8 hours long. The compressed workweek is incompatible with many jobs and the stamina of some employees. Nevertheless, it does provide an alternative to the traditional five or six day workweek. Employees with compressed workweeks report liking three days off each week. Job sharing involves two or more people sharing a single job. The most common form of job sharing is a full-time position being converted to two parttime positions. The two part-timers split the full-time compensation. Each person typically works three days out of five, two days alone and one with the other person. There are some potentially attractive applications of job sharing to farm employment. For example, a dairy farm that has a morning milking and an evening milking could use job sharing. Three part-time people might be hired for the morning milking instead of one full-time person. The three part-time people would be hired and trained together. Then they would be responsible for their own scheduling to be sure that one of the three was available for each 23
morning milking, seven days per week, year around. The three could even be given the responsibility for recruiting and training a fourth person if necessary. Experience is so limited with job sharing in agriculture that an employer would benefit from finding a nonfarm employer and employee with job sharing experience to gain their insights about the pros and cons. Concluding Comment Job design is a tool for helping to motivate and challenge employees. Like all other motivational tools, it fails to provide a magical answer for all employees in all situations. Nevertheless, inattention to job analysis, job design, job enrichment and work scheduling means that motivation problems will be created that need not be created. Employees are likely to appreciate an employer’s efforts to make their jobs as motivational and challenging as feasible. Many employees will welcome the opportunity to help improve their jobs. They will see the benefits for themselves and for the business. Traditional jobs can be changed. An employer’s imagination and creativity applied to job design have the potential to yield impressive results.
Other relevant points How does Profit sharing work? The company contributes a portion of its pretax profits to a pool that will be distributed among eligible employees. The amount distributed to each employee may be weighted by the employee's base salary so that employees with higher base salaries receive a slightly higher amount of the shared pool of profits. Generally this is done on an annual basis. Advantages • Brings groups of employees to work together toward a common goal (the success/benefit of the company). • Helps employees focus on profitability. • The costs of implementing the plan rise and fall with the company's revenues. 24
• Enhances commitment to organizational goals. Disadvantages • The pay for each employee moves up or down together (no individual differences for merit or performance). • Focuses only on the goal of profitability (which may be at the expense of quality). • For smaller companies, these plans may result in drastic swings in earnings for employees which the employees may find difficult to manage their personal finances. • Adherence to the FLSA requires employers to recalculate each worker's "regular rate" of pay. To overcome this limitation, employers may restrict this type of compensation to exempt employees. What is Skill Based Pay? The payment of additional salary or hourly pay to employees for learning, and being able to perform, additional tasks or skills. It is sometimes expanded to compensate employees for demonstrating relevant competencies. How does Skill Based Pay work? Jobs, or groups of jobs, are divided into component parts. Employees are hired into a base job level that presumes that they either know or will develop proficiency in a core set of tasks. To encourage them to learn additional skills, the organization provides additional training on other skill sets and commits to raise their base pay level once they demonstrate a satisfactory level of competence with each skill set. Why was Skill Based Pay developed? In its simplest form, Skill Based Pay has been used to allow an employee to "cover" for an absent co-worker. It has been used since at least the 1940's for assembly line workers. It has recently been "re-discovered" as organizations 25
attempt to downsize and cross-train workers. "Quality" oriented organizations use the cross training process to help employees understand the broader organization and product demands. Skill Based Pay is often used to stimulate employee interest in training that will provide them with a broader focus. What obstacles does Skill Based Pay face? While Skill Based Pay has significant benefits, successful programs need to address the following issues: Skill Block Definition: Describing reasonable sized skill sets requires thoughtful attention from people very familiar with the job to group skills into logical, useful clusters. Skill sets should be significant enough to demonstrate real competency differences, but small enough to allow them to be mastered within a reasonable time frame. Skill Set Pricing: A rational process needs to be employed to determine how large a salary increase (or incentive) is appropriate for each skill set. This may relate to the competitive value of the skills, the amount of effort required to perform the additional tasks, the difficulty of learning the skill set, or some other process accepted as reasonable by those affected. Skill Validation Tests: In order to verify that the skills are at designated levels, it is necessary to develop credible tests to validate the employee's competency. The tests typically include comprehension (including theoretical background), sample performance tests (including precision and speed), and troubleshooting abilities. Skill Currency Assurances: Many organizations require that employees periodically either actually perform the tasks for specified time intervals or take "re-certification" tests to assure that they are maintaining the skills for which they are being compensated. Technological Changes: As organizations change, the necessary skill sets change. The entire Skill Based Pay process needs to include an ongoing process
to assure that the skills being compensated for still have value to the organization. Training Cost/Time: By their very nature, Skill Based Pay programs encourage employees to focus on learning new activities rather than performing their base job. This results in "downtime" that must be covered by other employees and often also requires trainer time from elsewhere in the organization. Many organizations limit the amount of time that employees can spend on training, and/or require them to spend a specified amount of time before they can train or take the test for a new skill set. Payroll Costs: If every employee becomes proficient in all of the tasks, the organization not only would have thorough back-up capacity, it would have higher payroll costs than it would have if employees only knew their own job. In most cases, the organization does not need every employee to know every job. Accordingly, it must decide how much redundancy is beneficial. Many organizations limit the number of employees that they are willing to pay for certain skill sets in order to control payroll expense. Legal Considerations: Organizations need to consider the potential legal exposure that may accompany a Skill Based Pay program. Firms should be sure that the process does not discriminate against employees in protected classes and that they compensate non-exempt employees for on-the-job training time. Where does Skill Based Pay Work? Although its genesis has been in blue collar environments, Skill Based Pay is being successfully used in a wide cross section of non-exempt and professional positions. It is even being used for managerial level positions, although it is often called "responsibility based pay" when managers demonstrate the competence to oversee multiple functions. The key elements that appear to be critical for Skill Based Pay to work include: -- thoughtful program design that stays current with changing technologies, -- carefully designed skill elements, that are accepted as relevant and reasonable both by management and the employees covered by the program, 27
-- consistent, even handed program administration that is seen as operating the program with integrity, and -- interested managers that support the cross-training intent of the program. What is the best way to implement a Skill Based Pay program? ECI recommends, once the decision to consider a Skill Based Pay program has been made, that the organization use a participative task force to • review the components of the various jobs being considered, • identify specific skills where 1) the company would benefit by having more employees that could perform the skill and/or 2) current skill levels are insufficient to meet either the quantity or quality of desired performance levels, • determine whether a valid training and certification program exists or could be developed for the skills, • determine the relative value of the skills - which requires selecting a valuation process, • determine how the defined skill sets, certification process and relative values relate to employee perceptions and concerns, • develop program cost estimates under various scenarios, • develop an implementation process, including determining: -- how to handle employees who already have the skills, -- whether any adjustments to base pay levels are required, -- what "safety" procedures will be used to assure that program abuses do not occur, -- how the program will be communicated to employees and supervisors, -- what monitoring and adjustment procedures will be used, and -- who will be responsible for the program. • obtain management approvals, and • implement the program, perhaps on a test basis. 28
How long does it take to implement Skill Based Pay? While the answer will clearly vary based on the number of jobs included and the level of commitment to the effort made by the organization, Skill Based Pay programs normally require four to six months to implement. This is partly due to the number of issues that must be addressed. More significantly, time is required to obtain input from a broad number of participants who know the existing jobs and who will be interested in the program. Programs that are developed in a participatory manner are much more likely to succeed since the program elements are more likely to be perceived as relevant and reasonable. What Alternatives to Skill Based Pay Exist? Presuming that the objective is to increase employee knowledge of job skills and to provide increased work force flexibility in covering needed functions, ECI identifies the following alternatives to Skill Based Pay: •
Job Rotation: By merely having employees do other jobs periodically, the organization can be sure that more than one person knows the job. Psychological studies have shown this form of job enrichment increases employee's interest in the job even if no extra pay is involved.
Certification/Training Incentives: Employees completing approved internal or external training programs might be given cash bonuses or other recognition awards (like the "Mr. Goodwrench" program) to recognize their increased value. These are typically one-time payments that do not increase the employees salary.
Merit Pay: If the training and flexibility is worthwhile and benefits the organization, it is possible to use a traditional merit pay approach to reward the employee's for their increased value. 29
Promotions: By developing a career ladder that allows employees to be promoted to higher levels based on the number of skills they have and their performance on the job, the concepts of a skill based pay program can be incorporated into a traditional salary program through the definition of the various job levels. Case Study The Effectiveness of Non Monetary Recognition Programs : Although the concept of positive reinforcement and the related principle that you get what you reward are well-founded in the psychology literature, the effective use of positive reinforcement by practicing managers is uneven and often totally lacking in day-to-day business operations. This article explores the conditions that enable or inhibit the use by managers of non-monetary recognition (NMR). The Study For each of 34 organizations, data from a set of managers who were identified as frequent users of non-monetary recognition were matched against a set of managers who were infrequent users of the behavior, using three forms of validation to confirm accurate category placement. High-use (HU) and low-use (LU) managers were initially identified by an organizational sponsor and then confirmed by a manager's self-report and reports by at least three employees who reported to each manager. A broad-based national survey was conducted of all managers in the sample, based on variables drawn primarily from three domains of the motivation literature. Survey questions explored the motivation for the use of non-monetary recognition, ranging from past experience with the behavior (social learning theory), to present reinforcement of the behavior (reinforcement theory), to future expectations from the behavior (expectancy theory). Reinforcement Theory Reinforcement theory provided the strongest support for explaining differences in the use of NMR: High-use managers were reinforced for using NMR (most notably by their employees), while low-use managers were not reinforced for using the behavior, perhaps in part because they seldom displayed the behavior. Social Learning Theory Social learning theory provided uneven support: High-use managers were significantly more likely to have had parents who modeled NMR, although neither high-use nor low-use 30
managers reported their managers modeled the behavior. High-use managers clearly internalized the importance of the activity and made intentional plans to practice its use on a daily basis, whereas low-use managers felt strongly that the behavior was not important, thus did not seek to make plans to use the behavior. Expectancy Theory Expectancy theory provided strong support: High-use managers had the skills and confidence to use NMR and felt strongly that doing so would lead to desired outcomes, whereas low-use managers did not know how to effectively provide NMR and felt strongly that its use would lead to undesired outcomes. In addition, the study found the manager's age to be the only highly significant demographic variable that distinguished the two groups. Older managers were less likely to practice NMR or feel its use was important today. Neither gender nor personality type was found to be significant in distinguishing high-use from low-use managers in this study. Emergent Patterns In looking at these findings, a pattern emerged of behavior cycles that differentiated managers who use recognition from those who do not. Managers who were high-users tended to have an initial positive experience with the behavior, which made them more likely to use NMR with those they managed. The managers were reinforced for the use of NMR by (in order of significance): their employees, themselves, other colleagues, suppliers, and their own managers. They also obtained the results they desired in using NMR, which included increased performance (see sidebar on this page) and morale on the part of their employees. Based on this success, they were more likely to use the behavior again to the point in which they internalized the importance of the behavior, and increased their skills and confidence, so that it became a daily part of their behavioral repertoire as a manager. Negative Cycle For managers who did not use NMR, a negative cycle seemed evident: Managers did not have an initial positive experience with the use of NMR and thus were inclined not to use NMR. Since they didn't use NMR, they had little or no chance of being reinforced for the behavior. No benefits were thus derived from the use of NMR, and any concerns or fears about the behavior essentially became excuses for not doing the behavior, thus neither skills nor confidence were enhanced, and the behavior was not internalized. To take just one sample excuse, low-users said they didn't have time to use NMR, whereas high-users cited "time" as one of the top reasons they used NMR, in that they could have a significant impact on employees and performance with very little time through the effective use of NMR. 31
These findings further suggest that to trigger a positive cycle of NMR use on the part of managers, it may be more important for them to have a positive personal experience in the use of NMR, more so than available programs, tools, or other resources for providing recognition to their employees.