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CORPORATE GOVERNANCE: Motivate your workforce with integrity, loyalty and dedication!

“A recent report suggests that corporations that provide day care to the children of their employees have significantly higher morale among personnel than corporations that do not provide day care. Corporation XYZ is anxious to increase worker productivity and is instituting day care for the children of its employees.”(GMAT question provided by the Princeton Review) So, the question is, does improved morale lead to higher productivity? Or was that quote just a foreshadowing to the mere fact that morale can be affected by working conditions, benefits, salary increases, and management techniques? So does one company provide day care or not? “Blathington contended that employee-owned companies would invariably be less productive than privately owned enterprises. Each individual, recognizing that his or her fellow employees would be working harder out of a sense of proprietorship, would be tempted to lighten his or her own workload. If each person follows this reasoning, overall productivity would greatly decrease. However, a study comparing 15 companies that had recently become employee-owned and 34 privately owned companies revealed significantly better performances from the employee-owned companies.”(GMAT question provided by the Princeton Review) So is it safe to ask if the employee-owned companies were performing better than the privately owned companies before they switched ownership to their employees? Or were the employees of the employee-owned companies that were studied paid at least as much as the employees of the privately owned companies? It is quite interesting to find that although the above two enquiries are aimed as Critical Reasoning questions of the GMAT, their actual implications reach out further into the context of organizational behaviour, than just merely a multiple choice test. So, how does one bead together all of the concepts that are put forth when dealing with motivation in the workforce and maximal organizational productivity? Well, you start with the string that ties those concepts together, integrity, loyalty and dedication. With integrity comes completeness and honesty, thereby developing one’s loyalty, which produces a faithful allegiance in that person’s mind, thus generating an enthusiastically committed individual with a heart entirely dedicated to pursue the challenges that will maintain him or her at such a praiseworthy intensity. (Katzenbach & Santamaria) Not necessarily one’s character develops into such a person directly in that order, however all those attributes are required as fundamentals to acquiring an intellectually and emotionally motivated individual, be it an employee or a manager. What is feasible is that integrity, loyalty and dedication can be developed in any willing individual, some more than others and some shine through on their own. The question lies in how does one, such as an organization, develop such individuals and nurture their motivational hunger in their workforce? If you’re looking to improve your workforce’s mentality, you could take a look at the Together Blog for some ideas of how this can be done. The following paragraphs will directly demonstrate the vast need and tactics for such a development of a honourable employee nature in the modern workforce.

“Men, my brothers, men, the workers, ever reaping something new: That which they have done but earnest of the things that they shall do.” (Tennyson, Locksley Hall)

Modern organizations have become more aware of the underlying contributors to their progress, the frontline employees. (Katzenbach & Santamaria) Further, those organizations that are successful realize the need to maintain their frontline employees at the maximal productivity level. While those organizations that realize the roots of their problems are stemming from their workforce, inquire about how to transform their employee atmosphere into the targeted motivational intensity seen in more successful organizations like the Marines. (Katzenbach & Santamaria) So where does one start? Jumping into the concept of developing a honourable employee, one could begin by discussing the requirements to fuse integrity in the hearts and minds of an organization’s workforce. When an organization looks for a “Balanced Path”, it must consider the type of workforce they are dealing with and what is expected of them in terms of quality and quantity. The organization must address the questions of: What type of people makes up our workforce? What do they have to gain by working for us, besides a paycheck? Do the employees feel challenged enough or do they require more? How should we divide up the work between our employees, should we divide up the work among all the employees, or should we divide up the employees into groups or teams in order to address the different types of work required? With the various different types of organizations many more questions must be asked, but the previous few are of out-most importance. Thus, once these questions are addressed perhaps an organization can move on and decide what core values must be integrated into the onset of their workforce development. (Katzenbach & Santamaria) That is, when new employees begin, the organization should communicate their values in order to demonstrate the importance of the employees’ contribution to the progress of that organization. In addition the organization should illustrate the obligations the employee has to their organization and vice versa. This can be done in numerous ways, such as individually training their newly acquired employees while delivering the core values so that they will integrate the employee’s importance to the organization. Or the organization can team up newly acquired employees with working groups that have been demonstrating the desired performance, thereby influencing the new employee through his or her obligation as a team member. (Johnsonville Foods). By teaming up employees into separate working entities within an organization gives those employees a lot more obligations and responsibilities to their team members and to the organization. (Katzenbach & Santamaria, Harley Shifts Gears) Since those teamed up employees will be in charge of their own commitment and progress. The increase in the obligations and responsibilities put forth will further challenge the employees to the point where they will be both intellectually and emotionally motivated. With this intellectual and emotional stimulation an employee can achieve the completeness desired to honestly contribute with full integrity. Therefore, one may ask how does an organization set these core values and decide how to divide up or combine their workforce to incorporate integrity? Well, the answer lies in the freedom that different organizations have to experiment with what best works for them, since every different organization depends on different attributes that allow them to progress productively in the ever-changing business world. However the organization may choose to conduct their training or philosophy, they should start by addressing those previously mentioned questions into gaining a head start of what is really required of them to create or simply elicit the integrity in their employees, be it frontline workers or managers.

“Not enjoyment, and not sorrow. Is our destined end or way; but to act, that each to-morrow, brings us farther than to-day.” (Longfellow, A Psalm of Life)

When organizations look for the leaders in their workforce they should hope to find all their employees as candidates. Because with leadership comes loyalty, a most vital aspect in developing the desired motivational intensity required to optimize productivity in their workforce. An organization should consider what exactly they want their employees to be loyal about, and how is the organization loyal in return. In the modern business environment organizations have to break free from the common historical illusion that in order to stir up loyalty within the workforce, they must offer job security or tenure. (Brian O’Reilly) For the message an organization definitely does not want to deliver would be “an eye for an eye” when it comes to deciding who owes who, so much so that the employee relationship will be “poisoned” on the merit of both the organization and that of the employee. (Brian O’Reilly) Loyalty should be awakened from within the employee and not developed from terms of accountability. For once the employee feels that his integrity is vulnerable through his job security, the organization will loose any hopes of gaining back any wilful merit within the employee’s mind that will develop him or her into a loyal and dedicated worker. In order to truly develop employees into loyal workers organizations should aim to create a belonging atmosphere, such that each employee feels part of a greater cause than simply an institutionalized machine with a work for money attitude. Developing a structured workforce requires a distribution of employees either through training or the teaming up of skills to produce synergies within the work group that can be assigned for a specific task. (Harley Shifts Gears, Johnsonville Foods) One major positive aspect of teaming up employees into groups is that the various skills and talents that are contributed by each member can be combined, with additional factors, in such a way that the team’s value as a whole is greater than the sum of their individual parts. This synergy of skills can help optimize the performance of that team to successfully conquer all tasks at hand. The team itself develops a loyalty as a whole to the organization through their spirit, and the team members themselves develop a loyalty to each other and to the organization because of their belonging to a greater cause. Further, within each properly constructed team a member may choose to take the initiative to lead or mediate a thorough protocol to deal with a certain task or challenge, put forth by the organization, in order to instigate proper team performance. This may allow a member to shine through his or her skills and talents when they feel that they are most suitably equipped for the requirements of the challenge, thereby creating a rotating leadership “identity” between the team members, with every new task. Additionally, this leadership role played every so often by a different employee, will give the worker a sense of control over their destiny in the organization, knowing what to expect in terms of their success as a team member. (Katzenbach & Santamaria) Thus, loyalty is further driven into the minds and souls of the employees once they are given such a role as a leader or mediator every so often. More importantly, in order for such a reconstruction of an organization’s workforce to succeed the organization must change their frame of a profit oriented organization into a performance oriented one. (Johnsonville Foods) For the true success of the organization will be through their ability to generate loyalty within their workforce aimed to increase the earning power of the organization. When the entire workforce of an organization, including frontline employees and managers, have similar goals and think as a single entity with proper management, the boundaries of performance are limitless, and thus productivity can be optimized.

“Tis a lesson you should heed: Try, try, try again. If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try, try again.” (W.E. Hickson, Try and Try Again)

A major problem when organizations aim to hire new employees is that they try to develop a technique for filtering out those who would seem most dedicated. However, what those organizations fail to realize is that no new employee can truly be dedicated to a new job unless they know what is expected of them in terms of their abilities required by the organization and their self worth as an employee part of a greater cause. As was previously mentioned, an employee’s recognition of his or her abilities and self worth is achieved with integrity and loyalty, thus, dedication is successive to those two crucial attributes of a worker’s character. However, in order to maintain the employee in such a mode of dedication, an organization must provide the necessary means in facilitating the required “initial challenge” for each employee. (Ronald Burke) Since the initial challenge put forth will decide if whether or not the employee will be satisfied with the amount of psychological commencement. When an employee convinces him or her self that their full capabilities will be required through their job, they will understand, in addition to feel, their worth to the organization, knowing that they will always be occupied mentally, physically and emotionally. This worth creates a great interest by the employee in the organization’s success both in terms of productivity and performance, since that organization is responsible for the motivational enticement of that employee’s working abilities. Organizations should look for employees based on their potential, that is, not entirely on what the candidate has on paper or can convince the organization of better, but on what he or she can be developed into as an honourable employee of integrity, loyalty and dedication. Although this task of choosing employees based on such intangible aspects seems impossible, the organization should realize that this potential could be transformed into such qualities by the organization, as seen previously. And thus organizations should just look for a possible flare in the spirit of the candidate that can be somewhat convincing of such a potential, which in turn is ignited into such an employee desired by the organization.

“Be all you can be, in the army” (U.S. Military Commercial)

Organizations must re-frame their intuition on how their objectives must be set in order to accommodate the level of success they want to achieve. Such re-framing should include the way they have structured the core values implemented into their workforce. These values should underlie the fundamental principles on which the organization stands on. For when tending to the needs of a motivational intensity within the organization’s workforce, they should frame their objectives to be performance oriented as appose to profit oriented, since their earning power depends on the merit force of their employees. Once the level of performance is achieved by the workforce or by the different teams of the workforce, the organization may choose to maintain such status of good economic or non-economic well-being. In doing so the organization must avoid awarding bonuses such as merit pay or incentives based purely on their productivity level, since although that may retain the organization’s objectives in terms of goals achieved, it is more likely to reduced the quality of the performance in order to speed up productivity, by the awarded workers. Thus, the initial goal of performance-oriented structure can be eliminated for quantity and surplus, which in turn can weaken the strengths previously gained by the organization, both economically and structurally. Employees should be awarded not on what they have done but on the quality of their performance during their achievements. Although awards do not directly define such an accomplishment it should be directly mentioned as the cause for such an action as merit pay. Thereby the workforce will keep in mind that although they have much to gain by being a part of a greater cause, through their integrity, loyalty and dedication, the incentives or merit pay is purely out of their accomplishments of increasing their self-worth both to themselves and on to the organization. Even though all organizations desire peak performance, their actual success in the matter is all relative to the industry they are in. However, one issue is for certain, the workforce in any organization of any industry must be built from the bottom up just like an organization itself is. Once the organization and its workforce are suspended on the fundamental principles of integrity, loyalty and dedication, then the performance of that organization is encased by the motivational intensity of its employees, so that with the proper maintenance it becomes impenetrable like the heart and souls of the Marines.