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Hyde reported, however, that part-time professionals tend to accept negative perceptions as part of the territory; they are often willing to accept their marginalised status when they are voluntary part-timers. It is a trade-off they are willing to make for the reduced schedules they choose for whatever reason.
Unfortunately, flexibility for the part-time employee may not always be viewed as flexibility from the viewpoint of the employer. With respect to part-time employees on the police force in the UK, for example, Hyde (2008) found that managers had considered working with part-timers to be an inflexible arrangement, citing difficulties with communication, continuity, and scheduling. Hakim (cited in Hyde 2008) argues that women who choose to work part-time have limited career aspirations and low work-commitment. Although Hakim interviewed women for whom this was the case, pursuing part-time careers with the police force but as a lower priority than home and family, Hyde was able to interview women for whom careers on the police force were important. Their families were no less important than those of the group interviewed by Hakim, but these women viewed part-time work as a way to gain skills and experience and build time with the force. One woman spoke for many when she pointed out that children do not stay small forever. The part-time employees interviewed agreed that marginalisation was part of what they had to endure and seemed able to keep it in perspective. They enjoyed their jobs and were serious about their commitment to their work. Similarly, a study by Fike and Fike (2007) revealed there was no difference among full-time and part-time college teachers of mathematics in their approaches to their jobs and, perhaps more importantly, no difference in the achievements of their students. One cannot conclude that full-time employees have more dedication and are better at their jobs any more than one can categorize all part-time employees as having low levels of organisational commitment. Much depends on the work ethic of the individual and the commitment he or she feels towards the organisation.
2.3.2 Education and training program (3 pages)
- Review previous studies to find whether education / training programme can influence work commitment in the organization.
Benson (2003) reported on a study of nearly 1000 employees, showing that on-the-job training is positively related to organizational commitment and negatively related to intention to turnover. It makes sense: employees who feel their employers are willing to invest in them are more likely to feel invested in the organisation. The willingness on the part of an employer to provide training indicates trust that the employee can do the job and speaks to the intent of offering permanent, long-term employment. There are circumstances that may ultimately result in an employee's termination or voluntary quit, but when training is offered, a relationship is implied. Benson points out that since the 1990s, employment is often more tenuous; gone are the days when an individual could routinely plan on keeping a job for life. Changes in the way business is done, as well as employees' desires to make a change or even start a new career, affect one's longevity with an organisation. Organisations may make changes when their needs change and employees may leave for a variety of reasons. However, organisations that want to retain employees may find that training and education are powerful incentives for employees to stay and are useful for engendering feelings of loyalty and commitment.
Davenport and Prusak (1997, cited in Maurer, Pierce and Shore (2002) noted that one of the most important resources organisations have for adapting to today's competitive and often turbulent marketplace is a group of employees who are willing and able to acquire new knowledge and skills. Employees who are so motivated usually bring the same work ethic to their jobs that they do to their pursuit of learning.
Education in the work place can take a variety of forms. Sometimes workers gain new skills almost by default; they take on new responsibilities -- either on their own initiative or at the behest of their employers -- and learn new skills outside their usual duties. It is mutually advantageous for employee and employer. Employees gain new skills to use in their present job and may position themselves for raises and promotions. They also add to their skill set and thus become more desirable on the job market should they find themselves seeking other employment, voluntarily or not. For the employer, a more highly skilled employee is a bonus, someone who can take on additional work or fill in for other workers who are absent.
Numerous studies have shown that, given satisfaction with their financial compensation, employees are more motivated by non-monetary incentives rather than extra cash (Dewhurst, Gutheridge & Mohr 2010). Employee morale is often low in the current economic climate, at a time when organisations need their workers to be motivated and engaged with the hope that former prosperity will be restored. Organizations face the challenge of retaining talented people and recruiting new talent from the pool of people laid off from other jobs or students just graduating from college. Offering training and education is one benefit that has been shown to be meaningful to current and prospective employees.
Costen and Salazar (2011) found, in a survey of workers in the hospitality and tourism industry, a high correlation between an organisation's support of education and training and employee job satisfaction, loyalty, and intent to stay. Other studies have shown, not surprisingly, that the same is true in other industries as well. Chocolatier R.C. Purdy, a Vancouver-based candy retailer in business since 1907, places a high premium on training for its employees. Part-timers receive two full days of training and seasonal workers receive an entire day. The organisation has found the time spent -- seen as excessive by some -- as worth every penny. The company feels it is particularly important with the part-time and seasonal workers, since individuals in this category do not often feel invested in the employer, viewing their position as "a bus stop on the route to a real career" (Baillie-Ruder 2004).
Benson (2003) found that while on-the-job training is positively related to organizational commitment, tuition reimbursement programs tend to have the opposite effect. Benson surveyed 980 employees of a high tech manufacturing firm that offered full reimbursement for tuition, limited time off to attend classes and a one-time stock grant of $10,000 to an employee upon completion of a degree. It would seem that this would be a powerful incentive for employees to stay with the firm; the generous compensation would seem to inspire loyalty in employees. Benson argues, and his literature review supports this, that on-the-job training is more organisation-specific. Tuition reimbursement programs allow employees to achieve more general skills that make them increasingly marketable to outside organisations. Tuition reimbursement programs can be like part-time or seasonal work in this way, serving as what Baillie-Ruder has described as "a bus stop on the route to a real career." In the case of tuition reimbursement, employees may already feel they have a "real career" but may seek better opportunities -- e.g., higher salary, management position -- after adding an academic credential.
In a 2006 follow-up study, Benson found the original hypothesis still held true, that tuition reimbursement programs correlated positively with employee intent to turnover. However, when employees were offered promotions within the organisation after earning their degrees, they were much more likely to stay. It is an important consideration that organisations should keep in mind when offering tuition reimbursement programs. An employee does not, for the most part, earn a degree as an end in itself, nor merely because someone else is paying for it. The employee pursues the degree with the expectation of a better job. If the organisation can provide a better job -- higher salary, more interesting and challenging work, and greater opportunity for advancement -- then the employee will not have to look for that elsewhere.
2.3.3 Bonus and compensation (3 pages)
- Review previous studies to find whether bonus / compensation can influence work commitment in the organisation. Please use both support and non-support the relationship between bonus / compensation and work commitment.
Pat Zingheim and Jay Schuster, authors of High-Performance Pay: Fast Forward to Business Success, argue that employee bonuses do work. "Even if you only have $1 in a pay increase budget, it should go for employee performance" ('Talent management' 2007). However, others argue that a small amount makes no difference to employees; they will look at the bottom line of what is being offered and not the sentiment behind it, no matter how well intentioned. Another problem with merit increases is the sense of entitlement they create, especially in Generation X and Y workers, who all too often forget about the merit portion of merit pay and take increases for granted, essentially a "given" just for being on the job. The merit…[continue]
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