Managing the Cultural Values and Emotions of Employees
This essay is intended to explain the reasons that determine the use of employees' values management by certain companies and their effects. I consider that this method is not recommended as a strategy for improving the performance standards of employees in such companies. Certain contexts have revealed the fact that managing employees' cultural values and emotions can produce benefits, but this does not recommend the large use of this technique. The Corporate Culture section provides the arguments of several specialists in the field that explain the relationship between corporate culture, employees' values, and their performance. The Benefits of Managing the Cultural Values of Employees section addresses some of the benefits that can be observed in certain situations. The Managing Employees' Values and their Effects section addresses the reduced level of efficiency and other effects that such strategies have on the motivational standards of employees.
There are several opinions on what managers should do regarding the cultural values and emotions of their employees. Some of these opinions are in favor of managers involving in these values and emotions with the objective of improving the workplace experience, while others state that it is efficient that managers do not involve in such issues. The explanations of these opinions can be attributed to different contexts.
Theories on corporate culture state that managers' involvement in working with the cultural values and emotions of employees has become a necessity that companies must address. In other words, managers must focus on modifying the behavior of employees in order to develop behaviors that are in accordance with the company's values, instead of using employees' unmodified behaviors to activities that they can support (Peters & Waterman, 1982). Such a strategy of modifying employees' behaviors refers to activities intended to increase positive motivation. Numerous studies in the field have revealed the fact that human resources management also relies on the effects of positive motivation. The results obtained by companies that focus their motivational strategy on positive motivation reflect the importance of such issues.
The leadership style of managers is very important in determining the behavior of their subordinates. Certain leadership styles, like the authoritarian or the transactional styles are not characterized by focus on positive motivation. Regarding leadership styles, the transformational leadership style seems to favor the development of strategies based on the increased level of motivation of employees. It is important to determine the leadership styles that have important effects on modifying the cultural values and emotions of employees.
The interest of companies and managers in managing the cultural values and emotions of employees seems to be reflected in their intention of reducing organizational conflicts. Such conflicts are usually determined by differences in cultural values between employees, or between employees and the company (Parker, 2000). These differences in cultural values determine employees to have different behaviors, objectives and approaches to their work in comparison with their colleagues. These different cultural values have great importance to employees, determining them to develop conflicts with other employees. In other cases, the values and emotions of employees are not very useful in reaching the company's objectives. The company's managers try to manage the cultural values of employees in order to help reach these objectives.
There are also other reasons that reflect managers' interest in developing an organizational culture intended to improve the performance of their employees by managing their cultural values and emotions (Willmott, 1993). Several specialists in the field have observed that such companies develop an organizational cultural as a framework for success. Such a framework is used in manipulating the behaviors of employees and orienting them towards improving their performance for the company in case.
The activity of numerous companies reflects their involvement in managing employees' cultural values and emotions. In certain cases, specialists in the field recommend that it is important that managers focus on such issues. They consider that it is efficient to manage employees' values in order to be in accordance with the company's values and objectives.
The Benefits of Managing the Cultural Values of Employees
The involvement of managers in managing the values and emotions of employees has advantages also. In other words, managers' interest in the values of employees and in modifying these values and emotions can have good effects on their performance in certain cases. Such cases are represented by situation where employees feel isolated by their colleagues or by their superiors, they experience lack of motivation which affects their work. As a consequence, such situations can lead to reduced work satisfaction, which also affects the activity of the company.
Therefore, it is important that managers identify such cases and focus on addressed the factors that caused them in the attempt of improving the situation of the employees affected by these factors, but also the situation of the company in case. The critics of such strategies recommend that managers should not try to modify the values and emotions of employees. But in such cases, in accordance with this opinion this means that managers should not be interested in improving the workplace conditions of these employees. This is obviously an inefficient managerial strategy.
Several specialists in the field consider that companies and managers must focus on improving the environment in which these employees work. This is because the performance of employees also relies on environmental factors at work that influence their activity. If this environment is in accordance with their values, supports their objectives and development, their motivational level can increase, leading to improved performance that the company benefits from. But if the environment is considered by employees as not supporting them, this can be considered an important factor that significantly influence their creativity, their desire to work, and their interest in reaching the company's objectives. Therefore, it is important that companies include such issues in their human resources strategy.
Companies must also focus in identifying the causes that determine such situations, instead of limiting to influencing the cultural values and behaviors of employees. Such cases where employees feel isolated and not supported by companies are usually determined by the misunderstanding of the use of power in such companies. This is because certain managers consider that they reach higher levels of power that can be used individually. In other words, they do not understand that their power within the company should be used in order to reach the company's objective, to improve the products and services developed by the company, and to increase the performance of employees. Such managers use their power in order to develop an environment that favors their development within the company.
Specialists in the field also address the ethics of managing the values of employees. These specialists consider unethical such attempts and recommend other types of strategies that can be used in successfully addressing problems determined by differences between the values of employees and those of the company (Knights & Roberts, 1982). In such cases, companies and their human resources managers can focus on allocating employees with certain values, emotions, and preferences to jobs that require such values, instead of managing their values in order to be in accordance with other jobs.
It is difficult to determine whether managers should involve in managing the cultural values of their employees. In certain cases this can lead to improved workplace conditions of employees. In other cases, such activities can be considered unethical. Therefore, it is important to take into consideration the context of each situation.
Managing Employees' Values and their Effects
There are numerous companies that manage their employees' values and state that they are doing so in order to improve their performance. The reason behind using such techniques relies on considering employees' values an important factor that affects their performance at work. In other words, managers that observe that some of their employees report lower levels of motivation and reduced performance standards, consider that by modifying their employees' values, their performance can improve.
This opinion is disagreed with by certain specialists that have analyzed the field of management and its relationship with human resources and company performance. Such specialists consider that attempts of managing employees' values, emotions, and behaviors at work have little to do with the solution that these problems require. In their opinion, managers should identify the factors that determined employees' reduced level of motivation and address these factors with a series of strategies intended to increase motivation.
Strategies that lead to increased motivation of employees usually rely on financial stimulation, on career development opportunities, and on other benefits that must be established in accordance with the needs and preferences of each employee (Ackroyd & Crowdy, 1990). These are complex strategies, based on combined motivational factors that reveal companies' interest in their employees. Complex motivational strategies are more successful at improving employees' performance in comparison with attempt of managing their values (Brewis et al., 2007). This means that managing employees' values does not represent a useful solution to problems with their motivation and performance levels.