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Motivating Staff in a Global Economy
More and more organizational analysts are referring to the modern workforce as increasingly integrated and interconnected.
This has occurred in part because of globalization. More and more organizations are branching out, running in multiple countries and providing services to global customers. As the workforce changes and becomes more dynamic, people are increasingly reliant and interdependent within the scope of the workplace. Global integration is a trend that has wide-ranging economic, social and organizational implications.
Globalization has resulted in significant changes including an increasingly common practice of outsourcing job roles
Organizations are starting to look for ways to decrease the costs associated with doing business and increase productivity. One way to do this is to outsource job roles.
As more employees face the potential loss of their job because of outsourcing, more and more employers are realizing that motivating staff is becoming a more difficult task. It is however vital to the livelihood of organizations that staff members remain motivated. A motivated staff is more likely to meet production deadlines, remain competitive and remain alert to potential threats. This paper will analyze the current trends related to the global economy and workforce in to try to identify what organizations must do to motivate staff in today's global economy.
Today's economy and workforce is increasingly global; more and more to succeed and realize profits, organizations are outsourcing job roles in the hopes of improving productivity and decreasing expenses. The global workforce is dynamic, ever changing and evolving. However the trend toward a more global economy and outsourcing has had a negative effect on many employees working in-house. Organizations are increasingly finding it difficult to motivate their staff. In times of old employees had at least some sense that their jobs were secure, and that opportunities abounded for them within the context of the organization. These feelings have changed, even among the highest-ranking members of organizations.
To motivate staff in this environment organizations need to change. Traditionally organizations have adopted several standard measures for motivating employees, including financial incentives. However the move to outsource job roles is but one indicator of a growing need for organizations to make economic cutbacks, thus financial incentives are often not possible as a motivational tool. Because of this organizations have to adapt other practices to preserve competent and qualified members of their staff.
The task of motivating employees is one that has challenged Human Resource Departments for many years. Most Human Resource departments are now focusing their attention on new practices and best practices to identify what factors are most likely to motivate staff in today's global economy. Among the new practices being adopted by traditionally global corporations including IT companies are the introduction of retention and incentives or allowance programs and training programs for all staff members
. In addition, many corporations are providing incentives for employees that get certain certifications or degrees, sometimes up to 15% of their salary
. Such tactics, as those adopted by the Department of State, have helped reduce job 'vacancies."
Training has many benefits. It serves the organization in many ways, by preparing employees to work more diverse job roles. Training benefits the organization because it enables each employee to work more efficiently. It also motivates staff because it sends a message that the organization is interested in the growth of employees. Most employees are searching for some form of recognition and advancement opportunities. Training allows employees not only the chance for moving up the corporate ladder, but also the opportunity to understand diverse work functions and better understand how their actions and job contribute to the overall success of the organization. For many this serves as a motivator in and of itself.
Other incentives employees are searching for include flexible work programs, including the choice of telecommuting and flextime. Such programs not only help recruit but also retain qualified staff
. Some studies have suggested that more than 53% of teleworkers believe that their flexible schedule is the most important job factor related to motivation and job choice
. This is particularly the case among women, who more and more are looking for flexible work schedules that accommodate the need to care for sick children or pick up children from day care. Men too are jumping on the flexibility bandwagon. Employees that do not have to live in fear of a child's illness are more likely to come to work motivated than those who do not have the choice of leaving when necessary.
Other research suggests that flexibility terms within the work schedule can help improve morale and increase productivity, sometimes by as much as 15 to 25%
. This is a significant improvement. Most employees have stated they are willing to work with the organization to develop a flexible scheduling program that works well for the organization and the employees at the same time. There is no one set standard when it comes to flexible scheduling, however there are many different choices organizations can adopt.
Still other studies suggest that global managers must work to configure their organizations to perform effectively, which requires a motivated and empowered staff. In fact, empowered teams are considered one of the current approaches to modern management and motivation or incentive programs
. Many global businesses are working to reduce the number of layers that exist between management and employees to create a more team like atmosphere, which some have suggested boosts employee morale and incentive.
Some management theorists have suggested that a flexible workforce is necessary in today's rapidly changing global marketplace; such a workforce would consist of full-time, temporary and part time workers that are indispensable to corporate operations. This would make the organization look more like a professional partnership between management and employees. Success in the top ranks will depend on success among all ranks, thus the employee becomes a key player and partner contributing to the overall success of the organization
. This type of organization would be similar to a flat organization where few if any members of the organization stand out from others. This 'team' oriented approach to management and organizational planning has proven effective in several studies, particularly for motivating employees to perform well.
Much like teams self-directed groups are also empowered to take an active role in the success and movement of the company. People are capable in this environment of wearing multiple hats and acting on several different levels; individuals can share in leadership and management rolls, planning, goal-setting, self-evaluation and even multitasking
Historically motivating staff members has fallen on the shoulders of managers, who are charged with the task of creating positive motivation because of difficult situations such as outsourcing. Motivation involves increasing productivity through the process of creating team spirit
. Successful motivators are able to excite employees in ways other than financial. Typically this occurs by means of recognition, prestige, achievement, appreciation and advancement rewards when applicable
. Some people refer to motivators as personal coaches who make an investment in 'players' or staff members.
One of the best ways to motivate employees in a global economy is employee training, which can pay a company back "10 times the cost of training"
. Training involves "teaching people the right skills for the job they do." There are many companies that are able to teach employees technical skills but fail miserably at teaching employees self-management skills, and these are the people skills that employee need to succeed in a global marketplace. Enough training also involves training that is consistent and continual rather than episodic. According to Allessandra and Barrera, "good people cannot be overstrained; once they've mastered their job, managers keep them motivated by cross training"
. This among other things helps prevent boredom and keeps employees challenged during their employment.
Cross training also enables employees to collect a broader perspective of the organization and the operations that occur within the organization, as well as its internal and external customers. Other benefits include an improved capacity for creativity and better promotional candidates. Employees that are actively trained bring with them a higher skill competency and thus broader understanding of the needs of the organization as a whole. This may help organizations in several ways. Not only does it provide a more competent staff, but also reduces the need to outsource as many roles. The more skills independent employees have the less need to outsource job roles. Most employees are aware of the benefits of cross training, thus are eager to benefit from any such training employees are willing to offer.
One form of training, called vertical training, has proven useful for motivating employees; this training takes the form of delegation, where managers share their responsibilities with the people reporting directly to them. Studies have shown that 90% of the time this form of training is highly motivating. One reason it is motivating is it helps employees take part in job roles and tasks that are vital to the strategic success of the corporation. Employees are…[continue]
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