Industiral / Organizational Psychology

Improving Employee Retention with Pre-determined Scenario

Overview

JC’s Casino reports distress in employee retention that appears to reflect with negative customer response.  Dealers report hostile work environments and have chosen lower wage jobs within the local competition.  Housekeepers are reported to have become unreliable and manage a larger workload causing customer dissatisfaction as rooms are not ready for check – in.  The casino President, JC, is desperate for a fix to the casino’s employee retention problem.

Employee retention is crucial to maintaining a positive and consistent organization.  Organizations utilize expense and time to seek out, interview, higher employees, and train employees, which can be costly (“Management Study Guide”, 2013).   Employee retention should be on an organization’s priority list, as losing employees can cost the company productivity and customers, ultimately decreasing profit and success (“Management Study Guide”, 2013).    Positive motivational strategies combined with stress relievers could have a profound impact on employee retention rates.  Proper motivation and reducing stress promotes employee job satisfaction and increases production.  Implementing motivational theories into JC’s Casino could potentially repair damaged areas of the business.

Motivation

Employee motivation drives the individual to have a desire to maximize performance and seek out higher opportunities (Spector, 2012).  An organization that expects employees to perform at or above a certain level must keep employee motivation high (Spector).  Motivational theories delve into the expectations about the reasons individuals behave and perform in a certain manner, as well as indicate predictors of future performance (Spector, 2012).  JC’s casino appears to lack employee motivation that is affecting customer satisfaction.    Although the housekeepers are paid to clean and prepare rooms by three in the afternoon, they are not reaching their quotas.  The fact that the housekeeper’s attendance is poor causes a heavier, more stressful workload on those who do go to work that does not accommodate meeting their quota. The casino does not offer any form payment for the heavier workload.

Reinforcement Theory

Reinforcement theory implies that motivation through rewards or incentives produces desired behaviors (Spector, 2012).  The perception of behavior is a response to the environment, and motivation occurs externally through the major tenet of the law of effect (McLeod, 2015).  Thorndike declared a behavior supported with an incentive would likely cause repetitive desired behavior and punishment would decline undesired behaviors (Spector, 2012).  The use of positive reinforcement promotes desired behavior through a reward system (McLeod, 2015).  The use of negative reinforcement extracts stimulus that causes negative behaviors and promotes desired behavior (McLeod, 2015).   Punishment deflects undesired behavior through the use of negative consequence for undesired behavior (McLeod, 2015).  All three forms of reinforcement weaken the undesired, or negative behavior while strengthening the positive, or desired behavior.  According to Skinner, applying reinforcement on a consistent basis ultimately leads to a permanent behavior modification that is desirable (McLeod, 2015).

Implementing incentive programs for housekeepers could potentially increase performance and attendance.  JC could reward housekeepers for each room cleaned and prepped over their quota, as this is going beyond normal job expectations.  An additional incentive could be given for each room cleaned and prepped before the three o clock check in time.  Another incentive that can prove to be useful is simple praise.  Praise gives individuals a sense of appreciation and should be given to housekeepers consistently as it is a form of recognition of a job well done.  Adding positively reinforcing incentives promotes higher productivity, better performance, and increased customer satisfaction.  Implementing an incentive program keeps housekeepers motivated to perform above expectation as they strive to obtain an incentive outside of normal pay.  They may begin to feel appreciated and valued by the casino giving an internal desire to report for work and enhance personal job performance.  With incentive programs intact, housekeeper’s absenteeism may be reduced, and retention increased.

Justice and Equity Theories

Justice theories declare employees seek fair, conventional treatment in the workplace (Spector, 2012).  Equity theory declares that individuals compare their performance to others to validate compensation differences.  Comparisons potentially cause an increase in motivation as individuals attempt to perform to the same standard as more respected employees (Spector, 2012).  In a supervisory role, a leader should demonstrate moral and just treatment to motivate employees to maximize their potential and productivity (Spector, 2002).  When an individual feels unvalued or unappreciated by supervisors, performance declines that may result in the employee quitting (Spector, 2012).  Employees strive to attain an equilibrium of fairness among expectations in the workplace.  The inability to attain equilibrium deteriorates motivation and sends a chain reaction of undesired work behaviors (Spector, 2012).  When an employee feels as though their workplace is causing harm to them emotionally, they tend to seek a healthier working environment (Spector, 2012).

Dealers report that job separation is due to hostile work environment created by their supervisor, Joe.  The perception of Joe is “toxic, overbearing, evil, and incompetent” as well as unapproachable by all staff.  Dealers are willing to take a pay cut to achieve job satisfaction through a pleasant work environment.  Additionally, housekeepers feel overwhelmed with higher demands placed on them with no form of compensation.  The unconventional and unjust treatment of the employees has created a deteriorating retention rate that has impacted all aspects of production, customer satisfaction, and profit for the organization.  It is vital that Joe’s performance is confronted and turned around immediately to save the casino.

Stressors and Alleviations

Occupational stress is an occurrence in the workplace that causes an individual to have an adaptive response, similar to a defense mechanism (Spector, 2012).  Individuals experiencing occupational stress may experience job dissatisfaction, loss of motivation, or even health problems (Spector, 2012).  Indicators of stress include heavy workloads, hostile work environments, conflicts, and anything else that appears to be abnormal working environment (Spector, 2012).  At JC’s Casino, employees feel threatened by a hostile work environment created by Joe. The work environment created by the overbearing boss is a major stressor that leads to employee turnover.  Stressors for housekeeping include understaffing, heavy workloads, and having to add more work when employees call out.  Additionally, the administrative staff is under stress because they are asked to fill in when housekeeping cannot handle the demands of the company.  The HR Manager should implement a morals and ethics training class, along with creating a positive work environment for the management team.  The implementation of a training program designed to teach the proper management skills to retain employees should is necessary for Joe, or a replacement boss put into effect immediately.  Repairing the hostile environment is the priority.  Giving the management team insight on the effects of the ways leaders lead should impact management to create a more positive work environment that will allow for employee retention to increase.  Recruitment and training are an immediate need as well.  Housekeepers and dealers are necessary to the operations of the business and having a full, properly trained staff will create a reduction in stress and increase in job satisfaction because the workloads will decrease.  Additionally, a properly trained staff increases retention.

Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is a the attitude portrayed by an employee accommodating the amount of like or dislike the individual feels about the job (Spector, 2012).  Job satisfaction can have a direct impact on employee turnover if satisfaction is not apparent in the workplace (Spector, 2012).  JC’s Casino has an entire staff that demonstrates poor attitude about their job.  Housekeepers demonstrate inconsistent attendance and are unable to attain goals due to the large workload they experience.  Expectations to cover when someone calls out has become the norm with no compensation for working double duty in the same amount of time.  The use of the administrative staff outside of their job description creates dissatisfaction.  Dealers are forced to deal with a hostile leader.  Alleviating the stressors created by poor management will create satisfaction among employees.  Training Joe how to manage properly or dismissing him from his duty for a more reputable manager will create a more efficient and pleasant work environment.  Adding staff or giving incentives to the housekeepers and administrators who fill on for those calling out will create more satisfaction in the workplace.  Acknowledging employee efforts, giving positive feedback, and employee reviews will enhance satisfaction as this gives the employee a sense of recognition that will build motivation.

Counterproductive Employee Behavior

A counterproductive employee is one who elicits negative behaviors in the workplace.  A counterproductive employee hinders the growth of the company as they appear unmotivated or to act with malicious intent.  The inability of the Human Resource manager to appropriately deal with Joe’s hostile attitude is counterproductive to employee retention.  The inability of the housekeeping manager to maintain staff at proper levels is counterproductive to the expectations of the staff.  The dealers are counterproductive to the casino as they feel threatened and reside their loyalty and seek work with competitors.  The housekeeper’s attendance is poor which is counterproductive to the daily operations of the casino hotel.  Although the dealers and housekeepers behaviors appear counterproductive, the attitudes and lack of motivation are a direct result of a hostile and over demanding work environment.  Properly training or eliminating Joe from his position is vital to repairing employee satisfaction.  Hiring and training more housekeepers is an obvious solution to the housekeeping department.  To reduce counterproductive behaviors, the Casino must do a complete overhaul of the entire staff and develop a plan of action to bring the casino morale to a normal standard.

Conclusion

An organization’s success is dependent on job satisfaction and positive morale.  Implementing motivational theories increases job satisfaction and employee desire to do more.  The use of reinforcements pushes employees to go the extra mile and learn different aspects of the company that could potentially lead to promotion and increase retention.  Have a high employee retention indicates job satisfaction and loyalty that leads to a more united team.  Reducing counterproductivity increases production and leads to a more stable production rate and increases job satisfaction.

References

Management Study Guide. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.managementstudyguide.com/importance-of-employee-retention.htm

McLeod, S. A. (2015). Skinner – Operant Conditioning. Retrieved from www.simplypsychology.org/operant-conditioning.html

Spector, P. E. (2012). Industrial and organizational psychology (6th ed.). USA: Wiley.

Advertisements
Standard
Industiral / Organizational Psychology

Job Analysis

Description

A tall middle aged, dark silvery speckled, haired man walked into a small office.  His aged appearance and straight face lacked emotion through his dark circled eyes.  He appeared to lack emotion, emitting intimidation.  His office was a tiny square filled with a large desk and computer.  A chair sat on either side, a bookshelf of accomplishments, binders of company expectations and operations manuals, and the corner contained several bowling balls and bags.  Walls painted with certificates and photos of accomplishments outlined the desk.  I thanked him for meeting with me, and he smiled asking if I liked his teeth. My face must have cried out confusion because he laughed and told me they were his special occasion teeth.  He had a sense of humor behind his intimidating appearance.  I was instantly at ease.

History

Don has worked for the same rental company for seventeen years.  He began with the company after a small bout of cancer and a herniated disc surgery forced him to resign from driving an eight-teen wheeler for the rest of his life.  He began as a truck washer, but over just three months, he learned the business and developed a few innovative ideas that caught the attention of the right people.  Quickly promoted to General Manager, he relocated across the country.  He continued to develop other means of reaching and maintaining success for his company earning respect and recognition from the highest levels of the corporate world, including the Vice President, President, and Owners of the company.  His innovative ideas were immediately implemented creating a complete turnaround in a troubled store with consistently plummeting numbers.

Recruiting, Retention, Motivation

Over the course of the first year in his position as General Manager, Don inflated profit from a low five million to a thirteen million dollars.  However, he admitted, he had few loyal employees and had to work seven days a week for a very long time to accomplish these changes.  Eventually, burnout landed him in the hospital before he realized he could manage operations and numbers, but he had poor staff management.  He lacked the patience to deal with slow learners and others who could not learn the way he taught.  He laughed as he told me he thought he was hiring only people who did not have “common sense” that confused him because his entire staff was college students attending Universal Technical Institute.  When hiring, he interviewed individuals who held some mechanical background but became dependent on hiring those in school because the wage was too low for an individual with a family.  His personal experience of having to work three jobs to support his family before he became a manager established his personal hiring tactic.  If he felt the individual he was interviewing held some common sense and he could get along with him or her, he sent them to take the company required skills test.  If the skills test was passed, the individual was hired.  Recently, the company implemented a formal training programming, but before consisted of showing the individual how to do the job and let them take it from there.  As the employee became comfortable in one area, he would not show them the next task until all tasks until the original was completed.  He claimed the issue was that some never made it past the first aspect of the job.  Others learned and promoted quickly.

His attempts at motivation did not aid in encouraging the learning.  Buying lunch for a job well done makes the employees grateful but does not seem to make them eager to learn more or be more productive.  He holds cookouts at the store for holidays and rewards with monetary incentives earned by the store.  Don claimed in the past his efforts had positive effects, but that is no longer the case.  Recently he attempted allowing the employee of the month creates their schedule, but that backfired as the employee worked only with a certain another employee.  When the two work together, they are counterproductive, and the others must work harder to accommodate their counterproductivity.

According to Spector, implementing a recruiting strategy enhances the applicants capable of performing the job (2012).  Walk-in applicants have a self-developed perception of what they believe the job entails (Spector, 2012).  Individuals who apply on the internet receive a more accurate job description causing more valid applicants to apply (Spector, 2012).  Don has no recruiting strategy other than the requirements of having knowledge in a mechanical area and enrollment as a student; both stipulations are bias, unethical, and discriminatory (Spector, 2012).  Part of Don’s recruiting process is a skills assessment in which requires attaining a certain score.  Skills assessment aid in hiring an employee who has enough knowledge in the field to perform at the company standard and potentially increase knowledge through proper training methods (Spector, 2012).

Employee retention rates increase and solidify with the proper training methods making employee retention crucial to maintaining a positive and consistent business (“Management Study Guide”, 2013).  A training plan should be developed that effectively communicates the company expectations and the most efficient manner the task should be performed to maximize performance and productivity (Spector, 2012).  In the absence of a training agenda, Don used hands-on experience as a training method.  However, he lacked the creativity and adaptability to training properly employees who learned differently from himself.  Developing employees was a problem area for him as he struggled to teach.  A proper training program clearly defines the needs of the training and the objectives (Spector, 2012).  Training should be altered to meet the learning style of the individual and rewards, or praise promote goal attainment (Spector, 2012).  It is important that training consist of actual events that may occur on the job as well as repetition, so the employee reaches automaticity so the task becomes natural to the employee (Spector, 2012).  When trainees set their goals and the trainer models the appropriate behaviors, the employee tends to strive harder to attain the desired goal (Taylor, Russ-Eft, & Chan, 2005).  Don consistently models expected behavior for all employees, ensuring no confusion of expectation.

Motivation plays a vital role in the retention of employees (Spector, 2012).  According to reinforcement theory, rewarding through incentives increases motivation and productivity in individuals (McLeod, 2015).  The use of positive reinforcement promotes behavior and the use of negative reinforcement compresses undesired behavior (McLeod, 2015).  Don implemented many forms of positive reinforcement, as it worked in the past for him.  However, employees were nonresponsive.  If Don were to implement negative reinforcement, such as decreasing hours, eliminating free meals, or even giving more constructive criticism, employees might realize, mediocre work will not receive a reward (McLeod, 2015).  Eliminating a reward for negative behavior compresses that behavior and promotes the desired behavior (McLeod, 2015).  Don could also implement a reward system per task completed in a set amount of time, as this will encourage more effort on the employee’s behalf.  Don should continue to model the expected behavior of employees.  Employees tend to mimic the behaviors they believe desirable, especially when modeled by an individual perceived as powerful (Taylor, Russ-Eft, & Chan, 2005).  Modeling desired behavior may potentially increase skill development and enhance the learning process (Taylor, Russ-Eft, & Chan, 2005).

Conflict

When conflict arises, Don admitted that although he thinks he handles it well, others think he handles it poorly.  He listens, gives his opinion and thought, takes other opinions into consideration, but sometimes the conflict remains idle.  He tends to brush it aside and continue his day.  However, he appeared quite proud, that the staff was able to read his moods.  His staff knows that if he is not in a good mood, it is better to stay away, allowing him to keep his anger inside rather than exploding on an employee for a small reason.   However, he did share that when there is conflict among employees he avoids the confrontation.  He adjusts the schedule and speaks with all involved to try and learn what has happened, but he encourages resolution among the employees or the employee found at fault receives a reduction in hours.

Don admittedly avoids dealing with conflict.  The conflict in the workplace is natural as individual thoughts and opinions vary (Spector, 2012).  The handling of the conflict in the proper manner identifies how effective the team will function when performing a task together.  In Don’s case, then entire staff is one team, therefore if a conflict arises, there is potential for a fluctuation in performance and production (Spector, 2015).  Don demonstrates cooperative conflict resolution. However, he does not follow through with ensuring the conflict is resolved.  When conflict remains unresolved, it could have a negative impact on the team and production (University Alliance, 2015).   Conflict resolution techniques promote a healthy working environment (University Alliance, 2015).  University Alliance declares that a leader listens to all parties involved and remains unbiased through the resolution (2015).  Even if the leader feels one side is right, he should not state that, but attempt to develop a compromise that will satisfy all parties (University Alliance, 2015).   It is also important to promote teamwork and praise those who handle the conflict in a professional manner (University Alliance, 2015). If Don were to implement these strategies, he would likely reduce his personal stress, gain more respect from staff, and increase production in troubling times.

Conclusion

Interviewing Don was quite an endeavor!  He holds large amounts of knowledge and skill in his company.  Although he appeared intimidating, he proved to be down to earth and facing the issues many companies face.  Implementing proper Recruiting, retention, and motivation techniques will ensure a more positive work environment for his company.  Implementing positive conflict resolution techniques will help Don to create a more inviting and adversity accepting environment.

References

Management Study Guide. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.managementstudyguide.com/importance-of-employee-retention.htm

McLeod, S. A. (2015). Skinner – Operant Conditioning. Retrieved from www.simplypsychology.org/operant-conditioning.html

Spector, P. E. (2012). Industrial and organizational psychology (6th ed.). USA: Wiley.

Taylor, P. J., Russ-Eft, D. F., & Chan, D. W. (2005). A meta-analytic review of behavior modeling training. Journal of Applied Psychology90(4), 692.

University Alliance (2015). University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business. Retrieved from http://www.notredameonline.com/resources/negotiations/6-simple-workplace-conflict-resolution-techniques/#.VYjZEPlViko

Standard