Thursday, September 27, 2018

Employees as Stakeholders

It is a common failing of employers to be entirely self-centered: to seek to accomplish what they want with indifference to the welfare of their employees.    Performance appraisal systems are similarly aligned: employees are given goals based on the needs of the organization and expected to meet them, with no consideration of the employee’s personal motivation.

Particularly in the present day, employment in a specific firm is a choice, and if an employee’s personal needs are not being met, they will leave.  Or they may feel compelled by other factors (a poor job market) to remain with a given organization, but tend to do the very minimum to keep their job until environmental factors change.   And companies that manage their workers in a self-centered and inconsiderate manner find that they are uncompetitive: they are not as efficient or as innovative as firms who manage their people well.

For people, motivation occurs when they perceive the benefit of undertaking an activity is worth the cost and risk associated to it.   Few management systems consider this: the employee’s only motivation is to keep their job, gaining nothing more than they have now, in exchange for an increasing level of exertion.  In time, the balance shifts to the point the individual loses his motivation.

Historically, the motivation for employment was extrinsic – people work to earn a wage – but in the present day, compensation factors less and less into what people consider to be the factors that create job satisfaction.   They are motivated to do something meaningful, to develop skills, to experience growth.  These too can be considered part of their compensation, the benefit they receive from working, and increasingly this compensation is being withheld or even taken away.  

Obviously, something has gone seriously wrong with management in general.   Job dissatisfaction and even hostility toward employers is not something to occurs in rare instances, but has become so pervasive that it is part of the culture.   Everyone hates Monday (the return to work), stories of frustration with superiors and organizations are a staple of casual conversation, and few people have anything positive to say about their working lives.   

The reason is a systemic issue with the priorities of organizations.  The objectives of an organization are generally geared toward the investors, with little consideration of the customer, and even less of the employees.   And when this becomes exaggerated, companies lose the stakeholders whose needs are not served.  This is not, by any means, effective management.

No comments:

Post a Comment