A Report on the DrainFlow Company’s Challenge

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DrainFlow is a renowned company for its exceptional plumbing maintenance services in the United States. However, some internal challenges, mainly relating to employees’ and customers’ dissatisfaction, pose a significant threat to its success. It is disheartening that about 30% of the consumers are considering seeking plumbing services from their competitors, thus increasing the competition (Robbins & Judge, 2016). In this regard, I agree with you, Mrs. Lee Reynaldo, that your firm needs to restructure its reward and recruitment approaches to hire talented workers and create a favorable working environment. According to Antoni et al. (2017), employees determine the success of any company because they interact with the consumers, and thus, influencing the latter’s loyalty and trust in the brand or provided services. Essentially, you have developed a rational strategy of revolutionizing the recruitment and reward system to strengthen the hiring process and appreciate individual performances, thus nurturing an energetic and motivated workforce.

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First, you have a reason for concern when the employees are dissatisfied with their work. Workers’ discontent adversely affects a company due to the lack of motivation, thus lowering the workforce productivity (Judge et al., 2017). A demotivated employee is more likely to engage in unnecessary activities, such as avoidable movements, which result in time wastage. Moreover, job dissatisfaction leads to a decline in consumers’ loyalty, hence losing to the competitors. This scenario has been evident in DrainFlow Company as a significant percentage of its clients are shifting to Lightning firms. Another possible negative outcome may be the high turnover rate in the future because demotivated workers tend to search for better opportunities elsewhere. A study by Antoni et al. (2017) demonstrates that satisfied staff registers positive results in their jobs because they are inspired to spend most of their work time providing quality services to their organization. Other behavioral outcomes related to job satisfaction include reduced absenteeism, increased teamwork, low conflict level, less stress, and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). Consequently, as the regional manager, you should strive to motivate your employees, raising their work morale.

Second, the current job design contributes to the workers’ dissatisfaction based on the tenets of the job characteristics theory (JCT). According to Cavanagh et al. (2020), JCT explores how specific work characteristics influence job outcomes, including employees’ satisfaction. Primarily, the model suggests that various psychological states, including experienced meaningfulness, actual result knowledge, and professional responsibility for the outcome, determine the staff’s reaction to the job aspects. Based on the JCT, these work characteristics include autonomy, feedback, task identity, task significance, and skill variety. Any job design should modify every element’s level to align the overall work with the employee performing it. However, in the DrainFlow setting, job design based on specialization fails to balance the core job features, thus exposing employees to disturbing psychological states, which promote dissatisfaction. For instance, order processors do not have the required skill variety to understand the customers’ plumbing needs and rely on structured surveys, thus assigning tasks to the wrong experts (Robbins & Judge, 2016). Indeed, the confusion causes blame games between the order processor, billing representative, and plumber, everyone denying the responsibility for the negative job outcome.

It is essential to restructure the employees’ job design to promote work satisfaction. There should be the formation of teams, comprising an expert from every department. The groups would not interfere with specialization but will harmonize various skills needed to offer quality services to consumers. In this way, an order processor would be assured of the plumber or assistant plumber’s assistance to respond to the customer’s specifications, thus ensuring the right technician is assigned the appropriate role. Within a team, workers can consult each other and provide regular feedback, which encourages continuous improvement. Alternately, the job design should include career development, which enables training of the order and billing processors on fundamental plumbing skills necessary to address customers’ needs. Teamwork, training, and career development are the essential ingredients missing in the job design, which escalates the mismatch mainly experienced in the ordering department, thus causing employees’ demotivation across the entire firm.

Implementing a reward system should be an inclusive activity that involves all employees. Judge et al. (2017) argue that a reward system should be consistent, specific, and measurable to avoid stimulating mistrust about its rationality. As the regional manager, you need first to explain comprehensively to the workers about the bonuses. Employees require to understand how the reward specifications are tied to the company’s goals. Importantly, the model’s targets should be transparent such that a staff member knows when he or she attains or misses the set threshold. The use of a “moderate” and “larger” cash appears imprecise, and you need to set specific monetary values and timelines, which allow regular evaluations and feedback. A tiered-team bonus, which is rewarded to a group of workers involved from the ordering to payment, would also strengthen the proposed reward system by inspiring teamwork that is lacking in the company.

Financial incentives lead to various advantages and disadvantages, including improving work morale, attracting talented candidates, and burnout. For instance, monetary bonuses encourage workers to spend their work time suitably and remain committed to attaining the set targets, thus increasing productivity (Kosfeld et al., 2017). The company also places itself in a better position to acquire talented applicants who improve service delivery, promoting a high customer retention rate. Nevertheless, as the employees seek to exceed the target, they may experience burnouts, which affects their work quality. Moreover, if individuals become accustomed to monetary bonuses for attaining consumer satisfaction goals, they will start perceiving incentives as entitlements rather than motivators. Apart from tangible rewards based on monetary terms, I propose adopting other types of incentives such as appreciation and recognition. These alternative approaches help make staff feel valued as a significant part of the organization, thus inspiring a positive work attitude.

The most practical plan to evaluate the working of the reward system is the use of key performance indicators (KPIs), such as net profit margin and satisfaction rates. The dependent variables would be income, employees’ satisfaction, and customer retention. I would focus on a systematic measuring process to identify changes in KPIs. Agreeing with Quesado et al. (2018), I would first take a baseline appraisal of the performance before the reward system implementation. Secondly, I would enlighten the employees about the desired behavior to achieve the set targets. Then, I would implement the reward system, and after a stipulated timeframe, maybe quarterly, I would use the survey approach to measure KPIs and other performance metrics. For instance, an increase in net profit margin would indicate an expanded market for the company. Besides, an improved workers’ and customers’ satisfaction would reveal a working reward system. It is essential to understand that bonuses escalate a firm’s expenses, thus contradicting the cost-management strategy. Notwithstanding, you should not worry because, in the long run, the growth in revenues, net profits, and reduced hiring expenses will offset the costs of the reward system.

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Finally, I appreciate your efforts in transforming the recruitment procedure. In the contemporary world, harmonized and structured interviewing presents the best approach to selecting the most talented job applicants (Antoni et al., 2017). Therefore, some hiring recommendations are necessary, including centralizing the recruitment process, framing screening questions based on job descriptions, and extensive vacancies advertising. For example, a centralized hiring procedure would help to define job roles and harmonize the review of the candidates’ credentials, thus interviewing only talented and exceptional applicants. For emotional labor and customer service responsibilities, I would consider Big Five personality traits such as openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. While openness would allow customer service personnel to be creative and focused on addressing clients’ concerns, conscientiousness would help them pay attention to details and be organized (Harris & Vazire, 2016). On its part, low neuroticism would help deal with work stress and worries, thus strengthening emotional labor provision.

DrainFlow Company experiences challenges, which you must address as the regional manager. Employees’ dissatisfaction interferes with the daily operations due to a loss of interest in the assigned duties. As a result, there is low productivity and customers’ frustration, leading to decreased revenues and a damaged company’s image. As the regional manager, you need to pursue your plan to revolutionize the reward and recruitment system because the situation will continue to worsen with the current working environment. A bonus reward policy will inspire workers to utilize their skills fully as they seek to attain the set targets. Besides, it would be logical if you consider using other non-tangible incentives such as recognition and appreciation. Lastly, you should not worry about contradicting the cost-management strategy because the net profits and high productivity will eventually offset the reward system costs in the long run.

References

Antoni, C. H., Baeten, X., Perkins, S. J., Shaw, J. D., & Vartiainen, M. (2017). Reward management: Linking employee motivation and organizational performance. Journal of Personnel Psychology, 16(2), 57–60.

Cavanagh, T. M., Kraiger, K., & L. Henry, K. (2020). Age-related changes on the effects of job characteristics on job satisfaction: A longitudinal analysis. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 91(1), 60-84.

Harris, K., & Vazire, S. (2016). On friendship development and the Big Five personality traits. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 10(11), 647-667.

Judge, T. A., Weiss, H. M., Kammeyer-Mueller, J. D., & Hulin, C. L. (2017). Job attitudes, job satisfaction, and job affect: A century of continuity and of change. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), 356-374.

Kosfeld, M., Neckermann, S., & Yang, X. (2017). The effects of financial and recognition incentives across work contexts: The role of meaning. Economic Inquiry, 55(1), 237-247.

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Quesado, P. R., Aibar Guzmán, B., & Lima Rodrigues, L. (2018). Advantages and contributions in the balanced scorecard implementation. Intangible Capital, 14(1), 186-201.

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2016). Organizational behavior (17th ed.). Pearson Education.

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