Concept and Components of HPW
To retain their competitive advantage in the context of the modern economy and locate new opportunities for economic growth, organizations have to seek out strategies for increasing performance and frameworks for introducing practices leading to better outcomes. For this purpose, the notions of high-performance work (HPW) and high-performance work organizations (HPWOs) were coined. By allowing evaluating the index of the corporate performance, the concept of HPW frames the process of managing organizational performance through continuous improvement and incremental positive changes.
The framework of HPW is rather basic, yet it is expected to set the background for the continuous incremental change in the organizational environment. According to Fareed et al., the current HPW system can be deemed as an extension of its predecessor known as the Total Quality Management (TQM) system (2). Thus, the HPW system borrows a range of aspects thereof, including the continuous training, promotion of competence, the introduction of reward and compensation systems, and the enhancement of employee empowerment through improved communication (Yi and Yan 341). Overall, it can be concluded that the HPW system relies on the use of employee motivation techniques as the platform for promoting innovative solutions that help to minimize threats and maximize outputs.
There are numerous constituents of effective HPW. However, several key segments can be outlined as the areas requiring particularly close focus. These include information management (knowledge sharing), an elaborate reward system, leadership through egalitarianism, and promotion of incremental improvement (Abbassi et al. 116). The elements in question are closely intertwined since equity-based leadership implies using rewards to build loyalty and encourages improvement through interdisciplinary knowledge sharing. Therefore, as a leader, to prompt HPW development, one should consider redesigning the reward framework to change employees’ perspectives and ignite their enthusiasm, at the same time actively promoting cross-disciplinary collaboration.
HPW and Sustained Organization Performance
The enhancement of performance in a particular workplace is traditionally linked to the development of sustained organizational performance (SOP). Defined as the consistently positive delivery of expected results and meeting performance goals in the workplace, SOP requires a well-established system of guidelines and principles for decision-making and management of workplace tasks (Yi and Yan 341). At first glance, the connection between HPW and SOP might be somewhat blurred. However, further scrutiny will reveal that the integration of HPW principles allows institutionalizing an incremental change in the organizational context, allowing managers to maintain the necessary levels of employee motivation and enthusiasm (Rome et al. 39). Therefore, HPW affects the introduction of SOP into the organizational context directly.
HPW practices also help to rebuild the system of relationships in the workplace, changing the existing power structure and making it possible to process the feedback received from staff members. The results of the analysis inform the selection of approaches for increasing the levels of employee loyalty and thus define the efficacy with which work tasks are performed. Offering a coherent system for managing human resources, HPW contributes directly to building an SOP-based workplace environment. The creation of a long-term focus, which is one of the critical aspects of SOP, should also be recognized as the indication that an HPWO can encourage SOP and that HPW is linked directly to it.
HPW and Employee Well-Being
While the promotion of performance efficiency is important, the development of strenuous settings for staff members should also be avoided. In the target company, the focus on civil engineering and the necessity to supervise a vast range of processes may cause staff members to experience workplace burnouts and lose their motivation along with loyalty. Even with high incentives and public respect for the delivered results, people may feel unwilling to perform (Raziq and Wiesner 91). Moreover, the creation of the settings in which staff members are incentivized to meet unrealistic expectations will lead to the development of a very uncomfortable work environment and even greater levels of stress among staff members (Raziq and Wiesner 92). The use of HPW principles, in turn, will allow addressing the well-being of employees directly, preventing the described scenario from taking place.
The introduction of HPW principles will lead to shaping the current HRM approach due to the identification and acceptance of employees’ needs. Since HPW framework is driven by the enhancement of motivation within a corporate workplace setting, an HPW-based analysis will give a substantial insight into the needs of staff members. Moreover, HPW-based system will justify the selection of strategies that can be used to satisfy these needs. As a result, the threats to staff members’ health issues will be avoided, whereas the premises for health improvement will be created. Similarly, the realignment of the elements of the current benefits package that the firm offers to its employees will include additional options geared toward satisfying employee-specific health needs linked to sick leaves and health insurance.
HPW and Competitive Advantage
Surviving in the global economy requires building the point of distinction that sets an organization aside from other firms functioning in the same industry. Brand name recognition and unique tools for attracting new customers are essential components of commercial success and economic growth, which is why the company under analysis will need to build an easily recognizable brand image. For this purpose, HPW will be incorporated into the marketing and branding processes. One might define the link between a strong competitive advantage and an increase in HPW as tenuous, yet there is, in fact, a connection. Since the HPW-driven system allows increasing the levels of staff’s motivation and engagement, as well as TQM, it can be used to create the philosophy of continuous improvement and innovativeness. As a result, the organization will provide unparalleled services, leaving its competitors behind and gaining an increasingly large number of customers.
HPW and Cultural Change
In addition to boosting performance rates, it is necessary to make sure that the principles of the new approach toward managing workplace responsibilities are firmly integrated into the organizational framework. The introduction of HPW into the workplace environment will help to encourage the required cultural change. Specifically, using SOP, one can build the premise for a cultural change in the corporate environment. By introducing a new set of values based on the notion of continuous improvement, which is the foundational principle of HPW, one will promote a gradual cultural change in the corporate setting. Employees will accept corporate values more eagerly and apply them to decision-making once the ideas of SOP are integrated into the corporate setting.
Main Barriers to HPW
Although HP as a concept factors into the corporate environment quite organically, there are several impediments to the integration of the policy in the organizational setting. The issue of reluctance among staff members is one of the most common and at the same time most difficult ones to address due to the uniqueness of each employee’s needs. It is quite natural to expect that, with the introduction of new standards of quality and a rise in the demand toward employees’ performance, a range of people in the corporate setting may feel insecure and thus start objecting to the promotion of change (Mihail and Kloutsiniotiz 425). The described scenario can be managed by enhancing the communication between the company and its staff to ensure that the latter are aware of how important and valued they are. In addition, the creation of opportunities for training new skills and gaining the required knowledge will have to be seen as essential approaches for managing barriers to HPW.
Similarly, the issue of culture will need to be considered as a possible obstacle in the way of promoting HPW. Studies show that in organizations where the principles of command and control are deemed as foundational and inherent to the corporate philosophy, the application of HPW standards may cause disruptions in production processes and the general management of the company’s functioning (Wu et al. 411). Therefore, prior to the integration of HPW standards into the environment of the target company, it is crucial to consider whether the firm’s framework of operations is flexible enough. In the realm of the target organization, the use of HPW seems to be fully justified due to its flexibility and the lack of rigid command-and-control principles.
Main Stages of the Performance Management Cycle: Summary
In order to maintain consistency in the management of workplace processes, one needs to have a clear understanding of performance management as a notion, including its essential stages and aspects thereof. The use of the performance management cycle (THE PMC) model will help to shed light on the process of increasing the output delivered by an organization. The issue has gained especially high significance for civil engineering, where the supervision of performance and its management are linked directly to the degree of safety of the work processes and the end product (Jonkers 2645). Therefore, the overview of the main stages of performance management has a high value for the company under analysis.
At this point, one should note that there are disagreements concerning the elements of the PMC, ranging from the number of its constituents to nature thereof. However, the general consensus is that the PMC incorporates the stages of planning, monitoring, evaluating, improving, and measuring (Jonkers 3647). The planning stage involves the preparation for change, monitoring means locating alterations and recording them, and evaluating suggests determining the effects of the changes in question. Improving incorporates strategies for introducing positive alterations, and measuring represents the assessment of the outcomes. The described elements reflect the cycle of incremental improvements introduced into the organizational setting and the necessity to institutionalize change as the platform for introducing incremental improvements into the context of the company. As a result, exponential economic growth will await the company.
The Role of Development and Performance Reviews: Summary
The development of approaches toward monitoring and assessment is doubtlessly one of the most complicated parts of incorporating the PMC principles into a firm’s context apart from encouraging staff members to change their performance strategies. However, evaluating the change occurring within the confinements of the organizational setting is critical to the identification of key threats, location of the tendencies that a company shows, and eliciting other important data that will define the choice of the further steps. Herein lies the necessity to apply for development and performance reviews as the vehicles for the assessment of a company’s progress.
Applying the notion of development and performance reviews to the context of the firm under analysis, one will have to admit that the evaluation of progress in civil engineering requires considering a vast number of variables. Therefore, numerous tests will need to be taken to assess the safety of the workplace environment, the levels of corporate culture, and the related issues. Nevertheless, the adoption of development and performance reviews will help to manage some of the challenges linked to the assessment of the corporate progress and especially changes in staff members’ motivation and engagement.
A manager should keep in mind that the role of development and performance reviews incorporates informing the future HRM strategies and encouraging professional growth in staff members. Therefore, the results of development and performance reviews will play a twofold role in the target organizational setting. For employees, the results of the reviews will provide guidance and motivate them to acquire new competencies and skills. For managers, the outcomes of the assessment will show the strengths and weaknesses of staff members, thus defining the possible issues in their future performance and offering the tools for promoting professional improvements.
Ways of Involving Line Managers in the Performance Review Process: Examples
The role of Line Managers in the process of the performance review often glances over, yet the insight that Line Managers can provide may determine the further success of a project. Due to the focus on HR issues and a profound understanding of the needs of staff members, a Line Manager can offer the information that will allow contextualizing the results of performance reviews. Therefore, including the opinion of a Line Manager and considering their consultations regarding the assessment of the staff’s performance should be viewed with due seriousness.
Moreover, a Line Manager can provide insightful recommendations regarding the opportunities for talent management in the organizational setting. For example, in the context of civic engineering, a Line Manager can inform the company’s decisions concerning the possible opportunities for staff training and the introduction of negotiation skills and conflict management knowledge. With the profound knowledge about staff members, their performance, strengths, and weaknesses, a Line Manager should be seen as an essential participant in the performance review process. As a result, the premises for enhancing talent management and spurring active professional growth among employees will become possible.
Finally, a Line Manager is a perfect intermediary between a company and staff members when it comes to providing feedback based on the performance review outcomes. As soon as the assessment results are retrieved and analyzed, a Line Manager can create the feedback that will prompt a positive change among employees, with individual feedback being provided to each employee. Although the specifics of communication processes may vary depending on the unique properties of the local corporate hierarchy, the vertical framework of relationships is observed most frequently in organizational settings (Kossek et al. 147).
The company under analysis is no exception to this observation, which implies that the process of delivering the feedback concerning the performance evaluation results to employees may be delayed (Kossek et al. 149). Line Managers, in turn, will serve as intermediaries in feedback processing, offering employees the key outcomes. For instance, a Line Manager can increase the levels of employees’ motivation by praising them for their efforts and encouraging them to excel in their accomplishments. Thus, one will integrate the principles of HPW-based system into the target organizational environment due to the focus on the promotion of positive change and the attentiveness to staff members’ needs.
Contribution of the Performance Management Process to Promoting Challenge: Evaluation
Due to the direct connection to the process of managing employees and assigning specific roles and responsibilities to them, the performance management process plays a paramount role in the integration of change and its further institutionalization since it sets the standards of evaluation based on fairness and equity, thus making the assessment of staff’s performance adequate. The importance of equity is epically high in the described context since it leverages inequalities among employees, offering each of them the advantage that they need in order to highlight their competencies and skills (Kossek et al. 151). Thus, the introduction of Performance Management as a concept associated with a change in the corporate environment is inevitable and indispensable.
The use of performance management also contributes extensively to the introduction of unique challenges into the workplace setting as the means of keeping employees invested in the workplace processes and acquiring new skills. Based on the outcomes of the performance assessment, a Line Manager has to develop a set of tasks for each employee to complete in order to attain a new level of professionalism. Thus, during performance management, Line Managers will convey the message of the company valuing its employees to the staff members, increasing their motivation and loyalty levels (Kossek et al. 148). In addition, the introduction of training courses tailored to the individual characteristics of staff members will help to improve the talent management practices used in the target setting. In the context of the designated workplace environment, the focus on building communication skills and promoting the idea of lifelong learning should be regarded as critical, thus justifying the importance of performance management.
Performance Management and Building Capability
By launching the process of competency increase, Line Managers will create the platform for building capability within the corporate setting. The described issue is especially important for the environment of civic engineering since the company needs to provide rapid responses to changes in technology and innovative solutions in the target market (Hysmith 519). Without the application of competency acquisition, a Line Manager will not be able to utilize the latest innovations to improve the company’s performance and increase the quality of the product (Hysmith 520). As a result, a gradual yet inevitable decline will ensue unless the process of building capability within the organization in question is launched through the assessment of the current performance management practices.
Thus, the link between the introduction of HPW, performance management techniques and building capacity within the workplace exists and requires the close attention of line managers. It is imperative for Line Managers to promote the development of new skills in staff members so that the company could retain its competitive advantage as an organization that embraces the idea of professional growth and is capable of following the latest trends in the designated area. Moreover, by emphasizing the willingness to meet the needs of all of its stakeholders, including employees, the company will position itself as a firm with strong, people-oriented values and goals driven by building trust-based relationships with its staff and buyers.
Performance Management: Recognizing and Rewarding Talent
Recognizing and rewarding talent is another constituent of the performance management framework that has to be integrated to ensure that a company sees sit as important to develop and improve the quality of its services. A-Line Manager affects the described stage of HPW directly due to the profound understanding that they have of staff members’ capabilities, skills, and overall progress (Hysmith 517). As a Line Manager, one has to create reward schemes that will prompt further growth in staff members and convince them that the organization is highly interested in their progress. Furthermore, as a Line Manager, one needs to communicate to their staff the idea that the company fully recognizes the talents that each employee possesses and highly values these abilities. Furthermore, as a Line Manager, I have to show employees that the company is ready to create the necessary settings for these talents to evolve and blossom into unique skills that will become an essential asset of the organization.
The process of talent recognition and reward has to be based on the idea of combining financial incentives and public appraisal of staff members’ achievements. In addition, as a Line Manager, one will need to reward the intentions associated with self-improvement in staff members. Initiative and professional development will be encouraged by the company leaders and Line Managers on an organizational level and integrated firmly into the company’s HRM framework. By providing employees with a reward for their efforts to learn new skills and improve their performance, the organization will build a culture based on innovative thinking and continuous professional learning. Thus, the process of managing performance, in general, and increasing its quality, in particular, will become especially effective.
Creating and Sustaining a Culture of HPW
The concept of HPW is rather simple, yet it contains several intricate elements that pose certain obstacles to the implementation of continuous organizational growth. HPW suggests that companies should focus on the development of trust-based relationships with their staff and invest in the professional development of employees. Therefore, the phenomenon of HPW represents a set of measures aimed at increasing productivity through more effective HRM. Nevertheless, several hindrances to the management of HPW-related tasks need to be addressed, reluctance among the target demographic and managers being the key ones. Without the necessary motivation levels, organization members are highly unlikely to support the concept of incessant growth due to the difficulties that it entails. Therefore, the introduction of incentives and HRM-related approaches for motivating staff members is needed.
Herein lies the role of a Line Manager in the development of HPW-related strategies. Due to the profound understanding of employees’ needs and the factors that motivate them to excel in their efforts, a Line Manager can suggest the tools for improving their performance. Moreover, based on insight that a Line Manager develops when working with staff members, one can build a culture of innovativeness and continuous learning in the workplace. As a result, one will locate opportunities for building new capabilities in employees and promoting the development of their talents. The aspect of employee-manager relationships is also critical in the described scenario. By focusing on the continuous talent management and the investment in employees’ professional growth, a firm builds the platform for developing trust between staff members and a company’s leaders. Thus, the focus on HPW and the transformation of a company into an HPWO should be deemed as crucial when focusing on the enhancement of performance and seeking the tools for increasing the output of an organization within a particular market.
Recommendations: Ways of Building Trust, Enthusiasm, and Commitment
In order to improve the relationships between a company and its employees, one will need to restructure the relationships within it, introducing a new, stakeholder-oriented approach. The needs of employees have to be recognized as the focus of a company’s efforts along with the overall promotion of performance improvement. The described change requires the alteration of the corporate culture by shifting its core values to the management of the needs of its stakeholders, primarily, its customers and employees.
To build trust-based relationships within a firm and enhance the levels of commitment and loyalty among staff members, one will need to consider using the services of a Line Manager. Thus, one can create a continuous dialogue between a firm and its staff. The feedback received from the latter will inform the decisions that an organization will make in the future and create premises for building the corporate culture based on the idea of institutionalizing change. Thus, the concept of incremental innovations as the extension of the company’s talent management practices will be planted into the corporate setting and accepted as an integral part of the organizational culture. Moreover, the principles of knowledge sharing and cross-disciplinary collaboration will have to be included in the performance management framework of the company in order to prompt the development of commitment and enthusiasm among staff members.
Finally, the issue of quality control needs to be scrutinized as one of the main pillars of an HPWO. It is crucial to make the process of quality management as effective as possible, simultaneously inviting employees to consider it a crucial component of the workplace process. Thus, the principles of the TQM framework will need to be internalized in the workplace setting. As a result, a gradual improvement will occur in a firm, boosting the company’s profits and building a system of feedback-driven, trust-based relationships within its workplace.
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