High-Performance Work System Proposal for Workers

Major objectives

A high-performance work system achieves a competitive advantage through developing, deploying, and ensuring that they retain the skills of workers. The incentives used are extensive training, employee involvement schemes, information sharing, and pay based on performance in order to build a participatory, cooperative, and trusting relationship between employees and managers. These practices lead to positive performance benefits for workers and the organization, for example, higher skills, working life of greater satisfaction, and rewarding job.

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There are very few organizations that have adopted the HPW model because of resisting change, focusing on short-term goals, risk aversion, and perceiving limited suitability. In order to overcome these obstacles and adopt high-performance practices, the role of government is very important to foster economic, social, and political environments to favor and speed take-up of practices that ensure performance is high.

Policymakers reduce costs and risks faced by firms while implementing the new practices. Overview of strategies has been used by lobbying groups and the government to encourage companies to move to HPWS. These include benchmarking and demonstration of organizations that are successful and organizing seminars to give information on the benefits of change based on investing in employee well-being and involvement. (Erickson, 2003 pp34-36)


High-performance work system has become very popular. Constantly changing and highly turbulent environments challenge many organizations to have organizational designs that sustain high levels of performance. Literature that prescribes the use of design principles of HPWS has increased and has been very successful and recommendations are designed for helping practitioners to effectively implement organizations’ HPWs design.

The work teams that perform highly result in high productivity in the organization because all the employees work hard without wasting time and ensure that they make a solid contribution to the organization at the individual level so that their combined efforts can bring about increased production and increase the profitability of the organization as a whole. Better quality products and services are offered by the organization to ensure that the needs of consumers are satisfied and workers have a close focus on what the organization is supposed to do. Many organizations have encountered difficulties in implementing a team approach and a model to show the steps of ensuring work systems have high performance needs to be introduced. (Erickson, 2003 pp37-39)


High-performance work systems arose in the context of globalization and deregulation of markets and adoption and dissemination of information technology which is the feature of the world economy. This background made firms try to improve performance and face high competition within and also between nations. However, a high-performance work system is a concept that is uncontested given the emphasis on employee involvement. The central concern is on the redesign of work, training, and education of workers, and union activity on the job that provides a voice to the workers while in their work and wider society.

Social well-being and continued prosperity rely on the knowledge and skills of people and the success of those skills and the way knowledge is applied in generating economic growth and securing improved social outcomes. This requires a good match of skills demanded by the labor market and those obtained through education and training. It is very difficult to be able to define skills but lifelong learning has contemporary policy documents that are concerned with developing knowledge and skills and the relationship between development and productivity which are consistent.

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The bulk of HPWS information comes from surveys carried by authors or government bodies and case studies provided by the authors. Both cases analyze empirical sources where materials are obtained as opposed to theoretical or purely speculative approaches. The materials preferred are the ones that are empirically refutable and verifiable rather than polemical in trying to keep with a research project of applied nature. Attention is drawn on materials that take employee account and experiences of trade union and HPWS response. This does not mean that we downplay or ignore vital ingredients that help to adopt and implement HPWS. (Erickson, 2003 pp40-42)

Potential gains

Employee autonomy structures give opportunities for exercising employee’s skills through multi-skilling and work teams that are self-managed. Employee performance is supported through continuous learning to acquire skills through coaching, mentoring, and appraisal systems. This makes employees work better in areas where they are better talented to ensure that they are able to specialize and offer good quality work.

Performance rewards are given where a system is designed to reward employees basing on their performance in order to motivate them and encourage them to continue working hard all the time because their individual efforts are finally rewarded. Information and knowledge are shared where systems are designed by the organization for communication with employees and encouraging them to give feedback and ensure the feedback given reaches organizations strategies in order to promote participation by employees in managing the work process.

Model of high work performance organization successfully combines job security of employees to ensure that employees feel secure in their job and are certain that they have a future in the organization and their employees will not be terminated against their will. Employee involvement is encouraged to ensure that every employee has a sense of belonging and is free to express his views and ideas that are of benefit to decision-making within the organization. Employees are trained well to work without difficulty and be able to deal with changes that may occur in their work so that they can adjust quickly in case of new technology in the organization. (Arthur, 1992 pp12-13)

Resource deployment

HPWS is a transformation of great impact in multiple subsystems because it is involved with internal system changes, operating structures, and procedures and takes some time to complete. Because of transformation in content and the needed context, every organization has a different journey and commonality is sufficient in the transformation process. The enactment of HPWS has been successful where Greenfield sites have locations without existing systems, culture, or structure to contend with. There are no social agreements for learning to adopt empowering social agreements and successful cases are in the firms that face a crisis.

There are cases of existing firms in need of retrofitting and they are the majority. Significant cultural change is required by retrofits because of command and control where participative cultures need to be learned. Greenfield to retrofit unit diffusion of a similar firm does not occur. Manufacturers use retrofitting as a strategy to employ for organizational and quality competitiveness. Business results, energy, and commitment are produced by the use of HPWS.

HPWS comprises various employment relations that create a competitive advantage by integrating strategic objectives of the firm with the commitment, participation, and engagement of employees. The practices covered include employee empowerment and flexible working practices. In reality, the system of HPWS links employment relations practices and firms’ performance is appropriate ate for small to medium term enterprises for them to think about relationship between performance and employees’ relationship. If managers understand where the firm fits, they know the effective practices, requirements, and the transition that is required.

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Firms behave differently depending on where it operates and small firms have different domains of operation including regional, national and global economies. The behavior of firms is shaped by the context of their operation which can be negative or positive and in the resources, employees agree to be flexible in their work and work even when they are not paid. View of the firm which is resource-based identify resources of distinct sets that are deployed by small firms and are used to demonstrate firms implications to achieve high performance by use of employees relations.. (Arthur, 1992 pp14-15)


Work industries and the role of production workers have been transformed using high-performance work systems and appropriate approaches to these innovations need to be known about how to adopt and implement management of the innovations. Work systems should maximize the fit between employee and structure and systems of technology. A high-performance work system has progressed from workplace innovation, high commitment, transformation, and high involvement.

The main focus is on management practices relating to human resources in the organization. The strength of work lies in service and industrial settings where research has been carried out starting from banks, insurance companies, and credit unions to aircraft and steel manufacturing. Group of works should link practices of human resources to organization effectiveness which is expressed as having greater profits, innovation, and labor efficiency.

HPWS influences how an enterprise could be successful financially through adopting a competitive strategy but HPWS’s strategic importance is limited to core employees as opposed to every employee in the organization. The outcome of an organization is influenced by organizational climate where the concept of climate focuses on shared interpretation and perception of organizational practices and policies. A strong organizational climate sets organizational goal signals and behaviors of valued employees increase the likelihood of realizing goals. (Barney, 2001 pp33-36)


A high-performance working system involves human resource management relating to training and development, staffing, remuneration, participation practices, partnership, performance management, equality, and diversity. New insights are offered on effective management of people to improve employee retention and enhance working conditions. Labor productivity of a person is the productivity of employee annually and revenue for each employee measures productivity and quantifies proportion that attributes to the use of HPWS.

The innovation rate of the workforce measures how a firm can generate revenue efficiently by introducing new products and services and using data for the number of employees and sales revenue. Turnover of organizations total sales is from services and products that have been introduced. Productivity of labor is the total output produced divided by inputs of labor per employee. (Barney, 2001 pp37-40)

Bottom line recommendations

Many organizations have an interest in implementing and designing high-performance work systems to improve productivity and organizational performance. HPWS’s primary role is to help the organization achieve work, people, technology, and information fit. Organizational design should be the sum total of organizations’ structures, processes, and technologies. In ensuring that the organization is competitive and successful financially, it should have highly integrated effectiveness and efficiency. (Arthur, 1992 pp16-17)

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Arthur J. (1992): industrial relations systems and business strategy: Industrial and labor relations review, pp. 12-17.

Barney J. (2001): sustained competitive advantage and firm resources: Journal of management, pp. 33-40.

Erickson C. (2003): effects of employer networks in innovations and training: Industrial and labor relations review, pp. 34-42.

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