Organizational Power, Communication, and Staffing

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Concepts Definition

Power and Behavior-Inappropriate behavior

There are misconceptions about the association between power and inappropriate behavior. In most cases, inappropriate behavior is considered an element of power even though this is not the case. Often, persons’ action-oriented skills enable them to act based on their volition, even though the action is appropriate or inappropriate. In the instance whereby people are queuing for certain services, and a person just comes past all the people waiting in line, the people in the queue usually consider this individual as powerful in one way or another. Whereas these individuals consider themselves as powerless, their attitude is the major influential factor for condoning such behavior.

This kind of misguided notion is based on empirical studies as cited by van Prooijen and van Lange (2014) which indicate that powerful people tend to do whatever they like and are likely to violate norms. Even though people may deem a certain person as powerful due to his or her ease in violating norms, power perceptions and power affordance are correlated. Often, people who are deemed to possess power are not always afforded the power like in the scenario of an unjust manager or bullying students.

About this concept of power and inappropriate behavior, the victim in an unfair situation tends to regard him/herself as powerless in comparison to his or her offender. On the other hand, the victim does not appreciate the fact that his or her offender portrays such a kind of power. Appropriate behavior is a defining element for the survival of any social group. Inappropriate behavior, which is merely a violation of norms, is a distinguishing factor between collectivism and individualism. Whereas power is linked to individualism due to the autonomy and independence that prevails in such kinds of cultures, abiding by social norms that aim to safeguard the welfare of one another is the presiding principle governing behavior in collectivist cultures. Hence, power is afforded to norm violators as opposed to norm abiders in societies or organizations where individualism reigns.

Communication Produces Organization

About the above discussion of inappropriate behavior, a similar rationale prevails in the case of communication in producing organizations. Even though an individual of higher ranking might speak rudely and disrespectfully to his or her subordinate as a way of manifesting his or her power, this does not mean that such kind of interaction will yield positive results. Often, those who hold high positions or are at higher levels about the social structure adopt poor communication that is in the form of yelling and shouting that is counterproductive and inefficient. Poor communication results in strained relationships that impede the achievement of organizational objectives.

Agarwal and Garg (2012) have delineated the essence of good communication skills in producing organizations. Effective communication helps in the timely delivery of information and a reduction in the organization cycle time. The organization cycle time is the time an organization takes to deliver its products and services to the market. When communication processes are standardized to ensure all employees receive information in a timely and efficient manner, delay in the provision of products and services is avoided while productivity, profits, market shares, customer satisfaction, and worker motivation are deemed to escalate.

Ensuring that there are no bottlenecks to interfere with information and message delivery, improving the quality of messages, establishing standardized procedures of information transfer, and ensuring rapid-response systems are in place are effective means to the achievement of success in any organization. Real-time communication systems enable employees to link and communicate efficiently in a time of crisis. Also, ensuring that customers can air their views and concerns through an efficient communication system is imperative in ensuring that organizational objectives are achieved. Meeting the needs of its customers is the major objective of every organization, and this cannot be achieved if customers cannot receive prompt services. In the current competitive business world, the transfer of accurate and timely information to the customer is the hallmark of every organization; otherwise, the aftermath would be disastrous to the organization.

Customers are the end-users of products and services produced by an organization. In the same way, efficient communication is important amongst employees, between employees and their supervisors and managers as well as amongst the managers, department heads, and supervisors. Communication is an exchange of information, ideas, and expressions and not an imposition of one’s views, attitudes, and thoughts.

Based on my experience, I also believe that communication entails unseen but imperative elements, such as the tone. Therefore, I believe that the policy framework, which aims to guide communication processes in an organization should ensure all elements discussed herein are considered. Communication, in this case, ideal exchange of ideas and information is beneficial when management, heads of departments and subordinate staff come together to share ideas about the organization without disregarding the opinion of either one person. Managers, department heads, and supervisors should positively embrace suggestions from both the employees and customers.

Such an approach to communication helps minimize personality conflicts because individuals will appreciate their diversity in personality traits. Also, department heads and supervisors will be able to allot tasks, appropriately, based on individuals’ personality traits. Well established channels of communication should be known to every employee so that they can guide customers, especially in the event where a customer wishes to escalate a matter to higher authorities.

Even if the manager or supervisor is not pleased with the behavior or performance of either one staff, he or she erases all the benefits linked to good communication through yelling, cursing, and use of threats. The organization is achieved when managers take time to communicate with their employees regarding the organization’s goals and ways of achieving them. On the other hand, the management should communicate employees’ concerns and especially regarding their well being while at the workplace. This way, communication will yield collaboration, positive relations among the workers, and enhance employee performance (Agarwal & Garg 2012).

Selection Practices-Personality Tests

Staffing and recruitment is an arduous process because finding the right match for the job is the objective of every human resource manager. An institution with different kinds of departments is tasked with the responsibility of hiring individuals based on their skills to match the different available job positions. Most companies do not use personality tests, yet these tests are the best tools against which people’s personality traits can be used during recruitment processes.

The use of personality tests helps to determine the behavioral and attitudinal characteristics of recruits. Based on these characteristics, different employees tend to react differently to different personality tests. Therefore, based on the elements measured by these personality tests, I agree with Meinert (2015) that they should be used alongside cognitive and integrity tests. The unemployment rate is indeed high. In such situations, employers have the heavy burden of finding the right candidates from a wide and deep ocean of applicants. Employees, thus, are doing their best to adapt the most pleasing behavior during the recruitment process and especially where oral interviews are the only tests used. On a different note, the use of personality tests alongside other tests is the best way to find the best individuals for the available job (s).

The process is costly and time-consuming; hence, upon finding the best match, employers should ensure to retain these employees. Meinert (2015, par. 17) states that even though applicants may fake answers, this does not affect the ranking of applicants about their suitability. Weber (2015) gives an example of a company that resorted to using customized assessments to hire individuals possessing traits required for their call-centers. The Delaware North Cos. is a hospitality company that requires individuals who are friendly, curious, and can multitask.

Despite being an arduous process due to the high numbers of applications, the novel test administered online by this company has helped in reducing employee turnover as well as in selecting individuals who are the best fits for the available jobs. In the current global world where competition is becoming stiffer with each dawn, companies are not willing to settle for less, and Weber (2015) highlights an upsurge in the use of assessment tests during the hiring process.

Whereas this is an intelligent move by companies due to the associated lower recruitment costs and accurate identification of individuals with the best workplace temperament, some individuals are bound to suffer because they are likely to stay without employment for long periods. Companies do not mind spending more time to pluck pearls, only, from the great pool of applications as long as they select the most qualified recruits. The advancement in technology has led to the development of customized personality tests that can be used by the different institutions to hire the kind of employees they seek.

Levels of Employee Participation

Companies usually recruit individuals who stand out from the rest about skills and work temperament. Therefore, involving the employees in an organization’s decision-making processes is paramount; otherwise, feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction will lead to high employee turnovers. Scholars, such as Irawanto (2015) indicate that collaboration between managers and employees is associated with increased performance and organizational success. Irawanto (2015) has discussed this phenomenon in detail by indicating a correlation between individual effectiveness and organizational effectiveness.

Thereby, employees expect fair treatment in the same way they are expected to ensure the organization’s success. The different theories depicting the hierarchy of needs have included organizational involvement because it is through organizational involvement that one finds the true meaning of work after basic needs at the lower levels have been met. Naturally, employees might shy away from such involvement and especially the recruits because they may not be aware of what is required of them. However, over time, this involvement helps them to get motivated and lookout for ways through which the organization can succeed.

This is because employee involvement helps these employees to realize their contribution to the achievement of organizational goals. Research has shown that involving employees in making pertinent decisions and especially those affecting their job and wellbeing increases job satisfaction and performance among these employees. Figure 1 below indicates the essence of employee participation; teamwork, friendly workplace atmosphere, and job satisfaction are enhanced.

Employee Participation.
Figure 1: Employee Participation, adapted from Irawanto (2015).

The level of employee participation should not be limited but should be used by the management to make pertinent decisions because, at the end of the day, every decision made about the organization is bound to affect the employees in one way or another. Employee involvement strongly influences their internalization of organizational goals, which subsequently influences their level of organizational commitment.

Elaboration of the Communication Concepts

Communication and level of employee involvement are correlated; without a proper communication framework, it becomes difficult to engage employees in a decision-making exercise. Employees might not obtain accurate details regarding the exercise, which is mainly in the form of a meeting. Employee participation and engagement in the workplace have a bearing on the employees’ levels of emotional and intellectual commitment to the organization and its success (Balakrishnan & Masthan 2013).

Watson Wyatt Worldwide has conducted several studies to indicate the benefits of involving employees in organizational processes, which cannot be achieved without effective internal communication systems. In one study, high levels of employee participation in the workplace were associated with increased performance, reduced absenteeism to work, increased acceptance of organizational change, and reduced turnover rates (Watson Wyatt Worldwide 2010).

These attributes are indicative of a happy staff that is likely to offer exceptional services to clients, and this will subsequently lead to increased customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Effective internal communication systems create a sense of community within the workplace and employees develop a greater feeling of responsibility (Gaither 2012). Ensuring high levels of employee participation in every dimension of the organization apart from the predetermined job responsibilities enables employees to develop a sense of ownership and work towards securing the future success of the organization. In addition to commitment and ownership, employees are passionate about their work.

There are different forms through which the management communicates to its employees; however, the essential bit is to ensure that every employee is aware of these channels. Balakrishnan and Masthan (2013) indicate that employees are satisfied with a communication system when their concerns, which are presented through the different available communication channels, are responded to and addressed. Exchange of ideas, expressions, and information through these communication channels are a reliable form of employee participation because it is not every day that the management meets with its employees.

However, with effective communication channels, issues can be raised that can form the basis for an agenda when the management plans to meet with the employees. The study by Balakrishnan and Masthan (2013) indicated that effective internal communication was positively correlated with employee commitment. The study investigated superior-subordinate communication, opportunities for upward communication, reliability of communication, and superior openness as independent variables about communication. There was also a positive correlation between communication and discretional effort. Thirdly, there was a positive correlation between communication and meaningfulness in employees’ work.

As competition prevails in the current world, managers are striving to retain their employees and focus on employee commitment and engagement. Effective communication and employee participation entail communicating employee needs about the different theories of human needs, for example through promotions, increased responsibilities, and increased rewards. Eventually, companies can use minimal employee input to increase organizational output.

Perrin (cited in Markos & Sridevi 2010) highlights the top three drivers of employee commitment and engagement in the workplace as management’s interest in employees’ well-being, challenging work, and authority to make decisions. An organization that has high a level of employee participation can understand the needs of its employees very well in the same way that the employees understand the organization’s deliverables. Among these three drivers, the element of authority in decision-making entails the sense of employee involvement in decision making. Also, they can voice out their ideas, gain the opportunities to grow in their jobs, and their general health and well being is guaranteed.

Relevance of the Communication Concept in the Real Life

This project has helped me to appreciate effective communication and understand the essence of employee participation in the workplace. As a manager, I should ensure that all the different departments and cadres of employees in the workplace are involved in making decisions affecting the organization. Also, there should be a structure that allows the supervisors to easily interact with their subordinates without exuding feelings of power and superiority.

Supervisors are meant to give unending support to the subordinates because without these subordinates, there would no one to supervise and organizational objectives cannot be achieved. Also, poor communication results in employee frustration and job dissatisfaction, which leads to high employee turnover; yet, the organization can save these unnecessary recruitment costs and use them to oversee organizational growth. Sometimes, managers are under the notion that employees are dispensable, and the high unemployment rate leaves them no option but to abide by the rules and regulations of an organization. Unfortunately, such a notion is misguided because employees cannot give their best under such conditions, and will only hold on to their positions for as long as they can.

Every employee is an asset to the organization, and this is usually a fact at the point of recruitment. After identifying the individuals that stand out, the employers must ensure that the employees are satisfied; otherwise, a loss of the employees would mean loss of invaluable assets because each employee’s talent and way of doing things is unique and cannot be replicated. Establishing effective communication channels between employers and employees enables the employees to understand the organization better, and with high employee involvement, employees are willing to work extra hard to devise effective strategies to aid in achieving the expected deliverables.

As a manager, therefore, I must ensure that the needs of all employees are met. Also, I should address prevailing challenges and ensure each employee has an equal level of involvement in achieving workplace objectives. A manager should make sure to communicate directly with the employees on issues that directly affect them because it creates a feeling of fulfillment, instead of using department heads, whose attitudes might be biased.

Employees should be made aware of the steps to take when they feel they are treated unfairly, and department heads should not have the right to victimize their subordinates because it impedes freedom of expression. Whereas work etiquette is imperative for every employee, there is a need for managers to accommodate and address the views of all employees, equally, to avoid feelings of distrust and discrimination amongst the employee that will further impede organizational success. By developing the appropriate recruitment procedures entailing the relevant assessment tests, I can recruit the best employees. These employees should feel that they are part and parcel of the organization by ensuring information is communicated accurately and promptly. Also, they should be actively involved in the organization’s activities including decision-making ones.

Reference List

Agarwal, S & Garg, A 2012, “The importance of communication within organizations: A research on two hotels in Uttarakhand,” Journal of Business and Management, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 40-49. Web.

Balakrishnan, C & Masthan, D 2013 “Impact of internal communication on employee engagement-A study at Delhi International Airport,” International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, vol. 3, no. 8, pp. 1- 13. Web.

Gaither, C 2012, “The Role of Internal Communication and the Effect on Employee Engagement,” Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Capstones, Paper 2. Web.

Irawanto, DW 2015, “Employee participation in decision-making: Evidence from a state-owned enterprise in Indonesia,” Management, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 159-172. Web.

Markos, S & Sridevi, MS 2010, “Employee engagement: The key to improving performance.” International Journal of Business and Management, vol. 5, no. 12, pp. 89-96. Web.

Meinert, D 2015. What do personality tests really reveal?. Web.

Van Prooijen, J & VAN Lange PA (eds) 2014, Power, politics, and paranoia: Why people are suspicious of their leaders, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. Web.

Watson Wyatt Worldwide 2010. The Communication ROI Study Report, Towers Watson, New York. Web.

Weber, L 2015. “Today’s personality tests raise the bar for job seekers: More companies use assessments to hire, with fewer willing to take a chance on anyone who doesn’t measure up”. The Wall Street Journal. Web.

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