The management of any organization should focus not only on customer satisfaction, but on the satisfaction of the employees with their work. Those companies that believe that their improved performance has nothing to deal with the work of the employees risk to lose their valuable personnel and their customers with it. This paper, on the example of the particular company, TD Canada Trust Branch, shows how destructive the lack of communication between the management and the personnel may be for the company. Additionally, it offers solutions to the organizational problems that the company faces and advises on how the current relation between the personnel and the management of the organization can be improved.
An organization is a unity of people that collaborate in order to achieve commonly set goals and objectives. The individuals are usually chosen by the company management basing on their education and experience, as well as their ability to contribute into the company’s success. Since there is no guarantee that a particular employee will conform to the requirements of the organization, the employees are recruited with the help of a series of tests and trainings; then, through another set of activities, they are integrated into the organization as such. In their effort to plant the correct virtues into an individual, the organizations often face a number of challenges. The greatest of these challenges is “to understand the different cultural backgrounds [of the employees] along with their attendant value systems and learn how to be respectful of them in order to achieve positive work relationships” (Snider, 2003, p. 73). Especially, this is not easy for a company that is aiming to enter the international market. It requires the company to integrate different categories of people in order to effectively manage its branches and attract a considerable number of customers at this. This paper will explore the organizational behavior of a particular company, TD Canada Trust Branch, in order to define the challenges that its employees face; it will also explain the roots of these challenges and give recommendations on dealing with them.
An overview of the organization and challenges it faces
TD Canada Trust is a financial institution whose main purpose is to serve the financial needs of its clients. The desire of the organization is to ensure that its clients are satisfied with the range of financial services that they provide to them. It is due to this that the company has gone out of its way to ensure that they integrate modern technology into their operations and that their clients can easily access their services (Vasu & Stewart, 1998). The company has recently exhibited a sufficiently high level of performance and won the J.D. Power and Associates Award, which is a quality award given to the companies that rank highest in customer satisfaction. However, the main problem within this organization is that the employees of the company do not absolutely trust the management. The trust perception is mainly based on three factors that include ability, benevolence and integrity. In case with this company, the main reason for the lack of trust to the management is the manager’s limited experience of working in large companies. The manager has been reported to lack sound financial knowledge and skills that he can apply to assist employees. This results in the employees’ inability to rely on his help and advice in different financial matters, as well as in their lack of knowledge with regards to the products manufactured by the company.
Another problem within the company that has been reported by the employees is poor communication between the management and the personnel. The managers of the company lack a communication strategy, which is vital for a proper functioning of any company. The management often makes company decisions without necessarily consulting with the employees. At this, the decisions are made on behalf the employees and the latter do not always agree with them. The employees feel left out when it comes to the company’s performance since they are often made to do what they do not approve. Employees also feel that they do not get enough incentives and, therefore, are not motivated to perform better. Their work reminds mere daily routine and they are tired of the fruitless efforts to make any positive changes in their management (Clawson, 2003). This all created a common feeling among the employees that the management does not care much about them and that they are mostly perceived as a labor force unable to participate in decision-making process.
The working environment of the organization
The working environment of the organization has been set in a way that does not motivate employees to work. They are subjected to a working routine, which is not interesting for the employees and which has negative effect on their productivity. The employees already have a negative attitude towards their work, though the majority of them still have a number of ideas on how to contribute into the performance of the organization. The company under consideration is a financial institution and it is expected that it is also endowed with managers that have an ability of making sound financial decisions not only for the company but also for their employees (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2007). The management of the company seems to be so concerned with the external environment that they forget to take care of the employees. The managers do not realize that the customers will not be satisfied with their services unless the employees put in their maximum efforts. Since there is no proper channel of communication in the organization, the employees are not able to air their views and, therefore, point at the problems that need to be addressed. The employees have tried hard to make the management know about their dissatisfaction with work, but the managers remain insensitive to their situation, thus, making the work for the employees even more intolerable.
Politics and leadership
Politics and leadership problems also make the employees feel uncomfortable with regards to the jobs they have to perform. The leaders seem to be so egotistic that they do not want to share their thoughts with employees. They often act as superior to their employees, which impedes the communication and results in the inability of the employees to reach them when needed. There is no aspect of mentorship in the organization as some leaders feel they will remain in their positions of leadership for a longer time. This results in the feeling of insecurity and instability among the employees who receive minimum rewards and rarely get promotions or salary increments (Johns & Saks, 2007). The company has been performing well over the past several years, which resulted in its gaining a great number of customers. The growth and credit that the company has been receiving seem not to be reflected on the employees as no changes took place for them personally. Due to the dissatisfaction that has been expressed by the employees, there emerged a conflict between departmental leaders and the top management. Departmental leaders are in direct contact and connection with the employees, which helps them understand what they are going through. However, because of the poor communication channel within the company, the leaders are unable to share this understanding with the management, which results in significant friction within the organization.
Employee motivation is almost nil in the organization, which is reflected by the fact that the management is not willing to effectively communicate with the employees. The employees believe that there are a number of problems that the management could have addressed, but failed for some reason. They report about the necessity to deal with these problems and sometimes wish they had an alternative (Kramer, 2003). The managers of the company seem to lack new strategies that they can employ to motivate their employees and achieve higher productivity. One of the reasons for their inactivity may be the performance of the company in the market that they are satisfied with, which is why they do not realize the contributions of the employees in its activities.
There are a number of reasons that may lead to the employees’ losing their working morale. Unless the management takes urgent measures, the productivity of the employees is likely to decrease and, consequently, the performance of the company in general will worsen. This is a serious reason for the management to improve their leadership skills and employ new motivational procedures. If they show a lack of interest in the affairs of their employees, the employees will also display a lack of interest in the activities of the organization (Zarate, 2006). Correspondingly, the employees will leave the company and start searching for other career opportunities. Those that will remain in the company may show sluggishness in their work and may not be able to perform at the same level as those who worked there before. If no better working force is recruited, then the company will face the risk of losing its customers who may become dissatisfied with the services they get.
Coping and managing competition
Competition is one of the uncontrollable challenges that companies have to go through each day. TD Canada Trust Branch also has to stand competition in the market. After the company’s winning an award for attracting a great number of customers and earning their trust and loyalty, there emerged a number of other financial institutions that wish to have such a share in the market as well. The company hence needs to intensify its sales promotion tactics that will help it retain and increase its share in the market (Daft & Marcic, 2008). However, taking into account the situation with employees’ dissatisfaction, the organizational problems should be first to deal with. Then the employees, if properly motivated, may come up with fresh ideas on how to retain the existing customers and attract new ones. As a company continues to experience growth, there is a need for new and unique ideas that will excite and interest clients. People are always looking for unique features within an organization that will promise them better services. Attracting new customers is important because, as new organizations offering similar services emerge, the customers are lost, especially when the emerging organizations offer discounts or services of higher quality. The company should note this and probably involve employees more in decisions related to the sales promotion.
Practical solutions to the problems
Several important procedures are recommended to undertake for the company to introduce necessary changes and to improve the personnel-management relations.
Improving communication channel
Communication is essential for growth and continuity of the organization. This may take various forms and involve different parties. Such companies as TD Canada Trust Branch may think that communication within them is normal, whereas, in reality, they are neglecting some extremely important aspects of it. In most of the cases, the company management is more preoccupied with improving the external communication, or the communication with its clients. The clients of the company under consideration have been given such a priority at the expense of the company’s employees. The management seems to ignore the contributions made by the employees into the company’s performance and do not do much to retain their employees. To improve this situation and to ensure that the company maintains its reputation, the managers need to organize regular meetings with the employees; this will solve the existing problem with the employees’ dissatisfaction. As stated by Bogardus (2009), such meetings contribute much into the improvement of management-employee relations: “Regularly schedules meetings, in which direct supervisors meet with their staff for updates and coordination of activities … provide a vehicle for employees to voice their questions and concerns” (p. 390). The managers need to assure their employees that they appreciate what they are doing by listening to their needs (Yammarino & Dansereau, 2004). Sometimes, there is a need to maintain a gap between the management and the employees. To achieve this, the management may use departmental leaders or rather suggestion boxes to acquaint themselves with what is happening among employees.
This approach, however, is not suiting for the company in question, because, at present, in needs namely direct communication between the management and the personnel.
Rotational working to break monotony
Rotational working is a strategy according to which employees are shuffled and made to work in various departments of the organization. Such an environmental shift “is intended to alter key organizational variables that then have an impact on the members of the organization and their work-related behaviors” (Antoniou & Cooper, 2005, p. 3). This is also a strategy that works towards improving relationships within the organization and breaks monotony among the employees. It is also an opportunity for the management to test and see how employees can perform in different organizations. As employees from various departments interact with each other, they also understand what it means to work for a certain department (Moorhead & Griffin, 2008). Rotational working also makes employees more interested in their work due to the new experiences that they have every day. Besides, it helps the employees appreciate their responsibilities after having a test of what happens in other departments. This will also allow the management to comfortably place employees at suiting positions and then manage them accordingly. When things are done in such a professional manner, every employee familiarizes with and understands his/her responsibilities well. This is exactly the approach that the company in question needs.
Bonding sessions are moments when the staff and the management get to meet together in casual events for the purpose of simply knowing each other. This is what TD Canada Trust Branch needs to minimize the tensions and frictions present within the organization. As mentioned by Dessele and Zgarrick (2004) “alongside the formal organizational structure, an informal structure exists” (p. 161). The task of the TD Canada Trust Branch management is to disclose this informal structure and draw from it necessary information for corporate changes. The matter is that, as the employees leave all professionalism in the office and get a chance to freely interact, they are able to reach the necessary level of understanding with the managers. The employees will have an opportunity to freely talk to the managers and make them know what they feel. It is also through such bonding moments that the employees can display their real character. Managers can learn much from this and will hence know their capabilities. A lot may be hidden in terms of character when people are only left in the organizational setting (Griffin, 2009). They may put on masks that will make them appear in a certain way just to be understood and appreciated by their colleagues and managers. In a casual setting, however, the environment becomes so conducive that they will feel free and sometimes unable to hide their characters. Therefore, bonding sessions will help the company discover the capabilities of their employees and use them for improving the organizational behavior of the company.
TD Canada Trust Branch managers may be satisfied with the current performance of the organization and fail to realize that its future is at stake. Customers may be bringing in the money that will make the company successful; at the same time, however, the company may face a hidden threat that eventually will destroy it.
A communication model that will ensure a high level of understanding between the employees and the management is highly recommended to this organization. If TD Canada Trust Branch follows the recommendations proposed, namely improves its communication channel, adopts rotational working strategies, and introduces bonding sessions as a new corporate tradition, it is likely to avoid the threat that lies before it. If the recommendations are not followed, the company risks to lose valuable employees and, with them, the customer base that it has been building throughout all the years of its existence.
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