Highway Administrator Paper
The administrator of the highway department was given a task to find a way to fill more potholes. This program to fill more potholes would decrease the number of complaints in the city and the number of damages to the residents’ cars. To do this, the Highway Administrator implemented a goal-setting program, in hopes this would encourage the workers to fill more potholes.
This program sets a standard for each crew to fill a certain amount of potholes per day, no matter the location of where the crew was working.
The results will then be posted for all of the crews to observe and compare. As an incentive to fill the most potholes possible, the crew who filled the greatest amount of potholes each week was given a reward. I personally believe excellent results will be achieved since the Highway Administrator’s plan follows the design of the goal setting theory. “Goal setting theory was based on the premise that much human action is purposeful, in that it is directed by conscious goals. ” (Neil, 1994) A more updated definition of the Goal Setting Theory states that goals are the remarry drivers of the intensity and persistence of effort.
This program is going to be successful since the goals to be met are specific, accompanied by feedback, and difficult, but accepted by the workers. These aspects of the program will increase the overall performance of the workers, meaning more potholes will be filled in the approved manner, therefore, decreasing the number of complaints in the city and damages to the residents’ cars. Since the duties assigned to the workers are meant to help the community, it is safe to say that their Job performance is meaningful.
The errors have a clear, spelled out Job description and a list of tasks they need to complete, in the order they need to complete them. With their specific Job description and the workers helping out the community, overall Job satisfaction will rise, increasing Job productivity. “Meaningful work and Job satisfaction are linked,” (Weir, 2013) and typically lead to overall life satisfaction. Goals set by the highway administrator’s program were specific. The standard set by the highway administrator were that each crew was to fill 20% more potholes than they usually fill on a daily basis.
This aspect of the goal is extremely efficient and specific which gives the workers a clear idea of what they need to do at work. If the goal were to simply “fill more potholes than you normally fill” than each crew could fill one more pothole than they normally do and still meet the goal, but this would probably not complete as much work done as fast as it needs to completed. This goal is also a clear standard because of the different working conditions each crew operates in. Asking each crew to fill five more potholes than normal might prove to be easy for one crew and extremely difficult for another, depending on the conditions.
Each crew was also given a step-by-step sheet on how to properly fill each pothole. This will create a filled pothole that will last longer, therefore, making less work for the future. The feedback that accompanies each goal comes at the end of each week. Feedback is objective information about performance. Motivational feedback serves as a reward and the highway administrator clearly understands that since he is using rewards to drive his employees’ productivity. (Hogue, 2004) Each week, the highway administrator will post performance data on a board for all of the other crews to view.
Since there are only rewards and no harsh consequences, this creates friendly competition for each crew. The crew who has the most potholes filled at the end of each week wins tickets to a sports game in their locality. Since there is an incentive involved with the weekly performance, the crews will work much harder in order to come first and win the reward. This will drive up the work performance significantly since the reward is something people know they will enjoy. Finally, the goals are official, yet accepted by the workers. It may not be easy at first to fill 20% more potholes than average.
Once the crews realize the goals are difficult, yet not impossible, the intensity and persistence of the workers will maximize in order to be the best and finish the work as quickly and efficiently as possible. Each crew will work their hardest to fill many potholes as possible. The incentives come into play once again when it comes to the goal being difficult since each crew knows if they work harder, they will achieve more potholes than the other crews. It is also beneficial to he program that performance statistics aren’t posted until the end of the week.
If they were to post performance statistics every day, crews with lower performance may feel discouraged if they are not filling the most potholes, leading them to not work as hard as they may feel they don’t have a chance. The highway administrator’s goal setting program is meant to raise productivity and I predict that is exactly what will happen. Since the goal setting program is based off of the goal setting theory, it needs to follow three important aspects to be successful. When the goals are specific, accompanied by feedback, and difficult, but accepted by employees, they increase the performance of the workers.
These aspects serve as the primary drivers of the intensity and persistence of effort. “In order for an organization to be successful they must continuously ensure the satisfaction of their employees. ” (Yip, Goldman, Martin, 2009) Taking the goal setting theory into consideration, the ultimate goal is for the goal setting program to be successful. When workers are satisfied with their Job and the work they’ve done, along with possible rewards they may have earned, they will intuition to work harder. This is mainly since work itself has a strong correlation with job satisfaction.
If someone is not satisfied with the work they do, they may not want to work as hard or be as productive. Employees that like their work find it easy to work harder and strive for their best. They do this by setting personal goals for themselves, relating to work, and achieving them. Each crew may come up with team and individual strategies in order to employ every effort to fill the most potholes. This program will raise the workers’ productivity by raising the workers’ satisfaction. If I were the highway administrator, I would implement the same program with minor tweaks.
Ultimately, I feel that this program will drive workers to increase productivity and fill more potholes. With this result and more potholes filled, complaints from the citizens and damages to their cars’ will decrease immensely. This would improve the overall moral of the city if more potholes were filled. The reward aspect of this program is one of the most important parts. “A good reward system should foster personal growth and development and keep talented people from leaving” (Grittier, 1998). This program does Just that, which is why I agree with it and how it will affect the workflow.
When individuals set goals for themselves as well as try to receive rewards that may be awarded to them, they grow as a person and do not want to leave due to Job satisfaction and potential rewards. This leads to affective commitment by the workers. Workers will stay with the organization because they want to, not because they feel obligated or need to due to their financial situation. The only aspect I would change about this program is the percentage of potholes that need to be filled. I would survey each crews work area and give them team goals to meet.
Anything above that would be compared to the other teams and the crew who was most effective would receive the reward. Overall, the highway administrator’s goal setting program will work effectively and serve it’s purpose of filling more potholes to construct a better community environment.