People management: Challenges and Choices

Due to the advent of globalization and the advancement of technology and communication, Business is now more sophisticated, concentrated and strategic. There is a growing need of knowledge and expertise. Although technology is a key to every business as automation is taking place, yet, employees are of the greatest importance. The corporate culture of an organization is built through its workforce and affects the quality of work and decisions of the organization. There is growing competition in the world market which has led to a rise in the need for more skilled, trained and qualified personnel.

The importance of people in an organization is directly proportional to the importance of managing the people. The way the management deals with its personnel is reflected through the quality of their work, their morale and motivation. This is a briefing paper that would give an outline of the detailed essay over the challenges and choices faced by the management of organizations with respect to their employees and staff member as it is the responsibility of the management to ensure that the workforce is not just satisfied but also motivated.

Discussion The management of an organization is a vital part of its structure without which the organization would not have a sense of purpose or direction. It is not easy to precisely define the role of management. It is easier to recognize a business that is poorly managed than it is to pinpoint the specific features of good management in a successful business. Badly managed businesses will be poorly organized, will often have poor staff motivation and resources would be wasted or inefficiently used.

Managers have some characteristics that make them effective and there are some practices that are used by the managers in order to keep the organization and its people on track. Managers are responsible for setting objectives, organizing resources and motivating staff so that the organizations aims are met. Managers basically get things done, not by doing all the jobs themselves but by working with and through other people. Managers do not all use the same style of leadership and different managers will approach problems and decisions in very different ways, but the key features of management are common to all. (Stimpson, 2002)

The role of managers involves the well being of the employees. In current conditions of rapid change and rising staff expectations of their experience at work, the effective management of people has become a major determining factor in influencing the success of business enterprises. Many organizations profess to consider their employees their most important asset but all too often their policies, procedures and managerial practices contradict that view. These practices hinder the production process and affect the attitude of the employees which leads to lower motivation and hence, lower profits for the company.

It is for this reason, vital to develop employee management plans in every organization. The needs and expectation of employees from their jobs has drastically evolved from the previous generation. In today’s rapidly advancing society employees are more educated with further career expectations and aspirations to progress. Employees are more inclined to be a part of the organizations decision making and look for more responsibilities. The traditional authoritarian/autocratic leadership is more outdated as employees expect to be more employed. Managers now follow a more democratic approach to leadership.

With growing competition in every industry organizations are inclined to maintain a competitive edge over rivals. The only competitive advantage many organizations have is the ability to improve the performance of their people at all levels. Therefore it is holds key importance for the HR management to be able to lead and motivate the workforce as for them to be more productive and loyal to the organization and lead the company to gain a competitive advantage with the use of people knowledge and expertise. Among the many roles of the management includes satisfying the needs of the employees and motivating them.

Motivation is a general concept that is proportional to the productivity of the employees with respect to their level of satisfaction. One of the concepts that is rather novel in today’s organizations, is the notion of job design. Job design is basically the process of organization the tasks and responsibilities and the structuring of the job in a way that the job holder is more satisfied with it and hence, works more effectively. An employee’s job design or structure has a direct impact over the quality of work. Job design is simply the process by which managers decide and lay down the individual job description, tasks and authority.

Considering how much impact a workers job design can have over his/her quality of work and morale, it has now become an imperative practice for management to pay close attention to designing each employee’s job individually with respect to the workers job description, needs and abilities. Job design allows the workers to have some independence over their job timings, work settings and tasks. However, the employees are then accountable and responsible for their work and decisions as a result of their job design. Job design is started with analyzing the job.

Job analysis is the process of gathering information about the job predominantly the responsibilities, functions and tasks of the job holder. The general characteristics of a job, Job requirements and job content are the three factors combine as the job description of an employee. The motivation and satisfaction levels of employees can be evaluated with their job description. The tasks, duties and responsibilities of the employee are key characteristics that indicate the employees morale and satisfaction With the help of job analysis managers can identify the required activities and design the jobs in order to gain the optimal outcome.

The basic concepts that are considered while designing a particular job are job range, job depth and job relationships. Job range can be described as the number of tasks that the worker will be expected to perform. job depth is basically the discretion or judgment that the job holder is allowed to have over the activities and the outcomes of the job. And Job relationships are established through the decisions that the managers make regarding the span of control and the departmentalization. (stimpson,2002) A job can be designed in various ways.

However, the most common forms of designing the job range include job rotation and job enlargement. Job rotation is the rotation of a worker from one job to another bringing a variety in the job content. Rotation may relieve the boredom of doing one task and it can give the worker multi-skills, which makes the workforce more flexible, but it does not by itself increase empowerment or responsibility of the work being performed. On the other hand, Job enlargement is the term used to the attempt of increasing the scope of a job by broadening or deepening the tasks undertaken.

Job enlargement adds in more jobs of the same level rather than higher leveled tasks. Job depth which is the discretion or judgment that the job holder is allowed to have over the activities and the outcomes of the job, is concerned with the notion job enrichment. Job enrichment can be described as the vertical extension of jobs which involves the principle of organizing work so that employees are encouraged and allowed to use their full abilities and not just the physical effort. Job enrichment allows workers to be responsible for their own actions and are given a level of autonomy to make their own decision regarding their work.

In today’s highly competitive and aggressive business environment, the concept of leisure time is almost diminished. People are overburdened with work and find minimal time for other activities. Flexibility is important in a job design as it allows the employees to alter their work arrangement according to their needs. Flexibility allows for alternative work arrangement which allow the workers with some level of autonomy over how they get their work done. There are a number of flexible work options available for employees in organizations that value the motivation of workers and the quality of work that they yield.

(Baker, 2001) Some forms of flexible work options include flexi-time which gives employees a daily choice of work hours, compressed work week allows workers to complete their job in less than a scheduled work timing, job sharing, which is an agreement between a two or more employees to alter their work timings and divide their full time jobs according to agreed upon hours, and another form of flexible work option is telecommuting which is the concept of allowing employees to work from remote locations rather than just the work place. Conclusion

Managers are responsible for driving a group towards the attainment of goals, hence, they have the authority to influence, motivate, inspire and encourage the subordinates in working at their best. The management faces a challenge when designing work that would maintain a balance between being challenging enough to uphold the feeling of self actualization in the employees and being achievable without being too stressful and threatening. Management is faced with a number of challenges and alternative when it comes to job designs and the process of creating a job description is a comprehensive and lengthy procedure.

But if this procedure is carried out with full consideration and flexibility, it can lead to a greater employee motivation, and a better performance leading to the benefit for the organization as a whole. References Baker, M. J (2001). Marketing: critical perspective on business and management. Taylor and Francis. Murphy, J. B & D. F Pyke The two-sided challenge of Job design. Retrieved 14. 01. 2009, from http://mba. tuck. dartmouth. edu/pages/faculty/dave. pyke/downloads/jobdesign. pdf Stimpson, P (2002). Business studies. Cambridge university press