Case Study 1 – Thanks for Nothing
1. If praising employees for doing a good job seems to be a fairly easy and obvious motivational tool, why do you think companies and managers do not often do it?
Employees take pride in doing their tasks and are more motivated to work harder if their efforts are being acknowledged by their bosses, as well as their colleagues, through rewards and added benefits. Having a “rewards and benefits system” is apparently one efficient motivational strategy that would keep the employees of the organization up and running. However, companies and managers do not often implement these measures because more often than not, they harbor negative consequences than positive ones.
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Most of the time, companies and managers fail to successfully implement motivational strategies especially when it involves the giving away of rewards and benefits to employees who are the high-achievers in the organization. Even if employees are given rewards and added benefits, they feel as if the company or the manager does not put much thought to it. This applies to reward programs that are regularly implemented, such as rewards and benefits given away on a weekly or a monthly basis. Sometimes, companies and managers just give away the rewards and added benefits “on cue,” or in other words on schedule, without having to assess or evaluate the quality of each employees’ performances for a given timeframe. Therefore, instead of pushing employees to work harder and produce quality outputs, they lose their interest and drive instead, because they know they are not being evaluated or assessed appropriately anyway. In addition, there are companies and managers who give away rewards on a bad note. They give it just for the sake of showing their employees that they are giving away rewards and benefits for them.
2. As a manager, what steps would you take to motivate your employees after observing them perform well?
As a manager, who observes, evaluates, and assesses the output of my employees, it would be much appreciated if I personally tell them that they have done a good job. The best way to motivate them is to observe all employees fairly and justly, and to tell each and everyone how they did on their job. It is good to give them individual reports wherein they can see their strong and weak points. In addition, it is good to include in their individual reports some suggestions or recommendations that would help them in improving their work outputs. If they did well, it is good to praise them and personally, to tell them that they really did a great job and that the company will be expecting more quality outputs from them, that is to tell them to continue working hard. If they did otherwise, it would be best not only to tell them what they lacked in their work performances, but also what their strengths are in order for them to know how they are going to go about in improving their performance in the company.
3. Are there any downsides to giving employees too much verbal praise? What might these downsides be and how could you alleviate them as a manager?
Initially, there are no problems with verbal praise. However, there are limits and a sense of responsibility that comes with the use of it. Verbal praises should be done in moderation and with reason. Companies or managers should not praise every employee with every little thing that they do well. Verbal praises should be done when an employee does something that exceeds the expectations of the company and the manager, or when work outputs and performances are out of the ordinary. In other words, praises should be given when it is highly deserved. When verbal praises are done too often, employees will lose its value to them. Verbal praises done rarely makes it more significant and notable.
4. As a manager, how would you ensure that recognition given to employees is distributed fairly and justly?
To ensure that recognition for a job well done is distributed fairly and justly, it is best to conduct keep surprise evaluation or assessment procedures within a given time frame, such as monthly, quarterly, or annual observations, to know the quality in output and performance of each employee. It is also good to compare individual outputs and performances to be able to identify who should be given rewards and benefits. These should not be given at random but should be subject to proper assessment and evaluation.
Case Study 2 – Business Blogs
1. What aspects of the communication process are blogs most likely to influence and how?
Blogs have gone beyond the limitations of the communication process, as seen in the media. This is because at present, blogs have delved into a wider scope and that is, it can contain any type of information under the sun. For instance, information aired over the media are screened according to the capacity of news to grab the attention of the masses and according to the amount of money they get from advertisers who pay networks to air their commercials. Blogs, however, do not have “screening buttons.” Meaning, people can write anything they want, at any time of the day, in their web logs, regardless of the nature of the information that they are going to post in the World Wide Web. Blogs are important tools in communicating a variety of information that greatly influences the mindset of its readers.
2. Although the grapevine typically is thought of as occurring within a given organization, blogging is a form of gossip that can reach beyond an organization’s borders. How might blogging change the way that companies are affected by gossip? What can companies do to guard against this?
Blogs may be used as tools to spread gossip about an organization that may make them either famous or infamous. Blogs, nowadays, are being viewed by some companies to be able to know what other people think about their organization and the services that they offer. Business organizations may even gauge how popular they are just by merely reading thousands of blogs posted in the internet about them. However, the good façade of the organization may be destroyed just by a simple blog entry that would be the subject of gossip for millions of people around the globe who read blogs. For instance, blogs that contain real and even made-up stories about the company may destroy how people would perceive them, thus affecting the performance of the organization. Companies and organization cannot do anything to avoid the publishing of unfounded and defamatory information against them. Perhaps, the best thing that they can do is to put up their own blogs over the World Wide Web wherein they can show people the goods about their company and where people who patronize them can write something positive about the company and the services that they provide.
3. Although companies would prefer to reduce blogs that speak negatively about them, what about blogs that detail mistreatment of employees or illegal work practices by upper management? Should employees post these types of blogs even though they may be reprimanded or terminated as a result?
For this scenario, the decision lies in the hands of the blogger. For instance, if an employee wants to post details about mistreatment or illegalities in the workplace, it would be up to him, knowing that his actions may lead to a reprimand or a termination. The posting of blogs about these issues cannot be prevented, especially if people really decide to write about it no matter what the consequences. Perhaps, if for some reason, employees feel the right to express their sentiments as individuals who have been mistreated and taken advantage of, it is appropriate to take matters in court. If undesired consequences might arise after posting negative blogs in the internet, employees might as well settle their issues in court. It is certain that after this, it will cause a lot of intrigue to the public, and information, ideas, and thoughts, about court proceedings will be posted over the internet anyway.
4. Is it ethical for companies to actively monitor blogs to gain marketing information? In other words, is the monitoring of blogs an invasion of privacy, or are bloggers inviting corporations to gather information because of the public nature of the postings?
It is not prohibited for companies to monitor blogs for them to be able to obtain information about their business. However, if the turnouts of these blogs are heavily influenced or the writers of the blogs are pressured or forced by these companies to avert from writing anything negative about them, than that is completely a different thing. That would be considered unethical.
To answer if monitoring blogs is a form of invasion of privacy, well, blogs are public property. In other words, anyone can see blogs, and people who post blogs know these very well. Sometimes, the purpose of blogs is to attract a variety of readers to support your website. Anyone can access the information posted on the internet as long as the owner of the blog published it for everyone to see. So, anyone who views it, even business organizations that monitor blogs for marketing’s sake, would and should not be accused of invasion of privacy.
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