STRATEGY FOR PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT 10
Human resources are among the key determinantsof the success of a firm. If well managed, employees will befashioned to achieve the firm’s goals and objectives. However, ifmismanaged, they could be a reason for the downfall of a goodperforming business. Many theorists have come up with ideas regardinghow to effectively manage personnel. Some of the ideas have beenworthwhile, while others are only relevant for specific workplaces.The key step when devising means to manage personnel effectively isto identify some of the recurring issues within personnel. Among themost common are discipline, abuses of sick time, keeping morale up,personality conflicts, sexual harassment, and cultural diversity. Thediscussion will explore each of the aforementioned issues and offerwell-thought long-term solutions.
Issues to do with discipline are common amongemployees especially when an organization has several departments(Molavi et al, 2014). Most of the discipline issues arise whenemployees blatantly ignore the firm’s rules and protocol. Usually,such acts happen when there are no known consequences of such actionsor the chances of facing the consequences are very slim. It thereforehappens that when cases of indiscipline go unpunished, the culture ofimpunity infiltrates the organization to the extent that newemployees are indoctrinated to it as soon as they make a few friends.
Cases of indiscipline between personnel arealso abounding in the modern workplace because of operational causes.Among the major causes of indiscipline are the employer’s attitude,discrimination, poor working conditions, and lack of a strictguideline to deal with discipline issues.
In order to minimize cases of indiscipline, thefirm should put more emphasis on good leadership. Quite oftenindiscipline cases stem from the fact that some leaders are tooarrogant towards their juniors. The growing dislike between theseleaders and their juniors leads to cases of indiscipline in theaftermath. According to Roberts (2004), employers should hire peoplewith emotional intelligence to leadership positions. Such leaderswill not let their position of power influence their attitude towardsjunior employees. Roberts (2004) further argues that emotionalintelligence also bestows upon the leader the power to recognize thefeelings of others and act accordingly.
The management, together with the employeerepresentative, should come up with a strict guideline of how to dealwith employee indiscipline cases. Involving employee representativein taskforce will assure the junior employees that the new guidelinesare not meant to single them out. Instead, they are meant to create afriendly working environment. The management will then implement thestrict guideline in its entirety. It is also prudent that themanagement reminds the employees of the importance of adhering to thediscipline guidelines, lest they fall victim and feign ignorance.
Abuses of Sick Time
The abuse of privileges is nothing new in themodern workplace. Among the many privileges- that are stipulated inthe constitution- that some employees abuse include sick time. Someemployees will lie that they are sick in order to get that sick leaveso that they can attend to personal matters. Some unscrupulousemployees will sink low to the extent of asking for a sick leave sothat they can relax at home and watch TV.
In addition, some employees tend to abuse sicktime so that they can go to a hot date. However, this does not meanthat there are no genuine cases of employees who are in honest needof the sick leave. The real puzzle is how the management can weed outabusers of sick time from the genuine cases.
Since the law forbids managers from dismissingany employee because of sickness, it is therefore important toidentify the root cause of the abuse of sick time by employees. Quiteoften, such incidences occur when managers do not give theiremployees enough time off to deal with personal issues or break themonotony of work. In this regard, managers should ensure that everyemployee has enough time off some of which should be for preventivehealth care. In addition, the management can create incentives todiscourage employees from skipping work. One such incentive, is thecreation of bonuses for employees who never ask for sick leave withina stipulated duration, say one year.
However, sometimes extreme conditions call fortough decisions. One such situation is when a particular employee isnotorious for abusing sick time but then the management has noevidence to pin him down. According to Levitt (2015), a manager cancommunicate with the employee’s doctor in order to find out whattypes of tasks the sick employee can do without worsening the his orher condition. After the clarification, the manager can assign lightduties to the sick employee for a minimum pay. If they refuse tooblige, the manager can sack them without the fear of any litigation.If managers do this, employees will think twice before they can abusesick time again because such a move will not give them free time butwill only confine them at the workplace doing minimum wage duties.
Keeping Morale Up
It is quite usual for employees to lose theirmorale to work especially when they constantly engage in monotonousactivities. However, no matter how common it is to lose morale, it isnever good for business. Employees with no morale will not beproductive to their maximum potential and they are bound to sufferfrom depression. Loosing morale is not an offence worth firing anemployee because it is not stipulated under the penal code.Rebuilding morale among employees is the true measure of a managerwith good leadership skills. Among the various methods that managerscan use to boost morale, experts have noted that instilling fearamong employees does not work in the long run. Instead, a goodmanager will try to find out what is affecting her employees and tryto correct it.
One way to keep the morale of employees up isto be people-oriented rather than task oriented. A manager who ispeople-oriented usually takes interest in the personal lives of hisor her juniors. A people-oriented manager does not only see hisjuniors as sources of labor, but also as fellow human beings. On theother hand, a task-oriented manager does not give a hoot about thepersonal lives of his juniors. As long as they perform their dutieseffectively, he has no qualms about it. The feeling ofself-importance that a people-oriented manager creates among theemployees motivates them to keep working despite engaging inmonotonous activities. As much as human beings work in order to bepaid, the social nature that is characteristic of human beings drivesthem to strive to create a friendly working environment.
The managers can also maintain rotation ofemployees to break down the monotony of work. Research has revealedthat the most common reason for losing morale among employees is thelack of new challenges in their workplace (Afful-Broni, 2012).Constantly rotating employees within different departments willexpose them to new challenges that will light up the desire in themto keep learning.
Additionally, managers can organize playactivities for their employees in order to distract them from theirroutine tasks. Apart from enhancing the team spirit among employees,such a move will go a long way in raising the dwindling levels ofmorale among employees. Coupled with a few talks on self-motivation,these techniques should be effective in dealing with the issue ofmorale among employees.
According to Myatt (2012), any person in aleadership position is bound to face a personality more than once inhis or her career. The modern workplace is an amalgamation ofdifferent personalities brought together by their pursuit for asalaried job. Every work place has its parrot, the nerd, theintrovert, and the rebellious one.
A good leader has to device a way to put all these personalities inthe same box in order to achieve the objectives of the firm.Controlling such a wide array of personalities requires somebody whois capable of reading the personality of others and knowing the bestmethod to approach them. However, a leader should not be afraid ofpersonality conflicts because they will always be there and he or shewill be required to solve them.
Among the effects of personality conflicts arestress. For instances, some employees prefer to work on tasks as soonas they get them while others will dilly dally until the last minutebefore they can do them. Others prefer to start with the appealingtasks while others prefer to do tasks systematically.
When these conflicting personalities are forcedto coexist in the work place, they are bound to feel stressed. Soonerthan expected, tempers will rise and it will be upon the manager todecide who was on the right and who was on the wrong. Personalityconflicts may also lead to low productivity. When employees have towork with someone who has a different perspective of work, it takes atoll on their level of productivity.
Managers need to accept that there are variouspersonalities in the workplace and come up with a policy ofacceptance. The management should make sure that all workers acceptthe faults of each without necessarily crying foul about it. They canmake sure to tell their employees that for the team to work, theymust embrace every personality. Managers can also learn to study thepersonality of employees before placing them in groups. In order tohave the ability to do so, a good manager should be a good judge ofcharacter. Using the knowledge, they gained therein the manager canallocate members with similar personalities into the same group inorder to improve task execution.
According to Bowling and Beerhr (2006), sexualharassment at the workplace has never been taken seriously in theworkplace. As is common with other forms of harassment, some managersmay overlook it as a petty complaint by employees who enjoy whining.However, with growing education, managers are now realizing thatsexual harassment in the work place is a serious offence that needskeen handling. Sexual harassment could cause employee depression ornegatively impair their productivity. It is therefore the work of agood manager to institute a strict policy against sexual harassmentin the workplace.
One way that to end sexual harassment in theworkplace is through educating all employees on what is sexualharassment. The rise in feminism has increased the scope of whatcomprises sexual harassment. Some employee from the older generationmay not know that what was considered normal talk back in the day isnow highly offensive in today’s workplace. Convicting such peoplewithout educating them on what is expected of them in the modernworld would not only be unfair, but also unjust. The managementshould hire the services of a sexual harassment specialist who willtake the company employees through the modern definition of sexualharassment. The management can organize a seminar and compel all theemployees to attend it.
As Okechukwu (2011) mentions, every workplaceshould have a strict policy against sexual harassment. After theseminar on sexual harassment, it is only fair that the managementputs in place stringent measures to deal with those who go againstwhat they learned in the seminar. According to Okechukwu (2011), thepolicy should stipulate all the offences that fall under sexualharassment and the punishment for each. Multiple sexual harassersshould be relieved of their duty at the company because the modernworld has no space for such characters. The new rules will ensurethat every employee enjoys working at their positions.
Globalization has led to increased culturaldiversity in many workplaces. However, with increased culturaldiversity comes culture shock, which sometimes may lead to conflict.Managements have had to deal with issues of cultural diversity in thelast decades (Batra, 2016). What were once considered as culturalstereotype jokes, are considered highly offensive in today’sculturally diverse workplace. Managers have a role to ensure thatother workers offend no employee, especially the minorities.
One way to go about it is to learn about thecultures of others in order to be more tolerant. Managers can make itcompulsory for employees to research about the cultures of theircolleagues in order to avoid future incidences of inadvertentlyoffending others.
The managers can also organize cultural eventsupon which they celebrate the different cultures of the people thatwork for them. For instance, if a workplace has employees of Mexicanorigin, the managers can chose to recognize Mexican traditionalholidays such as Tacos. Allowing time off for culturally diverseemployees to attend cultural events is also a good way of fosteringgood relations among employees.
The modern workplace has several issues withpersonnel including discipline, abuses of sick time, keeping moraleup, personality conflicts, sexual harassment, and cultural diversity.However, thanks to modern psychology, most of these problems havelong-term solutions. For instance, firms can invest in strongleadership to ensure that there is discipline within the ranks. Foremployees who abuse sick time, managers can request their doctors toprovide a list of tasks that they can partake. The use of performanceappraisals and rotation of tasks can help boost the morale ofpersonnel. If a manager can identify the personality of employees inadvance, she can allocate them duties according to theirpersonalities. Sexual harassment and cultural diversity are issuesthat can be sorted through seminars.
Afful-Broni, A. (2012). Relationship betweenmotivation and job performance at the University of Mines andTechnology, Tarkwa, Ghana: Leadership Lessons. CreativeEducation,3 (03),309
Batra, M. (2016). 32_SexualHarrasment at Workplace (2014). NewDelhi: Indian Law Institute
Bowling, N., A. & Beehr, T. A (2006).Workplace harassment from the victim`s perspective: A theoreticalmodel and meta-analysis. Journal ofApplied Psychology. 91 (5) 998-1012
Levitt, H., (2015). Howto deal with employees who abuse sick leave policies. The financialPost. Retrieved from<http://business.financialpost.com/executive/management-hr/how-to-deal-with-employees-who-abuse-sick-leave-policies>accessed August 10, 2016.
Molavi, M., Balandeh, M., & Hamzeli, H.(2014). Discipline at Work. FAUNAROSSII I SOPREDEL NYKH STRAN, 10(6).
Myatt, M., (2012). 5Keys of Dealing with Workplace Conflict.Retrieved from<http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2012/02/22/5-keys-to-dealing-with-workplace-conflict/#4d6f147915a0> August 10, 2016.
Roberts, R. D. (2004). EmotionalIntelligence in the Workplace:A Critical Review – Zeidner – 2004 -Applied Psychology, Wiley OnlineLibrary
Okechukwu, C., (2011). Discrimination,harassment, abuse and bullying in the workplace.Boston,MA: Harvard School of PublicHealth