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A 25 pages term paper on An Organizational Analysis

1) Case Study

               ABC Chemicals is a well-established firm with a reputation of being one of the top performing and leading organizations in the chemical industry. The company has achieved substantial growth, impressive profit results and very successfully achieved its goals. This incredible company record of gaining high rewards goes to the credit of its aggressive marketing policies that the company has adopted in the past decades. The company possesses a very impressive marketing and sales setup. The overall marketing system consists of several detail men and each of these men look after a wide territory that has been assigned to them. The hierarchy consists of a district manager who has several detail men in his team, usually 20 to 25. This district manager is in charge of the whole district’s sales efforts and is accountable for every sort of activity in that region that is done for the purpose of sales. He is supposed to look after sales volumes on a timely basis as well as for other facilitating activities such as recruiting, training and supervising his team. Sal LaSpisa was the district sales manager of the company, he was considered to be the most important and key figures of the company because of his impressive performance history. He had been a high achiever from the very beginning of his career. He was currently looking after the sales of the northern region sales division. His immediate boss Mr. Rob Zielinski, Director Sales, is very fan of him and always gives importance to his suggestions and viewpoints. He fully supports any initiative taken by LaSpisa because he is sure that any initiative taken by him will bring better results. In order to improve their sales results and to do adopt some more aggressive selling techniques LaSpisa and Zielinski decided to increase their sales force for the northern region. For this purpose they hire some new team members among whom was Mrs. Linda Nelson who was being appointed as a sales officer. Mrs. Nelson was an attractive widow and ha applied to the position through an advertisement in the local newspaper. Though she didn’t have any experience with regards to the sale of chemical products but her previous experience in the pharmaceutical industry was indirectly related to the business. The biggest positive point for her that her resume indicated that she had been a very successful sales person and had a number of record sales target achievements on her credit. Moreover, she had very favorable recommendations from a number of key peoples of the industry including some of her past employers. LaSpisa figured her as a highly motivated, ambitious, hard working and determined individual having the ability to learn new things and gain a grasp on the major issues of the job in a very short span of time. He considered her to be having a great potential for success in is organization.

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               Mrs. Nelson was being hired by the company on a very handsome salary, offered to a very few women before. She was also eligible for bonuses and commissions from the sales transactions initiated by her. In the first year of her job, the lady achieved impressive sales results and got a very huge bonus apart from the recognition and appraise by her coworkers as well as seniors. Mr. LaSpisa regarded her work as to be satisfactory and according to the requirements of the organization. Being an attractive, good looking young lady and having a pleasant personality she soon gained the confidence of her customers. She was always well dressed and well groomed while being at work and this was her professional attitude and urge to achieve her goals that led her to gain immense increment in the sales of her company’s product within her territory. Her regular customers included large-scale organizations as well as small companies. Her ambitions to bring good and satisfactory results and to become established in her line of work, she applied for admissions in MBA program of a local college and was granted admission in the evening program. Now she had the option of attending two or three courses in the evening and get credits in different business courses that will finally bring her the graduate business degree and this way she would be able to make more rapid advancement in her career.  She used to describe her experience of working in the company as a sales officer in the following words “in the beginning I was pretty confused and lost in deciding what to do and how to call the potential customers. But in the later periods it became very easy as I got used to with handling the customers, listening to their queries, overcoming their ambiguities etc. and I got so as I was increasing the sales in my territory to the extent that they had never before and they were wondering to achieve that much success. It was no doubt too difficult and hard to achieve but I somehow managed it, the feeling of competing with so many men for achieving a common goal made me feel excited and that was the point from where I started performing as well as other competent employees were doing or were supposed to do in this kind of work. My manager taught me a trained e a lot in this regard, especially with respect to effective selling techniques and about the chemical industry. He seemed to take pride in my success and he was too good in all these initial months. Though, at times he was about to be at my nerves for the work but overall he was cooperative. His attitude towards the work started to become more to be a pain for me in later periods. He used to always be after me to make calls to the customers. He started checking me up all the time. Even he used to call me at odd hours as if he do not believes that I am working or if I am following the schedule that I gave to him. It was routine thing to submit a weekly plan to the boss so that he can know that what his employees are supposed to do for the whole week. But the most disappointing thing was that he used to call me on Saturday’s and Sundays and asked that why not was I out for a sales call. It was totally frustrating and not understandable that why should I be calling to the customers then. Apart from that I supposed that my weekends are my own private matter of doing things and it was in no way his business to know what I was doing in my private time. It was totally odd if he inquires me to work on Saturdays and Sundays. We have so many company forms to fill in that I could easily spend the whole weekend in doing that work. In fact, my manager usually used to get mad at me that why I am often late in seeking the reports. He expect me to be too prefect in my every aspect of the job and wanted me to follow up things exactly in the designated time frame and one can imagine how difficult things are when you are working in the field. In most of the cases you have to adapt and adjust. In the beginning of my job my manager went with me to all clients so that I can have a better idea to deal with the clients and this proved to be a good training for me. He had helped me in making effective sales presentations and has guided me in every aspect to overcome various problems. What I thought was that these training and teaching sessions will come to n end when I will become proficient and expert in my work and then I will be allowed to work independently. But to my utter surprise and frustration he kept checking on me as if I am an amateur and this was never known that any day he might call me and will ask me that he will meet me and make calls to the clients with me for a couple of days. There was no pattern to it and it was so unpredictable that it often used to disturb my schedule and he was becoming more and more problem for me. It just puts pressure on me to let him keep interfering and most of the times he is so critical that I can’t stand it. He was becoming the primary problem for me at work and he seemed to change a lot from the time when I first met him. Because of his attitude problem, his wife took a divorce and left him after which he became a heavy drinker. People usually think that h is a heavy drinker and that he is no more as attentive towards his work that he was before. It was not at all understandable for the employees that why the management I not getting on him. I usually use to feel unsure that how much of it I will be able to take and bear. The work was good, I liked the overall company environment but the frustrating part of the work for me and for most of the other employees is the attitude of our manager. Most of the employees were performing better and most of them were showing improvement in their performance as compared to their past results but still the unrealistic approach of our manager was a problem for all of us. We were all bringing pretty good money to the company but still we faced too much pressure from our manger. Most of the employees thought that it was the company who was exerting pressure on him and that it was because of this pressure and lot of other worries that he became a heavy drinker because it is too difficult to get along with such things.

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               In the coming month’s thing didn’t seem to change much for the employees. According to Mrs. Nelson it was not easy to work with a manager like they had and that he was getting worse with the passage of time. The employees are feeling that he is getting more and more unreasonable and demanding then ever before. He used to get upset on very petty issues and used to yell on his subordinates when they commit any mistake or are late in submitting any of their work. He used to strictly check the authenticity of the work of the employees as if he is not confident of the work done by his subordinates. At times he use to catch the employees filling sales visit forms with information which he thinks were not hundred percent true and accurate. The employees were so tired with all these red tapes and hurdles in work that they started to fill in the sales visit form just without verifying that whether the information is true or not so that he can think that they were working on something and were not free. As in case of Mrs. Nelson, she was supposed to take one course of her last term in the morning but she was so fearful of his attitude that she didn’t dared to tell him about it and later she was surrounded by a feeling of embarrassment that she acted dishonestly with her employer. She thought that in case if her boss ever found out he will be having the right to be angry and that he will most possibly take a strict action. She thought of leaving this job of heir’s but later she dropped the idea because she liked the nature of work too much and that she wanted to get more exposure in this field. It was overall an ideal job for her except the problem of the attitude of her boss. But most of the people were not this much pessimistic and because of the unfavorable attitude of their boss their was a high rate of absenteeism and high employee turnover. The company had started to face the crisis of employee retention. She later consulted a counselor and talked to him about her problem. The counselor advised her to openly confront her boss and let her boss know that what others and she thinks about the behavior and attitude of him towards the employees. And what were the reasons for growing employee absenteeism and turnover. She decided to act on the advice of the counselor thinking that at the most her boss is going to fire her out of the job and that she couldn’t go on the way it was going, any more. When she pointed out her manager that hoe she and her other colleagues think about his behavior and rash attitude and that they think that he is extremely strict, inflexible and unreasonably demanding towards his subordinates, to her surprise, her boss’ reaction was calm. In the beginning he seemed to be shocked of what he had just heard but later he asked a few questions and then he finally accepts that he realizes her point ad that he will try to work out this problem of his attitude through mutual cooperation and satisfaction. He himself mentioned some of his problems to Mrs. Nelson and to her surprise there were really such problems and she still hadn’t dared to point them out. She felt quite satisfied after having that meeting with her boss and thought that now my be if she can stay on this job for long and that may be this job can become somewhat more interesting and exciting. Her fellow employees praised a lot to her for her act of courage at the cost of risking her job.

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               In a few coming months, Mrs. Nelson found her to be in a more fascinating situation and recounted it as a major event in her career. She was selected for a two-week special company school at New York and all the expenses of traveling and lodging were to be paid by the company. She was feeling as if she was the most fortunate of all the employees. But later things never happened in her favor as she attended the workshop. She was too confused and too disappointed by what happened in the workshop and it was a horrible experience for her. The trainer asked all of the participants to share their experiences and opinions as the program went along. He urged all of the participants to be open and honest while sharing their experiences. Mrs. Nelson thought that it would be a good opportunity to share the work experiences and difficulties that she faced on the daily basis while being at work. Though most of the participants didn’t said much in this session but Mrs. Nelson took it a different way. She thought that she should contribute to benefit others by sharing some of her experiences so that others can learn from and benefit from it. Therefore, she was pretty outspoken during the whole session. No one commented on her such open participation at that time. In the end of the session the participants were asked to evaluate the whole session. Mrs. Nelson gave her feedback as well and it surely was a favorable one. But later Mrs. Nelson felt a huge surprise when she received a call from her boss in the midnight demanding her to appear in his office next morning, needless to say he was in a bad mood. She stated feeling frustrated once again from her boss’ attitude and was really annoyed. The next morning when she arrived at her boss’ office he started yelling at her and screamed at her accusing her of disgracing him in the training program. According to him the training director reported Mrs. Nelson to be the worst of all the participants of the session commenting on Mrs. Nelson’s personality to be arrogant, over smart and a know-it-all. Her manager threatens her to fire from the job because he was thinking that he cannot afford to have an employee who may be bad mouthing at his back and that he do not want the top management to think that he is too lenient or too soft to take any necessary action against the misconduct of any of his employees. However, he didn’t actually fired Mrs. Nelson from her job. He then talked to Mrs. Nelson about the session for quite some time and then warned her to change her attitude and said that he will observe her performance for the next two to three weeks and will see if her attitude has improved other wise she will be forced to leave the job. Mrs. Nelson was really hurt by his attitude and was at the same time worried about her job. She is afraid of getting fired and is unable to decide that whether she should now quit and look for another job or to wait and see.

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               In the coming months Mrs. Nelson got a reasonable opportunity in the same capacity to work in another city. She was still with the same company till that time and was working with the same harsh boss. His drinking more worst and demands more unreasonable and besides he has now a black label attached to Mrs. Nelson regarding the training session to taunt on her. Now that she has a new job she is in a position to take a career move. She thinks that the decision to move to a smaller company and to move to any other city will not be as bad if she is going to work their in peace and make more money. At least she will be able to get rid of the headache of writing up unnecessary reports of customer visits that use to take 40% of her time at the job.

2) Identification and analysis of the focal problems:

From the above case it is quite obvious that what the problem of ABC Chemicals actually is. The company is facing high turnover and absenteeism due to the manager’s non-professional attitude. This is not only raising concerns with respect to employee retention but also is effecting employees performance and is creating de motivation among the employees as was the case with Mrs. Nelson. These problems were not only restricted to Mrs. Nelson but also were faced by other employees as well. The attitude of the management towards its employees is one of the most important factors that contribute to the motivational level and devotion of the employees to work for the companies. If the management is going to behave the way the manager of ABC Chemical was behaving the company is going to suffer in the long run as all of those who will be more competent will leave soon as they will easily find new jobs and those who are less competent will remain with the company and this will worsen the performance of the company.

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3) Prognosis:

The only possible remedy for the problem of high turnover of productive employees and absenteeism can be to let the management realize that how important an employee is for them and how much it costs them to loose a productive and loyal employee. In this regard it is the duty of the top management to create awareness among the managers about the importance of maintaining a professional and positive attitude towards their sub ordinate. They should be advised not to develop unrealistic expectations from their subordinates and not to give them targets that are not achievable for them. Moreover, they should keep a point in mind that majority of the people give importance to their self-respect and when this feeling of self respect id hurt they are likely to react negatively.

4) Action Plan:

The issue of retaining employees have became of immense importance for the management of companies. The human resource departments of these companies are finding new ways to keep employees as it is becoming more and more difficult to find a right person for the job because of increase in demand for skilled labor. The absence of retention in companies has not only brought their business opportunities at risk but also has severely affected employee morale and company’s credibility. The CEOs of most of the companies have mentioned retention as the primary reason for limited growth of their companies. Most employers know that keeping their employees is one of the easiest and most effective ways to cut costs. On the other hand, hiring a replacement can cost up to half the employee’s annual salary. In this case a question arises that how to keep turnover to the minimum possible level?

               Attractive salary and fringe benefits may help in attracting a number of applicants but they are not likely to become loyal workers until and unless they feel a sense of pride in their work. Companies struggling to lower their high turnover rates should revise their compensation packages as well as the workplace environment.  Offering valet dry cleaning, laundry services and bringing pet to work are not enough. They are effective in gaining employee retention to some extent but until your competitors are not offering the same sort of benefits. The key to become an employer of choice is not in offering innovative benefit programs. It is in actual a cultural issue. It is in offering a culture in the organization where every person who has some contribution to the success of the organization feels valued. Companies need to build a sense of spirit and pride among its employees. If the employees will feel that their company is strong in this area, they are going to be more committed to their jobs. The other primary reasons for an employee to stay on a job can be good relationship with their coworkers & supervisors, the opportunity to remain competitive by improving skills & managing work related decisions and appropriate sharing in the financial success of the company. The Society of Human Resource professionals recently gave the following suggestions for improving employee retention: 1) Allow employees to develop additional job skills. Provide continuing training or educational reimbursement. 2) Make work meaningful and challenging. Adding increased responsibilities demonstrates trust. 3) Actively work to improve employee morale by, among other things, holding managers accountable for treating employees with respect.4) Pay competitive wages, but don’t overdo it. Most people won’t stay at a job they’re unhappy in, no matter how well they’re paid. 5) Reward your employees for their performances and efforts. 6) Beef up your benefits, particularly retirement and health plans. 7) Head off potential problems at the pass by encouraging open communication. (Crockett)

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As discussed earlier there is more than one reason that an employee may decide to stay on a job or may prefer to leave. The primary reasons may include relation with supervisors & coworkers, benefits & compensation, work environment and work/home balance.

1) Employee’s relationship with supervisors and coworkers:

Employee’s relationship with their peers and supervisors can be a motivating or de motivating factor. If employees are working in a friendly and cooperative environment, they are going to be more committed to their job as well as to the company. Manager’s should keep their employees informed and create a sense among them that they are important to the companies. They should give their employees the opportunity to express their ideas and should let them feel that their opinion does matter to the company. If employees will be given enough liberty to express their views and opinions they will more effectively participate in the implementation of company’s plans and strategies and the company will benefit too as it will get more innovative and productive ideas.  Good companies consider their employees not as hired hands but as vibrant partners. Some companies have eliminated time clocks and docking worker’s pay as such practices used to bring an element of distrust among employees and the company. The workplace should be considered as a community so that employees should turn to the workplace for comfort support and friendships.  A person should be having a sense of belongingness for the workplace so that they can turn to their workmates to meet their personal, social and spiritual needs. If the managers of a company are not considerate enough about their subordinates or the sense of belongingness is lacking, workers will be soon going to loose interest and motivation for work. This may reduce the level of productivity that they can in actual devote to the company. This results in the long term in the form of employee absenteeism and high turnover rate.

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2) Benefits and compensation:

It is not only the heavy amount of cash that employees expect their employees to pay for. Companies should pay their employees some extra benefits and compensation for what they are contributing to the success of the organization. Benefits are similar to pay. If other like businesses are paying certain benefits you will have to also in order to attract and retain highly skilled and competitive people. Health and dental insurance are benefits that better employees are demanding. But you can also offer additional benefits that will attract better employees. Life insurance, stock options, sick and vacation days will increase the attractiveness of a company’s compensation package. Some of these benefits may cost less than companies can imagine but they are going to pay much more to them in the long term. Apart from compensation and benefits in monetary terms companies also offer long-term growth plan to their employees. As competent employees always know that they must be engaged in any sort of learning and improving their skills. They constantly keep looking for places where employees are encouraged to increase their skills and provided training as well. Most of the organizations consider only providing job related training. However, it is more feasible to provide training in non-business areas as well as this will increase the knowledge base of company’s workforce. Improving such apparently irrelevant knowledge areas can also improve performance at work. A Learning Environment provides a chance to learn on the job. This not only improves skills, knowledge and performance but also keeps the employee's interest level high. The employee is more eager to go to work if they feel they will learn something new and improve themselves. Targeting to fulfill the interest of employees will result in the form of increased loyalty.

3) Work Environment:

Good working conditions are crucial for achieving high level of productivity and to accomplish best results. Working conditions are among the primary factors that motivate an employee to work. Pleasant environment, comfortable office and open office space contribute to increase enthusiasm to work. Companies should ensure that workers are working in safe and secure environment and if there is any sort of risk involved in performing any job then necessary steps should be taken to ensure safety of workers. They should be provided with enough resources and equipments so that they can easily perform the task. This will facilitate in improving the performance of employees and will benefit the company in the form of high returns in the long run.

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4) Work/Home Balance:

Work/life balance issues play a more important role than ever in keeping good talent with the company. Offering programs that meet their employees' needs is more important than it was ever before. Flexible working hours and personal days are among the top of the priorities of the list of benefits. It has become more and more important for companies today to provide flexible hours and other programs that help employees balance work and personal time when trying to attract and retain skilled and competitive staff. The benefits in order to keep a balance between employees’ work and personal lives include flexible hours, paid time off, part-time work, telecommuting, job sharing and sabbaticals. The competitive labor market has made it imperative for more companies to offer their staff a better balance between work and personal life. To attract and retain good talent, businesses must have a well-thought-out strategy in place that includes progressive benefits. If any company is not offering employee friendly job programs then even the most attractive companies will not be able to employ skilled workers. Flexible hours, paid time off, telecommuting and part-time work have all become conventional work/life programs. Job sharing has experienced a considerable amount of popularity among employers in recent years.

The role of the Human Resource Department:

Though the responsibility of retaining and hiring good employees is not limited to the Human Resource department but the prime responsibility to develop policies in this regard falls on the shoulders of HR. The HR department and the managers of different departments should work closely to determine what policies should they adopt. This of course is much easier said than done. Most of the companies address the issue of retention by increasing salaries or by offering new form of benefits from bonuses to vacations. These strategies are quite successful to recruit new employees. However, when it comes to retain employees such tactics are not much successful. The HR people should help the people feel as if they are at home by developing close connections to the company, of course with full support and cooperation from their managers. To accomplish these objectives they should offer customized responsibilities, long term learning opportunities and plenty of informal feedback. These accomplishments should start to be gained with line managers. HR experts in many good companies began training their managers on how to become a good adviser to employees whom the company views as their asset.  The idea is to encourage the development of talented staff before they go looking for such development elsewhere. One more effective and efficient way to encourage the managers to reduce turnover is to tie their compensation with turnover rate. They should be held accountable for the turnover ratio in their respective departments. If the turnover is low they should be accordingly rewarded. If they are unable to keep the level of retention low then they should be held responsible for it. This will make them to personally take interest in the matter. This tactic sounds promising, but it has yet to receive widespread attention. Most managers are reluctant of agreeing to connect their own pay to the deeds of others, as it involves risk. Not risk only in terms of their salaries and benefits but also it may cost them their jobs. On the other hand, more and more companies are recognizing that retention should be the responsibility of the managers. This apprehension is gaining acceptance because most such retention strategies are simple and inexpensive to implement.

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In the concluding lines we will like to emphasize once more on the importance of retaining the productive and committed employees of an organization because they are the primary assets of the company that are needed to be retained. If a company looses its loyal work force it is almost difficult for them to regain that level of loyalty and competency from the workforce that is left with them. 


How to Become an Employer of Choice: Roger E. Herman and Joyce L. Gioia, 2000

Keeping Good People: Strategies for Solving the #1 Problem Facing Business Today: Roger E. Herman, 1999

Getting Employees to Fall In Love With Your Company: (AMACOM 1996): Dr. Jim Harris

Maximizing Employee Retention: Lisa Crockett: http://newsletter.omniagroup.com/e_article000016893.cfm

Secrets To Keeping Good Employees: Robin Thompson: http://www.robinthompson.com/employeeretention.htm

Finding and Keeping Great Employees: Dr. Jim Harris & Dr. Joan Brannick: American Management Association.

Building Loyalty: Caroline Louis Cole: from the World Wide Web; http://www.workforce.com/archive/article/001/08/80.xci

Retention Strategies That Respond to Worker Values: Pam Withers; from the World Wide Web: http://www.workforce.com/archive/feature/00/07/74/

The Myth of Job Happiness: Shari Caudron: from the World Wide Web; http://www.workforce.com/archive/article/001/41/76.xci

Improve Employee Quality of Life: from the World Wide Web; http://www.workforce.com/archive/article/001/47/38.xci


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