The praxis of organizational success

CULTURE, CREATIVITY, MOTIVATION & JOB SATISTISFACTION

The modern organisation is alike a mythical creature with multiple heads and it has become a Herculean task to ensure that progress is achieved by cohesive efforts among all the heads or offices. One of the greatest issues facing the organisations of today is the need for creating a workplace which transcends across all verticals, promotes individual and organisational growth without stifling the creative inputs of the organisation’s most important resource-its diverse workforce.

The fact is, with onset of new era of globalisation, the workforce is increasingly varied and faces problems due to geographical constraints, multilingual offices, changing organisational cultures and shifting domains as seen in case of IT organisations. The need of the hour is to develop a strategy to project a unified organisational culture which defines the whole character of the organisation and fosters an attitude of comradeship across employees, verticals, units and businesses thus creating a potential for organic and inorganic organisational growth.

The new model on motivation that combines tenets of neuroscience, biology and evolutionary psychology points towards four basic needs (or drives) that guide motivation levels in people. (Nohria Groysberg & Lee 2008) These four drives, namely, drive to acquire, bond, comprehend and defend underlies every thought and action of employees and it is only by satiating these drives that an organisation can boost employee morale, enhance creativity and extract higher productivity which leads to wholesome growth. The article emphasises on the need to focus on all four tangents for the desired results as there is tendency among Managers to overlook one or all aspects of these drives with disastrous consequences in terms of attrition percentages evoking high levels of loss n terms f experienced resources and business accordingly. The tunnel vision of handful of managers can have grievous consequences according by squelching creativity and life out of the organisation and promoting a stagnant organisational culture.(Amabile 1998) The root cause of loss of creative inputs are attributed to various factors that affect the three pillars of creativity in resources which include expertise, creative thinking skills and motivation. Thus from the ideas of these researches it is imperative to develop a theory that would promote the motivation levels and help in retaining the creativity of the employees.

The organisational culture reflects the degree of interrelationship between the employees and the set of values and ideals that join them. Organizations with clearly codified and enforced cultures enjoy great employee and customer loyalty, in large part because they are effective in either altering ineffective behaviours or disengaging from values-challenged employees in a timely manner. ( Hessket Sasser and Wheeler 2008) Thus it is imperative that there is a positive culture that facilitates individual and organisational growth. The company can begin by promoting a clear, well organized mission statement which reflects the values and ideals stands up for and distinguishes it from its peers by reflecting for what it stands against. (Talbot 2003)

The mission statement is important as it differentiates the company and lays down a clear line of ethics to be followed according to the organizations core values. The “IBMer” values that are instilled in every employee of IBM remind them of the core values of the organisation and its dedication to excellence in balancing personal and organisational goals. IBM markets itself as one of the best places to work due to the fact that it believes every employee is “special” and this is also propagated in its recruitment ad campaigns under the tag-“What makes you special?” Thus the company promotes a healthy image and strong organisation culture of mutual respect and camaraderie. The employees are given proper induction training, assessed on their comfort levels with different projects and allowed to chart the path of their long term and short term professional goals. There are adequate provisions for 3600 evaluation and feedback which ensures wholesome growth and control anomalies. Thus these tenets of promoting and sustaining a healthy organisational culture by taking care of drive to bond and drive to comprehend by virtue of designing the job profile which foster collaboration among employees across the verticals is essential in creating an environment of all-round growth. The freedom to choose projects initially or to change their assignments across domains if need be; post a fixed period of deployment helps maintain creative onus of the employees. The “intrinsic motivation and ownership” (ibid Amabile 1998) of employees to their chosen projects is much better and consequently the rate of success is also higher.

Organisational Leadership plays the vital role in fixing the organisational culture as by virtue of the top down approach the code of rules and ethics set by top management trickles down to the lower echelons in form of positive reinforcement or in form of tunnel vision, lack of forward planning and stagnant work conditions which throttle creativity. The leadership style should be more towards a “coaching organisation” wherein the leaders seek the talent in their groups and coach them to overcome their shortcomings in a friendly manner. There is no implied threat for non performance; rather focus is pushed on rewarding good performance. The leadership style is one which involves self discipline in following the rules, trusting the employees to thrive to reach their potential by focussing on their strengths and providing them with inputs on the ways to overcome their obstacles. The basic belief is in investing time and patiently pushing for the desired outcome by tackling the “need to acquire” wherein the employee would enthuse to achieve better results and rewards. The creativity of the resources are utilised to its potential by means of dedicated organisational support and encouragement from their leaders.

The gap between desired results and current ones in an organisation are addressed by corporate performance management (CPM); it integrates multiple methods of performance management to produce competent outputs. (Paladino 2007) Performance Management tackles the barriers to strategy implementation in terms of vision, resource, management and people barrier thus concentrating on producing incentive based programs that facilitate better performance. The innovative concepts adhered by organisations as 3600 evaluation, six sigma, quality management and knowledge management by partnering with key resources in leading profiles ensures higher organisational performance.  The organisational culture needs to be re looked time and again with the view to continue with the successful philosophies and throw out the redundant policies.

The Organisation culture should be one that addresses the drive to ‘comprehend and defend’ (ibid Nohria Groysberg & Lee 2008) by transparent management structure and appropriate reward schemes. The firm should also allocate funds in the various CSR initiatives which are dear to key stakeholder groups which reflect corporate commitment to address issues in its operating environment. (Werther and Chandler, 2008) Thus the organisation can balance a culture of giving back to society along-with alignment to corporate goals, thereby creating a niche for win-win situation. This boosts employee morale as they perceive the organisation ideals as an extension of their own, thus multiplying creativity which converts to better balance sheets. Referral policies, whistleblower policies and other feedback tools ensure transparency in management by adequate reporting of anomalies. Thus it is apparent that the organisational culture plays critical role in the success of an organisation whether it is a new firm or a large organisation with branches across he globe. The organisational culture forms an invisible bond of understanding between the employees which promotes growth, boosts employee morale and double collaborative mechanism for further growth.

A good culture acts as an accelerator to growth and a bad one behaves as a wrench which destabilises the wheel of progress. The top down approach involves responsibility and ownership of actions by the heads including CEO’s of the organisations. The recent spate of ethical dilemmas in large organisation with complex reporting structures proves the necessity for ethical training for CEO’s and group leaders. The case study of Wal-Mart is interesting in this regard as it depicts an American retail success story on one hand and ethical dilemmas on the other, as proved by sheer number of labour litigations pending against it.  The case also gathered a dark note with the exit of Thomas Coughlin, Vice Chairman in 2005 due to misappropriating of funds for personal expenses. (Ferrel Fraedrich and Ferrel 2009)

It may be considered a Herculean task to align the dimensions of employee motivation with corporate policymaking and even more difficult to sustain the creativity of employees in the process, yet it is a reality achieved by Organisation’s over the globe every year. Thus the policymakers need to take the helm in more ways than one and account for achieving the right balance for organic growth. The ethics of business are those which combine the economics of business profits with better dynamics of harnessing creativity and furthering motivational elements in the organisation. The challenge facing the modern organisational scenario is to cultivate proper understanding of the variables that affect the profitability of the organisation and take concrete steps to achieve desired results.

                                                   Works Cited

Amabile, Teresa. How to Kill Creativity “Harvard Business Review” September,77-

  1. Print.1998.

Nohria, Nitin., Groysberg, Boris., Lee. Linda-Elling., Employee Motivation-A

Powerful New Model.  “Harvard Business Review” July-August 78-84, Print,

2008.

Talbot. Marianne, “Make Your Mission Statement Work” Oxford: 2003. Print.

Heskett, James L.  Sasser, WE and Wheeler, Joe. “10 Reasons to Design a Better

Corporate Culture”, HBS Working Knowledge. HBS.edu 22 December

  1. Web.30 April 2011 < http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5917.html >

Palladino, Bob. “Five Key Principles to Corporate Performance Management”, New

Jersey: 2007. Print.

Werther, WB Jr.  and Chandler, David. “Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility in

a Global Environment,”,  California: Sage Publications, 2011. Print.

Ferrell, OC.  Fraedrich. John and Ferrell, Linda. “Business Ethics: Ethical Decision

Making and Cases”, Mason: Cengage Learning, 2009, Print.

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