High Performance Working and Employee Engagement

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The CEO of this J&W PLC Company has asked for a report to senior management on how to improve working system so that overall performance in work can improve. In this report the senior management team is identifying different issues which are leading to low staff work in the organization. This paper provides information about the High performance working and employee engagement which consists of various definitions given by different authors and different types of practices which are helpful in improving organization performance.

The main aim of this project is to provide a framework of how high commitment HRM practices help in improving HPW and employee engagement in organization. There have been many papers and research carried out on HRM and work performance. But many have struggled to keep the concept linked together, thus the main aim to this paper to provide the positive bonding link between high commitment HRM practices to develop HPW and employee engagement in work force. INTRODUCTION

In recent years companies or organizations in every industry like manufacturing, health care services, financial services, consumer products and services, government agencies and information technology and telecommunications sectors etc. , are focusing on improving organizational performance in both short term and long term basis. Now a day’s companies expecting solid performance over short term period and maintain the consistent performance over the long term time period in order to sustain in this competitive market.

Organizational performance mainly depends on the issues like human resources management practices, high performance working and high level of employee engagement. From the survey of Sunday times newspaper which is based on employee perceptions of their own work place and policies and processes of the employees, it is revealed that our company (i. e. J&W PLC) employees are unhappy and the staff overall performance is very low and staff often get away with doing very little at work and this affects the quality, productivity and profits of organization.

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High performance working and employee engagement is the operations like how the employees are managed in work to the management and leadership issues of the organization. The senior management team who is responsible for the strategic planning and decision making process needs to identify the brief review of the every component for building blocks of the organization. In this report the main focus is on how to improve the high performance working and employee engagement in the company. To have a high performance working environment and better employee engagement, management should focus on the key issues of high commitment HRM practices.

As we the senior management team reviewing the survey of “Best Companies to work for 2012” published in Sunday times and researching the important practices to improve the organizational overall performance. LITERATURE REVIEW Organizational development and performance outcome reflects from how HR practices are implemented to satisfy the goals of company. Martin et al (2010) suggested that organizational development is an approach to dealing with change which incorporates aspects of culture, working atmosphere, employee commitment and conflict in seeking to achieve organizational effectiveness.

The concepts of high performance working and employee engagement are interrelated to the organizational performance and these are the chain practices in the company which are linked with the high commitment HRM practices. EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT: Employee engagement is a hot topic in recent years because employers are seeking employee’s motivation, commitment and general support to the business to enhance the organizational performance beyond the normal. The purpose of the employee engagement is to gain the contribution of the mployees than the job expectation. The advantages in implementing the employee engagement practices is to gain the employee interest towards work, feeling of value to the organization and chances of improving personal and career development. Definitions: Employee engagement is an effective practice in the organization which produces a better organizational performance and employee career development. It is possible when there is a proper employee commitment, trust, loyalty and motivation to do work to the organization.

According to the CIPD et al (2011) employee engagement is a combination of commitment to the organization and helping out in solving the issues of their colleagues, it is more than the job satisfaction and not only motivating employee to engage in work. Sue et al (2009) stated in USP Business Development review employee engagement is “the discretionary effort that individuals apply for fully utilizing their skills”. Employee engagement is most important for competitiveness in the contemporary business environment.

As per The Gallop Organization, which studied employee engagement in 7,939 business units in 36 companies, found that employee engagement was positively associated with performance in a variety of areas, including increased customer satisfaction, profitability and productivity, and reduced employee turnover. CIPD et al (2011) identified there are three dimensions of the way of engaging in work by the employees The intellectual engagement shows the employee thinking hard about the job and finding the solutions for the betterment of the job.

The affective engagement illustrates the employee feeling positively doing a good job. The social engagement is an opportunity to interact and discuss the work related improvements with the managers and other employees. Key Factors: Every employer expects to achieve extra mile in work and to help them from issues like lack of product quality from their workforce. The following are the important drivers of the employee engagement which may enhance or decrease the engagement in work. Employee factors: * Career development * Job satisfaction * Work/life balance Employer factors: Right people for the right job * Use of skills * Good working environment * Business cost Increasing Employee Engagement: Productivity in organizations cannot be measured in the term of employee satisfaction but can be explained in terms of employee engagement. Organizations that show interest on improving Employee Engagement generally focuses on 1. Organizational culture: Culture within the organization consists of values, HR practices, effectiveness of the strategy, leadership in the organization and effective communication. These issues may influence the employee engagement. . Continuous reinforcement of people focused policies: It exists when the senior management provides information about the resources and provide adequate budgets to accomplish their work & empowering them. This will help in the improving the career development of the employees. 3. Meaningful Metrics: These are the factors that are essential for the organizational performance. As we discussed above the organizational performance is based upon the people and some of the metrics will naturally move the focus of the people to lead a beneficial change. . Organizational Performance: Depends on high level of trust, pride, satisfaction, and company success. Figure sourced from http://retention. naukrihub. com/images/performance-and-engagement. JPG Increasing the Employee engagement can be improved by periodically concentrating on some of the components: * Provide variety: The repetitive tasks can make a person burn out or so boredom. Every job has many of the repetitive tasks so the employee should look for ways to introduce a variety by rotating duties and responsibilities. Periodic meetings: Managers and the supervisors must be sharing the periodic challenges, achievements, employee feedback receiving and giving constructive feedback, effective communicating with the employee and providing the employee with financial information. * Indulge in employee development and providing them an open environment. * Communicating openly and clearly with the employees expectations at every level. Ex: vision, priorities & etc. * Working with employees by knowing their interests, goals, stressors etc. show interest in their wellbeing so that they will have a very light and balanced in work and life. Finally celebrating the success in what they achieved in individual & organizational teams. High Performance Working: Belt and Giles et al (2009) stated that only one third of UK companies are following the high performance working practice. The measurements of the high performance working are difficult because of variation in the definitions that are used. Definitions of HPW: According to the Belt and Giles et al (2009) high performance working is a distinctive approach of the management in workplaces in order to enhance the organizational performance with the investment of the employee skills.

High performance working has been defined by the many authors; according to the Belt and Giles et al (2009) it is a general approach to managing organizations that aims to stimulate more effective employee involvement and commitment in order to achieve high levels of performance. According to the Ashton and Sung et al (2005) a unique definition that is widely accepted is they are a set of complementary work practices covering three broad categories like high employee involvement practices, human resource practices and reward and commitment practices and these are referred as ‘bundles’ of practices.

Martin et al (2010) defined high performance working represents a combination of people, technology, management and productivity which are integrated effectively to provide a competitive advantage on a sustainable basis. High Performance Working Practices: High performance working practices are identified by the many others and as follows Ashton and Sung et al (2005) did research in association with CIPD recognized 35 HR practices which fell under the broad HR activities 1. High involvement 2. Human resource practices 3. Reward and commitment

All the 35 HR practices are listed in four dimensions * Employee involvement and autonomy to decision making process( self managed teams, staff suggestions, etc) * Support for employee involvement and performance(appraisals, mentoring, etc) * Rewards for performance(profit sharing, sharing options, etc) * Sharing of information and knowledge(circulating information, a copy of business pan and targets to employees, etc) Snell and Bohlander et al (2007) identified four fundamental principles of HPW practices * Shared information

Traditionally the employers are not interested to provide strategies, plans, and objectives to the employees. This illustrates the prerequisite for employee involvement and empowerment within the organization. * Knowledge development The development must start from the fundamentals and they can have opportunity to how to interact with old knowledge or creating new knowledge in respect to the objectives of organizations, customer needs, and process. * Performance reward linkage Employer seeks to encourage the employee by offering rewards to the performance in the organization.

There are various types of rewards like promotions, career development and training, praise and greater level of autonomy and delegation. * Egalitarianism It is an interesting concept where the employee must be one of the member of organization rather than being a employee. It is lack of status and recognition in organization everyone has different role to play but are equally important in achieving the success. Huselid et al (1995) recognized the following HPW practices * Focusing on employee merit in promotion decisions Enhanced selectivity in recruitment * Pre employment testing * Internal recruitment for non-entry level jobs * Formal information sharing * Formal job analysis * Provision of formal training * Attitude surveys * Quality circles and labor management participation teams * Company incentive plans/profit sharing scheme * Formal grievance procedures * Formal performance appraisals * Performance-related pay HPW practices must implement according to the type, needs and objectives of the organization.

For instance McDonald is in food service sector the appraisal system must be done according to the performance of the employee like speed of the work, quality in work, and providing fast services to the customers. In their research Ashton and Sung et al (2005) found that some bundles of HPW practices is more effective in some sectors than the other. For an example if there is a requirement of more creativity in the work like marketing and HR services, HPW practices like sharing knowledge and ideas among the team will yield better results. HPW System:

HPW practices like selective recruitment, intensive job training, team working, sharing information, egalitarianism, performance related appraisals system and profit sharing. ————————————————- Employee engagement, commitment, security and motivation Higher employee and organization performance High commitment HRM Practices: This is the new way of approach which was eventually started in the United States and later followed all the developed countries like United Kingdom in which organization mainly focusing the quality of the product rather than the cost.

The concept is that a particular bundle of the HR practices has the potential to provide higher levels of productivity. These practices are important in order to improve the employee engagement and high performance working in the organization. Components of High commitment HRM practices: Pfeffer et al (1998) identified seven best practices of high commitment HRM practices. 1. Employment security and internal labor markets: Pfeffer et al (1998) stated that employment security is the fundamentally underpinning the other six components.

Employment security is one of the key issues to the employee to perform better in work because once employees got the job security there is a chance of increasing the company performance. This doesn’t mean that if employee is repeatedly committing mistakes should be retained in the company. Every employer must seek that the employee to retain in the company for long term basis and to contribute to the betterment of the organization. The long continuity of the employee will cut off the costs like recruiting, training and work development programmes. If he organization need compulsory layoffs and to undermine the employment security alternatives like improve multitasking skills of the workers, reducing the labour costs by reducing the wages and over staffing. 2. Selective hiring and sophisticated selection: Now a day’s employers are more focused on to the sophisticated selection of the best candidates for job and take more care during recruiting. They are also expecting the good profile candidate who deserves the qualities like team working, social and interpersonal skills than the technical skills.

Selective hiring implies the sampling of the candidates who posses good efficient skills in order to perform job. Pfeffer (1998) stated in selective hiring and sophisticated selection by sophisticated interviews and proper employment tests or psychometric tests like general ability tests, personality tests and specific skills test must be perform prior recruiting will aid the organization. These all above practices will help the HR team to provide organization a long term benefits and increase the continuity of the selection decisions. 3. Extensive training, learning and development:

After recruiting the skilled applicant extensive training must be provided by the organization. They must be focused on the training for team working and specific skills for the work. For an instance, MNC’s in knowledge processing outsourcing train their new staff with specific job related training on typing and MS office. Training and development must be restricted only for the new employees but also for the existing employees in order to improve the skills for their future. Outcomes depends on the how much the employer is investing funds for training, development and learning. 4.

Employment involvement, information sharing and worker voice: Employment involvement and information sharing helps to achieve increase the problem solving groups and project teams and lowers the communication. Employee involvement is attained by the opening communication regarding the financial performance, strategy and operations in the organization will directly improve the trust and positive environment in the organization. For an instance to improve team working HR practices must implement such that employees can be to able to offer their suggestions for the betterment of the organization. 5. Self managed teams/ team working:

Pfeffer et al (1998) stated that teamwork is typically seen as leading to better decision making and the achievement of more creative solutions. These practices are very difficult to implement in the practices but strengthen the management control. There may be the chances of the peer group pressures and boring low level jobs, these are the reasons why self managed teams is very difficult to intrude. 6. High performance contingent on performance: Pfeffer et al (1998) stated that there are two components in this practice; one is performance related pay and second is providing more compensation than normal.

This type of practice attains the high quality of labor due to proving a need to pay for the performance. 7. Reduction of staff differences or harmonization: In retail organizations the lower level staffs are very important assets because they are the persons who have got direct contact with the customers. They must be treated as the same as senior management and must encourage them to come up with some ideas with open management. This can be attained by the staff uniforms, shared canteens and parking. These types of practices will help the management in creating the positive and pen environment in company. 8. Work-life balance:

This is a new concept which was focused by the many organizations in order to improve the work life balance. According to the Sunday times survey (2012), in recent years there is an increase in the females than the males in senior positions. There is a chance of burden on the females who cares the family and certainly need to fulfill their responsibilities in the work. Pfeffer et al (1998) stated that if the work-life imbalance in the employees there is a chance of lowering performance outcome. The Sunday Times published “Best Companies to Work for 2012” on 11 March 2012 edited by Dominic O’Connell, business editor.

This is 12th annual publication of Britain’s most dynamic and engaging workplaces. The leading 325 organizations are recognized in the four lists and they are the best organizations to work in Britain and voted by their workers. 1. 100 best small companies 2. 100 best companies 3. 25 best big companies 4. 100 best not for profit organizations Methodology of the survey: The “Sunday Times list of the 100 best companies to work for 2012” is derived from the views of employees and the policies and processes of employers. It identifies best practice and ranks organizations according by their results in eight key indicators of staff engagement.

The survey contains 70 questions in measuring eight factors in workplace. These elements were used to determine the final company rankings. The eight key factors of employee engagement are the employee experience of their workplace in the following areas. 1. Leadership: How employees feel about the head of the company and its senior managers 2. Wellbeing: How staff feels about the stress, pressure and the balance between their work and home duties. 3. Giving something back: How much companies are thought by their staff to put back into society generally and the local community. . Personal growth: To what extent staff feels they are stretched and challenged by their job 5. My manager: How staff feels towards their immediate boss and day-to-day managers 6. My company: Feelings about the company people work. 7. My team: How staff feels about their colleagues. 8. Fair deal: How happy the workforce is with their pay and benefits People completing the employee survey responded to each statement by indicating their level of agreement on a seven-point scale ranging from “strongly disagree” [1] to “strongly agree” [7].

In all profiles, the score percentage on each question is mentioned. In this report to CEO, we have selected five best big companies from “The Sunday Times Survey” and identified the key factors for improving the organizational performance. The sampling of the companies is done on the sector in which they are serving. The table witnesses the percentage of employee voted for different issues of employee engagement practices in different companies. American Express UK Company: | Percentage of employees| They believe they can contribute to the company success| 79%| Love working with the organization| 72%|

They feel they can make difference with in it| 75%| Bosses care for employees job satisfaction| 70%| Bosses talk openly with them| 79%| They believe they can contribute to company success| 79%| They feel that company leadership is inspirational| 71%| Managers share important information with them| 75%| Mc Donald’s Company: | Percentage of employees| Staff says they have confidence in skills of their managers| 76%| Everyone is treated fairly| 70%| They are loving it| 70%| Managers deals with the issues instead of avoiding| 64%| Confidence in managers| 77%|

Training in the job is great| 73%| Happy with pay and benefits they get| 65%| They are fairly paid| 60%| Iceland Company: | Percentage of employees| They love working for the company| 79%| Staff feel that boss runs the company on sound values| 67%| They are aware of what is expected from them| 85%| Managers help to fulfill their potentials| 78%| Happy with pay and benefits| 81%| Boss gives inspiration to them| 76%| Valuable success to company| 80%| Proud to work for the company| 81%| PwC Company: | Percentage of employees| Employee feel proud to work for company| 83%|

They are excited about company uptrend in performance| 70%| Chairman as an inspiration leader| 77%| Staff say senior bosses are good listeners| 67%| Company is doing bit for the environment| 76%| Plenty opportunities to grow and learn| 72%| Managers are role models| 69%| Staff experience is valuable for future| 82%| Homebase Company: | Percentage of employees| Staff says that job is not interfering in home duties (Work-life balance)| 73%| They don’t feel they spent much time working| 69%| Stress levels low| 78%| They believe contribute to company success| 77%|

They feel they can make difference with init| 76%| Employee are happy with pay and benefits| 50%| Employees have a great support to provide service| 71%| CONCLUSION J&W PLC is a work place where there is no team work among workers and worker are not loyal to their jobs, it has been noticed that employees of J&W Plc are doing less work then they should. In order to rectify this problem this organization must improve wide scale of HRM activities where motivation, task analyzing and work segregation should be considered.

This paper has proved that HRM is really necessary part of an organization which wants to be at the top of their game, and always wants to have the upper hand in market. HRM always takes care of employees and their related areas which are interviewing, improving motivation, proper training and implementation of company’s policies. Not only concentrating on the recruitment and training, they need to focus on the career development of the employee, employee motivation, employee compensation and benefits and to provide good work-life balance.

These implications in the HR management practices will yield good employee trust and commitment towards the organization which helps to build employee engagement. To be successful every organization should have high level of employee’s engagement. This only can be achieved by having a workflow where any employee can see opportunity to advance in career, higher job satisfaction and work-life balance. To gain higher employee engagement the employer must do surveys on the employees and questioners about the work force, this assists the organization to identify the black spots within the organization.

After identifying the key issues in the work force, management needs to focus on the implementing of the practices to improve the employee engagement as mentioned already in the literature review. This procedure may assist the organization to improve the employee engagement and it also depends on the type of the organization and availability of funds. It is witnessed in “The Sunday Times Survey 2012”, the five companies which are selected from the 25 best big companies the practices which in turn yields higher employee engagement.

The survey review shows the critical issues from the employee’s point of view and the issues in work force are mentioned in the tables. For such practices organization should have High Performance Work System through which employees can project on what they are doing and try to improve there working standards by using high commitment and high involvement working practices. For improving HPW in employees, organization should provide proper job training, improve team working, performance related appraisals system and pay, profit sharing to the employees.

It creates the high involvement, security and provides high motivation to perform work and improves the organization performance. These practices are the chain based and the results from the practices are satisfactory. In order to implement these practices management must concentrate on the employee surveys and need to decide which HPW practices will help the organization to improve over all performance. In short the HPW practices difficult to implement and need every part of organization to work in a synchronization and coordinated manner to get maximum output. RECOMMENDATIONS

As per the discussion and reviewing all aspects of employee engagement and HPWP system there is always a need for an organization to have a personalized model of high performance work system for being more effective and profitable. So the recommended model for HPWP should have main five factors for implementing HPW working practice and employee engagement to withstand competition from competitors. In order to implement this model a full attention of employee is required, for that HRM need to evaluate all the employees and if necessary hire new persons and fire old employees whose performance is very low for long duration.

Employee surveys must be done to identify the issues in their work force. After reviewing the survey management needs to highlight the key areas of improving employee engagement and high performance working in the organization. American Express UK and Homebase are two companies in the 25 best big companies for 2012; these two companies are not there in the “Sunday Times Survey 2011” but rose dramatically to the higher peak in overall performance by 2012, by implementing good HR practices which increases employee engagement and high performance working.

The 70% employees of McDonald’s and 79% of employees in Iceland voted that they love the work. This illustrates the job satisfaction, happy with the compensations and benefits and motivation in work force. This is the reason why Iceland holds Rank 1in the Sunday Times Survey. So, this model will improve work force and make them engage at work. This model can work only when every department is in coordinated with each other and focusing on the company betterment. Recommendation Draft Template

Priority| Action| Business Justification| Benefits| Specific Intervention| Time Frame| Who| Cost| Method of monitoring| Consequence of not doing| 1| Sophisticated employee recruiting| For hiring skilled work force| To improve the quality of work| By Psychometric tests, aptitude tests and personality tests. | Short term| Human Resource management and senior management team. | Less cost. Efficient knowledge &relevant experience required. | Skills of the employees must be carefully monitored| Chance of hiring unskilled worker for the job. 2| Extensive training and development| Improving employee engagement in the work force| To improve the employee in specific skill development| Good resources are required | Long term | Senior management and skilled executives| Investment required| Constant and consistent supervision required| Company cannot withstand with competition| 3| Team working | To provide high performance working in company| To improve good communication between staff and to achieve creative solutions| Selecting the team members| Long term| Team leaders | Less cost| By team performance results| The development of the company will be staged | 4| Work life balance| To improve employee commitment | To improve the employee involvement in work| Recognizing the stress levels by questioners| Long term| Managers| Cost efficient| Supervised by the feeling of willingness to work| Chance of lowering the company performance| 5 | Performancerelated pay| To improve trust and commitment| To improve the high performance working| Performance pay must be given by reaching particular targets| Short term| HR and Account department| Sufficient funds required| Pay records must be documented| Lowers the quality of labor| REFERENCES 1. Martin, J (2010). Key concepts in human resource management. Sage publications. 2. CIPD (2011). Employee engagement, facesheet. Available at www. cipd. co. uk 3. CIPD (2011). Employee engagement for sustainable organizational performance, practical tools, available at www. cipd. co. UK/hrresources/practical tools. 4. McCauley, S (2009). Employee engagement for outstanding performance, USP business development Ltd, available at http://www. uspbd. com/Employee_Engagement_Business_Performance. aspx. 5. McCauley, S (2009). 1 leading causes of disengagement, USP business development Ltd, available at http://www. uspbd. com/Employee_Engagement_Business_Performance. aspx. 6. Belt, V and Giles, L (2009). High performance working: A synthesis of key literature, UK Commission for Employment Skills, available at www. ukces. org. uk. 7. Ashton, D and Sung, J (2005). High performance work practices: linking strategy and skills to perform outcomes. 8. CIPD (2008). “High performance working”, facesheet. Available at WWW. CIPD. co. uk (last accessed september2008). 9. Snell, S and Bohlander, G (2007). Human resource management-International student edition. Manson, OH; Thomson south Western. 10. Huselid, M. A (1995). The impact of human resource management on turnover, productivity and corporate financial performance”, Academy of management Journal, 38: pages 635-672. 11. Pfeffer, J (1998). The Human Equation: building profits by putting people first, Harvard business school press, Boston, MA, US. 12. Connell, D (2012). “The Sunday Times 100 best companies”, available at http://features. thesundaytimes. co. uk/public/best100companies/live/template. BIBILOGRAPHY 1. Holmes, T A (2010) “ten characteristics in a high performance work team”. Publication. Available at www. doctorholmes. net. Last modified January 10 2010. 2. Tamkin, P (2004). “High performance work practices”, Institute of employment studies, www. Employment-studies. co. uk. 3. Employee Engagement, copyright 2007, WWW. retention. aukrihub. com. 4. Green, F (2006). Demanding Work: The Paradox of Job Quality in the Affluent Economy, Princeton, NJ; Oxford: Princeton University Press. 5. Konrad, A (2006). Employee engagement and firm performance. Available: http://www. iveybusinessjournal. com/topics/the-workplace/engaging-employees-through-high-involvement-work-practices. Last accessed 11th march 2012. 6. Macleod, D and Clarke, N (2010). Engaging for success. Available: http://www. bis. gov. uk/files/file52215. pdf. Last accessed 11th march 2012. 7. RAGS, B (2006). Corporation organizations. Available: http://www. bookrags. com/research/corporate-organizations-eos-01/. Last

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