William Assemiah, 12021643 Irene Aidoo, 12021610 Sroda Adzo Apam, 12021626 Asare Ohenedwira Thomas, 12021639 Dorothy Dede Aklerh Asamoah, 12021634 Sampson Abbey Armah, 12021630 Arthur Sherifa, 12021631 Amadu Waliu, 12021617
1. Executive Summary
DrainFlow, a plumbing maintenance firm in the USA, has been losing its customers to competitors due to poor services. Job motivation and satisfaction among employees is declining across various job categories within the firm. This dissatisfaction has been attributed to the overspecialization of some job functions in the company. The report attempts to assist DrainFlow improve in three key areas: job structure and design, incentive policies, and recruitment practices. It will go further to analyze the causes of the woes being faced by DrainFlow and provide a constructive recommendation on how to overcome them The main contents include an introduction to the problems DrainFlow is encountering, analyses of the current business, and recommendations on how DrainFlow can overcome these issues to foster a long-term competitive advantage.
Research shows that a happy worker is a productive employee. Satisfied employees tend to be better at their workplaces. Many of the individual behaviors at the workplace are affected by job satisfaction The main contents include an introduction to the problems DrainFlow is encountering, analyses of the current business, and recommendations on how DrainFlow can overcome these issues to foster a long-term competitive advantage. The goal of this proposal is to provide recommendations for a new job structure, a new incentive structure, and new hiring practices. The job structure recommendations will allow for more cross training between office workers and service providers.
This will enrich all jobs at DrainFlow by adding different tasks, autonomy, and feedback. The new incentive structure will allow for flexible benefits and recognition. This is designed to motivate employees and improve customer service. Lastly, the new hiring practices will provide a repeatable solution for finding a cohesive set of new employees. The report consists of five (5) parts: Executive Summary, Introduction, Motivation and Job Structure Analysis, Recommendations and Implementation.
3. Motivation and Job Structure Analysis
3.1. Job Design Research shows that there is a moderate relationship between job satisfaction and job performance as well as customer satisfaction. Satisfied employees perform better at their jobs and provide better customer service. Employees of DrainFlow are dissatisfied and that is the root cause of their present situation. Generally, specialization results in cost effectiveness and delivering of core competencies among employees when jobs are complex and require years of experience and learning for mastery. It becomes an albatross when jobs have few tasks and require little skill. The bottom line is, jobs have different effects on efficiency and motivation. The current job structure of DrainFlow due to its specialization has contributed to job dissatisfaction among employees and in 25% cases, turning employees away from the company.
Work groups are dissatisfied with each other’s output. The current job structure only assigned tasks without considering the interdependency of those tasks. Due to this, problems such as assigning a plumber assistant on a job meant for a plumber, and vice versa, and poor customer service have plagued DrainFlow. DrainFlow should adopt Hackman’s Job Characteristic Model to describe current jobs in the firm. The JCM has five core dimensions which include skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy and feedback. Skill variety is the use of different skills and talents to complete a variety of work activities.
The current job- tasks in DrainFlow are very narrow and do not allow employees that skill variety. Task identity is the degree to which a job requires completion of a whole or identifiable piece. This will help communicate the interdependence of work from one group and the other through the order to bill process. Task significance is the degree to which the job affects the organization and society. There no feedback channels in the firm at present and as such it’s difficult to measure customer satisfaction. Autonomy will provide the freedom, independence and discretion in scheduling work and determining the procedure to be used in accomplishing it. DrainFlow has a preplanned and stringent procedure to follow. Feedback will provide employees with direct and clear information about their own performance. DrainFlow’s employees haven’t that information to assess their performance.
DrainFlow has no incentive scheme in place that will motivate employees to put any extra effort on the job. The present reward system is based on skill and qualification. Plumbers are rewarded the most as compared to the others because of their level of skill and not on performance. Generally, reward systems tend to motivate employees better when they are: linked to performance; the rewards are important, when team rewards are used for interdependent jobs and those rewards are valuable.
Lee’s attempt to salvage DrainFlow by introducing the reward system is laudable but it will need a few modifications. 3.3.
The current recruitment processes by DrainFlow are based on unstructured interviews by different managers thereby creating a higher level of inconsistencies in the choices of selection of employees. The use of shortcuts for judgment such as selective perception (tendency to selectively interpret what one sees based on one’s interests, background, experience and attitudes), or stereotyping (judging someone on the basis of one’s perception of the group to which that person belongs) are prevalent. Although the shortcuts may aide accurate perceptions and hence predictions, they are not full proof and may result in perception inaccuracies.
Research indicates that impressions are formed within a tenth of a second, based on a first glance. Wrong perceptions may result in employees that are unqualified for the position and/or dissatisfied with work. The current situation at DrainFlow was aggravated by these perceptional recruitment inefficiencies. Most employees lack training in customer service, organizational behavior and are anxious about speaking with customers. Order processors do not have sufficient knowledge or skill to explain the customer’s situation to DrainFlow Plumbers or Plumber Assistants.
Billing representatives must deal with the negative reactions of dissatisfied customers; however, Bill processors are only involved at the end of the job process and unaware of any job details. DrainFlow plumbers are sometimes reluctant to deliver bad news of an unexpectedly high bill to customers. Furthermore, it is clear that a majority of order processors do not know any more about plumbing than customers calling in. These deficiencies have resulted in a direct negative impact on the revenue and cost savings, which were to be achieved by dividing assignments and specializing job responsibilities.
A. Job Redesign
DrainFlow work units have been overspecialized and there is little or no coordination among employees of different functional units. Therefore, we recommend a radical redesign of the job structure and business processes to achieve dramatic performance improvements and motivation. Order and Bill Processing be merged into one work unit under a job title. This will enable employees to have a first-time touch with customers. Cross training programs should be organized to enhance their knowledge of plumbing and plumbing-related activities. Feedbacks on customer satisfaction can easily be tracked.
Plumbing assistants, besides performing less technical plumbing works, should be given the opportunity to do rotational job activities in Order and Bill Processing unit. This will foster a better relationship among employees, enhance skill variety, cross training; reduce boredom and increase motivation and job satisfaction. Plumbers should organize training sessions on plumbing for worker in Order and Bill Processing Unit and continue to do complex plumbing works. The training should be interactive and focus on providing skill on how to respond to plumbing problems. This is to add a variety to plumbers’ activities.
B. Incentive Scheme
There is no current incentive scheme in place that is capable of providing employee satisfaction and motivation. DrainFlow should introduce an incentive scheme geared towards increasing employee satisfaction. This scheme should be both intrinsic and extrinsic; it should be both skill-oriented and performancebased. Skills in customer service, plumbing and work attitude should be considered in the scheme. Performance-based will reward employees who create and maintain high customer retention rates. At the end of any job, a customer satisfaction survey should be conducted to assess level of customer satisfaction. Results from the survey should be the bases for implementing Lee’s reward scheme.
Rewarding performance should be an ongoing managerial and not just periodic.
Therefore, extrinsic rewards such as performance pay should be consistent with overall management objectives, used to reinforce a motivational in which nonmonetary rewards exist such as employee recognition.
C. Recruitment Practices
Based on the problem analysis concerning recruitment practices in DrainFlow, we recommend that management should design a consistent recruitment procedure that is capable of finding and hiring individuals who have the skill and experience to function well on the job. The recruitment policy procedure should emphasize on: A brief summary judgment about the applicant’s strength and weaknesses Interpreting facts as they appear on resume and make judgments; highlight and comment on experience and skills only as they apply to the needs of DrainFlow Identifying personality traits (such as Agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness to experience, extraversion, and emotional stability) that will improve customer service and emotional labor
This is probably the hardest part of it all. DrainFlow’s challenges of improving employee and customer satisfaction whiles increasing profit levels through cost containment and job performance is contingent on implementing our recommendations. However, any successful implementation of these recommendations will require support from toplevel management. The objectives of the changes should be clearly communicated to employees. DrainFlow should not do any radical changes; they should introduce the changes gradually in order of importance. Redesigning the job structure is essentially the first change management should introduce.
The focus is on combining order and billing work responsibilities into a single work unit. This should be followed by cross training and weekly job rotational activities. Workers of the newly created Order and Billing Unit should be given the opportunity to clone a plumber or plumber assistant to learn the basic concepts of plumbing. This will equip them with the necessary competencies in executing order and bill processing. DrainFlow needs to implement a new incentive scheme that is capable of boosting employee satisfaction to put in more effort in their work.
The proposed incentive scheme should include a financial reward system, as proposed by Lee, and an intrinsic, employee recognition program. Research has shown that financial rewards are mostly effective and deliver good results only in the short-run. Employee loyalty and long-term motivational needs are triggered by non-financial rewards such as recognition.
This report summarized recommendations on how DrainFlow will gain a competitive advantage by improving three key knobs: job structure and design, incentive scheme and recruitment practices. The recommendations are clear and understandable and should be technically easy and financially cost effective to implement. The report proposes combining some job units, encouraging a weekly job rotational activities, cross training by utilizing the current talents available within the organization, etc.
A new incentive scheme will create job satisfaction through job motivation; this will boost productivity, performance and customer retention. The new recruitment policy entails finding and training employees that fit and share the dreams and aspirations of DrainFlow. Consequently, DrainFlow will see positive changes in employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction and retention, motivation, loyalty, performance, productivity and profitability.