As many companies have been impacted by the downturn economy they have been forced to restructure wages, eliminate bonus, enact hiring freezes and lay off employees, shifting a much beaver workload on the employees left behind. LID Telecommunications, a third party billing company, Is no exception to this rule and beginning in 2009 enacted all of the measures mentioned. However, as the company began to struggle so did productively. Employees were forced to remain In the workplace because there wasn’t anywhere else to go.
With unemployment rates at an all-time high employees were resigned to stay put, but with the loss of motivation and commitment that once supported the company in its time of highest achievement. LID attempted creating a on-monetary reward system to try to keep employees engaged and working at the same rate that they did when they received bonuses and raises and the underlying fear of losing their Jobs was not hanging over the heads, but it was unsuccessful. Employee productivity and motivation continued to spiral out downwards and the company stopped trying to maintain a balance with the employees.
The offices continued to become more segregated and a lack of communication between departments has negatively impacted the company’s relationship with many of Its customers. The question Is how to balance a productive company and employee attention not only In the good times but the bad times as well? The reality Is that the answer will not be the same for any two companies, but through measurable analytics, statistical data and research the right employee development program can carry a company through hard times without losing their best employees once the market opens up and more jobs are available.
Finding commonalities that give a baseline to Human Resources departments is a critical component in finding a starting point to implement an employee rewards program that is suited for the individual company and the employees. The best way to achieve this is by searching what has been successful, identifying what is not and surveying employees and management to identify what Is Important to them. Too many times the perception of what Is Important to employees by executive management Is far off base and as a result many companies fall to the same mistakes made by II-D.
In 2010 after a grueling year of lay-offs and wage freezes LID tried to rejuvenate commitment and engage the employees in redecorating and redefining the image of employees involved in an activity that made them feel as though they are an integral part of what makes up the heart of the company. However, many of us are accountants and business development folks and did not find the idea of trying to creatively redecorate the office as a good use of time or energy. The company set up a competition among offices to see who could make the most difference with the least amount of money.
It began to feel like a chore and toward the end sparked animosity amongst coworkers and management on how the money should be spent. The overall result was further alienation between management and employees and segregation of the offices. In the end the winning office was given a plaque declaring them the inner. Prior to the conclusion of the exercise it had not been discussed what the winning office would receive which led to an even bigger let down when it was completed. This could have been avoided if upper management listened to the needs of the employees.
Many have worked for the company for over 10 years and had a high level of commitment toward the company even though there was not a lot of inclusion of the employees in decisions that directly affected them. When basic rewards were lost this led to a chaotic and uncertain future that before had never been a problem. It is my theory that employee engagement and involvement would renew their commitment to the company, the rewards do not need to be financial to be successful and mentoring and training would lead to higher employee satisfaction therefore maintaining the level of productivity the company experienced prior to the economic crisis.
Between December 2009 and January 2010 Workload conducted a study titled “The Impact of Rewards Programs on Employee Engagement. ” There were 6300 surveys sent out and 736 returned, approximately 12% (DOD & McMullen, 2010). This was a global study, although the majority of exponents were in the United States and Canada. The survey conducted crossed many different fields of interest including, finance and insurance, health care & social assistance, manufacturing and professional, scientific & technical services.
Once the survey was received it was grouped by statements which participants responded into variables based on similarity of content and analyses. Individual statements are the basis of the variable and factor and coefficient alpha analysis applied. The goal is to have a coefficient of determination that explains 80% or more of the variation. Less than 80% lessens the predictive accuracy of the study which then nulls the validity of the findings. (Cooper & Schneider, 2011).
The broadness of the study gives a good baseline for compensation managers and Human Resources personnel and puts them more in touch with what is really important to employees and management and in turn creates a higher level of commitment and productivity for the company, which is the end goal. Once the information has been received and broken down into similarly answered questions it must be analyzed to determine if the data correlates with the hypothesis. In this case, the hypothesis is that rewards programs and employee engagement will result in a higher level of productivity in the workplace.
It has already been determined by looking at LID what doesn’t work but with companies each having their own unique characteristics it is equally difficult to determine what will work. One way this can be done is through benchmarking. This is in popular use among human resources turnover and high customer satisfaction ratings. This is achieved by analyzing published case studies or surveys determining what has been successful for other reparations and implementing similar programs (Armstrong, Brown ;Reilly, 2010).