Communicative process

Herzberg (1959) believes that motivation is not a single continuum running from dissatisfaction to satisfaction, but instead identifies 2 sets of factors affecting motivation: 1. Satisfiers (motivation factors) 2. Dissatisfiers (hygiene factors) To tackle Hygiene factors first, Hofford Distribution could remove dissatisfaction by improving the working conditions. The current appearance of the depot and bakery are not reaching satisfactory levels for the workforce.

The building internally looks old and run down, a leaky roof on the loading bay causes discomfort for certain drivers, bakery machinery is old and keeps breaking down, the heating in the winter does not always work and the indoor toilet is out of order so a porta-loo has been situated outside the building for the last 3 months. As earlier mentioned, company policies and goals have not been communicated to employees which is another dissatisfying factor which through communication should be resolved.

If these factors are looked at and improved then this will dramatically decrease the current dissatisfaction of the employees allowing for motivation factors to be used. As for motivating factors, the employees feel a strong lack of recognition from the organisation. Focus groups and team meetings have been earlier mentioned to implement, but these changes would improve the motivation of the team by identifying them and their needs.

Even though pay is described as a hygiene factor, an appropriate appraisal scheme, related to no absenteeism or personal marketing and expansion of rounds would strongly motivate the employees and also address recent problems with the workforce. This motivating ‘offer’ must be something, which is valued by the workforce. This is usually money in many organisations, however this is important to understand to obtain the desired motivating affect. 4. Resistance to change

Whenever any organisational change is being implemented, resistance to this change will most probably be evident through the organisation or the individual. Huczynski and Buchanan (2002) describe resistance to change as “an inability, or an unwillingness, to discuss or accept organisational change that are perceived in some way damaging or threatening to the individual”. There are several sources of organisational resistance to change, but 2 factors are dominant, ‘structural inertia’ (‘why change a system that has worked for years?’) and ‘group inertia’ (‘We don’t like the change so we won’t change! ‘).

Other individual factors, identified by Bedeian (1980), existent at Hofford Distribution include misunderstandings and lack of trust and parochial self-interest. When these factors of resistance have been identified, Kotter and Schlesinger (1979), state 6 methods of dealing with resistance to change: 1. Education and communication 2. Participation and involvement 3. Negotiation and agreement 4. Facilitation and support 5. Manipulation and co-option 6. Explicit and implicit coercion.

These methods will not all be appropriate to implement at Hofford Distribution but methods 1. , 2. and 3. could be used to encourage the acceptance of change. ‘Education and communication’ is probably the most important method to this organisation, as the internal communication channels are the organisational change, which needs to take place. It is important to fully inform the people within the organisation of planned change and also constantly updating them of the progress made with the change and goals, which are hoped to be achieved.

People who are informed will be more willing to accept the change. ‘Negotiation and agreement’ is usually a relatively easy way to avoid major resistance, the negotiation merely aims to effectively reimburse/compensate employees for any loss this change may bring about, this may be monetary, tangible or intangible factors which affect the employee’s. These negotiations and agreements throughout the organisation from top-to -bottom will create effective psychological contracts, from which expected norms, behaviours and rewards can be determined.

Finally, is the method of ‘participation and involvement’. By involving the employees into any change, such as finding suggestions for appropriate appraisal/motivational schemes, will determine exactly what the employees deem fair and once people are persuaded, people will often help with the implementation of the change. This is furthermore helpful in the long run as the more employees who get directly involved in the change process itself, the less likely to have a “they” to blame for any unforeseen circumstances (Wanous, Reichers and Austin, 2000).

Hofford Distribution has been a successful organisation, continually expanding in the Northampton area, and further organisational goals were set to either continue growing within Northampton and it’s surrounding areas or open a new distribution centre in another appropriately selected area. The organisation does have the potential to fulfil this goal of growth, however, the current Northampton branch is not operating in a fully effective or efficient way therefore, organisational change must be implemented to resolve current problems before further expansion is considered.

The use and effectiveness of these changes would allow any new distribution centres to operate effectively from creation, avoiding previously experienced restraints. The 2 main areas, which were addressed, was the communication within the organisation and also concerns with poor motivation. Communication difficulties were identified in communication channels of vertical communication, with particular emphasis in the distribution department.

Restraints involving lack of time to interact and uncontactability between Mr. Hofford and the drivers have caused many problems involving informing about order troubles, delivery van malfunctions, understanding employee needs and I have strongly advised that Mr. Hofford employs some form of depot manager, which will slot easily into the current hierarchy, mirroring the bakery department and therefore reaping the same benefits of using this intermediary in the communication chain.

Other beneficial incremental changes with the vertical communication would be in message boards and regular team meetings to communicate organisational goals, expectations and objectives, whilst employee surveys and suggestion boxes would provide important information about the employees needs and requirements and expectations. Vertical communication between the two departments was deemed ineffective in the calling through of fresh bread orders for the following days deliveries.

Informative and motivational methods were proposed to improve this vital communicative process. The motivation of the employees within the organisation was also an area of some concern, the fact that much of the workforce was unaware and uninformed of organisational goals did not allow for the organisation to drive forward for these goals. This information distribution was addressed within communicative change but the organisation still needed to know how the workforce is motivated.

Many content, value and gaol setting theories could be used to determine what motivates the staff, but Herzbergs model was the base theory I used to propose changes to implement, such as staff appraisal schemes, staff recognition and improved working conditions to improve satisfaction and reduce dissatisfaction. These proposals, layed out within this report are exactly that, they are proposals only. Information, examples and theory have been given to support all proposals of organisational change so that an educated decision can be made.

The understanding and improvement of these areas should improve both performance and morale in the organisation, however, it must be understood that there may be some organisational and/or individual resistance to change and the methods to overcome these restraints. I would advise that this distribution centre is changed to a satisfactory level, before any new expansion is to take place. By doing this the organisational knowledge can be used, learning from previous experience and avoiding similar difficulties.