Overview of the Organization
Marine Corps Community Services facilitates the welfare of Marines and their families by providing them with goods and services. This organization supports the Marines by delivering different programs and facilities that are required in a day to day basis by both Marines and their families. These services include shopping facilities, childcare, gas stations and many others. Marine Corps Community Services have spread throughout the globe with more than 2,250 established facilities which have a staff of about 12,000 employees. The organization headquarters is located at in Quantico, Virginia. MCCS is known for expanding its activities through construction of new facilities and hiring of more employees to support the military. However, the organization froze its recruitments for two years since June 2011, and it is also being faced by serious employee motivation problems. This has led to a highly unproductive workforce that even lacks the required attitude to carry out the organization’s objectives.
Preliminary Problem Statement
Marine Corps Community Service is dedicated to serving and their families. However, the organization has been failing in delivering its core objectives lately. The management has been seen to take certain measures that only indicate failure, such as freezing pay increases, freezing recruitments, laying-off of employees, putting excess pressure on employees and using threats to demand performance from employees instead of employing the required managerial policies to motivate their workers and value them as valuable assets to the organization (Higgins, 1994). In my opinion, I feel that Marine Corps Community Services has the personnel with the required skills and talent to turn the organization’s performance around. All that is required is better treatment of workers by management to motivate them. According to Terpstra (1979), the management should try to bring out the potential in the workers through the right Human Resource Management techniques, since most employees are quite ambitious, and what they require is positive management influence coupled with training to improve on their performance, as well as ethics.
Preliminary Solution Options
Motivating employees is a long term and continuous activity that should never be neglected by the management. Any Chief Executive Officer in any organization knows that a motivated work force is the key to high overall performance of the organization. The management is not restricted to any kind of actions to motivate its employees, but should employ all sorts of activities that would improve the morale of the workers (Harpaz, 1990). The following techniques, if properly applied by the management of Marine Corps Community Services, would help change the morale of the workers and significantly improve the performance of the organization in offering services to the Marines and their families.
- Rewarding employees for their outstanding performance. It should be noted that though money is what mostly makes people happy, it is not always what everybody wants. The management should also use other noncash rewards to motivate employees.
- The management should also recognize outstanding performance, and make communication thank the employees. This technique is employed by most organizations where the organization’s president takes time to congratulate the good performing workers personally.
- Focus on employee’s happiness.
- Strive to create a relaxing, fun and open environment where employees feel free to contribute their ideas.
- Setting of both short term and the long term goals.
- Encouraging employees to take up assignments by volunteering. This will make them have some sense of ownership of their work, since they chose to do what they are doing.
- Encourage employees learn new skills and grow through offering them training facilities etc.
- Giving the employees the opportunity to participate in decision-making, as it helps in enhancing acceptance of organizational policies.
Preliminary Analysis of Concepts
Different scholars have agreed that different people are motivated by varied things. Some of the facilities provided in the employment contract would also not motivate the workers, since it is the minimum they expect from the employer. When employees are not motivated, they would not have the right attitude, they would just do the minimum to accomplish their objectives and nothing more (Vroom, 1964). Such unmotivated workers are even seen regularly speaking ill of the organization and colleagues. Such employees would have extremely poor performance, but they could be changed through motivating them.
The Maslow’s hierarchy of needs outlines the different needs of different individuals. It is the responsibility of management to identify the needs of its employees and seek to satisfy them as a way of motivating them. The best motivator is the self-actualization, followed by good remuneration, then esteem and finally security (Maslow, 1943).
The management of Marine Corps Community Services should be alert on all Hygiene factors before even attempting to motivate the workers. These are factors like honouring the employment terms, since their presence does not motivate the employees, but their absence can actually harm their morale. Employees should also be involved in the decision making and even strategic management. This can be achieved through delegation of duties. Employee participation in decision making helps them accept the organizational policies without feeling they are being ruled or dictated.
Goal setting also helps employees work harder in an attempt to meet the short-term goals. Rewards should be given for those who meet the targets and or even surpass them. These goals should be realistic, timely, measurable and specific for them to contribute positively to the organizational performance (Kreitner, (1995). They should also be in line with the organizations long term and overall goals.
Employees could also be encouraged to build up their skills through attending seminars and training to enhance their efficiency. This makes them feel valued in the organization. Managers should also encourage the own initiative to make workers choose what they can do best (Buford, 1993).
In general, proper treatment of employees would greatly change their attitude and morale. This would shift the organizations deteriorating performance back to its normal position and even make MCCS serve the Marines better than it has ever had. The management style is all what it would take to return the organization back to track again.
The power to motivate employees is an important management skill that cannot be overlooked. Although motivation methods are not hard to acquire, they are usually ignored. Nevertheless, there are lots of benefits that come along creating and upholding the confidence of employees in their day-to-day chores, in addition to applying various motivation methods. It is worth noting that the psychology of motivation is fairly compounded. The most direct and simple method to motivate a person to do something is to ask him of his contribution. However, sometimes, people become so disinterested in undertaking a certain project, such that they might not be willing to do it (Steven, Kramer, Teresa, & Amabile, 2011). In such a scenario, perhaps a psychological expert is required to intervene.
Money has never been the primary source of motivation for everyone. Various studies on this issue show that employees, who have satisfactory salaries, require other non-monetary factors to motivate them than having some extra cash. As a matter of fact, financial incentives usually result into the short term improvement and can end up in annihilating and unplanned outcome (Elizabeth, Mohr, Matthew, Martin, Dewhurst, & Guthridge, 2010). The biggest challenge for management at Marine Corps Community Service is to strive harder and understand the specific factors that motivate their different categories of employees. This can be done by dividing their employees into different categories and identifying specific sources of motivation that switch them on and then present them with the right offers.
Some of the non-monetary motivators include appreciation from immediate managers, attention on leadership and delegation of duties and responsibilities. These are among other non-financial motivators which have proved more effective than cash incentives (Elizabeth, Mohr, Matthew, Martin, Dewhurst, & Guthridge, 2010). They play a very vital role in developing a sense of belongingness and ownership of the company among the employees. Furthermore, the employees feel valued and appreciated by the management. When employees are influenced to think and behave like the rightful owner of the organization, they gain motivation to perform better. This implies that they should have a clear understanding of the vision and mission statements of MCCS. In addition, the management should also encourage their employees to have a full understanding of the company operations, its strategic plans, opportunities for growth and expansion, threats among the others (SCOTT, 2011). They should be well-informed about where their contribution as an individual and as a team is needed. Therefore, engaging employees in the company operations makes them take their duties seriously, and provides an assurance for more career opportunities and growth in the organization.
Delegation of duties and authority to key employees has a number benefits. It leads to rendering of better services to customers. The main objective of delegating duties and authority is to present to the employees the clear goal of what needs to be achieved, so that a good understanding can exist between them and the management. Additionally, the top management is left with the more intricate and strategic issues of management, thereby attaining effectiveness in performance. Delegation also results into a feeling of empowerment and independence among the key employees. In other instances, non-monetary motivators at the workplace are called catalysts and nourishers. Catalysts refer to the acts that help to sustain good working conditions, such as precise goals, adequate resources, negotiation and dialogue among others (Steven, Kramer, Teresa, & Amabile, 2011). On the other hand, nourishers focus on interpersonal relations within the workplace, such as appreciation, respect and emotional consolation among others.
Despite the fact that non-financial factors do not require a lot of cash to implement, they are usually ignored due to a number of reasons. It has been established that non-monetary motivators call for more time and commitment from people in the top management (Elizabeth, Mohr, Matthew, Martin, Dewhurst, & Guthridge, 2010). Mostly, they are not willing to take up such challenging tasks. Consequently, lack of interaction between management staff and their employees generates a greatly destructive vacuum that weakens employee involvement in company operations and projects. Human resource within an organization plays a critical role and should be given a priority, just like the way customers are treated.
Once motivation strategies are employed, effectiveness in performance is expected. Therefore, in case an organization realizes significant profit margins, it is important to reward the employees. When the members of staff are encouraged to think and behave like owners of the organization, they are supposed to share a piece of the cake just like the owners. There are three ways of rewarding employees (SCOTT, 2011). One of them is known as piecework, which involves giving a certain percentage of the profit gained. It serves best in a scenario that involves repetitive tasks. Another way of awarding employees is called profit-sharing. It is mostly applicable among the top management, since it involves sharing the profit equally or on the agreed ratios.
Although firing workers help in cost cutting measures, they do not serve to motivate those who are left behind. Employees, whose positions in the organization remain intact after a lay off exercise, usually have a mixture of feelings concerning the changes caused by the reorganization. For instance, when this occurred at MCCS, a contradiction of differing loyalties roused within them. It was, therefore, noted that firing of employees was one of the major causes of the problems with workers at MCCS. The apprehension created for former colleagues is contrasted with that for oneself (Elizabeth, Mohr, Matthew, Martin, Dewhurst, & Guthridge, 2010). As a matter of fact, it became evident that the loyalty shown earlier on to the company disagreed with the loyalty to oneself. The employees became anxious, and as a result, they lacked the motivation to pursue their obligations, since they were also not sure if they would be the next to be fired.
Besides firing employees, there are factors that mushroom and are found to have contributed to the aforementioned problem. When the number of workers is reduced, it implies that they are expected to do more work. Usually, they are assigned more work for the same pay or even less depending on the economic status of the company. Most of the time, an organization lays off some of the workers, in order to cut costs. As a result, freezing of salaries is commonly observed among those who are left (SCOTT, 2011). This was actually seen in MCCS, where lay off some of the employees was accompanied by freezing of salaries. This approach is detrimental to effective performance of the remaining employees. It sends signals of reduced career opportunities in the organization, thereby creating an atmosphere of uncertainty as far as career growth is concerned.
The last thing that can be expected from a manager after downsizing is not to appreciate the remaining employees. At MCCS, there are equipments and other assets that are worth thousands of dollars. Some managers show more concern to these assets than the way they do to their employees who are much more worth than these machines. This is an example of misguided priorities that need to be fixed. It was observed that employees at MCCS were being pressurized and threatened to demand effectiveness in their performance (Steven, Kramer, Teresa, & Amabile, 2011). This is unacceptable, since there are better methods that can be adopted to motivate workers and appreciate their value in the organization.
There are various methods that the management at MCCS can apply to motivate employees and develop an effective team at the workplace. One of them is encouraging them to participate in a training program for their own empowerment and enhancement of skills. Training helps the employees to understand the rationale and significance of their company, thereby equipping them with skills to handle complex issues of the organization. Furthermore, training is important, since it moulds a team into a strong and dependable workforce. Managers are able to pinpoint unique talents among the employees and then nurture them gradually into the responsible and effective leaders (Mario & CAROLYN, 2009). If this is applied at MCCS, the workforce will be motivated, especially when their efforts are appreciated. The employees will feel they have a role to play towards growth of their organization.
Besides the provision of training, employees are generally motivated by good management influences. There should be effective communication between the management and their subordinates. Workers are an important asset in the organization, and they need to be handled with a lot of care and concern. Good management will among other things entail inclusion of the workforce in making the key decisions that concern them. In case of any new project or idea that the company wants to undertake, the management should communicate with its employees and always keep them posted on the progress (Annie, 2011). This helps to gain their trust. Finally, everyone needs support especially emotional comfort during times of distress. MCCS top management needs to borrow a leaf from this, so that they can realize some positive changes in their workforce.
The top management should be encouraged to uphold ethical behavior when dealing with the employees. They should not disregard them just because they are at a lower job position than them. Instead, they should show the employees how valuable they are in the organization. It is morally unacceptable for senior managers to pressurize their employees, so as to improve their productivity, whereas they are unwilling to execute their responsibilities fully. For instance, they are unwilling to undertake challenging tasks, such as simple appreciation and recognition of their workforce for their exemplary efforts.
After the above assessment, it has been established that the management at MCCS is to blame for the prevailing problem among the workforce. Thorough diagnosis established the lack of motivation among the employees which was caused by poor treatment of workforce by the management. Some of these causes include laying off the employees, thereby creating an atmosphere of anxiety and uncertainty at the workplace. Also, there was freezing of salaries which implied that there were seldom chances for career growth at the firm. Moreover, employees felt unappreciated and were treated like invaluable resources in the organization.
Following the above problems, a number of solutions was presented, which would help to manage the issue before getting out of hand. Out of the various solutions that were provided, the recommended one is on effective communication. Top management should always be willing to communicate their plans and decisions that have been made, concerning the welfare of the whole organization (Annie, 2011). Communication should be mutual, such that the employees at MCCS can air their views on certain decisions, and on the other hand, the management can pass on to them what has been conclusively agreed on. When this is observed, it will create an environment where everyone feels appreciated and part of the growth and development in the company.