Employee Satisfaction: Key to Recovery Success?
Retention – Employee Satisfaction: Key to Recovery Success?
The success of every organization, be it a corporation or a nonprofit, is determined largely by, among other factors, the rate of employee turnover as determined by the welfare the employees are accorded. This is based on the evidence that has been gathered across a set of companies across the world which have pointed out that although business strategies are largely the focal point for many organizations faced with the current global recession, either retaining employees ought to be applied as part of this strategy or reducing employee turnover through hiring and retaining qualified and highly skilled talents ought to be the way to go (Talbott 2008). However, there has to be an individual determination of what is at stake and what challenges the individual organizations involved are concerned with as far as mitigating the risks that are associated with the credit crunch are concerned (Anonymous 2010). To this end, then, no real blanket and all-inclusive declaration of a possible workable solution that is universal to all organizations ought to be made. Instead, there has to be a focus on the individual organizations and the specific challenges they face (Talbott 2008).
This article is devoted to the explanation of one of the ways through which organizations can be helped to come out of the global economic crisis (Anonymous 2010). This is through the need to retain their employees or staff by applying a series of welfare measures designed to reduce high employee turnover. In essence, the article dedicates itself to discussing retention of staff as a measure that is not only beneficial to the organization for reducing employee turnover but also for bringing about radical changes in the organization, changes which can be used to enhance organizational success (Anonymous 2010). But perhaps a more additional feature to the article is the reference to the global economic crisis which has gotten many organizations either down and struggling to get up or deeply wounded that urgent measures are needed for recovery. The article presents employee retention as a possible antidote to these suffered wounds (Anonymous 2010).
Article Analysis – a critique
This article is very important as it presents one of the most critical issues that have been facing organizations from time immemorial – the issue of recovery in the face of a crisis (Anonymous 2010). While there have existed different crises in the past and different organizations have had to grapple with them, the recent global economic crisis has been the most severe in the recent times, and perhaps in the history of many organizations. This articles is, therefore, timely and its message worth embracing. That it explores the close link between employee welfare and recovery of organizations means that the time is ripe for organizations to consider the issue more seriously (Anonymous 2010). However, it is a factual matter that perhaps doing the exact opposite might work for some companies. This is because although the article presents a possible way out of the crisis for organizations, it does very little in terms of providing empirical data and information to prove how the strategy had worked in the past or in the present for other companies.
For instance, the subject matter of the article would have been more appealing if there would have been a presentation of facts that prove that in past financial and global crises, say the Great Depression of the 1930s, organizations used retention strategies to recover. This is because there has lately been a focus on employee reduction as a strict and more appropriate cost-cutting measure that has been proved to work better than any other strategy (Levoy 2006). Therefore, it leaves one wondering whether the theme of the article is just wishful thinking or an idea worth pondering and, perhaps much later, giving it a consideration. Not that there is a total absence of reference to data but the data used is that dealing with employee satisfaction. It is all true that employee satisfaction is a critical factor in the determination of the turnover rate of employees in any given organization. It is all about knowing that the more satisfied one is the more the likelihood that the one will stay around for longer (Talbott 2008). The challenge is why at this time of the year when companies are doing all in their capacity to survive? And why is this strategy only being suggested when the opposite move – laying off staff – appears to be the most workable approach?
The risk here is that the article can easily pass for one seeking to cast scorn at conservative organizations or conservative approaches to management because it comes up with a seemingly, or rightfully so, radical reform agenda for changing the traditional ways of doing things for organizations (Anonymous 2010). While it is a good move to offer suggestions or solutions to problems endemic in an industry, this article does this in a less courteous manner (Levoy 2006). It appears to challenge popular opinion with a solution which has not been proven to actually work. For example, many organizations will argue that they have had a long history of employee satisfaction as evidenced by their low turnovers but they found themselves into the pit of economic recession anyway! And every employee seems to want to stay now that virtually every other country around the world is grappling with rising unemployment. It only means, then, that it cannot really be a workable solution to seek to retain staff as this is both an added cost and also a threat to the recovery process altogether. Instead, there ought to be a tile allowance for organizations to reduce staff so they can manage to be competitive again through cost-cutting (Talbott 2008).
Consider the case of Nissan as this decade began. The company was virtually on the brink of collapse until it hired a reformer who was ready to suspend some critical Japanese business etiquette and fire a significant proportion of the staff. In only one year, the auto giant was back to profitability (Reynell 2006). How can such a directly opposite move ever be taken as being capable of turning around the fortunes of struggling organizations, then? Finally, during this time of recovery for most organizations, there is nothing as employees being less satisfied with their jobs. Instead, more employees than are needed are daily looking for an opportunity to remain in employment. The United Auto Workers is up in arms in Detroit to ensure there are no unnecessary layoffs even when there is a lot of financial meltdown. In the EU, virtually every street protest – from Greece to Russia – is to push organizations and/or the government to provide employment (Reynell 2006). Therefore, there is nothing like dissatisfaction with jobs. Instead, every employee wants to keep one’s job for being wary of the consequences of the recession.
Personally, I do want to offer my support to the article that employee welfare is a very critical factor in the performance of any organization. This is because employees are the most important assets that any organization can ever have. Human resource development through various approaches and for different aims including curbing high turnover ought to be embraced at all costs. Job satisfaction is a very critical issue for generally, more satisfied employees tends to be more motivated to work and less likely to leave the organization as compared to dissatisfied ones who will do all in their power to quit or jeopardize the plans of the organization through actions like incitement. Therefore, organizations must embrace their employees – talk to them, treat them as great assets, and generally make their welfare a priority. For instance, the European car maker BMW boasts as one of the most prestigious corporations in Europe and abroad. This auto maker has been able to maintain a very low turnover rate of its staff and to wade off many others seeking to join it (McCooey 2009). All because it has learnt to foster good employee relations.
However, I do not think that employee satisfaction is in itself capable of being a channel through which there can be a coming out of crisis. In line with economic concepts and popular strategic measures proven to be successful, organizations are better placed to deal with the financial constraints through cost-cutting measures. And one of the most astronomical costs that form the largest part of many organizations’ recurrent expenditures are salaries and pensions. In a crisis such as this, companies ought to encourage staff to take leave or to have their wages cut if they desire to see the organization recovering. A typical example is what has been happening with Detroit’s leading auto makers General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler (Reynell 2006).
These companies have been negatively affected by the global economic crisis and as a measure to cope; they have advised staff to work on limited pay or risk losing both the job and the pay. The same has been seen with some banks, asking some of their top executives who were entitled to huge bonuses to stop claiming them so that the banks can be aided to recover (Reynell 2006). These measures can be said to have worked pretty fine as, although with government bailouts of some of these organizations, they have shown signs of recovering. Therefore, I believe reducing staff can help win the war over recession contrary to the arguments of the article.
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Anonymous 2010. “Employee Satisfaction: Key to Recovery Success?” HR Focus; Apr 2010;
87, 4; ABI/INFORM Global
Levoy, B 2006. 222 secrets of hiring, managing, and retaining great employees in healthcare
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McCooey, D 2009. Keeping Good Employees on Board: Employee Retention Strategies to
Navigate Any Economic Storm. Wordclay
Reynell, C 2006. The Economist, Volume 380, Issues 8484-8497. Charles Reynell
Talbott, J 2008. Contagion: The Financial Epidemic That is Sweeping the Global Economy…
and How to Protect Yourself from It. John Wiley and Sons, 2008