Concept of high-performance working (HPW) and its contribution to creating and sustaining a high-performance work organization (HPWO)
Table of Contents
HPW is the acronym for High Performance Working and signifies an approach that is commonly used for stimulating the employees to be more effective in their working environment while ensuring commitment and active participation. It indicates that the employees must employ their skills in full capacity and try to derive something productive out of their efforts. However, it is a task for the management to find ways to employ effective HPW practices in the organization for its sustained development (Tang et.al. 2017). In essence, the employment of human resource personnel and their efforts in the right direction is the core concept of HPW.
The report gives a brief outline about HPW and how it can be introduced into an organization. The initial section of the report discusses about the core concepts of HPW and its individual components. Subsequently, the report evaluates the link between HPW and sustained organization performance along with employee well-being and competitive advantage. The main drawbacks and barriers of HPW have also been discussed in the first section. The next section of the report discusses about the different stages of the performance management cycle. The role of development and performance reviews has also been analyzed in this section. The different ways in which line managers can be involved in the performance review process has also been studied in this section of the report. A brief evaluation of performance management’s contribution to promote challenges and capabilities withing the organization has been discussed in the report. Towards the final section, a summary of the different ways in which a High Performance Work culture can be fostered in an organization have been discussed. The report winds up by offering recommendations on the way in which trust, commitment and enthusiasm can be built and encouraged.
The HPW practices have evolved from time to time with the intention of adding value to the organization and increase its productivity. It also takes into consideration the fact that each situation demands a unique solution. Also, HPW practices follow the contingency approach that focuses on finding the best-fit alternative for every circumstance or prospective issues in the organization (Jyoti and Rani, 2017). The organization decides the specific components that should be utilized according to its present requirements and the problems that may emerge in the future.
The employed components need to be dynamic in nature that would make the organizational system even more complex. Modern firms are now giving more emphasis to those HPW components that have evolved over time depending on their specific needs or requirements. In addition to this, there are certain assumptions that have to be taken into consideration while using HPW components. These assumptions establish the manner in which different stakeholders perceive the organizational culture that can impact the performance of the organization. HPW, in this context highlights the concept of shared value that can be attained when all the shareholders in the firm interact and accept each other (Caniëls and Veld, 2019). All these aspects point out to the fact that an organizational culture can be strong only if the employees and leaders accept their responsibility in a willful manner. Practically, critical shareholders are also developing over time and understanding the change in circumstances due to shift in the strategies of an organization. All the practices falling under HPW, when combined together forms the core system of HPW.
It is evident that every organization applies the practices of HPW in various operational areas such as work organization, leadership, management, organizational development and employment relations. The essential component of HPW includes various aspects of human resource like performance appraisal, hassle-free recruitment practices, work redesign and supervision and mentoring. It also ensures maximum involvement of the employees in the context of sharing or using the company’s information, maintaining self-motivated teams, and quality circles (Beltrán?Martín et.al. 2017). One of the other major components of HPW relates to the employee commitment and reward practices in the organization. It integrates numerous factors such as offering financial rewards, flexible working hours, friendly policies and job rotation. For leaving a considerable impact in the working environment of an organization, modern HPW practices play an important role in emphasizing the significance of leadership. The role of leaders is highlighted throughout the organization and the employees to ensure that the core values of the organization are implemented as per the objectives (Askenazy and Forth, 2016).
HPW can be used to build a foolproof system in which all the general components are used together to provide the desired results. However, the results may be variable because of the complex nature of the system and its close dependence on the outcome. Additionally, HPW is applied differently in different areas depending on the size and the type of organization. Furthermore, the components of HPW are used in a different manner in every distinct workplace environment. This shows that the implementation of HPW will give varied results in each organization and hence there will be no similarities in the outcome of two or more firms (Heffernan and Dundon, 2016).
It should be noted that the entire process of implementing the general components of HPW is a highly time-consuming process. It is mainly because of the difficulties in finding the right decisions suitable for a firm while looking for exogenous pressure. Additionally, it is the duty of the leaders and the employees to acknowledge the components of HPW and ensure that they are leading towards the achievement of the projected goals. This will require the active participation of employees in adapting the HPW practices and also merging it with the organizational structure (van der Walt, F., 2018). Leadership pattern needs to be stable enough to develop and nurture the required culture that takes considerable amount of time.
HPW encourages self-directed initiatives among the employees which ultimately enhance their well-being. It helps in creating such an environment which allows the employees to actively participate in decision making process. It is observed that many organizations use HPW to manage the issues derived from changes in technological and business environment (van Esch et.al. 2018). These days, it is very common to see rapid change in the demand of consumers as well as technological advancements which makes it difficult for an organization to cope up. Thus, firms require being flexible in its services which is not possible without the management of human resource. This makes the whole idea of HPW worthy as it provides the facility of having fluid environments.
It is generally difficult to supervise a large number of diversified workforces because of complex operations and geographical limitations which can lead to the reduction in output. However, by utilizing HPW components, a firm can manage and coordinate its employees in a better manner. It helps in integrating the efforts of the workforce in such a way that it will align well with the dynamic environment as well. However, it is possible only when a firm knows that its employees are satisfied with their jobs and are being valued appropriately (Premkumar and Udayasuriyan, 2017).
Moreover, the employee-management relationship also depends on the goal-based incentives and job security offered to the employees. On the other hand, the concept of paying more due to working over-time has a negative effect on the work-life balance of an employee (Alsubaie, 2016). It ultimately acts as a barrier in successfully using the components of HPW practices. Thus, the implementation of HPW should be done while keeping in mind these aspects as well.
Overall, it is evident that practicing HPW will boost the firm’s performance in reference to profitability, productivity and sales perspectives. HPW practices ensure job satisfaction among the employees in an organization. The workforce feel more connected with their position because of their increased involvement and low employee turnover (Dastmalchian et.al. 2020). This creates a feeling of belongingness in the staff which further motivates them to perform their best. Therefore, the firm practicing HPW will always have a competitive advantage in context of human resource.
Employee relationship with the management
The organization faces a major challenge in maitianing the level of trust towards the firm by the employees while implementing HPW. The application of HPW provides independence to the employees to perform their duties (Oseghale et.al. 2019). When employees have faith on their superiors, only then they will be able to run the operaions efficiently. This relationship also depends upon the existence of unions in some cases.
Impact of Trade Unions
It is a common issue faced by the management that the unions ask for more than what they contribute in the organization. Those organizations which represents thier employees via unions are generally mis-judged which cause a hurdle for the management to employ HPW. this is because,irrespective of the leadership roles in an organization, if employees do not envolve in the practices of HPW then it is of no use.
Usually it occurs that employees are giving their best but the management is unable to note that. HPW is all about letting employees putting their maximum potential in order to derive efficient outcomes out of it. Thus, it becomes a barrier for the firm when it is unable to quantify the employee’s performance.
Resistance to change
Sometimes, the employees do not feel very comfortable when there is any change in the working style of an organization. Thus, it might be possible that the employees do not support the practices of HPW due to their lack of understanding. The workforce may perceive it as a negative action because of their skeptic attitude and rigid nature.
There might be cases when the top level management wants to convey some crucial information to the employees and the middle managers fail to do so. In such circumstances, it becomes a challenge for the organization to effectively apply HPW. Similarly, when the employees are unaware of essential information then it becomes difficult for them to complete their job as required.
There are five stages in the performance management cycle as follows:
The first phase tells about the planning done by the management in context to the employee’s expected outcome in an organzation. Here, the employee discloses abuout his/her working capacity according to which certain goals are set. It is quite neccessary to note that employee must have specific skills in order to fulfill his/her stated task. Also, it is important for the management to ensure that the goals decided for the employees also support the overall organizational objectives (Donate et.al. 2019).
Next stage begins when the managers monitor the performance of an employee. In case there is any requirement to change the performance plan then the manager can do at the time of any need to change. Although, the overall focus of this stage is directed towards the fulfilment of the given job to achieve the desired results.
In this stage, the performance done by the employee is reviewed by the management in comparison to what was planned earlier in the first stage. This indicated to what the employee lacks in and how he/she will achieve the planned goal if there is any deviation.
Improving stage considers that if there is any deviation in the previous stage then it can be fulfilled with the help of taking corrective measures. This is done after proper discussion conducted between the manager and the employee. Here, the scope of improvement is in reference to maintaining job priorities, expectations, accountability and responsibilities of employees.
This is the final stage of performance management which highlights the overall performance of the employee. It states that the management do not have to wait for the whole year to know about the employee’s performance index. Rather they can conduct check-in meetings where the employees perfomrance is discussed even for shorted duration. It also asserts that the goals decided for the employees can change if there is any considerable change in the business evironment (Peedikayil and Manthiri, 2018).
The Role of Development and Performance Reviews
The senior managers of a firm are responsible for designing the HPW practices which are further implemented by the line managers. The line managers can be termed as a link between the employees and senior management for the purpose of achiving the strategic goals. Thus, they play a critical role in the process of employing HPW in an organization by focusing on specific unit functions or departments. This allows the line managers to closely monitor the performance reviews. Because of their intermediatory role, it becomes possible for them to interact with both the levels of management i.e top level and employees at lower level. It is essential to perform performance review by any organization as it measures the changes in the execution of plan and enhance the labour productivity as well (Alafeshat and Tanova, 2019). These review helps the firm to look for inefficiency in the employee’s skills for the purpose of providing training to them or recruit new employees for filling the skill shortage.
Line managers are capable of performing crucial roles such as providing suggestions regarding necessity for skills, practices and practicability. The process of performance measuring demands the manager to assess employee performance and contribution on daily basis by scheduling check-in meetings. Thus, the line managers should actively contribute their point of view when the management is designing the measurement metrics (Shin and Konrad, 2017). Furthermore, the line managers perform the following functions in context to performance management:
The process of performance management provides a lot of advantages to an organization such as promoting reward management, healthy challenges and building capability among its employees. Performance indicates how an individual is carrying out its activities and when it is linked with reward then it means recognizing those activities in the form of some incentive.
Performance give rise to growth culture but it happens when the senior management take hold of their responsibilty to take efficient decisions. The performance management system can also opt for rewarding its employees with non-monetary incentives such as guidance, appreciation, providing scope for skill development, and feedback (Frederiksen et.al. 2020). Additionally, the management can also offer monetary incentives such as increment in salary, offer bonus as per competency, performance or contribution. These rewards motivates the employees to give their best at their workplace. Another benefit of performance management is that it promotes innovation in the organization. This contributes to the growth strategy of the firm especially when such innovation and creativity comes from employees side. It also brings positive change in the operations of the management after testing new behaviour in order to enhance the organizational culture.
Furthermore, performance management approach ensures that the oranizational structure responds well to the changes in the business environment and market conditions. It keeps a check on the performance outcome of the employees so that they can alter their means as and when required. In addition to this, due to the feedback mechanism, it is possible for the employees to adopt the values and commit to the planned objectives in a better way (Franco?Santos and Otley, 2018). This framework ultimately leads to the sustainment of growth factor in the organization.
These days, the concept of online support is also used in the performance management cycle. It acts as an important source of providing feedback to the employees in less time and chaos. Likewise, the employees are also able to share their concerns if they find any difficulty in achieving their goals. Thus, this channel encourages active interaction with the ease of ready information to be communicated very quickly. The senior management can spread awareness regarding any change if they decide to revise the objectives of the organization. It supports decentralization as well which focuses on minimum confusion and maximum productivity in the workforce.
The organizational structure changes rapidy in today’s world due to the changes in the business environment and hence, it is necessary for the management to ensure efficient communication. Due to globalization, a firm no longer operates at one location only. It has multiple workplace and thus now it is crucial for these multi-nationals to coordinate their activities via performance management.
It is well known that the process of performance management results in channelising the employees efforts towards fulfillment of firm’s strategies efficiently. It indicates that the firm is able to acheive the organizational goal with the added benefit of refining the skills of its employees (Gudmundsson et.al. 2016). The employees also feel motivated when they see bright future prospects of their work life. With the provision of constant improvement among employee’s working style, the firm move towards the direction of greater productivity along with organizational development. Thus, the senior management must understand the importance of performance evaluation and reward system. These appraisals indicates the need of improvement in the existing skill set of an individual. The overall outcome of this approach concludes that the employees outperform when they are motivated by means of incentive. Apart from this, the performance management should also consider the significance of feedback as it promotes suggestive comments which will help the workforce in providing the desired results. The adaptablity quotient among the superior as well as subordinate also increases once they get to understand each other’s perspective.
An organization can adopt high-performance culture by inculcating the urge of commitment among the employees and this can be done only when the employees feel satisfied with their current job position. There are ample of financial and non-finacial rewards which will amplify the morale of the employees. Apart from incentives, employees also demand certain level of flexibility in their work enviornment. Thus, the organization should maintain some level of informal culture so that employees can attain their social needs as well. An informal culture allows the staff to express their opinions in a better way which further helps in increasing the self-confidence of the employees. This will surely build enthusiasm in the workforce.
The performance management should always consider training programmes for its employees whenever the need arises. Due to dynamic work enviroment, the technologgy is changing everyday which makes the current skill set of existing employees outdated (Kuvaas et.al. 2016). Thus, instead of recruiting new employees, it is always better to train the present ones. The high-performance working will be effective only when the employees are equipped with relevant skills.
Next, for introducing HPW, the management should create an appealing work environment for the employees. Now-a-days the concept of working in an organization has undergone huge change. The employees demand a stress-free environment which is not possible if the firm only focuses on operational activity only. Thus, the senior management should also organize activities which prevents the work environment to become dull. Due to the cultural diversity in the workforce, the employees have different ideologies which can be managed in a better way when organization indulge in extra-activites.
Lastly, effective leadership is very important as in an organziation if a manager wants an employee to willingly come up and take responsibilities then there is a dire need of motivation. This motivation is a result of self-directed behaviour which comes when a team is lead by a transformational leader. The employees should feel worthy while working in a firm and this happens only when the leaderhip role is performed efficiently.
In order to implement the practices of High Performance Work systems it is important for the senior managers of the firm to be unambiguous about the regulationss about the frim’s vision and mission. In addition to that, the core values shared by the organization should be in line with the employee’s values. These value will give rise to ethical considerations by the workforce and enhance the entire working environment. The employees also feel competitive and content when the organizational culture ensures that they would be working in a fair environment. If the staff is not clear with the intentions of the firm’s mission, it will be difficult for them to carry out their responsibilities in full capacity. This points out to the fact that there needs to be an optimum level of clarity in thoughts and opinions in the organization to avoid any sort of ambiguities.
Additionally, the performance management should ensure that the employees are given creative freedom to carry out their duties. It will enable the empoyees to think out of the box and use their skills in a creative manner which will lead to better results. This creative freedom will eventually lead to innovations in the working culture which is a mandatory aspect for organizations in the current times. The employees should be able to give their ideas in the decision making process and share their ideas freely. These ideas could be of high value because they will be responsible for carrying out the individual tasks at the ground level. The employees will be aware of the intricacies of the work and how it will be carried out at an operational level. This indicates that their feedback and suggestions will be of utmost significance in an HPWO.
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