Performance Management How Has the Organization Dealt Research Proposal

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Performance Management

How has the organization dealt with withdrawal and absenteeism?

Pepsi's many strategies internally for addressing all the symptoms of a broader morale problem, from absenteeism and withdrawal to lawsuits by former employees alleging age, sex and racial discrimination and racial profiling presented the company with a global challenge. The interim strategies of attempting to create teams of managers that sought to inject more motivation into the culture were limited in success (Nottage, 88-89). What was needed was a completely different strategy of dealing with these symptoms of a far more fundamental flaw in the organizational culture, and that was the lack of involvement and ownership by the majority of employees in the company. This is particularly the case with women and diversities, both of whom have accused Pepsi of being selective in its promotion policies to favor men from the same colleges and universities (Terhune, 10). The demoralization of the majority of employees in Pepsi, especially those who are members of minorities including women, presented the company with the greatest management challenge it has yet to face, greater even than dealing with the consolidation and highly competitive nature of the soft drink industry (Fulkerson, Schuler, et.al.).

Pepsi initially attempted treat only the symptoms of these problems with counseling services and work/life balance programs (Nhlabathi, 6) in addition to creating global tasks forces to oversee more effective equal opportunity and diversity compliance (Fulkerson, Schuler, et.al). Despite all their best intentions however, Pepsi's senior management failed to change the culture and many employees continued to see high levels of discrimination in addition to a complete lack of interest in their contributions, or for that matter, their value as employees who could think rather than perform routine and often unchallenging processes as tasks. Next Pepsi management attempted to create more opportunities for employee empowerment, nurturing this to the bottler level of their distribution channels globally (Sharma, Kaur, et.al.) yet this was only partially effective. Only after the company's core value proposition, or how it defined itself as a business, included the contributions of its people, was any significant progress made. The redefining of the Pepsi Mission Statement attempted to re-define the core values of the company, with the success of the company defined as "Employees Build Their Futures" as the outcomes of redefining the company's unique value proposition. Yet just changing a mission statement does nothing to change a culture. Creating fundamental strategies to gain insights from employees and act on them, redefining the company in the process does. There are many interconnected and synchronous strategies that are needed to attain this objective of cultural change, and resistance to change, a common problem with new initiatives in any company (Gilley, Gilley, McMillan, 75) had to be dealt with. Redefining the core operating systems and processes in the company was needed to give Human Resources an opportunity to have their concerns heard and ideas adopted. The redefining of the unique value proposition of the company to encompass peoples' capabilities and acknowledge their contribution much more regularly than had been the case in the past if the changes senior management were making were to be taken seriously. Despite earlier efforts to infuse empowerment into the company, without process-centric and system-level changes, empowerment strategies did not work (Sharma, Kaur, et.al). Only by redefining the core value proposition of the company to show the value chain of the company of people providing products for customers using the three C's of Capability, Cost and Culture did the strategic objective of getting the human resources into an agent of change role (Terhune, 10) get accomplished. In addition, the entire human resources process was completely re-vamped to concentrate on creating a distinctive human enterprise that included higher standards for performance, a greater thoroughness regarding hiring practices, more rotational assignments throughout the company and team-based rewards for overall performance.

What role, if any, does OCB (organizational citizenship behaviour) or resilience play?

The role of Organizational citizenship behaviours (OCB) plays a critically important role in the transformation of Pepsi's employee morale and productivity. Pepsi's senior management had initially attempted to nurture a higher level of motivation and task ownership through the use of externally-oriented strategies when what was actually needed were strategies aimed at increasing and nurturing the potential for contextual performance. Empirical studies of OCB support the approach of defining contextual performance strategies first, attuning them and aligning them to the unique strengths of employees first, so that tasks can be successfully completed (Chan, Taylor, Markham, 444-467). Pepsi became successful with their change management strategies regarding the many human resource problems they had when they started to devise strategies that would change how employees' perceived their roles and the opportunity to contribute and be recognized. No amount of external stimuli would have changed the situation at Pepsi. What was needed instead was a solid change management strategy based on OCB-based concepts that could also provide the necessary foundations to the core unique value proposition of Pepsi.

What would you improve or do differently?

It is evident from the research completed that the scope and severity of the disconnect of the workforce from the company's goals is acute. It would have been fruitless to continually provide a "carrot" in this instance as people needed to change internally - and that is the most difficult of all aspects of change management (Gilley, Gilley, McMillan, 75). In addressing the need for significant change of employee's perceptions of the company I'd want to know first of all which factors were leading to the perceptions employees had. The lapses in equal opportunity and diversity programs (Fulkerson, Schuler, et.al) had been well-known yet there are many, many more factors underneath this larger one that need to be addressed. Instead of just concentrating on these larger, more obvious problems, it is critical to find out what the catalysts of these problems. I would create a system of continually gaining insights into concerns of employees which would include quarterly satisfaction surveys, focus groups to understand where the basis of the problems were, and also define programs to give employees the opportunity to have their voices heard much more than was the case in the past. I'd also concentrate on rewarding inclusive behaviors and strategies globally and look to create change management champions who had taken the initiative to solve these problems in their specific regions and departments. I would try to foster a strong sense of responsibility and accountability for transforming the culture by recognizing and rewarding those that stepped forward to create a more positive, inclusive type of culture.

In conjunction with these programs there also needs to be a more strategic and visible commitment to working on the necessary broken process and system areas of the company relating to acting on employee feedback, which is critical for people to have a sense of ownership for their jobs. Using behavior-based approaches to create greater opportunities for task ownership and mastery and the development of a corporate-wide coaching program, I'd focus on measuring each employee's growth in terms of interpersonal, organizational and job-related skills. Using a balanced scorecard approach I'd also focus on measuring the progress over time of the coaching strategies defined and provide recognition to those employees who were the highest achievers. Using these techniques I would seek to change the culture from one of a lack of job ownership to one that concentrated more on celebrating achievement and teamwork. Lastly, I'd define a series of benchmarks specifically to measure just how effective departments and teams were in working with each other. I'd reward cross-department collaboration and the progression to development objectives through the coaching program as well. With all these strategies combining with each other, over time the culture of Pepsi would change. The key to making the change last however would be in completely redefining how employees are perceived in the context of their contributions and the knowledge they have. Most importantly of all however is the recognition of cross-department collaboration that the balanced scorecards would provide insights into. My intention in using this strategy would be to further solidify the need for employees to interact, contribute and work with others across department and division lines.

Should the organization use trait or behavior based approaches to performance?

Comparing each of these approaches to defining performance enhancement gains, the more appropriate would be the behaviorally based one as it concentrates on changing the employee's perceptions first. Trait-based approaches to managing Pepsi would only scale in the most routine and predictable jobs. Instead what is needed is a major shift within employee's mindsets, and this achievable with the behaviorally based approach. While outcomes are not always directly tied to efforts with this approach, the need for employees to internalize job ownership and mastery is so strong that the behavioral-based approach is a better fit to the needs of the company. Lastly there is the need for making the entire company more collaborative in nature. Only by creating and sustaining the commitment to systems and processes… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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