The effect of communication in Organizational behavior.
In today’s session we reflected on our results of the simulation which aimed for the goal of showing how difficult the communication and management of stakeholders. This topic struck me in particular because of two reasons: First, I encountered the topic of communication in business before in a positive way in my internship at a trading company: They let me influence meetings and decision making which was a new and welcome experience for me and motivated me to actively participate during my internship. Secondly I talked about the importance of communication with employees in organisational effectiveness before. In our simulation team we found out quickly that we underestimated the communication with our simulated stakeholders. This quickly resulted in a miscommunication and bad relation between our team and lead to a rather low score in this area. These results go in line with the studies by Elton Mayo which were performed in the Hawtorne works in 1924. In his study, Mayo discovered that there is a correlation between the performance and satisfaction of an employee and whether they feel like management is paying attention to them. This effect was shown by changing the lighting in the factory. The light itself did not change the behaviour but the feeling that people are interested in the workers and that someone is taking care of them made them feel important and raised their working morale. The experiment was duplicated a few times and this effect can also be seen in the simulation as people become more unsatisfied the less they are involved, even if there are no major changes which need to be communicated. This was a problem which my group and I were not fully aware of during the simulation. We focused more on numbers and hard facts instead of the human factor. I think that many companies nowadays do the same mistake and that this effect is not utilised enough by todays organizations which results in missed worker efficiency. We see Feedback forms for employees quite often but in my opinion, this is a weak try to involve the employees in the corporate decision making. The real change after giving such a feedback in an organisation is barely visible, letting the employees feel useless. There are some companies with disruptive new structures such as google in which the hierarchy is maintained as flat as possible. I am well aware that this company form is not applicable for every Industry and company but at least some extent of employee co-determination should be possible. It will make the company feel more at home and should motivate everyone to work harder.
Concluding I want to motivate managers to show their employees that they care about them and that they are not just workforce which might as well be replaced by machines. This attitude should be beneficial for all parties and self-reinforcing.
Ideas for employee motivation.
I write this blog entry as follow up to our Tuesday session on the 3rd of February because we were talking about the motivation of employees. This struck me personally as I was confronted with the question why I’m sitting in the classroom every lecture. Well, as I’m an exchange student, my main goal is full attendance, but the question of motivating people into better organisational behaviour got me thinking a little bit more. Picking up Audrey’s thought about the change in NUS’s shuttle busses by removing the seats in buses sounds like a good idea. What should be remembered though is to leave a seated area for people who can’t stand for a long time. What I also observed in the city are long lines of buses at a bus stop which wait for the first spot in line to release passengers and let new ones in, especially in areas with high amounts of offices. Why can’t the unload line be extended over the pickup and release area? By extending the unload line only, there are two benefits: The exiting passengers are able to leave the bus earlier and the usual waiting until everybody is out. While keeping the entrance point at the same spot, the passengers entering the bus do not need to run around the bus stop and search for the bus, they just wait as usual. This motivates the bus drivers as the waiting in line in shortened and they are ready to go again faster. Furthermore, the company organising the transport will benefit greatly by implementing this procedure as it results in an increased customer satisfaction due to reduced waiting times and faster service. This may also have a positive effect on the drivers if they identify positively with their job: Greater job satisfaction though helping more people move around the city might increase the work morale of the people and strengthen the feeling of significance. This comes at virtually no additional cost for them or the company, it is just a small adjustment in the bus stop design. The space is occupied nevertheless because of the waiting buses, so I do not see any reasoning against this suggestion. Personally I perceive waiting times as the most annoying small detail in daily life. I see this every morning when I wait for the shuttle bus to get to the BIZ faculty building. The times might be displayed by the small screen at each station but first of all they are never accurate and second it would be much easier to have a precise schedule. In Germany, our buses are prescheduled for the whole day, e.g. 13:15, 13:30, 13:45 and so on. That way it is easier to estimate when to leave the house and minimize waiting time for the bus. This is an improvement which would motivate students, at least me and some of my friends, to come to school with a bit better attitude.
All in all I see a big potential in the schools and public transport. A precise schedule would benefit all parties, giving the drivers an estimate about their brakes and the passengers a time when to be at the bus stop without waiting for 20 minutes.