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High Performance Organization Essay

In: Business and Management

Submitted By ACGONZALES
Words 4333
Pages 18
Keller Graduate University
[2009]
Final Project Proposal

“How to make Natel Engineering become a High Performance Organization”

GROUP MEMBERS:

Anthony Gonzales (acgonzales@msn.com)

Christopher Cerdon (ccerdon@gmail.com)

Raymond Bucassas (raymond_bucassas@yahoo.com)

Kathryn Weber (kweber777@gmail.com)

Nancy Sanchez (nancysanchez1985@hotmail.com)

[pomona, ca]

INTRODUCTION

Good employee relations are crucial to any work environment in order to perform at their maximum efficiency. Excellent work and ethical values are needed to ensure a high quality standard of treatment in all occupational situations. A company that does not know how to treat their employees as their number one asset is a company destined to falter.

Target Company: Natel Engineering Co., Inc. Chatsworth, Ca

Founded in 1975, a foremost, privately held, independent manufacturer of a wide variety of microelectronic products, providing mid to high volume production to defense, aerospace, fiber optics/optoelectronics, medical, space, RF microwave and telecommunication industries. According to Business Week magazine in 2007, Natel Engineering Co. has been ranked as the 9th largest aerospace manufacturer in the greater San Fernando Valley area based on the number of employees.

Natel is founded and owned by Sudesh Arora, who has a very prestigious background in Electrical Engineering -- he developed an exceptionally complex sulfur analyzer which won him the popular IR-100 Award from Industrial Research Magazine as one of the most significant developments of the year. He has led Natel in gaining numerous awards and recognitions as one of the top manufacturers of microelectronic applications in the aerospace industry and due to his outstanding leadership abilities he has recently acquired a long term contract from the Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems unit in El Segundo, Ca., he is now in charge of all divested equipment and related assets associated with the manufacturing of certain microwave integrated circuits from this unit of Raytheon Company.

PROBLEM STATEMENT As part of the designated Raytheon support team to Natel it has been a struggle to correlate with Natel employees regarding their work ethical values. Although the quality of work they provide is superb, their attitude towards work is appalling. Their superiors are looked down upon and distrusted; recognition is only for those who dare to ask; and contingent rules are made and dissuade as quick as you can say “What?” – Other unseen inconsistencies occur on a day-to-day basis at Natel, but as obvious as it may seem, Natel does not provide proper work ethics for their employees leaving them to heed for themselves and deprive them of the knowledge that they are the backbone of the company they so long feared.

PROPOSAL Our group would like to propose imperative actions to enlighten the employees of Natel and give them the proper training of “work ethical values” that will give them the chance to work in unison with their superiors. We believe that this will result in better work and performance and better quality productions, creating a better and brighter Natel in the process. We plan to tackle their work ethic issues, lack of incentive programs and deficient employee skill training agenda.
“We propose to make Natel become a High Performance Organization”.

LITERATURE REVIEW High performance organization is an organization, which has adopted a set of working practices deemed to enhance individual and organizational performance. The concept of the HPO has evolved from research into the link between human resource management and organizational performance. The characteristics commonly associated with HPOs and are: moves toward a flatter and less hierarchical organization structure; a willingness to adopt new working practices; an emphasis on empowerment and teamwork; and high levels of employee participation and learning. These characteristics are believed to foster motivation, trust, communication, knowledge sharing, and innovation within the organization. They are also thought to lead to an ability to adapt to the changing business environment and to improvements in performance and quality of working life (Robak 2007).

High performance organizations (HPOs) are designed to accentuate employees’ best performance and to “produce sustainable organizational results,” (Schermerhorn, Jr., Hunt, Osborn, 2003, p. 26) High performing organizations fundamentally underscore the pertinence of prioritizing people and intellectual capital. According to R.V. Armstrong and Associates, a high performance organization is reflected within a company’s structure, management operating system and culture where everyone participates in a shared vision and innovative leadership, dynamic change, sharing of information, systems understanding, self-managed teams, cross-trained workers, customer focus and the on-going introduction of new technology is present (R.V. Armstrong & Associates, 1997). The five components of a high performance organization include employee involvement, self-directing work teams, integrated production technology, organizational learning, and total quality management (Schermerhorn, Jr., Hunt, Osborn, 2003). Employee involvement is a continuum polarized by uninvolved employees and highly involved employees. Self- directing work teams are empowered to make decisions about key facets of their individual work. “Integrated Production Technologies focus on providing flexibility in manufacturing and services and involve job design and information systems as a part of the technology” (Schermerhorn, Jr., et al, 2003, p.29). High performing organizations fundamentally underscore the pertinence of prioritizing people and intellectual capital. According to R.V. Armstrong and Associates, a high performance organization is reflected within a company’s structure, management operating system and culture where everyone participates in a shared vision and innovative leadership, dynamic change, sharing of information, systems understanding, self-managed teams, cross-trained workers, customer focus and the on-going introduction of new technology is present (R.V. Armstrong & Associates, 1997). Members at all levels of an organization must agree on the answer to “What is high performance?” for the organization as a whole, for their individual units, and for themselves. Without agreement, individual members of the organization, acting alone and in isolation, have little chance to accidentally arrive at a common understanding of what high performance is or how to achieve it. If individuals, units and the organization as a whole are not aligned on what high performance is, then no matter how talented or committed the individual members are, the organization will be unlikely to achieve the outcomes and impacts it seeks. Yet, from the way many organizations operate, this appears to be exactly what they believe will happen. They seem to be saying: “Hire good people, let them figure out on their own what high performance is for them, and then start off in that direction.” Instead, organizations that want to begin moving toward higher performance must establish a collaborative process for articulating and sharing a common organizational vision of what high performance is, for creating nested visions indicating how each unit fits into the whole, and for aligning individual members in the organization with these nested visions (Anklam, 2005). Organizations’ ability to adapt to their settings and to gather information to anticipate future changes is known as organization learning. Organizational learning is a valuable tool to improve organizational performance by incorporating the processes of adaptive learning, which is deemed reactionary and incremental, and proactive learning, which is deemed intentional and premeditated (Beck, 1997). Communication is essential for life in general but in business settings, it is critical. Communication is more than just a matter of speaking and hearing, especially within a business setting. Good communication, on the other hand, means that your message will be sent and that the people or organizations understand the message in its entirety. Further, they are much more likely to respond in a positive manner if the message was communicated effectively. A poorly communicated message will likely result in an unfavorable response (Eckert , Allen 1986).

Ineffective communication is a major obstacle in business. Management needs to encourage effective communication but can only effectively do so by example. To communicate in the best interest of the organization, all parties have to understand each other. You also need to get the attention of the person that you are attempting to communicate with. Define the barriers that hinder effective communication and work on them. Some of the barriers that can cause communication breakdowns are physical barriers resulting from people not getting to know each other, perceptual barriers because we all view things differently, emotional barriers which are based on fear and lack of trust, cultural barriers from a lack of understanding, language barriers, gender barriers, and interpersonal barriers which are based on your thoughts and your feelings (Fitch 1980).

Body language plays a large role in communication. If you are making person to person contact, you are then able to read non verbal body language and possibly rely on that for a clue as to the effectiveness of your message. Watch for disinterest, eye rolling, body slumping, lack of interest, looking in another direction, these are all non verbal body language and not a very good sign either. If you are delivering an oral presentation to a group, you can feed off of their non verbal body language and determine if you are captivating them or simply boring them. All you have to do is pay attention and if you communicate clearly and are organized, the result will likely be a favorable one (Joyce 1991).

Cultural communication is another area where problems can arise in communicating. It is best when dealing with various ethnic groups or cultures to learn about them before you attempt communications. What one culture embraces, another finds offense to and this applies to both verbal and non verbal communications. Be proactive when approaching other cultures. Remember their learning styles, the religious beliefs, and their families are completely different. Do not rely on stereotypes and do not identify them based on their population. Differences are evident within all groups so avoid classifying them together as one. To be effective with cross cultural communications you have to be diverse and open to new ideas. (Bednar and Olney, 1987). Researchers and practitioners have long recognized communication skills are critical to job performance, career advancement, and organizational success. Communication skills are becoming increasingly important in a variety of occupations. Their study found 10,000 job positions requesting communication skills.(Aranoff, 2008). Curtis, Winsor, and Stephens found communication competencies to be key factors in entry-level business jobs and subsequent success on the job. Chief executive officers, middle managers, first-level managers, and business school deans have consistently identified written and oral communication skills as important for business success and professional advancement (Andrews and Baird, 1986; Bennett and Olney, 1986; Harper, 1987; Porter and McKibbin, 1988). Despite the importance of communication skills, researchers have found significant deficiencies among employees. Increasingly, employers are offering communication training to meet management development needs and to enhance the productivity of employees (Moore and Mulcahy, 1991; Leslie, 1986).

To sum it all up, a lot of procedures are given to enable organizations to become a high-performance organization. The most valuable aspect of an HPO is effective communication. It all starts with top management and trickles down all the way to the customers. When organizations learn how to effectively communicate with their employees is when they will experience much success. Perhaps in the near feature, they will be a part of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For.

ANALYSIS
Natel Engineering Co. currently isn’t displaying a well structured HPO. Organizational culture has the potential to enhance organizational performance, individual satisfaction, and a variety of expectations attitudes, and behaviors within an organization. Unless, Natel realizes how the organizational culture can have a significant impact on the company’s long-term economic performance it won’t continue to produce very happy employees, this can also lead to later on conflicts within departments. Currently, the factors that Natel faces are the following: its lack of empowering their employees, work ethic issues, motivation, and communication. Employees are simply seeing their management team as a group of individuals that just delegate without consideration of employees wants or needs. Causing them to feel less valued and not a part of a team; in return work ethic issues are increasing among the organization because employees aren’t motivated to work for Natel. Managers are taking upon themselves to tell employees what to do and not involving them in the decision making process. When you don’t include your employees you create a line between you and your employees. Communicate is effected at this point and unless you have an open door policy which clearly Natel does not you as a manager wont know what employees are thinking or feeling towards Natel. One of the main leading factors in Natel is its ability to motivate their employees. Motivation is one of the most powerful driving forces in the workplace today. It can make the difference between success and failure among employees. It used to be that money would motivate individuals to do their best. Today however, motivation is easier said than done. Natel does not motivate their employees to do their ultimate best. The reason being, people are usually motivated by their desire to be treated equitably. If management is just telling Natel employees what to do and not taking into consideration how that might affect each person’s ability to be promoted, move to different departments, learning something new, and feeling great about what they do they wouldn’t feel like they are valued or an asset to the company. One thing that employees tend to do is compare their inputs and outcomes with those of others. If they see one person gaining more for what they are doing, this will reduce their confidence and be less efficient. One thing that managers can do at Natel is openly share information on allocation decisions, especially when the outcome is likely to be viewed negatively. At the same time they are not providing workers with enough support and authority to do the job. This will create fewer questions and generate motivation, therefore, increasing production of high quality performance products.
According to Maslow, once people begin to satisfy their need to belong, they tend to want to be held in esteem both by themselves and by others. This kind of need produces such satisfaction as power, prestige status and self-confidence. It includes both internal esteem factors like self-respect, autonomy and achievements and external esteem factors such as states, recognition and attention.
Empowering employee to want to do their best is only a part of the problem at Natel Engineering. Communication is usually the main reason why companies aren’t successful in today’s economic hussle. With all the current changes and lawsuits that a lot of companies are facing today that are causing most of these companies to close doors, it makes it very imperative to have communication within all departments in your organization. Natel is lacking this part of the HPO in order to turn around things and make Natel a high performance organization. An example of this is their management not including their employees in the decision making process. By not doing so management isn’t embracing all their resources and allowing their employees to take charge and come up with creative ideas. At Natel employees are expected to listen and conduct in the way that they are expected to do so. Natel employees aren’t asked for their opinions or feedback on changes. Creating a close door on communication and it’s not common for Natel employees to feel like they aren’t apart of a team while working at Natel. This is the reason way employees only view their management as superiors instead of leaders. Making it hard for management to train and educate employees. Faulty communication causes the most problems. It leads to confusion and can cause a good plan to fail stated by Pearson. Lastly, one of the main concerns for better customer relationships and less errors within Natel is offering continuing training to all their employees. Since work is only passed to those that have already learned the skill, it has left no room for growth for other Natel employees to learn and do something different each day. Both employees and managers are responsible for creating a workable environment. This is the reason way developing a successful training plan is very important and as soon as Natel creates one they will experiences all that it has to offer. In addition not having a protocol known to employees can increase unethical practices among Natel employees. This can make the difference of companies having to close their doors just because of unknown issues that could have been prevented. The company or mangers can only do so much the rest should be turned over to the employees. SOLUTIONS
Natel Engineering often faces the problem of how to keep their employees motivated. It is essential to create a work environment where all employees feel valued and know that the job they do is important. When Natel Engineering do not practice self-discipline and create this type of environment, employees will not feel motivated or encouraged about their work. When creating motivation in the workplace, employers need to look at how to encourage their employees, and how to develop relationships that work well in the work place. Motivating employees can be easy when you keep communication open. Natel Engineering employees should allow their employees to come to them when they have a new idea or even when they have a complaint. If there is a job that is not being done well, Natel Engineering should let their employees know. When communication is kept open, employees will feel more comfortable working in that environment. Natel Engineering can also increase motivation when good training is provided for all employees. When a new employee is hired, give them the chance to fit into the business by training them properly for the job. This will not only help them do their job, but it will also give them the self-confidence to work independently. Natel Engineering can also provide opportunities for their current employees to train and learn new skills and jobs. Employees want to do a better job and advance their career. These new skills can help motivate them to do a good job.

Both employees and managers are responsible for creating a workable environment. This is the reason why developing a successful training plan is very important. The teaming plan that was created has three important factors. These factors are the following: communication, collaboration, and conflict management. For example, the training plan would include all the companies’ employees. It would structure how groups/teams would manage conflict, communication, and collaboration. At the same time covering the pros and cons of having either groups or teams in the work place and how this can affect one another. In addition, in either a team or in a group both would have a leader. The leader would be leading the team/ group and ensuring that everything is going as planned. This would be the “go to person” for any issues or concerns the team members might have. For instance, if there was a problem with another employee not doing his or her work they would just bring this up to the leader and the leader will reassure the other team members that this will be addressed. Having a leader will also avoid conflicts among the teams or groups. The reason being is because everyone wants to be heard and feel valued. At the same time this will increase the communication among everyone at the workplace. Lastly, the training plan needs to include what employees need to in the event of unethical practices. Most training programs just include the basics which just explain what you must know in order to perform your job. What about the unspoken issues? Issues like what to do if you had unethical practices like if your manager makes you conceal information from the company. There needs to be a protocol for these situations and most importantly they need to be known to the employees. This can make the difference of companies having to close their doors just because of unknown issues that could have been prevented.

The following is an outline on how the 5 week training will be implemented among the new hires at Natel Engineering Co.
Week 1- Introduction of Company * How the Company was founded. * Mission Statement * Company’s Strategy * Marketing/Business Strategy

Week 2- Customer Service * Who our cliental is. * How we target our consumers. * Reports/Surveys on feedback * The service we are known for.
Week 3- Employee Expectations * Company’s Individual Goals after training. * Employees Career Paths. * Rewards for Achieving goals. * Promotion within.
Week 4- Ethics * Understanding Right from Wrong. * Human Resource (HR). * Feeling comfortable saying “No.” * In Case of an Emergency, Who to Call.
Week 5- Graduation * Passing Weekly Quizzes. * Passing Comprehensive Test. * Role Playing. * Checking for Understanding.

Having this detailed training program for all new comers will allow them to feel like they are a part of the company and not just employees. In addition, offering continue training to those already employee will create the wiliness to want to work. After all happy employee’s equal increased production. For instance, the training offered to these employees will take place every month for eight hours.

The following is an example on how that will be implemented. * Group debriefs. * Individual and team exercises, indoors and outdoors. * Behavior modeling and role-plays. * One-to-one and group discussions. * Case studies, simulations and small projects. * Video films, video taping and playback. * Self-analysis questionnaires and learning instruments. * Individual action plans (to follow up and evaluate training results).

This will ensure that every worker at Natel Engineering is on board and knows what is expected of him or her. Knowledge is power and with power comes the ability to change. The Natel Engineering employees were feeling neglected and unappreciated. Now, they will feel apart of something bigger, like the company.

REFLECTIONS In order for Natel to be successful, implementing a new structure or culture can lead to not only the successfulness of the company but also the success of its employees. Developing this type of culture where management and employees can work together will take time, but the long-term successfulness of the company will last a lifetime. Communication is big part of an organizations success. By learning to communicate well in an organization, it allows those members within the organization to be able to trust the organization and trust those who lead the way. Natel’s situation is that employees were feeling as though they were expected to know their job, there was no proper training and they basically had to learn on their own, they felt under appreciated and felt they were not respected. As we all know, it is the employees who make the company, and in order to change the way these employees feel about the company they work for, we need to change the way they communicate to one another and most of all the way management communicates to its employees. By developing a training program that focuses on Leadership, Sales, Product knowledge, Communication and Ethics, Natel can begin to earn the trust and loyalty of its employees. Developing training programs for both management and its employees can increase production, by having the proper training this can make the work environment seem less irritable, because now, everyone is on the same page, everyone has the same understanding of how to do their jobs, everyone understands policy and procedures, everyone understands the culture of the organization and most of all everyone understands that one common goal. The training program that we developed included several good suggestions to help prevent employees feeling lost and not wanting to work. For example, communication is a major key factor in any company’s success. This could have help break the barrier between the employees and management. It only takes one person to say something in order for everyone else to find out, creating gossip among employees. A lot of the time the gossip is an unethical practice occurring at the work place. This could easily have been avoided if management engaged with their employees. In addition, collaboration also helps avoid unethical practices at work. When you go away from doing things on your own and turn it into a team environment, then the demeanor of the employees changes and they start working together. This increases the partnership among coworkers and everyone starts feeling like a team. Creating awareness at work about what is expectable and what’s not tolerated can avoid bad behavior at work.

In training it’s really important to cover subjects that are not covered in detailed like ethics and harassment. The reason being is because anything can be prevented if the knowledge is provided. We all know that knowledge is power and with that comes responsibility. It’s harder to look the other way if you know it’s wrong because now you don’t have that excuse. The company or manger can only do so much the rest should be turned over to the employees.

Works Cited * Pearson, J. (1983). Interpersonal Communication. Retried October 7, 2009 from Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foreman and Company. * Fortune 100 Best. (2008). Companies to Work for in America. Retried October 1, 2009 from http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2009/full_list/ * Moore and Mulcahy. (1986). How to Enhance the Productivity of Employees. Retried October 4, 2008 from http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/16838783.html * R.V. Armstrong & Associates. (1997). High performance organizations. Retrieved April 14, 2004. Schermerhorn, Jr., J.R., Hunt, J.G., ... bizcovering.com/.../key-components-of-high-performance-organizations/ * Business success and professional advancement (Andrews and Baird, 1986) * Sandi Fitch-Hutton's Specialties: Strategic Planning & Organizational ... Performance and Change Management E-Learning and Social Networking ... Secretary, University of Southern California Education Graduate Organization, 1982-83 * Employees at all levels should be encouraged to develop communication competencies that will improve their performance. Moore and Mulcahy (1991) by DB Roebuck - 1995 * Porter and McKibbin (1991) “In your opinion, how well would the OPQ predict job performance?”
www.midwestacademy.org/Proceedings/2002/papers/Harland.doc

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