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Mismatched Worker

In: Business and Management

Submitted By lesport23
Words 1670
Pages 7
Report: Mismatched Worker
Stephenie Butscher
Alexandra Edwards
Saint Leo University
Professor: Susan Gibbons

Executive Summary
Skills mismatches are one of the most common challenges faced by the economy. Observations show that in far too many cases, workers are not well-matched with their current jobs ("Skills mismatch," 2012). The economy is seeing increasing numbers of job vacancies but their unemployment rates are not going down. This is because many of the workers who lost their jobs due to the economic downturn do not have the skills the market now demands. In the actual workplace management is often finding themselves taking an unusual amount of time talking with their employees about what went wrong on the prior project and how can they fix, or noticing employees are trying to play catch up, working overtime and missing deadlines. These are collective concerns and are often related with the organization being understaffed, but also can be affected by a skills mismatch.
Skills Mismatches Skills mismatches denote a lack of fit between people’s skills or qualifications and their jobs’ skill requirements (Mello, 2011, p. 270). There are two types of skills mismatches over-and under qualification. Over qualified employees have skills and/or education that exceed the skills required to perform a job. Under qualified employees typically are ones’ with a high school diploma or less. When a person is in a position that does not match their skill level a mismatch has occurred. Mismatches are likely to have widespread negative consequences for individuals. When a person is experiencing a mismatch they are dissatisfied with their job and may potentially leave their occupation in hopes of finding a better match somewhere else. Oftentimes, a person may suffer through this mismatch because they feel as if they have no other options. In order to support their families they must continue to work in an unsatisfactory situation. This can lead to heightened stress and an all-around bad attitude. It is in the organizations best interest to find an internal solution to help fix these mismatches. I am currently seeing a worker mismatch at my organization. We have a relatively new HR technician who has a bachelor’s degree in HR who is being treated like a recent high school graduate. Her skills are not being utilized and she is very stressed out. She was hoping that taking this position would give her the needed HR experience to further her career with our organization, instead she feels undervalued and unappreciated. The organization is about to lose a very valuable person because they do not have the proper steps in place to retain her. A possible strategic program to help over (or under) qualified employees is to bridge the gap between their skills and the ones needed to perform their jobs could be a job enrichment program. This program would slowly add new tasks and responsibilities to their current jobs. This will help the over qualified employees feel valued and needed. It would also teach the under qualified employees new skills and build up their knowledge base.
Temporal Mismatches There are two main kinds of temporal mismatches: over-working, in which a person works more hours than he wants, and underworking, in which a person works fewer hours than he wants (Mello, 2012, p. 273). In either situation when a mismatch occurs there are negative, stressful feelings associated with the mismatch. There are also many reasons why a person feels as if they have to work too many hours (support their families) or too few hours (not enough work to go around). In either situation it is in the organizations best interests to find a happy medium. I currently am dealing with a temporal mismatch. I am required to work a 40 hour work week in order to receive full time benefits. Health insurance is not an issue for me since I receive these benefits through my husband’s work but in order to receive my retirement pension I must work 40 hours. This adds a lot of stress in my life. I would love to be able to work 30 hours a week so then I could be there more for my children. There is a constant internal struggle to determine if I should be working now and saving for retirement or stay home with my kids and potentially not have enough money when I am older. It would be nice if employers offered more retirement options. A possible strategic HR program that could be implemented to assist in this temporal mismatch would be job sharing. There could be two part time individuals working together to fill the position of one full time person. Each part time individual could earn half the accrual for retirement and keeps the perks of having a full time job. Another possible strategy is to allow the full time employee to work from home. Technology is so advanced there are multiple ways to telecommute. This would alleviate the stress of having to choose between family time and work time.
Work-Family Mismatches
There are many factors in every individual’s life that can potentially have an effect on their attitude, behavior, and how they perform in the workplace such as hardships, life experiences, past experiences etc… Collectively or otherwise these factors can theoretically adversely affect ones job performance in the work place which leads us to work/family mismatches. These types of mismatches occur when people’s jobs deplete them or conflict with their performance in other roles such as their family and vice versa (Mello, 2011, p. 277).
With this being said an individual can only change what he/she can control. It is management’s responsibility to see what each employee needs in order to maintain a healthy work environment. If a company does a good job at keeping their employees focused by engaging them in their specific role as an employee it will ensure they feel valued. Strategic planning is imperative to minimize these types of mismatches.
Some effective HR strategies may be the implementation of clearly outlining an employee’s job description and expectations. If employees know exactly what they are doing and feel as though they own their job it leads to self-assurance. If they understand their requirements to complete their work and they feel confident in doing so it will keep employees feeling worthy. This will eliminate the fatigue or frustrations produced in one role that could potentially affect performance in another role. People who are worried, tired, or tense as a result of what happens at work may find it difficult to achieve a positive family environment (Mello, 2011, p. 277). A happy work environment ultimately leads to a happy family environment. Also, employers who offer a variety of health and fitness benefits as a part of their hiring package such as childcare services, nutritional counseling, stress management programs, and seminars etc… Could potentially reduce the risk of both strain based conflict and time based conflict. Employers would no longer have to worry about getting home in time to pick up their children from daycare or not having enough time to work out, cook dinner, and help with kids’ homework because the work place would have all those things included in the hiring process. It similarly gives employees a chance to ease stress management issues. By facilitating a program that guides employees on how to handle stress gives them an outlet outside of family to go to. The same goes for offering a work out package. Working out is said to reduce stress in the work environment greatly.
Geographical Mismatches Geographical barriers are also very common in the workplace. These types of mismatches occur when geographic or spatial barriers prevent people from obtaining jobs for which they are qualified or that meet their needs (Mello, 2011, p. 272). This occurs when jobs moves from one area to another, leaving behind workers who neither are able to move nor have the skills to fill the jobs that remains in the area. Therefore, employers who offer relocation packages, employee incentives, higher compensation and wages gives the workers the option of making a more sound decision based on individual life circumstances. By giving employees a reason to relocate and assisting them in doing so ultimately gives the employees reassurance that they have the choice of keeping their job or looking for something elsewhere. Another common type of geographical mismatch is the lack of fit between jobs and people located in cities and suburbs. There are many discrepancies that denied minorities’ in particular access to homes in suburban areas where the jobs for which they may be qualified have migrated. As a result, this limits these individuals on geographical mobility who have no other choice but to live in inner city areas where there are insufficient jobs that make use of their qualifications. Their lack of access is compounded because these types of individual’s often have a difficult time commuting to places where suitable jobs are located; the jobs in these locations don’t pay well enough to support both family and the commute. Therefore, if employers were to involve local and state commissioners and politicians in restructuring access to public transportation that will enlarge a greater territory for which the inner city people can find employment outside of the city where more suitable jobs are located. This will allow more individuals with developed experiences the ability to work jobs that fit their qualifications. Minimizing mobility restrictions ensures that employees have the ability to get to and from work which still being able to maintain both the family life and work environment.
By refining the fit between people and jobs will always continue to be an ongoing challenge throughout the United States. Therefore, it is always imperative that employers and employees continue to pursue ways to reduce the different kinds of mismatches that affect the everyday workplace.

Reference:
Mello, J. A. (2011). Strategic Human Resources Management. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Skills mismatch. (2012). Retrieved from http://skills.oecd.org/hotissues/skillsmismatch.html

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