Pfeffer High Performance Practices
ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR HIGH PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT Report for the CEO Goncalo Correia MIB28 The Trivalor Holding The Trivalor Holding, is a Portuguese group created more than 50 years ago by a Portuguese business man, having started with two companies in the Business Services segment, and evolving over time, securing a position as the biggest services group in Portugal, owning today 16 companies and employing at times over 11. 000 workers. The areas covered by the group are, social and public food services, emission and management of services tickets, commercialization and logistics of food products, industrial cleanings, uman and robotic security, transport of values, vending machines and archive management.
The main clients of the state are public administration, local city councils, hospitals, schools, and defense forces as well as prisons. Historically, the group, has always had an “employer friendly” policy, and is known for the fact of never having lay-? off one single worker following a “Japanese” style management. The majority of the technical and administrative workforce has worked there since the beginning of the company and there is a unity feeling that can be easily perceived amongst the workers. Nevertheless, from my point of iew, due to its size and age, it has created over the time some habits that fail to evolve from a top-? down to a integrative style management where workers are part of everyday decisions, fact which after reading this paper I believe could be substantially ameliorated contributing for an efficiency breakthrough needed by us to remain competitive. 2 Status Quo In an evolving business environment such as the one we live in nowadays, where there is a clear tendency of companies in the first world countries to walk towards a service driven economy, human resources are one if not the most important assets that a firm can have.
This should not be ignored or by any means devalued by top management, that in order to retain its best individuals within the firm, must adapt, motivate and commit to people in all levels of work. In current times, polls show a high-? growing discontentment of people towards their professional careers. For this, workers lack motivation, not feeling aligned with the company goals, ultimately seeing the organization they work for as the “enemy”, facts that are responsible for the loss of Billions of dollars every year. Amongst the main reasons for this dissatisfaction, Pfeffer stresses out, issues like Company Trust, or in ther words how does the employee perceives to what degree the statements, relations and promises from the company are feasible and fulfilled in the future, Job Security, the prospects of maintaining their job position in the long term as well as the dependence on externalities such as economic downturns and crisis, or industry distresses;
Work-Family relation, which is commonly perceived as a distributive issue, meaning that a person which is good in the family-? relations must necessary lack of commitment to their job, and finally Poor Job conditions and environment, when people don’t feel comfortable with the workplace s well as their professional relations. Historically, the firms that have soon understood this, and practice a high commitment tactics towards all its stakeholders, were able to profit on long periods of success, and ultimately guarantee financial wealth. Taking Advantage of an Integrative Management style As our company has been in the services and utilities business for decades, from my point of view, we have gained the habit of taking a more accommodated approach in the relation with our employees, failing sometimes to take advantages from some high commitment tactics, many of which could be put in practice with little pending and effort.
Our group policy has been since the beginning to offer a work for life, offering a secure position as long as the co-? workers comply with what it is requested from them, what accordingly to Pfeffer and proven by our success of transforming a small company in the biggest group in the country inside our industry paid-? off in the long-? term. Nevertheless, I believe it is important to express that from my analysis of the article that you as CEO asked me to read we are still lacking off on issues like training and skill development, as our R&D expenditure has been practically none over the last couple of ears. 3 I believe that by continuously training and investing in our co-? workers, through coaching programs, team building days, and more corporate events, more than just gaining the advantages of what they will learn and apply to our daily operations, we can make them getting involved with their work tasks what will bring a substantial increase in their performance. Nowadays I believe our relationship between employees is above average but there is still a big power-? distance within Trivalor.
This comes hand-? in-? hands with the decentralization of our daily decisions, which I believe some of these have the potential f being made from bottom-? up rather than following our historical rigid and traditional top-? down hierarchy model as in many cases it is the workers down the hierarchy chain have best knowledge of some the operational processes. Studies suggest that workers that feel their importance to the organization, and that are trusted with a great deal of information, tend to feel more involved, making better-? informed decisions about operational facts. Further, from an organizational behavior point of view, people tend to be concerned with affiliation within a group and the fact of feeling that they are part of something has lso a very positive effect in their performance.
People do worry about their work relationships and about the other worker’s opinions on themselves. Reciprocity should be a central concept to bear in mind, defended by Pfeffer when managing the relations between an organization and its co-? workers. To me, even searching in common sense, my empirical experiences suggest that people work better under devotion than obligation, and workers often tend to be much more pro-? active giving valuable and balanced input and new ideas when they feel a inner rush to please their superiors and the organization, rather than working n a fear oriented regime, where individuals respond by impulses. Deepened by further research I must underline my belief that by uniting all the above factors, would constitute an important milestone in the process of achieving what Professor Michael Beer identified as the three main goals in the quest for success in management.
First, Performance Alignment1, the designing of a winning strategy to achieve long-? term goals, (by training and coaching our employees). Second, a Psychological Alignment, providing to our co-? workers a mindset that fosters meaning of their task, challenging work, a pleasant work environment nd the capacity to make a difference (through offering more autonomy, respect and conditions) and finally Capacity for Learning Change, by making everyone from the lowest level to senior places feel like part of something-? our company. 1 High Commitment High Performance: How to Build A Resilient Organization for Sustained Advantage, Michael Beer Hardcover, August 2009 4 Implementation Challenges Analyzing our company, it is not hard to spot some of our pit-? falls when it comes to high performance management tactics.
When reading the points described above you might end up asking yourself, if this analysis is not just resenting facts of good sense, and that the position defended by Pfeffer is obvious. But if this is true, why do we then fail to implement the suggested changes in our organization? The first reason that can come up to your head is cost. As I am aware, mainly due to externalities like the 2008 downturn crisis our group has been trying to cut costs, mainly changing processes (specially logistics) into a lean management style, and betting on credit recuperation, although opting always by not laying-? off co-? workers.
This might seem stressful time to propose these kinds of structural changes to the shareholder, as we have een feeling pressure from upstream to retain costs. Nevertheless I would argue that even in the medium term, the results will be felt, and by implementing some of these changes would have a positive effect on our employees trust, representing a boost in the recuperation from last year hard times. Further, as our macro-? economic situation in Portugal is very unsure at the time, as our government is struggling to approve its deficit budget with the European Union, I believe that these measures could consolidate our firm’s image that no matter what, we keep our dynamic capabilities and do not stagnate our processes even in imes of economic downturn. This, not to mention the confidence passed to our co-? workers that currently face a confidence crisis triggered by the media alarmism. We must not fall in the trap of following our competitor’s measures in order to secure our market position.
Also I believe that by having a single shareholder we are in a privileged position, as if we are able to expose and adopt these tactics, we do not suffer pressures from other shareholders that could eventually feel they are being putted second after the employees. Concluding, my last point resides on our company being a pioneer when it comes to rewarding ethods. It was in fact the first group in the country to implement the “American reward system”, knowledge acquired by our Shareholder in the beginning of his life still as a manager working in the U. S. Our system relies on meritocracy, and even at the lowest levels, let’s take for example a cook in one of our hospital canteen, can make up to 20% of her base salary if there is a compliance and dedication to schedules, attendance and customer satisfaction. Nevertheless, I believe that in addition to this, there could be offered an extra remuneration to the team as a whole including the cooks, the responsible of the canteen