article aims to understand why high performance work system are important for
an organization for the efficiency of employee control which will then function
that helps the organization in generating shareholders wealth. Employee engagement and satisfaction are the two main
drivers for an organization to achieve its set goals in a timely and efficient
manner. This essay will talk about how high performance work systems lead to
better management of employees which in turn helps the organization in
achieving efficiency. Lets look at a few companies that have established work
systems that have helped them in obtaining superior results.
The tech firm Full
Contact every year offers its employees a paid vacation of $7500. The
company has only one rule, the employees actually have to travel somewhere and
can’t do any work or answer work related calls or messages. The company feels
that employees that return from a vacation are in a better state to work and
are pushed towards achieving the goals of the company. This policy makes the
employees feel that their hard work is being recognized. American Express is another organization that has been rated one of
the top workplaces in the world. The company provides its employees paid leaves
and health insurance. They also provide their employees options of on-site
recreational activities like on site gym and cafeteria at its headquarters in
New York, they give their employees an option to work from home as long as
there is no dilution in the quality of work. The social media giant Facebook has been rated one of the best
places to work. They provide their employees with perks like gourmet food
courts, on site-doctors, chiropractors, laundry and dry cleaning services,
bikes to commute around campus, and four months of paid parental leave for
mothers, fathers and same sex couples. Southwest Airlines has been the most
profitable airlines in the past three-decade in the United States of America,
the company every year uses its retained earning to share them more equitably
with their employees than growing the airlines. It is known for providing the
best customer service and it builds this by engaging employees in successful
ways. So it is possible, we can design a successful company by listening to the
employees and by engaging them in decision-making as well as provide high
quality service. Both Amazon and Microsoft have been known for setting ruthless
performance measurements. But in order to grow further even Amazon had to bring
in the concept of high performance work systems. Earlier it used a Rank and yank approach,
which meant rewarding the top employees and firing the poor performers but then
it, started a training program called Pivot which gives a chance to the
employees to visit an in house counselor before finally quitting the job, so
that they don’t feel demoralized and dissatisfied. The employees of an
organization are the intellectual assets, which can attract and develop
powerful and strategic decision-making that helps the organization to succeed.
These are just few examples of companies that have focused on
promoting employee engagement and satisfaction using high performance work
systems in order to get superior results. It is important for all organizations
whether small or big to have work systems that motivate their employees to
work. Even for companies that are just starting up, it will be very helpful if
they inculcate this culture within the organization from the start.
HRM practices are the ones that the leading firms adopt to
support their businesses.
Training employees on and off the job to help them learn specific
knowledge and acquire specific skills for the job required. Training on the job
also involved development; some skills that an employee learns while training
at the job might be used outside the office life that provides long-term
professional and organizational growth. Some of the things that an employee
learns at the training are supporting its colleagues or team members. An average working class spends 6-7 hours of
the daily life in an office environment and having a deep understanding of
oneself and what the company is asking for is very important. Training helps a
person to do exactly that.
Also, psychological safety is extremely important for a employee
to succeed is his/her job and it can only come when the employees knows his/her
job thoroughly. Training helps one do that.
Example of a
Boston Consulting group is the one of the top companies in which
the employee satisfaction is maximum. It is so because the company understands
that it is important to challenge the employees (Goal setting approach) in
order to bring out their best work. If they are not challenged, they will
become lethargic and their work will be mediocre.
The company’s strategy involves hiring people from different
backgrounds and mixing them in teams, this way the employees are exposed to
different cultures and living. In an interview BCG employees said that the life
outside the office is also great as there is no pressure that one carries back
home from work.
The diversity and challenging environment constitutes to the
high performance work system that the company maintains to keeps its employees
satisfied and in control of the company jurisdiction in terms on following
rules and maintaining a healthy work environment. The human recourse department
has a big hand in recruiting individuals that will adapt to the new challenging
environment and with their colleagues easily and flexibly.
When rules are not obeyed
A strong an effective high performance work system is very
important in any firm. Abuse at workplace is a very common phenomenon and there
are people intimidated and threatened by their co-workers or superiors. People
often quit their jobs because of this issue because they are not fully open
about this to their superiors or co-workers.
One way to look at this problem is that if the wrongdoers are
punished in front of other employees so that the fear is inculcated in people’s
mind about never to try any wrong doing with anybody in the workplace
Profit is one of the main reasons a company enters into a
business. Employee engagement helps companies in achieving their goal of
generating profits. It is important as it improves the performance and
productivity, which in turn will lead to higher revenue and better bottom line.
For ensuring employee engagement it is important for employers to have the
right work environment, challenges and incentives for its employees. Employee
engagement can depend on several factors like:
A purpose is like a vision, which helps employees understand
what the company does, who they work for and what are they expected to do.
It is the responsibility of the manager to evaluate and reward
employees for superior performance, this motivates employees to work harder
It is important to maintain a good reputation with the employees
and gain their trust. It makes employees feel more secure and can lead to
Friendly relationships with colleagues can bring in a sense of
team spirit, which can lead to employee engagement.
Employees should be paid on the basis of their performance or as
per industry standards. This practice can help keep the employees motivated
Sufficient growth opportunities should be available to the
employees. These opportunities allow employees to learn new skills and keeps
It is important for every manager to understand what motivates
his/her employees. He should ensure that he provides them with an environment
that helps both the employees and the organization to achieve its goals.
HPWS is not a one size fits all model, it is a combination of HR
practices bundled together for maximizing employee knowledge, skill, commitment
It is a framework that aims
at creating an environment in an organization where the employee has greater
involvement and responsibility. HPWS helps the organization to understand what
kinds of jobs are needed by the organizations; it also helps them in designing
these jobs and identifying the right candidates for these positions. FW Taylor
developed a scientific model of organization, this model aimed at finding the
right jobs for the workers and rewarding them with adequate compensation. He
believed that unions wouldn’t be created if the employees were paid well.
There are four principles of High Performance Work Systems
Egalitarianism: Employees should
feel like a part of the team, the aim of this principle is to eliminate the
power and status differences among the employees at different level and promote
teamwork, which leads to productivity.
Information: This principle encourages employers to share important
information about the company with the employees and invite productive
feedback; this helps in creating a peaceful and healthy work environment in the
organization and also makes the employees feel that they are part of the
Development: This principle aims at promoting skilled development of
employees; the manager should encourage and promote their team members to learn
more skills so that they can provide more value to the organization.
linkage: Employees should be given incentives and targets that motivate
them in order to get better results. Performance based rewards give the
employees a feeling of being important as their contributions are recognized.