The case scenario Carly Curro presented focuses on a recent policy change her employer imposed on meal time requirements. The anonymous employer instituted optional thirty minute lunch breaks, which were previously mandatory, to employees. Those employees whom select to forgo their meal period will be allowed to leave work thirty minutes early. It is important to note that not all employees partake in the “no lunch” option, regardless all employees are still entitled to their two 15 minute paid breaks. Carly’s case further details how this organization relied upon feedback from its employees, through surveys and interviews, to develop the new policy change. Since the amendment was imposed job performance and organizational commitment is said to have increased, especially for those employees whom were not regularly taking lunch breaks. This scenario brings to light the specific question of motivation in the work force, and how a company, such as the one mentioned above, can find new ways to motivate their workforce and create increased performance and job commitment. The following report will analyze the impact this specific policy change can have on the overall work environment in the areas of motivation, performance, and commitment. Scholarly Framework
As David Wyld (2011) explains in his research brief on the correlation between salary and work place happiness, it is all but a myth that employee satisfaction goes hand in hand with financial compensation. Although individual studies aim to prove that this is true, researchers have done their due diligence in thoroughly assessing the results from 86 previous studies on the subject. They have discovered that although pay may be a motivator for some employees, larger wages do not directly correlate to a satisfied employee base. These researchers went on to compare an increase in wages to that of the short-lived joy of newlyweds, meaning that job satisfaction would only be temporary. These research findings are not an entirely new way of thinking and as Dan Pink explains in his presentation, The Puzzle of Motivation, “there is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does” (2009). This essentially means that most 21st century businesses are choosing to ignore the fact that the science of organizational behavior pertaining to motivation is not linked to reward and punishment, or extrinsic motivation, but rather intrinsic. Carly’s employer is implementing these concepts of intrinsic motivation to better the work environment, but is it really making a difference for employees? Analyze the case chosen
Although the policy change is strictly optional, research has shown that breaks taken at work can be beneficial to reducing stress levels for employees (Fritz, Ellis, Demsky, Lin & Guros, 2013). The key argument presented in these finding is that work breaks have measurable effects on employee well-being and performance. However, this research places a great deal of focus on the activities that employees partake in during their work breaks. Meaning if an individual uses this break time to read a book or enjoy a meal, as long as these activities are viewed as relaxing by the partaker, then they will demonstrate increased energy during the work day. This increased energy would then, presumably, correlate to a more productive employee. On the reverse side of the spectrum, if an individual uses their thirty minute break period to perform a task they find stressful then they would return to their work duties feeling fatigued, and therefore become less productive as the day goes on. Although the latter is of concern to employers finding ways to help employees actively seek out less stressful actives during the work day would be beneficial to both parties. This is because the more stress an employee experiences on a routine basis, the greater risk they are to become fatigued, experience memory loss and develop...
References: Colquitt, J.A., Lepine, J.A., & Wesson, M.J. (2013). Organizational Behavior: Improving
Performance and Commitment in the Workplace (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Mc-Graw-Hill Irwin.
Fritz, C., Ellis, A. M., Demsky, C. A., Lin, B. C., & Guros, F. (2013). Embracing work
breaks: Recovering from work stress. Organizational Dynamics, 42(4), 274-280. doi:10.1016/j.orgdyn.2013.07.005
Pink, D. (2009, July). The puzzle of motivation [Video file].
Retrieved by http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html
Wyld, D. C. (2011). Does more money buy more happiness on the job?. Academy Of
Management Perspectives, 25(1), 101-103. doi:10.5465/AMP.2011.59198457
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