Symptoms: High employee turnover at API Suzanne Chalmers, who is one of the top talents in her area of expertise, is also leaving the company for a start up firm Statement of Problem: What strategies should API use to improve employee retention? How can they motivate Suzanne Chalmers to stay as a software engineer with the Advanced Photonics Inc.? Analysis: There are a number of factors which contribute to Suzanne Chalmers’ decision to leave API despite the fact that she is valued by the organization and persuaded to stay. . MARS Model The possible reasons for Chalmers behaviour under MARS are lack of motivation as well as situational factors: - Motivation Suzanne Chalmers no longer has the drive (intensity) and desire (persistence) in order to stay with API (direction). Even though she had chances to negotiate with Chan, she chooses to resign than negotiate the improved terms that would keep her motivated to stay in API. The company probably can no longer fulfill her need as an employee related to work challenges. Situational Factors Her need of self-actualization is very strong and the organizational environment constrains her performance through routine, and she would be motivated to expand her skill variety and job challenge. The company also struggles in offering adequate office space to employees, Chan himself pointing it out apologizing for the cramped workspace. 2. Employee Engagement and Job Satisfaction Employee engagement and job satisfaction are very important for a company’s and employee well-being.
One reason why the company has a high employee turnover is the job specialization, many of the employees being forced to leave for companies which offer job enrichment focusing on client relationships as well. Suzanne’s desire is to perform beyond narrowly defined job duties, her high level of absorption of work and strong self-efficacy to perform force her to leave the company for a start-up firm. The purpose of Suzanne’s meeting with Chan is to voice her dissatisfaction owards the fact that she is not challenged and her job became a routine. 3. Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory & ERG Theory In the case of employees at API, they would not be highly motivated by their existence needs because they are already well satisfied due to the fact that they are gainfully employed and easily have enough money to satisfy these needs. Next are relatedness needs which include a person's need to enjoy company and interaction with others, public recognition, and the need to feel safe around others.
This means that the company should have a culture and an environment that allows or even promotes employees to interact with each other and ensure that employees receive the appropriate recognition when it is due. Lastly there are growth needs which relate to self-esteem through personal achievement and fulfilling one's potential. Chalmers needs to fulfill higher needs such as self –actualization, growth, therefore her decision to leave the company. 4. Four Drives Theory Suzanne Chalmers’ insatiable need to achieve higher goals forces her turn to new companies to tackle new challenges because at API this is not facilitated.
She already has fulfilled her basic need; she would then focus on her higher needs such her need for status and recognition which lead to higher self esteem. She is already a senior employee in API and an expert in the Internet Protocol (IP) assignments. Her drive to learn is probably the most important and determines her to leave API and join another company to explore new opportunities such as meeting customers or working on capital proposal opposed to established firms such as API with many employees ensuring them to match staff with specific and specialized tasks. . Learned Needs She is a high achiever; she appreciates unambiguous feedback and recognition of success. Chan’s final attempt to attract her with the promise of monetary rewards (salary revision and options) will not tempt her. 6. Work – Life Balance As currently Chalmers has been tasked with high pressured assignments, she might feel that her work-life balance was missing. This can be seen from the fact that she spends a few months travelling with her husband after leaving API. 7. Job design
Chalmers seems to indicate that her work is becoming a routine. The case indicates that people rarely move around to different jobs at API. Instead, the company prides itself at keeping employees focused on their specialized area of expertise. While this may be desirable for many employees, there is an indication that Suzanne might want a career change or at least a break from her usual work. Even people in complex jobs can become tired of their jobs if they are very narrowly defined.
Another piece of evidence that job design is important here comes from information about the company Chalmers joined. She joined a start-up firm, likely one (as Chan explained) where employees perform a variety of work. 8. Rewards Financial Rewards might satisfy most needs to some extent, but for Suzanne Chalmers money and share options are not a high motivator. Alternatives: From the trend of valued employees leaving and then joining other firms, Chan should definitely formulate ways to prevent the trend of staffs resigning and keeping valuable staff with API.
Among ways to consider includes: Four- Drive Theory The graph that is below show how much we can improve Employee Motivation at API if we use all of the Four –Drives (Acquire, Bond, Comprehend and Defend) and not just one. Average for a firm/organization is 50% and if we only use one of the “Four-Drive” the Employee Motivation will increase to 56% but as I suggest we should use all of the Four-Drive and we will have a big positive change and end up at 88%, which is outstanding DrivePrimary Lever Actions
AcquireReward system - Different the good from average and poor performance - Tie rewards clearly to performance -Pay as well as your competitors| BondBond -Foster mutual reliance and friendship among coworkers-Value collaboration and teamwork-Encourage sharing of best practice| ComprehendJob Design-Design jobs that have distinct and important role in the organization-Design jobs that are meaningful and foster a sense of contribution to -the organization | DefendPerformance-Management and Resource –Allocation Processes-Increase the transparency of all processes-Emphasize their fairness-Build trust by being just and transparent in granting rewards, assignment, and other forms of recognition| The drive to acquire is most easily satisfied by an organization? s reward system. API will different the good performers from average and poor performance and at the same time you tie the reward to the performance and will gives the best people opportunities for advancement.
Encourage sharing of best practice which mean that there is more than one specialist in every area and API would not be so vulnerable if someone decides to terminate his job at API. The drive to comprehend is best addressed by designing jobs that are meaningful, interesting and challenging. Pros: * Three out of the four drives are “proactive” and we regularly try to fulfill them. There is only defend that is reactive and triggered by a threat. * Four-Drive Theory stats that everyone has the drive to acquire, bond, learn and defend and it’s a complete set there are no other fundamental drives excluded from the model * The Four-Drive theory incorporates both emotions and rationality and we know that emotions play a significant role in employee motivation Cons: * Subjective measurement of competencies The fulfillment of these four drives must be kept in “balance” that is, organizations should avoid too much or too little opportunity to fulfill each drive. The reason for this advice is that the four drives counterbalance each other and it could be hard to find the balance. * Reward system and skill-based pay plans could be expensive Job enrichment An alternative solution to calmer Suzanne Chalmers would be enriching her position at work with an increase in work responsibility. The job characteristic model states that meaningfulness stems from skill variety, task identity and task significance, which is ultimately the main factors of motivation.
If Chan were to offer Suzanne the position of project leader or management, this would then grant her a position with greater autonomy. This is important because it will be able to relieve some of the strain of long work hours by providing a little bit of leeway in how and when she would assign tasks to be accomplished, it would also benefit her in the sense of providing her with a sense of growth satisfaction by providing her with the responsibility of delegating tasks as well as leading her team. It is noted as well that Suzanne Chalmers is a very strong and dependable key player within Advance Photonics Inc. , through the text provided it is safe to say that Suzanne Chalmers is very team orientated since she had rejected the ffer of a bigger office due to unfairness to her team, Suzanne’s strength as a knowledgeable team player would no doubt be beneficial in guiding the team to achieve their goals. This is important because provided this good feedback and end results would increase work effectiveness which is a part of the main contributors to motivation as well. Pros: * Providing Suzanne with an opportunity to become a leader by providing her with a leading role would be a form of job enrichment which would bring her away from the feeling of ‘routine work’. * Granting her more responsibility, meaningfulness and knowledge of her results are all critical factors of psychological states which over all affects ones outcomes and motivation. Giving Suzanne the feeling of growth and achievement will reinforce her decision to stay. By appointing Suzanne a position in leadership, API now retains a strong member and leader of their corporation as well as reduces the turn-over in which has been one of the biggest problems for them. Cons: * There is a chance that Suzanne would still refuse due to ambiguity of knowing how long she would have to wait until the next project begun, especially since she has already claimed feeling suffocated by every day routine work. * The thought of possible receiving a pair of ‘Golden Handcuffs’ may scare Suzanne away from the offer, considering that she is already in a state where her mind set feels as if the redundancy of work is too great for her to stay. The possibility of Suzanne realizing that even as a project manager there is not enough skill variety and just more work stress, resulting in her leave shortly after being appointed Change in managerial approach Allowing employees to be more involved in the decision making process, it will ultimately contribute to the success of the organization. By offering high performers decision making power boost their moral and commitment to the organization, business accrue higher profits and stability and workers are more fulfilled and attached to the company because they have a voice in decision making. This could be a reason for Suzanne and other top employees to stay with API. Pros: Attraction and retention of employees (improvement results from increased satisfaction and involvement) * Improved morale and job satisfaction, reduced tardiness, turnover, and absenteeism * Greater staffing flexibility (increased flexibility results from cross-training and teamwork) Cons: * Salary and training costs (developing new skills and responsibilities for lower-level participants results in increased salaries and additional training) * Resistance by project members (if they are not positively affected by the program, they may resist it) * Lost time (participation takes time and can slow decision making because a number of people have to understand and accept the decision) Recommendation: Canadian Organizational Behaviour Keeping Suzanne Chalmers Group Case Analysis By: Eva Sandberg, Cristina Lazar, Preetal Bhatt, and Dzinh Nguyen February 28, 2012