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The state in which it is found that there is emotional and intellectual commitment of the employees to the organization is referred to as employee engagement. There are three different primary behaviors that are used to measure this engagement and these are striving, stay and say. Employee engagement is important as because there is significant contribution to organizational performance by the engaged employees (Ramesh & Nayak, 2014). This in turn leads to improvement in quality of customer service there by leading to increase in customer satisfaction and improvement in financial performance of the organization. Thus, in basic terms employee engagement is an approach at the workplace that has been designed so as to ensure the commitment of the employees towards organizational values and goals. This ensures that there is motivation for the employees for contributing towards the success of the organization. This also ensures the employees are able to enhance their own sense of well being. There are different drivers of employee engagement in an organization. Some of these drivers are Work processes, job security, team work, growth prospects of career, performance management and training for leadership, communication, organizational culture and national culture. For the purpose of this essay, it is also important to define what is meant by national culture. In this regards national culture can be defined as a set of values, assumptions and beliefs that are learned by the individuals in early childhood and is found to distinguish a group of individuals from another group of individuals (Kim and Hancer, 2011). The following essay would analyze the impact of one of the drivers that is to say the impact that national culture has on employee engagement in case of multinational organizations. The essay would analyze the role that can be played by HRM in addressing these issues.
Amongst the several factors that are found to have an impact on the engagement of the employees in the workplace, surveys have identified six different core areas that are understood to have the strongest influence on engagement of the employees and also results in the creation of a workforce that is strong and productive. The six core areas that have been identified in this regards are performance expectations from the employees, availability of the resources that are required for getting the job done, Praising or recognizing the work done by employees, there is opportunity for the employee to do something that he does best, The supervisor is caring to the employee and there is support from the supervisor for the development of employees. Thus, as
opportunity for the employee to do something that he does best, The supervisor is caring to the employee and there is support from the supervisor for the development of employees. Thus, as seen through this above discussion there is a critical role that is played by the relationship of the manager with the employee in the productivity and retention of that particular employee. Thus the point to ponder over here is that the effect that differences in national culture of the employee and the manager has on this relationship. Culture of the individual has a profound impact on the way he behaves or what he expects at the workplace. The organizational culture on the other hand is shaped and determined by a range of different factors.
Thus considering the significance that the relationship between manager and the employee has on employee engagement, thus it can be said that wider the gap in the culture of employee and the manager, lesser would be the retention and productivity of the employee. It is also seen at the same time that the sources of labor, technical expertise, capital and supplies are becoming increasingly more and more globalized. It is important to point out in this context that the problem solving skills that are based in a particular cultural setting is found to be inadequate for addressing the issues that are found to span the time lines, boundaries of nation and institutions (Robertson & Cooper, 2010). It is found that mono-cultural teams are found to think together as a group. This results in blind spots in thinking or areas that are overlooked and this is not found to be conductive while solving tougher problems. As compared to mono-cultural teams, it is found that multicultural teams are more creative while they try to solve a certain problem. However, the problem that is faced by multi-cultural organization is that they face problems while establishing common grounds of communication, making decisions and solving problems.
For instance the difference between the culture of the manager and the employee might be explained by taking the following incidences into consideration. A manager, whose perspective is more interdependent, might expect that there is a level of team work between the team members. In such a case an employee whose perspective is of independent nature would find himself as misfit in the situation. On the other hand a manager whose perspective is independent nature might perceive employees who have a more interdependent perspective as
he ones lacking initiative. The employees belonging to different cultures have different expectations related to their attitude towards status. For instance some employees might expect that the managers would have exact answers to the queries that the employees have. On the other hand there are employees having egalitarian perspectives and such employees might expect that the manager would have a facilitative style of management in which they would expect more answers from the subordinates. Similarly a manager who is more relationship based would consider the employees who are more task focused as ones who just want to get on with their task. On the other hand a manager who is more task-oriented might neglect the necessity to nurture and build personal ties with employees who are relationship oriented
The research has indicated that the success can be enjoyed by the companies if they try and move the employees along the engagement continuum. This can be done through directing of those programs that are directed towards the enhancing of global drivers of engagement. However, in order to ensure optimal performance of the employees multinationals would also consider the effect that local difference has on the employees. In this regards it is important to understand the influence of national and regional cultures on the perception of the employees.
The goal of the employee engagement program is also to ensure the well being of the employees at the workplace. The greater is the well being of the employees, greater is the amount of commitment of the employees towards the organization and the organizational goals. While understanding the wellbeing of employees at work it is important to consider the differences that exist between the individuals on a national and individual level (Shuck & Wollard, 2010). It has been found in this regards that there is variation of wellbeing between the individuals as well as between the countries to which the individuals belong (Sutton, Evans, Davies & Lawson, 2016). It has been that in case of those employees who have a higher amount of extraversion and lower amounts of neuroticism are found to have a higher amount of subjective well being. It is also found that the age of the employees also has an effect on the well being of the employees. Along with the differences between individuals that is found to have an effect on the well being of the employees, it is also found that the differences in between nations and between two different ethnic groups of the same nation also has an impact on the well being of the employees. The factors that were found to have an influence on the cultural difference were self enhancement between the employees, wealth and the differential values that the different cultures ascribe to happiness (Sutton, Evans, Davies & Lawson, 2016).
The perception that the employee forms about the work environment is found to be in turn influenced by the national culture of employees. In order to be effective it is required that the leaders should behave within the cultural context that is expected by the employees. If the leaders cannot do this then they cannot be considered as effective. The national culture to which the employee belongs is found to have an impact on the work related outcomes of the employees. It is also important to consider that the national culture of the employee has an impact on the way in which the employee appraises the working environment on the organization.
Leaders were significantly rated higher in terms of consideration behavior by those employees who lay within congruent dyads. It has been stated by the researchers in the past that there would be development of positive relationship in between the followers and leaders when it is found that they belong to the same culture (Kim and Hancer, 2011). In case there is divergence between the corporate culture and the national culture of the employee, then it is likely to lead towards delayed work processes, miscommunication and conflict at the workplace. This was especially found in case of China wherein the national culture is quiet strong. In fact it is found that understanding and the approach towards work of the employees is influenced by the national culture of the employees. It is seen that performance of the employees is influenced by beliefs, assumptions and values that are held by them. Thus, if the management practices are found to be consistent with deeply held assumptions, values and beliefs of the employees then it would be seen that the performance of the employees would improve.
In this regards it can also be seen that the there is a consistency in the style of leadership in a particular culture. It can thus be conversely said that there is considerable variations in leadership styles across different cultures (Volpone, Avery & McKAY, 2012). In accordance to the cultural In this regards it can also be seen that the there is a consistency in the style of leadership in a particular culture. It can thus be conversely said that there is considerable variations in leadership styles across different cultures (Volpone, Avery & McKAY, 2012). In accordance to the cultural background to which an individual is found to belong, assumptions might be made by the person regarding his or her leader based on the prototypes of leadership. Thus it can be expected that in countries of different cultural profile, there would be differences in leadership styles or leadership prototypes that occur. Greater is the variation of leadership concept between the relevant attributers and foreign managers, lesser are the chances of cross cultural leadership being effective in that particular country.
In case of international business, it is remarkable to see the way in which management is approach in different ways by different cultures across the world. It is important to consider over here that there is not a single way in which business can be done. Thus, as technology is used for narrowing the whole worlds and as globalization is used for shaping the economies of the world, it is important to give sensitive consideration to the way in which different cultures operate. This is becoming more and more essential in the context of business.
In this regards it is important to talk about the works of Geert Hofstede. Hofstede has used 5 different dimensions of cultures for the purpose of classifying the cultural characteristics of a nation. The 5 different dimensions of cultures in the Hofstede model are referred to as power distance, individualism vs. collectivism, Masculinity vs. Femininity, Uncertainty avoidance and short term vs. long term orientation (Minkov, Blagoev & Hofstede, 2012). It was found by Hofstede in his studies that were conducted through questionnaires, there were considerable differences amongst people belonging to different countries in perspectives of these cultural elements. The difference becomes more profound when a typical country in east (for instance China) is compared to a country in the west (America).
Power distance talks about the way in which the individuals accept the inequality that exists in society. Are the individuals comfortable with the level of inequality that persists in the society or are they uncomfortable with this level of inequality. It is considered as a central element of the national culture to which an individual belongs. This is due to the fact that the power distance as a dimension has an influence over the acceptance and endorsement of the characteristics of a job power distance talks about the way in which the individuals accept the inequality that exists in society. Are the individuals comfortable with the level of inequality that persists in the society or are they uncomfortable with this level of inequality. It is considered as a central element of the national culture to which an individual belongs. This is due to the fact that the power distance as a dimension has an influence over the acceptance and endorsement of the characteristics of a job those are related to power and status. This also in turn has a major implication on the practice of international human resource management. This is due to the fact that the importance that different situational job characteristics have for the job satisfaction of the employees is found to be different across different cultures (Hauff & Richter, 2015).
Individualist society is that society wherein the self gets more priority as compared to others. Thus in such a society there is more glorification of the self in terms of self realization, self actualization etc. On the other hand in a collectivist society, the factor that assumes central focus is family or group. Here the individual is dominated by the thought of family or society. In case of those employees who are found to belong to an individualist society, there is a strong belief of having freedom in job as the trait that is more important. As compared to these employees, people from a collectivist culture give more importance to group harmony, duty, security and obedience.
In masculine culture competitiveness, ambition and assertiveness assumes a greater value as compared to a feminine culture in which a greater value is attributed to quality of life and the relationship that one has with others.
In cultures that are characterized by low levels of uncertainty avoidance, it is seen that people accept the inevitability of change and risk that exists in life. Thus they prefer to have rules and guidelines that are flexible in nature and can be changed according to changing timers. As compared to these people, there are those who have high levels of uncertainty avoidance. These people does not like risks and change and push for greater structure and hard and fast rules.
In case of a culture whore orientation is longer term there is a strong degree of emphasis that is placed on social obligations, family and discipline. As compared to the long term oriented society there are societies that are based on short term and in these societies people place a greater emphasis on short term gratification of senses.Thus, as seen from the above discussion national culture has an important influence on the effectiveness of employee engagement program. This is for the simple fact that that a thing that might work in one culture, might not work in a different culture. There are two learning for the human resource that emerges out of the discussion in the above pages. The first point that emerges out of the above discussion is that the factors that might have an effect on the employee might be out of control of the organization. For instance, it is seen that demographic differences and personality traits are found to have a close relationship with the employees of the people. Secondly the programs of the human resource management that are directed towards the engagement of the employees would be more effective if they are tailored to the cultural and individual needs of the employees as compared to those programs that are designed as one-size–fits-al. If the offerings for increasing the engagement of the employees are tailored to the individual needs of the employees and the effect of national culture on them, then they are more likely to result in increase in the return on investment.
In this regards it is also important to point out that if the organization wants that the best of human resource should be working for it then it should give a treatment to the employees that is unparalleled. Human resource practices are found to have an effect on the motivation of the employees and are found to be instrumental in ensuring that the organization enjoys sound health (Chaudhuri, Kakkar & Shekhar, 2013). The researchers in this regards have been able to come out with six core areas that are found to have a profound effect on the employees and the way in which they perceive the working style of their organization. It is important for the organization to work with a socio-technical perspective if it wants that the employees should perceive it as a proactive organization.
In this regards use of newer tools of information technology, better use of human resource information systems, prognostics, along with social initiatives that are directed towards generation of greater morale, trust, knowledge of the employees would result in a social environment in the organization that is healthier (Truss, Alfes, Delbridge, Shantz & Soane, 2013). As in case of most multinational organizations, it is required that they have to work successfully across a number of different boundaries, it becomes important for them to focus on building skills such that their managers are able to offer effective management across a number of different cultures. There might be variation of comparisons of culture form norms of the nation if examination is based on corporate or team basis. There should not be any rigid stereotypes in this respect as there might be variations in data as new information and data are acquired. It is also important to keep in consideration that the profiles of individuals might have a greater variation as compared to the averages of national cultures.
In this regards it is recommended that the managers should follow a three step formula while addressing cultural differences. The steps are referred to as 1) Awareness of the self, 2) Acquiring knowledge about the similarities and dissimilarities that exists between the self and others, 3) efforts that are taken by the management for bridging those gaps that are of significance.
Employee engagement is a process that is required for ensuring the commitment of the employees towards the values and goals of the organization. In this regards there are several factors that have an influence on the engagement of the employees. In this regards one of the most important factors is the effect that national culture has on the engagement of the employees. There are different factors of national cultures and it has an influence on the perspectives and expectations of the employees. In this regards, the managers and the human resource department of the organization needs to understand the difference between the cultures of the employees and consider this while designing the employee engagement programs.
After doing the assignment in the above pages, I have come to understand that the human resource management as a department is diverse and complex as well. There are number of issues that are to be considered by a professional in the human resource department. These factors are needed to be considered so as to ensure that the employees or the human resource of the organization stay motivated. While designing policies for engaging the employees, for ensuring that the employees are motivated and for ensuring that there is well being of the employees there are different factors that needs to be considered. Over here it is also important to emphasize the importance of employee engagement. The main resource of the organization is the human resource. The employee engagement practices are designed so as to ensure the commitment of the employees towards the values and goals of the organization. It is important for the organization to engage the employees as because if the employees are not engaged then it would be impossible to achieve the goals of the organization. More importantly in the absence of commitment from the employees the organization would not be able to produce goods that are superior and sell those so as to earn a higher percentage of revenue and profit. Organization also wishes to ensure that there is general well being of the employees. However, there are number of different factors that have the possibility to increase the well being of the employees, increase their motivation and increase their engagement to organizational goals.
In this regards one of the most important factors is the relationship between the employee and the manager. For the relationship between the manager and the employee to prosper, it is important for the manager to understand the needs and wants of the employees. In this respect, comes the importance of national culture. National culture has an important role in shaping the employees. National culture consists of a group of values that shapes the individual from his or her childhood and ensures the ways in which he or she can be considered to be different from another individual belonging to a different culture. The effect of culture is found to have an impact on shaping the perception of an individual employee and his characteristics of working in an organization. In this respect the manager is also shaped by the culture to which he or she belongs. In case of multinational organization such issues become important to consider as unlike the case of an organization which has operations only in one country, a multinational organization has operations in a number of countries. This means that as compared to the case of an organization that has operations in only one country and in which people are more likely to belong to the same national culture, in case of a multinational organization there are people belonging to different national cultures that come and work together at one place. Thus in case of a multinational organization a manager has to work with employees who have different perceptions and expectations which in turn are influenced by the national culture to which that person belongs.
This is important to consider as and when there is a mismatch in national cultures of the manager and the workers there is also going to be a difference between their expectations and perceptions. This results in conflicts within the organization. Such as environment leads to lack of employee engagement, lack of motivation and lack of well being amongst the employees of the organization. In order to cope with the situation it is first important for the manager to understand the factors that define culture of a country. One model that can help in this understanding is the Hofstede model of organization culture. There are several dimensions of Hofstede’s model and these dimensions are used to define the culture of a particular nation. This understanding is important as the managers should modify the management style in order to suit the conditions of the country in which the organization has been established or in accordance with the employee that the manager is dealing with. It is also interesting to see the way in which management is approached by cultures of different countries. It is important in this regards that there is not a single way of doing things and the managers should understand this and should be receptive enough to be able to accept the management style of different countries.
In this regards it is also important to point out a few more important facts that I have come to understand over the course of this assignment. In regards to the differences in national cultures and a host of different factors that influences the engagement, well being and motivation of the employees there are two important factors that are important to consider over here. First it
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