Work is the single activity to which most of us devote the largest number of our waking hours, therefore, it is safe to say that our work experiences and activities have a high potential in contributing to our development and fulfillment. Work has deep and lasting effects on us; accordingly, there is a serious ethical responsibility for employers to take this issue into account. A positive work culture has values that every employee should know by heart. Let’s conduct a simple survey:
Most times, what you find is that the people working in a value-oriented sector (other than profit-focused) know and hold dearly their mission by heart. It is because these values and missions are accessible and branded into all of the company’s internal and external communications. Indicatively, a great work environment should be a breeding ground for genuine relationships – a true sense of human community where employees are motivated to form living spirits to their own advantages; and to attain the fundamental elements of their human needs through till actualization.
A man whose capacities are constantly engaged and challenged by his work will develop them. The man who only has to contribute his presence and physical energy will at the very least not succeed in developing his higher abilities in the process of working. At worst, if he has no unusual opportunities outside his work or is not endowed with unusual qualities, he will be positive. This goes to say how important Organizational job Design is paramount to its value and objective fulfillment. Consider and try to answer/ respond to these questions:
- What is specifically the ethical responsibility of your position/ business/ firm in relation to the design of jobs and the fostering of participation by your employees in decision making?
- Is there a duty never to design a job that does not allow for the exercise of initiative and independent thought?
- Is there a positive duty to maximize at all costs the characteristics of jobs that contribute to the full human development of the workers?
Taking a cue from the famous leaders: Google, Twitter, Zappos, Southwest Airlines, Nike, Nestle, and so many more. I believe that a safe and progressive workspace that allows and focuses on employee development and motivation accounts for progress and increasing profits. Arguably, there can be no value, productivity, or profitability without the human resources to set, interpret and carry out the various outlined tasks and objectives. Therefore, I choose to see the workforce as the key asset, most valuable and the first customer of any company hence, they must be treated with dignity and respect.
Likewise, there is no question of sacrificing blindly everything on the altar of job enrichment. Rather, it is a matter of taking advantage in a serious, committed, and systematic manner the opportunities available to design work in a way that will employ, motivate and stimulate the full human development of the workers, according to the real opportunities which exist at any given time. Progressing along this line will create value and more advantages to the business.
Furthermore, employees should not be labeled as tools for profits. Additionally, employers must recognize that their responsibility is beyond fair pay. For organizational productivity, it is important to design jobs in such a way that employees gain personal fulfilments. It is not enough for the professional fulfillment of an employee that his work is such that it gives him the opportunity to develop his capacities. If the end result of his labors is meaningless the important portion of the employee’s life that is spent at work will have been wasted, irrespective of whatever wonderful levels of skill went into that meaningless work. In the well-known words of Shakespeare, we could describe such highly skilled work as “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
The point is that by embracing a Service Paradigm and seeking to provide truly significant service to employees, businesses are discharging an important responsibility towards their employees. They make it possible for them to have professional lives that are meaningful and useful. If in doubt, consider the principle of fairness, an illuminating question that one can ask is:
- If it were somebody dear to me who had to perform this job, would I be satisfied that it is actually impossible for the time being to enrich it further?
- How honorable is the value of the work?
Take this time to reflect – As an employer, how significant are your services to your employees? Do you consider them as your first customers?
I hope you give this a second read and take the chance to review your job design and principles to human relations and people management.
Thank you for reading this article. Until the next time, stay safe.
Article by Ezinne Okuku