This paper will be a case analysis on a management issue affecting organisations supporting asylum seekers. These organisations face different management issues including lack of funds, low staff morale and absentees among staff. From the discussion, it will be seen that communication is an important tool that can help the management solve some of these problems.
Many asylum seekers have sought support from privilege trust organisations. There are many asylum seekers from Africa. However, the asylum seekers do not have access to relevant documents and can therefore not secure jobs in the UK. With no income, the asylum seekers live destitute lives. To support the asylum seekers, the privilege trust organisation receives funding from different organisations with the main source coming from the Big Lottery.
Over the past few years, asylum seekers have had good services and support within the organisation. However, over the past few years, the asylum seekers have complained that the employees have not provided with the emotional and psychological support that they need. The asylum seekers have complained that the employees have been rude and have not taken care of their interests. To improve the services for asylum seekers, the management interviewed employees on why the services to asylum seekers have reduced. Most of the employees said that they are overworked, they are not well remunerated for their services and do not have the necessary training to meet the diverse needs of the asylum seekers. There are even instances when the employees absent themselves because the low motivation that they experience.
This is a problem that the organisation has had for quite some time now. The reason for this is that the organisation does not have enough money to finance its operations. The organisation is now on the verge of closing down due to lack of funds.
As a matter of concern, there are many instances that all employees have reported to work yet asylum seekers have not been receiving services from the organisation. It was reported by one of the asylum seekers that the employees just report to their offices and are seen just chatting among them. One of the employees confided in some asylum seekers that they are disturbed because they are not very sure of their future within the organisation. In addition, they are not sure of some of their roles within the organisation. The employees also stated that they are forced to report to work even if they are having some family or personal challenges because they want to secure their jobs.
Discussion of the issues
There are different issues that have emanated from the above case study. Due to lack of funds to support asylum seekers, there are communication and negotiation issues that have come about. The aim of this discussion is to dissect the communication issues that affect privilege trust organisation. The rationale for this is that communication affects productivity and performance of organisations (Downs & Adrian, 2012). It is therefore important that the issue is discussed so that managers can have an understanding of the different ways in which they can improve the performance of organisations.
There are many communication issues in this case. The first issue is that the management has not communicated with the employees on the financial difficulties facing the organisation. It is important that employees are continuously informed on the general matters that influence their role within the organisation (Dăneci-Pătrău, 2011). This information helps in better understanding of the management actions, reducing misunderstandings that may arise in the daily functions of the employees and enhancing the mutual trust and respect between the employers and the employees. In this case, it can be seen that the management did not inform the employees of the financial difficulties that the organisation was facing. Good communication between managers and employees helps in improving the success of the organisation and its activities (Dăneci-Pătrău, 2011). There are non-verbal forms of communication that may occur between employees and asylum seekers. Non-verbal communication includes aspects of body language and the manner in which the asylum seekers thought that the employees were rude and were not sensitive to their responses. The management should institute a policy to ensure that employees are not rude to asylum seekers. In addition, the management should use soft skills to help employees improve their communication skills. Some of these methods include having good interaction with the employees so that the employees can learn good communication skills from them (Larson & Kleiner, 2004).
The performance of the organisation like the one in the case study is affected by employee behaviour. The employee behaviour is important in communication activities. There are different aspects of organisational communication like the source of information being communicated, the medium of communication and the target group (Hoogervorst, van der Flier & Koopman, 2004). Communication in organisations should not just be for the purposes of transferring information. Rather, communication should help in creating a culture where employees feel that they are loved, valued and appreciated by the organisation. This will help employees in correctly understand the message contained in the communication (Dăneci-Pătrău, 2011). This is based on the fact that modern organisations are increasingly facing different challenges including the complex nature in which modern organisations have been structured. The complex organisational structures have also affected performance and delivery of services (Dăneci-Pătrău, 2011). In addition, most employees are looking for satisfaction at work due to the complex nature of their roles. The management structure should be relaxed so that bureaucracy within the organisation is eliminated. There should be a direct contact between management and the employees.
Lack of communication has brought about the abseentism problem within the organisation. Abseentism may be defined as the temporary withdrawal from an organisation due to different reasons including illness, stress, personal and family reasons among other reasons (Meško, et al., 2013). Abseentism is a problem that is experienced in many organisations irrespective of the size of the organisations. Abseentism is very expensive for the organisation and may prevent the organisation from achieving the objectives (Gangai, 2014). It looks like the organisational managers have not fostered open communication with the employees. The lack of open communication has affected employee morale. This is because employees are not comfortable when seeking clarification for some issues. For example, from the case study, it can be seen that there were some issues that the employees were not aware about.
A highly communicative environment helps in improving staff morale thereby improve their productivity. It is important to note that the management can do everything right to ensure that employees are satisfied. However, if the employees feel that they are not being heard and their views are not being considered by the management, then they are likely to be demoralised and this may affect their performance.
Organisations helping asylum seekers just like other organisations have different productivity goals. There are different ways in which productivity may be measured within the organisation including input-output ratios, quality and quantity of work, abseentism, project success, number of errors and complaints and performance ratings among others (Downs & Adrian, 2012). The implication of this is that each organisation has a way of measuring productivity. Communication is at the centre of informing the employees the parameters that are used in measuring their productivity. When the employees understand the productivity measurement parameter, they will struggle to ensure that they meet the performance measures and reduce instances of abseentism (Chopra, 2002). Abseentism reduces the productivity of employees. Productivity is measured in terms of the work output and the works completed by the employees. However, when this is not communicated, then the employees may feel that productivity is just measured through input-output ratios. This may make them absent themselves after they have achieved their objectives for the week or for the month (Downs & Adrian, 2012).
Employees may absent themselves from work because they want to engage themselves with things that satisfy them (Hin, Isa & Bohari, 2013). From the case study, it can be seen that employees are engaged in very challenging roles because they take care of the physical, emotional and psychological needs of asylum seekers. However, while doing this, they are not very sure of their pay because the organisation does not have money and is soon closing down due to lack of finances. This has a net effect of affecting the performance of the employees making them to absent themselves from the organisation.
There are instances when employees report to work but do not understand what is expected of them during such a day. This may also increase the costs for the organisation. The implication in this case is that the management may not have informed the employees that they can take sick days off. The employees may just report to their stations due to fear of losing their jobs despite the fact that they may not be productive in their roles (Schultz, Chen & Edington, 2009). In this regard, there should be open communication between the management and the employees which can lead to a clear definition of what constitutes “not feeling well” (Prater & Smith, 2011). This means that management should help employees understand the culture of the organisation so that employees know what is expected of them within the organisation.
Workplace attendance is of great importance to the organisation. Abseentism increases the cost of operations and may reduce the quality of services offered to organisations. Abseentism may increase the burden to employers as some of the absent workers may be critical to organisational performances. Good communication can help improve innovation within the workplace. This can help in better achievement of organisational goals. In addition, through innovation, the employees can find different ways of solving the challenging problems that they may be experiencing within the organisation. This will help in reducing the number of abseentism by the employees (Ragusa, 2011). Improvement in job design and ensuring that employees have all the necessary materials to complete their tasks help in reducing the amount of abseentism within the organisation.
It is not at all times that managers communicate good news to employees. However, even in such instances, it is important that employees are informed of the happenings within the organisation. This will help in reducing nervousness that may be experienced by employees and make the employees resort to rumours. The rumours deliver negative information that may not help reduce the anxiety felt by the employees. Open communication between managers and employees should therefore be inculcated within the organisation to help reduce employee anxiety and help in improving their performance (Schweiger & Denisi, 1991). This means that internal communication plays an important role in organising the work performance within the organisation. It is an important element of success of an organisation. Good quality internal communication increases employee commitment thereby reducing abseentism (Ragusa, 2011).
The other form of communication is between group teams. Groups influence the behaviour of employees. From the case study, it can be seen that there were no groups and group work within the organisation. This has limited the amount of communication within the organisation. This means that if there is open communication between groups to the extent that they can share some of their priorities and experiences, then the level of abseentism will be reduced within the organisation (Sanders, 2004).
Communication also occurs between employees and the customers. In this case, the customers are the asylum seekers who receive the services offered by the organisation. The overall culture of the organisation affects the nature of communication between the employees and asylum seekers (Griffin & Moorhead, 2013). One of the factors that might have affected communication in the case study is cultural difference and language barrier. Language barrier may describe the complexities and difficulties that people from different cultures or languages may face while trying to communicate in a common language (Shenton, 2012). As has been mentioned, communication can be improved by encouraging group work and elimination of bureaucracy within the organisation.
There are different ways in which the organisation may improve communication with employees so that they understand the status of the organisation and what is expected of them within the organisation. One of the ways in which communication can be enhanced is by creating more opportunities for informal talks between managers and employees. This can be done by having the manager’s work alongside their staff, take lunch with the staff among other initiatives. The casual and informal conversations can help in creating a culture of openness within the organisation. This will make the employees feel more comfortable in sharing their desires and requests. The openness will also make it easy for the managers to disclose even negative communication that the organisation is not performing well. In addition, open communication should be encouraged among employees themselves. This will help in making the employees influence one another and change their behaviour for the better.
The other way of reducing abseentism is that the organisation should clearly define to the employees what is expected of them. This should include information on how performance is measured within the organisation. This initiative will help in reducing abseentism because employees will work to ensure that they meet the minimum performance measures (Hirokawa, 1981). However, the management should be flexible enough so that in case employees are feeling sick, or may not perform their duties due to one or two stressors, then they should be allowed to take leave rather than report to the organisation and not perform to expectations. By allowing employees to take leave when they are stressed or when they cannot report to work due to a reason, the employees will feel motivated and valued by the organisation (Chopra, 2002).
The third way is that managers and employees should be trained on communication. Managers should be trained to be better listeners so that they can encourage employees to come to them in case the employees have any issues (Griffin & Moorhead, 2013). In addition, the organisation should have a system with which they can seek feedback from employees. This will encourage open communication within the organisation and improve the performance of the employees (Downs & Adrian, 2012). From the case study, it can be seen there was no training for the employees. The management did not also have a way of receiving feedback from the employees within the organisation.
For the above case study, it is important that the employees are supported in their roles. In addition, the organisation should seek for more funding so that employee salaries are paid in time. This will help in motivating the employees (Gargiulo, 2014). The organisation should perform a staff audit to determine the optimum number of employees needed within the organisation. This will help in proper job design so that employees do not feel overworked.
The organisation should have an attendance policy that should be communicated to the employees. The attendance policy should provide a clear guideline and statement on how attendance is promoted within the organisation. The policy helps managers, employees and their supervisors to understand their roles and what to do in case they want to absent themselves from work (Gargiulo, 2014). The policy will help define the role and purpose of every individual within the organisation. Through this, the employees will also better understand their roles. In addition, the policy will provide a means through which absence can be followed up within the organisation. This should help the managers in defining acceptable and non-acceptable attendance standards. In addition, the organisation should have different procedures for long term and short term absences. The policy should have a strict leave system so as to reduce abseentism (Chopra, 2002). The policy should have specific provisions for rewards and punishments for abseentism. These will help in creating an attendance culture within the organisation. However, rewards should be carefully planned so that they are not seen to be favouring some employees within the organisation (Chopra, 2002). These rewards and punishments should be clearly communicated by the management. Some of the rewards include better remuneration, medical benefit, sick days off and bonuses among other benefits. Finally, the management should institute stress strategies for workers within the organisation. This should start by first identifying the causes of workplace stress (Chopra, 2002). After identifying the stressors, the management should consider developing strategies that can help reduce the stress factors and improve employee performance. One of the ways is that the work environment should be properly designed so that it does not act as a source of stressor for the employees within the organisation. Open communication can also play an important role in reducing stress within the organisation. Open communication will help the employees to consider the workplace as their second home and will always want to be associated with the work environment (Chopra, 2002).
In conclusion, communication is an issue that affects every organisation. From the case study, it is seen that communication affected the performance of employees in the organisation to the extent that they absented themselves from their duties. Abseentism was brought about by the fact that the managers did not adequately communicate to the employees the expectations of their roles within the organisation. The case study shows that the organisation did not have open communication between the management and employees. It has been recommended that open communication is inculcated as a culture within all organisations (Chopra, 2002). This will enable employees to share their ideas on how the organisation can be improved. The employees should have a good understanding of what is expected of them within the organisation. Communication will help the employees understand what is required of them within the organisation. Through communication, employees are able to discuss with the management different issues that they face that may stop them from achieving their personal objectives while working for the organisation. This will help in reducing instances when employees report to work yet they do not understand what they should be doing. It also helps in reducing instances when employees completely absent themselves from work. It has also been found out that the organisation needs to have an attendance policy that can help in tracking work performance within the organisation. The details of this policy should be clearly communicated to the employees.
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