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Employee Treatment as the Main Cause of a Company's Poor Performance


The main goal of any business is to make profit. However, some businesses succeed in their operations, while others fail. In such a way, many factors both internal and external contribute to business’ performance. Among those factors is how an employer treats his or her employees. Employees form the backbone of any company. These people interact mostly with clients. Employees therefore have a very significant influence on the amount of sales a business can make since these are the ones who can influence a customer whether to purchase a certain product or not. Good employee motivation is paramount for organization success.

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There exist many critical trends impacting the dynamics and employment relationship that further influence on how organizations have to manage their workers. Some of these trends refer to the ways organizations internally respond to such trends, others refer to changes that take place in the organization’s external environment. External factors include technological and social factors, economic challenges, local and governmental issues, political factors, unions, employer’s demands and workforce diversity. Internal factors include mission, policies, organizational culture, HR systems and organization’s structure.

However, most of companies’ management staff tend to mistreat employees since they view them as inferior especially those occupying the lowest level in the working hierarchy in particular, those who normally serve clients. They forget the ones who determine the company’s success. The way an employer treats employees has a very big impact on the business. A company may set strategies with an aim of attaining its goals and objectives but a serious obstacle, which the majority of companies’ management staff is not aware of, is how one treats the employees. If an employee is treated in a good way, he or she has a motive of working the best she or he can; this contributes to achieving the company’s goals and objectives easily (Tempe 1986).

Very insignificant but important actions can really motivate employees in pursuing his or her responsibilities. For example, a small salary increase makes one feel recognized by the management and as such he or she gets motivated to perform his or her responsibilities well to get more salary increment. If an employee works in an organization for a long period of time receiving the same salary, this person may get bored and feel that the management does not value him or her; this eventually leads to poor performance. Another thing that can motivate an employee is the fringe benefits (Tempe 1986). These are the benefits provided by an employer to an employee when the employee achieves certain goals in the company. Fringe benefits also make one work harder in order to achieve some set targets, which are normally the short term objectives aimed at acquiring the benefits; this leads to a company attaining its goals and objectives (Rudman 2003).

Arkansas, General Assembly & Bureau of Legislative Research (1985), in his work on sick leave benefits, retirement benefits, and salary increase benefits for seasonal employees, argues that salary increases and fringe benefits are a key for an employer to retain existing employees and recruit potential ones. Arkansas explains that the main reason why employees decide to quit their jobs is poor working conditions that they are subjected to. According to him, pleasing working conditions make an employee feel motivated and continue working for the same company, therefore reducing the cases of recruiting new employees frequently, which is called a rate of turnover.

Apart from the level of education one possesses, employers mainly look at the level of experience in the jobs a person had. This means that experience is very important for one to work effectively. Given this fact, it is important for employers to know how to retain their existing employees since they already possess enough experience. Improving their working conditions cannot cause any loss since it makes them add their efforts and show the best performance, which hence leads to business success.

The main aim of this research is driven by a passion to contribute positively to the current efforts that have been directed towards investigating the problem of what makes companies perform poorly in their operations, where mistreating employees is the major reason. The main aim of health and occupational safety programs is to foster a healthy and safe work environment. Employee health and safety may also protect co-workers, employers, family members, suppliers, nearby communities, customers, and other public members impacted by the workplace environment as well as reduce sick leave, disability benefit, and medical care costs.

Employee health and safety may involve interactions between a lot of subject areas, including public health, occupational (or industrial) hygiene, occupational medicine, industrial engineering/safety engineering, health physics, chemistry, and ergonomics. There exist such reasons for occupational health and safety as: moral based on unacceptability of putting health and safety of people at risk, making the moral case to senior management, duty of reasonable care, attitude of the society to moral obligations; legal such as enforcement (the preventive one); punitive (with the help of criminal sanctions), and compensative effects of law.; and economic such as direct and indirect costs associated with unhealthy workplaces and incidents and their influence on the organization.

Research Objectives

The key research objective is to find out whether mistreating employees contributes to companies’ poor performance. Other objectives are:

  1. To understand why some employees decide to quit their jobs
  2. To understand why some companies perform poorly while others succeeding in their business operations.

Research Questions

The research is aimed at answering the following questions:

  1. Why is mistreating employees the major cause of a company’s poor performance?
  2. Why do some employees decide to quit their jobs
  3. What makes some companies perform poorly, while others succeed in their business operations?

Literature Review

This section shows the past studies which have been conducted with an effort of investigating why mistreating employees is the main reason of a company’s poor performance. Mistreating employees have so many effects on a company but the main problem faced is the company’s poor performance. The issue of poor performance and the importance of employees in an organization have been investigated by many researchers. However, a few people have concentrated on the issue that mistreating employees is the main cause of a company’s poor performance.

The voluntary employee withdrawal and in attendance, it is argued that an employee without an interest in a job may at the beginning try to put some effort. However, if this employee gets no motivation from anybody, especially the employer, he or she may become bored with the work after some time (Koslowski & Krausz 2002). This employee may go on with the work but with minimal effort. Kieslowski and Kraus continue arguing that an employee may be tired of working in a certain position and the obligations may be too demanding. In such a situation, this person may decide to look for another job somewhere else; he or she may look for a job that would offer the same salary with the better characteristics, as a result, increasing the initial company’s rate of turnover contributing to poor performance.

Branham (2005) conducted another study on the issue related to the reasons why employees quit their jobs. According to him, stress is among the main reasons why workers decide to leave their jobs. His study reveals that 25% to 50% of all employees are experiencing dysfunction because of stress, which negatively affects them and makes their future work for the employer difficult. Branham (2005) continues with his argument that stress has various effects, which can lead to poor output and higher rate of turnover due to the quotas which employees cannot meet on staff.

Being aware that employees have the capability to give the necessary tools for the position is very important for the person trusting their employer. Branham provided another course of employees’ stress when an employer tries to minimize the company’s expenditure by assuming some positions and employing just a few employees making them have a larger amount of workload than normal and receive the same payment. In this way, an employee cannot handle all that and still produce quality work. This leads to poor productivity and results in poor performance for the whole company.

Branham (2005) also argues that some employers tend to care more about the revenue of the company and forget that their employees are the ones who contribute to the amount of revenue generated. Such employers may care less for the working conditions of their employees. Some employers may even decide to increase the working hours and others reduce their employees’ salaries to reduce the total expenditure. As a result, an employee can decide to quit, which increases the company’s rate of turnover and hence leads to poor performance.

Branham (2005) also argues that poor communication among the workforce can also contribute to the company’s poor performance. This is normally explained by the impact of the management, which is isolated and does not know how to communicate effectively with their workers. Poor communication makes employees feel unrecognized in the organization. When an employee feels that he or she is not recognized in any way, his or her performance will definitely deteriorate. One starts losing confidence in whatever he or she is doing in the company and all this leads to poor performance.

Clutterbuck (2007) conducted a study with an aim to investigate the causes of poor performance in different companies. In his work, he discovered three main causes that contribute to the company’s poor performance. Among the three causes are poor communication, poor working conditions, and high rate of turnover. Clutter & David argues that the most important issue for any business to succeed is effective communication among the workforce. The workforce in an organization is made up of all kinds of staff in all positions, from the top management to the lowest employee level. He argues that for a company to perform well there must be good relationship among the workforce in all positions. Human resource planning and management entail identification of personal skills, occupational categories, and performance and development needs of the personnel in an organization. The identification is linked to a strategic plan of an organization. The role of the strategic plan is identified in the future direction of the organization. Human resource management objectives are to ensure that the organization always has the qualified people with the right knowledge, skills and experience in the job that are applied at the right time and in the right place.

Human resource planning is important for considering the type of patient care management as budgetary costs should be involved and diversity of the client base to be served should be evaluated, while the education and knowledge level of the staff to be recruited are to be estimated. The organizational focus is recruitment, management, and providing direction to people in the organization. It deals with the issues related to employees such as compensation, hiring organizational development, performance management, safety, employee motivation and training. A strategic process involves management of people, environment, and workplace culture. Human resource planning entails the recruitment of appropriate employees, training and development of the hired employees. It also involves performance appraisal of the employees.

According to Anderson (2011), poor working conditions are also another factor leading to poor performance. He argues that, for an employee to get the working motivation on his or her level, he or she should work in pleasant working conditions. He suggests that many employers tend to care less about the working conditions their employees have and this makes them feel neglected. It makes them not work effectively, leading to low quality work and hence poor performance in the company.

Another cause of poor performance revealed in the study is a high rate of employee turnover. This cause is explained by the above mentioned poor working conditions. It is indicated that poor working conditions make an employee decide to quit the job and look for a better one. As a result, the initial company is forced to recruit new employees and incur some costs like advertising, conducting interviews, training the new employees among others. If this rate of turnover increases, the company’s total expenditure might also increase resulting in lower profit or even leading to a loss (Clutterbuck 2007).

Research Methodology

The study will employ a quantitative methodology. Quantitative research is chosen because of its capability to enable the study results to be generalized to other companies (Anderson 2011). The quantitative methodology shows that it will be useful during the study as it will help the researchers investigate 100 companies in terms of their performance and the challenges they normally face; these challenges will be concluded to be the cause of their poor performance. The research is designed as a survey. Survey research design will enable those who will be conducting the study to collect more information from the respondents on the causes of poor performance among companies (Bell 2013). The study’s respondents consist of about 2000 staff members occupying different positions in different companies. There will be investigated a total of 100 companies.

Sampling Techniques

The study will employ a simple random sampling technique in choosing the respondents as it is assumed that every employee is affected in one way or another and therefore anyone of them will be able to deliver the necessary information (Kumar 2008). During data collection, a questionnaire with both close-ended and open-ended questions will be used to collect data from the respondents. The close-ended questions will assist in collecting prearranged respondents’ ideas and thoughts concerning the issue (Bell 2013).

Data Collection and Analysis

Primary data will be used. It will be collected using a questionnaire, which will be made of both open-ended and close-ended questions. The questionnaire will be used because past studies have revealed that it helps in questioning a large number of respondents (Cohen, Manion & Morrison 2011). The questionnaire will be distributed among the 100 chosen companies through the top management who will be requested to redistribute it to all employees and answer the questions accordingly. Data collected will be well stored for further analysis. Data will then be analyzed in the form of tables, charts and graphs to make the study easily understood.

Validity of Research Instrument

Validity is the meaningfulness and accuracy of inferences that are based on the results of research, which are obtained from the data. Therefore, it has to do with how precisely the data obtained in the study presents its variables. Inferences based on such data will be meaningful and accurate if this data is a true reflection of the variables.

The instrument is valid as long as the content is relevant to what is being measured. Content validity is the extent to which data collected using a specific instrument represents a special domain of indicators or content of a particular concept. The content validity of the instrument will be assessed in two ways. First, the researcher will use professionals or experts in the field investigated. The researcher will discuss the items in the instrument with the supervisors, lecturers from the department and colleagues. These people indicated by cross or tick for every item in the questionnaire if it measured what it was supposed to. A coefficient of those measures will be computed. If a coefficient will be above 0.5, this implies the validity of the instrument.

Expected Study Contribution

This study is important because it will help companies in many ways and assist them in learning some of the ways they can use to improve their performance and overall get to know what they were not aware of initially. There are some ways in which companies will benefit from the study.

  1. The study will enable companies to realize the main cause of their poor performance to be the poor treatment of their employees
  2. Employers will also learn the importance of providing good working conditions to their employees as a way of motivating them to work the best they can.
  3. Employers will also be motivated to motivate their employees through increasing their salaries and proving them with fringe benefits, which will be a way of retaining the present employees and reducing the high rate of turnover, which contributes to poor performance.
  4. The study will also enable the top management in the companies to learn the importance of good communication among the workforce, as it will be revealed that good communication is the key to success in any business operations.
  5. In general, the study will make the companies performing poorly start improving, and the employees who have been mistreated will be treated well and provided good working conditions which will hence lead to good performance in companies.

Limitations of the Study

The expected limitations of the study are that some respondents will not be ready to deliver appropriate information because of some reasons such as poor literacy.

Ethical Consideration

It is very important for every study to maintain high ethical values to carry out a research involving human related subjects. Apart from improving the company’s performance, this research is also aimed at improving the poor working conditions subjected to employees as it has been identified as a major challenge experienced by employees in many organizations which is unethical. By making companies’ leadership understand the negative effects of mistreating their employees that leads to poor performance, it will be possible to make them try their best to provide their employees with good working conditions.

This is because the aim of any business is to make profit and if they discover this to be the main cause, thus reducing their profits or even leading to losses; they will implement changes as fast as possible and treats their employees well. Another reason is that the top management will get to understand that good communication is also vital for a business to succeed. As we have seen that their main aim is to make profit, understanding this will make the top management or company’s leadership treat their employees better in all levels and even allow them to introduce their ideas where appropriate hence reducing the cases of the top management discriminating those in low positions.

Resources Required

The following resources will be required to carry out this study:

  • a computer;
  • available literature that is books, articles, web pages among others to carry out secondary research on the subject;
  • SPSS latest version to analyze the data;
  • permission from the 100 selected companies’ leadership for carrying out primary research by means of questionnaires. Finance to travel and carry out the field work in Bangladesh.

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