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MHR 405 (330)
Chapter 2


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Ryerson University
Human Resources
MHR 405
Shannon Reilly

CHAPTER 2 CREATING A POSITIVE WORK ENVIORNMENT: ATTITUDES, VALUES, ETHICS WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO CREATE A POSITIVE WORK ENVIORNMENT ۰ Employees today desire a greater balance and harmony between work and personal life and are willing to give up 21% of their work hours and salary to achieve that ۰ High performing organizations: those that produce extraordinary results and sustain this performance over time and over changing market conditions. These organizations adapt industry best practices while preserving their unique processes. They view failure as opportunities for continuous learning. ۰ They have adopted a triple bottom line attitude: measuring performance, adding social and environmental dimensions to the traditional monetary benchmark. ۰ Best practice methods: The processes, practices, and systems that an organization does particularly well and that are widely recognized as improving the organizations performance and efficiency in specific areas. ۰ These organizations bring the “outside in” while maintaining their “signature processes” – processes that have evolved from management’s values and aspirations that embody a company’s history and are unique to that organization. WHAT DOES A POSITIVE WORK ENVIORNMENT LOOK LIKE? ۰ A positive work environment can mean different things in different organizations and it can mean different thing to different people ۰ Three critical elements that all organizations must consider if they are serious about creating and sustaining a positive place to work; organizational environment, components of a job and understanding individual differences 1.Organizational Environment ۰ The culture is strong, adaptive and strategically appropriate; leaders influence, motivate and enable others ۰ Values are clear; leaders express the values in a consistent fashion, acting as role models to ensure alignment across the organization ۰ Communication is open and supports knowledge management, problem solving, and effective coordination of work ۰ Decision making is ethical and self serving political behaviours are minimized. 2.Components of a Job ۰ Jobs are designed to optimize employee motivation ۰ Clear roles, goal that match abilities and skills ۰ Clearly articulate the purpose of the job, how the job contributes to the success of the organization and how an individual can contribute to that success. 3.Understanding Individual Differences ۰ Understand the differences that employees bring and leverage these differences ۰ The values, attitudes and personality traits the employees express ۰ How they respond to situations from an emotional and ethical perspective. VALUES ۰ Key source for individual differences ۰ Enduring beliefs that a specific mode of conduct or end state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end state of existence ۰ Values guide behaviour by providing criteria that an individual can use to evaluate and define actions and events in the work surrounding him or her Instrumental and Terminal Values ۰ Instrumental values reflect the means to achieve goals; represent the acceptable behaviors to be used in achieving some end state. These include; ambition, honesty, self-sufficiency, responsibility, independence and courage ۰ Terminal values represent the goals to be achieved or the end states of existence. These include; happiness, love, pleasure, self-respect, social respect, equality, and freedom Factors that Influence Values ۰ Age, Gender, Career Stage and Cultural Differences Cultural Difference in Values ۰ There are 9 critical cultural dimensions that will help us to understand cultural difference and similarities 1. Power Distance: refers to the differences expressed in a society with respect to status, authority and wealth. It refers to the degree of inequality among people that the population considers normal, from relatively equal to extremely unequal 2. Individualism v. Collectivism: refers to the degree to which individuals are expected to be part of a group in their organization or in their society. This dimension focuses on whether society’s institutions favor autonomy or collective behaviour 3. In-Group collectivism: refers to the extent that members in a society consider membership within their immediate social group to be important. 4. Assertiveness: refers to the extent to which a society encourages people to be confrontational and assertive with respect to their views 5. Gender Differentiation: refers to how a society views gender role differences 6. Humane Orientation: refers to the degree to which a society encourages and rewards individuals for being altruistic, caring and generous 7. Performance Orientation: refers to how much a society values initiative, continuous improvement and exceptional performance 8. Uncertainty Avoidance: refers to how much a society relies on its social norms to explain unpredictable future events 9. Future orientation: the extent to which a society supports and rewards future related behaviors EMPLOYEE ATTITUDES ۰ Attitude: a psychological tendency expressed by evaluating an entity with some degree of favor or disfavor. It is the basis of an evaluative response to a particular situation, event or issue. ۰ Attitudes are learned. Our responses to people and issues evolve over time. Two major influences on attitudes are direct experience and social learning. Culture plays a definite role in shaping attitudes. Work Related Attitudes ۰ Three work related attitudes commonly used to describe an employee’s level of positive feeling toward an organization are job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and employee engagement. 1)Job Satisfaction ۰ a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experiences ۰ Five specific dimensions of the job: pay, work itself, promotion opportunities, supervision and co-workers. ۰ Dissatisfaction can occur if employee’s expectation when hired is not met. Employees develop a certain set of beliefs about the terms of the exchange agreement regarding what they
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