The article aims to understand why
high performance work systems are important for an organization’s efficiency of
employee control. In recent years, many researchers have published articles
showing how high power work systems lead to employee satisfaction and how these
systems give autonomy to employees but only few of the researchers have
explored the relationship between high power work system and employee
control. This article will show how an
organization can use human resource practices to control change management in
1) High Performance Work Systems
not a one size fits all model, it is a combination of HR practices bundled
together for maximizing employee knowledge, skill, commitment and flexibility.
It is a framework that aims at creating an environment in an
organization where the employee has greater involvement and responsibility.
HPWS helps the organization to understand what kinds of jobs are needed by the
organizations; it also helps them in designing these jobs and identifying the
right candidates for these positions. FW Taylor developed a scientific model of
organization, this model aimed at finding the right jobs for the workers and
rewarding them with adequate compensation. He believed that unions wouldn’t be created
if the employees were paid well.
four principles of High Performance Work Systems namely:
Egalitarianism: Employees should feel
like a part of the team, the aim of this principle is to eliminate the power
and status differences among the employees at different level and promote
teamwork, which leads to productivity.
Shared Information: This principle
encourages employers to share important information about the company with the
employees and invite productive feedback; this helps in creating a peaceful and
healthy work environment in the organization and also makes the employees feel
that they are part of the organization.
principle aims at promoting skilled development of employees; the manager
should encourage and promote their team members to learn more skills so that
they can provide more value to the organization.
Employees should be given incentives and targets that motivate them in order to
get better results. Performance based rewards give the employees a feeling of
being important as their contributions are recognized.
2) Employee control
2.1) Approach towards Employee Control
Employee control is a phenomenon of influencing the employees of
the organization to do a job in a desired manner. Employee control does not
necessarily have to be some kind of external pressure of push to do job a
certain way; it can also come from the inside. There are two approaches to
control or influencing employee behavior:
Directive approach: In this approach the
manager is constantly guiding and instructing the employee, colleague or client
the necessary information. The manager is basically feeding the person until
he/she learns to a task in a specified manner or the solution of the problem is
found. This kind of approach is beneficial for a person with lower capabilities
than the peers or fewer skills in terms of the job asked to be performed.
Non-Directive Approach: This is the opposite
of directive approach where the manger gives the freedom to the employee of
rather trusts the employee with the work.
There are many situations where a manager will need to directive
and straightforward while in other, non-directive and passive. A skillful
manager will know when to apply a directive and when to apply a non-directive
approach. As in terms of employee control, by using one of these approaches the
manager is increasing the awareness and the responsibility of the employee
while gives the employee the freedom to perform tasks in a desired manger as
the manager but also with a full heart by the employee. A manager can control
the way the employee works by using one of the approaches.
3) Human Resource
High performance work
systems (HPWS) are nothing but a set of human resource practices that helps in
enchaining the efficiency of the employees. HRM practices are the ones that the
leading firms adopt to support their businesses. Training on the job also
involved development; some skills that an employee learns while training at the
job might be used outside the office life that provides long-term professional
and organizational growth. Some of the things that an employee learns at the
training are supporting its colleagues or team members. An average working class spends 6-7 hours of
the daily life in an office environment and having a deep understanding of
oneself and what the company is asking for is very important. Training helps a
person to do exactly that.
Diversity in an
organization is very important. The diversity and challenging environment
constitutes to the high performance work system that the company maintains to
keeps its employees satisfied and in control of the company jurisdiction in
terms on following rules and maintaining a healthy work environment. The human
recourse department has a big hand in recruiting individuals that will adapt to
the new challenging environment and with their colleagues easily and
A strong an effective
high performance work system is very important in any firm. Abuse at workplace
is a very common phenomenon and there are people intimidated and threatened by
their co-workers or superiors. People often quit their jobs because of this
issue because they are not fully open about this to their superiors or
One way to look at
this problem is that if the wrongdoers are punished in front of other employees
so that the fear is inculcated in people’s mind about never to try any wrong
doing with anybody in the workplace environment.
engagement and Employee Satisfaction
engagement and satisfaction are the two main drivers for an organization to
achieve its set goals in a timely and efficient manner. High performance work
systems lead to better management of employees, which in turn helps the organization
in achieving efficiency. Lets look at a few companies that have established
work systems that have helped them in obtaining superior results:
The tech firm Full
Contact every year offers its employees a paid vacation of $7500. The
company has only one rule, the employees actually have to travel somewhere and
can’t do any work or answer work related calls or messages. The company feels
that employees that return from a vacation are in a better state to work and
are pushed towards achieving the goals of the company. This policy makes the
employees feel that their hard work is being recognized.
American Express is another
organization that has been rated one of the top workplaces in the world. The
company provides its employees paid leaves and health insurance. They also
provide their employees options of on-site recreational activities like on site
gym and cafeteria at its headquarters in New York, they give their employees an
option to work from home as long as there is no dilution in the quality of
The social media giant Facebook
has been rated one of the best places to work. They provide their employees
with perks like gourmet food courts, on site-doctors, chiropractors, laundry
and dry cleaning services, bikes to commute around campus, and four months of
paid parental leave for mothers, fathers and same sex couples.
Southwest Airlines has been the most
profitable airlines in the past three-decade in the United States of America,
the company every year uses its retained earning to share them more equitably
with their employees than growing the airlines. It is known for providing the
best customer service and it builds this by engaging employees in successful
ways. So it is possible, we can design a successful company by listening to the
employees and by engaging them in decision-making as well as provide high
Both Amazon and Microsoft have been known for setting
ruthless performance measurements. But in order to grow further even Amazon had
to bring in the concept of high performance work systems. Earlier it used a Rank
and yank approach, which meant rewarding the top employees and firing the poor
performers but then it, started a training program called Pivot which gives a
chance to the employees to visit an in house counselor before finally quitting
the job, so that they don’t feel demoralized and dissatisfied.
These are just few
examples of companies that have focused on promoting employee engagement and
satisfaction using high performance work systems in order to get superior
results. It is important for all organizations whether small or big to have
work systems that motivate their employees to work. Even for companies that are
just starting up, it will be very helpful if they inculcate this culture within
the organization from the start.
3.2) How to achieve
Profit is one of the main reasons a company enters into a
business. Employee engagement helps companies in achieving their goal of
generating profits. It is important as it improves the performance and
productivity, which in turn will lead to higher revenue and better bottom line.
For ensuring employee engagement it is important for employers to have the
right work environment, challenges and incentives for its employees. Employee
engagement can depend on several factors like:
It is the
responsibility of the manager to evaluate and reward employees for superior
performance, this motivates employees to work harder
Manager and Employee
It is important to
maintain a good reputation with the employees and gain their trust. It makes
employees feel more secure and can lead to better performance.
Employees should be
paid on the basis of their performance or as per industry standards. This
practice can help keep the employees be motivated and perform tasks in a better
guiding the efficiency of human resource practice
companies should create HPWS revolving around the key business of the
organization, the system should help in establishing work environment that
promotes teamwork, and it should also benefit from the unique skill sets of all
employees. The system should promote decision-making among employees and should
also provide work that is more meaningful.
look at theories, which will help organizations in developing high performance
Hertzberg’s Two-Factor Theory
Herzberg developed this strategy; he found 2 main factors that influence
employee motivation and satisfaction:
Motivator Factors: These are factors
that satisfy and motivate employees in order to make them work harder. These
factors aim at ensuring that employees enjoy their work and feel that they are
recognized in the organization. They should also feel that they are progressing
in their careers. When they start feeling so they automatically associate
themselves with the organization and its goals thus
Hygiene Factors: These factors if
absent can lead to lack of motivation and dissatisfaction among the employees.
of the essay is to establish a clear distinction as to how the high power work
system help in employee control in a firm. Motivating the employees and
empowering and giving them autonomy might help in employee control but it is
not the whole picture.
4) Leadership in
leadership is not restricted to the designated leaders but also the people who
have natural charisma and awe about them. Choosing the right kind of leadership
and showing the right kind of power to the employees can help achieving the
desired employee control. Employees are different people coming from different
background and they often respond to different type of leadership style.
Autocratic leadership, which involves the authority and responsibility to be
with the manager, might not work on employees who value their freedom and are
not open to critics. On the other hand, some people need to the guidance and
support to function well in an organization so they would be helped by this
kind of leadership style.
4.1) How the style of leadership affects employee control?
no ideal type of leadership for any situation; it all depends upon the people
handling the situation. But to give an example, Autocratic leadership would be
really effective for a newly appointed recruit because in this case complete
guidance and instructions are required as the person is new to the
organization, its systems and rules.
leaders like Napoleon Bonaparte, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela etc. have
inspired millions of people over their lifetime. People believed in their
decisions and understood their action. Similarly, in an organization, the
employees will follow and will be controlled by a leader who is charismatic and
can make people believe in his/her actions. It takes a great deal to build the
trust of employees and if they believe in your decisions, they will atomically
follow the path you are leading them to.
other hand, there is Transformational leadership is a type of leadership wherein
the employees are given autonomy to make task related decisions. When the
employees are given the freedom to make decisions, they get motivated to
perform to the best of their ability. There is no form of resistance, which
makes it easier to complete the set tasks on time. It is important to note that
less resistance leads to more control in a direct way.
is the biggest enemy of control. The more freedom of choice a person gets, the
less resistance there is going to be. An employee will only be influenced when
he/she believes that they have been given a free choice. The choices can be
narrow but if there are no choices, it won’t feel like freedom and resistance
will come in.
(Boss) asked Stacy (employee) to complete a particular task by Tuesday evening.
Instead Mr. Rig could’ve given Stacy a choice by completing the same task by
Tuesday afternoon or evening. This way Stacy has a feeling of being given a
freedom of choice and the boss, Mr. Rig gets the work done on time without any
resistance, In a way controlling the whole situation and employee reaction to
an avoidable situation.
4.3) Internal Behavior
think that control is a kind of influence, which can only be done from the
outside, but there is Internalization of Values, which drives a person to
follow another person or a path. Internalization can trigger control. If an
employee is extremely satisfied and happy at his workplace, he will
automatically align their aims and goals to the organizations aims and goals
thus eliminating the need of any kind of positive as well as negative
reinforcement. The internalization of values freely helps make the work
environment positive where there is no resistance.
4.3) Soft and Hard
Hard tactics can be used to control employees, these are influential but at the
same time helps in the growth of the employee in the organization.
the soft tactics involve seeking
opinion and ideas from the employees on a certain project or topic to make them
feel like an essential part of the team. The more involved an employee is in a
business decision, the less resistance he shall show as the decision involves
his output and opinions too.
consultation sessions organized with the sole purpose of helping employee grow.
All the superior members or the bosses should attend consultations session with
the employees by treating them like equal. Regular consultation session may
help the employees to open up about their needs and help them grow.
example- At Wal-Mart, all the employees are associates; there is no boss and
employee as they all share the same designation.
the hard tactics, it is mostly for
the people who are dependent on the approval of others
common type of hard tactics is Flattery. Since the people who are at the
receiving end of the flattery have a high need of approval, their ego boost is
tremendous by some kind words of flattery. It is actually a very common type of
tactic to control employees or people in general. The effect of flattery becomes stronger when
it is followed by positive reinforcement.
can only be controlled when there is very little or no resistance from their
end. It is a huge task to maintain a healthy environment in the organization so
no resistance arises from the employees. To avoid resistance the superiors
should come out and openly talk about the issues and problems that the
employees are facing. Sometimes, due to the fear of judgment employees don’t
come up with their problem. But if the bosses talk openly with their employees
this problem wont arise
5) How does the organizational
structure in terms of human resource practices can influence employee control?
Organization behavior refers to a
set of values and beliefs that are made by the heads of an organization and
carried forward by the employees of the organization. Employees working in a
company with strong organization culture tend to be more motivated and have
sense of belongingness and commitment to the company. Organization culture
helps the company in the long run as it creates a brand image of the
organization. Healthy work culture encourages the employees to work more. It
also helps in promotion of healthy competition among the employees. The employees
get very involved with the organization due to the culture; this builds an
emotional attachment with the organization. Every organization should set some
guidelines that need to be followed by every employee.
5.1) Organizational Culture and
The organization culture and
guidelines should meet both the needs of the organization and the employees.
Meeting the needs of the employees is exceptionally important because then only
they would be able to meet the needs of the organization and the job position
they are in and also satisfaction of needs is a major driver for a person to
stick to one company. In cases where employees feel that they are not growing
or meeting their goals, they will just move on to another organization. Every
employment opportunity consists of some tangibles and intangibles. Tangibles
like benefits and pay and intangibles like trust, work – life management and
relationship with colleagues. Organization culture is also building a
competitive environment for the employees to work.
In cases where the reasons are
tangible for an employee to leave, the organization easily does some
alterations to retain the employee. In case the reason is intangible, it
becomes very tough for a company to hold on to that person.
Company should take efforts for
encouraging their employees to pursue their interest. Such efforts create an
emotional connect between the employee and the organization.
The ex CEO of the Indian IT giant
Infosys Vishal Sikka gifted an IPhone 6s to 3000 of his top performing
employees. He also wrote them a mail, addressing them as friends. Such gestures
create a positive influence on the entire workforce. Organizational behavior is
a fundamental business strategy; it helps organization’s sustain performance.
It creates an emotional connect and helps in maintaining a competitive
Characteristics of an Organization
A common organizational culture
joins workers of various socioeconomics. Numerous representatives inside an
association originate from various foundations, families and conventions and
have their own particular societies.
Competition among employees is one
of the outcomes of organization culture. In such situations employees work
harder than before in order to earn recognition from their superiors, this
benefits the organization too as the quality of work goes up.
A shared organization culture
provides the employees with a direction; this helps the employees in staying on
track. It also helps the employees in understanding their roles and
An organization culture creates an
image or identity for the organization. This is extremely important as on the
basis of this people will be encouraged or discouraged to join the company. It
also helps in creating the goodwill of the company in the industry.
conclusion, the High Performance Work systems help in integrating the people
and the technology with the strategy of the company. It ensures that all aspect
of the human resource management are aligned with each other and with the goals
of the company
structure of the systems helps the employees to work in the best possible
manner in order to execute the strategy of the company, this essay links the
human resource strategic to build a strong high performance work system in
order to efficiently control and influence employees. The right kind of
leadership and organizational structures can go a long way building a company’s
reputation, brand image as well as revenue stream.
demonstrated that building a high performance work system have a strong
influence on behaviors and attitudes of employees of the organization.