Essay, 4 pages (1000 words)

Changing employees attitudes

Changing Employees Attitude Changing Employees’ Attitudes Why do managers want to change their employees’ attitudes? The answer is simple. Managers want to change their employees’ attitudes because it affects their productivity. Employees are increasingly important for organizational success and competitiveness (Saari & Judge, 2004). Wallace (2006, pp.1-3) states that employees must not only be trained, they should be developed for results. Wallace quotes Linda L. Martin and Dr. David G. Mutchler in their book, “Fail-Safe Leadership” when they stated “in business, and in life, attitudes directly determine whether an individual turns a problem into an opportunity – or a crisis” (2006, pp.1-3). Organizations hire employees because of their skills and qualifications. They also design training programs to further improve the quality of work of the individuals and eventually improve their productivity. Wallace (2006, pp.1-3) points out however, that organizations put too much emphasis on improving the skills of the employee while majority of termination in companies are due to attitude problems of the employees. This just shows how important it is for a manager to be able to change the behavior of its employees. Before changing an employee’s attitudes, we must first understand that attitude has three components namely, the cognitive, affective and behavioral (Macalinao, 2009). Cognitive is the opinion or belief segment of an attitude. The affective component is the emotional or feeling segment of an attitude while behavioral is the intention to behave in a certain way toward someone or something. An example of this is when a co-worker was promoted and an employee who used to have the same rank as the promoted employee thinks that he does not deserve it (cognitive). The employee then feels hurt (affective); thus, the employee might not cooperate with the newly-promoted co-worker (behavioral). If this is the case, management will try to change the attitude of the disgruntled employee because it is in the best interest of the company. The process of changing the attitudes of employees is not an easy task. It is a difficult task because management has to deal with different types of personalities. One approach may be good for one employee but it may not be as effective with another employee. Management must be able to identify which method of changing attitude would be best for a certain type of personality if it wants to be successful. As a manager, if I want to change the attitude of an employee, the first thing that I will do is to take notes of the attitudes that I have observed from him. I will also list the impact of his attitudes on his work environment. The next thing that I will do is to talk with the employee concerned. This is important because by talking with the employee, I am able to establish rapport with him and eventually gain his trust and he will be more open with me. I will discuss with him his performance and my intention to help him change his attitude. I will talk with him about my observations on his behavior and how it impacts his work and his relationships with his co-workers. His attitudes’ impact on his productivity will also be explained to him. I will also ask him whether he is willing to improve his behavior and I will bring up to his attention that I can help him change his attitude. Hopefully, after the above discussion I can get a positive response from the employee. We can then together come up with performance goals focusing on the change of attitude that we have discussed. Setting targets with the employee concerned is an essential move because if I am the only one who will set the target, it may not be realistic. The goals that must be set must be in accordance with what the employee can achieve and not what I expect him to achieve. In this manner, the employee will also realize that I am very concerned about his over-all well being. I will suggest that he writes down a plan of action to guide him in achieving the goals which we have set. Together we will talk about how the change will be evaluated. The next step that I will take is the development of a feedback mechanism. This step is significant because the feedback will show me whether the changes in the attitude of the employee has been effective. The feedback mechanism that I will use is by asking his co-workers and maybe some customers, if they are in contact with the employee. This should be done confidentially so as not to embarrass the employee concerned. If the feedback shows that there is a marked improvement in the productivity of the employee, then we can stick to the strategies that we have set. However, if there is no marked improvement on the employee’s attitudes, as observed by his peers and some customers, then I will have to sit down again with the employee concerned and re-think and re-design the goals which we have set and change the strategies which we have outlined in order to achieve our objectives. Changing an employee’s attitude is not an easy task for a manager. It requires time and effort. More than that, it requires a commitment to help a person change thereby improving his performance on the job. The commitment should be more than that of an employer-employee relationship but rather it should be that of a relationship almost synonymous to a father-child connection. It is important that managers understand the interplay between the person and the situation that influences an employee’s attitude (Saari & Judge, 2004). Managers must realize that an employee’s attitude is directly related with his job satisfaction which in the long run affects his productivity. In the end, it is the organization that will benefit from whatever changes occurs in the attitudes of employees. Reference List Lennon, D., 2010. The Employee “Attitude” Problem. What’s a Supervisor to Do? [Online]. Available at http://dawnlennon.wordpress.com/2010/03/02/the-employee-%E2%80%9Cattitude%E2%80%9D-problem-what%E2%80%99s-a-supervisor-to-do/. [Accessed 25 April 2011] Macalinao, R., 2009. Employee Attitude and Their Effects. [Online]. Available at http://www.slideshare.net/srmacalinao/employee-attitude-and-their-effects. [Accessed 25 April 2011] Saari, L. & Judge, T., 2004. Employee Attitudes and Job Satisfaction. Human Resource Management. [Online] Winter, 43 (4), Available at http://www.utm.edu/staff/mikem/documents/jobsatisfaction.pdf [Accessed 25 April 2011]. Wallace, R., 2006. Developing Employees’ Attitudes is a Must. Birmingham Business Journal. [Online]. Available at http://www.utm.edu/staff/mikem/documents/jobsatisfaction.pdf [Accessed 25 April 2011].

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