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Engstrom auto mirror plant: motivating in good times and bad

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  1. Why Engstrom did not succeed in developing an efficient and motivating strategy among their staff
  2. Engstrom's management process
  3. Creation of a new productivity system based on individual's performance
  4. Other tools and elements

We all know that human resources management implies a lot of fundamentals for an organization. Human resources must understand the implications of globalization, technology changes, workforce diversity, changing skills requirements, the contingent workforce, decentralized worksites and also employee involvement. All of these factors have to be taken into consideration because of the continuous improvement initiatives.

The global economy evolution has brought us to a more difficult system which tends to influence the way we manage people inside a company, a firm or an organization. Nowadays, pressure, tension and conflicts have to be well managed to keep employees and workers motivated, implied and invested. Satisfying each organization's members in good and bad times is not as easy as we think, especially in bad times. Besides, the subject of this report turns on that specific issue that we will try to deepen with the help of this case: Engstrom Auto Mirror Plant: Motivating in good and bad times, by Michael Beer and Elizabeth Collins. In this case, we will see that the Engstrom Auto Mirror Plant has known some difficulties to maintain a constant and appropriate long term strategy to keep employees focussed on productivity. In the first part, we will try to know why it did not succeed in developing an efficient and motivating strategy among its staff by explaining its management process.

Second, we will suggest what solutions can be undertaken to resolve these problems, that is to say, create a new productivity system based on individual performance. In order to make the report more affluent in information, we will lean on certain tools and elements.

Let's first define how important human resources management is. In fact, it is essential inside an organization. Today, we have to know that HRM requires a new level of sophistication when compared to the past few years. Federal and state employment legislation has placed new requirements on employers; jobs have become more technical and skilled; traditional job boundaries have become blurred with the advent of such things as project teams and telecommuting; and global competition has increased demands for productivity. (Fundamentals of Human Resource Management, by DeCenzo and Robbins, chapter two).

[...] Engstrom will exactly know why the bonus system does not work efficiently and what can be done to improve such an atmosphere. Therefore, a periodical survey should be done to determine the real problem more deeply. Communication is certainly one of the most important things that have to be fully considered by an organization. The following citation made by Dr Michelle Mahon (co-author and researcher at the work foundation) shows how internal communication guarantees an important part of a company's success. [...]


[...] Apart from implementing a bonus and communication plan, Engstrom has not done anything else and here is the main issue: When there are no bonuses because of law activities, the world communication means nothing for employees because they feel tired to speak about something which cannot end up in concrete and valuable solutions. Engstrom has to understand that implications are not only individual but also managerial and organizational. Basically, employees have to be boosted by other incentives. Let's make a list of what can be done to answer employees' dissatisfaction: Help on personal problems Assure job security Insure high wages Set up a code of ethics Understand the employees' claims Reinforce team spirit by team building activities Create friendly working environment Find agreements with the union Give free time when there is low activity Communicate company's data to make employees more concerned Organize things with all members of the company Share the of increased productivity through bonuses according to individual objectives. [...]


[...] Engstrom Auto Mirror Plant is a private owned business that manufactures mirrors for trucks and automobiles. It employs 209 people. For more than a year, managers have been facing a crisis at the plant. Productivity problems and quality issues have brought about a delivery problem and the risk in losing clients has been becoming high. Employees only get bonuses when the turnover is very high, people tend not to receive bonuses every month and that gives them no motivation to apply and invest themselves at work. [...]

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