Motivating Employees: What Works? What Doesnt Work? is an article by Woodruff Imberman that discusses the plight of workers in the metal casting industry in the United States. It analyses the findings of a survey which showed that most workers are mainly motivated by job security and economic motivators. It looks at the merits and demerits of using jargon as well as the opinions of John Sculley, a marketing expert, on empowerment of staff members. The article concludes that despite metalcasting workers being affected and shaken by the Great Recession in a way that makes them fear for their future, they can still be motivated to worker harder if they are paid well.
I agree with some of the points highlighted by Imberman in the article. For employers to keep labor costs in check while at the same time adjusting to higher wage rates, they need to concentrate on motivating workers in a way that productivity is improved. However, for this to happen, some factors need to be considered, including ease, distance, and convenience. The speed at which wage increases spread and the frequency of employees seeking the jobs that pay more depends on the convenience and ease at which a worker can switch to a higher-paying job. A notable element is distance. If the similar, higher-paying job is just a short distance away from an employees current location, there is a higher likelihood that he or she will put some effort to switch to the job. On the other hand, if the higher-paying job is a lengthy distance away, the worker is rather unlikely to make the move since the effort of extra commute is not worth it.
Another element has something to do with convenience. The less the headaches of traveling involved, the more the likelihood that the worker will switch jobs. The higher paying job may be a long distance away. However, if commuting means a fast rapid transit or bus ride before alighting at the doorstep of the new jobs location, the employee is more likely to consider the move. This is unlike a situation in which the new commute involves several train or bus rides and walking several blocks to the new job location. Another instance is if the employees current workplace is just a short distance from his or her residence. Should this be the case, the employee will most likely decline a new offer irrespective of the pay as his or her current post is just too convenient.
The bottom line is that employers in the US metal casting industry will experience declining profit margins unless they improve the current productivity of employees. By doing this, they can afford the new and mandated pay rates. Perhaps the only alternatives involve increasing the prices of their products to consumers or investing in equipment that saves on labor. However, entrepreneurs are always reluctant to adopt any of these. Metalcasting industry players are usually faced with operating costs that include labor, which is among the costs incurring the most expenses. However, if workers are more productive, a lesser number of them will be needed. By minimizing labor as a percentage of the total operating costs, a business can keep prices level. It can then maintain profit margins in spite of the higher wage rates set forth by minimum wage laws. It is unfortunate that very few businesses take a close look at their labor cost as a percentage of the total operating costs.
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