Motivating government employees

What is the role of communication in motivating government employees to engage ininnovation?

And reforms in the United States government?

            Motivating employees is essential to their innovation and engagement in reforms. According Dysvik and Kuvaas (2008)there exist several factors that are critical to employee motivation which include pay, career opportunities, communication, and positive co-workers relationship. Among those factors, communication is core to the employee productivity and their involvement in innovation. In the United States of America, government employees have been criticized for being unproductive compared to their private sector counter parts. One of the factors that have been associated with the unproductivity is lack of proper communication to the employees by the government.

US Merit Systems Protection Board

             In the US Merit Systems Protection Board reportDysvik and Kuvaas (2008) states that in an era of diminishing resources and increased expectation, a high-performing Federal workforce is critical. Susan continues to discuss how the Federal agencies can design their jobs and give rewards to motivate employees to do their best. In the report, Grundmann uses the Federal employee survey data to come up with a strategy, which can be sued to ensure optimum workers performance.

Autonomy, skill variety and performance feedback

            According to Choi (2008) employees who believe that their jobs possess desirable characteristics like autonomy, skill variety and performance feedback, are more likely to perform better. However, in a survey conducted by Choi (2008) most of the Federal employees reported that their jobs lacked at least one of the critical elements necessary to high motivation levels. Chiu et al. (2013)notes that the Federal jobs have a lot of potential only that the government agencies fail to communicate properly to the employees. 

Categories of communication

            Some of the categories of communication, key to motivation and involvement innovation in the United States proposed by Chiu et al. (2013)includeshorizontal communication and exchange of information across units of work. Korzynski (2013) claims that this kind of communication can lead to quality organizational problems solutions. Besides offering solutions to organization problems horizontal communication improves the employees understanding of their positions. Chiu et al. (2013) established that inter-departmental and cross-functional communication, and innovative behaviors are positively correlated.

Techniques of communication

            The United States of America should put more resources and efforts towards making workers realize the potential of their jobs.  Using various techniques of communication, the government can achieve a more motivated workforce, which can engage in innovative tasks. Proper communication will make the employees identify the difference between their jobs in government agencies and those in the private sector. The government can highlight the benefits of particular positions such as job security, and appealing retirement packages (Chiu et al. 2013).

Kind of benefits

            Such kind of benefits makes the employees more motivated and increases their likeability to be innovative. Appropriate communication acts as the link between the packages offered and the employee appreciation of the benefits that the packages bring forth.What is the role of employee empowerment in motivating employees to innovate in the US government sector? Are employees who are empowered through education and enhancement in skills motivated to innovate more in comparison to employees who are less empowered?

Employee empowerment

Employee empowerment is also another critical factor in workers motivation especially in enhancing innovative behaviors. According to Wendelken et al. (2014)empowering employees to achieve the best in their careers is very important to an institution performance. An innovative workforce is key in assisting organizations strengthen their competitiveness. Wendelken et al. (2014) suggests that the U.S. government must consider motivational managerial practices to help their employees achieve better performance and innovativeness.

Employee empowerment

            Wendelken et al. (2014) identified employee empowerment as an essential factor for creating trustful-relationships in institutions. Wendelken et al. (2014) stated that this kind of a relationship can lead to high performance levels and innovation. A previous research conducted by Choi (2008) using 248 institutions related to the ICT sector in Tunisia established that empowering workers produces a positive effect on innovation, organization performance, and trust. The current turbulent environment requires institutions mostly the government agencies to come up with innovative techniques for them to increase competitive advantage and hence survive.

            Choi (2008) argues that innovation is among the core factors of success and survival. This idea forces the government agencies to look for methods to enhance their innovation processes. Research has indicated that the ideology of innovation should be considered with the seriousness it deserves and as a learning process and knowledge plus skills development. As noted earlier, employee empowerment is crucial to improving innovation and hence the government agencies should ensure that it is perfected.

             According to (maite and kamau), since workers empowerment is critical to innovation, the government should focus on this section to realize better results from employees. The scholars also identified skills development and education as some of the best methods to empower workers. Previous research has also indicated that employees with a higher level of education and skills are more likely to be innovative than those with less. Chiu et al. (2013)suggests that education has the ability to broaden a person’s way of thinking and hence improve innovativeness.

            Improved skills, on the other hand, assists the person to successfully tackle daily tasks in their field of work. Therefore, a more educated employee is likely to come up with new ideas of doing things and use the necessary skills to implement them than the one who is less learned and skilled. Such an employee will generate a lot of satisfaction from the successfully tackled tasks hence be more productive. Chiu et al. (2013) proposed that some of the ways to enhance employee empowerment include giving scholarships and offering necessary training to the workers.Chiu et al. (2013)noted that with this kind of empowerment, the U.S. government can create a very innovative workforce hence increase productivity.

What is the impact of US government human resource programs in motivating employees to be innovative?

            The United States government has implemented several human resource programs to motivate the workforce to engage in innovative activities. Various programs related to workers’ motivation are also under implementation to increase employees’ productivity. According to previous research, giving monetary benefits is not the only strategy to motivate workers. Research has also shown that most workers quote several factors other than monetary benefits that lead to job satisfaction(Wendelken et al. 2014). Acknowledging this fact, the Federal government has implemented various programs apart from monetary rewards.

            Žaptorius(2013) identified that some of the monetary and non-monetary benefits that the US government is using to keep their workforce motivated include employee empowerment through education and skills development. The Federal government is also utilizing proper communication strategies to ensure that the employee identify the potential of in the positions they hold. In his researchKorzynski(2013)quoted the handbook organization as one of the non-monetary rewards being used by the US government.

            The handbook organization is a HR authorities and flexibility guide, which, is divided into three parts. Part one of the hardbook highlights the manner in which the existing human resource practices portray the United States government as a single employer that uses common policies. According to Choi (2008), first section of the Handbook is intended in making the workers realize that the government treats them universally regardless of agencies that the employees are working for. Choi (2008)furthers states that the section has a lot of potential in creating a highly motivated workforce.

            Dysvik and Kuvaas(2008)indicates that the workers will always feel more satisfied in their jobs knowing that they are treated equally and nobody is favored. The policies ensure that the government employees receive equal salaries for a particular job group regardless of their affiliated government agency. The Federal government must ensure that the ideology is communicated effectively to all the workers. Section two of the handbook organization describes the welfare of the government non-executive workers and specifies the workforce shape(Dysvik and Kuvaas 2008). The final section stipulates the flexibilities and authorities, which, is designed for the management personnel.

            Dysvik and Kuvaas(2008) argue that strategies such as the organizational handbook is key to workers motivation. However, various studies have criticized the government approach on workers motivation and maintaining a highly productive workforce. Critics have cited low employee morale among other factors in the Federal government compared to the private sector. Regardless of various interventions and programs, Žaptorius(2013) notes that the current rate of government workers crossing over to the private sector is undesirable.

            Žaptorius(2013) identified that government workers utilize the opportunities existing in their jobs such as Academic scholarship to improve themselves then cross over to the private sector. The migration is created by the perception that the private sector jobs possess more potential compared to the government. Wendelken et al. (2014) indicates that the perception is not always true and a number of employees get frustrated when they find out that the positions they left are more lucrative. The argument by Wendelken et al. (2014) hence shows that the government is failing in creating effective strategies to keep their employees motivation. Specifically,Wendelken et al. (2014) points out the communications methods used by the Federal government.

            Korzynski (2013) claims that the Federal government has massively failed in communicating the benefits their opportunities the workers. The employees cannot identify clearly the benefits of holding particular jobs in the government compared to the private sector. Lack of this knowledge has led to misconceptions and confusion to the workers hence the migration from government jobs to private sector jobs(Korzynski 2013). This example plus several others indicates that the Federal government is supposed to put some more efforts regarding workers motivation to engage in innovative activities.

Do employment rewards for government employees play any role in motivating employees to engage in innovation?

According to a research conducted by Wendelken et al. (2014) employment rewards whether monetary or non-monitory play a vital role in motivating employees to participate innovation. The federal government acknowledgement of employees’ contribution in their jobs is key in making the workforce innovative. Žaptorius (2013)  argued that non-monetary rewards such as academic scholarships and training programs lead to more job satisfaction hence make employees more creative and productive. For instance,Žaptorius (2013)  identified that academic scholarships give the workers to increase their knowledge in a particular field.

            In the study Choi (2008)  found out that with increased knowledge, workers get the ability to generate more solutions in their positions hence feel more satisfied. Increased knowledge also broadens a person’s way of thinking hence becoming more creative. Choi (2008) established a correlation between innovation and the level of education where more education leads to improved creativeness. Choi (2008) suggests that the government should therefore support workers to acquire more knowledge in their careers to enhance motivation.

Choi.(2008)also argues that Academic scholarships assist employees to switch from one career to another. The chance to switch from one career line to another helps employee to shift to other fields where they can achieve improved results. Chiu et al. (2013) indicates that the government must embrace employees who are willing to advance their education to make their jobs unique compared to the private sector openings.

            Training of programs is another non-monetary job reward that the Federal government uses to motivate employees to participate in innovation. The strategy is very critical to ensuring that the workforce is innovative. Chiu et al. (2013) indicates that the current college education provides the basic knowledge in a particular field. Chiu et al. (2013) argues that for the basic knowledge to assist the employee in solving particular issues, proper training is inevitable. The United States government hence uses regular training program to improve employees’ skills.

            Korzynski (2013found out that the government’s training programs are essential to workers motivation and hence engagement in innovation. Korzynski (2013) states that these programs improve workers’ ability to solve emerging issues hence generate more satisfaction. In the process of solving such issues, employees can also identify innovative methods, which can assist in result improvement.Korzynski (2013) indicates that training programs and academic programs are some of the government’s jobs rewards that have improved workers engagement in innovation.Korzynski (2013)  stipulates that without proper jobs rewards, it is extremely difficult to achieve an innovative workforce.

References

Chiu, C, Kwan, L &Liou, S 2013, “Culturally Motivated Challenges to Innovations in Integrative Research: Theory and Solutions”, in , Social Issues and Policy Review, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 149-172.

Choi, S 2008, “Diversity in the US Federal Government: Diversity Management and Employee Turnover in Federal Agencies”, in , Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 603-630.

Dysvik, A &Kuvaas, B 2008, “The relationship between perceived training opportunities, work motivation and employee outcomes”, in , International Journal of Training and Development, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 138-157.

Korzynski, P 2013, “Employee motivation in new working environment”, in , International Journal of Academic Research, vol. 5, no. 5, pp. 184-188.

Wendelken, A, Danzinger, F, Rau, C &Moeslein, K 2014, “Innovation without me: why employees do (not) participate in organizational innovation communities”, in , R&D Management, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 217-236.

Žaptorius, J 2013, “Applying the Priority Distribution Method for Employee Motivation”, in , Business, Management and Education, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 256-280.

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