Changes in workplace Essay

This essay has a total of 2540 words and 9 pages.


changes in workplace





"Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go." So sang the charmingly quirky dwarfs in Disney's
Snow White. In many ways they stood for the hopes of mid-century Americans: Hold down a
secure job, produce your share of goods or products, do what the boss says, go with the
program, and earn enough to support a comfortable lifestyle for yourself and your family.
Things haven't really changed all that much--or have they? Only a few of us are currently
involved in any type of manual labor or production. In fact, more than 80% of the
workforce is in a service position according to most of the information we receive in our
Human Resource office. In the past 100 years, the tools of the trade have changed
dramatically. We've gone from plows to assembly lines to computers as the primary drivers
of our livelihood. What about "off to work we go"? All indicators point to an
ever-increasing rise in telecommuting, home offices, and part-time and just-in-time or
temporary workers, spurred on in large part by the increasingly transnational nature of
corporations. So this place called work is rapidly becoming any place at all. Changes like
this are happening in all aspects of the workplace and can be attributed too much of the
stress that employees are feeling today. I have noticed that many employees are
complaining that the high stress of their jobs is causing employee burnout at a very young
age, but all of this change is not as catastrophic as it may seem. There are many positive
effects to be garnished from the inevitable changes in the workplace. This paper is going
to look a four of these positive results from change. 1. Changes allow for freedom on new
ideas. 2. Changes meet the Generation X's needs for a constant variation in the workplace.
3. Employees work better with a little stress (Fight or Flight). 4. Done right, involving
employees in change can create a feeling of ownership. Changes allow for freedom on new
ideas. Without changes in the workplace you are stifled with the age old traditions. If
employees are seeing new ideas tried out regularly, they will in turn, try to provide new
ideas in the workplace. A top executive, interviewed for the book The Leadership Challenge
states that "If organizations & societies are to make progress, then, leaders must be able
to detect when routines are becoming dysfunctional. They must be able to see when routines
are smothering creative planning and blocking necessary advancements.(Kouzes, Posner 47)"
This was a major problem when I was working for the newspaper. We had some long time
employees, many who dated back to the hand set press days. These employees were very
resistant to some of the methods we needed to change to make us competitive in the
marketplace. Many of the old routines that were established eons ago were still in effect
because it was the "newspaper way" with unnecessary deadlines and extra print runs. Those
ways needed to change to bring in the new technology needed to run a competitive newspaper
in today's society. We needed to look at the demands of the advertiser and reporter which
was our ability to react at a moments notice without unnecessary delays. Once we were able
to break the old traditions, the new technology became accepted and the old seemed
cumbersome and tiresome. Some change is inevitable, a totally stable company can cause you
to become stagnant in you working environment. You never get a chance to shine with your
ideas. The only direction up in a traditionally stable company can be a pre-determined
route that you will need everybody's consent to take. "If the company had been totally
stable, I might have stayed a vice president or who knows what. I just wouldn't have had
the opportunities that I had" states one top executive interviewed in the book Smash the
Pyramid (Doyle, Perking 234). Everyone wants to protect his/her status in the company and
change can challenge this on a regular basis. But, James Kouzes, author of The Leadership
Challenge recommends that if leaders do not challenge the process any system will
unconsciously conspire to maintain the status quo and prevent change. This change may be
the one thing that stagnates the company and will eventually cause the company to loose
ground in this world. Embrace change and it will become a positive force for you in your
travels to the top of your field. You've heard that every problem is an opportunity, and
as tough times begin to close in, you can probably spot several ways to do something good
for your company. So, let the tough times roll… and the new ideas will follow.
Changes meet the Generation X's needs for a constant variation. We have a new type of work
force developing in the horizon. The schools are experiencing trying to teach these future
employees now. These youth are going to require a different workplace than what our
parents had. They will not be able to sit and perform the same task over and over for
eight hours a day because since birth, they have been constantly stimulated with all of
the high technical devices available in the modern day world. These people have been
stimulated with everything from dolls that read to you to Nintendo games that give you
virtual reality. The teachers of today are now learning how to train these future
employees and we are going to have to change our workplace to meet their needs. Students,
however, conditioned by years of television, interactive video games and computers, are
looking for something other than continual discourse from the teacher. They want to
manipulate the joysticks, move the mice, and be "on-line" with their educational process.
In other words, they want to be active participants, not passive observers, in their
learning. The situation has prompted a "call to action" by the United States Secretary of
Education, R. Riley: "We cannot sit still rooted to the chalk board and pencil at a time
when a 12-year-old can literally touch his or her mouse pad and travel from web site to
web site around the world (Riley, 1998)" "Generation X'ers take longer to make job
choices. They look upon a job as temporary instead of as a career, partly because they
want to keep their options open. They are always looking to jump ship when they can
upgrade their situation. They will often leave a job at the hint of a better
position(Losyk 29-44)". States Bob Losyk in his analysis of this new generation. He makes
a point of noting that this generation does not expect the loyalties from the companies,
with their downsizing, and in turn are not near as loyal to their place of employment. To
attract these employees and provide a beneficial work place environment for them many
companies are changing their workplace strategies. Where once you were encouraged to bring
you children on a specific day to see where you work, then they came up with the idea of
workplace child-care, now the employees are being allowed to bring their pets with them to
work. These new Generation X'ers are going to change the face of the workplace creating an
environment of excitement and innovation. As long as our economy continues to improve this
generation will provide us with many new looks to the old standby workplace. People work
Continues for 5 more pages >>




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