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Heartland Building Society was formed in the beginning of the year 2011; formed by merging three different financial organizations: Southern Cross, CBS Canterbury and MARAC (Heartland Bank, 2020). After gaining its bank registration in 2012 by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the company started loaning assets to individuals for vehicles, reverse mortgage, small businesses, investments, deposits and savings. Even though the company is relatively new, the origins of the companies it consists of go as far as 1875 (Heartland Bank, 2020). In 2018, the company went through an entire corporate restructuring which resulted in Heartland Bank becoming a subsidiary of Heartland Group Holdings Limited (Heartland Bank, 2020). However, recent studies have shown that the dissatisfaction levels in the company are rising due to various incentives-related and opportunities-related issues.
It is common knowledge that a company is made by its employees. However, it has been found that the employees working in Finance are increasingly dissatisfied with their jobs due to lack of promotional opportunities, lack of challenges and a lack of proper incentives (Knowles, 2019). Employees in the finance department are often seen switching jobs not only to find a better incentives package but to also find the proper motivation. This is also true in the case of Heartland bank which has been facing the same issues from its employees.
The objective of this particular study is to highlight the main causes why the employees are dissatisfied within the organization. Further, the study will underline various solutions that can be implemented by the company to improve the satisfaction levels. The study also briefly states the reasons behind the recommended solutions. These parameters will help the readers understand the reasons behind employee satisfaction and a few measures that can be taken to tackle said issue. The scope of this study is limited to the employees working at Heartland Bank and will focus specifically on the topic of employee satisfaction within the organization. The study is focused on the period after October 2018, when the company was restructured (Heartland Bank, 2020).
It is very essential to keep the employees motivated in any said workplace. Such motivational factors can come from proper management, proper incentives, opportunities for growth, proper encouragement and other such factors (Thomas 2015). Having a high employee turnover rate can be disastrous for any organization for multiple reasons. An organization with a high employee turnover rate is bound to face several issues including increased workload, low morale, changing productivity and management frustration (Thomas 2015).
When talking about Heartland Bank, the main reasons for employee dissatisfaction within the company are low opportunities for growth and low-incentives available to the employees. It has been witnessed that ever since the restructuring, the employees have started to feel like the incentive policies in the bank are not beneficial enough for the employees. Very recently the company also witnessed the resignation of president Mautnel of the company (Monitor Daily, 2020) which has also contributed to the dissatisfaction levels of the employees. Along with that, a detailed analysis has also revealed that the slim chances of promotion within the company have also contributed to the dissatisfaction amongst the employees.
There exist various models and theories related to job satisfaction that can help understand how the cumulative effect of these reasons can dim the morale and satisfaction levels of the employees. One such theory is the Discrepancy Theory, also known as the “Affect Theory”. This theory states that an individual’s level of job satisfaction comes from what they feel rather than the fulfilment or unfulfillment of their needs (Jiang et. al., 2012). What this essentially means is that the level of job satisfaction of an employee is determined by comparing what the employee feels he/she deserves and what they receive in return for their hard work (Jiang et. al., 2012). According to this theory, it can be concluded that the employees at Heartland Bank are facing dissatisfaction as they believe that they are not receiving proper recognition for their work.
Another model that can help understand the causes behind the dissatisfaction of employees is the Job Characteristics Model. According to this model, job satisfaction takes place among the employees when the work environment provided to the employees is motivational in nature (Thakor & Joshi, 2005). This motivation can be provided to the employees via the means of challenges, acknowledgement of efforts and various other ways (Thakor & Joshi, 2005). According to this theory, a boring and monotonous job can be disastrous for the motivation of a particular employee (DeVaro & Brookshire, 2007). This is one of the problems faced by the finance sector, including the employees of Hartland Bank. The absence of proper motivational factors has lowered the levels of employee satisfaction amongst the employees at the organization.
The implementation of an incentive plan can be very beneficial for a particular organization. Incentive compensation programs help the organization improve the morale of the employees and promote the efficiency and productivity of the workforce (SHRM, 2018). On top of that, such plans can help the managers acknowledge the contribution of various employees and improve their satisfaction levels (SHRM, 2018). The incentive plan utilizes the concept of positive reinforcement or the rewards drive behaviour (SHRM, 2018) and accordingly helps the organization gain targeted results along with keeping the workforce content and satisfied.
Secondly, by hiring internal employees for higher positions, the company can improve its employee retainment along with pushing employees to work harder to achieve said positions. The motivation to grow within the organization can push employees to perform better and subsequently also improve their satisfaction levels within the organization once their hard work pays off (Nicholson, 2003).
The company can also utilize other tools like fun activities and appraisals to improve the satisfaction levels with Heartland Bank. The appraisals can help provide the employees with a sense of motivation and direction along with getting to know their perspective, needs and demands (Khan, 2013). Understanding these factors can help the employer further formulate strategies that improve the satisfaction levels of the employees (Khan, 2013). Along with that, fun activities like trips and tours will help the organization engage the employees and provide them with an emotional connection with the organization.
Various other innovative solutions can be implemented to improve the satisfaction levels of the employees. However, Heartland Bank should start strong and small by applying these simple solutions and later move on to more elaborate and complicated solutions. With the help of these solutions, the organization can significantly improve the satisfaction levels within the organization and not only improve the employee retention but also the productivity and efficiency of the employees. In conclusion, the employer needs to understand the various needs of the employees and come up with a personalized plan that makes sure that the employees are content with their rewards and recognitions.
DeVaro, J., Li, R., & Brookshire, D. (2007). Analysing the job characteristics model: new support from a cross-section of establishments. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18(6), 986–1003. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585190701321211
Heartland Bank. (2020). Our History. Retrieved from https://www.heartland.co.nz/about-us/history-of-heartland-bank
Jiang J.J., Klein G., Saunders C. (2012) Discrepancy Theory Models of Satisfaction in IS Research. In: Dwivedi Y., Wade M., Schneberger S. (eds) Information Systems Theory. Integrated Series in Information Systems, vol 28. Springer, New York, NY.
Khan, Faseeh. (2013). Role of Performance Appraisal System on Employees Motivation. IOSR Journal of Business and Management. 8. 66-83.
Knowles, C. (2019). Kiwi employees increasingly unsatisfied at work. Retrieved from https://itbrief.co.nz/story/kiwi-employees-increasingly-unsatisfied-at-work
Monitor Daily. (2020). Mauntel Resigns as President/COO of Heartland Bank. Retrieved from https://www.monitordaily.com/news-posts/mauntel-resigns-as-president-coo-of-heartland-bank/
Nicholson, N. (2013). How to Motivate Your Problem People?. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2003/01/how-to-motivate-your-problem-people
SHRM. (2018). Designing and Managing Incentive Compensation Programs. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/toolkits/pages/designingincentivecompensation.aspx
Thakor, M. V., & Joshi, A. W. (2005). Motivating salesperson customer orientation: insights from the job characteristics model. Journal of Business Research, 58(5), 584–592. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2003.10.002
Thomas, J. (2015). Study on Causes and Effects of Employee Turnover in Construction Industry. International Journal of Science and Research, 3041–3045. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/bc1f/5d4dd33cc6a9469618488e25a6ca941a264a.pdf
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