Employee Motivation

Employee Motivation

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In this Individual Project we will discuss the issues of FMC Green River focusing on Employee Motivation, along with Job Design and Goal Setting, Performance Appraisal, Pay and Career Development. This analysis has been requested to be continued by Mr. Kenneth Dailey with FMC Green River.
FMC is and has been a successful company for the last fifty-six years. First originated in 1948 and produced 1.3 million tons of various grades of soda ash a year. The success of the first business brought about a second refining plant in 1953, which was completed in 1970. FMC Aberdeen, located in South Dakota with a population of 30,000 is also a successful subsidy of FMC. FMC Aberdeen employs one hundred people, produces one product, which is a missile canister for the U.S. Navy. FMC Green River managed by Mr. Dailey, produces various chemicals, has over 100 domestic and international customers, 1,150 employees, creates several products and works closely at times with the United Steel Workers of America. Aberdeen has a great structure for the ability to create quickly various small work teams such as informal groups or self managed work teams that allow the group to focus on improving a specific process. At Aberdeen the small groups gather, choose their own leader, poll together ideas and come up with a solution to specific problem. Once a solution is found the team disbands. Since Aberdeen's company is smaller and its employees create a family atmosphere, the role relationships between the people in the groups have a strong personal bond. This basic idea will also work at FMC Green River but will require some modifications. At Green River, if they follow the same concept, then the small groups that gather to solve a specific problem must also remember that what effects one decision in the process they are improving may have a devastating impact on another division of the same company since the company produces different products. Quickly creating teams on the spot for resolutions to specific problems as done at Aberdeen is much easier when only dealing with one product for one customer. At FMC Green River, where there are several products being produced and over 1,150 employees, trying to incorporate small teams when the need arises will work but some restrictions may have to be applied. I would suspect more division of labor and command groups would be better suited due to the possible impact of a decision by one team, which may significantly influence another part of the organization.

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At FMC Aberdeen the Job Design was very simple. The plant manager had a staff of four: a quality and engineering manager, a purchasing manager, a production manager, and an administration manager. None had a secretary. One office technician answered the phones and greeted people at the front door. Aberdeen is a family type operation and everyone knows everyone. The total working is around 100 employees. Whereas at FMC Green River Ken Dailey has been there since 1948, he has a total of around 1,150 employees. (Clawson, 2005)
At FMC Aberdeen the reward structure was referred to. "Those who were referred to as technicians and were paid on salary basis. Those who were production technicians were also paid overtime for any hours worked beyond 40 per week. There were no annual bonuses, no profit-sharing plans, no-stock-option plans. A team member described one reward the teams had in addition to salary: If workers can keep four or five factors, including productivity, sick time, our downtime, and out absenteeism, at a certain rate, we get a day off around the 4th of July." (Clawson, 2006. page 11). At FMC Green River force earning $18.00 per hour are the highest paid among all FMC employees.
My recommendations to FMC Green River pertaining to job design is the process of linking specific tasks to specific jobs and deciding what techniques, equipment, and procedures should be used to perform those tasks (George & Jones, 2005, p. 203). All new and existing miners will receive 3 day safety training before going back to their jobs. Mining is a dangerous job; therefore it's imperative that safety is stressed on the job. The job will require miners to be a minimum of 21 years old. Before new hires with no experience can go into the mine they will have to have gone through three months of extensive training and pass the qualifications test. Employees that are hired with experience must have at least five years experience and have gone through safety classes before beginning work in the mine. All applicants regardless of experience would have to pass the safety and qualifications test. A drug test and physical abilities test will be performed before training would begin. There should be a drug tolerance policies put into place and those who fail should not be considered for employment. All employees are subject to random drug testing. At Aberdeen, Bob Lancaster hired a consultant to lead his team through a two day seminar that explained and identified what type of person would do well in the management style atmosphere. It was agreed that technical skills were much easier to be trained than were personal and interpersonal skills. Group skills, communication skills, personal skills, problem solving skills, results orientation, and leadership skills were taught in the seminar and were much of the same principles that FMC used when doing performance evaluations (Clawson, J., 2005). The problem that Green River would have is that there are 1,050 more employees and some worked in the mine and some in the above ground plant (Clawson, J., 2005). Adopting Aberdeen's training methods would be a bit more complicated but workable. Green River's top managers will need to hire two consultants for the underground miners and three for the rest of the plant. The way the employees can be broken into groups and be trained. During the ongoing training at Aberdeen, employees were told that the decision making will include the employee and the success of the plant was dependent
upon them. Therefore new and existing employees were taught how to give and receive information about themselves as data not criticism. Management said that there would be no job definitions and that everyone was responsible for making top quality canisters (Clawson, J., 2005). This would work for Aberdeen because they produce only one product but it wouldn't work too well at Green River.
At FMC Aberdeen employee's skill-based pay/evaluation system is based upon two criteria!) Technical competence and 2) social/interpersonal skills. The point designation is used as a basis to determine when an employee is eligible to be considered for a pay increase. Based upon completion of technical requirements and acceptable social/interpersonal skills. The team members determine by consensus if the employee is entitled to the pay increase. (Clawson, 2005) FMC Green River gets paid $18.00 an hour was the highest paid among the FMC employees.
At Green River there would have to be job descriptions for each job because they produce multiple products and there are some that work in a mine and some in the plant. Job simplification and job specialization will help increase performance therefore increase production. Job simplification simply means to break up the work into identifiable tasks. Job specialization refers to focusing on the simple task and nothing else (George & Jones, 2005, p. 204). Green River can be broken up into smaller groups and each group is assigned a simple task that can be passed to the next group to add their specific task and so on, much like the assembly line theory. When the group shows that they perfect their assigned task management can increase the number of tasks but keep them at the same level of difficulty. This is known as job enlargement. Job responsibility and being able to control when certain tasks are performed is referred to as job enrichment (George & Jones, 2005, p. 206). Feeling responsible for one's work, being able to decide how the work should be performed and allowing employees to learn new skills is a motivating factor for an employee.
At FMC Aberdeen rotating training was a career development of sorts, but with a flat organization, there wasn't much room to move up. On the rotating assignments, the team reported; "I started out here in November 1985, right after the grand opening, doing a little bit of receiving. That was before any teams were really born. Then I became a member of the Weld team. Then I went into the Finishing Team and was team leader there. Then I went into assembly. I worked there for quite a long time and finally into the Cable Conduit team. I am still a member of the Cable Conduit team, but I work outside of the team as material coordinator for the cables doing a lot of receiving of their supplies and what not. So, I have kind of circled the place and come back to receiving, which has changed a lot. (Clawson, 2005) FMC Green River had no career development set up.
In conclusion, I would think that it is clear that while each facility is so different, there are a few things, but not all, they can learn from each other and while I Being under the same corporate flag, so to speak, it would seem easy to implement any plans for future growth. However, implementing the recommendations above is not as easy as it may seem. This is because one facility is free to make its own decisions at will, Aberdeen, but the other is involved with a union, which makes it very much more difficult to implement the recommendations above. The differences between the two facilities propose a difficult and unique challenge to anyone trying to implement the recommendations stated above.
I would not ever recommend an across the board change in management style, it is my opinion that several of the better aspects of each managerial approaches could possible be applied to each facility if done in the correct context and manner.
Improved communication, methods of evaluation and rewarding employees based on merit would surely benefit overall moral and individual employees while promoting an overall "team spirit" and healthy competition between employees. Communication is the main factor that benefits all members of the organization. The free flow of ideas and the freedom to voice them helps greatly to both improve morale and company functionality and innovation. Being free to express ways to improve the company allows employees to feel more connected to the company and thus work harder to make the company succeed. Organizationally, the two disparate facilities of FMC Corporation require totally different approaches as to employee motivation and increasing productivity. FMC, being a real world company has different issues to address for each of its locations, Aberdeen and Green River included. For instance morale would be high at Aberdeen because of the communal nature of facility due to the small amount of employees and managerial style.
In a completely different way morale would be high at Green River because they are in a union and have a strong entity working for them to ensure their employee rights and privileges. Therefore, using FMC as our "real world" example, there are totally different atmospheres in each of the two aforementioned facilities and thus, while cooperating and sharing ideas there are totally different management styles involved.


Clawson, James (2005). FMC Aberdeen from practical problems in organizations: Cases in leadership, organizational behavior and human resources. Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.

George, J.M. and Jones, G. R. (2005). Understanding and managing organization behavior, (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
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