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Benchmarking: Riordan Manufacturing

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Generic Benchmarking: Riordan Manufacturing

Generic Benchmarking Riordan Manufacturing

This generic benchmark intends to discover the best practices of companies that have solved issues comparable to Riordan Manufacturing's concerns. Normally, it is best to find solutions involving companies in the same industry, however if this is not viable, then finding illustrations of similar issues faced by companies in other industries is acceptable.

Framing the right problem is an important step in benchmarking. The problem description used for this benchmarking paper is Riordan Manufacturing will engage and motivate employees by transforming its culture into one of innovation through new reward and incentive programs.

This paper will cover four main topics. Topic one will cover motivation as it applies to employees. Topic two will cover rewarding employees, concentrating on non-monetary rewards and programs. The third topic will explain the importance of the organizational culture. Finally, topic four will handle executive training programs.

Motivation in the Organization

Riordan Manufacturing motivational tactics and strategies will be the key focus for the future of this company. Riordan wants to develop a team-based philosophy. In order to create this change, Riordan will need to assure the employees that compensation will not be effected. What will motivate the employees of Riordan Manufacturing? What will be the risk for Riordan Manufacturing? Is there risk for the employees?

Riordan Manufacturing will need to focus on what motivates employees. One theory that implies Riordan cares about their employees is Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It states people are motivated by their inner needs, such as food, shelter, and love acceptance (Milkovich & Newman, 2004). This is the basis for all other theories, in that the other theories describe the basics, yet it is the basics that need to be met prior to all else. If Riordan is to motivate employees with goal-setting, then the company will fail because if someone feels underappreciated, they lose their self-esteem or self-actualization. Denial of the basics will cause further failure within Riordan and it is the company's largest responsibility to establish who they need to motivate and the employees' inner needs. Once the basic inner needs are met, Riordan can then utilize the other necessary needs based on job function and performance.

Riordan Manufacturing has now determined what it must do to motivate its employees, but to what cost or risk to Riordan or the employees? The perception Riordan's management team portrays is one that their departments need more money or acceptance. The risk may be high for Riordan here because if one area is not rewarded and not another, then distrust is created due to favoritism. Riordan may need to utilize an employee performance and job function-based evaluation formula to achieve who needs to be compensated and who is actually missing the inner needs. It may be the senior management that needs to be retrained in understanding the inner needs of their staff. Riordan Manufacturing can sustain minimal risk if it looks into the inner needs of the senior management, as well as retraining management on understanding the inner needs within their own departments. This understanding will create low to minimal risk for employees, creating a win-win for Riordan Manufacturing.

Rewarding Employees

Rewards and recognition are an important part of managing people. This method of motivating people has been in use for a very long time. More than 200 years ago, Napoleon Bonaparte placed a great deal of emphasis on recognizing his subordinates (Lachance, 2000). Napoleon regularly rewarded his troops for heroics or victories. He did this with titles and even with bonuses (Lachance, 2000). It might surprise the senior management at Riordan Manufacturing to find out Napoleon even threw magnificent ceremonies and feasts to honor his troops when his military machine was in dire need of funds (Lachance, 2000).

Motivation is a "willingness to exert effort toward a goal" (Dreher & Dougherty, 2001, p23) and rewards motivate people. When a leader develops a system for compensation and rewards, then communicates it clearly to his/her employees, he/she will begin to align his/her employees to the company's strategic goals (Rosalis, 2005). Communication is important while implementing any rewards system. The employee must understand what is expected of him/her and what he/she will get in return for his/her efforts.

IBM has 50 different programs promoting work-life balance (The Economist, 2006). One of the main programs IBM uses is flexible working schedules. Employees work away from the traditional office and avoid the normal office hours. IBM reports 40 percent of its workforce today works off of the company premises (The Economist, 2006). Ernst & Young has a similar flex-time program. Riordan Manufacturing might find the use of flexible hours works for some of the employee population. By allowing the sales staff to work flexible hours, Riordan Manufacturing would be adding to the employees' quality of life and in return, the employees are motivated and less likely to leave the company. The same could be done for the R&D staff.

Plantronics Inc. has employees who have been with the company for decades. Between profit sharing for full-time employees, 401(k), stock purchase plans, generous leave (three weeks for new hires) and flexible hours, employees choose to stay (Moss, 2006). Plantronics has learned to respond quickly to its employees' needs. Plantronics even has a director of special culture and perks who has been with the company for 25 years (Moss, 2006). Riordan Manufacturing is dealing with turnover and changing the leave program or introducing something as simple as on-site massages might start to motivate the employees and create a better culture.

Organizational Culture

Riordan Manufacturing is struggling with many company issues. Executives within Riordan have differing views on the most important issues and those issues range from more competitive pay to introducing new operating procedures. An area that Riordan should benchmark is Corporate Culture. Riordan manufactures and introduces new products into the market yet it does not resemble a culture of innovation.

Honda is leading manufacturer of engines and automobiles in Japan. Honda is leading innovation by being the first car company to introduce

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