Individuals make decisions every time, for instance, what to wear, eat and so on. This personal decisions are usually easy to make and do not include much calculation. However, decision making in the organization can be tricky task because it is most times impossible to separate personal bias and individual subjective thoughts from professional tasks. In addition, human beings as they are tend to experience different moods and this impairs people objectivity when tackling a problem/situation that needs your final say (Decision). According to Bazerman 2006 decision making must follow the six steps of optimal decision.
He proposes a guide which includes; Defining the problem, identifying the criteria, weighing the criteria, generating the alternatives, rating each alternative on each criterion and lastly computing the optimal decision. Recently I was confronted with a situation that needed my thumbs up as head of the human resources department. The situation was on investing a considerable amount of money in rewarding employees on, for their efforts as a way of motivation. The decision was challenging because on one hand, the company needs to cut on cost and maximize profits.
On the other hand, employee motivation is a crucial function of management and contributes to productivity of the workforce. Given, the dilemma, the first step of sorting the problem is defining it. This means view the situation from all sides (employees and management) the benefits that assure from establishing an incentive program for employees vs. the limitations and burden on the side of the company. From management view point there are competing choices, for instance between training programs, incentive program among others.
An incentive program would work wonders at promoting hard work and initiative as it is rewarded. Second step is to define the expected results on the basis of the goals and objectives set. (Bazerman, 2006). The objective of the incentive program is to motivate workforce towards being proactive and result oriented i. e. the better performance the higher potential for failure because motivation of the staff is combination of elements such as the organization culture, leadership, working conditions among others.
The alternative to motivating the workforce would be to introduce non financial incentive rather than financial. Then again, improving the working conditions staff involvement and empowerment would also suffice. Each option carries pros and cons. Employees need to feel they belong in they are to be committed to their work. Additionally, they also need to feel that their pay increase with better performance hence financial incentives. Conversely, the management is under pressure to save as much as possible.
Pushing aside the management view point, the workforce truly needs some form of incentive and financial incentive stands out given the expensive lifestyle in today’s economy. Rating each alternative, prestige and recognition cost the management nothing yet it pays dividends to productivity in the long run. In opposition, non-financial incentives are not as motivating especially when the greater workforce comprises of bread winners. The working conditions on the other hand, are only hygiene factors (prevent dissatisfaction but do not promote motivation) as such they would have little effect on employee motivation.
It seems that a financial incentive although not fully applicable to the whole workforce is the best option for boosting motivation hence the optimal decision. (Bazerman, 2006) Conducting an evaluation of the impact of the decision on introduction of financial incentives to the workforce, a remarkable positive change has been witnessed in the organization as employees are inclined to put more effort in their jobs. Learning from feedback then decision was welcome and a general feeling of satisfaction is present within the organization.
The problems encountered during this process of decision making was to separate personal bias and maintaining objectivity. Following the Bazerman six step of optimal decision making was more robotic than human. In addition, it restricted the use of intuition and was practically dead of emotional reaction. Conclusion Good decisions require calculated thoughts especially when they are business related. While it may appear labored to always follow the six steps of optimal decision making rather than emotions or intuitions, the end results is worth the trouble. Unnecessary and avoidable losses are avoided.