Discussing environmental factors in a military environment must account for the demographics which trend young, male and Caucasian (Redmond, Wilcox, Campbell, Kim, Finney, Barr and Hassan, 2014, p. 11) and an instilled commitment to the organization as a means to sustaining an ideal (i.e. the United States). Further complicating discussions on the military workplace is the “citizen soldier.” Some National Guardsmen work full-time for the military as dual status Federal Technicians. Two environmental factors that impact the dual status Federal Technician workplace are the Federal budget and government requirements.
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2016 mandates a ten percent reduction in Federal Technicians. To meet this requirement, local management determined to eliminate vacant positions. This practice is problematic. First, Guardsmen “tend to be occupationally oriented with members oriented toward civilian careers” (Redmond, et al., 2013, p. 14). As such, maintaining fully-staffed departments is integral to mission accomplishment and job security. Secondly, the organization is one-deep in many areas. My business manager was the only one responsible for developing and managing federal and state contracts before his recent retirement. Because of the reduction, his position will not be filled. I would have taken a different approach by identifying positions with depth which could remain unfilled without loss of capability.
Government requirements have a daily impact on my workplace. Because we operate with both Federal and State funds, we are required by law to follow the appropriate statutes and business practices for both. This creates a challenging environment where errors are more likely. Management requires training and regular recertification to ensure employees are taught how to function in accordance with Federal and State fiscal requirements. Because changing the policies is not an option, management has limited options, and, I believe, has made the best decision of the options available to them.
Redmond, S., Wilcox, S., Campbell, S., Kim, A., Finney, K., Barr, K., & Hassan, A. (2015). A brief introduction to the military workplace culture. Work, 50(1), 9-20. doi:10.3233/WOR-141987
When I first started working at my current place of employment, there were two major problems effecting the general environment of the organization. The first was the work ethic of employees. Many felt undervalued because management wasn’t recognizing their efforts. As a result, the department saw a decrease in productivity and an increase in employee turnover. Realizing that this was a growing problem, management partnered with HR to come up with a quarterly recognition program that honored employee achievements. Within the program, there were several categories with specific criteria that employees could qualify for. Management also decided to present the awards during the department quarterly staff meetings so that the winners could be recognized in front of their peers as well.
At first, the program wasn’t a complete success because the same employees were always being recognized. Management realized that the criteria that they built each award on might only be attainable to employees that have been with the company for 20+ years. Therefore, they revaluated the criteria and created awards that any employee could get no matter their tenure.
The second major problem I encountered was in regards to how information was being relayed between departments. Within an organization, having the ability to collaborate with other departments not only allows us to communicate and share ideas so that we can provide innovative products and services but it allows us to become more efficient (Daft, 2012). At the time, we had an outdated web-based system that employees would reference to see how to process different types of requests. The problem with this system was that the information needed was either difficult to find and or outdated which caused an additional delay in processing. Recognizing that this was serious issue, management decided to invest in a user-friendlier web-based platform. They gathered a team of associates from all departments to help pull the information over from the previous system to condense and update it.
I agree with how management handled both of these situations. They identified with the problem and created solutions that helped improve the company.
Daft, Richard L. (2012). Organization Theory and Design (Page 8). Cengage Textbook. Kindle Edition.