The era of industrial revolution is long past, and its values are quickly becoming obsolete in today’s business. Organizations needed to change in order to succeed in the era of information. This resulted in shifting the focus of organizational beliefs and values from “company and long-term commitment” to “individual and performance”.
In the industrial era, the main organizational values were loyalty to the company and stability. A person who was seeking life-long employment and tenure largely depended on promotions. This philosophy allowed, and even encouraged, making personal sacrifices for the company.
Employees’ main goal was promotion as it equaled success, and it could only be achieved through unwavering loyalty to the company. The structure of these organizations was based on a hierarchy with a very distinct manager-subordinate relationship. Senior managers were directly responsible for their subordinates, and were supposed to take care of all their professional needs. This included making sure that an employee would develop the skills necessary for the organization so that he or she could be promoted upon achieving a certain amount of professional success.
People today are focused on personal development so they are unwilling to give their unyielding loyalty to an organization, especially if this requires making certain personal sacrifices. This is why organizations today value commitment to the task, adaptability, and loyalty to the team. Promotion is not a very effective incentive today because employees are more interested in personal development. It is not the name of the position and perceived influence granted by it that makes a person feel successful, but rather doing meaningful work. This is why organizations had to adjust their own values and encourage their staff through promises of more challenging projects.
Today, organizations are not responsible for training their employees in order to help them develop professionally. However, they encourage this development by creating a workplace where a person can keep learning and progressing. In the end, it is up to the employee to decide whether he or she wants to use the offered opportunities for personal growth. As tenure is not an issue in organizations nowadays, people who lack the drive and initiative required to succeed can lose their jobs. It is also common for those who “outgrow” the opportunities offered by one organization to take their skills elsewhere and continue their personal progress working for another company.
Business today is all about speed, skill, and adaptability. This change in values prompted organizations to adjust their beliefs and policies. In order to succeed today, a company must provide its employees with multiple opportunities for personal development, and challenge them all the time to see better performances.
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