Q.1.Which of the seven people centered practices discussed at the beginning of this chapter play a role in this case? Explain.

The bellow mentioned seven people-centered practices are defined for the successful companies in the world. Let’s observe these with reference to Mr. Bamunusinghe’s research:

  1. Provide employment security –

Employment security is defined as any organization reduces the fear of layoff or fire from job for its employees. This lessening of fear of being fired from employment is called Employment security. This can be done by many ways such as giving considerable salary, bonuses, gifts, etc. As per the Q12 tells us that what do I get, what do I give, do I belong here and how do we all grow. These are the four questions (comprising 12 questions described earlier) which Mr. Mahendra Bamunisinghe asked from the employees in the organizations which he studied. i.e. Brandix company. The answers to these questions plays very important role for managers to best give employment security to employees. If you can confirm the employment security to any employee he will be highly engaged in the organization. Most research shows that job security as a critical factor of high-performance management systems. One of the most accepted scheme is that innovations in work practices or other type of worker-management or productivity improvement are not liable to be sustained long time when the worker’s fear that they will be out of their jobs. On the other hand employment security maintained overtimes helps to build trust between employee and employer, which can lead to more cooperation, forbearer in pressing for wage increases, and better spirit in the company.

  1. Hire well

This is the second People-centered practice. Hire well refers to recruiting those people, who best fulfill the needs of the company and to its environment. Mr. Bamunusinghe’s research tells us that organization needs those people who are strengthened and well trained, they should not be weak. If they weak organization to focus on their weaknesses which is too costly in many dimensions.

Reputed organizations mostly ensure that they recruit the right people in first. This requires several steps.

  • The organization needs to keep a large applicant pool (Data Bank for applicants) from which to select.
  • The organization has a clear idea about what are the most critical skills and characteristic needed in its applicant pool.
  • The skills and abilities hired needed to be carefully analyzed and reliable with the particular job requirements and the organization’s approach to its market.
  • Organization should monitor on important features that are difficult to change through training and should highlight qualities that actually differentiate among those who are in the applicant pool.
  1. Create Self-Managed teams –

A group or a team power is recognized in the modern world and management styles. By looking at the last fourth question of the Mr. Bamunisinghe’s, how do we all grow tells us about the team spirit which is well gained through giving power to the people.

Organizing people into self-managed teams is a critical factor. Workers in self-managed teams enjoy better on independence and judgment, and this effect into inherent rewards and job satisfaction;

Teams offer several advantages:-

  • Teams substitute peer-based for hierarchical control of work. “Instead of management dedicate time and energy to controlling the work force directly workers control themselves.” Peer control is normally more effective than hierarchical supervision.
  • Teams authorize employees to pool their ideas to come up with better and more creative solutions to problems. The idea, similar to brain storming or group problem solving, involves pooling ideas and know-how to increase the probability of that at least one member of the group will come up with a way of addressing the problem. In the group setting, each participant can build on the others’ ideas, particularly if the members are trained in effective group process and problem solving.
  • By stand-in peer for hierarchical control, teams permit removal of layers of hierarchy and incorporation of administrative tasks previously performed by specialists, avoiding the huge costs of having people whose sole job is to watch people who watch other people do the work. Administrative overhead is costly because management is typically well-paid. Reduce layers of management by instituting self-managing team’s saves money.
  1. Pay Well

This aspect comes under employment security and tells us that how much a person is engaged in to the organization varies with the salary or package receives.

Most of the relationship exists between what an organization pays to the employees and the quality of the work force it attracts. It is entertaining to see firms announce simultaneously that they compete on the basis of their people and that their goal is to have the very best work force in their industry, and that they intend to pat at the median wage for similar people in the industry. The level of salaries sends a message to the firm’s work force ¬ they are truly valued or not. Compensation figures importantly in most high performance work systems. Such compensation can take a number of different forms, including gain sharing, stock ownership, pay for skill, or various forms of individual or team incentives.

Many successful companies encourage share ownership. When the employees are owners, they act and think like owners.

  1. Provide Extensive Training –

Training is important factor. Training refers to equipping employees with latest tricks and tools, which are necessary for proper job performance, if any organization will not provide you tools and equipment you will be less engaged in the job.

Almost all of high-performance management practices emphasize training,

Training is an essential part of high-performance work systems because these systems rely on front-line employee’s skill and experience to identify and resolve problems before changes in work methods, and to take responsibility for quality. Foe all requires a skilled and motivated work force that has the knowledge and capability to perform the necessary tasks.

The variation in training reflects the different views of people held by different firms and their

corresponding production systems.

  1. Reduce status difference –

Hierarchy is refers that some groups in the society have different status. The power is defined with status. If you want to engage your employees first you should build the “we” felling which reduces the felling about status.

High-performing management systems can perform only when they are able to tap the ideas, skills, and efforts of all of their employees. One way for doing this is organize people in team works. But none of the individuals or teams will feel comfortable or encouraged to contribute if they feel that they are not value by the organization. Before need to make all organizational members feel important and committed, one has to reduce the status difference that separate individuals and groups and cause some to feel less valued.

This can be done by two principal ways – symbolically, through the use of language and labels, physical space, and dress, and substantively, in the reduction of the organization’s degree of wage inequality, particularly across levels. Rank difference are reduced and a sense of common fate is developed by limiting the difference between senior management and other employees

  1. Share information about organizational performance –

If somebody good at trust building you have the power to manage the people. Do I belong here? In the Q12 tells about the trust building. Importantly, these factors are a package deal, meaning they need to be installed in a coordinated and systematic manner—not in bits and pieces.

Information sharing is an important component of high-performance work systems due to two reasons:

  • The sharing of information on things like financial status, strategy, and operational measures conveys to the employees that they are trusted.
  • Even motivated and trained people cannot contribute to enhancing organizational performance if they don’t have information on important dimensions of performance and, in addition, training on how to use and interpret that information.


Q.2. For managers who want to do a better job of managing people, what learning points and action items emerge from Bamunisinghe’s findings & beliefs?

Strengths means to the competitive advantages and other distinctive competencies that a company can exert in the marketplace. Weaknesses are limitation that hinder movements in certain directions

Mr. Bamunusinghe tells us that “Focus on your strengths rather than fixing your weaknesses.” Fixing weaknesses will make you Zero from minus six, but pointing on and developing your strengths will put you in six from Zero. The study of Mr. Bamunusinghe at Brandix tells us that there is Inverse relationship between the length of the service and Q12 Score. It means that experienced and old employees of any organization are less engaged in the matters of the organization.

In this Mahendra Bamunisinghe says state that “If you are going to succeed, you have to play to your strengths, it is intriguing, and all of the best Managers we have studied say focus on your strengths and manage the weaknesses.”

According to the believes that best managers play Chess. Not become checkers. Good managers know that all the employees are not work in same way. They know that to achieve success, they must put their employees in a position where able to use their maximum strengths. A great manager is brilliant at spotting the sole differences of each person and then capitalizing on them. A good manager believes that he can get more return on investment by working on strengths rather than wasting time to fixing their weaknesses. Most of the workers spend too much of their time doing things that they don’t like to do or simply aren’t good at doing. So that outcome will be lesser due to unsatisfactory work.

First you should discover the Strengths of employees, in hopes of kick-starting a management revolution that will push mangers to focus on strength offer advice on how those personalities can best be put to use. “Most people are not using their talent at work at all,

How can managers tap into the talent they have in their organizations? First to determine what employees are good for. The tasks they learn quickly, the talents they naturally show and the jobs they feel good about doing are hints about their inherent strengths. Once those strengths are uncovered, a good manager will put them to use. “You only can win as an organization when you get your work force into positive numbers.

Managing employees successfully is a rare talent and cannot be done by ever manager. For that need to has an ability to lead. All the good managers are not good leaders.

There is a keen and distinct difference between managing and leading. Great leaders can make big ego to rally their followers (e.g. Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mohamed Nabi, Mahathama Gandhi ect.)

By flow a clear message to the downstream, and backing up their message with actions that support it, top managers of such companies like coca cola, Toyota and Wal-Mart have rallied employees to their cause and enjoyed bottom-line success as a result. “The best way to turn worry into confidence is this: Be clear. Clearness is the solution to worry. If you do nothing else as a leader, be clear.

According to the above discussed evidence confirms that Bamunisinghe’s finding can apply for the better management of work force to achieve a set goal of an Organization.

Q.3. On which points do you most strongly agree with Bamunisinghe? Why?

The strengths are one of the world’s most powerful tools that one can feel proud of. Mr. Bamunisinghe says, but if not going to succeed, you need to play with your strengths. This is the main point on which I strongly agree with Bamnsngh because weaknesses can prevent the failure and playing to strengths makes you success. But that’s a different thing; it’s damage control, not development. It gets you from minus six to zero.

Because, fixing weaknesses just reduces on path to failure. Strengths are the path to excellence. “Each of us has weaknesses; some Activities that are easy and some difficult for us. And if these weaknesses hold up with our strengths, we have to develop strategies to manage them. To clear our skewed perspective, however, we need remember that direct a critical eye on our weaknesses and working hard to manage them, while sometimes it help us prevent failure. It will not help us reach brilliance. Many of the excellent performers we observed are telling us – is that they reached excellence only by understanding and cultivating their strengths.(e.g. Thomas Alwa Edison who invented the bulb after 999 time failures. With his strength of patient finally he reached to the goal.)

We always need to be successful at everything we do. If we are not good at something, we think that why we failed even without sleep. But it may be a wrong focus. If we reside on our failure, on the weakness, we will be setting up for a life of struggle and low self-esteem while reducing our chances of reaching our full potential.

That failure is not says that we are not competence enough for any work. Each person has different with unique talents, distinct likes and dislikes, and particular aspirations. To improve our selves deeply enjoy our life and fulfill our potential by developing and deriving pleasure from our unique talents.

Traditional management systems of most of the organizations encourage weakness in everything and excellence in nothing. Most performance review systems set an ideal picture of how we need everyone to act (standards, competencies, etc.) and then assesses how closely people match that ideal, push them to improve their weaknesses so they “meet or exceed expectations” in every area.

An organization should be a podium for unique talent. A performance review system should be flexible enough to reflect and reward the victorious contributions of different employees. Let’s encourage people to be weak in areas in which they are average — because no one can possibly be great at everything — and place all our effort on developing their strengths further.

Q.4. Any points of disagreement? Explain?

Strengths and weaknesses f anybody is two simultaneous processes. When you leave weaknesses you cannot defeat the strengths. That means you have to eliminate the weaknesses with playing of your strengths.

Length of the service having inverse relationship with performance as Q12 score of the Bamunisinghe’s research tells us. I do not agree with the Bamunisinghe on this point of case. Length of the service gives us the most experienced people which are the valued asset of the organization. The negative of Q12 score tells us that the employee is less engaged but does not tell that he is totally not engaged. This Q12 score can be made positive by applying the seven people-centered practices, defined earlier in the case study.

Also long term employment in a company gives several benefits to the both organization and employees as bellow.

  • Reputation of loyalty: –

A possible benefit of staying longer at the same company is that staying with the same employer for many years builds a status of loyalty. A worker who continually switches jobs or starts new ventures may have difficulty of getting jobs in the future, because employers need to invest resources to train a worker, and that investment is lost if the worker leaves the company in short period of time.

  • Strong Work Relationships:-

Staying at one job for a long time is that it allows for the creation of strong and long-lasting work relationships. If a worker switches jobs very often, it may be difficult for him to form strong relationships that endure after he stops working. Strong work relationships in a certain industry can be very important to success in starting up small businesses.

  • Access to Special Job Benefits:-

Staying at the same job for a long time also allow workers to gain contact to special job benefits that are kept for long-time workers. E.g. some employers offer pensions that require a certain amount of service. Similarly, some jobs are governed by seniority systems, where working longer grants access to better pay and benefits.

  • Solid Knowledge Base:-

Employees who have work to the company for many years have extensive knowledge of the company’s culture and its products and services. They have sound knowledge and experience about many changes within the workplace; therefore understand what works and what doesn’t work. While performing their job duties day by day, they develop a strong knowledge base, which results in higher productivity sometime may occur fewer mistakes with compare to new comers. E.g. long-term workers in a manufacturing company have a very keen understanding about the production procedures and manufacturing techniques, which ultimately leads to higher sales and the turnover of the company.

  • Invaluable Support System:-

Each and every time when hiring a new employee, company must train him. Long-term employees have already undergone this process and can be an invaluable support system to new employees. E.g. the same accounting or office issue that the new hire struggles with can be immediately solved by a long-term employee, release up more time for everyone. If the new employee becomes stressed by his job duties, the long-term employee can reassure him that in time he will get the hang of it


  • Indicates Stability:-

By staying with the company for a number of years, long-term employees reflect a steady work environment, which helps to improves morale. Each time an employee gives up or is terminated, it disturbs the work environment until suitable replacement must be found. Further, in an economy where jobs are scarce, long-term employees indicate a secure work environment. High turnover can create uncertainty in existing employees, as they begin to wonder whether they’ll be next.

  • Cost Effective:-

Employee turnover creates indirect costs to the company money. Costs vary by company, but typically include separation fees, such as for exit interviews, administrative tasks related to termination processing, severance or separation pay, and unemployment compensation. Replacement costs include advertising for new jobs, screening applicants, conducting interviews, and administrative tasks related to hiring. By retaining your employees, these costs are not an issue.

  • Retention Strategies:-

Long-term employees are loyal to the company and employer. But you must work to keep them as such. Motivate them by providing competitive health insurance and retirement plan packages. If possible, promote from within rather than hiring a newcomer. Offer paid benefit time, such as personal, sick and vacation days, and annual raises and bonuses. Show your generosity by offering something.

References –

  • www. Zeepedia.com
  • Managing People- Chapter 1 (Introduction to organizational Behavior)
  • Lecture slide – 1 of Organizational Behavior and Management by Dr. Thesera Jayawardhana.
  • Case study of Mr. Marcus Buckingham of Gallup company- USA