In this paper, I will try to provide a brief overview of my internship experiences, as well as assess the organizational nuances at the company where I have been engaged. The current paper will also focus on team formation and interaction, as well as reflect on the key recommendations that might be implemented by the company in order to improve the organizational environment.
Overview of the Activities
To start with, it is important to mention that I was employed as a mechanical engineer in Oakum Development Company. The internship lasted for two months. I was engaged in the work activities related to the operations support and utilities department. I mainly reviewed the ongoing engineering projects that run together with other companies. During the internship, I had the opportunity to attend the workshop called “Rainbow”, where I was exposed to the key manufacturing processes and engineering in action.
My main job responsibilities included the assistance of the engineering manager with the research, assignments, development, testing, and development of the proper design for the products in question. I was also responsible for ensuring the accuracy and completeness of the drawings that were assigned to me for checking and screening, such as files, records, prints, and other documentation. Assistance with the development of the schedules, planning the meetings, budgets, and proposals, as well as the assistance with the quality assurance were also considered to be in my area of responsibility. Of course, all of my assignments were supervised and checked by the manager. However, it was a tremendous experience for me to participate in such an internship and oversee various engineering operations from the inside.
From my position, I was also able to recognize and motor the organizational processes occurring at different levels of the company. Though I was assigned to one of the engineering managers, I was still involved in many organizational operations and was exposed to the internal processes of the company, such as evaluation, pinning, meeting the strategic goals, and others. Therefore, all the reflections and recommendations provided in this paper are based on the on-hand experience that I got at the Oakum Development Company.
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The Features of Successful Work Environment
It is important to remember that there are some features inherent in the successful organizational environment. It is also important to keep in mind that the organizational environment rises from the policies implemented by the company, as well as from the human capital involved in the daily operations of the company (Rogers, Meehan, & Tanner, 2006). Below are presented a few characteristics that will be compared to the organization in question and which will serve as the basis for suggesting the recommendations as for the further improvement of the organizational policies.
The shared mission, values, and goals stand at the heart of the organizational life. The company’s managers have to ensure that everyone who is welcome onboard shares the values and mission of the organization (Rogers et al., 2006). Such an approach helps to minimize the conflicts and prevent the possible problems in future. Additionally, the shared mission, vision, and values serve as the glue for the company’s personnel.
Another important characteristic of the healthy organizational environment refers to the educational opportunities provided for the staff, as well as high level of employee morale. In this regard, it should be stressed that the on-training capabilities and opportunities contribute to the better performance rates and satisfaction among the employees (Rogers et al., 2006). The high employee morale is important for keeping the productivity rates high. It occurs in case the employees value their work and job position, as well as have the desire to work at the company for a long time (Satterlee, 2009).
Open communications and member empowerment are other features of the successful organizational environments. They are contributing to the co-creation of the ideas, product, and value. On the one hand, the open communication process ensures that all of the important messages are explained to the staff of the company and that no one is left uniformed of the changes or the new policies. On the other hand, member empowerment provides that the employees are provided with a certain extent of freedom, depending on their position, to make the decisions on their own. Empowerment is also extremely important for the creation of the cohesiveness at work, as well as motivating the employees.
Characteristics of the Work Environment
The organizational policies and the environment at Oakum Development Company are similar to the typical engineering companies. First of all, the company still has not adopted the flexible schedule for all employees, mainly due to the peculiarities of the processes occurring at the firm. At the same time, it should be asserted that the human management team (HMT) works successfully and does what is possible to ensure the high quality of all of the related processes. The company values enthusiasm, team spirit, efficiency and strong leadership.
The company has implemented some initiatives that encourage the employees to work better and demonstrate higher levels of dedication to the strategic goals and missions of the organization. The HRT focuses on keeping the life/work balance and is always looking for a compromise in this area. Thus, the company frequently practices the video calls during business meetings and seminars in order to comfort its employees and provide them with the better working conditions. Moreover, the company practices the job sharing, condensed weeks, as well as flexibility in the workplace. During the working hours, the employees can access the leisure or lactation rooms to feed their children and to satisfy all of their psychological and physical needs. Implementing such policies, the company heavily relies on such concepts as trust, co-responsibility for the success and increased productivity for the better future of the company and more opportunities for company’s employees.
The company also heavily invests in the educational programs for its employees, including the vocational trainings, professional courses, as well as introductory schools that are related to the general disciplines. All of this aims at the satisfaction of the employees’ needs for growth and professional development. Moreover, the company considers that educating the employees is the best investment that does not seem to fade or decrease with time. The company also implements the mentoring programs for the young or new employees when the skilled employees educate the junior staff. Finally, the company implements a range of the family-friendly policies, which help the employees to keep their work/life balance. In particular, the employees with children are entire to the additional days off, have a paid one-day leave per year, as well as unpaid career break that is lasting up to six months with the preservation of their position.
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The Team Formation and Interactions with the Top Management
The teams are the key working elements of the company that focus on the creation, designing and implementation of various projects. The teams frequently cooperate with other departments, while remaining to be the unit that works specifically on the achievement of the particular goals of the project. The company implements the clear policies, while creating such teams. First of all, it aims to ensure a diverse approach towards the business issues; thus, the HRT usually choose employees with different social backgrounds, origins, gender, religious preferences etc. to work on the common projects. Additionally, the HR department ensures the functional diversity of the team, including assigning the members from the different departments and assigning them to the primary or secondary goals of the projects.
In addition, the HRD offers a range of activities that help the team to become more cohesive. In particular, they carry out the team-building workshops, where they reflect on the mission and vision of the projects and where everyone can contribute in some way. Furthermore, the team members are invited to the various non-formal events that facilitate the communication and development of the relations among the team members.
The chosen team is usually monitored by the HRT, as well as by the assigned directors and department heads. In particular, the employees have to fill in the appraisals that demonstrate their progress. Among the others, the company implements the 360-approach towards the employees’ evaluations. The feedback to the employee is provided in a friendly manner. In case of emergency, the employees are always provided with the alternative as to their future development at the given company. The career advising centers also operate at the company and contribute to the enhancement of educational and career opportunities for the employees.
Suggestions as to the Further Improvement of Organizational Dimensions
When evaluating the characteristics of the company, its organizational environment, as well as principles employed for the team formation, it should be stressed that the company is quite successful at what it is doing. However, few recommendations may still be provided.
First of all, in order to increase the cohesiveness among the team members, the company might also implement CSR activities with the involvement of the employees. It would help the company to make some meaningful changes, present its brand in the positive light and allow its employees to contribute to the community, where they are living or have been born. Such a feeling of the common contribution and belonging to something greater is extremely important for the creation of a healthy working environment and strong relations among employees. The latter usually results in decreased turnover rates and increased productivity. Considering the volume of the investments made in the education of the employees, the company is obviously interested in keeping the turnover rates low.
Another recommendation concerns the leadership approach in the cross-functional teams. As it has been stressed, while forming a team, the HRT usually ensures the diversity of the future team members. However, in cases when it is formed out of the top executives, the leadership challenges might still emerge. To prevent this from happening, the company has to ensure the clear leadership policies, as well as to communicate the leadership considerations to all the teams involved in the implementation of the projects. A leader is a critical person who is responsible for all the operations within the project, and he or she should be referred to in case of anything important happening.
Apart from that, the company is also urged to implement the controlling procedures in order to prevent the destroying of discipline in the workplace. In particular, it should focus on the employees who have adopted a flexible working style. The controlling procedures should not be authoritarian, yet, the company must ensure that it can rely on its employees and that they demonstrate absolute dedication to the corporate goals.
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Overall, the company under consideration implements effective organizational policies, which positively affect the working environment. In particular, it focuses on the development of educational opportunities for the employees, on the building of the team spirit and cohesiveness. With the purpose of the improvement of the current situation, the company is recommended to introduce CSR initiatives, implement better controlling mechanisms, and ensure strong leadership in the cross-functional teams.