Investigation of world vision Afghanistan HRM practices and perceptions for improving organizational management and performance

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №11 - 2019

Faizi Nadjibulla, Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan
Bordiyanu Ilona, Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan
Novitskaya Yuliya, Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan

Effective human resource management is one of the major factors contributing to the effectiveness of the organization. This article summarizes the research aimed at investigating HRM at World Vision Afghanistan in order to find areas for improvement and develop a HRM model based on leadership principles. As today HRM is based on the specific technical criteria rather than on the specific qualities that a person possesses. Also, HRM practices of staff performance, training, reward systems, and recruitments lack proper strategies and tactics to attain specified qualified candidate for the positions. On the other hand, they lack proper staff management in HRM to keep staff onboard that feels engaged, valued and committed to the organization they are working in and ready to invested their time and effort to have successes in their career. We conducted a survey to assess staff behavior and determine how their goals and beliefs can be used in developing a new model of HRM that would rest on the principles of leadership [1].

The questionnaire was distributed among the WVA staff. The interesting point about WVA is that there is no HR department rather World Vision see the staff as people and their relation with the projects and staff is seen as a culture so the HR department here is called People and Culture. The questions of the survey were developed in a way that staff is not directly asked what they perceive or what they see rather it was designed in a way to evaluate the overall scenario of how they would react to each specific situation; their responses were decoded and the tables and comparison were made.

The population of the study consists of 150 WVA staff working in the WVA in three different zones in a different capacity in Badghis, Herat and Kabul provinces. The main focus of the survey is on the staff working in the Badghis province where a new model of HRM was implemented.

The analysis unit represents the people and culture (P&C) departments of WVA selected for this study. This is new concepts and new terms used in the World Vision organization.

The five-dimensional Likert scale was used for respondents responses from (1-5) where: (1) not at all important, (2) a slightly important, (3) important, (4) fairly important, (5) very important. The questionnaire was presented to around 150 staff in WVA office. Their responses were to use to design bar graphs, pie charts to compare and contrast the data to evaluate different scenario and cases in order to observe staff behavior and how they are going to react to a different situation.

The survey was divided in four parts: the first one is focused on age, gender, marital status and education and position within the organization. The question of the study was designed in a way to capture the essence of leadership and HRM so that then the comparison is done accordingly and the staff behavior is observed. In addition, questions are translated into Dari language so that the staff who is not fluent in English can fill them easily, then the translation reverts back to English and is used in the analysis of the data [2].

The main aim of this section is to evaluate the difference in staff behavior depending on the age, track their understanding of the success of the projects.

The other consideration of the question about gender is to find out what are the different gender perspectives and determine what value is assigned by the staff to hiring female personnel of different ages. Also, another factor to take into account is the marital status of staff and the dependence of the work performance on employees marital status.

The second part is mainly focused on the work environment and how the staff behavior can be influenced through paying a higher salary or through recognition, goal setting and better planning. The main findings of this section could be used to determine motivation leverages for the staff to work more than they are assigned to and be more effective team player.

Section three is aimed at determining the role of an organizational vision and mission statement in shaping personnel behavior and the influence they make on their overall performance.

The final section of the survey contains open-ended questions aimed at finding out what will be the general criteria for a successful HRM system in an organization to identify the suitable team member.

The major survey findings are presented below in the form of graphs and diagrams.

Like any types of organization, WVA is made of people because this is the people who work there. The people characteristic in the organization is what distinguishes the overall organizational culture and thats how an organization can be formed and the culture of that organization is formed. Without people, there is no organization- just as, without students, a school has no existence as a living and functioning organization. Organizations are strongly influenced by the people that form part of them. Organizations can take in part of the personality of the people within them and their attitudes, perceptions and behaviors affect how an organization will operate [3].

As this survey revealed the staff who are working in the WVA is mainly youth and especially the Community Mobilizers (CMs) who have recently graduated. The rest of the survey participants are also the one who is mainly under 50 so overall the 45% of youth are the main CMs who have been under the study.

Figure 1. Age range of people who have participated in the survey

Comparing the age range and gender as shown in figure 1, the staff of WVA is also concluded to be male dominant. This result can be authentic as well since the majority of staff who are working in the field are male because the fieldwork especially in the context of Afghanistan it makes more sense that female cannot work in the field and have female staff in the remote areas far from office to work with the community, deal with the male and do overall the operation of the projects. Culturally it is also not acceptable to have female in the districts besides the security concerns. This contrast however on the number of the percentage that female staff should be in any types of organization. As is depicted in Figure 2 77.5% are male and 22.5% are female.

Figure 2. Gender disaggregation of participants of the survey

Now comparing the gender disaggregation and the age range to the question that was asked from participants; Which of bellow factors improve your work satisfaction? from this survey it can be concluded as shown in Figure 3 that 85% of participants said they are more motivated and inspired to feel satisfied with their work. Even if these people have been paid less, they would prefer being considered an important people, important team members to achieve the goal of the project. The remaining 15% only replied to the question that they are interested to be paid more because of the following assumptions; first of they are not well acquainted with the goal of the project that they are working in it and or the goal of the organization to them, secondly the staff are not being oriented by the principles of leadership and they are not aware of their part and contribution they are making toward the overall vision of the organization and project. The conclusion in this scenario is that the staff behavior is not changing based on the two principles of management and this paper conclude that the staff behavior these days changes based on the value the staff are getting and based on their importance as a team member not based on the amount of money they are receiving or the reward they might receive as monetary form because according to the survey 85% of the employee has said they will work overtime if they are valued more not being paid more, more analysis while reviewing the data is that almost halfway the survey filled almost 100% people believed they will work more and overtime if they are valued as part of the vision and or the services they are providing.

Figure 3. Work satisfaction of staff ratio

Another conclusion from this survey surface is that the staff who are younger are more inclined to be thinking about their career development, not about short-term benefits in terms of salary, extra benefits, or monetary rewards since the majority of the participants of the survey are between ages 25-30 so it means these people are in their middle of career and have some experiences still they are not valuing money rather their concern is building their career and helping others, on top of that being considered as valuable person in their organization.

Figure 4. Marital Status of participants

The other analysis of comparing the marital status of participants as shown in Figure 4 to the overall number of people who have responded being valued, it can be inferred that the employee is more concerned with being on the job longer is more important than getting a short-term reward. The reasons behind this analysis is the job insecurity in Afghanistan context which usually staff are working for a very short period of time and then they are unemployed for a longer period of time and since in Afghanistan context usually it is man who has to provide all the support for the family and usually families are extended as well and there is only one man working hence overall as stated in the survey 70% who are married are interested to be valued and have actually job than temporary rewards and still the remaining 30% who also are single assumed to have a parents to take care hence still they are willing to have a sustainable income thus they prefer to have an income rather than just one big income and then stop. The request of such staff assumed is that they are willing to be valued as a team member, as a trusted person whom the P&C department will consider them for hiring with repeating the cumbersome of the recruitment policies. The suggestion in here would be to handle this challenge by having a list of the reserved candidate or a database of those staff who leave or laid off for project completion or some other reasons so that the P&C department can hire time without spending a lot of budget on the advertisement and overall in the recruitment process. This way, the staff caring is actually in practice implemented and those who are already acquainted with the vision, mission, and principles of WVA can be trusted and hired.

Staff is inaccessible in the remote field to be able to assess them and sometimes if possible to rewards such hard-working workforce there is not sufficient budget available to rewards them so how can motivate and inspire such staff in the absence of budget?

Based on the response of participants to the questionnaire of question that asked; Was there a time that you had an achievement in your projector in a team but your supervisor did not admire your good work? in this survey as shown in the bellow, Figure 5, only 30.8% said yes so it means overall 69.2% of participant in this survey were appraised and rewarded in one way or another even if there was shortage of budget still there are ways that staff can be motivated and inspired.

Figure 5. Budget shortage and ways of rewarding staff in the field

Comparing the date with the age range of staff, there is a high chance that staff who are younger can be rewarded in non-monetary ways so the staff satisfaction is more about just saying a thank you or send a simple message. Furthermore, in another analysis of comparing the monetary system and educational level of participants, it can be understood that staff who are actually bachelor degree holder are 77.5% of overall the survey, only 12.5% are master and 10% are high school graduate as shown in Figure 6 below, they are more inclined to be praised and rewarded even by saying a thank you. This analysis also confers with the aforementioned work satisfaction and this also reveals the fact that the staff who are educated they are expecting less of the monetary value and they are even by saying thank you understand the concepts behind just one thank you. In the Afghanistan context, its rarely the concepts that the people who are uneducated understand what a simple message means. This also can be other reasons that the leadership qualities that participants can be thought in higher education are also valuable in here too. It means that staff if being more inspired and trained they will be more contentment and value the relation and people than only money, thus the HRM model suggested based in the principle of leadership can be very useful in the context where there are many more educated people and or the staff are capacitated as such that they understand they are gratitude and grateful and in nature they value people and relationship than short term rewards.

Figure 6. Educational Level of participants

Is there a way to influence field staff and lead them remotely to behave well, have productivity and develop their self-confidence to endorse them to develop their own work environment?

In relation to the above evolution, there is a chance to influence staff and motivate them to feel being parts of the team and actually, they are contributing to the overall project and organization. Refereeing to the Figure 7, participants were asked, importance of having a personal specific target in mind the response was a little surprising since worker themselves says if staff have a personal specific goals and career aspiration that relate to the project then there is a high chance that such staff will be motivated and inspired by none monetary forms such as explanation of goals of the project and organization with them. In this survey, 50% of overall participants said that it is very important to them to have a specific goal in life and have a vision to where they want to go. This conclusion is also true since the majority of participants in this survey are young hence they are in their first career stage and if they are given the chance they will for sure be more successful. This section concludes that the HR team should be cautious to recruit those staff that has a career aspiration otherwise the project might fail based on the results of this survey.

In another analysis of the data collected from participants which they were asked, the same as above questions like the figure 10 about rating the importance of having organization goal and explained to the overall people and participants, the responded said almost 52.5%, as reflected in the Figure 8 below, that the organizational should have a specific vision, goal, and mission that portray how the organization want to reach there. This way, as the model suggested, staff who have vision will be joining such organization because they are not valuing the money only rather they value the contribution they make and how they are treated in such organization. If an organization does not have a specific vision then the people who are aimless will join for temporary and they will not for sure be committed as other research revealed also the staff commitment can improve by giving the value and how the importance the staff are making toward the overall vision of the organization. Moreover, the staff who have a specific vision can be by P&C department hired since they are more inspired to be working in their position more passionately than those who do not know what they are doing. A quote from staff from the survey reveals that staff who are actually having a similar vision to the organization they believe they are actually working toward achieving their own personal goals and dreams, just it turns out that they are paid by WVA in order to achieve their personal goals. This also reveals that fact that staff are more inspired and can be more motivated if they are given the chance to be able to contribute toward the overall vision of the organization and how they are valued than being paid more.

Figure 7. Importance of having organizational goals written and explained to staff

Is the workforce interested in leadership qualities in their team? Or people prefer to be distinguished individually rather than in a team?

Two different questions were asked by staff with slide variations of the wording to identify what will be the behavior of staff in a scenario a. if the staff was kept accountable for the poor performance of overall the team? Figure 9 shows the scenario a that 32.5% of staff believes its less important that if penalty assigned to them, they are seeing themselves as parts of the group and still they are feeling to be accountable. Remaining 12.5% said it is very important that the penalty is assigned only to one person who has performed poorly. This proves that the staff is more parts of a team them for each other should be accountable. Its teamwork the staff response shows so everyone is accountable and if there is a poor performance then all staff are responsible for the poor performance.

Figure 8. Penalty assign to one specific team member importance

On top of that, staff response to individual work has been compared and this shows it is the same as if the staff is working individually or working in a team. The same staff believes 27.5% of the survey participants believe that its less important if the penalty assigned to them. This gives two conclusions as peer bellow figure 10;

If staff are not rewarded then oppositely they are punished it is not important so again this proves that the two management principles which are rewards and punishment dont work for the 21st-century employee.

If staff are performance evaluated and if they found there is a fault in the team they are not important if been asked for the poor performance because they see themselves part of the team and it is okay if they are accounted no other people.

Figure 9. Penalty assigned to individual poor performance

Does the implementation of leadership models in project management of construction projects helps have a major achievement for the project success and organization visibility?

The survey results also show that the staff who are planned their activities can be more successful since they are more focused and their activities are planned. On the other hand, this is a way to help each part of the team understand that they are parts of a bigger picture. The survey results as shown in below figure 11 say that 65% of participants agree that if their activities are planned individually then they will prefer to work on the team. In addition, 35% rest believes if they have general activities then they could be performing well since they can go through the process of norming, forming and performing stages of a team.

Figure 10. Plans and activities for each staff

Since the employee is motivated and inspired for improvement and development, do supervisors observed major long term impact rather than rewards or punishment in subordinates?

Figure 11. Reasons behind staff motivation

From figure 12 we can conclude that almost half of the participants prefer to work in a team if they can see the immediate results of their activities. Overall this survey shows 52.5% believes the immediate result is important however the remaining 47.5% think they are more convinced if they make a longer-term impact and it is not a problem if they are not rewarded or perceived to be a good worker. Furthermore, this gives another conclusion that almost half of the participants believe they want to see their activities results and they want to be praised or rewarded.

Managing people with the consideration of principles of leadership is not about the bottom line, its about the people. Without the people there is no bottom line. If we closely examine the core characteristics of great leadership, we will find its not power, title, authority or even technical competency that distinguishes truly great leaders. Rather it is the ability to both earn and keep the loyalty and trust of those whom they lead. That is why it is very important to hear your employees and that is why the survey results will be used to develop a model of human resource management based on principles of leadership.


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Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №11 - 2019

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