Microsoft, a multinational company with its headquarters based in the United States, enjoys ultimate control over its vast worldwide investments. The technology giant has invested in producing and distributing computer software, consumer electronics, and personalized computers (Moro et al., 2020). One of its significant portfolios within the business venture is the operating system popularly known as Microsoft Windows, which carries various operating systems such as Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer. With its employees distributed across the globe, the multinational company was thus not spared by the Covid -19 pandemic, which almost brought the various business operations worldwide to a standstill. The company had significant control of the employees in charge of the multiple operations and spearheaded the company’s success before the Covid-19 effects struck the company. The Covid-19 pandemic effects came knocking following the restrainment of the Covid-19 policies on the social distance amongst individuals and the reduction in the sales accrued to the company goods and services. This, therefore, led to the enforcement of the salary cuts alongside the reduction in the number of employees as the company could no longer sustain the vast number and the vast salary obligation. The salary cuts culminated in the ongoing challenges of conflicting interests, culminating in low motivation and job satisfaction among the employees. However, this menace can be solved by the implementation of various action plans which would improve the general company motivation, such as salary restructuring. This scholarly paper, therefore, outlines the human plans objectives and action plan to improve employees’ motivation and ensure job satisfaction.
Human Resource Organizational Plan Objectives
Each gaining promotion usually governs the employment sector to the next level of the job dimension, which comes with an extra penny either in terms of allowance or job salary. A demoralization in terms of salary cuts and demotion is not well appreciated nor optimistically reacted upon by the respective employees. This translates to lower salary expectations against ever-unending wants. Whenever hit by salary cuts, the employees often feel a bit secure as they have not entirely lost their monthly income and thus are assured of the monthly stipend to offset some of the bills, if not all (Girma et al., 2021). This is similar to the situation in the Microsoft Corporation. A few individuals remained within the job dimension but with salary cuts against the majority of laid-off employees. However, the few remaining employees were not satisfied and had to grind up to the various lifting of bans affected (Moro et al., 2020). This opened up the new cash flash flows as products started circulating in the market after the prolonged lockdown restriction, including those of goods. Due to the unsatisfactory nature of their salaries and job, the employees have shifted to undertaking various other jobs alongside the regular job dimensions to stay afloat amidst the stressful budget hence the conflicting interests ((Moro et al., 2020). Since employees have to balance with majorly money being the leading factor in their deals, employees have shifted the attention, which is currently affecting the business operations within the company as some of the services are not optimally attended to, ruining the whole company’s reputation and income.
In the management dimension, the source of any concern that affects the company’s everyday operations and income calls for the highest consideration. The conflicting interests among the employees and their service delivery is thus a considerable concern to the company, which has won the customers’ loyalty over the past. The primary concern, as noted by the production department and the human resource department, is majorly on the skewness of the use of the company software in soliciting money from the customers, which are directly personalized away from the company money circulating personalized income wallets (Girma et al., 2021). This has crippled the business operations within the company due to the conflicting interests and the deprivation of the company resources for the commercial benefit of the employees (Girma et al., 2021). The high preference by the employees in gaining more money has led to laziness in completing the job specifications with the deep concern by the employees on the job dissatisfaction with high demands, especially with high job dimensions being called upon due to the flexing and opening economy against the meager paybacks.
In the employment sector, especially in private practice, the employees’ privacy should be upheld and protected. This, therefore, calls for the limitation of the research and action plan against the profiling research findings to only be limited to the conflicting interests within the job specifications and ethics and the working environment. Therefore, this implies that the research will be centered on the dimension that curtails employee commitment and work output (Suwanto and Eka, 2020). Analysis of Leadership Style Influence, Job Motivation, And. Therefore, the resumption and action plan will accrue to the company’s fulfillment of the client’s demands and propositions. This is spearheaded by the company’s mission which states empowering everyone and organizations to achieve more in their endeavors with the inclusiveness of the employees (Homocianu et al., 2020). The freedom of the limitation of the research and scope of action is aimed at the employees looking for further activities in which they can engage and supplement their salary incomes, which could potentially lead to more company sales as the employees are likely to source products from the company for sale to private entities.
An action plan for any company facilities and stakeholders usually calls for objectives that should correspond to the company goals, visions, and motto. The objectives towards the implementation of this particular action plan will therefore comprise; improvement of the employee motivation plan to the undertaking of their responsibilities, improving on the job satisfaction against the employees’ productivity as per the currently available schemes as well as salary restructuring amongst the available employees and the future employees (Suwanto and 2020). In addition, there will be the creation of an exemplary communication rapport and channel among the employees. However, the ultimate action plan will be in consultation with various other stakeholders, such as the production department, the overall management, and the finance department.
The ultimate action plan for improving job satisfaction and the motivation of the employees lies in the cooperation amongst the key stakeholders and the implementation of the necessary measures. This accounts for the only available means through which employee motivation can be improved and consequently help the company realize the company goals and objectives and revert to its operations as supported by the willingness of the employees. In conjunction with the production department, the human resource department’s overall action plan will table out a thoroughly prepared report for an emergency meeting which will be convened and necessitated as an emergency by the two departments to the overall management, board of directors (Rustam et al., 2021). The report will also table out the progress of the job dimensions, the observed norms on the employees since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, and the new findings on the misappropriation of funds. In addition, the report will also table out the proposed recommendations on the prevailing circumstance in production and human resource as more employees are also shifting from the company employment payroll (Homocianu et al., 2020). Upon the convening of the meeting through the various heads and the approval of the various recommendations, the actual implementation of the recommendation will then follow.
Steps to Implement and Evaluate the HR Plan
The management’s approval and success in implementing the agreed-upon recommendations rely on the correct implementation plan. Although some of the plans might be met with a lot of criticism, there must be the development of a cordial relationship between the employees and the management, especially human resource management, which is usually involved in the whole context. (Moro et al., 2020). The cordial relationship will be developed by inviting the employees to an interactive forum through which the respective policies to be implemented will be discussed among the members present. This will form the basis of the overall change of perception. The employees might have developed against the management primarily based on the salaries and remuneration, which has led to low motivation and a lack of zeal to undertake the mandated roles (Suwanto and Eka 2020). The interactive sessions will be briefed on a gradual process as the employees are educated and facilitated on the new norms of dealing with any crisis with the employer and the interactive nature the employees might utilize to engage the leaders on the problems facing them (Rustam et al., 2021). Through the interactive sessions, the employer will also lead on the new policy guidelines that prohibit and highly cordon the engagement in the trade of the company’s software to commercialize the company properties individually.
The interactive session with the various stakeholders, who are the employees and management, will be briefed on the benefits attached to the respective guideline and policy formulations as the case is proceeding. For instance, the employees will be briefed on resuscitating their different salaries to the respective amounts before the Covid-19 pandemic and also an addition of 10% on the annual base increment of the respective salaries (Homocianu et al., 2020). The issues of the employees’ salaries, which seemed to be the highest hindrance to job satisfaction, will be highly celebrated. However, the employees’ excitement will be accompanied by the strict mitigations on which the salary increment will be based, starting with the elimination of the work from home indefinitely as a mechanism of monitoring the employees and capturing their attention to improve their output and the service delivery as was occurring before the Covid- 19 (Girma et al., 2021). The new guidelines on salary remuneration will be approved based on the achievements of the corresponding goals and objectives. This will aid in curbing the problem of laziness and target missing the job obligations targeted by the employees. The employees will then ominously engage in a team-building activity to strengthen the bond. The overall employee briefing is scheduled to occur on a Friday evening from noon till later.
Ethics and Legal Aspects of Management
Implementing a strategic change in human resource management has ethical and legal implications. Microsoft’s salary cuts and laying-off employees raised legal and ethical issues due to a breach of employment regulations and contracts. Therefore, the company should ensure that new strategies to enhance employee motivation and job satisfaction do not experience legal and ethical issues. According to Barclay and Kang (2019), the company’s legal department should ensure that it complies with International Labor Organization (ILO) regulations and specific labor laws in the various countries in which it operates. Agarwal & Al Qouyatahi (2018) state that the company should consider the minimum labor requirement to prevent violations of employees’ rights. Another legal issue that the company should also avoid is discrimination against employees due to various work-related differences. Labor laws require equity and equality because all employees have equal employment rights. Lastly, Bose & Biswas (2018) add that the company involves restructuring and layoffs to have adequate human resources. This restructuring and layoffs should ensure compliance with employment contracts. Labor laws should guide the formulation and implementation of measures to enhance job satisfaction and motivation.
One of the ethical issues that the organization will experience is the dilemma of hiring a diverse workforce. According to Guerci et al. (2019), recruiters are victims of bias and discrimination because multinational companies should have a diverse workforce. The company’s headquarters should identify employees globally to enhance the organization’s diversity. Discrimination of employees would lead to a negative reputation and poor performance due to low employee morale (Guerci et al., 2019). The company should also consider a pay increase for all employees, not only those in senior management or specific countries. Csillag (2019) notes that multinationals are victims of exposing employees to poor working conditions to maximize profit through cost reduction, creating ethical challenges. Decisions of the company should evaluate ethical implications to implement strategies that have positive outcomes. Guerci et al. (2019) also state that the company should employ various ethical theories, such as virtue ethics and utilitarianism, to ensure employees benefit from changes in human resource management practices. The new personnel management strategies should not cause harm to employees due to the decisions of the company’s management. Ethical and legal considerations in strategic decisions are crucial to Microsoft because of potential damage and costs associated with a breach of regulations.
Decision-Making and Essential Business Communication
Strategic management changes involve complex decisions and communication. The company is faced with the challenge of enhancing motivation and job satisfaction, requiring a multi-stakeholder approach. The company should establish a team to focus on the appropriate strategies by engaging different departments and external stakeholders. The company should identify alternative strategies and their implications to evaluate the most suitable solution. Sniazhko (2019) notes that engaging employees in decision-making makes them part of the strategic decisions. The strategic decision should involve middle-level and senior management because it affects other strategic goals of the multinational (Sageder & Feldbauer-Durstmüller, 2019). A strategic decision in the HRM department will affect all other departments.
Formulation and implementation of strategic decisions involve business communication approaches. Information and feedback are critical in enhancing decision-making. According to Sham et al. (2021), the multinational should provide communication channels that strengthen strategy formulation and implementation engagement. Axarloglou (2020) indicates that the essence of establishing communication channels is that timely delivery of information and feedback hastens decision-making. Implementation of HRM strategies elicits mixed reactions from different stakeholders. The organization should enable stakeholders to give input to identify challenges and improvements required to enhance the strategy’s effectiveness (Skrynnikova & Grigorieva, 2019). Microsoft should use its digital communication channels to collect feedback and offer solutions to the weaknesses of the new strategy. The multinational should ensure stakeholder engagement by providing communication channels to enhance decision-making.
Leadership and Organizational Change
The success of Microsoft has been primarily influenced by its founder, Bill Gates, who offered leadership during the most challenging phases of the organization’s evolution. Islam et al. (2019) note that leadership is essential because it guides the implementation of strategies. Microsoft has a vibrant leadership team that offers leadership at different levels of the organization, allowing coordination of the organization to achieve organizational goals. Job satisfaction and motivation are the primary roles of executive leadership by providing the appropriate working environment and employment terms. The company’s administration implemented various changes to enable the company to operate during the pandemic. Virzi (2018) also adds that although the changes had undesired effects on employees and other stakeholders, the company’s leadership managed the changes effectively to prevent resistance. The company will also implement changes to enhance job satisfaction and motivation, which might cause resistance to change.
Change management is critical in the organization because it determines the effectiveness of changes to achieve desired goals and objectives (Virzi, 2018). The company’s management should engage employees and other stakeholders in all change formulation and implementation stages to address concerns raised. The company should also show employees how the changes may affect them and the company to prevent speculation that adversely affects the company. The company’s leaders should clarify any misleading information that employees and other stakeholders may have about the change. Employees’ primary fear caused by organizational change is the threat of job security and working conditions due to restructuring and layoffs. According to Chongcharoen et al. (2019), the organization should engage employees who experience adverse effects during the changes to prevent psychological issues that impede performance and change implementation. Organizational leadership should also predict the challenges and setbacks of the changes to reduce their impacts on organizational performance (Chongcharoen et al., 2019). Lastly, implementing changes requires strategies that align with administrative processes and stakeholders’ expectations. Microsoft’s management should formulate an implementation framework to allow gradual implementation as they address emerging issues (Virzi, 2018). The success of a strategic plan depends on the leadership strategy of change management due to its different implications for the organization and stakeholders. Microsoft’s leadership team should provide guidance that addresses issues arising from plans to enhance motivation and job satisfaction.
Implementation of strategic plans by multinationals is complex due to global management issues. Microsoft’s global operations require strategies that address all its subsidiaries’ problems in the same way they affect the headquarters. The perception that headquarters gets favorable working terms means that subsidiaries elicit global management issues. The pandemic and other economic challenges affect Microsoft’s investments globally, requiring it to deploy strategies that achieve all employees’ motivation and job satisfaction. According to Almond et al. (2019), one global management issue that the company should address is diversity due to employees from different cultural backgrounds. Different countries and employees from diverse cultural backgrounds have different needs. Microsoft should align its new strategies with the requirements of employees based on their unique global characteristics. Khan et al. (2020) indicate that the practical approach of international management is to establish local teams to determine the needs of each subsidiary and combine them to form a global strategy to achieve motivation and job satisfaction. Company headquarters should provide guidelines for implementing the strategy to ensure they are within the scope of the company budget. Global management also involves compliance with local and international regulations. Although the company’s different labor jurisdictions may have different requirements, its strategies should balance the interests of its global issues (Khan et al., 2020). The company should address discrimination and bias by implementing changes that positively affect employees. The company should also implement the changes in phases to evaluate the effects on different investments globally. A change may positively impact some subsidiaries and negatively on others. Implementing changes across all subsidiaries would have disruptive effects that could have unintended and costly consequences. Microsoft’s approach to change in HRM approaches should align with the different needs of its global subsidiaries.
Economic Analysis for Managers
Implementation of change has different implications, requiring analysis of the economic environment. The pandemic has caused adverse economic impacts on business operations. Microsoft initiated various HRM and management strategies to manage the financial consequences, but these strategies have not yielded many benefits due to the global economic recession and inflation. Microsoft’s management requires analyzing the economic environment to implement strategies that help the company manage its financial challenges. Microsoft’s managers should analyze inflation because it affects the cost of implementing change. Hertenstein & Williamson (2018) indicate that pay increases and rewards are one strategy to enhance job satisfaction and motivation. This strategy requires financial projections factoring in inflation to define the appropriate budget to implement the changes. The company should consider global and local inflation because it affects employees’ income and motivation. The company should also consider its sales revenues and financial performance in determining strategies to influence motivation and job satisfaction. The company’s strategies depend on the potential growth in revenues to finance an increase in expenditures for the management of personnel. Cooke et al. (2019) indicate that enhancing motivation is expensive, requiring the company to grow in revenues and profit to manage the increase in expenditure.
A significant challenge in implementing changes in multinational HRM processes is the high expenditure due to many employees (Tregaskis & Almond, 2019). The company should also analyze the cost of capital due to changing interest rates. Implementing changes requires debt financing, but the choice of this financing model depends on the cost of capital. Different countries have different interest rates, requiring companies to borrow from the most affordable source. Microsoft should source funds from countries that offer the most affordable debt to implement strategies to enhance HRM activities. The economic effects of implementing strategies to improve job satisfaction and motivation require managers to screen the economy to manage the costs.
Implementing organizational changes depends on the organizational behaviors that define how people interact to enhance efficiency in operations. Microsoft should manage its organizational behavior elements, including leadership, corporate politics, stakeholders, technology, and the external environment, to improve the implementation of change (Presbitero et al., 2019). The company requires a leadership structure that supports decision-making and implementation to advance the interests of all stakeholders. Joo & Bennett (2018) add that the company involves leadership that allows creativity, teamwork, and change to support new ideas and strategies. The organization should also manage its organizational politics by identifying issues that prevent it from implementing changes. The organization should allow for the distribution of power and responsibilities to reduce reliance on one source of authority that would adversely derail changes that do not satisfy the interests of some stakeholders (Wen et al., 2018). The organization should also establish systems to identify resistance to change and conflicts, which would allow speedy measures to overcome the challenges. Implementing HRM strategies involves numerous stakeholders, eliciting organizational politics based on the effects of the changes on employees.
Corporate politics inhibits change implementation due to the conflicting interests of different stakeholders. The organization should address the concerns of stakeholders to overcome stakeholder politics. Wen et al. (2018) also point out that technology is another critical aspect of an organization’s change implementation. Technology supports the implementation of change by providing efficiency. However, technology may also cause unwanted effects by replacing employees. The organization should train employees about new technology to enable them to match the needs of new technologies introduced to enhance motivation and job satisfaction. The external environment is also essential in implementing measures to improve motivation and job satisfaction at Microsoft. The external environment consists of important political, economic, social, legal, and technological aspects. To experience positive results, the company should ensure the changes align with the external environment’s trends and changes.
Analysis of Key Issues
Ethical and legal issues
Ethical and legal issues are common when making changes related to an epidemic, such as the COVID-19 crisis. Research shows that restructuring was necessary to comply with the government’s measures to address the crisis (Christensen & Lægreid, 2020). For example, Microsoft laid-off employees and implemented salary cuts to overcome the financial challenges emanating from the problem. Ethical issues associated with decisions included determining whom to let go and whose salary to reduce. Employment regulations and contracts play out to prevent legal liabilities when making such decisions. Regardless of the human resource understanding of the law, the pandemic and related measures created dilemmas for leaders at Microsoft and other companies (Christensen & Lægreid, 2020). The challenges will continue in the company even post-crisis when hiring new employees to take up different positions.
Decision-Making and Essential Business Communication
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, strategic management created complexities in decision-making and communications. The challenge affected the top management, emanating from the need to make crucial decisions and policies to help the company overcome the problems (Christensen & Lægreid, 2020). For example, it was challenging for the top management to communicate with employees about measures, such as layoffs and salary cuts. Internal and external communication related to strategic decisions was more complicated than before the pandemic.
Leadership and Organizational Change
Leadership is critical during a crisis to help followers understand and accept the changes. However, this was not easy during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the lack of motivation. Leaders made critical changes, such as letting go of some employees while cutting the salaries of others (Ndiaye et al., 2020). Maintaining motivation during such periods was one of the difficult things for the management. The remaining employees would do more work than before to cover the human resource gaps. Leaders faced challenges creating the right environment to motivate remaining employees and implementing other changes, such as restructuring salaries and benefits.
Microsoft is a multinational, meaning that its operations globally were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact is not quite massive considering its second position in the market (see appendix 1), but its needs strategies to maintain it at the top regardless of the impact of the pandemic on its competitive position. The pandemic caused major financial shortages for the company, creating challenges related to the global supply chain and the cash flow. Besides, aligning global management approaches was difficult, as Ndiaye et al. (2020) highlighted. For example, managers in different subsidiaries would use different approaches to the problem. The diversity affected employees’ motivation and job satisfaction in the multinational. Besides, the pandemic created lockdowns that made it impossible for the managers at the headquarters to move around globally.
Economic Analysis for Managers
Change implementation during the crisis created new challenges for the company that had already experienced the financial impact of the pandemic. According to labor regulations, the management required finances to compensate employees laid off. They also needed to improve their digital marketing strategies to capitalize on the new market environment (Alshaketheep et al., 2020). The restructuring processes needed finances amid an economic downturn and limited resources.
The changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic affected internal relationships between different stakeholders. Managing the elements of organizational behavior, such as leadership, corporate politics, stakeholders, technology, and the external environment, to enhance efficiency in operations was not as straightforward as before the pandemic. For example, the layoffs and salary cuts constrained the relationship between leaders and employees. While the level of motivation was at its lowest, they also experienced conflicts between the management and employees and among the managers due to conflicts of interest in decision-making.
Recommendations and Conclusion
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has already affected many industries globally, companies should find solutions to the underlying issues to continue business operations or face closure. Microsoft should take essential steps in addressing the challenges, including improving its human resource management approaches, decision-making, and approaches to organizational change, leadership, and communication. The first step the company needs to take is to improve communication with employees and allow them to participate in the change process. Leaders should explain the need for changes, such as laying off some workers and adjusting downward the salary of other employees. In addition, the management should discuss the importance of such adjustment as an approach to surviving the pandemic. According to Rustam et al. (2021), employee participation and engagement in the change process will improve job satisfaction and motivation. Since the company might not have adequate resources to use monetary motivation, it should use intrinsic motivation by ensuring that the remaining employees feel appreciated and valued to continue supporting the company’s vision amid the underlying challenges.
Another step is ensuring that the management understands the ethical and legal procedures to follow when implementing human resource decisions during the pandemic. For instance, leaders can engage a corporate lawyer to explain the implications of different courses of action and ensure that the firm makes legal decisions to protect the company from unnecessary litigation. The legal department should comply with International Labor Organization (ILO) regulations and national and state labor and employee relations laws to prevent violations that could lead to legal liabilities (Barclay and Kang, 2019). While the company should ensure that decisions are not discriminative or biased, the management should also improve communication to ensure that all employees understand the organization’s decisions.
The management should create a team comprising different stakeholders to spearhead the organizational change. Notably, the company needs a new strategic direction, creating the need to explore all options and implement the most feasible and profitable, such as increasing digital media operations (Sageder & Feldbauer-Durstmüller, 2019). The solution should engage all organizational stakeholders from the top to the bottom since the change affects all of them. They should also keep lines of communication open to share relevant information. Communication with subsidiaries will also try to align its global operations until the crisis is over. For example, leaders from the headquarters can have regular calls and virtual meetings with those from other regions to discuss the progress in dealing with the crisis. Effective use of resources is also necessary to protect the company from a significant financial crisis. Overall, the company should also seek additional finances from the sales of products, such as through online outlets.
In conclusion, like other companies facing the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft’s leadership should implement the proposed action plans to remain sustainable. The management faces numerous challenges, including human resources, communication, decision-making, leadership, and organizational behavior. The company should prioritize those issues to recover from the pandemic and survive the post-pandemic period. Due to financial constraints, they should engage internal and external support to implement the change. Thus, they should ensure that communication is open to sharing information with internal and external stakeholders to obtain the necessary backing. Collaboration and coordination of efforts will achieve the required objectives, helping the company to survive the crisis. Notably, Appendix 2 reveals that the company can recover with the right strategy.
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