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Do Human Energy Affects the Work Performance of an Employee?

In: Business and Management

Submitted By raetohjr
Words 1077
Pages 5
Summary of the Issue
This article describes how human energy affects the work performance of an employee and how individuals sustain their energy during work. Common strategies used and related to increasing vitality and reducing fatigue were also discussed in the article. With low ability to sustain their energy over a long period of time, it might leads to consistent low-level of performance from the employee, which is not the interest of any organizations. This article brought up what organization can do to aid their employees to achieve full capacity in term of replenishing energy and removing hindering factors. In addition, it states that it is more common for individuals to use work-related strategies as compared to micro-breaks to be efficient in managing their energy. Hence, we will discuss in the report the reliability of the studies conducted.

Theoretical Perspectives
The effort-recovery model (Drenth, Thierry & De Wolff, 2001) states that human energy can be restored if an individual has attained the correct factors that help in recovery which includes disengaging from the activities that are straining. This brings about the perspectives that the employees might be facing difficulties in attaining full recovery from fatigue during work as they face working long hours and bringing work related stuff in their leisure time. Based on the five level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (Maslow, 1970), the most fundamental level of the pyramid consists of the basic physical requirements for example, food, water and sleep. Without satisfying these physiological needs, an individual will not be able to move up the pyramid that consists of safety, love, esteem and self-actualization. In addition, the law of effect formulated by Thorndike states that the behavior with favorable consequences tends to be repeated, while unfavorable consequences tends to disappear (Herrnstein, 1970). Hence, if the employees do not increase their vitality and reduce fatigue, their work performance, social life and health will be greatly affected and vice versa when the basic needs are satisfied.

However, based on Expectancy Theory of motivation (Vroom, 1964), individuals factors do affect an employee’s work performance. Nonetheless, these differences among the employee can be offset by motivation through satisfactory rewards. This shows that not only the energy aspect is related to the performance but the effort from the individual and the employer played a big role in improving work performance as well.

Accuracy of the Sources
This article had taken reference from the studies of famous professor in the discipline of work and organization psychology. One of them is Prof. Dr. Sabine Sonnentag who had numerous publications on energy replenishing through learning new skill and disengaging from the work load. As stated in the article, employees are not able to disengage from their work even during their leisure time and resulted low work performance which organizations suffered.

In addition, studies were done on the employees of a U.S. software development company and proven that work-related strategies does not aid in reducing fatigue and micro-break does not aid in increasing vitality. Few issues to be noted from the studies conducted.

Firstly, as the studies were done based on a U.S company, the result might differ among the different cultural context for example; Americans are individualistic while the Asians are collectivistic. As the result shown, the top 3 ranking for the both strategies used by the employees are more towards an individualistic. Strategies like offering help to someone at work and talking to someone about common interests are more likely to be adopted by the Asians.

Secondly, the credibility of the survey done by the employees is questionable as they are given a $5 gift card when they completed the survey. There might be the tendency of finishing the survey fast so as to receive the monetary incentive. Or worse, doing for their colleague as one might find it’s too much a hassle to do survey for just $5 (Bernard, 2011). Hence, the result might not be reliable, causing the organization to adopt an implementation that does not help in the employees’ energy replenishing process.

Lastly, as stated in the article, the sample of between 200 to 300 knowledgeable workers might only show a biased point of view from the white-collar employee and ignored another population of the blue-collar employees. The strategies adopted that influence the fatigue and vitality scale might differ given the different job environment and scope. The scope of this result is thus significantly narrowed down due to the small variety of employee involved in the studies.

Key Assumptions and Influence of the Context
The article had identified that the human energy is affected by fatigue and vitality and thus, affected the work performance. However, physical environment of the workplace might affect how an individual works and the energy consumption. We will look at Google, ranked 1st in the best 100 companies to work for in 2012(CNNMoney, 2012). The working environment in Google(Google, n.d), which includes free healthy lunch for all their staff, a more ‘open’ layout of the office where there are lesser solo rooms, pool tables and video games are available in the office for their employee to aid in the depleting effort of the human energy. Therefore, the working environment does play a vital part in the employees’ work performance.

Average age of the employees from the sample is 45 years old and the article had made the assumption that the work-related and micro-break strategies are applicable to other age generation. This does not hold true as younger generation employee are more self-motivated, driven by achievement and demonstrate greater teamwork (SHRI, 2008; Kane, n.d). Therefore, the strategies that work for the older generation might not be useful to the younger generation. More studies consisting of various ages should be done to come with a more concrete conclusion.

Conclusions, Implications and Consequences
Despite the limitation and assumption made in the article, it gives us a better understanding on how human energy level affect the work performance of an individuals and that the strategies used to replenish these energy. To avoid wrong implementation made by an organization, a more in-depth research can be done to discover more ways to help employees increase their work performance capacity. Since replenishing human energy can varies with the cultural and demographical differences, organization can look into motivating employee to increase their work performance rather than focusing on increasing vitality and reducing fatigue.…...

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