An increasing number of studies has focused on individual learning (Major, Turner and Fletcher, 2006; Murphy and Dweck, 2009) due to the importance of human capital. Human capital is hard to imitate and is considered a competitive advantage as it has a direct and significant impact on organizations’ success compared to other financial or “hard assets”. As valuable organizational capabilities depend on individuals it is also important to focus on the individual level to uncover companies’ competitive advantages. Therefore, it is important for companies to aid employees in learning to improve organization’s capabilities.
In that sense, Murphy and Dweck (2009) proposed that people have different beliefs about the nature of human attributes that affect their motivation and behavior. According to the authors, some individuals possess a fixed mindset (entity view) and believe that intelligence is fixed, while others possess a growth mindset (incremental view) and believe that their abilities can be developed through learning and effort. Elliot (2005) argues that individuals with fixed mindset, as they attribute failure to lack of abilities, tend to demotivate when facing failure, decreasing their performance and willingness to face new challenges. On the other hand, individuals with a growth mindset attribute their failures to insufficient effort leading them to accept better their failures and even enhance their performance and persistence (Elliot, 2005).
However, Dweck (2016) acknowledges that pure mindsets do not exist, and individuals are a mixture of fixed and growth mindsets. The author also acknowledges that organizations can affect the type of mindset present in an organization, for example by having a culture that focuses on “talent” (i.e fixed mindset), employees could be less motivated to seek for feedback and admit their mistakes (Dweck, 2016). Therefore, when considering individual learning in organizations, it is important to ensure that the company and its employees possess the right mindset. As learning presupposes that individuals are acquiring new knowledge, it is expected that they will sometimes face failures and therefore it is important that specially in the dynamic environment of a company like App-smart that the growth mindset is fostered inside the company in order for employees to be motivated and engaged in learning, as Dweck (2016) argues that people with growth mindset put more energy into learning than the ones with fixed mindset. According to an empirical study conducted by Murphy and Dweck (2009), at least in the early stages of personal interactions, the environments’ theories of intelligence shaped the individuals’ self-concepts (mindsets) and even how they later evaluated others’ mindsets. Hence, we believe that App-smart has a major role in individual learning by fostering the best mindset which in this scenario is the growth mindset. In order to do that, we propose that in App-smart, constructive feedback will be embedded in the organization, as employees will have frequent meetings with their supervisors to align in which situations they achieved the desired performance. In the situations where gaps were identified between the desired and the actual performance, the focus will be on how they can improve it, focusing on learning and not just on outcomes, as proposed by Dweck (2016). Therefore, the focus of the feedback will be on how employees can improve their current performance and not simply stating that they performed well or poorly. Besides that, the company will focus on maximizing employee’s potential (rather than just hiring outsiders) to maintain its competitivity and focus on the long term rather than in short term results. More practical implications on feedback will be addressed later on this paper. In order to foster individual’s mindset and consequently individual learning, work groups composed by individuals from different projects will have meetings to share and discuss good practices. Problems faced by employees should also be discussed to increase the knowledge sharing inside the organization and foster collaboration instead of competition among employees. Risk-taking will also be fostered by the organization as an important input for individual learning through brainstorming sessions for new products or processes. The company acknowledges that some risks will result in failure, but also in important lessons learned. It is important to identify that the company differentiates failures resulting from risks inherent from the business and the ones that happened by incompetence or inefficiency.
Organizational learning has grown dramatically in recent years, since it was discussed over 50 years ago (Crossan & Henry & White, 1999). Although it has been defined in many ways, the key factor of organization learning is the change which occurs in the organization as it acquires experience (Argote & Miron-Spektor, 2011). Therefore, in most studies, organizational learning has been defined as a change in the organization’s knowledge. Knowledge, which is different from information, is information-produced belief (Nonaka, 1994).
As a process which takes place over time, organizational learning can be considered in two models. The first one is based on Argote & Miron-Spektor (2011), who conceived organizational learning has three sub-processes: creating, retaining and transferring knowledge. Knowledge creation is the starting step of organizational learning process and what we think as the most important process in IT industry. It occurs when a unit generates a new knowledge. Different experiences were considered as an important factor to promote creativity, since it provides diverse potential paths to search and possible combinations of knowledge. Nonetheless, it may also constrain creative thinking by leading to drawing on familiar strategies and heuristics. However, the role of experience is not infinite. Increased experience can only facilitate creativity up to a certain point. Another important factor, which should be mentioned are routines and practice, which can be a source of change. Other factors such as personal characteristics of members, motivation, social networks tools can affect creativity in organization too. Knowledge retention relates to organization’s memory of knowledge in stock and flow. Knowledge transfer, means learning in a cross-boundary way, indirectly from the experience from others (Argote & Miron-Spektor, 2011).
The second one is based on Crossan, Lane and White (1999), who divided organizational learning on three levels (individual, group and organization). They are linked by social and psychological processes: intuiting, interpreting, integrating and institutionalizing (4I’s), in feed-forward and feedback ways. These two models can help us to have a more comprehensive understanding of how organizational learning takes place. Intuiting is a subconscious process of developing insights, involving in pattern recognition. Interpreting refers to the acquisition of the conscious elements form intuiting process. Integrating focuses on coherent, collective action, through continuing conversation and shared practice among members. Institutionalizing refers to organization put some learning embedded in the system, structures, strategy, routines and prescribed practices, even some investments. This model also shows that organizational learning is a dynamic process, which contains not only the feed forward aspect (i.e. from interpreting to integrating), but also the feedback aspect (from institutionalizing to intuiting) (Crossan, Lane and White, 1999).
What we should stress here is how to manage the dynamic aspects in knowledge creating process. There are two dimensions of knowledge creation that should be pointed out. One dimension concerns the type of knowledge: explicit knowledge (transferable in formal and systematic language) and tacit knowledge (personal expertise which is hard to formalize and communicate). The other one is the level of social interaction, mainly through the creation from informal communities, but also, within the organization. These two dimensions demonstrate knowledge conversion and knowledge spiral in organizational learning process. For knowledge creation, metaphor can be used to convert tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge, harmonizing them by using analogies to solve contradiction. This dynamic structure between individual and organization, tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge incorporate in knowledge creation. (Nonaka, 1994)
In order to have knowledge creation, from Nonaka’s perspective, App-smart should take some measures. First of all, enlarging individual’s knowledge both in variety and quality. App-smart can take a management strategy called ‘on-the-spot-ism’, which encourages using knowledge created through communication with customers. This can add the variety of knowledge the organization needs. To increase the quality of the stock of knowledge, we will use an approach called ‘knowledge of rationality’. This is an explicit-knowledge-oriented approach, and the core is to combinate knowledge conversion. Furthermore, sharing tacit knowledge and conceptualization is also needed. App-smart needs to create an open space where individuals work together to create new ideas, such as a self-organizing team with a high level of autonomy. The size of the team will vary from 10 to 30 individuals, with 4 to 5 ‘core’ members who have experience on multiple job functions. These core members play critical roles to lead sharing process and avoid ‘redundancy’ of information within a team. An operation called ‘evolving communities of practice’ will also be implemented, which is used to solve practical problems using linking individuals who can provide helpful information. The exchange of information between different communities can facilitate knowledge creation by connecting day-to-day work to innovation. Building mutual trust within members to share experience, with continuous dialogues to articulate this perspective, is another method to encourage creation.
Also, an online platform will be created to allow employees to talk about their work experience. We will set up internal publications to encourage staff to contribute, record and share their work experience, ideas and suggestions. We organize team building activities such as hiking, informal dinners to make team members more familiar with each other, so they can feel comfortable and safe to speak up. Then, the knowledge created in mutual interaction of individuals has to be crystallized in a concrete form, which is a social process of sharing and integrating knowledge in the collective level. We acknowledge that not every piece of information is useful to the business. Therefore, to get rid of information redundancy, we have a special team formed by experts who grasp more knowledge and experience to evaluate existing information and ideas. Finally, networking through a mutually-inducing process is important to creation, through the reaction of customers, competitors and suppliers. For example, communicating with customers to know what they need and find out some new ideas for the product which employees did not consider.
Important considerations for learning implementation
In order to understand how we can implement learning inside our company, we will focus on different key factors. While considering these factors, our objective is to create conditions that enable learning on different levels: individual, group and organizational. Those elements are related to implementation from individual learning to organizational learning.
Feedback and Success/Failure
Feedback is an important factor to improve performance of the employees. However, feedback itself is not sufficient to reach this goal. Indeed, systematic reflection allows workers to learn, analyze and understand their behavior and evaluate how they contribute to performance outcomes (Ellis, Carette, Anseel & Lievens, 2014). The process is composed of three steps: self-explanation, data verification and feedback. It allows workers to increase motivation and ability to learn from their past experience whether it was a success or a failure. Relating to seeking feedback, the concept of cost and value is important. Feedback can be used to increase job satisfaction, but generally, the older we are, the less we seek for feedback. This statement holds for job tenure. The longer the job tenure, the less employees are seeking feedback (Anseel, Beatty, Shen, Lievens & Sackett, 2015). Concerning motivation, perceived competence is a key element and feedback can contribute to that (Hiemstra & Van Yperen, 2015). Indeed, feedback can increase satisfaction and motivation (DeNisi & Kluger, 2000).
In App-smart, a mentor will be attributed to each worker. In order to find a mentor who best fits to each worker, forms will be filled and pairs will be made related to their answers. However, it will only be possible to become mentor after having at least two years of working experience in the company. On an organizational level, it will be part of the culture of the company to support employees during success and failure and to introduce a culture of seeking feedback. This will lead to psychological safety for the workers and will increase their performance and voice behavior. We want employees to be motivated and willing to help the company to improve. In order to achieve that, workers will also have to give feedback to their supervisors or mentors (i.e 360° feedback). Knowing that more tenured workers tend to seek less feedback, an annual mandatory feedback will take place for each employee. By sharing this feedback acceptance, feedback will be seen as something normal and constructive instead of something stressful and inconclusive. To foster the feedback seeking, a system of work related rewards will be implemented. If workers ask for four feedbacks a year and certain goals are achieved, their working resources will be increased. The goals in question will be objectives fixed with their mentor that the worker has to achieve. It can be related to performance but also on more specific capabilities such as knowledge transfer and how to achieve it. Since sometimes negative feedback will be given, it is important to provide support to improve the shortcomings. It will be provided through trainings or the support of other employees. Therefore, it is important that feedback is not only passive but it must also have a constructive aspect that allows workers to improve and also develop the company. The feedback will have to be given on three different levels: feedback on the task itself (if the employees succeed or not on their tasks), on task learning (understand why there was a success or a failure and learning related to that) and about the individual (self-consciousness).
Leadership and Social Learning
Leaders play important roles in organizational management and impact both individuals and groups inside the organization. The way leaders perform and the style of their leadership can lead to different results (Vera & Crossan, 2004; Owens & Hekman, 2012). There are two types of leadership we considered as suitable for our IT context. The first one is humble leadership which emphasizes on bottom-up aspects of leadership.
This involves leaders viewing themselves, others and new information in a more objective, appreciative and open way. There are three characteristics of humble behavior. First of all, a humble leader needs to acknowledge his or her personal limit, faults and mistakes. Humble leaders know what they are good at and not good at. They admit weakness and accept blame for failures. They are convinced that these behaviors can result in better interactions and more strengthened relationship with employees. Secondly, humble leader should spotlight follower strengths and contribution. They know the importance of ‘human capital’, so they are happy to push their followers into the spotlight, maximizing their value. They also enjoy endorsing followers’ voice behavior and rewarding followers who have done a good job. Thirdly, as well as the most important characteristic of humble leader is that they are ‘models of learning’. They have an open attitude towards new ideas and information. They are used to listening others’ suggestions and feedback. The teachability model helps them to put followers in correct roles and get feedback. In other words, humble leaders know how to develop their followers, using step-by-step process of personal development. As a result, humble leadership increases followers’ psychological freedom and engagement, which can contribute to motivate employees’ creation as well (Owens & Hekman, 2012).
The second one is strategic leadership, which focuses on people at the top of the organization and their executive work, such as relational activity, strategic activity and symbolic activity. Since most strategic leaders may possess dual behaviors, i.e. transactional and transformational, they need to be ‘ambidextrous’ by using self-awareness and self-regulation. As we mentioned before, organizational learning is a dynamic process with feed forward and feedback flows. In feed forward flow, strategic leaders in a transformational role are involved in creation of a vision of change and institutionalization of change. On the other hand, when they are in a transactional role, they will emphasize on control, standardization, formalization and efficiency in order to codify current practices and put routine in place. In feedback flow, strategic leaders in a transformational role motivate individuals to overcome resistance to change and adopt new institutional learning. However, when they are in a transactional role, they prefer to refresh and refine current learning. These two roles of strategic leadership also affect learning stocks. In transformational role, they inspire members within a change-positive environment to promote individual and group learning. In transactional role, they prefer to reinforce the mastery of current learning and necessary competencies. In organizational repositories of learning, strategic leaders in transformational role will foster an open culture, an organic structure, flexible systems and procedures and a prospector-like strategy. On the other hand, while in a transactional role, they perform more closed, mechanistic, rigid and defender-like (Vera & Crossan, 2004).
To be practical, leaders in App-smart should perform both humble and strategic leadership. They need to respect employees and listen to their ideas and suggestions. They can give flexible work environments and spotlight employees to impel (especially software developers) the creation of new products. We prefer our leaders to be more transformational when they are doing strategic management. As we mentioned before, they encourage employees to promote individual and group learning in a change-positive environment, give them space to share information and opportunity to train. They will also give confidence for employees to adopt new ideas and help to build an open culture organization. All these characteristics are important for our high-tech, fast changing and fiercely competitive industry. Leaders in App-smart should lead the organizational learning process by identifying and allocating resources to achieve competitive advantage in the organization. They should do that considering learning from external (customer, competitor, network, and institution) and internal (individual, intrafunction, interfunction and multilevel) sources in strategic management (Bierly and Hamalainen, 1995). To be specific, external learning brings many implications which should be considered: first, integrate knowledge from end-customer and understand customers’ needs through analyzing consumer preference and collecting feedback about the product. Second, learn new technologies from our competitors. Third, our company will share information about near-failures or near-accidents in our industry in our intranet to possess a knowledge database and foster tolerance for error. Our employees will also attend industry federation to share a common belief of the whole industry and have informal communications with top managers in other companies. Fourth, learning from firm of related and supporting industries and some formal and informal institutions. This would be easier because our company does not have much direct competition. Our leaders will be encouraged to communicate with manufacturers of cell phones and PC regularly to know which kinds of apps are more appropriate for a particular smartphone screen and system. Then, our designer will adjust their design such as UI. Internal learning refers to new ideas from individuals, across and within work groups as well as vertical learning (top-down and bottom-up). These two dimensions interact and mutually promote each other.
Teams and Diversity
To maximize organizational innovation output and improve organization performance, lots of efforts need to be put on the learning behavior. Team learning behavior is characterized as seeking help from other co-workers, asking feedback from peers or even supervisors and even admitting mistakes. Due to these activities, teams can find out changes in the environment, know about customer’s requirements and improve members’ collective understanding of a situation. However, as team learning behavior affects psychological safety and team performance, much attention should be given to increasing team psychological safety to foster team learning behavior. Psychological safety is defined as a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking (Edmondson, 1999). Therefore, decision makers need to make team members feel safe to express their opinion and to make the organization culture also supportive for individual creative ideas. Team learning behavior also mediates the relationship between expertise diversity and team performance. Only when collective team identification is high, the relationship between expertise diversity and team learning behavior is positive (Van der Vegt & Bunderson. J, 2005). However, it does not mean that expertise diversity can be enhanced blindly, as once the expertise diversity exceeds a certain level, there is too much information for employees to process and interpret and the information becomes too complex to understand. Into a certain extent, the level of expertise diversity might be also controlled to make it easier for team members to handle. Although it has been recognized that interaction with people with dissimilarities promotes learning and innovation (Van der Vegt & Bunderson. J, 2005), it requires accurate ways of knowledge sharing to increase individual creativity and benefit team creativity as a result. When the level of tacit knowledge sharing is higher, the relationship between workers’ expertise dissimilarity and their creativity is more positive (Huang, X., Hsieh, J. & He, W., 2014).
In the context of a company as App-smart, we want our employees to focus on learning and seeking feedback from others to improve organization overall performance. As aforementioned, we want to create an organizational culture that supports individuals to speak up about their new ideas. Therefore, the implications that are mentioned in the feedback section are also useful in the context of teams and diversity. We will initiate an internal social media platform to announce each novel insight from employee and express appreciation for their effort to the performance of organization. Once an idea is adopted by decision makers, the progress of the idea implementation will be updated via an online platform in our intranet to keep each individual well informed. Meanwhile, team building will be organized to increase collective team identification. The specific team building tasks will be assigned to each team and all team members must be involved into the task in order to finish it. By doing that, each team member might feel the sense of achievement to be a member of the group and enhance the sense of belonging to the team. But meanwhile, we will also control the expertise diversity for the team. At the stage of recruiting new members, we will evaluate the educational background and related skills and assign them to diversified project teams. Then we will examine the expertise diversity level of each team biannually to make sure the team diversity is under control and team members still feel the knowledge is transmitted in an effective way.
Culture and Structure
Culture is an important aspect of learning and may facilitate or hamper learning efforts in organizations. To better illustrate this, Hatch (1993) proposed that culture exists on four different levels: assumptions, values, artifacts and symbols. Assumptions are considered as beliefs about human nature and reality, such as a certain mindset or social dominance. Values are considered to be social principles or goals with intrinsic worth. Tolerance for error, commitment to learning and reciprocity could be considered as examples of values. Artifacts are considered as visible tangible and audible results of activity grounded in values and assumptions and possess feedback and structure as important examples; Symbols represent conscious or unconscious association with more abstract meanings and are exemplified by brands and logos, among others. The culture in these levels is dynamic and is in a constant process of production and reproduction (Hatch, 1993). Therefore, as mentioned previously in the paper, an important assumption of our company is the growth mindset which is important to foster individual learning inside the organization. In our company, this assumption is based on values such as creativity, tolerance for error, risk-taking, transparency and inquiry which are according to Lipshitz, Popper and Friedmann (2002) conducive to productive learning. To stimulate these values, we focus on practical implications in different artifacts. Firstly, an important artifact for our company is constant and constructive feedback (which is addressed with more details in another section). Secondly, informal meetings and parties with employees from different areas are suggested to stimulate knowledge sharing about best practices, as well as discussions about problems they have been struggling to foster collaboration among employees. Thirdly, monthly “learning” meetings are also an interesting proposition, where employees are encouraged to share their failures and other members can propose ideas on what could have been done different. Sharing failures and proposing ideas to solve problems creates a collective knowledge and also promote tolerance for error, inquiry and transparency. Finally, brainstorming sessions where people are stimulated to voice their beliefs and ideas are proposed to increase innovation, creativity and risk-taking behavior. Symbols will be used as ways to reinforce our artifacts and assumptions through slogans aligned with the company’s mindset.
It is important to highlight the importance of structure as a key artifact in organizations. Mintzberg (1980) analyzed parameters and contingency factors in organizations and proposed five structural configurations: Simple Structure, Machine Bureaucracy, Professional Bureaucracy, Divisionalized Form and Adhocracy. Due to the high complexity and dynamism of our environment, as well as our highly professional workforce, we propose that the best structure for our organization is the adhocracy that allows our organization to possess an organic structure, giving our expert employees autonomy to function as project teams and make adjustment across units. We acknowledge that although the structure’s proposition is from 1980, its implications are still contemporary and useful for our company’s objectives. This structure also helps the company to achieve innovation by forming multidisciplinary groups and encouraging mutual adjustments (Mintzberg, 1980).
Obstacles to Learning
Based on 4I framework, there are different obstacles to learning for each phase of organization learning. During the phase of intuiting, as individuals might not have relevant knowledge related to other group members, it might lead to superstitious learning. Superstitious learning means interpreting organizational success as caused by managerial actions. That is, they view good performance as a confirmation of their strategies, oversampling success and undersampling failure. Thus, decision makers might draw incorrect conclusions about the strategy they might take. As a result, they might attribute ineffective innovation to success and actually abolish good ideas which should have been implemented into the organization. Besides the obstacles in the individual level, there are also obstacles in the structural-organizational level. For example, in an organizational context of strict division of labor, organization members are rewarded for accomplishing their primary tasks and therefore tend to focus on their own tasks (Schilling & Kluge, 2009).
In the phase of Interpreting, processes of social cognition and influence between the individual and his/her group mark actional-personal barriers. It could be possible that followers are afraid to share their ideas because of potential loss of the ownership of those ideas. In the societal-organizational and societal-environmental level, the obstacles could be the organizational silence when the dominant choice within an organization is for employees to withhold their opinions and concerns about organizational problem (Schilling & Kluge, 2009). Another problem is related to the relationship between the knowledge sender and the receiver. Depending on the different interpretation of the relationship with the messenger, the receiver might treat the knowledge sent from messenger as valuable or not. Within the in-group subset, we use the labels colleague, rival and deviant to capture three distinct relational types (Menon & Blount, 2003). If receivers treat the message sender as colleague, they will usually treat the message as valuable or positive. If the messenger is considered by the receiver as deviant or rival, the receiver might treat knowledge negatively even if the messenger actually is valuable. In the phase of integrating, if there is no support from top management to the innovators, employees may feel it is a large obstacle to organizational learning. In the phase of institutionalizing, similar as the phase of intuiting, if individuals lack motivation, then knowledge is not implemented into the organization memory system.
In order to avoid these obstacles to organization learning in our company, App-smart will take several steps to avoid them. In each phase of organization learning, the role of individual openness and safety to speak up is important to make ideas and knowledge heard and shared. Thus, decision makers will set an example of expressing their novel ideas to the organization. By setting this example to their subordinates, followers might treat the organizational culture as supportive for novel insights and innovation. Because co-workers might treat decision makers as representatives of the organization, they could consider the organization as supportive and open for discussion by the consistent speech and words from the decision maker. Meanwhile, team leaders encourage employees to express their ideas inside the group freely. Sharing knowledge and information can be done through the online platform. Thus, followers can also thumb up or give their own opinion about these ideas. By doing that, supervisors are also able to know which ideas received more support from employees. Then supervisors can decide whether this ideas and innovations can be implemented inside the organization. For the ideas, which are not acknowledged by most of the team members, management will make announcements to acknowledge their input and also encourage them to keep generating new ideas.
Alignment and Strategies
According to Hung, Yang, Lien, Mclean & Kuo (2010), organizational learning culture is a key factor of company\’s performance and is fully mediated by dynamic capability on organizational performance. Indeed, culture and process alignment contribute to dynamic capability. Dynamic capability is defined as the firm’s ability to integrate, build and reconfigure internal and external competencies to address rapid environmental change (Hung, Yang, Lien, Mclean & Kuo, 2010). Rebelo and Gomes proposed that the structure of the company and highly educated employees are key factors in developing learning culture. However nowadays there is a discussion about the necessity of improving worker’s qualification to increase productivity ratios. The objective of App-smart is to develop the organization and to increase its performance. Moreover, quality certification is not sufficient. It has to be combined with total quality management (TQM) in order to have an impact on learning culture (Rebelo & Gomes, 2011). TQM aims to hold all parties involved in the production process accountable for the overall quality of the final product or service. Furthermore, the relation between the stocks of learning on different levels and business performances is a positive relationship. However, it seems there is a misalignment of stocks and flows in the learning system of companies in general and this can lead to negative consequences on performances (Bontis, Crossan & Hulland, 2002). Indeed, in this case, knowledge cannot be absorbed properly.
Our company is currently young. But we know that when companies become older and larger, they can become less attentive to the learning culture. It is also the case of permanent and old workforce (Rebelo & Gomes, 2011). In order to avoid that, individual learning and organizational strategies will be implemented. The implementation will be done through the different actions explained in this report. Indeed, there are different learning organization strategies and implementing only one is not sufficient (King, 2001). In addition, and because of the sector of the company, innovation strategy will be used. Actually, the company is creating new products and processes and wants to generate the maximum return for the new ideas that have been developed. A whole process will be created to achieve this goal. This could be achieved by using brainstorming and giving resources and time to the employees to develop their ideas. Once employees have finished the work they were assigned to, they will be able to work on their own project and to propose it to a board which will decide if it can be implemented in the company. A system of sharing ideas and questions will also be created on a specific platform as already mentioned previously. On this platform, employees will be able to interact, propose ideas, share problems they are facing and others could provide solutions to overcome those. Another strategy followed by the company is the intellectual property. Knowledge is of central importance and can be considered as a factor of competitive advantage. Therefore, it has to be protected especially from the rest of the industry. Patents or security programs will be used and information system infrastructure will help to use this knowledge in the most efficient way. The combination of all those strategies that will lead to the learning culture the company wants to achieve and will increase the performances of the company.
In order to survive in a competitive industry such as information and technology, it is important for App-Smart that individuals keep learning and sharing their knowledge inside the organization. To address that, we will make specific strategy based on different levels. The main ideas and strategies addressed in the paper are summarized below:
On the individual level, constructive feedback system will be set to enable and encourage employees to seek feedback from different source. By using 360° feedback evaluation, individuals will have the clear picture on how is their current performance and what is the gap between the desired and actual performance. We will also implement a mentoring approach to make sure the employee is well instructed inside the organization. Therefore, feedback will also be given to the mentors by their subordinates to help the organization on improving the mentoring performance and consequently benefitting the subordinate and the company.
On the group level, the company will also focus on team building and informal meetings to enable team members to communicate and share their knowledge with each other since App-smart is still a young company. As lots of new employees have just joined the company they need to get familiar with their co-workers. It will also affect the trust and psychological safety between them, fostering innovation and knowledge sharing.
On the organizational level, we will use total quality management to engage all team members involved into the innovation and organization development. Tolerance for error will also permeate the values on the organizational level. It is also important to highlight the importance our company gives to external learning. Seeking knowledge from related industries, such as smartphone manufacturers can really constitute into a competitive advantage when creating apps tailored for customers’ necessities. Meanwhile, the whole organization will focus on humble and strategic leadership to make team leaders and management realize their shortcomings and acknowledge the input from their employees. These leaders also play a major role in setting the example for employees related to the importance of generating new ideas. By addressing these questions in many different levels, we want to foster the growth mindset inside our company, which we think is the most suitable for App-Smart’s industry as it fosters employees’ motivation to learn.
Finally, online communication software and mobile applications will be used to make individuals speak up and share their knowledge and ideas freely. Through the online platform, which was created exclusively by Smart-App, employees will be able to view the feedback they receive, talk about their work-related successes, problems, innovative ideas, suggestions. It will also be used to monitor the progress of employees’ ideas, giving them the feeling of ownership and motivation as they can visualize the development of their ideas. Feedback The aim of this platform is to stimulate the sharing of ideas and communication between employees from diverse areas. The messages can also be sent anonymously by employees, depending on the employee’s choice. By doing that, we also can examine whether employees feel safe to voice their behaviors inside the organization. If too many comments are made anonymously that is also a good indicator that psychological safety should be further addressed.
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