Mr. Bob Jackson is the new operations manager in Hayward Healthcare Systems. He came in to solve a number of problems with the distribution center including high levels of defects and errors in orders from clients. In just a few weeks after accepting the position, Mr. Jackson discovered that the former manager hired supervisors on the basis of job seniority and friendship. Moreover, many of his employees were convicted felons who disturbed the work environment. Arguments and other issues between employees were solved with physical or verbal abuse; this in part was because background and references were not checked prior to hiring those employees and managers and supervisors failed to fulfill their duty and responsibilities.
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One day Mr. Jackson was informed about a heated dispute between two of his employees. The tense situation was between a black and a white male for the music that was played in the workplace. Because there was no official company policy in regards to the music that was allowed in the workplace, Mr. Jackson was puzzled on whether or not to penalize the employees and even more important, how he could prevent further similar situations. Summary of Recommendation
Before creating a new company policy in regards to unacceptable employee conduct, Mr. Jackson must settle the conflict by disciplining both Mr. Ed Williams and Mr. Buddy Jones. Mr. Jackson must use his power as operations manager and suggest upper level management to suspend these two employees for a short period of time. In addition, both employees should be issued a written warning informing them of immediate termination of their employment upon another confrontation or other unacceptable conduct. Aditionally, Mr. Jackson must recommend company management to create a corporate policy on the music allowed in the worksite. By informing all his employees that all of them should respect this policy or they are going to be disciplined, he can ensure that incidents such as the one of Mr. Williams and Mr. Jones will be less likely to occur in the future. Case Analysis
Mr. Bob Jackson is the new operations manager of the distribution center for Hayward Healthcare Systems. This $80 million a year business hired Mr. Jackson for this job in hopes that he solve the problems in the distribution center. Recently, “the center had experienced a very high level of defects (140 per month) and an unacceptable rate of errors in the orders taken from client hospitals” (O’Rourke, 2013, p. 301), so Mr. Jackson seemed to be the right candidate to correct these issues. Considering that Mr. Jackson had operations experience in the company, top level management felt confident of his capabilities to improve the performance of the distribution center in a fairly short period of time.
After a few weeks into his new position, Mr. Jackson discovered that five supervisors hired by his predecessor had been selected for their position on basis of job seniority or personal friendship (O’Rourke, 2013, p. 301). Without any doubt, this caused employee – supervisor relationships to be tense, unprofessional and of poor credibility; For example, it was evident that employees had an overall negative attitude towards their peers and managers. This caused the overall working environment to be hostile, between others.
In addition to the situation of the supervisors, Mr. Jackson also discovered that “seven employees were convicted felons who had been imprisoned for violent assaults on their victims” (O’Rourke, 2013, pp. 301-302). Clearly, it can be assumed that employees were hired without their backgrounds and references being checked. On the other hand, because of their violent background, employees were used to settle their differences with physical and verbal attacks to each other. Even worse, poor management did not attend these issues letting the situation to escalate.
The climax of this situation came when Mr. Ed. Williams and Mr. Buddy Jones got into a heated dispute on the type of music that was played in the worksite. Considering that Mr. Jackson’s workforce included minorities, including black people such as Mr. Williams, it was essential for upper level management to develop a corporate policy on this, which at the time they did not have. In contrast to past managers, who failed to discipline negative actions, Mr. Jackson had to be sure to both discipline these two employees and advocate for a corporate strategy that would specify music issues in order to avoid similar situations over the long run. Alternatives Identified
Upon this issue, Mr. Jackson is limited in his alternatives. As a newly hired manager, he must decide on two important issues: the situation of Mr. Williams and Mr. Jones and also how he will prevent similar situations in the future. I have identified two alternatives on the situation of his employees and also one on how to prevent future harsh situations. Also, an option has been identified so Mr. Jackson in case he can not deal with the situation.
In reference to the situation between Mr. Williams and Mr. Jones, Mr. Jackson can:
•Accept the situation
•Ignore the situation
By accepting the situation, Mr. Jackson will be able to discipline both employees by perhaps suspending them from their shores and also issuing them a written warning. Besides serving as punishment for their actions and as a statement of “this behavior will not be accepted anymore”, this action will indicate other employees as a warning that unprofessional behavior will not be longer accepted. Besides taking this immediate action, Mr. Jackson must suggest to upper level management to create a corporate policy on the music allowed in the workplace in order to prevent future similar situations. On the other hand, Mr. Jackson can also ignore the situation and just let it as is, following the pattern of unprofessional management from the previous manager.
If Mr. Jackson feels like he can not deal with this situation, he can simply ignore it and just step down from his duties as operations manager. This would not be a good option since not only is this a great opportunity for him to show off his skills but also he was hired to solve this problem. Recommendation
Based on the possible alternatives identified for Mr. Jackson, it is recommendation for him is to discipline both Mr. Williams and Mr. Jones and also to advocate for a corporate policy on the music allowed in the workplace.
Immediately, Mr. Jackson should take disciplinary actions against the two employees, Mr. Williams and Mr. Jones. As stated above, Mr. Jackson should suspend 5 business days without pay both of them for their actions on the music player incident. In addition to this, he should also issue a written warning to both of them specifying their wrongful actions and detailing that on a future occasion, similar actions will cause employment termination. On the other hand, a good test on the effectiveness of this recommendation would be to see if after the suspension and warning, the employees continue their past behaviors. In regards to financial costs for this action, these actions will actually save the company money. Specifically, they will save in total 5 days of salary from the two employees. For example, $120 per day for each in five days will total savings of $1,200.00. Besides the financial benefit, a more important benefit will be the security that similar situations will be less likely to happen.
Besides this action, Mr. Jackson should also support the creation of a corporate policy on the music that should be played in the workplace. This will benefit all in the company since everyone will know the type of music that can be played and its volume. No two employees will argue for the music issues since the company will rule over this. A great way to supervise the progress of this this move will be to survey satisfaction from employees after six months of its implementation and to chart future situations dealing with music in the future. In sum, this will be great for everyone in the company and will prevent many future situations such as the one of Mr. Williams and Mr. Jones.
O’Rourke, James S. “Managing Conflict.” Management Communications: A Case Analysis Approach. 5 ed. New York: Prentice Hall, 2012. 289-315. Print.