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Org Behavior

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Lenney20
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Part A

1. A large project engineering company assigns engineering, purchasing, marketing and support staff to client-based projects, which last anywhere from four months to one year. These project staff report to both the project leader and the manager of their functional specialization. For example, a marketing employee in Project Z would receive day-to-day instructions from the Project Z manager but would receive career development guidance from the company's director of marketing. The functional manager also places employees in future projects. In the past, a project employee was evaluated by the employee's project leader at the time of the annual performance evaluation. However, some employees complained that they had just started the project, so the project leader didn't know their performance. The company wants to introduce a 360-degree feedback process to overcome this and other problems with the performance evaluation system.

Describe the specific characteristics of a 360-degree feedback process and how it might be applied for project staff at this company. Identify two problems that the company should know about 360-degree feedback systems.

A 360-degree feedback system (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 140) is an employee performance feedback system where information is collected from multiple sources including the employee’s peers, subordinates, supervisors, managers and customers. This method of employee performance feedback is employed by many organizations and is considered a social form of feedback as it is communicated by a person as opposed to a machine. As multiple sources provide performance reviews on an employee, the results are more accurate than when provided by a single supervisor. The 360 review also aids supervisors who are unable to view an employee’s performance which could be caused by reasons such as different locations or high levels of travel. The 360 review also provides employees with two-way communication and allows them to provide feedback on the performance of their boss. This empowers the employee to express their concerns with the job support they receive and provides them validation with respect to the performance evaluation process. It can also help an organization expose an ineffective manager who could be the root of an employee’s or departments poor performance.

The 360-degree performance system has many upsides but also can create many challenges and issues (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 140). As the process requires input from more than one person, costs increase and more time is expended. The more people providing feedback can result in loss of clarity and possibly conflicting feedback to the employee. The result is more time and energy required to assist the employee in understanding the review. Peers of the employee being reviewed may not be accurate in their feedback as they do not want to create issues with the employee moving forward. The last potential challenge I will discuss with respect to the 360 feedback is the possibility of the employee having a strong emotional reaction to any negative feedback from the various sources as this can lead to employee turnover.

This large project engineering company could definitely benefit from utilizing the 360 degree feedback process as employees can be working on projects outside of their functional area where their direct manager is unable to observe them. This will allow the company to monitor and record the day to day performance of the employee with feedback from the Project Manager. This could cause concern for employees as they may have just started on the project and the Project Manager has limited observation time. The 360 review will have multiple sources including the employee’s direct manager which helps the employee feel that the process is fair. The employee may not feel as though the Project Manager is providing the required resources or guidance and can express this is a 360 feedback. In this case the employees in marketing, engineering and purchasing may not feel that a Project Manager could have all the required skills to rate the employees in these specialized fields. These employees may feel comfortable knowing a review is being completed by their functional manager who is more knowledgeable in their specific area. Also, the employee might be new to the project and the functional manager will have a better understanding of the employee’s performance. The functional manager can benefit from the evaluation of the project manager when placing the employee on future projects.

The large engineering company should also be aware of the potential challenges that the 360 review can provide. In this case, the functional manager along with the Project manager and peers will provide performance feedback. This will result in additional costs and consume the time of all involved that are providing an evaluation. Further, the evaluations provided may result in confusion and possibly conflict as the functional manager might have different expectations that the Project Manager. Another potential problem is the employee has an established relationship with their functional manager which does not exist with each new project manager. They would be more likely to take negative feedback personally when received from multiple people as opposed to just their direct manager. This is especially true if they do not believe a project manager is qualified to rate their performance in their specific field.

2. XYZ Ltd. has just introduced a performance-based reward system for all production employees. The plan pays employees a team-based bonus based on the reduction of labor costs per unit in the production department.

Briefly state the type of team-based reward system used by XYZ Ltd., and describe three strategies to ensure that this team-based reward system remains effective.

XYZ Ltd uses a gainsharing team based reward plan. A gainsharing reward plan (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 159) is a team based rewards plan that is calculated based on the ability of the XYZ production team to increase productivity and reduce production costs. As this is team based, the members work closer and have a vested interest to work together which includes sharing knowledge. Gainsharing can also create employee satisfaction in their compensation as long as everyone is pulling their weight and there is no social loafing. It also places much of the responsibility of reducing costs and increasing productivity with the production team members who can have the most impact. The XYZ team members have a financial incentive to understand how their effort impacts the team’s performance and corresponding reward.

I will discuss three strategies that XYZ Ltd could use to ensure their team based reward plan remains effective (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 160,161). XYZ Ltd needs to ensure they are monitoring for consequences that were not expected. This includes the team lowering quality to decrease labor costs and meet the bonus criteria and employees overlooking safety concerns in an effort to meet the goal. Also, the company has to monitor stress levels of employees due to the bonus plan. Another strategy for XYZ Ltd is to ensure that the employees value the bonus plan. Some employees might not value money as the biggest motivator and would prefer time off or company merchandise instead. XYZ Ltd needs to ensure they evaluate other rewards that the employees might find more valuable and could possibly be less expensive than paying cash bonuses. The last strategy I will discuss for maintaining the effectiveness in the gainsharing reward program is to ensure the rewards are relevant. The rewards need to be linked to performance that the employees have the ability to achieve. The XYZ Ltd team members need to be able to see a direct correlation between the actions they can take and the reward. If the XYZ Ltd production team has already been reduced to the leanest size, reducing labor costs may not be within the teams control or line of sight. If XYZ Ltd does not provide the required machinery and the work is labor intensive, reducing labor costs may not be within the team’s control. In these two examples, the rewards are not aligned with performance that is within the employee’s control.

3. Senior management at Candoo Graphics has numerous administrative and client problems. In the past, the company assigned one person (typically a senior executive or department manager) to solve each problem alone. Although no one was prevented from discussing these issues with colleagues, the macho style of most managers was that they could overcome the challenging assignment without anyone's help. The results were usually adequate, but rarely exceptional. A few were disastrous. Senior management is now considering involving employees in these decisions, but it isn't sure how employee involvement makes a difference.

Explain to Candoo's managers how employee involvement potentially results in more effective decisions.

Employee involvement (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 199) refers to how much the employee is involved in determining the work they do and how it is done. While employee involvement is now common, the level of the involvement will be different from one place to another. Some organizations still have one decision maker making decisions with no help from the employees. Some decision makers may ask employees for information but do not discuss the issue with them or receive their recommendation. Some decision makers might ask an employee for information and recommendations but ultimately make the decision alone. Similar to above, a decision maker might ask a team for their recommendations but the ultimate decision is up to the decision maker. The last level of employee involvement is where a team is asked to solve a problem and is responsible from inception to implementation of their solution.

Employee involvement will help Candoo Graphics with their administrative and client problems and foster effective choices (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 199). By involving employees in decision making at Candoo Graphics, the solutions will be of better quality and the employees will be committed to the solution as they had a part in creating it. Front line employees are more likely to see issues earlier than higher level employees and will have a better understanding of what the problem is. By involving employees in decision making at Candoo, the organization will learn at an earlier stage when their customer base is unhappy due to their expectations not being met. Employee involvement also allows for many people at Candoo to become aware of a problem and provide multiple solutions faster than if one decision maker was working alone. When decisions are created by a team, the sheer number can produce solutions by merging two ideas together. Employee involvement at Candoo may help the evaluation process of the various ideas generated by the employees. By involving the employees in the decision making process, Candoo is likely to see more ideas and perspectives and utilize the collective knowledge of their employee base. This will ultimately lead to Candoo Graphics having a better chance at making the correct decisions on dealing with their administrative and client problems. Another benefit to Candoo Graphics is employee commitment. If the employee base feels like they made the decisions they are more likely to have a personal interest in ensuring the solution works. Employee involvement at Candoo will also increase the employee engagement with the increased involvement in decisions (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 123) Employee involvement increases job enrichment (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 168) which increases the motivation of Candoo’s employees. This increased motivation will lead to a decrease in absenteeism and employee turnover which will have a positive impact on administrative and customer problems. Employees of Candoo will also experience more empowerment (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 169) resulting in increased motivation. This motivation is achieved as the employees feel that the increased involvement gives them more discretion in their job functions. The employees see themselves as having an active role in the decisions impacting Candoo’s future and success. Further, Candoo’s overall employee base will feel more confident in themselves and understand the meaning of what they do.

Part B

Read Case Study 8.2: The Philanthropic Team-Builder on page 238 of the textbook and answer the three discussion questions that follow it.

Your answer for this case study should not exceed 600 to 800 words in length and should incorporate, where appropriate, content from Lessons 5, 6, 7, and 8.

1. What type of team building best describes these volunteering activities?

The type of team building that describes this volunteering is improving relations among team members (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 224) Team members from both Coors and Molson are learning to work together (interdependence) to manage a process in an effective way. Working together to pass the cement tiles requires communication which further strengthens the inter-relations of the team and teaches employees from both teams to work together to complete a task. As the volunteer work duties are outside of the stresses of their day to day jobs, the employees are more likely to build positive relations resulting in increased trust and collaboration. This is especially important as the two companies have just merged and employees from both organizations feel threatened by the other. With employees joining from two separate organizations, the competing perspectives and values can increase the time needed for the employees to bond (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 221). This type of diversity can create fault lines between the employees of the merging companies. The interpersonal relationships formed by the team building can increase the employee’s motivation to communicate, cooperate, and coordinate with each other as well as be comforting and effective at resolving conflict (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 221). These areas have a huge impact on team cohesion which is a very important aspect to the early stages of team development (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 225). This team will need to feel motivated to stay together and take pride in the team. Team members need to feel that all members are committed to the overall goals and each member needs to believe in the goals. This team cohesion is a very emotional process and the trust built through this team building event will help this process and bridge the interpersonal gap between the two merging companies. It will also allow for identification and removal of weaknesses within the team that may be hindering the development of interpersonal processes.

2. Explain how the corporate social responsibility element of volunteering contributes to team building.

Corporate social responsibility is considered actions a company takes that are intended to have a positive impact on society and the environment that are not required by law. The activities are not intended to produce immediate financial gain to the organization (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 13) One form of CSR is achieved through volunteering which is also considered a form of team building. CSR takes the employees outside of the regular work environment and encourages them to work on something new as a team which can lead to improved team dynamics. In this case, employees from the merged companies create an informal team with a high degree of interdependence (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 212). These informal groups tend to reduce stresses that exist in the workplace and foster a sense of team support among those volunteering. The employees of the two merging companies will build trust in each other with the CSR initiative which leads to cooperation, collaboration and information sharing to name a few. Further, the opportunity to develop new relationships is especially important considering the competing dynamics of the two companies coming together. These things are the foundation for team development which is imperative to the success of any organization.

The informal team working on a non-core project allows the employees from both companies to work on and develop new problem solving techniques. First, identifying the problem is imperative and errors can be reduced when employees collaborate. This allows various mental models to be in play and can eliminate blind spots (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 187). The informal team environment will likely reduce satisficing and reduce emotional choices as well as increase creativity and divergent thinking. The CSR aspect helps to create a sense of team pride and strengthen members feeling of social identity to the group which is imperative to team cohesion (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 225). The CSR initiative allows employees an informal opportunity to collectively show they are active citizens in the community and develop stronger relationships by getting to know their colleagues outside of work.

3. Along with team building, in what other ways do these volunteering activities improve organizations?

While volunteering activities have a major benefit to team building, there is also other benefit to the organization as well. The CSR aspect can help employees feel good about their individual citizenship which can lead to increased energy and feeling good about the organization and their work. This can have a positive impact on employee engagement and their motivation. The team building also has an impact of employees drive to bond (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 187) as social relationships are formed which leads to increased employee engagement and motivation. The volunteering also helps improve the new joint organization with respect to leadership skills, in particular self-leadership skills. This is the ability of the employee to motivate his or herself to perform the required tasks, which in this case are to help in the construction of the house(McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 170).

The volunteering also helps the image of the company with respect to their corporate social responsibility in the eyes of all stakeholders (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 13). Coors/Molson understands that to be sustainable they need to support society in general and the environment which is being accomplished by building homes for the less fortunate. Also, this initiative satisfies employee’s expectations of their employer to maintain a high level of CSR.

The positive feelings gained from volunteering and relationships formed between employees from both merging companies can have a positive impact on employee’s emotions, attitudes, and behaviours toward each other (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 94). Employees from both sides may believe that the merger reduces job security and form feelings of uncertainty which creates behavioural intentions of looking for another job. This is can be reduced through the positive volunteering experience which can increase job satisfaction. Further, the positive volunteering experience can increase the organizational commitment which in the case of merging companies is very important. Organizational commitment and job satisfaction are a big part of an employee’s overall job satisfaction (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 106) In this case, employees may identify with shared values which will have a positive impact on organizational commitment which will increase their desire to stay with the new organization.

Lastly, this stressful time for employees from both merging organizations could lead to job burnout (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 109). This can happen when an employee experiences prolonged stressors and starts to breakdown emotionally and their productivity dwindles. Getting away from the job and volunteering will be a welcome relief for all employees and give them downtime to recharge and come back to work with a more positive outlook.

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...Resolving Morale and Turnover Issues within a Vital Organization Tierzah Lyon 10662 Crystal Lake Rd. Farmersville Station, NY 14060 tierzahjane@yahoo.com Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry MGMT-591-20618 Leadership & Org Behavior Professor Joseph Neptune February 22, 2015 Abstract The organization discussed in this work of literature is Cuba Memorial Hospital, located in Cuba, NY. Cuba Memorial Hospital is named as a Critical Access Hospital through a federally supported program. This allows the hospital to choose which services best meet the needs of the community with 50+ employees. Cuba Memorial provides mostly long-term care treatment as the main bulk of their income. Like many other hospitals, Cuba Memorial Hospital (Cuba Memorial Hospital) went thru a significant downturn around 2008 due to fraud and theft of education funding and much more. Not only do they lose funding, but also they also almost get shutdown every six months due to not meeting regulations in controlling heat and air-conditioning, as well as having asbestos in the pipes, and a lack of food as they have maxed out their credits with many companies. It has been a roller coaster for many years. The main contributor for many issues among the organization is lack of morale and ethics within the company and this contribute to a very high turnover rate overall. Employees are not very good as well due to the lack of appreciation of everyone’s hard......

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