Slade Plating Case Management Summary
Despite the success of the Slade Company as manufacturer of metal
products designed for industrial application, the production manager,
Ralph Porter, was concerned about the dishonesty among employees in
the Plating Department. Some of the workers were misusing the punch
in-out system for those who wanted to leave early or arrive late.
Given the long working hour and low payment, they lacked of motivation
in performing their tasks, resulting in the dishonest action. However,
because of informal groupings among some of them, they operated as a
team to work harder doing peak orders. Therefore, the desired output
of the department was still satisfied. Yet, some employees who were
not in the main group were slack off and misused the system even
during the peak period, which potentially resulted in internal
conflict in the department. Thus, in order to motivate employees and
prevent the dishonesty, we propose to remove punch in-out system and
launch a better payment system with both financial and non-financial
incentives. Also, the working environment should be improved with
various campaigns to enhance the unity in the department. We also move
an employee who could not perform fully his talent to other department
to maximize his capacity. With these solutions, the Slade Company
could motivate their employees, encourage the teamwork, avoid internal
conflict, and finally increase the productivity in the Plating
Analyzing the present situation
There were 38 workers in the Plating Department of the Slade Company.
Their jobs, working conditions, values and tasks varied significantly.
They were all dependent on each other as they only received their
workload after work at the previous stage was done. Work was
supervised by a punch in-out system and a supervisor, Otto Schell.
Payment was low and the working hours were long due to the company
policy to keep training and benefit cost down by requiring overtime
instead of hiring new workers. In addition, informal groupings were
formed in the department, which significantly affected the daily run
of the work. The largest group was the Sarto group, which could
practically influence the whole department as others tended to copy
this group’s ideas and values. Without doubt, this group was a real
driving force of the department, both ...
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However, for Herman Schell, he is found to be inappropriate and
non-manageable and thus to be removed from the department, to say,
“promoted” to other department to maximize his personal abilities and
talents that we unfortunately cannot utilize in this department. This,
we acknowledge, is a very easy and usually not the manager’s way to
solve an issue like that. But we believe we just identified the case
when a significant and sustainable change is not likely at all and by
getting rid of him would eliminate the conflict source from the group
and enhance group dynamics on the floor in all. Of course, a con to
that is the feeling of safety, the lifetime job experience of the
workers. Yet, we believe this does not endanger the good workers’
positions and therefore does not pose threat to the regular employee.
A reason why he might not have been sacked before – apart from the
general practice of the department – is probably the family ties to
Otto Schell, the supervisor. In our opinion, such ties can be good but
in no way shall be hindering performance, and this shall not be a base
for delivering improper results both professionally and personally in