Vector Promotes New Supervisor, Case Study Example

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Case Study

It was bad enough that Jason Keebler, the Human Resource Manager, had failed in curbing the high rate of employee turnover at Vector. But Keebler had also employed questionable employee performance appraisal techniques that raised eyebrows. I was a manufacturing engineer at Vector which manufactured and produced dresses-t-shirts, otherwise known as dress tops.

In June that year vacancies at the supervisor position were available. Since the company policy is to first looking for a suitable candidate in-house to fill in the vacant position, it was only a matter of time before staff made applications to this effect. The application process was open. However, the issue was the performance appraisal technique that was employed in order to come up with the right candidate for the job who would maintain the company’s corporate culture, mission and vision. As the second senior manufacturing engineer in the company, Keebler consulted me on the performance of all candidates and in the end, two candidates were selected for the final stage.

Over a span of two weeks, three meetings were held in order to determine whether Jane Frizzler or Stacie McLane would best suited the supervisor position. The following is a script of the meetings

Jason Keebler (Human Resource Manager): as we know, we have a vacancy at the dress-t-shirt manufacturing department 3. So far, we have identified two candidates, Jane Frizzler or Stacie McLane as the possible candidates. Mr Goldberg, kindly update as of their performance reviews.

Matt Goldberg (Internal Auditor): I have done a comprehensive research on the two candidates as requested and have the following to report.

Jane Frizzler is currently the head of the team 3-5A, the production team with the highest output. Team 3-5A has recorded off the charts production levels over the past three quarters leading in output. One stain on this performance is the fact that 30% of all their production is faulty. This means that their efficiency is 70% as the 30% that is faulty either has to go back through the production process or is discarded as unwanted faulty products.

Stacie McLane on the other hand is the leader of team 3-5J. This production team has the third highest output. Team 3-5J has recorded steady output levels of the past three quarters. This team has the most steady production output levels in the whole company despite the downturn that affected the company’s production in the last quarter. One impressive fete with this production team is that they have recorded the highest efficiency in the past three quarters. Their efficiency rate is at 97%. In other words, only 3% of their output is faulty. And of the 3% only 10% is discarded as unwanted faulty products.

Keebler: Mr (me), you have been on supervision duty the past two weeks, kindly inform us of your assessment of the two candidates.

Me: both candidates show high levels of professionalism. Frizzler is a motivator and rallies the workers behind her. I believe that this is the reason why she has been able to record high output levels as a leader. She encourages her team members and sets targets that make the workers turn the production process into an engaging activity.

McLane is a performance oriented leader. She is meticulous in her work and expects nothing less from her team members. She pays attention to detail and that is why she is able to produce high quality products while still maintain reasonable levels of output. This makes her skill set as a leader unique. Her whole demeanour commands respect and her team members look up to her. Also one very important thing is that her team is so efficient because her whole team is very effective with the machinery. They report little to no problems with the machinery because they are meticulous and pay attention to detail.

Keebler: Owing to the evidence and information given, it is important that serious consideration is put into choosing the candidate that will maintain the company’s mission and vision. I believe that Frizzler should be the new supervisor. High output rate is exactly what the company needs right now owing to the fact that we are still recovering from the downturn that hit us in the previous quarter. We need mass production at the moment for the company to get back to its initial financial position.

After the meeting, all member of the appraisal team questioned the decision that Keebler had made. It did not make financial and production sense to opt for mass production and compromise on quality. By the selection of Frizzler as the new supervisor, it would mean that all teams under Frizzler would be oriented towards quantity production rather than quality production. However, one of the committee members pointed out one undeniably disturbing fact, Jane Frizzler was the sister to the senior accountant at Vector, Rick Frizzler.

This event was significant as it pointed to the need for proper and professional performance appraisal techniques in the work place. Statistical information that is collected in any given organization is usually geared towards making better informed decisions. This is the essence of performance appraisal, to look at facts in an objective manner and make an informed decision based on the given facts in hand. Keebler ignored all reason and made a faulty decision that would eventually lead to the drop in quality of production for an increase in the quantity of production.

This decision made me feel sorry for McLane. She was obviously the best candidate for the job. She had managed to set high standards that the company needed in the time of recovery. Furthermore, the fact that Keebler made a questionable decision despite the information he had made me and the rest of the committee cheated. I did not see my role in the committee if questionable decisions were being made despite time and effort that was put in obtaining the vital information.

In retrospect, I would have handled the situation in a completely different way. Owing to the fact that Frizzler had recorded high production output but also considerably high rates in faulty output, she would not have been selected as the new supervisor. Furthermore, by association, i.e. by relation, to the senior accountant, selecting her as the new supervisor would only raise further doubt in her as a leader. She undoubtedly has good leadership skills, but she fails to implement quality and standards in her production and work.

McLane would have been my choice. Her incredible leadership skills set her apart from other employees. She commands respect and all team members look to her for guidance. Her ability to assert high quality standards in her team would provide the company the competitive edge it so needed to recover. By focusing on quality, the company would set apart and differentiated its products in the market.

Given the situation, Keebler would have sought out the opinion and possibly the advice of the members of the committee. By virtue of being a leader with final say, does not mean that advice and opinions from juniors does not count for anything. I would have preferred that he sought out my opinion.

In this case, the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” does not apply here. This is because this situation was influenced by nepotism. By virtue of association and the influence that Rick Frizzler had, Jane Frizzler was able to gain promotion. This was undoubtedly unfair and unjust. However, there was no scenario where this came back to haunt or affect the Frizzlers.

This situation is related to Human Resource Management in the aspect of Performance Appraisal. Performance Appraisal is an essential tool in determining the direction and the position an organization has taken relative to its goals, objective, mission and vision. Performance appraisal is meant to provide a guide for management to make well informed decisions that are geared towards a more profitable position. Keebler’s decision contradicted the essence of performance appraisal. Given detailed information in the performance of both candidates, Keebler made a questionable decision. Even though production was set to increase with Frizzler as supervisor, so would loss incurred from faulty goods. If taken in literal sense, the company would start to record 30% of production as faulty. This would translate to significant loss for Vector. The decision making process was marred with nepotism.

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