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The John Smith office Machinery Trainee Scheme

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The John Smith Office Machinery Trainee Scheme

J Smith Engineering is a typical SME specialising in office machinery. Founded in the 50s by John Smith, the company was a traditional family firm. Since then they have merged with a similar company, but have retained their name and their desire to continue their internal education programme. Each year they hire trainees who are trained to be retail salespeople after one year of industrial education within the company. This education scheme has proven very successful and has grown from an intake of 4 trainees each year to 6 this financial year.

John Smith ,head of the company for over 50 years, now relies on his two sons Peter and Tom who are part of the management team and his daughter Kathy who heads the very successful trainee education department. Kathy, however has only recently returned to the company after being absent for 6 months on maternity leave. Her position was delegated to Justin Denby, the head of production.

Moshin Coscun, a Turkish youngster, whose family moved to the UK, was one of the lucky trainees appointed in this year's intake by the company after completing his GCSEs. During the first months he and the others were performing very well and Moshin in particular demonstrated his aptitude to the work and was emerging as an obvious team leader. However recently the trainees suddenly showed signs of a lack of effort and Moshin's performance was noticeably poor which had a negative effect on the other trainees.

What happened and how can Kathy turn this about?

Working in Thailand

Mr Tony Greaves is an Australian businessman who has set up his textile manufacturing business in Thailand. He has come to you with managerial problems and seeks your expert advice. After some consultation, he has identified some of the problems he has recently experienced with his staff.

* He feels that the Thais lack accountability due to a lack of ability to think proactively, analytically and methodically

* Thai subordinates could not express themselves well - they seemed unable to communicate their main ideas when writing memos or reports

* Staff members were often late for work and meetings. One of the older members of the staff who was often late, could not give an acceptable reason for his lateness. On the third occasion, Mr Greaves reprimanded the employee at a staff meeting. After this event the staff seemed even more distant.

* Employees were reluctant to tell him they could not do the work assigned, never asked for help and often told him at the last minute that they could not meet deadlines.

* Even though the staff were experienced, at meetings they were unwilling to give



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