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Widgets International London Case Study

Essay by   •  July 4, 2012  •  Case Study  •  2,025 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,538 Views

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Located in London, Ontario the company Widgets International is comprised of 220 workers with 20 in the office and the rest on production. With a low turnover rate 75% of the current workers have been there at least 10 years. Recently the company has introduced new technology and updated the production process in order to make the product more efficient and smooth. They have also hired 45 new plant workers that are mostly male and younger than 30 and 3 which are foremen in their late 30's. Since the recent changes that company has noticed a few problems regarding the employees and although they have hired more people and updated for more efficient production, the company has seen a 5% decrease in productivity over the previous year. This is not good as their market is highly competitive and in order to remain at the top they must be able to sell their products at the lowest possible cost. This study will outline the surface problems and seek to understand why they may be occurring and the root causes. As well possible solutions will be theorized and given serious thought as to what the best solution to take is for each problem.

The company has noticed that the atmosphere in the workplace has changed. Some of the possible reasons for this are:

1. There may be a lack of cooperation and teamwork between workers

2. Possibility that there is little or no sharing and learning between employees.

3. The employees` interest in becoming involved in the organization has decreased.

This may have to do with the age differences and experience differences. Those who have been there for a long time may not want to listen to new and likely younger foremen as well it may be that the new line workers may not be taking advice from those who already know the job. Maybe the new employees need to be better trained. Management/foremen should make sure that the new employees are communicating with older ones and vice versa. Maybe the old guys feel that less important and are down talking the company and this leads to negative impact or maybe the newer guys are thinking that the job is too simple and this leads to negative thought on company therefor not getting involved.

Since the new changes the company has also noticed that the rules about breaks are not being followed and that employees are also suspicious of the company`s motives as last time there were big changes, there were also layoffs. In these types of concern it is important that the appropriate level of management is informing and explaining why break times must be followed and ensuring employees that they are not at risk for layoffs. Foremen must be adamant about breaks, disciplining appropriately when someone is not on time repeatedly. As well the higher levels of management must be letting employees know that our product need is greater and that if production is running at par or higher that there will be no need for lay-offs. This also being the reason that employees must ensure they are following break times as it being late affects how well the production line works. Also that they not be worried as we have hired more employees further ensuring employees that we are in greater need and not needing to decrease the amount of hired hand. It`s important that employees have a good attitude as well as work efficiently in order to keep lay-offs for happening.

Recently there were also claims against on worker, who has also recently retired, in terms of sexual harassment, although it is not known when this started and if there are other problems involving harassment. Although this is not directly related to the current changes or to the overall production of the company it does have the possibility to affect the individual performance of the employee being harassed. It will be important to talk about what is not okay in the workplace. Even though the person who has been sexually harassing has left, it may have left another employee thinking that since the first person got away with it that they can also get away with it.

By looking at the surface problems that are occurring one can delve deeper and see where the problems lie and go back and fix them from the starting point so they do not reoccur. From looking at the issues it seems that the big problems are miscommunication, proper education, training and enforcing the rules and regulations.

When it comes to communication it is important that all employees are communicating whether it is between themselves, a foreman or even higher management. In the case of age and experience difference, from the result of new hiring, it means that communication is most important here and must be followed up on by the foremen. Lack of communication means that the job may not be getting done right and thus, resulting in poor quality and having to do extra and unnecessary work to get things right. This also means that customers may have to wait longer to get product or that product may not even be of good quality, which leads to bad reputation and that the customer(s) may change companies and not refer yours to others. Ultimately resulting is production failure.

If one's employees are not following rules it is likely that they have gotten away with it previously or not receiving proper discipline or documentation. This affects the company in that, if an employee is unruly and/or tardy and lazy about breaks that they may begin to become lazy about other things, like skipping steps or breaking safety rules to make the job easier. Therefore, this could cause delay if something were to go wrong and also means that time is being wasted on lateness when it should be used for production. If these small matters are not addressed



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