16 Jul 2019

Employees at D-Bart’s San Jose facility have reason to be concerned. Division Manager Karen Howell received word from headquarters that the San Jose plant would be closed, with operations merged into the San Francisco facility. Most of the San Jose staff would be transferred to San Francisco, since the change was more an effort to save facility costs than to eliminate workers. Even so, approximately 20 percent of the San Jose staff would be let go. Howell was to work with supervisors to decide who would go and who would stay. Since there was no particular area that is to be reduced, Howell thought the most straightforward and equitable method to determine staff cuts was to eliminate 20 percent from each department, with termination decisions based on performance appraisal scores. She has reviewed appraisal records and generated a list of employees she believed should get notice. Howell has not yet shared her list with managers, and no general announcement has been made to employees. Managers have been informed of anticipated cuts and were asked to come up with suggestions on which employees to cut. Howell planned to meet with each department manager to finalize their decisions before they took any action. Howell met with Production Supervisor Dave Bradshaw this morning. They needed to cut five people from his department. Howell and Bradshaw both agreed that reductions would be difficult, but she was surprised when Bradshaw said, “I know this is going to be hard for some people, but it’ll be a good thing, too. I’ve got a couple of people I have wanted to get rid of for a very long time.” “Who’s that?” asked Karen. “Ben Renfro and Jackie Callahan,” Dave said without hesitation. “Why?” asked Karen, “They both have outstanding performance appraisals.” “Well, it doesn’t matter what the paperwork says,” he answered, “they’re both terrible. Renfro’s always wasting time chatting with other employees. He keeps everybody from working, and he never meets production goals. Callahan can’t get to work on time. I bet she’s late three days out of five.” “How do you know she’s late three days out of five?” Karen asked. “Have you kept a log or documented her absence?” “No, but I work with these people. I know what they’re doing. We’re pushed to meet production numbers,” Dave said in his defense. “We don’t have time for that paperwork stuff, and besides, people know they have to be at work on time. If they can’t even do that, we should just get rid of them!” Howell found much the same response from all the managers. It appeared that no one had been taking the appraisal process seriously. Feedback to employees had been haphazard at best, and discipline, if it had occurred at all, had been arbitrary and not properly documented. Managers simply checked off boxes on the appraisal forms so they could get back to the “real” work of production. Howell shook her head. Obviously, the existing performance appraisals could not provide reliable documentation on which to base reduction decisions. She would have to come up with a different plan for appraisals and reducing staff. SHRM is recognized as the source for this case study. Students will complete the assigned case study as a way to increase learning through application of course material in complex, real world situations. To complete the case study the student will:

• Identify and define the central dilemma presented in the case

• Select and gather pertinent areas of consideration, and identify critical data and stakeholders (if you need to make assumptions about any of the facts in the case, be sure to specify these assumptions in your analysis)

• Gather additional information and research as necessary

• Identify and investigate all appropriate possibilities to resolve the central issues, and present at least three different options

• Select and present the best solution and include support for the decision that recognizes positions of all the stakeholders

• Describe how to implement the best solution and include strategies to address the known challenges. Also include the likely implications of the selected solution.

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Hubert Koch
Hubert KochLv2
19 Jul 2019

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