- Describe the process you would utilize as the city manager to determine the root cause (s) of the existing situations/problems at the plant.
In determining the root cause(s) of the existing situations or problems at this plant, it’s very necessary that one do not jump into conclusion as to what the problem is, but taking a deeper consideration or paying close attention into the problem will not only help in discovering the root cause, but will also help one discover evidences to prove the major causes of the problems. Hence, the process to be used to determine the cause of these problems or situations is the Root Cause Analysis (RCA).
Basically, Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is defined as a structured investigation that focuses on identifying the true cause of a particular problem and the necessary actions relative to eliminate the problem with a permanent fix not just continuing to deal with the symptoms around the ongoing basis. (Duffy et al. 2009) The realistic root cause is usually difficult to determine or measure immediately, it usually takes some deep analysis with the use of one or more tools or techniques for its separation from the symptoms or the masking factors. Further, Root Cause Analysis is a determination of what happened, the reason why it happened, and the process of how to eliminate it so it will not reoccur anymore. (Duffy et al. 2009)
Furthermore, understanding the fact that RCA is a group of problem solving approaches developed to spot the true causes of events or problems is relatively important in the case of Mr. George Franks and the employees at the plant. Apparently, something could have led to what happened, and it is necessary that the practice of RCA is based on the premise the lingering situation are suitably solved, especially by correcting or eliminating the fundamental causes of the circumstance facing the plant, this is opposed to just addressing obvious symptoms in the plant. Now, it is also necessary to bear in mind that corrective measures are necessary to address these issues when they are directed to it, thereby reducing the likelihood of the reoccurrence of the problem.
In order facilitate this process, the fishbone analysis is a useful too illustrated needed during the brainstorming session of seeking to define the root causes of the problems at the plant. This would help one focus on the different possibilities. The figure 1 below shows this.
- Address the issue of the city manager just now looking into the problems. Based on your knowledge of management principles and practices how would you have dealt with the problems at the plant?
A situation of this nature require a high level of personal and functional management principles and practice in order to achieve the best high-performance based on the normal standard of management systems use in the world today. (“Riverside Business Coach, n.d”) As a city manager looking into this problems, there are certain factors to be considered in handling such problems. This starts from the process of strategic planning which helps in the management of an organization. Thus, planning a meeting with all the 23 full-time employees within the organization is one of the strategic planning approach.
When this meeting is successfully put together, it is necessary for everyone, including the other stakeholders and key members of the organization to accept and agree to the fact that there are problems on ground which is needed to be tackled through the discussion of the issues at stake among ourselves. Meanwhile, the efforts of everyone present have to be appreciated immensely, and also their impact in the successful building of the management and the organization at large. (Fincham, n.d) Further, it’s necessary that the Vision Statement based on the issues at hand is clearly spelt out during the meeting, as well as the future situation that should be envision in many years to come.
Additionally, the Mission Statement for the organization has to be spelt clearly and then we can ask ourselves, if the Mission and Vision of the organization correlate with the purpose of the organization, does everyone in the organization agree to this cause? and with the present issues at stake, do the Mission and Vision say what everyone in the organization do or do not? When these questions are successfully answered, a Strategy can be chosen for the organization based on the plant’s resources. (Khan, 2004)
The Strategy is a set of ideologies that directs an organization through solving a particular problem, while maintaining the organization’s utilization of its resources to achieve its Mission. Khan, 2004) Therefore, the strategy will help brainstorm the nature of the problem to be solved, the opportunities and difficulties that is tied to the situations at hand, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the organization.
- How would you as city manager address the issue of excessive employee turnover, absenteeism, etc.?
Managing people may not be an easy task, but people can be easily managed when there is a rule to govern them. Basically, high employee turnover can pose a big threat to an organization and can also have a severe impact on any level of business, both emotionally and financially. In the case of this plant, since it had been recognized that the rate of employee turnover is getting excess, then the first step to take to address the issue is recognizing the possible causes of the turnover, then measuring the turnover rate is considerable, determining the cost of the turnover will help understand the income vs. expenses at stake, and then the turnover problems can be addressed systematically. (“BizFilings, 2012”) Furthermore, absenteeism is another issue in the plant which is absolutely uncalled for. Unscheduled absenteeism is a great concern to the organization, and many of the employees who do not show up for work are not actually physically ill. (Yorges, 2015) It is important to add this issue as one of the “matters arising” in the meeting, and bearing in mind some points would help address the issue appropriately.
First, in the case of the excess employee turnover, reaching out for the cause of the High Turnover is necessary. In most cases, the causes of turnover are related to the factors that contribute to absenteeism, that is, if workers lose interest in their jobs, is either they stay away of leave. (“BizFilings, 2012) Addressing this issue require that one understand the likely causes, when an employee is not happy in their job, they may want to leave for another employment. On the other hand, when their skills are in a higher demand else, they may be lured away by that pay, better job growth potential, or even better benefits. Or other times, substandard equipment, facilities, or tools can be a source of discouragement to the employees, and other times when the wages or salary structures are substandard or unequal, there could be more trouble. (“BizFilings, 2012”)
Therefore, it may be quite technical to measure the turnover in this plant, but starting somewhere could be a good feeling. Keeping a list or file of those employees that leave, while tracking the length of time they spent, the position they held, and the reason they attached to their exit can help (this can be obtained from the exit interview). Additionally, spotting trends in turnover is essential. This cold imply answering questions relating to positions that often go through staying filled, the length of time they generally stay before they leave the organization, and are their reasons similar? Additionally, measuring the true cost of the turnover can be done, developing retention strategies, hiring the right people and developing their careers is a good idea, increasing employee oriented culture, developing an overall compensation package, and exploring creative options will help address the issue. (“University of Missouri, n.d”) When these information are obtained, then the statistics can help understand where to attack the problem from and then preventing such from reoccurring again.
Furthermore, in the case of absenteeism, after making sure that a list of those who are guilty of the offence, talking about this problem is a good way to start. One should bear in mind that the meeting is not a disciplinary meeting, and as such, the mood should be kept at a level of information-gathering and not condemnation or threats. Additionally, employees are the valuable part of the business, one’s focus should be placed on solving the pending problem, rather than punishing the employee. Calling the employee privately and discussing the reasons for the employee’s absenteeism will also be a good way to address the situation. When all the information needed have been gathered, then a meeting can be prepared, including the dates of tardiness or absences, with the various reasons given for their incident, and other supporting documentation or note. These can be carefully examined in the meeting and after the meeting, the employees can be monitored. (“Tracksmart, n.d”)
- As city manager, describe what actions can be taken to improve the business office staff moral and interaction with the public?
Staff moral behavior and interaction with the public tend to have a higher effect against the organization if care is not taken to deal with it through constructive actions. Therefore, in examining the connection between the employee manner in the conduct of the plant and the principles to which are personally ascribe, it would be observed that most behaviors are inextricably impacted based on respective familial upbringings, the influence of academics, and the social environments. (Dean, 2011) According to Dr. Robert Rue, “values are one major essence of our personality as humans. Our values are the major factors that get us out of bed daily, help us choose the work we do, the lovely company we keep, the amazing relations we create, and most importantly, the organizations and group we find ourselves or lead. It is this same values that influence our daily decision and directions we make, even the level where we choose to make those decisions.” (Rue, 2001: Dean, 2011) These are the personal values that influence the business office staff moral and interaction with the public. In other to improve on these values, some factors have to be considered.
First, reminding them of the fair deal had during their interview before securing the job will instill in them the need for moral and interaction with the public. Prior to accepting an employee to work in any organization, a specific amount of diligence is customarily performed, thereby, ensuring the employee can work in that organization, the company goals are usually spelt out, the public image are usually portrayed to the employee in a conformance with the basic operation of the business organization. Reminding an employee who lacks such moral and interaction with the public can go a long way to help the employee retrace their steps.
Furthermore, gaining the employee and customer commitment will help build a stronger team within the organization. Basically, when an organization and its employee unite around a particular set of values, they tend to become reasonable flexible, less bureaucratic, less hierarchical, and they develop an improved capacity for a collective action. This would then help curtain their morals and better interaction with the public. Additionally, when employees not only share the same values, but also a similar vision, the performance of the organization is enhanced, thus, employees should be made to unite with one particular value based on the organization vision and mission. Additionally, trust is the foundation on which any level of relationship is based on, when both with the employees and the public alike can have a mutual level of trust for each other, there wouldn’t be any kind of immoral action and hence, good interaction would be fostered among them.
- As city manager, what organizational changes would you make in order to avoid this type of situation from happing in the future?
The process of change is not as easy to work on immediately, but can always be effectuated on a gradual process. Due to the issues in the plant, there are new demands that have to be placed in this organization. It’s obvious the old ways of carrying out the present operations of the organization can no longer help the it to be successful, and therefore, a level of increased disciplines, collaboration, and team unity have to be reignited among the staff and employees at the plant.
In the vein of sourcing for solutions to the present issues in the organization, there must be a random change of the major supervisors or unit heads in the organization. The head of every organization department determines the effectiveness of the team members. Substituting the unit heads of the major departments lacking behind is a first step or approach to achieve a cooperative measure. As a matter of fact, when employees are aware they could be fired when they also refuse to get their daily tasks done rightly or in the required manner, they would sit up knowing too well they have a “No Nonsense” head who still comes down to their level and understand their plight when the need to arises. Additionally, having a supervisor or unit head will help the team mates to create a particular vision of how they can adapt to the development of how things can be done better in the organization, how they can also translate their visions into realistic agendas, also how the agendas can be communicated, established in order to solve every problem at hand, and how this could persist till they accomplish the success of the department and the organization for the time they have to spend there.
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