Description

PS392-1: Develop an understanding of various theories of motivation.

PS392-2: Analyze the factors that drive employee motivation, values, and expectations.

GEL-1.02: Demonstrate college-level communication through the composition of original materials in Standard English.

Case Study: LMNO Manufacturing

LMNO Manufacturing decides to hire an I/O professional as an outside consultant. The I/O professional needs to help find solutions to decrease the levels of lateness, absenteeism, turnover and burnout within their employees. The Human Resources department recognizes that Mary is struggling to resolve the issues, within the maintenance crew. As a result, The I/O professional will work alongside Mary, since she is the best asset the company has to fix the issues, as she is the one who knows the company and the employees. Mary and the professional work together and find several ways to increase the employee’s job satisfaction, which will lead to increased job performance. In the following case study, discuss the factors that have de-motivated the employees and discuss options the supervisor may have to solve absenteeism, lateness, burnout, and turnover.

Introduction and Setting

LMNO Manufacturing, Inc. is a supplier for the automotive industry. The maintenance crew ensures the assembly line area is free from fire hazards and waste materials. The maintenance team consists of 8 employees. They are paid $10.00/hour and receive health benefits after 90 days of employment (paying a monthly premium).

The high tempo of operation in the plants keeps the maintenance team very busy. They often have required overtime. Workers on the team get burned out because of the demands of the job. Often there are high levels of lateness, absenteeism, and turnover. The team supervisor, Mary, has had a difficult time figuring out how to solve the issues on the maintenance crew. The Human Resource department has given several poor evaluations to the supervisor. She is feeling frustrated about the future of her employment at LMNO Manufacturing, Inc.

Absenteeism

The I/O professional needs to investigate the root of the problems that have led to absenteeism. Firing Mary due to the absenteeism rate, may not be the best approach to correct the problem. Her loss means money poured into hiring and retraining with the problem still intact. By hiring a professional it retains Mary’s job and saves the company money. Members of the maintenance crew call in sick regularly. They also get sick regularly during their shift and leave to go home. The team does not like being forced to work so many hours of overtime.

Turnover

There are a number of issues that are contributing to the turnover rate of the maintenance crew at the automotive plant. The supervisors’ demand that the employees are required to work overtime quickly leads to the employees feeling pressured. The limited number of employees on the maintenance team leaves no room for adequate time off to recover from the amount of overtime the employees must contribute in order to meet the demands placed upon them. The repetitive nature of the job puts physical strain on the same areas of the body; causing pain and discomfort in the wrists and back without adequate recovery time- referred to as repetitive injuries. The mental exhaustion from the number of hours worked and the pressures of others’ safety being at risk if their job performance is lacking can cause the employees to miss work or leave to find a different job. Poor communication between the supervisor and the employees can lead to dissatisfaction with performance levels for both parties. Employees also leave for personal reasons such as a better job offer, health or family issues.

The causes of turnover from the employer’s perspective relate to the employee’s attitude and performance within their department. Continued tardiness and absenteeism has an impact on the overall performance of that department. This puts additional strain on the other employees who are trying to make up for other employee responsibilities.

Positive Effects

Not everyone is a good fit for the company where they are employed (or any company at all). It can become necessary for a firm to “clean house” as a way of both cutting costs and getting rid of people who negatively affect the people around them.

An employee can be a toxic influence- promoting bad attitudes and behaviors. This type of employee can corrupt the people around them by creating animosity. They may be the kind of people you see forming cliques and spreading rumors. They may use unfair/dishonest tactics to advance their own agendas in the workplace.

Negative Effects

There are a number of negative effects of turnover for a company. The prospect of the loss of a trained and productive employee affects the company financially and that department’s morale. The possibility that a good employee would go to a competitive company could increase the competitor’s productivity and decrease your company’s productivity. The supervisor then has to begin the process of posting the position, interview a prospective new employee and spend time training that person for the specifics that this position entails. The efficiency of the department is compromised because of the fluctuation in a consistent and cohesive team. The time lost having less staff members, cost of posting for a new position and time spent interviewing and training is all an expense to the company. The cost to replace an employee can be in the thousands of dollars. If this is a repetitive problem with a high rate of employee turnover this cost can become quite substantial. The workload does not change so overtime and hiring temporary workers to fill that position are additional expenses. The supervisor of a department with a high turnover rate will need to evaluate and eventually explain to their supervisors the reasons for this chronic problem that is having such a negative effect on productivity and the cost effectiveness of that department.

When a company has a high turnover rate that can lead to more employees seeking unemployment. Those companies can then be held responsible and “charged higher rates because they are more likely to be responsible for filing an unemployment claim”. If your company had received any hiring or retention of employee tax credits those could then be in jeopardy.

Lateness/Tardiness

The terms Lateness and Tardiness refer to people who do not arrive on time to work. It can be difficult to distinguish between the two words as every company has different policies.

Tardiness is a very difficult withdrawal behavior to research, the primary reasons for tardiness are difficult to measure, and therefore LMNO cannot put the burden of responsibility for tardiness on Mary.

Related Theories

There are a few theories related to withdrawal behaviors experienced in a work setting. When withdrawal behaviors are looked at within a theoretical framework, many logical explanations, as well as practical solutions may be drawn. Three related theories are Job Design Theory, Reinforcement Theory and Self-Efficacy theory.

Burnout

Burnout is a reaction to elongated periods of emotional and interpersonal stressors on the job. The employees at the plant have a high frequency of burnout due to general workload and required overtime on top of that. As if the general workload is not enough the overtime being mandatory pushes them over the edge into a state where they are expending more energy than they reasonably can with the end result being mental exhaustion. Adding to the weight of their jobs is the lack of recognition, no feeling of control, and a pay rate that does not seem to reflect the energy the employees put in. The employee and the company may have very different organizational values or the employee may feel a lack of social support. If all these feelings on top of the forced workload continue, then they will feel as if they have no choice but to start to separate themselves from the plant.

The employees who wind up burnt out don’t necessarily start out having a low level of job satisfaction or a work-home imbalance. If this keeps up, eventually it reduces job satisfaction and negative attitudes such as cynicism and pessimism develop towards their company.

Write a 3-4 page persuasive essay addressing the following:

  • As the I/O professional consultant, what recommended interventions would you develop to help Mary? Explain at least two theories of motivation and how they apply to the case study.
  • Find several ways to increase the employee’s job satisfaction which will lead to increased job performance.
  • Discuss the factors that have de-motivated the employees.
  • Discuss options the supervisors may have to solve absenteeism, lateness, burnout, and turnover.

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