Case Analysis: Regulatory Review Commission
Brian and Monique are employees in the operations center of the RRC. Monique has rated Brian’s performance at work as unsatisfactory. Brian’s work rate is disappointing because he needs prompting to do his work and assignments are completed late or after deadlines. Brian has been reported to stay away from work without reason and is frequently late. Brian lacks motivation to do his work and is always eager to leave the workplace. The causes of the problems are a lack of fit between structure of the operations center and tasks; lack of fit between the employees and work position; and lack of fit between the employee and their responsibilities. The objectives are to have high efficiency and reliability at work, effective supervision, and commitment to work. Monique can request for an extension of Brian’s probationary period. The department should fill up the vacant positions in the operations center. The final alternative is to change the requirements for dismissing an incompetent employee. Monique should request for an extension of Brian’s probationary period. Monique will communicate with the human resources department about the extension and undertake reporting and documenting of evidence when the request is granted. Monique will request her manager to support he request for extension of the probationary period.
The Regulatory Review Commission is (RRC) is a department of the government. The operations center is a division of the operations information and change control department that receives, accumulates, and distributes status reports on the major policy and operational projects in the RRC. Monique Ricard and Brian Coffey are employees in the RRC working in the operations center (Cawsey, 2001). Monique is the supervisor in the operations center while Brian works under her as a clerk. Brian’s performance at the operations center has been rated as unsatisfactory because of a slow work rate where assignments were completed just before deadlines or after deadlines. There is a lack of cohesion between Monique and Brian. Brian also lacks the motivation to work. Monique is evaluating solutions to the situation because Brian’s probationary period is set to expire in three weeks after which he would be a permanent employee in the operations center and she has insufficient evidence to effect Brian’s dismissal.
The first problem is the ineffectiveness of Brian. Brian’s work involves developing and drawing originals for wall charts that would be utilized in graphing project statuses. Brian work rate was observed as slow when compared to the pace at which Monique or her supervisor, who both have experience in clerical work responsibilities, could carry out the tasks. Due to his slow work rate, Brian would complete the tasks just before deadlines, or in other instances, after the deadline.
The next problem is the poor working relationship between Monique and Brian. Monique has to prompt Brian repeatedly for him print and mount the charts. Monique had a formal interview with Brian about his behavior but he displayed no improvement in behavior. Brian was absent from work on two occasions and failed to inform Monique of his absence or the reasons for being away. Monique wrote a memo documenting his behavior and his willingness to change but Brian refused to sign the document and instead wrote a different memo disagreeing with her appraisal.
Another problem with Brian’s performance regards his lack of motivation. Monique noted that it takes repeated prodding to get Brian to carry out his duties. It took him a long time to respond to any requests forwarded to him. Brian’s low motivation is manifested in the way he his always eager to leave work for lunch and coffee breaks. He values his time away from work so much that he has installed a clock to inform him of the lunch break and time to leave. Brian frequently extends his coffee and lunch breaks showing he prefers to be away from work. His absenteeism and unpunctuality also point to his lack of motivation. Despite having discussions with Monique about his unacceptable performance, Brian has failed to change.
Regarding the problem of Brian’s slow work rate, there is a lack of fit between the structure of the operations center and the tasks to be undertaken by employees. As noted in the organizational structure of the operations information and change control, there should be four employees in the operations department. The positions are the operations center supervisor, taken up by Monique; two operations assistants, both currently vacant; and one clerk, currently held by Brian. This demonstrates that there is an insufficiency of human resources in the operations center. Due to the shortage, only Monique and Brian handle the tasks in the division. The heavy workload bestowed on Brian means that he might not have enough time to complete the tasks on time as required by his supervisors. This can explain why Brian completes the tasks late or past deadlines.
Regarding the problem of the poor working relationship between Monique and Brian, there is a lack of fit between Monique and her role as a supervisor. Monique has few leadership qualities and has little experience as a supervisor. Monique lacks confidence and the ability to inspire her subordinates (Gorey, 2015). It is stated that she worked on a large construction site in Labrador and later undertook various odd jobs before her time at RRC. On joining RRC, she worked as a clerk for four months and was promoted to head of change control and later to the operations center. Monique’s rise to the supervisory position in the operations center at such a short time shows she lacks adequate experience for the role. It is also stated that the operations center is new division in the department that would require an experienced leader. Monique is unable to guide and direct Brian, which is the cause of his frequent unpunctuality, absenteeism and lack of respect for her.
Concerning the issue of Brian’s lack of motivation, there is a lack of fit between the employee and their responsibilities. Brian lacks motivation because he has no passion in his clerical responsibilities. Brian was placed on probation in a position that required statistical and analytical expedience at the clerical and regulatory classification level but was later transferred to the operations center. The department lacks a career vision for clerical position. A career vision gives workers long-term goals that they can work to achieve (Page, 2015). Brian has also taken courses in psychology, an indication that he has little interest in clerical work. Brian has also expressed interest in joining the Royal Canadian Mounted Force and has undergone through some interviews, which demonstrates his lack of interest in the clerical position at RRC.
The operations center should fill up the vacant positions in order to have the required number of employees to carry out the job responsibilities in the division at an efficient level. The department should appoint an individual with supervisory experience in the operation center. The division needs effective ways of reporting and documenting cases of absenteeism. The department requires workers who have passion in their work and who display commitment to the organization.
The first alternative is for Monique to request the human resource department to extend the period of probation for Brian. During this period, Monique will have time to report and document any misconduct or incompetency from Brian, which would later aid in the process of dismissing him. Incidents of late arrival to work, extended breaks, absenteeism and late completion of assignments will be properly documented. An extended probationary period will provide an opportunity for Monique to encourage Brian to improve his behavior in the workplace. During the period, Monique will have more time to consult with the manager of the operations information department or other managers on which course of action to take.
The second alternative is to reconstitute the human resources in the operations center. First, a more experienced supervisor should be placed in the division to replace Monique. The supervisor will have the leadership qualities to direct subordinates such as Brian and reduce incidents of indiscipline in the operations center. The experienced supervisor will mentor Monique. Mentorship under a knowledgeable leader provides people with an occasion to learn supervisory skills and acquire leadership qualities (Hendry, 2012).
The third alternative is to change the requirements for dismissing or demoting employees. The RRC will have to reduce the threshold of evidence required to dismiss or demote employees, which will make it easier to remove Brian from his position. The evidence will only include a performance appraisal by the supervisor and an example of the employee’s incompetence. The requirement of a “statement of objectives to correct the problem signed by the employee” (Cawsey, 2001) will no longer be a requirement for the administrative action of dismissing incompetent employees. A change of the regulations will provide a platform for Monique to call for Brian’s dismissal in case his misconduct at work persists.
It is recommended that the organization should undertake the first alternative, which is for Monique to request for an extension of Brian’s probation period. The alternative is advised because it will present a faster resolution to the problem. It is better than the second alternative that will require an increase in human resources in the department. It will take time to hire and train competent people to fill the positions. The third alternative also poses a challenge because changing the rules of dismissal is a top-management procedure that may take time to discuss, approve, and implement.
Under the implementation stage, the first step will be for Monique to write to the human resource department requesting for the probationary period of Brian to be extended. The letter will be written immediately to give the human resources time to acknowledge and approve the request. Sending the request quickly will help to beat the three-week deadline after which Brian will be employed on a permanent basis. In the letter, she will outline the reasons for the request, which are the need for more time to assess and document the behavior of Brian in the workplace.
The human resources department will review the request to determine the appropriateness of approving the decision. The department will accept the request from Monique and will extend the probationary period of Brian. The extension will be granted for a period of between 4 to 6 weeks. The HR department will then inform Brian about the extension of his probationary period and outline the reasons why the decision was taken. The process of extending the probationary period will take very little cost, as it will involve written communication between two departments of the RRC.
After the extension has been granted, Monique will start the process of documenting any transgressions by Brian. Monique will document any incidents of Brian missing work without informing the department or arriving late to work. Will also record incidents where Brian fails to complete the assigned tasks on time and channel the information to her manager. Monique will attempt to advise and encourage Brian to improve his conduct in the workplace. A leader is required to instill confidence and inspiration in their followers (Flynn, 2011). During the period, Monique will have collected enough documented evidence to pursue the dismissal of Brian.
In case the HR department declines the request to extend the probationary period, Monique will request the manager of the operations information and change control to support her request for extension. Monique will also forward the performance appraisals of Brian to the HR department and her manager. Monique will also appeal for more time if the HR department fails to grant enough time for collecting evidence.
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