There are four aspects to address in responding to the issue: Sally, Fred, the Human Resources Department, and the clients. The ideal plan of action would be to speak to Sally, then to Fred, then carry out necessary changes in the Human Resources Department, as well as follow up with clients. It will take about two weeks to complete the initial stage of this task. Discussions with Sally and Fred will take about one or two days, and formulating proposals for changes in the Human Resources Department will take about three to four days.
Implementing the changes and following up with clients will take another week. After this initial stage, it will take up to three months to observe the interventions and to evaluate its effectiveness. As promised to Sally, I will ask her to see me in the office so that we can discuss the issue. I will inform Sally that client feedback is an important aspect that her department should be able to handle well, and Fred failed this sensitive role. Worse, this has not been included in his evaluations, and so the problem has not been addressed properly until the clients spoke up to other members of the
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With this, Sally will have to document the issue and, separately, explain in writing why such an important documentation has been delayed. At the maximum, Sally should carry this out before the end of the day. Likewise, Sally will have to be informed that the Human Resources Department will re-evaluate and speak with Fred in private and without her participation. After speaking with Sally, I will call Fred for a discussion about the case. I will inform him of the customer feedback he has been getting, ask him if he is aware, and what he plans to do about it.
I will also inform him that he will be put on probation for at least three months, and that an evaluation by the Human Resources Department will be consistently made to him every end of the month. The corrective actions from the Human Resources Department will largely depend on the feedbacks from both parties. After explaining in writing why the documentation of the case has been delayed, it might be necessary to re-assign performance evaluations of the customer service representatives to another person rather than Sally.
In the case of Fred, should he fail the evaluations he will have to be terminated. The issue of dating will also have to be inquired with both parties, and it should be explained that the company has nothing against romantic relationships—unless the relationship affects the performance of one or both parties involved in the relationship. If a concrete evidence of the relationship arises, Sally or Fred will have to be re-assigned in such a way that their roles are not directly related to one another, avoiding any conflict.
However, because the company small, if movements cannot be easily made then one of them will have to go. Most probably, because of his poor evaluation and feedback from customers, it will be Fred. While carrying out these resolutions, it will also be good to start formulating a code of professional discipline and workplace ethics. The case of Sally and Fred was made difficult by the absence of clear written policies that the company can follow.
This is not surprising because Bellevue Specialized Golf Equipment, Inc.is rather small, and it may seem that a code of ethics will not be necessary. However, as a serious case such as this arises, the importance of a policy becomes prominent. The code of ethics shall include minor, moderate, and major policies that employees should abide by for as long as they are connected with the company. The policies shall include attendances and work attitude, workplace limitations including romantic relationships, and offenses should violations to the policies are committed.
Having a case at hand presently, it will be effortless to formulate a written code that will address the immediate needs of Bellevue Specialized Golf Equipment, Inc. Also, with a written policy it will become easier to address issues that may arise in the workplace later on. However, the contents of the policy should follow the existing “at-will policy” of the company, address the employees generally, approved by the departmental managers and the owner, and should be realistic enough to be carried out efficiently.
After sorting the case with Sally and Fred, and initiating needed changes in the company, it will be time to address the customers. A customer service representative who acted rudely towards customers is detrimental to the image of the company. There is even more impact if the customers discover that despite verbalizing their complaints, Fred was retained in the company for re-evaluation. To combat this, a feedback and opinion system can help. One option is to mail feedback coupons and fliers to customers, which they can send back to the company for a chance to win in a raffle or for a chance to qualify for discounts.
Another way to do this is to call customers and discuss their experiences with the company’s customer service representatives, addressing issues as they are raised and assuring them with solutions. The key is to encourage them to give feedback freely without specifying Fred or any existing case. Lastly, the case between Sally and Fred should be reported to the owner. The development of a written policy should also be consulted with the owner. It will also help if the owner is assured that the issues have been addressed and that follow through will be made and reported to him.
With this plan of action, the case will be resolved in a manner that is most agreeable and fair to all concerned. It will also help the company survive any ill effects the case have made, and handle future cases with more ease and in a standardized manner.
Allen, E. 2007. Managing romantic relationships between employees. Retrieved April 30, 2007, from http://www. theagosgroup. com/agos/PrintArticle. cfm? a=501&theme=0 McNamara, C. 1997. Complete guide to ethics management. Retrieved April 30, 2007, from http://www. managementhelp. org/ethics/ethxgde. htm