1. What are the background facts, problems and symptoms of the problems that suggest that something has gone wrong?
Background Facts: As Mr. Simard joined Ancol Ltd., he initially observed that there was a bitter relationship between employees and management. He wanted to bridge the gap and pull both sides together for a better communicative understanding between them. His belief was that, if a certain measure of trust could be built amongst employees and management, then it would create a better working environment, reduce the stress level at work, as well increase productivity amongst employees due to job satisfaction, which would lead to greater growth for the organization. In order to establish this, his first move was to remove the clock system for employees to record their shift reports. The idea behind this was that employees will be able to work much freely; realizing management has put certain level of trust in them.
Problems and Symptoms of Problems: The main idea behind removing the clocking system was to improve relationships between employees and management. Although, this was a positive intention from Mr. Simard; however, he overlooked some key measures to achieve his objective:
Did not do enough research to identify if similar approach was taken in the past within the organization or elsewhere, and identify whether there was any business risks associated with his decision. Did not discuss his decision with higher management, or the workers union. Failed to understand the competence level of the supervisors and their current roles and responsibilities prior to implementing the process Failed to discuss with payroll and understanding possible effects of operational decisions causing problems within other departments
The symptoms of problems started when employees realized that they were no longer being monitored for their attendance, and there was an incompetency amongst the supervisors to detect any misuse. As a result, a small percentage of employees took advantage of the situation, leaving a large number of employees feeling unsatisfied with the situation due to inequality at workplace.
2. In your opinion, what caused these problems and whose responsibility is it to solve them? What solutions can you suggest?
In my opinion, the problem was caused by lack of planning for such decisions. There were hardly any communication between Mr. Simard and the rest of the organization in making such moves. He also lacked communication with the union, as well as higher management. There was lack of training available for the supervisors to track and manage attendance of their employees. There is no evidence of a productivity monitoring system for each employee, which could have also assisted in reporting any misuse.
I strictly believe, it is still Mr. Simard’s responsibility to resolve them, by educating his supervisors on how to track attendance, and also by maintaining a clear communication with the employees that an organization can only benefit by filling in the gap between employees and management through trust, honestly and hardwork. There should also be examples made of the employees who have misused their liberty by either termination or suspension. He should also keep an open communication with the Union and report those employees that have misused. He needs to implement a productivity monitoring system, which can track the production of each employee. Although this might be viewed as a negative amongst some members; however, if there are rewards associated with it (i.e employee of the month, or incentives), then that might also create employee satisfaction. I honestly don’t believe that going back to the clocking system will do any good, the decision that Simard made was a positive one; however he just needed to plan it better.