Keeping Suzanne Chalmers

July 25, 2017 Communication

SYMPTOMS * Chalmers is not the first valued API employee who has requested a meeting and then announced her intention to leave the company. * Numerous employees who leave API are millionaires, from generous share options at API. * Many employees stated reasons such as stress, long hours, and disconnect from the family for leaving API, however; they will join a start-up company with some of the same problems. * Suzanne tells Thomas Chan that her job is becoming routine. PROBLEM The problem in this case study is the lack of employee loyalty, commitment and motivation causing high employee turnover.

ANALYSIS * Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy says that as a person satisfies a lower level need, the next higher need in the hierarchy becomes the primary motivator and remains so even if never satisfied. * Physiological need by the stability of her financial independence * Safety by securing her position at API as a Software Engineer in Internet Protocol (IP) expert * Belongingness by being a valued employee at API * Esteem by the high achievement accomplished in her position * Self-actualization is the higher need that Suzanne needs to satisfy; articularly work with more variety and challenge * Learned needs theory may also be applicable as it states that a person’s needs are influenced through reinforcement, learning, and social conditions that can be strengthened or weakened with training programs. * nAch applies as Mr. Chan offered Suzanne a 25% raise and more share options to stay with API, which was not accepted * Four drives theory is a motivation theory based on the innate drives to acquire, bond, learn, and defend that incorporates both emotions and rationality.

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All drives operate in everyone with the drive to learn and acquire being the most important ones for Suzanne. * Drive to acquire is insatiable because human motivation is to achieve a higher position than others. Chalmers seems to have achieved her goals at API and is ready to tackle new and challenging goals. Need to acquire material things, such as money and physical resources, does not seem to be important to Suzanne. * Drive to learn is the drive to satisfy our curiosity, to know and understand ourselves and the environment, related to the higher needs of growth and self-actualization.

Suzanne mentions to Mr. Chan in their meeting that her job has become routine, then went to work for a start-up company that Mr. Chan says “are pressure cookers that require 16 hour days and to perform a variety of duties. ” Chalmers is regarded as an expert in IP with API and as the job design seems to be rigid, Suzanne will move towards a company that can offer her challenges and something different. Social norms Past experience Personal values Mental skill set resolves Competing drive demands Goal-directed choice and effort Drive to acquire

Drive to bond Drive to learn Drive to defend * Job Satisfaction is an appraisal of the perceived job characteristics, work environment, and emotional experiences at work. OB experts’ belief that the main reason for turnover is job satisfaction, with an employee’s response to job dissatisfaction through Exit-Voice-Loyalty-Neglect model (EVLYN). * Loyalty determines whether an employee will choose voice or exit. Suzanne voiced her dissatisfaction in her meeting with Thomas Chan and since her needs were not recognized she later chose to leave.

Suzanne has a high conscientious personality because she chose to voice her concerns instead of neglect by way of work effort, quality or absenteeism. * Goal Setting and Feedback establishes performance objectives using specific characteristics. Goals must be specific, relevant, and challenging for the employee to be committed to the goal. Allowing employees to participate in the goal setting can be effective and ensuring feedback is timely and helpful. * This would help strengthen Suzanne’s needs to achieve, drive to acquire, drive to learn, increase her motivation as well as her commitment to the organization. Work/life balance or virtual work would benefit the employees of API due to the long hours and feeling of disconnect from their families. * The M. A. R. S. model outlines the four major factors in determining individual behaviour and results which could be a key for API: motivation, ability, role perception, and situational factors. * Motivation represents the forces within a person that affect his or her direction, intensity, and persistence of voluntary behaviour. Suzanne no longer has the drive (intensity) and desire (persistence) to stay at API. Mr.

Chan was unsuccessful with his negotiations to keep Suzanne employed and loyal to API. * Ability is the natural aptitudes and learned capabilities required to successfully complete a task. Suzanne has many abilities as she is API’s top talent in the specialized work of Internet Protocol (IP). * Role perception is the accuracy of how people understand their job duties assigned to them or what is expected of them. We believe that Suzanne has a clear understanding of her role at API, as the company assigns work to match technical competencies and she has been told she is a valued employee. Situational factors are conditions beyond the employees’ immediate control that constrain or facilitate behaviour and performance. We do not feel there are any situational factors that have been mentioned in this case. * The Job Characteristics model identifies five (5) core job dimensions that produce three (3) psychological states. When these states are experienced employees tend to have higher levels of work motivation, job satisfaction, and work effectiveness. * Suzanne specifically tells Thomas Chan that she is finding her job routine (boring) and if Mr.

Chan had tried to meet her psychological states (meaningfulness, responsibility, & knowledge of results) Suzanne may have stayed with the company. ALTERNATIVES 1. Job design following the job characteristics model Critical psychological states Core job characteristics Outcomes Skill variety Task identity Task significance Autonomy Feedback from job Meaningfulness Responsibility Knowledge of results Work Motivation Growth Satisfaction General Satisfaction Work effectiveness Individual differences * Knowledge and skill * Context satisfaction * Growth need strength

API currently designs jobs based on the employees’ specializations which seems to be causing boredom with the employees, even though it improves work efficiency. Using this model for the API employees, specifically Suzanne Chalmers, could prevent employees from resigning by giving them work motivation, growth satisfaction, general satisfaction, and work effectiveness. PROS| CONS| 1. Reduce employee turnover| 1. Requires restructuring| 2. Self-enhancement| 2. Training| 3. Improve self-actualization| 3. Could take a lot of time to become effective| 2.

Effective Feedback and Performance-Based Rewards It seems that Thomas Chan does not currently offer any feedback (not including comments made in the meeting) and that API rewards their employees only through organizational rewards of share options. Providing effective feedback to the employees while also using performance-based rewards would increase the employee motivation as well as workforce flexibility. It is also said that products and services would increase. PROS| CONS| 1. Product & service quality will improve| 1. Interfere with learning and complex jobs| 2.

Increase employee trust and strengthens employee/manager relationships| 2. Ineffective feedback| 3. Increase job satisfaction| 3. Unintentional consequences| 3. Employee Focus Groups Organizing focus groups at API will allow Thomas Chan to better understand the needs and wants of his employees. In this example Suzanne Chalmers states that her job is becoming a bit routine although she enjoys the workplace environment and her co-workers. PROS| CONS| 1. Direct feedback, facial expressions, and body language| 1. Follow-up of focus group action plan| 2. Strengthens drive to learn, eed for achievement, and increases affective commitment| 2. Employees withholding input of feedback| 3. Increased employee communication| 3. Potentially biased results caused by a group atmosphere| RECOMMENDATION Thomas Chan should immediately establish effective feedback and performance based rewards for his employees. Setting performance objectives and giving effective feedback will increase employee motivation and abilities. Objectives and feedback will encourage employees to actively learn new competencies, to be more productive and unlearn anything they are doing incorrectly.

They will also help maintain and enhance self-concepts. These are the steps that Thomas Chan should follow: * Meet with each of his employees to collect specific and relevant feedback * Design rewards that are valued, relevant and linked to performance * Allow employees to participate in setting up the goals required to achieve the rewards * Be aware of unexpected and undesirable effect that performance based rewards may have on employee behaviours * Sufficiently frequent feedback to be provided by Thomas Chan

If Thomas Chan had asked Suzanne Chalmers, “What can API do to continue our employment relationship? ” she might still be with the company today. This would also help him understand what her employee needs and drives consist of. Mr Chan needs to realize that money is not necessarily the main drive in all employees.


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