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role a hired consultant organization. You asked president organization prepare a background paper results research findings make recommendations improve group productivity organization.
The manufacturing plant is characterized by the fact that it conducts manufacturing operations for the parent company, yet it is physically separated from it. In the current case, a problem has been observed in the fact that the manufacturing plant is also culturally separated from the parent company. In other words, the internal culture of the parent company is one based on operational efficiency and profitability, but attained through the adequate integration of all resources available. The parent company as such develops and implements an extensive human resource programs, which is underdeveloped at the manufacturing plant.
Within the manufacturing facility then, a wide array of problems arises among the staff members and these unavoidably lead to productivity shortages. In such a setting then, it is believed that some measures should be taken to improve HRM at the firm and as such increase the productivity. The first step is represented by the understanding of the issues, followed by the forwarding of recommendations.
2. The researched issues
The analysis conducted within the manufacturing plant has identified five distinctive problems, all of which generate negative impacts upon the facility's productivity. All of these issues are observed at the level of the organizational teams, revealing as such a wider problem of poor team organization within the facility. At a more specific level, the identified issues refer to the following:
Role conflicts within the groups
Communication problems among team members
Lack of cohesiveness among the team members, and last
Excessive inter-group conflict.
These issues are individually addressed throughout the following lines.
a) Role conflicts within the groups
At a general level, the role conflict can be understood as a situation in which the team members are unsure of their roles within the team and they come to overlap, with some roles being performed in a redundant and inefficient manner by more individuals, whereas other roles are insufficiently performed. This is often the case within the manufacturing plant, as the organizational structure is unclear. The executive leadership in the plant is obvious and clearly established, yet the workers and the middle mangers are not clearly defined. In some situations then, the role of the middle manager is assumed by more workers, and the responsibilities of the manufacturing workers are often disregarded. Such a situation leads to operational redundancies, delays and overall decreased productivity.
Aside from this however, the role conflict issue within the manufacturing plant is also present in terms of discrepancies between the employee job and the employee skills / desires.
"Role conflict is a type of social conflict caused from an individual being forced to take on separate and incompatible roles. Role conflicts can occur individually, as in the case of one person being torn between separate roles for different organizations or groups, or within an organization, when an individual is asked to perform multiple roles in the same group" (Mercer).
Within the manufacturing plant, in the absence of a clearly defined organizational structure and assigned job responsibilities, employees are often forced to perform tasks which are incompatible with their preparation. The mechanic in charge of ensuring the functioning of the machines is often asked to load the trucks, or the accountant at the plant is asked to stand in the production line. These situations generate frustrations among the employees, as well as operational inefficiencies, wince the respective individuals do not possess the necessary skills to complete the assigned tasks in an efficient manner.
b) Communication problems among team members
The team members within the manufacturing plant are often focused on performing their own tasks, in a centric manner, and without cooperation. This is the result of the employees having been asked to perform other tasks as well. Today then, they try to not interfere in other processes and operations than those assigned to them, for fear of being asked to complete even more chores. In such a setting then, the team members function in constant apprehension and tension has built up. This leads to the absence of adequate communication, due to the fear that when communicating, the employees will end up with more tasks. In the absence of communications, the teams become disoriented of what to do and how to complete the tasks, and this subsequently leads to delays in productivity and the loss of the financial resources of the firm. At a wider level, poor team communications lead to operational inefficiencies, decreased employee morale as well as decreased innovation at the level of the economic agent (Writing).
c) Lack of cohesiveness among the team members
As it has already been mentioned, the internal environment of the teams is weak as a result of poor managerial skills at the level of the entire manufacturing plant. This as such leads to a lack of cohesiveness among the team members. In other words, each individual employee in the groups strives to complete their tasks in a quick and quiet manner, and is reticent to communicating with other team members, with the manager. The efforts of the team members are as such individual and independent, revealing a decreased ability to support the company in attaining its overall objectives. The company needs the unified efforts of the employees and the teams in order to promote and attain its objectives. Unless the teams become more united and better connected, the company will suffer not only sustained decreases in its productivity levels, but even decreases in its profitability and a decreased ability to attain its pre-established goals.
d) Excessive inter-group conflict
Last, the final problem encountered at the manufacturing plant is represented by the high incidence of inter-group conflicts; in other words, on frequent occasions, the team members will enter conflict for more or less important reasons. The more common of the reasons for arguments is represented by the unclear division of work, which causes tensions and allows employees to put responsibilities on one another.
Aside from this, conflicts arise when the goals of the team are not met and when productivity declines; at this stage, the group members come to place blame on each other. Also, given the high levels of tension, the morale of the employees is decreased and conflicts arise suddenly, and for no apparent reason. This situation subsequently translates into low team performances and decreased productivity.
The problems previously identified within the manufacturing plant are extremely complex and they have numerous ramifications for the entire company, not just the plant. Production slows down and this negatively impacts organizational sales, and subsequently, revenues. In order to stimulate productivity, it is necessary for some measures to be developed and implemented. These measures would refer to gradual and independent resolutions to the four problems, as well as the implementation of a company wide program of best practices to improve productivity.
a) Role conflicts
As it has been mentioned throughout the previous section, the manufacturing facility encounters two types of role conflicts, generating as such the need for two different measures to be implemented. These refer to the following:
The creation and implementation of a clear organizational structure, in which each of the employees knows their assigned responsibilities, beyond a shadow of doubt. Such a measure would eliminate overlapping of tasks as well as operational redundancies and would support increases in productivity, as well as decreases in inter-team tensions.
The clear assignment of tasks in accordance with employee skills and job design (Fischer, 2010). At this stage, it is also important to identify all the responsibilities and tasks that need to be completed within the plant and hire specialized staff to handle the respective responsibilities. Emphasis should be placed on getting the employees to best perform their assigned tasks, in an efficient manner, rather than have them complete other responsibilities in a manner that would create inefficiencies, redundancies and additional costs.
b) Communication problems among team members
Based on the research conducted, the poor communications between the members of the same group are linked to the poor organizational structure and the fear of the employees that if they engage in communications, they might be assigned more responsibilities. Such a situation leads to the primary recommendation of superior organizational structure, which would clarify the dilemma of the actual responsibilities and would eliminate the intra-group tensions.
On the other hand, it would also be necessary to stimulate communications within the teams. This objective could be attained through the following actions:
The promotion of a culture based on open communications, enforced with the manager communication with the employees and motivating them to do the same
Listening to what the employees have to say and applying their input into operations
Hiring those employees who have the capacity to become integrated within the team
Leading by power of example; creating value and providing meaningful work (Thompson)
Engaging the entire team in the decision making process and stimulating all team members to provide their individual and professional…[continue]
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