The case study relates to the in charge of a four person staff working in a government agency. The staff provides support to the 40 member other staff of the agency in graphics and other word processing tasks. Lately, there is an introduction of new federal laws that has increased the length of the usually 40 page report to 50 pages. There is an increased burden of work on the 4 staff members and they have started to make different complaints. The government agency has allowed the in charge, me in this case, to spend $6,000 to purchase new word processing equipment. This money can be spend to buy a fairly advanced computer, laser printer, and the latest word processing and graphics packages. As the in charge, I have to come up with a plan to increase the work productivity.
Statement of problem
The problem, according to the case study is an increased work volume. Ne federal laws in the last six months has demanded that the 40 staff members include more details in to the reports which has ultimately increased the work volume of the 4 staff members. This has negatively impacted the work productivity of the 4 staff members and their motivation level which needs to be restored.
Causes of the problem
The causes of the problem include preparation of more graphics and word processing material as a result of new federal laws. Low motivation is also one of the plausible cause.
Decision criteria and potential solutions
There are many constraints that would pose hindrance to certain plausible solutions. For example, due to a freeze in government spending, I will not be able to hire new staff to help in getting some of the work done. Therefore, I will have to look in to other options. Also, I may not be able to fire some staff members with low output because I will not be able to replace that staff member. I can buy new equipment, hardware and software, to increase work productivity because I have the flexibility of spending $6,000. I will keep these points when I am proposing some solutions in the bellow.
There are two types of recommended solutions. The first set of the solutions is general solutions that would help in improving the work environment and get the work organized in order to make it more manageable. General solutions will also positively impact the motivation levels of most of the staff members.
The set of general solutions include making a priority list of what to do when. This list will include the tasks allocated to each of the 4 staff members and they will be responsible to report about their progress on daily basis. The team members will be asked to come to office on time and spend a bit more time if possible. The staff members will be allowed to have a half day once a week if they manage to increase their work productivity. High performing employees will be given incentives to motivate other staff members as well. Work motivation is necessary to get maximum work output (Herzberg, 2017). Daily targets will be set and any returned reports will be edited and corrected by a team of two staff members tasked to do so.
As part of the specific steps, I will buy a new computer and a printer and the old computer hardware is slow. Especially, in the case of Dianne who is working on a really slow computer that decreases her work productivity. Jack has personal issue with the in charge because he thinks he deserved to be promoted instead of the in charge. Therefore, he will be communicate personally by me and new opportunities present for him in future will be discussed with him. Dianne also needs some training to use the equipment effectively and efficiently. Brenda needs to be recognized for her extra efforts and Pat may also be provided with motivational incentives.
The agency has allowed me to hire new people but it is not possible within the next six months due to government ban. Therefore, I will look for an outsourcing opportunity to outsource some work to an external agency to decrease the work pressure. Research has suggested that outsourcing can be helpful in achieving the strategic goals of an organization (Lacity & Willcocks, 2000). If outsourcing is not possible due to any legal or ethical complications, I will look to find staff from within the 40 staff members to share the work load of the word processing tasks.
Herzberg, F. (2017). Motivation to work. Routledge.
Lacity, M. C., & Willcocks, L. (2000). Global information technology outsourcing: In search of business advantage. John Wiley & Sons, Inc..