Review the case study and complete an analysis. And answer all questions included in the case study.
CASE STUDY #5
Word Processing Support in a Government Agency
You are in charge of a four-person staff working in a government agency. Your staff is responsible for providing all word processing and graphics support for the other 40 members of the agency. Lately your staff has not been able to keep up with the volume of work it has received. In the past, it would typically take your staff an average of two days to turn around a 50-page report. However, six months ago several new federal laws were passed by Congress, which in turn required the other 40 members of the agency to address several new issues in their reports. These additional requirements have served to lengthen the reports submitted to your staff by at least 50 percent.
Your relationship with your staff has had its ups and downs, but generally speaking they have been satisfactory. However, the increased workload has put a substantial strain on your staff, and your relationships with your staff members have suffered as a result. To help ease your workload burden, the head of the agency has allowed you to spend $6,000 to purchase new word processing equipment. With this money, you can buy a fairly advanced computer, laser printer, and the latest word processing and graphics packages. Nevertheless, the head of the agency only allocated enough money to buy a single, computer and printer. The following is a more complete description of your four- person staff.
Jack has been with the staff for five years and has 14 years of government service. He is the most senior person on your staff, and has a considerable amount of experience in word processing and graphics. Despite this experience, he does not turn his reports around any sooner than the rest of the staff. Although he has never stated it, you also believe he is angry about your selection as staff supervisor. Both you and Jack were co workers who competed for the position, and you believe Jack holds some lingering resentment over your selection. Jack has never been a disciplinary problem at work, but he is not one to volunteer for additional work, either.
Dianne is 20 years old and has been with the firm for only six months. She is a recent graduate of the local junior college and has three years of word processing experience. As the most junior member of staff, Dianne is currently working with the oldest and slowest computer in your unit. Because of the memory limitations of her computer, she is not able to use the latest word processing and graphics packages. Although she has never complained about it, you know this equipment has played at least a partial role in her inability to turn around reports at a rate equal to her counterparts.
Brenda has been with the staff for three years and is your highest performer. Of all of your workers, she is the only one who seems able to keep up with the increased workload put on your staff. However, to keep up with these increased demands, Brenda will often come in to work early, work through lunch, and stay late even though she does not receive any overtime pay for her additional hours. In recognition for her efforts, you have managed to get her several pay raises, but still does not adequately compensate her for the hours she puts in for your unit. Because her long hours and low pay, you know Brenda has been interviewing with other government agencies for a similar position at a higher pay grade.
Pat transferred into your staff four years ago and has six years of word processing experience. Pat had previously worked with the hardware and software your staff upgraded to two years ago, and she played a crucial training role as you transitioned over to the new equipment. She is by far the most knowledgeable person on the staff, and you usually give her the special word processing or graphics requests from the rest of the members of the agency. To help her meet this need, Pat currently has the most advanced word processing hardware and software in your unit. However, even with this equipment, she is unable to complete all of the requests given to her, and you know the new equipment would better allow her and your staff to successfully accomplish these special requests.
Because of the increased demands put on your staff, you have managed to convince the head of the agency to hire two additional staff members. However, the current one year freeze in government spending means you will not be able to hire any new staff members for another six months, and the agency is beginning to catch flack from headquarters about the time it has been taking to receive your agency’s reports. What will you do to alleviate the current situation?
Reference: Hughes (2015)
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