The Norris Company is a national commercial printing company in Midvale, with over 350 employees, overseen by manager Chet Craig, who has worked at the plant for almost 11 years. Chet spends the majority of his time performing routine inspections and reviewing the company’s production reports, as well as resolving almost all company issues.
Firstly, Chet does not have any time spend on projects he feels he should be doing. As well, Chet should not be handling personal issues directly with employees, unless absolutely necessary. Finally, the production of the company has fallen behind schedule.
The reason Chet has little time to address creative aspects of the business are due to his over-involvement in the affairs of the company. This because of a lack of fit between organization process and people. He talks directly not only to supervisors and managers, but also workers who may be having problems – Chet should not be involved in this at all, and this indicates too much centralization. This is a lack of fit between organization structure and people. As for the production issues faced by the organization, it is clear that there are some individuals who are inept or too slow. This is a lack of fit between people and tasks.
The goal for the organization should be to implement a job evaluation program, have fewer employee “touchy talks”, and create autonomous managers and supervisors. The job evaluation program should provide a “report card” on each of the employees, providing amounts such as units produced, and time spent on activities, etc., as a means of measuring productivity. The autonomy of managers can be directly measured by Chet’s time spent discussing with management, and compared with how productivity changes to determine whether it is favorable.
If the organization is not able to rely on managers and supervisors to be autonomous themselves, they should consider hiring individuals who are better at making “executive” decisions. Or, they could do a reorganization of roles and duties within the organization with the existing personnel, finally, they could try focusing on performing one specific services rather than unique jobs. Each alternative either possess additional costs or in the last one, might lead to lower levels of overall profitability.
Recommendation/ Implementation/ Contingency
Overall, the organization should start by reducing centralization; tell management to make choices and resolve issues with employees directly, and only talk to Chet when absolutely necessary. All employees with existing issues should receive more training, as well as the new individuals coming in. This is preferable to any large-scale reorganizations because this is more costly, and better than reducing services because it makes the entity more dependent on one source of income. If productivity or Chet’s available does not improve within several months, it is clear that something is wrong with management or specific employees. If so, all employee should be evaluated, including management, and replaced as necessary for more capable (employees) or autonomous (management) individuals, then re-measured again within a few months.