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Humanized Robots

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Description of the problem
Helen Bowers is failing to approach her employees in a negotiable manner to work hard so that the productivity increases and the company may stand in market with the emerging international competitions with Japanese firms. After her father, Jake Bowers, she takes over the company and tires to implement her own way of management to control the firm. Helen, according to her, is focused to her work and determined towards the goals of achieving the winning title for the challenge of international competition for heavy industrial equipments. She also made some changes in the operational procedures. As she thought that she is the boss, she does not have the need to ask for advices or listen to the views of the employees accompanying her. She also cuts off all the ideal time from the employees working hours and wants them to work hard without any incentives and rewards for company’s betterment. Dedicated employees may work hard for the loyalty towards there firm but after a while the needs and expectations of the individual changes time to time and expectancy for support may result in adverse effects of the decision made by Helen.

Although Helen had seen her father’s business since childhood but failed to get the core understanding of her father’s belief in his employees as a family and treated them as –hired help. Now, the main aim for Helen should be to regain the trust of her employees which in turn will help the firm to get back on its track from distraction. Also this will help her to stand for the international competitions as the production quotas will increase and gradually the firm will regain its lost position. Also the consultant should help Helen understand the importance of the co-workers and that this is no “Humanistic nonsense” rather than she should develop mutual interest with them. Also that Helen should introduce ethical fashion in the firm to succeed. Employees should be motivated physiologically, socially and also psychologically to get back their interest to work hard and this will surely help Helen to achieve her goals.

Concepts Applied
The best theory applied to this case is the motivational theory. The hierarchy of the firm was already maintained by Jack Bowers which best suited with the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. When Helen’s rules took over the company, it is this time when it started getting into trouble and so the production got negatively impacted. So to get the employees back with the same enthusiasm motivational theories should play the major role. A good team leader should be aware of the following aspects of her company: Self-awareness—understanding your moods and emotions.

Self-regulation—thinking about your actions and controlling destructive ones. Motivation—working hard to accomplish your goals.
Empathy—understanding the emotions of others. Social skills—developing good connections and relationships with others. Helen was lacking self-regulation, empathy and social skills. Also according to Herzberg’s Factors important hygiene factors include quality of supervision, working conditions, relationships with peers and subordinates, status, job security and salary. Out of these none were taken care of by Helen except quality of supervision. This leads to employee’s dissatisfaction and so the firm suffers. Jack Bowers maintained to follow Mcgregor’s Theory Y and Theory Z whereas Helen followed Theory X acc. to which she didn’t find the employees working hard enough for the wages they were paid. Also she shut down the softball field and eliminated the idle time instructing the supervisors to be stricter with the workers.

Qualitative Data

Jack Bowers was a welcoming person. He treated his company employees as his family and gave them the freedom to work and think in their own manner. To this behavior everyone was loyal to him and his firm and worked harder for the best outcome of their respective plants. He paid them enough for their satisfaction along with the payment increments and bonus. He gave importance to their advices and ideas and solve their complaints too. On the other hand Helen was strict to the way she professionally worked. She wanted to change the way her father had accepted to run the firm. She made the changes by start treating the employees as just the hired help as she thinks that people work just for the sake of earning money. She made sure that the rules and regulations are imposed on the workers and eliminated the idle time from their working schedule.

Quantitative Data
Bowers Machine Parts was founded 4 decades age by Jake Bowers and had grown into a moderate-size corporation. The firm is head-quartered in Kansan City and has three plants scattered throughout Missouri. After the increase in the production quota by 20 percent; the performance report showed that output was marginally higher than before and that the turnover had increased substantially. Also Helen had announced that all the employees who fail to achieve the increase in their productivity by 10 percent, they will suffer an equal pay cut.

CASE STUDY QUESTIONS
1. How successful do you think Helen Bowers plan will be?
As mentioned and discussed in the case analysis, the approach Helen is using has failed her till now. The reason being that she is prioritizing the productivity and the profit of the firm over the beneficial aspects of the employees. When the employees are not treated well else considered as human robots, they will get extremely de-motivated from their work place and conditions. A firm works successfully with the help of its dedicated and experienced workers and the workers aim to achieve their self satisfaction through the company goals in terms of incentives or rewards. As Helen has announced for all employees who fail to gain the productivity by 10 percent will face an equal pay cut, this will result in leaving no choice to the worker but to quit the job. And so this plan will lead Bowers Machines to more critical situation resulting ceasing the firm. 2. What challenges does Helen confront?

Helen’s biggest challenge is the way she takes decision for her company keeping only in mind the companies benefit. She should treat the employees as her father did in his time which creates a working atmosphere that can be beneficial for employee satisfaction. Helen takes the approach of maximizing company output which entails stringent work rules and behavior. Employees are not accepting Helen’s new conditions, and production is being negatively impacted. The extra/idle time is been taken from them also the profit sharing plan has been eliminated and wage cuts decreases employees morale.

3. If you were Helen’s consultant, what would you advice her to do? If I was Helen’s consultant I would advice her to understand the ways her father had worked on to treat the whole firm as a family. You can’t change a company’s standards so radically; this will definitely result into a lot of employee dissatisfaction. I will suggest her to increase the employee participation into the decision making opportunities for the work they command. This will get their interest into work and motivate them to achieve better results. She should keep in sight the basic needs of the employees as the correct and liable free time they deserve. She should reward them for the extra effort they make and should appreciate their work time to time which will help her gain the trust of the working employees which in turn will result in the betterment of the firm.

Also she should make the working environment healthy and open-friendly where employees feel happy and satisfied the same way her father did without fail. She should sort the issues of the employees timely and should keep a strict check on the smooth working of the firm. Monthly wages should be rewarded to the employees as the increments in the salary or bonuses for the hard work they do to earn and make a profit for the firm. The firm has a right on the profit and so the workers. Only owner has a right on the whole profit does not support the working balance between the company owner and the employees.

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