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Southfield Packaging Case Study

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1a) What is your evaluation of the appraisal process (SPR) at Southland Packaging? My initial evaluation of the this process is positive, if both the supervisor and the employee adhered to the guidelines that were to be utilized during the process. The SPR was to last two full hours (not certain it should require this much time) and provide an undisturbed opportunity for the manager and to communicate directly with the subordinate about their level of performance. In turn, it offered the employees a venue to voice career goals and workplace concerns to superiors. This process is much like any Fortune 500 company process, we use nearly identical criteria at Xerox. The online tool is beneficial to the supervisor because it allowed them create a space where they could readily view the noteworthy information they had accumulated throughout the year on proposals, customer survey information, voicemails and email exchanges on both positive and negative feedback. The key to this type of data is… who has accessibility to it? Only the supervisor? Can the employee add information? Is it collaborative? That wasn’t discussed. I believe it should be kept as private information, but the data would only be as beneficial as the original note keeper made it. b) Is the performance appraisal well designed? I believe it is for as basic as it is.

I liked that the bonus structure was directly tied to the company’s profitability, factual data and the expectations of that bonus were set up front from date of employment. I can appreciate that the salary and promotions were based on merit increases for performance. In sales at Xerox, it is the exact opposite. The bonus structure is based upon for performance and the salary increase is based up the performance and tied to the profitability to the company. The case study only discussed the SPR process for management. My hopes would be that they have a clearly defined process for sales, manufacturing, marketing, etc. that differs by position and specific company goals within that department. The page for employee feedback is crucial, this gives the subordinate an opportunity to add any additional comments they may want to include that the supervisor may have overlooked. Such as new skills they have mastered, classes they have taken outside of business hours and how that information affected their performance and possibly created revenue, increased productivity or reduced costs within the organization that may have not noticed. c) Is the required performance interview a good idea?

I think it is a must. The key to any successful relationship, personal or professional is communication. This needs to be an open forum discussion and again, adhered to strict guidelines that were communicated to both parties up front. d) What changes if any could be made to improve its effectiveness? It’s very important that communication about job performance be ongoing throughout the year, and not simply held for the annual review meeting. Recognize efforts and successes when they occur, and, in the same way, offer correction and teaching as needed. Likewise, the employee should voice job concerns as the occur rather than waiting for the formal review. With ongoing, open communication in both directions, there will be no surprises for either the manager or the employee during the review session. Both will be able to work constructively toward goal setting for the coming year rather than defending their positions.

I think both parties need to stay objective, the supervisor should be providing a review of the employees performance and not their personality. If the supervisor says to the employee, “you are late too often” he/she needs to have factual data on hand about specific dates and ties them back to company standards. For an employee who has been employed by the company less than a year, they should conduct a 30-60-90 day appraisal, not wait for an entire year to pass. It is also important to have an open door policy. At Xerox we have an executive interview with your Manager’s Manager once a year offered.

2a) What is your assessment of Belby’s definition of performance? In my opinion, Belby took a passive role in his performance appraisal. He clearly understood the guidelines for the review, after being employed by this company for 15 years. He knew what he was entitled to by company policy and standards. He was frustrated that his review was rushed, his superior took constant calls during what was to be uninterrupted time, they met outside of the office, outside of normal business hours and Sanders gave him little opportunity to speak about the proposal mishap in front of the customer. Belby knew the company policy was to participate in an annual review and he never spoke up when his appraisal from the prior year didn’t take place. He still didn’t speak up when Sanders said they should discuss the remainder of the review by phone the following week. Belby understood the definition of performance from a company perspective with regards to product regulations, safety requirements, and the client service was the #1 priority for the company, but I didn’t get that he had a clear definition with regards to the definition of his personal performance within the company.

b) Belby clearly wants to be promoted in the coming year. Will he reach his goal? Why or why not? I don’t believe that Belby will reach his goal, or be promoted within the next year. I don’t believe it is because of his age, or the fact that he thinks Sanders management style is of a younger generation. Belby clears doesn’t see how the other factors such as work habits, daily work schedule, physical health and mental energy are measured against performance. Even though Belby works additional hours, manages his direct reports by being in the field with them, and takes additional classes to appear eager for promotion, he never qualified these items as measurable with the upper management. He needed to create a forum for better communication and get some sort of commitment in writing from his superiors that these extra offerings were valid for promotion. In fact, his superior saw these efforts as negative, not positive for performance and promotion.

3) Should Belby’s physical appearance and personal health habits play a role in his performance appraisal? Why or why not? I’m uncertain if it is legal for a company to take this information into account during an appraisal review. In an article on Ehow.com they make a compelling argument that physical appearance can have a far-reaching impact on your professional life. It can affect how your employers treat you and how much stock clients put in your abilities, regardless of your actual skill level. Even if your company does not have a published dress code policy, paying attention to what your appearance says about you can benefit your career. With regards to company image, The way employees look impacts the overall feeling of a business. Young, trendy employees can give the impression of a fast-paced, edgy company; older, more formal employees communicate a sense of steadiness and experience. Company uniforms and grooming standards exist to manage the overall image of a business.

More traditional companies might instruct employees to remove piercings and cover tattoos. The way you look also has an impact on hiring decisions, especially when your appearance goes against the core values of a business: A fitness center may be hesitant to hire an unhealthy or unfit person. With regards to advancement, Conventional wisdom says to dress for the job you want, not the job you’ve got. According to “USA Today,” the way you look can affect how you advance in your career and how much money you make; people who look better often earn more. People will take clues from your appearance about your ambition, working style and how much you care about your job. If you look put-together and dress appropriately, you may find that employers take a greater interest in you, or your colleagues give your ideas more weight. I guess in all, it depends highly upon the company standards and requirements for your position.

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