West Coast Limited is a company that specializes in PC Hardware, printers, monitors, software, parts and range of AV equipment. There are currently eight employees including: One administration person, three small parts people, two forklift drivers, a manager and one goods inward department employee.
In this company, each person has been taking many roles. The following has been discovered: The administration person handles the role primarily of checking in goods as they are received. In addition, the administration person assists the small parts people when she has time. The small parts people currently put away small parts then assist bookkeeping when finished. Their duties also include moving stock, unloading stock, and assisting the manager when needed.
The forklift drivers spent approximately 30% of their time consolidating things then putting items away that were received by shipping. The manager spends his time answering emails and answering the phone. He is responsible for all scanners we well, which can be time consuming considering they move very slowly. The goods inward rep works in the department and handles strictly goods inward.
In reviewing the company’s daily tasks and the roles of the individual staff, I have recognized there are primarily ten different tasks which are pertinent to be completed daily. The tasks include: Checking goods in as they arrive, putting away small parts, consolidating bins, putting away receivables with forklift for larger items, bookkeeping, moving stock, checking paperwork, answering phones, answering emails and incoming scanners.
There are five official titles including: forklift driver, manager, goods inward department, small parts and administration. All of these job titles are currently performing a mixture of functions which can be damaging to the organization. First, each person is spending only a certain amount of time on their area then assisting another area. This is a problem considering there is a specific job that needs to be done to its fullest. Having a number of hands in the pot of each area is leaving too much room for error. It is easy to have a lack of communication when there are so many different people working at different times, in no apparent schedule.
The developmental needs begin with creating a job description for each title and defining the objectives that are needed to be completed daily. The job description should also provide the steps necessary in order to be recognized for advancement, as well as what advancement opportunities will come next. Advancement opportunities need to be developed. This can include promotion to manager of that area, as well as the chance to post out of your department and try for a new role. Doing this will encourage employees to be ready for change, and gain excitement in that area.
In order to prepare advancement opportunities, individual performances should be measured. This should be measured annually beginning with this year. To begin the process of a pay scale should be created for each department and clearly communicated to the employee in that area where they stand. The key elements of what is required should be provided in a written job description. Additionally, the steps to be measured in a performance evaluation should be provided to the employees. This will create an open environment and begin the process of communication as employees will feel informed, every step of the way.
Developmental Opportunities for the Team
Team building exercises should take place in order to build open communication. This can be done by each department. Each department should evaluate what objectives that they need met at this time, as well as search for areas that they may be deficient and need help. Times can be established that other departments and team members can be assigned to help the lagging department get caught up. In return, the assisting department should be prepared with a list of items that they need help with, and be prepared to ask for the same help in return.
Having excellent communication is very important in times of change. Everyone handles changes differently, which is why it is important during a transition to emphasize on communication. In order to ensure a good development of this, meetings should be held. An initial meeting, company wide should be held in order to advise employees of what transitions will take place. An estimated time frame for restructure should be provided. An update as to the reasons for the transitions should be provided. A point of contact for questions and concerns should be established and provided.
Once an initial meeting has been completed, a regular schedule for meeting updates should be provided. This will keep employees informed.
Developmental Opportunities for each Individual
The first step for development for an each individual is to schedule a time for the employee to meet with the manager. This meeting should consist of the employee receiving their job description. The job description should define daily tasks and specifications. It should also provide the measurement tools of this position. The annual review process should be introduced to employees, advising of the steps that they will be
measured. The employee should also be encouraged to offer assistance when needed, to other areas that are delinquent in their daily completion of tasks. Considering each person will have defined duties, the process of doing their position part of the day then assisting other area’s will be deleted. The individual will only assist other areas when it is determined by management that it is necessary to obtain additional help versus offering overtime to the employees of that department. Additionally, any questions or feedback should be encouraged. Training opportunities need to be discussed in the meeting. This will include reviewing the job description with the employee to obtain any pertinent information as to any training needs that they feel they need.
Development Objectives Based on the Needs for Development, Opportunities for Team and Each Individual
In order to define objectives for each individual, a short quiz or questionnaire should be provided containing the following questions:
“Take a minute to consider your daily work tasks and identify the tools and skills you will need to perform them.
What personal qualities are needed to succeed
describe the mental and physical skills and tools you use to get motivated for classes, tests, presentations and reviews” (ferret 2003)
This will evaluate where the employee stands and get a good idea of the additional training that they will need to receive if any in order to do a good job. This questionnaire will also identify the employee’s objectives and interest in their current roles.
Team building should be encouraged considering each person is used to putting their hands in a lot of areas. Everyone reacts different to change. therefore it is important to be prepared to handle different reactions to the changes being made. In prevention of lack of communication, the following points should be reviewed in company meetings:
“1. Be aware of your feelings.
2. See the value in diversity
3. Treat people as individuals
4. Treat people with respect
5. Be aware of differences
7. Get involved
8. Take risks
9. Apologize when you make a mistake
10. Speak out
11. Encourage representation” (ferret 2003).
Another strategy should be used to encourage adaptation to change. This includes encourage. Encouragement should be in the area of changing the way of thinking. Currently the daily thought process includes looking at tasks as a partial project until moving on to a new area. This needs to be changed to looking at the big picture in effort to ensure quality and productivity. This can be done with a lesson. The recommended lesson is:
“Working in Day Units” (Davidson 2004) as The “60 Second Procrastinator” (Davidson 2004) suggests, you need to take each project that needs to be done and organize this by each day. For this company it will include: the amount of inventory coming in for the day, the amount of emails, busy phone times, busy email times, arranging inventory put away and small parts put away by the amount of volume. Organize the volume expected to be conducted by that department by the day and treat each day as an opportunity. Once this becomes a pattern then the company will be accustom to functioning in this manner.
Assess the Program Against Development Objectives
The program that I designed will meet development objectives. It is designed to bring out the training issues which may exist from each employee, and to format each person with a job description, to be sure that each area is being handled by someone that is familiar with the whole picture of that area. This will ensure a 100 percent focus on each area, instead of having someone who only does that part of the time, working in the area. The program is designed to create a smooth flow of operations, and provide initiatives for employees so that they want to stay with the company.
In addition, the program is a developmental tool for each person. It will help to open communication and show each person that they are valued. It will encourage participation from those interested in advancement. When opportunities are provided along with objectives, people will meet those if they feel they will be rewarded and recognized.
Planning the Work Activities for the Team
The new structure for daily work activities will be as follows:
Goods inward department will check in goods as they come in and handle incoming scanners
One small parts girl will put away small parts
The other small parts girl will consolidate the bins
Forklift driver will put things away that require a forklift
Forklift driver will move large items that require a forklift
Administration will do bookkeeping, answer phones and respond to emails
Manager will oversee daily operations, and review department objectives. He will measure areas that need improvement and delegate others to assist if departments are delinquent
If there is a time when the department is clear of duties, then a list of ongoing items should be compiled in order to keep busy, such as reviewing daily tasks to ensure completion as well as preparation for upcoming busy times.
Gaining Commitment for Work Activities from your Team
Have employees sign a slip recognizing that they have been advised of their job description. Have a one on one with each employee to make sure that they are comfortable with the process and are aware of the changes that will be made. Give them a mission statement of the company. Give them knowledge of what the performance evaluation will entail and the amount of raise they could receive next year according to their accomplishments.
Encouraging Involvement and Assessing Progress of Work Activities
The manager should provide positive reinforcement. A good tool is to keep a white board in the meeting area. A new affirmation should be listed daily for each person to review at their leisure. Whether employees comment on this or not, it is a positive reinforcement tool. An example of one of the affirmations could be: “Every day is an opportunity- I can’t get to Friday until I step on Monday”. (Harrell 2003) He should be out and in the work area’s available to answer any questions, all while performing procedure verification to be sure that the people are doing daily tasks, and to check the progress of what is being done. He should be notified of any problem areas and then once the problem area’s in order to provide compliance.
Modifying Plans to Ensure that Performance Objectives are Being Met and Relating this to Day to Day Management Activities:
Day to day management activities should include reviewing the work areas for accomplishments daily and performing daily walk thru’s. Morning meetings to reviews and accomplishments and goals should be conducted. This will also create enthusiasm and promote positive attitudes. Managers should establish a clear set of goals pertaining to what needs to get accomplished and follow up on those goals. One on one coaching and mentoring should be provided on a daily basis. One day a week can be spent with each area in order to accomplish this.
There’s a lot of work to be completed, however the most positive asset that this company has at this time includes the fact that each employee has a good knowledge of primarily all areas. Despite the fact that each person will have their own job description, this experience provides a broad overview of the company and gives each department some objectives to work toward if they are interested in advancement.
In conclusion, this company has daily activities established. However; they need to spend time to organize, inform, and provide incentives. Once the company is organized, they will be more productive, at which time more business will arrive. Once employees are informed, and given tools necessary to exceed they will feel valued and important. Valued employees are happy employees, which leaves little room for turnover.
Ferrett, Sharon K. Peak Performance: Success in College and Beyond. California: Glencoe/McGraw Hill, 2003
Davidson, Jeff. The 60 Second Procrastinator. Massachusetts: AdamsMedia, 2004
Harrell, Keith. Attitude is Everything. New York: HarperCollins, 2003A