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Performance Improvement - Factors, Solutions, Intervention, & Evaluation

Read the following scenario and respond to the questions that follow.

The workers on the assembly line of the WizzyWats factory were not identifying defective components correctly, as the items passed their stations. This led to an increase in defective products, a loss of production, and a frustrated management team.

The company hired a consultant to monitor the workflow, but the consultant was unable to locate any problems with the machines or the speed of the line. Therefore, the only conclusion identified, related to the workers' level of alertness and fatigue. Based on this conclusion, the consultant made two recommendations:

1. Comfortable chairs were added to the assembly line.
2. Timely breaks were scheduled for the workers.

Over a period of time, these interventions did not produce any significant change in production. Workers still failed to identify defective components properly.

1. What factors could be included in this study that were overlooked by the consultant?
2. Select a solution and decide which level of intervention seems most appropriate for implementing your solution.
3. State the reasons for your selection and describe what that intervention might look like.
4. How would you evaluate your intervention to know that you were successful?

Solution Preview

The case indicates that the problem has something to do with the inability of the workers in the assembly line to identify or detect the defective products that pass through their stations.
The consultant hired was not able to identify problem in the machines hence concluded that the problem lies in alertness and fatigue level of the workers. This prompted him to recommend some modifications in the work schedule and the provision of comfortable chairs in the assembly line.

Factors that could be included in the study that were overlooked by the consultant:
It could be noticed that the consultant limited the possible cause of the problem in two physical characteristics of the workers - alertness and fatigue. Other related characteristics such as age, competence, commitment, job engagement, and motivation level that may have a bearing in thier inadequacies have not been taken into account. Furthermore, the kind of supervision provided and physical characteristics of the work stations (e.g. lighting, temperature) should have been taken into account too. The tasks (other than checking ...

Solution Summary

Factors, solutions, interventions and evaluations for performance improvement is examined.