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Employee turnover, absenteeism, and productivity

WHAT ACTION CHANGE PROGRAM WOULD YOU RECOMMMEND IMPLEMENTING AT THE OLD FAMILY BANK AND WHY??

The Old Family Bank
The Old Family Bank is a large bank in a southeastern city. As a part of a comprehensive internal management study, H. Day, the data processing vice president, examined the turnover, absenteeism, and productivity figures of all work groups in the organization. The results Day obtained contained no real surprises except in the case of the check-sorting and data-processing departments.

The Study
The study revealed that in general the departments displaying high turnover and absenteeism rates had low production figures, and those with low turnover and absenteeism were highly productive. When analysis began on the check-sorting and data-processing figures, Day discovered that both departments were tied for the lead for the lowest turnover and absenteeism figures. What was surprising was that the check-sorting department ranked first as the most productive unit, whereas the electronic data-processing department ranked last.

That inconsistency was further complicated by the fact that the working conditions for check-sorting employees are extremely undesirable. They work in a large open room that is hot in the summer and cold in the winter. They work alone and operate high-speed check-sorting machines requiring a high degree of accuracy and concentration. There is little chance for interaction because they all take rotating coffee breaks. The computer room is air-conditioned, with a stable temperature year round; it has perfect lighting and is extremely quiet and comfortable. It was known that both groups are highly cohesive and that the workers function well with others in their department. This observation was reinforced by the study's finding of the low levels of turnover and absenteeism.

The Interview Data
In an effort to understand this phenomenon, Day decided to interview the members of both departments. Day hoped to gain some insight into the dynamics of each group's behavior. It was discovered that the check-sorting department displayed a great deal of loyalty to the company. Most of the group are unskilled or semiskilled workers, although they have no organized union, each person felt that the company had made special efforts to keep their wages and benefits in line with unionized operations. They knew that their work required team effort and were committed to high performance.

A quite different situation existed in the data-processing department. Although the workers liked their fellow employees, there was a uniform feeling among this highly skilled group that management placed more emphasis on production than on staff units. It was their contention that pay increases had been better for operating departments and that the gap between the wage earners and salaried employees did not reflect the skill differences. Because of that, a large percentage of the group displayed little loyalty toward the company, even though they were very close among themselves.

WHAT ACTION CHANGE PROGRAM WOULD YOU RECOMMMEND IMPLEMENTING AT THE OLD FAMILY BANK AND WHY??

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