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    Performance Management Issues

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    Scenario: You have just started work as the new Human Resources Manager for Acme Manufacturing, a Fortune 1,000 company. The job has been vacant for six months now. You have been wondering about this, especially since reading about employee harassment incidents and fights recently in the news.

    The General Manager (GM) calls you into his office the minute you arrive. He shuts the door after saying a quick word of welcome, and begins to tell you about an incident that happened last week that needs your immediate attention. The company's manufacturing operations runs three shifts of production workers so the plant is operating 24/7. Over the past six months hostilities have arisen between employees on the third and first shifts. What started out as jeering and criticisms by the first shift, claiming they have to clean up the mess and complete all of the work left undone by the third shift, has escalated to physical confrontations and altercations. Although the GM said that aggressive bantering back-and-forth is common for shift workers in manufacturing, he admitted he was worried after seeing a gun on one of the employees last week that was concealed, or so the employee thought, in a shoulder holster under this jacket. The GM said he needs your help. Specifically, he asked that you:

    Determine and explain the appropriate disciplinary action for the employees involved in this situation and identify motivational alternatives that can help turn the situation around;
    Draft policies and procedures that could be used in the guidance and performance management of the shift workers; and
    Develop performance standards for the shift workers, identify appropriate methods of performance appraisal, and develop appropriate training to help get them back on track.
    Feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the situation, you go back to your office and begin devising a plan to help get employee relations back on track, realizing that human resource policies and practices may help avert potentially dangerous situations in the future if implemented correctly.

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    Solution Preview

    Performance Management

    Introduction: This scenario explores an issue that happens in many work situations with many different companies. The position in question has probably remained vacant for an extended period because it is difficult to find professional HR candidates that want to assume the difficulties associated with this company's workers. The United States has experienced several instances of work place violence that has led to several deaths and serious injuries. In the event of a serious incidence of workplace violence, company managers might find themselves subject to both the loss of their job and legal liability.

    Question number one: Determine and explain the appropriate disciplinary action for the employees involved in this situation and identify motivational alternatives that can help turn the situation around.

    A. Concerning the employee who brought the firearm to work, your first step will be to determine if the company's employee handbook clearly states that weapons are not allowed on company property (Guns at the workplace, 2012).

    1. Depending on the wording in the employee handbook, this employee may be subject to serious reprimand, all the way up to discharge. The reprimand punishment may include reduction in work hours, or complete suspension for a period. Please read the reference I provided about laws concerning weapons in the workplace. There are some laws that allow firearms in an employee's car in the parking lot, but there are provisions in the law for employers to ban firearms in the company's building. Your challenge as the new HR professional is to determine the truth of what happened with the firearm. Please remember that taking action later is sometimes very difficult to pursue.

    2. Another set of steps that must follow is to diffuse the tensions that are building. You do not want a disgruntled employee to bring a firearm from home and begin randomly shooting people because of the pent up ...

    Solution Summary

    This response examines some very serious issues concerning unhappy workers with weapons in the workplace. The company must take immediate action to diffuse a potentially deadly work environment. This assignment probably should have been broke down into several smaller assignments, but in this case the student will need to respond to the full range of human resource responsibilities in a single research paper. The key element for success in this scenario is time. The human resource manager will need to maintain a calm and patient demeanor as he or she works through all the issue involved in getting the manufacturing process back in proper order.