The Waterview Case Report
Another case study I did for a business management class. I hope business students find this post useful.
Located on the waterfront property of a premier resort, The Waterview snack bar had been the leading tourist destination in the Muskoka District of Northern Ontario for decades. Along time employee Michael Welland – who was recently promoted to snack bar supervisor – had a few heated arguments with his manager Rebecca Boddington. The arguments revolved around: Boddington assigning Michael to tasks that weren’t in his job description; paying him less than he was promised when he was promoted; and not taking the time to address his job-related problems and concerns. Welland was convinced that his manager held a personal grudge against him. He hated working at The Waterview and wasn’t sure if he should finish the remaining four weeks of his contract.
There were obvious issues with the organization processes, individuals and tasks at The Waterview snack bar. Welland arrived to start work at the snack bar as supervisor, to his dismay; Boddington assigned him to work as a part-time server. To add insult to injury, when Welland received his first paycheque, he was shocked to find out that he was paid at the minimum pay rate. On a later occasion, while reviewing the employee timetable, Welland found out that Boddington had taken him off the schedule for the following weeks. These incidents led to a conflict between Boddington and Welland. Welland and Boddington’s mannerisms were unprofessional, to say the least. Boddington always gave Welland the cold shoulder every time he approached her with a problem or concern. She often told him that she did not have time to address his issues. This kind of employee attitude is a recipe for an unhealthy and unproductive work environment.
The cause of the above mentioned problems can be attributed to the lack of communication between management and employees. Welland grew frustrated with the way Boddington treated him. His frustration manifested in the way he behaved. With Boddington’s indifference to her employees’ problems and with Welland’s disrespectful attitude, the lines of communication between them were severely strained. Boddington never took the time to address employees problems and concerns. This left the employees feeling neglected, which in turn affected their performance at work. Wellands disrespectful attitude and lack of motivation contributed to the problems in the work environment. Welland never fully enjoyed working at the The Waterview, he only did it to save money for his education. Wellands lack of motivation has negatively affected his performance, and quality of service.
The Waterview management should improve workplace communication, keep employees up to date with the changes that may affect them, and address their problems and concerns in a timely manner. Improve the relationship between employees and management. Motivate employees to act in the best interest of the business and its customers.
To put an end to the lack of communication, a formal line of communication should be established between management and employees. Every manager and employee should be assigned to a well-defined set of tasks. They should not be allowed to take up additional tasks or work over hours unless it’s necessary. Giving employees a break from work will increase their productivity and motivation. Employee performance should be evaluated; this will give management the opportunity to reward productive employees.
Boddington should hold regular staff meetings. Regularly scheduled meetings that encourage input on various issues from all staff members can be a great way to improve workplace communication. These meetings also send the message to staff that their opinions are valued, which makes them more likely to share their concerns and ideas. A code of conduct should be set in place to outline acceptable work behaviour. Employees must know that this is a professional work environment and any misconduct will not be tolerated. Management should establish a ranking system based on customer feedback. A reward system like this will motivate employees to do their best, since a better quality of service, means a higher performance ranking and an increased paycheque.
Upper management should establish an open communication line between them and all employees –managers and front line workers- at the The Waterview snack bar and its associated resort. This open line of communication will allow upper management to better evaluate the workplace situation at The Waterview. Upper management should also request for employees feedback. If the recommendations above prove to be ineffective management should put into place an alternative course of action.