The Case study is an email conversation between two colleagues Jane Epstein & Rick Lazarus. Jane has joined Technico recently and Rick was her colleague and trusted friend from the last company. Jane is discussing with Rick about the new current company and the staff she got there. She individually described the personalities of her staff like Caroline as universally trusted (according to her), Tom as a joker and a natural sales guy, Jack as intellectual and intense, and the most problematic figure for her as well as the organization – Andy Zimmerman. He is a person who is intellectually very smart but is very impatient, his intimidating tone is worrying. There were many instances like Jane’s AA, Maureen had made a scheduling error and Andy blasted over her even though Jane, his boss was standing there Jane had an opinion that this reaction was not supposed to happen and could have been dealt with tactfully. Rick on the other hand was of the opinion that Jane was over reacting and that she had to establish her own authority with him, or Andy would step all over her.
Then Jane described about the organization and the staff and also that the senior managers talk about the lack of hierarchy in the organization. Jane thinks she should not comment about the organization as she had recently joined it. Then she also gave another instance where in a discussion with all the members, Jack was addressing an important concept and then Andy interrupted in between and he expressed all the issues, flaws, and that what Jack was trying to propose made no sense. Jane also later heard Andy reaming all the other AA members. The main personality traits Jane described about him were that Andy was smart, intelligent & efficient but doesn’t has any peculiar positive group traits that would win him any personality contests. He also was nasty to his other AA colleagues. When this came to Caroline, he also blasted over her despite her being the person who made him calm whenever he lost his cool with the others in the staff. Andy expressed his anger by mailing Caroline about her incompetency in her work and the goof ups she made in a very harsh tone.
This mail was shared with Jane and Caroline expressed her grief. Jane could see that Caroline was fed up with her smoothing over role. Sometimes Jane felt that she was playing the role of a kindergarten teacher and not a co-operate manager managing such highly paid people. Now Jane thought of finally confronting Andy and telling him that his behaviour is intimidating the staff in a negative way, his behaviour if continued for some more time would result in the decrease in the productivity of the firm. But in the one-on one meeting she came to know that Andy has got great insights, energy and was smart enough to justify his behaviour.
Jane experienced that he behaved as if he was down to earth, but was opposite in the presence of a group. She advised him to overcome his impatience and to slow down and be a little considerate with the staff. Even after being so clear with Andy she noticed that he repeated the same old behaviour in the next group meeting. She now realized that he has no plans of changing at all. Now she is in a dilemma as how to tackle the bullying behaviour and maintain the productivity of the staff. So in this case we have to find the problems and issues of Andy’s behaviour and find the plausible solution for those problems.
Increasing job dissatisfaction in the team
Team work getting affected
Professionals carrying their personal issues at workplace
Difference in performance among team members
Incompatibility in attitude, creating the base for all problems
Productivity and efficiency are getting affected due to Andy’s attitude problem, and his way of handling things. As Andy continuously bullies employs they get demoralised and were unable to give their 100% to their work because of his fear and negative critics. Caroline despite of being a good worker, needs to be more professional. She needs to differentiate between her professional and personal life, and must prioritize her personal issues so that that they don’t affect her work and professional commitments (work –life balance). Work culture is being affected I a negative way, due to Andy s discouraging attitude, whenever somebody doesn’t performs, he is pissed off, One needs to work as a team –work attitude, bullying and dominating are restraints to growth and team –work.
Team morale is going down. As the only feedback the get from Andy is negative Andy is not praising any of the efforts the team is putting in but is sure to highlight the glitches that are coming across the project because of them. The staff members do not know the importance of working in a diverse team and adjust within the team.
1 Have a second briefing with Andy and ask him to mellow down a little bit with the staff. Try to talk him out that the staff will cooperate more with him, only if he is a little adjusting and open with them and doesn’t humiliate them in front of others. People go through grey patch and as their senior, he should consider the emotional stance of his staff and try to make them comfortable, so that the staff may also think of trying to give their best even in adverse situations. 2 Have a discussion with the rest of the staff and try to make them understand that Andy is doing this for the betterment of the organization, and in the interest of the team, he wants to bring out the best of them. 3 Send him for personal counselling to tackle his attitude issues with his staff and juniors. 4 Try and change his role if his domain knowledge is applicable in any other role. 5 Also Caroline should also be sent for a personal counselling, as she is going through testing times in her life and currently she needs as much support as she can get from her team mates for the time being so as to cope up.
This support will motivate her further to overcome and bounce back. 6 He can be sent for a month or two on a leave or for training for boosting his team work skills. 7 Write a memo that his behaviour is unacceptable, distracts from work and I want to stop. In case, if it happens again then write another memo stating the same problem and hand it over to her boss or her HR manager. 8 She should plan sessions for team dynamics preferably away from the work environment to cultivate a bond of understanding and openness between the team members hence increasing their trust amongst each other. By knowing each other well, it is possible that they would come forward and help each other in adverse conditions.
Best possible solution would be to send Andy Zimmerman for a Management Development Program (MDP) so as to tackle his attitude towards his team mates and be an effective manager. Also Caroline should be advised to go through a personal counselling session where she can learn to cope up with her personal issues.
Manager should try to create a positive environment within workplace. Manager should try to avoid criticizing anyone in public.
Manager should not blame a team member for small faults; instead he or she should try to talk to him regarding the same in private, so that they can improvise their performance. Manger should try not to be a ‘critic’ for his staff, but should appreciate their inputs and hard work. This would not only increase the motivation of his or her employees, but will consequently lead to greater commitment to the organisation. Manager should try to analyse the training required.
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