Case Analysis: The Treadway Tire Company: Job Dissatisfaction And High Turnover at The Lima Tire Plant
Case Analysis Questions:
1. Briefly describe the situation today at the Lima Tire plant. 2. What is the relationship between line foremen at Treadway’s Lima Plant and other groups within the plant: general supervisors and area managers, top management, the union, hourly workers, each other? Why do you believe the relationships are as they are? 3. How do you feel line foreman feel about their jobs and why? Be specific about their sources of dissatisfaction. How engaged are the line foreman? How would they respond to Gallup’s 12 Questions of a Strong Workplace? Expand on your position. 4. What are the costs of turnover within the Lima plant? Direct? Indirect? How would you calculate the cost of turnover if you were Ashley Wall making a presentation to top management? (Hint: Look at number of hours worked per month, salary plus benefits, and how long it takes to come up to speed in the role) What is the magnitude of the turnover problem?
formula for calculating the direct cost of turnover:
Average Hours Worked/Month x Wage/Hour (including benefits) x Number of Months for Learning Curve x Productivity during Learning Curve x Number of Positions Turned Over = Direct Cost of Turnover 5. Discuss the elements of the current work system that are contributing to the problem. How does each negatively impact engagement and job satisfaction? 6. What action plan should Ashley Wall recommend? Be specific in describing your recommended actions. 7. What key lessons will you take away from this case relative to building an engaged work culture and being an effective manager?
Treadway Tire’s Lima Plant is faced with a critical problem of employee dissatisfaction and high turnover among its line foremen. The turnover rate ran 46% in 2007. Additionally, the plant was facing skyrocketing raw materials costs and intense global competition. The plant, at Lima, Ohio, had 970 unionized hourly employees and 150 salaried employees. 50 Line foremen were floor level managers who supervised hourly employees. The plant operates 24x7, with four rotating shifts. Problems associated with the foremen are part of deeper concerns with workforce management and the role that these people play in the production process. The foremen are caught in the middle of an adversarial relationship between the union and management. Ashley Wall, Director of Human Resources at Lima plant, identified the cause of turnover as serious morale issues with line-foreman segment, and their job dissatisfaction. Turnover is one obvious area where plant could focus to reduce costs & increase productivity. Analysis Q.2]
An employee satisfaction survey and exit interviews of departing foremen revealed significant discontent in the plant and highlighted concerns about the line-foreman position. Several other incidents highlighted tension between hourly workers and foremen. Foremen expressed concerns about their lack of authority and adversarial relations with the hourly workers. General supervisors, the next management level after line foremen, judge foremen by their ability to meet or exceed forecasts. Foremen express that a lot of expectations, are beyond their control and management does not understand that. Serious morale issues in the line foremen segment also lead to imperiled relations between management and the union. Serious morale issues in these relationships are apparent as every group feels isolated. Foremen were only expected to achieve production forecast. They were not communicated about long run goal or strategy. Be it foremen, hourly workers or upper management, they had not shared a common value-based work environment. Foremen often pulled in different, conflicting directions by management, workers and the union. They had no clear understanding of upper management expectations. They were not involved in...
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