Employment Conflict Management Techniques
University of Phoenix
Instructor Kenneth Hadzinski
November 1, 2010
Employment Conflict Management
FastServe Inc, a 25 million dollar company of branded sports apparel, recently opened two online marketing venues geared toward sports enthusiastic youth. With 350 employees, FastServe directed 10% of its workforce to the online distribution project. Using today’s technology, three D ‘Drape-n-see’ mannequins, attracted the attention of the intended audience, but the graphics were difficult to download and sales made didn’t cover the operating expenses of the new project. Management weighed all options and without an increase in revenue, decided to pull the plug on the project. In doing so, a reduction in the workforce was imminent. This would mean layoffs for three out of five employees. Of the five, two will be absorbed into the company. The metrics for the layoffs are based on new job definitions, skill sets, accountability, past performance, and productivity. Potential Conflict Identifications
As a senior manager in human resources (HR) reporting to the vice president of HR, and given one-week to decide which employees to let go. For the company’s protection, a meeting with legal counsel before any employment discharge decisions can be made is a policy of FastServe Inc. Out of this meeting, three employees, Sarah Boyd, Jenny Mills and Brian Carter were given notice. A chart listing the possible legal concerns based on the firing of these employees is available. One employee under contract, Brian Carter with an average performance track record, and who developed the ‘3D mannequins’ was one of the first to be let go. His colleagues and supervisor described Brian’s skills in writing codes as slow. His attitude toward his coworkers has been less than desirable, which shows his inability to work with others. His status as Head of Technology may have been used as a power currency (Wilmot-Hocker 2007), creating a power struggle between Brian and his colleagues. Using his status to compensate for his lack of skills can be seen as a desperate attempt to maintain his employment. Brian has been absent 17 days in the past two months. Management has determined it would be too expensive to retrain him, as his skills are redundant and it would not be in the best interest of the company to keep him on staff. At his exit interview, Brian will be given outplacement support. Legal counsels concern is with the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act. Brian was not let go because of his claimed carpal tunnel syndrome. Because of the failure of the online media project that he designed, retaining Brian would not meet the business objective. FastServe has a genuine reason to release Carter from his contract. Jenny Mills is one employee the company has concerns about. Her productivity has been median and her skills are not considered critical. She has been absent 14 days in the last month and is five months pregnant. Her call center supervisor states that she takes frequent breaks, causing dissent among her male coworkers. Her supervisor’s view of Jenny’s role may be seen as a gender filter, affecting how her supervisor communicates with her and the male staff. He may have allowed her to take breaks whenever she felt the need to, based on her gender and her supervisor may have seen himself as a protector and not set a clear guideline regarding how many breaks employees can have. She may look at her role as a clerk as being less valuable or different from the men she works with and so she took advantage of her situation by taking more frequent breaks and was absent more. As part of the Social learning theory, as individuals we learn from our upbringing our places in this world. Boys are taught to be the protectors, play with cars and guns, girls are taught to be sweet and gentle, wear dresses, and play with...