Research and Evaluation
October 30, 2006
You are the manager of a large firm. Lately complaints have surfaced that an increased number of incoming calls are being dropped or misrouted. Yesterday, as you walked by one older employee, you noticed that he was fiddling with his hearing aid and not paying attention to the phone. A call came in and only because you were there and intervened was the call answered. This particular phone operator had been reprimanded three months earlier for tardiness. Your instinct is to fire this phone rep or encourage him to retire (he is old enough). You also know that this gentleman is well liked within the company. Pose several hypotheses that might account for the dropped or misrouted calls. How would you test these hypotheses? Analysis
#1. "Short Timers Disease" This is the disease also known as the "Couldn't care less syndrome. Perhaps the man knows that he wants to retire or is getting ready to announce it. He could be thinking on terms of time left and doesn't really care what happens, so he is careless and distracted. He may be seeing how far he can push the limits and force the business into a decision that may be incorrect. I would talk with the man and see where his future goals lie. If he were sincere then I would perhaps give him another chance with a warning that if this type of behavior continues, I would be inclined to take disciplinary actions relating to his job. This may inspire a "Short Timer" to go ahead and take the early leap. #2 Hearing Loss I think that this may be more obvious. Tinkering with his hearing aid may be a sign that something is wrong that he doesn't know how to fix or that he can't fix due to other reasons. I would seek the reason for the earlier tardiness and more than likely see that it may relate to oversleeping an alarm or such. In this situation I would see if we could make some suggestions as to the condition of...