Keeping Suzanne Chalmers Case

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KEEPING SUZANNE CHALMERS

INTRODUCTION

Suzanne Chalmers, one of the API’s top talents software engineers, asked Thomas Chan, the vice-president of software engineering at Advanced Photonics, Inc. (API), for a private meeting.

Thomas Chan had been through this before when valued employees asked for private meetings which ended by announcing that they wanted to quit. Reasons for leaving the company were anything like the long hours, stressful deadline, need to decompress or get to spend time with their kids…etc.

Thomas Chan assumes that the real reason for the staff leaving was having too much money too fast which gave employees financial independence and less motivation.

During the meeting, after Suzanne Chalmers announced that she decided to leave the company, Thomas Chan tried to persuade Suzanne Chalmers to remain with API by offering her one of the following: 1-Giving her two or three months unpaid leaves with full paid benefits; so that she will have time to recharge batteries, 2- Workplace improvements – getting the latest computer technology to do her work or larger workspace with better view of the park, 3- 25 per cent pay increase and more share options,

Thomas Chan also recognized Suzanne Chalmers’ great work by telling her that she was one of API’s most valuable employees and the company would suffer if she left the firm. Suzanne Chalmers responded by saying that she did not have any problems with her workplace and that she has an excellent co-worker. At the end of the meeting, Suzanne Chalmers promised Thomas Chan that she would consider the offer of higher pay and the increased of share options.

Two days later, Thomas Chan received Suzanne Chalmers has written resignation from API. Five months later, Thomas Chan heard that she had joined a start-up software firm in the area after a few months of travelling with her husband.

SYMPTOMS AND KEY FACTORS
SYMPTOMS
Thomas Chan should have realized that the API was having trouble with turnovers because: • Suzanne Chalmers, who is one of the top talents in her area of proficiency, is also leaving the company for a start-up software firm. • There had been instances before Suzanne Chalmers, API’s valuable employees asked for a meeting and then announcing their purpose to leave API.  • Many of API valued workers have financial independence making them less reason to stay indefinitely with the API • Many of them stated reasons such as stress long hours in API but however, will find work again in the same industry with the same stated problem that API have • The trend that people who left API will join a start-up company a few months later. • Many of small start-up software firms that were specialist, they recruits such as Suzanne Chalmers with better learning experiences, challenges and potential gain in share options.

KEY FACTORS

• Suzanne Chalmers, who called to arrange a meeting with Chan. Chan almost intuitively, knew that Suzanne was going to quit after working at API for the past four years.  • Suzanne was one of the API’s top talents in that area. • Some employees say they are leaving because of the long hours and stressful deadlines. • They say they need to decompress, get to spend time with their kids, or whatever, but that’s not usually the reason.  • Many of the employees who leave API join a start-up company a few months later. • Start up firms can be pressure cookers where everyone works 16 hours each day and has to perform a variety of tasks. • API has over 6000 employees, so it is easier to assign people work that matches their technical competencies. • Most of the people who leave are millionaires.

• Financial independence gives them less reason to remain with the API.

PROBLEM STATEMENT

The problem in this case study is high employee turnover caused by the work environment and the lack of employee loyalty.

CAUSE/ANALYSIS
There are several OB...
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