Running Head: PPG: Developing a Self-Directed Work Force
Raul Polo Jr.
Carlos Albizu University
Submitted To: Dr. Adkins
November 6th , 2011
GEB-314 Group & Organizational Dynamics
A self-directed workforce is where the employees manage themselves and can perform multiple tasks. No need for a lot of middle management, because the employees will manage each other and themselves. A company like PPG wanted to implement a self-directed workforce because it saves them money in the long run. The workers union in a non-self-directed workforce gave them headaches. The workers were only allowed to perform one job task. It prevented them from working efficiently. If a machine broke, a worker would not be allowed to fix it themselves because that was against union policy. They would have to wait for a repair person to come over and fix it. The inefficiency and over-hiring of personnel cost too much money. PPG believed they would save money and become more efficient by implementing a self-directed work force.
For the hiring process in Berea, the employees had to have certain characteristics. They needed to be fast learners. They had to know how to do everyone’s job. If they didn’t know, they had to be trained on the spot and learn how to do it immediately. They needed to be self-motivated. If someone was doing bad work, they would need to know how to fix it or immediately train the person doing the job wrong. That goes along with good communication skills and good teaching abilities. They needed team players since people working would be working together all the time. If a problem came up, they would need to have good problem solving skills. Since there would be no middle management, organization skills and perfectionism were going to be important too. The assessment center definitely found employees that were faster learners, had good communication skills, and good teaching abilities. The first simulation was to read instructions so that tested fast learning, being perfect, and how organized they were. The second simulation tested training abilities and communication. The third test was to test team skills and look for natural leaders. It was somewhat effective, but I don’t think it was truly effective. Natural leaders that work together often clash for power so in a real work environment, I would think that they’re natural leadership mentality would conflict with other natural leaders hired. I also think it lacked in self-motivation because, it was an interview. Everyone is always motivated for an interview. Self-motivation is very difficult to test I would think. In an interview, they would be motivated to get a job so they would do well. In the real world, they already have a job so what would their motivation be? It’s different for everyone. In the second simulation, they purposely threw in a jackass in there to screw things up and test patience. That’s bad. Just like motivation, patience is very difficult to test. In an interview, I’m sure anyone would be patient in teaching. PPG 4
In the real work environment, I would assume that some people would act differently. Similar to the Hawthorne studies, since they knew they are being watched, they’ll be good at being a cooperative good teacher. There was a complaint from candidates that they were confused. They didn’t know what to expect. They got lost and thought it was part of the test. So there’s a chance that the simulations missed some people that would have been great for the system. It helped find the employees strengths they were looking for. At the same time, since it was a test, it hid some weaknesses. Underlying tensions of the system:
Resentment between support workers and technicians. Since they’re pretty much doing the same thing, I would make them all technicians. In this scenario, a title is pretty important value if there were two types of workers. Especially if the...