Joe is the Vice-President of Hyperlink Systems. His plant produces circuit boards that are used in Nokia cell phones and IBM computers. Hyperlink is caught in a competitive pricing squeeze, so he hired a consultant to study the production department. After the consultants recommendations were in and Joe evaluated the results he spoke with plant manager Sue Harris. Harris, asked that the consultant’s recommendations be implemented immediately. She thought that total production would increase right away. Weekly production goals were set higher than ever. Joe worried that in her zealous approach to implementation Harris didn’t take into account the time required to learn new procedures, and that plant workers would be under great pressure to make what may be unrealistic goals. He vocalized this to Harris who assured him that it would work. That her employees could “see the vision”. However, anxious to empower Sue to make her own decisions, Joe did not act on his concerns. He did watch things and soon realized that his fears were not unfounded. A handful of workers resisted the new work methods because they felt they could produce more circuit boards using the old methods. While most workers have changed to the new methods, their productivity has not increased. Even after a month, many workers think the old ways are more efficient, faster, and more productive. The numbers for production had not changed. They were now facing the beginning of the second month with the new methods and a very split workforce.
Today, a delegation has come to Joe’s office with concern that the new goals and procedures are not working and the Sue Harris is making them change for the worse. “She claims,” they report “that they are not using the new methods correctly and this is why the productivity is not increasing.” The group says that the she is not trusting them to do the job. They also say that they do not want her to know that they went over head by coming to you. They are afraid it will make things worse.
Joe has a couple of other concerns with Harris. Joe recently spoke with another colleague, John, who was complaining about Sue’s lack of dependability. She had asked John to attend an operations conference, and at the last minute sent another supervisor instead, without any explanation. She has made other promises of supplies and equipment to his section, and then never followed through. Joe thinks Sue makes promises she can’t keep probably out of desire to please. The end result is that she acts too quickly without adequate implementation and follow-up. Joe can see that she is developing trust issues right and left. Worse yet he feels that if he doesn’t do something about things soon people will not think him trustworthy.
Reading the theme material for the week what would you suggest Joe do to protect his relationship with Susan and her staff? Include in your answer a description of what trust means to a leader, how it creates followers, and how you might change the structure and culture of the company to facilitate the repair of any trust issues. Make sure to bring in the techniques that are mentioned in your reading. What suggestions would you give Susan to help her fix and rebuild her relationships? Be specific and practical with your suggestions to both questions.
The references below must be used in-text citation APA.