People services Inc. whose foundation is providing quality services to its customers. Its employees are the key to efficient and productive services. Hence, conduct of employees is taken very seriously in the company. The employees have to be loyal, efficient and productive. The case study is of an employee whose performance fluctuated. At first, the employee known as Maryam had an outstanding performance. A hardworking employee. She came to work early. She did her work very efficient in doing her work. The management of the organization praised her for her good work. She was above average in her performance reports, for the four years she had been an employee at the company.
Heleema, who is the supervisor in the customer support department, was asked to investigate what was happening to Maryam. By going through her file, she remembered of the moments they had collided. Apart from being late from lunch break there were occasions that Maryam slept on her desk after lunch. Maryam, who was liked by everyone in the office, became short tempered and got into arguments with her co-workers. Maryam was given her first disciplinary letter after she had been late to return to work after a series of occasions. In one of them, she did not even come back.
After the disciplinary letter was given to her, she worked hard, and her performance improved. She, however, went back to her earlier behavior of coming back after lunch break. She was given her second disciplinary letter after her performance continued to drop. After that the letter her performance rose. It was less than satisfactory, but it was better than before. However, her supervisor did not notice this. Maryam again went back to her behavior. She had an outburst after Heleema questioned her behavior. After she had come back after the incident, she worked hard, and her performance improved. Although her evaluation was less than satisfactory, there was an improvement that the supervisor did not notice.
After Maryam had asked to be transferred to another department saying there was a lot of pressure on the department, Heleema dismissed her. Heleema talked to her boss and told her that Maryam had to be fired. She said that Maryam had a fight with fellow colleagues and her presence was not stable. The management agreed to fire her, but has to contact the Employee Assistance Program prior this decision.
Heleema can terminate Maryam employment without running into legal problems. According to the Employment Standards Act (2000), an employee may terminate employment if they had previously given notice (Zia-ur-Rehman and Rashid, 1-3). Heleema had given Maryam notice twice. In the disciplinary letters, Heleema stated that Maryam was at a risk of being fired. The law requires that any employee who has worked with an organization for a period exceeding three months be given notice.
Heleema could have acted sooner. Maryam had proven in several occasions that she was a good employee, and she should not have let it the problems accumulate. First, Heleema should make sure the company’s policy on attendance. Maryam should have been clear guidelines on when to report to work and what time is set aside for lunch break. Lastly, and most importantly Heleema should have privately talked to Maryam about what she was going through.
Heleema was not right in asking Maryam, what her problem is in front of her co-workers. She should have called her into her office and had a discussion with her. It is not established that Maryam could have been having an alcohol or drug problem. She could have been having serious medical and health problems. Shouting at her in front of her only made the problem worse. It humiliated her.
I think that seeking professional medical, psychological help and moving her to a new department could have help motivate Maryam. Maryam is going through difficulties that cannot be solved be giving her incentives like money. According to the hierarchy of needs by Maslow, employees have various levels of needs, which are satisfied differently (Rakowski, 4). Professional help can enable her to deal with the problems she is facing at work. It would mean an improvement in her performance.
Changing departments would have helped motivate Maryam. It is evident that Heleema who was her supervisor did not help her overcome her problem (Zia-ur-Rehman and Rashid, 1-3). Heleema gave her low-performance evaluations, not noticing on the improvements that Maryam had made. Maryam asked for the transfer herself after Heleema humiliated her. Heleema focused so much on Maryam’s mistakes forgetting to award her when she did well. Having a new boss may help motivate Maryam.
Maryam’s behavior can negatively affect employees. The other employees can pick up Maryam’s behavior. Peer pressure is real in workplaces (Wall, 104). Maryam’s co-workers can follow her bad behavior. If no action is taken upon Maryam; the other employees may also start reporting late to work. They may extend their lunch breaks. Arguments with Maryam due to her short temper will have affected the other employees. The words uttered or actions performed during arguments can disturb either party. There could be a drop in the performance of the whole department if the situation is not controlled (Zia-ur-Rehman and Rashid, 1-3).
Nikat should have been the one to contact professional help to talk with Maryam. He should have first talked with Maryam and seen where he could have been of help relying too much on the supervisor led to the case becoming worse. He should have tried evaluating Maryam’s case himself since she had been a loyal worker for four years. Mistakes that she made for six months should not have been substituted for the four years she worked hard.
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