The Donor Services Department is an organization that seeks out sponsors to help with the funding of underprivileged families. They must do their best to maintain a constant flow of donors as well as keep track of their work. There are various components that keep this system at bay and it must be kept under control especially since they are planning on expanding. Prior to their expansion, the Executive Director of Donor Services, Sam Wilson, hired a consultant, Joanna Reed, to help him with the restructure of the company internally. There were issues and concerns on who should run the department and how the employees’ work would be delegated.
Through Joanna’s observations and the various instances throughout the case analysis it is apparent that there is not a strong leader in the department. The employees’ work is also suffering from lack of supervision and training. The vertical structure that is illustrated for this company is not working for them. Employee morale is also suffering greatly because of this and is causing them to not stay on task. Recommendations on appointing the proper supervisor and the restructuring of this company will surely help it expand. Once there is a clear vision and roles are more defined the Donor Services Department is likely to improve. Employees will be willing to perform their duties assigned with ease and with the proper feedback can excel even more.
The Donor and Community Services Departments are rapidly growing and it is apparent that this is starting to have a large impact on the deterioration of employee morale. The lack of supervision, training and disbursement of work is causing the company to not perform at its best. The many factors that contribute to these issues can easily be solved if proper action takes place. The absence of a strong supervisor in the Donor Services Department is the main reason as to why the department is performing so poorly. The company has a vertical structure, which does not work in their favor. Jose Barriga, who is the head of this department, as well as Community Services, does not spend enough time there. He will occasionally stop in on a weekly basis and check the employees’ daily production figures. He does not give any sort of feedback, which can make the employees feel as though they are performing well, when in reality this is not the case.
Jose appointed Elena as the department supervisor, but she does not have a strong skill set to be a supervisor. She does not enforce any sort of order in the department, which causes the employees to not stay on task. It appears the hierarchy of the company is more vertical, but the linkage is not strong because Elena and Jose do not communicate about the behavior and performance of the employees. They have not come to a problem consensus, which would help out the current situation. The consultant Joanna Reed also observed that the employees have very little training in the various tasks the department performs. They do not have any sort of direction or true knowledge on what they are assigned to do. As mentioned before there is no sort of feedback, which only leads the company to become disorganized. In addition to not having proper training, several of the employees are not even able to use the skills that they were told are vital to their positions.
There are six translators in the department, but only one employee named Magdalena is able to use her English speaking skills. The others are busy working on tasks that leave them a lot free time during the day, while others are have an overwhelming workload. One translator is assigned the mundane task of preparing files for new clients and doing the filing for all the departments. She is not able to use her English speaking skills or show any other valuable skills that she may possess.
Solutions and Recommendations
The donor services needs to better commit themselves to their department. The case touched on how two supervisors both seemed to concentrate more on the community services side of the organization, while leaving Joanna to fend for herself on the supervisor of donor services side of things. The management in this organization needs to be better spread out amongst all sides of the organization. Another idea to consider is that Joanna needs to have her role defined a little more clearly within the company. She is unsure what kind of authority she has over the translators, and the translators don’t respect her very much. If her role was better defined and she was given a range of bureaucratic policies she could enforce on the translators that would make the entire department run more smoothly, and the translators would understand that they need to respect Joanna and if not action will definitely be taken against them. An overhaul in the bureaucratic policies in the donor services department is something the organization should consider.
Right now there is no clear job definition for anyone in the donor services department, so it has become a free for all about what gets accomplished within the department. There needs to be a clear set of visions, goals, rules, and policies to give the department something they can follow, and aim for success. The new bureaucratic policies will also alleviate some of the trouble from the perspective of Joanna. The translators will have a better understanding of what will be expected of them if there is a clear set of goals and policies set in place for the workers to refer to. The donor services organization should also consider establishing a more mechanistic design approach to their department. A mechanistic design is an organization defined by clear goals, rules procedures, a clear authority, and centralized decision making. The donor services department is not succeeding by their existing hands off approach, so they need to change to a mechanistic approach in order to see better results.
Mechanistic design has been proven to be successful in other organizations that have a routine job, like the translators do in this case. So this change in the design in something that could bring great success for the entire department. Bringing in a scorecard to the donor services department is an idea the organization should definitely consider. The case touched on how their is now real grade or measurement for the translators, so they don’t have feedback on their work. If there was a quarterly review or scorecard out in place by the management the translators would be able to get feedback and ideas of what they’re doing right and what they can improve on. Feedback is always important to any career and I think in this case it would help out the entire organization if the translators had a clear understanding of the management involved and feedback that would he given. Another recommendation is the possibility of bringing in a new employee who can work with Joanna to supervise the donor services translators.
Both of the existing management in place seek to concentrate more on the community side, so if they don’t want to become more involved in this aspect than the organization needs to bring in someone who is bilingual and has management skills. This new person will bring in their skills to establish a bureaucracy amongst the translators, and work with Joanna to teach her the knowledge to become a better supervisor on her own in the future. Right now it seems like Joanna is not equipped enough to run the department, but if she could learn from someone else she could eventually develop the skills needed. The importance work the workers knowledge and being properly trained is important to any good organization. This organization may also considering retraining their donor services translators. It seems that all of the current employees have started in the organization at different times, and they all have different background training.
If the organization dedicates some time to come up with a standard set of training skills for all the translators it will in turn bring a common understanding of what is known and expected from each donor translator. This training will set a standard for the organization that all employees can look to when they have questions or concerns. The donor services department has some bright employees and can be a strong department within the organization. If they become more committed to giving feedback, establish a stronger bureaucracy, and consider adding some additional management in place they could be a very successful and promising department within the organization.
After the analysis by Joanna it seems like The Donor Services Department is part of a strong organization that is doing a lot of good for the less fortunate, but unfortunately they have come on some tough times. With the supervisors both concentrating more on the community services side of the organization and leaving the donor services department to be run by undertrained Elena it has caused some issues. The organization could bounce back for this successfully by recommiting themselves to the donor services. They can do this by bringing one of the two existing supervisors over to manage the donor services on a more immediate level. They can also establish a bureaucracy amongst the department so everyone has a clear understanding of the standard set of rules and procedures, as well as the vision for the organization. If neither supervisor is willing to move over to the donor services department than they need to consider hiring an outside source to monitor the translators in the department. They need someone who is bilingual and could give feedback and evaluate the translators. These small changes will go a long way in getting the donor services department back on track to helping the less fortunate.