1. What was Joanna Reed’s diagnosis of the situation in the donor services department?
Sam Wilson was an American who ran the Guatemala branch of a U.S. aid agency. Joanna Reed’s diagnosis of the situation in his donor services department found many problems.
LEADERSHIP – The biggest problem was that there was no leader who was accountable. Elena was the supervisor but she had no control. She also had no leadership skills and did not get respect because she was not bilingual and of a different religion. The supposed leader, Jose, spent almost all his time in the community services department. He did not pay attention and left things up to Elena.
INEFFICIENCY IN WORK – The translators mostly did clerical work even though they were bilingual. The work in the office was divided into set tasks, one done by each person, and not divided evenly. Some workers had too much paperwork while the others had spare time. Those that had spare time did not help those loaded with work. There was also lack of training in English and in work, so quality was bad. The workers did not think about the job and used many extra steps and wasted time.
TRACKING – The data was not shared in the department, so people had little knowledge about their job. There were no statistics about time, requests for information, or responses. There was little communication, plus there was resentment of Elena by some. Jose did not hear about problems or about good results.
MORALE – The agency was run by a religion and Elena was not of that religion. However, everyone was proud of the agency and the religion. But morale was low because the workers did not use or improve their skills and had only a set and boring role to do. They are frustrated with the department.
GROUP DYNAMICS – One translator Magdalena had experience, college education, and maturity. She had strong belief in the agency and was more professional. Three translators socialized mostly, and their leader Juana was outgoing with good oral English. Other translators had too much work. Everyone’s English was only fair. Supervisor Elena was left out. Elena was treated like just a watchdog. Boss Jose was not around much and paid no attention.
2. What should she recommend to Sam Wilson? (HOW)
Joanna might have made these suggestions:
LEADERSHIP – Magdalena might be a good supervisor instead of Elena. Magdalena had experience, education, belief in the agency, maturity, and professionalism. Magdalena could keep herself from making others dislike her by keeping a distance away from them. She could also have got respect. Juana could be given more leadership roles, to use her humor and outgoingness. Elena could do a job that required the hardest work. Jose could spend all his time in the community services department.
INEFFICIENCY IN WORK – The working strategy was changed to divide all the work more evenly, so all workers did all jobs. They could be less bored and learn more through such training. They could work in a team environment, rather than be selfish for themselves. Joanna’s identified unnecessary steps, which caused the system to be slow; could be changed to a better workflow. The workers could be asked to think more about improvements. The workers could be trained more in translating, perhaps they could translate easy documents or parts of documents. Socializing could be minimized to break times.
TRACKING – Statistics about time, requests for information, or responses could be kept and shared with all workers. Communication about problems or about good results would be increased through meetings, talks with leaders, and newsletters.
MORALE – All workers could know all jobs and be given a minimum of boring work, while improving skills. The religion should be emphasized along with service to others. The department could link with community services more. Communication should be encouraged. Togetherness as a team with an important purpose whould be emphasized.
GROUP DYNAMICS – The leader should be respected because of English languge ability and leadership skills and be of the right religion. Theleader should also be around all the time. The secondary leader should be a team worker and skillful in communication. The workers should respect each other and work as a team. All persons should have clear authority and responsibility. The workload should be fair.
REWARDS – Joanna could recommend rewards to change both the workers’ and the managers’ behavior. They could get a bonus for achieving goals. They could get awards for service and efficiency. They could have a chance to go to higher positions in the agency. Perhaps they could visit the U.S.!