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Gerald Mahoney Essay

1. Gerald Mahoney’s attitude and performance dramatically changed after a few months on the job. What type of training should Mahoney have immediately received from John Timmson that might have avoided this?

Gerald should have received some type of on-the-job training that goes over ever piece of detail that needs to be attended to. John left everything up to Gerald then eventually got upset when business was not being taken care of. The reason for on-the-job training, is because John can use the opportunity of OJT to really teach Gerald how he wants the store ran, and what transactions he want done on a daily basis.

2. Assuming Timmson keeps Mahoney as the store manager, what would be the steps he institutes in the training process?

His first step would be to prepare the trainee. Assuming that Timmson should use an interactive/case method that will help Timmson change the way Mahoney deals with certain situations. The pros of this solution would be the effectiveness of the training method and Mahoney’s increased task performance. However, the cons would be that the training would be very costly and time consuming. The second step would be to present Mahoney with the task. Timmson would perform all of the tasks while explaining each step several times. Once Mahoney seems to have the steps memorized Timmson would ask Mahoney to explain each step while Timmson is performing them. Timmson should also prepare a written list of all steps and tasks and give it to Mahoney. The third step would be to allow Mahoney to perform all tasks on his own. Maloney would perform all tasks while explaining each step and then Timmson would correct any errors that he sees. The final and last step would be to follow up. Timmson would provide any help that is necessary while Mahoney is on the job. Timmson would gradually leave Mahoney alone and check quality and quantity frequently. Depending upon how well Mahoney performs the task, and then Timmson would let up on checking quality and quantity.

3. Assuming that Timmson and Mahoney agree to a training program in order to solve the problem, what are some challenges Timmson might face in conducting
this training?

Assuming that Timmson and Mahoney agree to this One-on-One training program, Timmson will face several challenges. These challenges are how time consuming it will be for Timmson to train Mahoney to manage the store in a effective manner and the higher costs Timmson will face in the training process. The only pro of this solution would be that it would most likely help Mahoney with his task management and would increase his job performance. However, as stated above the other challenge that Timmson will face when training Mahoney is the amount of time that it will require for him to devote to the training process. According to the case summary, Timmson doesn’t appear to either have or want to invest the time in managing Mahoney so why would he invest the time in personally training him?

4. According to exhibit 7.2, there are four methods for increasing and decreasing employee behavior. What are these methods, and which one(s) do you think would work the best for changing some of Mahoney’s more problematic behaviors?

The methods used for increasing and decreasing employee behavior are:

a. Positive reinforcement- application of a reward as result of a desirable behavior. b. Punishment- the application of a negative reward in order to decrease unwanted behavior. c. Punishment- the removal of a desirable reward in order to decrease unwanted behavior. d. Negative reinforcement- removal of an unwanted outcome when a desirable behavior is performed. e. Extinction- occurs when there is the removal of a consequence following an unwanted behavior.

I believe that the most effective way to correct some of Mahoney’s more problematic behaviors would be to use positive reinforcement to do so. In Mahoney’s case we feel that even Timmson just verbally praising Mahoney could result in more frequent desirable behavior out of Mahoney. On top of the verbal praise, Timmson could also use incentives, such as paid time off, or overtime wages as positive reinforcement for Mahoney’s desirable behavior. The pros of using positive reinforcement that it is the most effective way to improve job performance and desirable behavior, however it would also add costs to Timmson’s pay roll, which would begin to add up over time. Also, if the store does not continue to have good business and the only way for Timmson to keep the store open was to cut costs, then Mahoney’s pay would most likely be the first thing to be cut, possibly resulting in undesirable behavior and lower job performance.

5. Look at Exhibit 7-3, “Skills and Training Methods.” What are some of the appropriate training techniques that Timmson might use to increase Mahoney’s KSAs?

We believe that the best way to improve Mahoney’s KSAs is to use the case observational method. Our reasoning for this stems from an article written by Martin Gannon where he introduces the training method called the case observational method, a method based off of sensitivity training. Gannon goes on to explain the case observational method is both more cost effective than sensitivity training and has more variety than it as well. This method takes a class of maybe ten or more people, broken into smaller groups and then given the assignment of discussing individual cases in front of the class. While one group has a discussion the rest of class members are evaluating the group’s discussion based on categories, such as task leadership, social leadership and logic. The pros of this training method are that it is fairly inexpensive to Timmson yet it is very effective in improving Mahoney’s KSAs. The cons of the case observational method is that there may not necessarily be a class offered in the area therefore not being very realistic as a training method.

6. Mahoney jumped from being a sales associate under Mr. Paulson to a store manager under Mr. Timmson. How might career planning and development have helped him in making this transition?

Mahoney’s lack of job performance could very well have been a result of his transition from a sales associate at a previous job to store manager under Mr. Timmson. Mahoney’s lack of job performance could have been prevented if he had received some basic type of managerial training through a career development and planning class. This could have in at least some way prepared Mahoney for the responsibilities associated with being a store manager. Now through which job should he have received this planning is up for debate, however, I do believe that in the hiring process Timmson should have considered the fact that Mahoney had never had any type of managerial experience. If Timmson had taken this into account he would have most likely hired someone who had had at least some type of management experience to take the position of store manager.

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