Case Overview Mr. Shantanu Bannerjee was having his cup of coffee near the balcony of cafeteria after he had completed his task for the day. It was dusk all around. He was sitting alone & thinking upon few important issues. He couldn’t digest few things about the day & was regretting that why he didn’t act upon it before. He was also disturbed that why did he trust his manager & also why was he not made aware of it before hand. Anyhow Shantanu had no other choice as he knew that it was too late & only what he could think ahead was for a better future & learn a good lesson out of what had happened.
Mr. Shantanu recently passed his B. Tech from Punjab Engineering College in computer science. Just as a part of his internship training he joined this company. Although he was technically sound, on his part he could make the best of what he could do for the company. He was selected for the position of project trainee in a domain meant for hardware testing. During the entire tenure of 6 months of his internship technically he learned a lot. Initially he was being appointed to simulate the circuit diagrams & review the wires, cables in case of any disorder.
He was very good at performing tasks. Though he was a fresher he could mend circuits and verify it better than any other person in his team. Soon within span of 2 months he was given the in charge of the project that dealt with procurement & reviewing the electronic items. Being a fresher it was like a prestigious reward for him to be given a responsible task that was just new to his field of work. It gave him much courage & also motivated him to perform his tasks in a more productive way. As per one of his team member Satyajit Khurana, “Shantanu was very talented & technically expert.
Once you provide him with the objective, he does that task before the stipulated time with perfection. There is no need of any mentor or supervisor to guide him all the time. He knew his work, deadlines & how to make things done” While he was undergoing his new project he could found some flaws in the inventory management system for procurement. He worked for about a fortnight and could come up with a solution to optimize the inventory management system using software’s which reduced the whole procurement project life cycle time by 23%.
It was a huge achievement and an abnormal gain that no one can ever estimate. Soon his model of inventory system was being adopted by other teams & implemented. His manager rewarded him for his extreme innovation at his work. Shantanu got more priority over other trainees. He also got opportunity to interact with clients overseas. Shantanu’s instant innovation made him to be a lime light in his team. However he could notice that some of his senior team members were not happy with his manager’s decision.
He could realize that his dynamism & progress were taken as a threat to the position & prestige of other team members because he was just a fresher & was doing well compared to those experienced. One month was left for Shantanu to complete his training. Shantanu knew that apart from his good performance there was no vacancy for him in his domain as most of the old employees were on bench during recession. However on 5th July he got a call from Miss Sheela, Project manager of CII team from other domain.
It also dealt with hardware testing which was very close to Shantanu’s work profile. She gave an offer to him saying that they have an urgent vacancy in their team & they would like to hire him, if he is right for the job based on two rounds of technical interview. Shantanu before agreeing for the proposal decided to speak to his current manager so that there are no disputes. So he asked for some time from Miss Sheela to convey his opinion. His current manager Mr. Ravi Sharma called Shantanu to his cabin. He said that he would ask his manager Mr.
Shyam Kumar about it & let him know soon as he hopes that there is some project about to come to his team in next 2 months and they need to hire someone. Based on past 5 months performance of Shantanu, he & his manager were very satisfied & would like him to work as a permanent employee for the new project. Within two days Shantanu was informed to extend his internship by three months so that he would be absorbed as a permanent employee based on a formal interview. However it was clearly indicated to him that the interview was just a formality.
Ravi & his manager Shyam were ready to hire him at any cost. He also mentioned “no need to worry. You can decline your proposal from Sheela & also from other teams if coming to you. Interview is just a formality. You are in. Now don’t think about your interviews much & concentrate on your projects. We have lot of expectation from you. ” The news was spread all over the team that soon Shantanu will be a part of their team. But few members in his team were having objections but there were no other alternatives as it was manager’s decision.
Shantanu called Sheela & said “Hi! Sheela, thanks for your offer. But today my manager informed me that there is a vacancy for me in my team itself. So sorry for keeping you on hold” Sheela replied “No problem at all. Congratulations” Shantanu was eagerly waiting for the days to pass & finally the day came when he was about to attend the formal interview. He was assured quite a number of times before that “the interview was formal & his performance was no way going to affect his selection.
He was already being selected by both of his immediate managers. Interview was just a step to follow the employee recruitment guidelines of the company. Shantanu was also asked not to concentrate much on interview & rather pay attention on his routine work. Finally Shantanu had his interview on 30th July, 2009 at 5:00 Pm. Interview was carried by his team members some of whom were not always in favor of him. Shantanu was surprised to find that none of his managers were in the interview panel as they promised that at least one of them would be there.
Effective Communication should be developed through trust Shantanu had a tough time in the interview. He was asked with the questions that were out of context & those that were not related to him & his work. Neither he had worked in that nor did his profile for which he was being selected match to the questions asked. Bust since Shantanu was technically sound & also had been resolving partly the technical disputes of other teams, he had ideas about the out of box questions and could manage to perform satisfactory in his interview.
Still 8 days were left. Shantanu didn’t ask about his feedback as he was assured that it’s not going to impact anyway. Mr. Ravi gave him a call. Shantanu went to his cabin. Shantanu was told that “he will not be hired because he couldn’t perform well in the interview”. Shantanu argued that “Why Ravi, I performed well till date. I am having a very good track record for last 5 months & feedbacks were very good as given by you only. I kept to all my deadlines. You people awarded me. Because of you only I denied Sheela’s offer.
You only assured me that the interview was just a formality & I need to concentrate on my work. ” Ravi replied back “Our Company’s policy says that while recruitment it is the interviewer who decides the final selection. The panel of your interviewer is not ready to hire you. They have an opinion that the task to which you were going to be assigned is different from your current profile & does not meet their expectation. So you can apply for your resignation latest by next 5 days so that it gets updated to the database before your tenure of training ends by default” Shantanu was helpless.
He also knew that as per company’s policy “Interns are hired temporarily for projects & thus have no assurance about confirmation of their job after completion of the project even if they had performed well. He also didn’t have any documentary proof as everything was intended to him orally. There was no written evidence or mail that could suggest that he was being assured that he will be hired. He could have talked to HR’s, But in his company he knew that HR will only say that if the line managers are not ready then no one can do anything as the entire decision is based on managers.
He called Sheela in case vacancy was still there. She replied that the vacancies were filled and there were no other vacancies in her team and in the entire domain for coming 6 months. Finally he had no other alternative, sat in front of his system. He applied for resignation, filled the form, clicked on the final button & his resignation got accepted. Then he went for a cup of coffee to the cafeteria. He could realize that he made some mistakes and could have rectified it earlier by being alert rather than taking the situation very casual.
Questions based on above case study : 1. What are the major communication problems faced in this case? Were Shantanu’s expectations his team were very high or it was quite genuine. 2. Do you think there was lack of transparency? 3. What would Shantanu have done to overcome the situation? 4. In what better way Ravi could have handled the situation? 5. What were the conflicting statements said by Ravi in this case? How could he have sorted it? 6. How HR within an organization can play an important role in tracking miscommunication and resolve such issues.