Read the case study, “I Thought I Gave Them Everything,” on page 423 in the textbook. This case study involves interpersonal and intrapersonal communication competencies. Examine and evaluate this communication situation by providing detailed responses to the three discussion questions found at the end of the case study. Examine and evaluate this communication situation.
•Provide detailed responses to the three discussion questions found at the end of the case study. •Directly reference the theories of motivation you have learned about in this unit, and the 10 work-related evaluation items listed on page 176 of the text to help explain your thoughts, reasoning, and insights.
The case study of “I Thought I Gave Them Everything” discusses Henry Gonzales a manager of Quality Foods. Henry is known for his hard work and dedication to the organization; he keeps himself busy and has the most successful store within the organization. Henry is upset as “he recently found out two of his leading supervisors had requested transfers to other Quality stores.” (Shockley, 2012) Henry’s emotional response is caught up in expectations and assumptions of why his employees may be leaving.
He doesn’t really know, nor does he have any facts to support his emotional response, therefore he has taken it personal. I would advise Henry to assume nothing, and seek the facts before making any judgments concerning the situation or his supervisors that wish to transfer to other stores. I would also remind Henry that given enough time, everyone leaves. It is notable that Henry is subject to Gerald Salancik and Jeffery Pfeffer’s Social Information Processing Theory; “A person’s needs and attitudes are determined by the information available at any given time.” (Shockley, 2012)
Henry’s motivation for communication with his two supervisors surrounds his internal need for safety as it correlates to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory. As witnessed by Henry’s internal probing questions his mind is looking for safety as he has taken their actions as his own failures. I would advise Henry to think about what he wishes to achieve before approaching his supervisors. This is an opportunity for understanding and growth within his store, therefore it is best to come from a place of curiosity. It would also be good if Henry understood his communication competencies that run parallel with his assumptions that his store is the best, his supervisors required hand-holding and they need more of his time.
All of these assumptions build from his perception that these individuals don’t see what they are doing, and Henry is in a place superiority. It’s generally best policy to let people manage their own lives and make their own decisions. While communication can bridge the gap in assessing others needs and desires to seek employment elsewhere, making these types of assumptions, Henry is placing his supervisors overall competencies low, and this places him at a direct disadvantage when he approaches them for communication.
In addition to educating Henry about his assumptions, expectations, motivations and competencies it would be good for Henry to have a basic understanding of general employee motivations as they relate to needs. If Henry is approaching this from a learning perspective it may be a good idea to perform an exit interview with these employees and have them rank there satisfaction using the 10 work-related evaluation items. This would give Henry a clear indication of how he might better meet his employee’s needs in the future, and may even allow for retention of these existing employees.
In communication, you must remember that you don’t get what you don’t ask for, if Henry’s desire is to retain these two supervisors, he might want to consider asking them directly what he may be able to do to retain their services. It is noted that Henry does have a pay incentive plan already in place, so salary may not be what is needed for retention. The study also mentions that Henry’s is a busy manager and may have lost touch with these employees. If this is the case, he should be sensitive in his initial approach, and seek to understand if these employees have a sense of belonging. Overall I would suggest that Henry not make this about him, or a direct reflection of him.
Shockley-Zalabak, P.S. (2012). Fundamentals of Organizational Communication: Knowledges, Sensitivity, Skills, Values. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.