Case Study Analysis: The Need for Time Management Essay
Case Study Analysis: The Need for Time Management
According to Karen M. Williams, the “poor management of time will prevent a business from reaching its full potential” (1994, p. 1). Carl Robin’s case study is the perfect example of why time management is a crucial skill in the business world. Carl has been a campus recruiter for ABC Inc. for six months and recently hired fifteen new trainees who will work under the Operations Supervisor Monica Carrolls. Carl’s primary objective is to hold a new hire orientation; unfortunately, he let several key issues fall through the cracks and now it seems as though the orientation will not happen. Time management is extremely important and should have been used when coordinating recruitment activities. There are many arguments that could be made in this case study such as Carl being too new to his job to be in charge of the recruiting process, or that there should be more people involved in the effort overall. In this analysis a discussion will be made on the causal chain of problems that occurred because of Carl’s poor choices and inability to use his time wisely. As a result of Carl procrastinating and not using time management effectively, a causal chain of trouble was created. In order to fix this chain of trouble Carl must employ time management.
Carl Robins was not prepared for leading the recruitment process. According to the case study, Carl is in a panic because his June 15th orientation is ruined because none of the elements are in place. If he was prepared to lead the recruitment process then he would have known to employ good time management skills. A little less than three months should have been enough time to coordinate the orientation and ensuring that all other issues are taken care of before the June 15th orientation meeting. Carl needed to be on top of all the different pieces that are involved in the recruitment process. Since call had only been employed for a few months, Carl did not know how to use good time management skills. This is a common occurrence when time management is not used properly (Williams, 1994). Since Carl was new to the company he did not know that time management skills are necessary to complete each task in time for the orientation. There were several tasks that needed to be completed by Carl before the orientation in order for it to be a success. For example, Carl needed to create a training schedule and organize the orientation.
Organization of the orientation included scheduling the meeting and ensuring that no other events were taking place in the training room during that time. He also had to put together manuals and policy booklets for trainees, and coordinate their physicals and drug tests. Carl also needed to make sure all these tasks were completed by trainees. He then had to ensure that each trainee’s transcript and application was on file prior to the orientation. None of these tasks were complete as of two weeks before the orientation date. Since Carl could not complete the tasks as required, the orientation will not be successful. The case study indicates that Carl procrastinated. Procrastination led to Carl not completing the required tasks in time. Procrastination can be a serious problem in the workplace which results in the need for “fires” to constantly be put out (Estroff Marano, 2003). Procrastination leads to people waiting until the last minute to attempt tasks.
In this case, Carl looked into the tasks that needed to be completed only a couple weeks before the due date. There are numerous reasons that people procrastinate according to Kantra (2010). Some of the most common reasons for procrastination include the desire to avoid discomfort, or the need for perfection causes people to avoid doing a task; for example a person may decide to put off a task because they feel they can’t give 100% to the task (2010). Some people also suffer from self-doubt that they won’t be able to complete the task at hand; and there are some people who are just plain lazy (2010). In Carl’s case it is difficult to say with certainty what caused him to procrastinate as much as he did. As a new employee of the company it is possible that Carl suffered from self-doubt since he has never handled a recruitment event on his own. Regardless of the reason, it is evident that the reason none of the orientation tasks were not completed was because Carl procrastinated. Carl did not utilize his time well because he didn’t use time management. Carl should have used time management skills to ensure that all the orientation tasks were completed.
By implementing time management skills Carl would havebeen able to better utilize his time. For example, he could have created a chart of what tasks needed to be completed and by when. Instead of waiting until the end to determine that drug tests and physicals were not complete, Carl could have informed trainees immediately what they needed to do and made arrangements for them to go to the clinic by the end of April. Another time management skill that would have helped Carl utilize his time better would be to review the existing policy and manual booklets within the first month to decide what was missing and fix them. The Operations Supervisor informed Carl of the various tasks that were needed by June 15th. This gave Carl an entire month to complete the above mentioned tasks and he assured his supervisor that everything would be completed; unfortunately, Carl was wrong. Carl did not utilize his time well because he didn’t use time management.
Scheduling conflicts were also a problem in this case study. When Carl checked on some of the tasks at the end of May (after Memorial Day), nothing was completed and the training room was booked .Carl had not checked with the training room schedule to determine whether it was free on June 15th. As a result, another employee was using it for the entire month for his training class. This is a huge problem that could have been avoided if Carl had been better prepared. Carl should have double checked everything prior to the orientation to ensure that no last minute details were overlooked. Scheduling is a part of time management. Carl had a list of tasks that he needed to complete such as booking the orientation room. The orientation room was not available because of scheduling conflicts. This case study demonstrates conflicts of schedule. Carl should come up with an alternative plan of action. Carl was faced with the decision of whether he should just admit he failed and face the consequences of his actions, or make an attempt at fixing this problem. Carl will likely have to admit to his supervisor that he made many mistakes in coordinating the orientation since the supervisor will likely question any changes to the schedule.
However, he should not give up, but rather come up with an alternative. An alternative plan is needed, which should have been a part of his process to begin with it. There should always be a plan B. Alternative solutions to Carl’s immediate problem are a few though. If Carl is to forge ahead in hopes of actually holding the orientation then he needs to move fast. He has approximately two weeks from the point he discovers the problems to the date of the orientation. If he moves efficiently and uses effective time management skills, he should still be able to hold the orientation. Carl must create an alternative plan of action in order for the orientation to be held on time. Now that Carl knows there are major problems he must sit down and creatively come up with a plan. First, he must contact trainees and have them report to the clinic within the next 48 hours. This of course, is not ideal and would put a lot of pressure on the trainees, but it must be done. If for some reason some of the trainees cannot do it within the 48 hour time frame, an extension could be made, but it cannot extend longer than the end of the first week. This is because he will need to have time to collect results, and take appropriate actions based on those results, which will take a few days.
He must also contact the Human Resources department and get copies of all fifteen applications and transcripts. If they do not have copies, then Carl must contact the trainees and have them deliver them to him no later than at the end of the first week. During that first week, Carl must also search for an alternative room for the orientation. It might be possible to hold the orientation in another room within the company. Perhaps there is an auditorium or meeting room that can be used. Carl must be creative in order to create a plan. Once the most time consuming tasks are complete, Carl must address the policy and manual handbooks. This can be done in the second week to allow for the more important issues to be handled during the first week. This can be a fairly easy task. Any policy or manual documentation that isn’t available should be available at the Human Resources department. Once he receives the documents, he can copy the pages and then put them together.
This is the final task that needs to be completed and can be accomplished in just a day. There is also always the possibility of moving the date of the orientation to after June when the orientation room would be available. This would also give Carl enough time to coordinate the various tasks that need to be completed. The problems that occur with this approach are that it is unprofessional and will give the company a bad impression of Carl, especially since this is his first attempt at recruiting. Also, Carl’s original plan was to get the trainees working by July. To move the orientation date into July would go against his original plan. Therefore, moving the date of orientation is not an acceptable alternate solution. As previously mentioned Carl’s options are limited. The fact that he is new at this particular position calls for a quick and effective solution to the problem. His supervisor will know that something went wrong when she sees that the orientation location has been moved. It is for this reason that Carl’s best choice is to admit he made a mistake, but then demonstrate that he has remedied that mistake effectively.
When he approaches the supervisor about the mistake, he should have proof in hand of the new plan and all the completed tasks. The blame should not be entirely placed on Carl seeing as he is a new hire in his position of recruiter. As a new hire, he should have had someone assisting him through the steps of coordinating a new trainee orientation. There is also no mention of an employee handbook, or similar that would have helped him through the process. Having a partner or superior, as well as a manual for directions, is common in the workplace which is why it is surprising that these were not present in the case study. Perhaps the organization itself is not well organized. A large project such as the one Carl was working on calls for collaboration. Collaboration in an organization is of critical importance.
As mentioned above, it was surprising that Carl did not have a superior to walk him through his first recruitment event. This does not mean, however, that Carl couldn’t have approach a fellow employee for assistance. If Carl had reached out to fellow employees, perhaps the tasks would have been completed on time through collaborative efforts. Research has shown that collaboration creates a flexible and productive workplace (Beyerlein, et al., 2003). It is unknown whether ABC Inc. fosters a collaborative environment; however, reaching out to coworkers for assistance in not usually frowned upon by management in most companies. Carl should have sought to collaborate on the recruitment project.
Effective time management would have helped Carl complete each task and to recognize certain problems, such as the unavailable training room, prior to the June 15th deadline. Carl had an opportunity to demonstrate his recruitment skills for the first time and two weeks prior to the project deadline was faced with the fact that he might fail. Unfortunately none of the tasks were completed and the room was unavailable to him. The only appropriate choice was to attempt to get all tasks completed within the two week span before the orientation date. This is unprofessional and will highlight his mistakes to his supervisor; however, it is better to fix the mistakes and then admit them, rather than to admit to the mistakes and not fix them at all. Effective time management skills would have helped Carl to successfully fulfill his recruitment event tasks.
Beyerlein, M.M., Freedman, S., McGee, C., and Moran, L. (2003). The Ten Principles of Collaborative Organizations. Journal of Organizational Excellence. Retrieved March 29, 2012 from http://courses.washington.edu/nutrmgmt/564_ArticlesUsed_07/Beyerlein_Teams_03.pdf Estroff Marano, H. (2003). Procrastination: Ten Things to Know. Psychology Today. Retrieved on March 14, 2012 from http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200308/procrastination-ten-things-know Kantra, D.S. (2010). Just Do It! Why People Procrastinate. PsychDigest. Retrieved March 29 2012 from http://psychdigest.com/just-do-it-why-people-procrastinate/ Williams, K.M. (1994). Tips on Effective Time Management. Ohio State University. Retrieved on March 14, 2012 from http://ohioline.osu.edu/cd-fact/1006.html