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Banana Time Case

Essay by   •  March 16, 2011  •  Case Study  •  794 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,171 Views

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This case deals specifically with the members of the "clicking" workgroup. The problem appears to be a total lack of supervision and management oversight as the work location is completely isolated from other areas of the shop floor. This lack of supervision has led to a number of concerns. Specifically, the issues of horseplay, extended breaks and operator disruptions, which all lead to a loss of production, are clearly visible during daily operations. These problems, while on the surface may seem trivial, the loss of production and absence of concern for operator safety need to be addressed. If the working group throughput quota is being met, some leniency could be afforded for the extended breaks and operator disruptions, but it still does not alleviate the concern for operator safety.

It was found during the course of study that the mundane type of work required of the clicking group, is neither mentally challenging nor rewarding. The operators struggle to keep focused on their task at hand which often leads to disruptive and inappropriate workgroup behavior. The lack of effective supervision and leadership has promulgated the behavior into everyday occurrences. Adding to the complexity of the issue is the fact that some of the operators seem to be overqualified for the position. This over qualification contributes to the boredom of performing the task, and alternative forms of entertainment are sought.

There are a number of recommendations for this workgroup situation. First, it is most important to address operator safety. It is recommended that the line up of the operators be modified. By placing George (the most experienced operator and workgroup lead) next to the least experienced, it would promote mentoring of this task to the new employee, where safe operation can be encouraged. Second, the line up should be modified to place George and the new operator in the middle, with Ike and Sammy on the ends. This could reduce the close contact interaction of Ike and Sammy, which should improve the safety of the operators working environment, by reducing the amount of horseplay involved in daily activities. Third, because the work is not mentally stimulating or challenging, it is recommended that workspace modification be made. These could include additional or improved natural lighting, as well as the introduction of music. A radio could provide enough mental stimulation that would help keep the operators focused on the "clicking" operation, while also reducing the amount of verbal conversations and discourses on various subjects. Of course, this brings new issues which include; musical preferences of each operator may be significantly different.

Because George is the team lead, he should be responsible for maintaining proper behavior of the operators of the equipment, as well as, adhering to the guidelines for the appropriate length of work breaks. If this means the enforcement of existing,



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