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Management Other

Advanced Problem Solving Technique

  1. Recognizing the problem

The agency does not want to lose a well-trained and experienced employee; Susan. She is still thinking about leaving because she feels that she was treated unfairly by Bob, the agency director. Susan does not want her to leave, as she is able to do many tasks and step in instead of her.

  1. Redefining the problem

The problem statement is that Susan feels like she is doing the job of two people and her efforts are not recognized. She does not feel that the treatment of Bob was fair, as she did not get trained on creating reports, and her workload has increased due to Marilyn’s illness. There is also a misunderstanding of responsibilities between Marilyn, Bob and Susan that needs to be resolved.

  1. Plan creation
  2. The agency needs to communicate Susan’s responsibilities in writing
  3. She needs to be trained on creating reports and completing supervisory jobs
  4. The agency needs to be prepared for emergencies and get help from outside if needed, so the workload gets cleared.
  5. Possible Solutions
  6. When Marilyn returns she speaks to Bob about Susan’s responsibilities
  7. Marilyn asks for a meeting with Bob and Susan to discuss responsibilities
  8. Marilyn sets up a meeting with Bob and Susan and suggests possible emergency plans, extended training and responsibilities for Susan and a promotion
  9. Creative Possibilities

Using mind-mapping techniques, Marilyn needs to assess the situation, reviewing the reasons for the behavior of parties; Bob and Susan. Bob told off Susan because he was not aware of her real job description or he only cared about getting the job done? Did Susan have any other reasons related to her job, position or work atmosphere that influenced her to make a decision to leave?

  1. Analysis and Evaluation

Evaluating the three possible solutions, it is evident that Susan does not feel respected and treated fairly. There is a need for a 3-way discussion and revision of work responsibilities, as well as clear communication with the agency director about them. Solution C seems to be the best option, as the first two would leave some important aspects of the problem untouched: (emergency plan, respect, communication of responsibilities)

  1. Implementation

Marilyn needs to create a written report and plan about the current responsibilities of Susan and present it at the meeting. She would also need to communicate the benefits of providing Susan with more training and an opportunity of career progression, highlighting the savings of not needing help from outside and getting the job done, while keeping a valuable and experienced employee. She needs to present this proposal at the meeting with Bob and Susan while clarifying misunderstanding between them.

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