Overview and Conflict Analysis

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Question Description

For this milestone, you will complete a draft of the first two sections of your final project based on the final case study.

The following critical elements must be addressed:

  • Overview: Summarize the pattern of facts leading up to this interpersonal conflict, identifying the stakeholders in the conflict.
  • Conflict Analysis: In this section, you will analyze the transcripts provided and determine how stakeholders’ self-perception and communication practices influences the conflict. Be sure to address the following:
    • Assess how the stakeholders’ self-perception influenced the conflict. Provide specific examples to support your assessment. In other words, how might the involved stakeholders’ self-perceptions be at odds with how others see them?
    • Described the communication practices, implicit or explicit, that were used. What implications did they have for the conflict?
    • Assess how communication practices might be changed to de-escalate the conflict. Provide specific examples to support your assessment.

Guidelines for Submission: Your paper should be 2 to 3 pages in length with double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman fond, and APA formatting.

Attached is the Outline from last week and the feedback from professor. Also, the Project Case Study is attached.


Overview:

Communication in the workplace is critical for meeting individual, department, and organizational goals. One way for managers to ensure goals are met is to set clear expectations with employees. In addition to defining and clarifying expectations, managers also need to direct and control expectations. When expectations change, that too needs to be communicated to the employee. Any time goals change, managers need to embrace the opportunity to reconnect with employees and communicate the change. This does not always happen and the ability to both anticipate and recognize breakdowns in communication is important for managers to identify.

Often, managers make assumptions that the employee “should know that” or “was trained on that process” or “everyone knows that.” In reality, employees cannot know how to perform unless their manager gives them clear expectations. This gap in communication between what is expected and what is communicated is what leads to conflict. Two-way dialogue to ensure understanding is critical. What the manager says should be what the employee hears and understands.

Sometimes, as a manager, it can be easier to complete any given task as opposed to communicating to the employee how to do the task. Sometimes, it is faster to do something yourself rather than teach someone to do it. But supervising the work, not doing it, is the responsibility of the manager. This can be a difficult transition for managers. Setting and clarifying expectations benefits the employee and the manager. When expectations change, managers need to re-engage with the employees and communicate this change. This is just as important as the initial communication of expectations.

According to Mitchell (2013), “day to day interaction determines leadership success” (p. 42). This is when manager/employee communication is vital. Successful organizations that achieve their goals are built on efficient teams, not the work of one individual. Good teamwork requires the purposeful efforts of a manager and employees to keep communication clear and resolve conflicts.

Managers need to avoid assumptions and ask questions to ensure employee proficiency. Organizations have tools to aid management in conducting conversations to set expectations. There are established frameworks and models to facilitate effective communication with employees. Use of tools can ensure expectations are clear to the employee and ease manager/employee collaboration. You will be introduced to a few models in the reading for this module. One such model is called the interaction process and is depicted in the figure below (Mitchell, 2013). Mitchell suggests this model for managers to follow in order to effectively conduct difficult performance conversations.

This image depics the interaction process, which includes the following steps: Open, Clarify, Develop, Agree, Check for Understanding, Make Procedural Suggestions, and Close.

Figure 3.1

(Mitchell, 2013)

Expectations are all around employees and do not just come from what managers communicate. Job descriptions, handbooks, mission statements, and emails are some of the places employees can get clues on how to perform and the expectations from leadership. Employees need to recognize that this is how they can learn expectations.

This process of communication between manager and employee takes practice; until you are comfortable with it, err on the over-communicative side. This way, there is nothing to lose. Be self-aware and open with your employees and together you will master the art of communicating clear expectations.

References

Mitchell, S. (2013). Driving workplace performance through high-quality conversations. Strategic HR Review, 13(1), 42–44.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

WCM 620 Milestone One Guidelines and Rubric For this milestone, you will complete a draft of the first two sections of your final project based on the final project case study. The following critical elements must be addressed: I. Overview: Summarize the pattern of facts leading up to this interpersonal conflict, identifying the stakeholders in the conflict. II. Conflict Analysis: In this section, you will analyze the transcripts provided and determine how stakeholders’ self-perception and communication practices influenced the conflict. Be sure to address the following: A. Assess how the stakeholders’ self-perception influenced the conflict. Provide specific examples to support your assessment. In other words, how might the involved stakeholders’ self-perceptions be at odds with how others see them? B. Describe the communication practices, implicit or explicit, that were used. What implications did they have for the conflict? C. Assess how communication practices might be changed to de-escalate the conflict. Provide specific examples to support your assessment. Guidelines for Submission: Your paper should be 2 to 3 pages in length with double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, and APA formatting. If you choose to create a slide presentation, it should be 2 to 4 slides in length with speaker notes, be of professional quality, and use APA formatting. Critical Elements Overview: Pattern of Facts Proficient (100%) Summarizes the pattern of facts leading up to this interpersonal conflict, identifying the stakeholders in the conflict Conflict Analysis: Stakeholders’ SelfPerception Assesses how the stakeholders’ selfperception influenced the conflict and provides specific examples to support assessment Conflict Analysis: Communication Describes the communication practices, implicit or explicit, that were used and their implications for the conflict Conflict Analysis: De-escalate the Conflict Assesses how the communication practices might be changed to de-escalate the conflict, providing specific examples to support assessment Needs Improvement (70%) Summarizes the pattern of facts leading up to this interpersonal conflict, identifying the stakeholders in the conflict, but summary is verbose or contains inaccuracies Assesses how the stakeholders’ selfperception influenced the conflict and provides examples to support assessment, but assessment is cursory or contains inaccuracies, or examples are not specific or relevant to argument Describes the communication practices, implicit or explicit, that were used and their implications for the conflict, but description is cursory or contains inaccuracies Assesses how the communication practices might be changed to de-escalate the conflict, providing examples to support assessment, but assessment is cursory or Not Evident (0%) Does not summarize the pattern of facts leading up to this interpersonal conflict Value 25 Does not assess how the stakeholders’ selfperception influenced the conflict 25 Does not describe the communication practices, implicit or explicit, that were used and their implications for the conflict 25 Does not assess how the communication practices might be changed to de-escalate the conflict, providing examples to support assessment 25 contains inaccuracies, or examples are not specific or relevant to argument Total 100% Running head: PATTERN OF FACTS OUTLINE The Pattern of Facts Outline Institution Affiliation Date 1 PATTERN OF FACTS OUTLINE I. 2 Introduction A. Unfair treatment for employees in the workplace and how it happens. B. General detail about this case and the participants that are involved. II. The Pattern of Facts Leading Up To the Case Study Conflict A. The first action, in this case, was Kareem deciding to pray in the workplace without informing the superiors. B. It is an action that led to the other employees having to discover that he was missing from his workstation from time to time. C. Michael discovered that Kareem was doing something abnormal in the workplace and was also absent from his workstation from time to time. D. Janet, the supervisor, began her investigation that led to the discovery that the performance of Kareem was deteriorating. E. Thomas also checked the information, and after the observation of the employee, he chose to dismiss him for low performance. F. In all these instances, the three individuals did not have a sit down with Kareem, and hence there was lack of communication. III. Identification of All the Stakeholders in the Conflict A. The stakeholders in this conflict include Kareem who is a Muslim employee that feels that he was mistreated. B. Michael is also a key play as he is the employee that first reported Kareem to the other individuals. PATTERN OF FACTS OUTLINE 3 C. There is also Janet who is a supervisor and who is responsible for checking the performance levels of Kareem and also communicating any corrections that Kareem should make. D. Lastly, there is Thomas who has the final say and who is responsible for dismissing Kareem from his job while using the data on his performance as justification. E. Kathy is a fellow employee that was in good terms with Kareem from the beginning to the end. IV. Conclusion A. Employee conflicts are common in many workplaces but what matters most is the way that they are solved. B. The role of communication in helping avoid conflicts is also critical, and this involved communication between all parties. Feedback from professor: WCM 620 Pattern of Facts Outline Rubric feedback: Good job developing your pattern of facts outline. It was well written and easy to read. You did a good job listing the pattern of facts leading to the conflict and identified each stakeholder. Well Done. Points were lost because there was an important pattern of fact left out that should be included. See example above. Also, give a thorough description of each stakeholder beginning with ABC. Pattern of Facts and Identification of Stakeholders: Good job identifying the pattern of facts leading up to the conflict. You need to add to this section. What did Kareem do when he was terminated? Look at the transcripts to find the answer and include in this section. Also, give a more thorough explanation of each stakeholder beginning with ABC Corp. They are a stakeholder. For example: ABC Corp, is an electronic device company that answers after hours calls. etc... Thomas, Call center manager, known for having a no-nonsense attitude. He made the decision to terminate Kareem...Please do this for each stakeholder. Writing (Mechanics/Citations): Well Done WCM 620 Final Project Case Study Company Overview ABC Corporation is an electronic device company selling cellular phones and tablets. It is a global company with both sales and service departments. The technology industry is highly competitive, so ABC Corporation focuses on after-sales service levels in order to ensure it has repeat customers. It has eight call centers worldwide and each call center handles a multitude of customer issues. There is an extremely high expectation that the call centers resolve customer issues in a timely fashion and to the customer’s satisfaction. The call center managers are focused on ensuring their center is the best and that their center handles the most calls, has the highest-rated customer evaluations, and wins the most recognition for performance. Customer service is at the heart of the ABC Corporation’s mission. Employees Thomas is the call center manager and runs a tight ship. Thomas has been recognized for having the most productive unit in the organization year after year. Thomas is very proud of his unit and the recognition it receives and he holds his employees to very high productivity standards. Although customer service is critical to the organization, Thomas does not transfer that same mentality to his employees. Janet is a call center supervisor, one of 10 in the call center. She has been working for Thomas for some time and follows his lead with respect to managing the center and the employees. She tends to focus on her work, rarely takes a break, and is completely dedicated to the success of the center. Michael is a customer service representative and has been with ABC Corporation for two years. He likes his job but gets frustrated when others do not work as hard as he does. He is the first to know how hard one has to work to be successful in this call center. The calls come in nonstop, you always have to be polite, and the customers can be very upset at times. He prides himself on not only surviving this environment, but succeeding. Kathy is also a customer service representative. She has been with ABC Corporation for five years but at this call center for about six months. She enjoys her job but feels like the environment in this call center is competitive and hostile at times. She is always nervous that she will lose her job. Her performance has always been good but she finds success more of a struggle since joining the new call center run by Thomas. Kathy and Kareem became friendly since they started in call center at about the same time. Kareem was hired as a customer service representative after an interview process that proved he could manage the workload, had a pleasant phone voice, and had a desire to please the customer and represent the company well. Kareem is of Indian descent and is a practicing Muslim. His religion requires that he pray five times a day. This involves a series of movements and recitations from the Quran and there are various standing, bending, and prostrating postures. Kareem worked for ABC Corporation for eight months before being terminated. Case Study Overview Over the duration of Kareem’s employment, Kareem’s number of calls dropped and he was often missing from his workstation. Michael noticed Kareem sitting on a mat, talking to himself, and making strange movements with his body often throughout the day. Michael thought this was odd and could not believe how often Kareem was away from his workstation; he reported this to his supervisor, Janet. Kathy also saw Kareem leaving his workstation but since they were friends, she asked him about it. He told her he was a practicing Muslim and was required to pray five times per day. He also told her that before he prays, he has to wash his hands, face, arms, and feet to be physically pure in order to spiritually pray. She thought this was fascinating. Janet then began to focus her attention on Kareem’s performance and the times he was absent from his desk. She determined it was excessive and spoke with Thomas. Thomas kept an eye on Kareem’s performance closely after discovering the performance deficiencies. After a few weeks, Thomas made the decision to terminate Kareem’s employment for unproductive work time, excessive breaks, and not meeting performance standards. Kareem was very upset and decided to consult with an attorney as he felt that he was treated unfairly by being terminated. Kareem’s attorney sent a letter to ABC Corporation’s employee relations department and you, the ER representative, are tasked with investigating this concern. Complainant Transcript ER Rep: Hi, Kareem. How are you doing today? Kareem: Fine, thank you. ER Rep: Well, first, let me thank you for meeting with me today to share your concerns. I appreciate that you are willing to discuss your concerns with me. I am here as a neutral party to objectively investigate your concerns. Now during this process, you should know it may be necessary for me to speak with others to gather additional information. It’s very important that I gather all sides of the story before making any decisions. So now that I’ve explained my role to you, do you have any questions or concerns before we get started? Kareem: No. ER Rep: Good. I also want to assure you that I will maintain confidentiality and only discuss this information with those who have a direct need to know. I would also encourage you to keep the contents of this investigation confidential to protect the integrity of the investigation. Do you have any concerns about your ability to keep this confidential? Kareem: No, I understand, thank you. ER Rep: Great. OK. So, as we talk today, I will be looking for complete and truthful information and any specific detail you can provide me regarding dates, times, or examples that will help me better understand your concerns. I’ll also be taking notes on my laptop as we talk so that I can accurately record what you are telling me. OK, that was a lot of me talking. Let’s shift gears, and you tell me what happened during your employment with ABC Corporation. Kareem: Well, I am just really upset by what happened. I really loved my job and thought I was doing a good job; I was really caught off-guard. ER Rep: OK. I’d like to understand what you mean when you say that you thought you were doing a good job and were caught off-guard. Tell me what specifically has made you feel that way. Kareem: Well, I thought I was doing a good job and I would get good feedback from my customers and Janet told me from time to time I was doing a good job. My numbers were good compared to the other reps and no one told me anything different. ER Rep: Did Janet ever have any performance conversations with you? Kareem: No, she really just said things in passing like “Good job, Kareem” or “You did a nice job with that customer.” I never had any formal performance conversations since I started. ER Rep: What about Thomas? Did he ever give you any feedback? Kareem: No, he is really intimidating. He watches over the call center like a hawk. He is very focused on all of us customer service reps taking as many calls as possible and keeping our numbers up. This call center wins awards every year for productivity. At times, getting my call numbers in was sort of hard for me since I have to take many breaks throughout the day. ER Rep: Why did you need to take so many breaks throughout the day? Kareem: I am Muslim and, as part of my faith, I have to pray five times a day. I would simply sneak away from my desk and go to a hidden corner of the service center and complete my ritual. ER Rep: Did you ever tell anyone what you were doing or that you needed to do this daily? Kareem: Well, no, I did not want to ask for any type of special treatment; I really thought I could sneak away and pray. I just hoped no one noticed. ER Rep: Did anyone notice? Kareem: I don’t think so. I do know that Michael walked past me a few times and gave me strange looks. I just assumed he did not know what I was doing. He never asked me about it. ER Rep: Did you ever approach Michael to tell him what you were doing? Kareem: No. ER Rep: So then what happened, how did you get terminated? Kareem: Well, I felt like after Michael saw me a few times praying, things started to change. ER Rep: How so? Kareem: I noticed that Janet was watching me more closely; she asked me once where I was going when I went to pray and it was not a lunch hour or 15-minute break time. I also felt like Thomas was walking past my cube more, standing and observing more and just paying more attention. ER Rep: Did you speak to Janet or Thomas about how you felt? Kareem: No. I just put my head down and worked. I just did not want to draw attention to myself. ER Rep: Ok, so then what happened? Kareem: I got called into Thomas’s office and I was told that my numbers were not up to standard for a customer service rep and that I was taking excessive breaks and my time away from my desk was causing too much unproductive time at work. ER Rep: Did you say anything to Thomas or Janet? Kareem: No, I was so shocked and so upset that I left as fast as I could. ER Rep: Did you talk to anyone about what happened that day? Kareem: No, I just left. I was so embarrassed and I was so proud of having this job and then just disappointed for being terminated. ER Rep: Ok, Kareem, thank so much for telling me what happened. Is there anything else that you want to share with me? Anything else you can think of that pertains to your situation? Kareem: No, I think that is it. ER Rep: Ok, I will be looking into your concerns and will follow back up with you by the end of the week. If you do think of anything else you can share with me, please call me. Kareem: Ok, I will. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. Alleged Interview 1 Transcript (Janet) ER Rep: Hi, Janet. How are you doing today? Janet: Fine, thank you. ER Rep: Well, first, let me thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. I appreciate that you are willing to discuss a situation at ABC Corporation with me. I am here to objectively investigate some concerns raised by a former employee. But, before we get into specifics, it’s very important that I gather all sides of the story before making any decisions. So now that I’ve explained my role to you, do you have any questions or concerns before we get started? Janet: Well, what is this all about? Am I in trouble? ER Rep: I am here to look into a situation regarding the termination of an employee here at ABC Corporation. It is Kareem; he reported to you for about eight months. Janet: Ok, well I remember Kareem but Thomas fired him, not me. ER Rep: Oh, I understand, but it will be helpful as I look into this situation that I get your side of the story. Janet: Alright, but you are not going to tell anyone what I say, are you? This makes me very nervous; everyone is out for themselves here and I cannot lose this job! ER Rep: Ok, that is good to know and I’m glad you asked. I want to assure you that I will maintain confidentiality and only discuss this information with those who have a direct need to know. I would also encourage you to keep the contents of this investigation confidential to protect the integrity of the investigation. Do you have any concerns about your ability to keep this confidential? Janet: No, I understand. Thank you. ER Rep: Great. OK. So, as we talk today, I will be looking for complete and truthful information and any specific detail you can provide me would be appreciated. I’ll also be taking notes on my laptop as we talk so that I can accurately record what you are telling me. OK, that was a lot of me talking. Let’s shift gears; what can you tell me about former employee Kareem? Janet: Ah, yes, I remember Kareem. He was not here for long, maybe eight months. ER Rep: OK. What can you tell me about his performance? Janet: Well, I thought he was doing a good job and I would get good feedback from his customer service call recordings. His numbers were fair. ER Rep: Janet, did you ever have any performance conversations with Kareem? Janet: No, he was not really here long enough. I think there were a few times I made comments to him in passing like “Good job, Kareem” or “You did a nice job with that customer.” I never had any formal performance conversations with him. ER Rep: Is that standard process to not have any performance conversations with employees? Janet: Well, we really only conduct performance evaluations once per year. ER Rep: Even for new employees? Janet: Yes, we don’t have any different processes for new employees. ER Rep: What about Thomas? Did he ever give Kareem any feedback? Janet: Not that I know of. ER Rep: So what led to Kareem’s termination? Janet: Well, I began to notice that he was missing from his workstation several times a day and his numbers were dropping. ER Rep: Did you speak with Kareem about this? Janet: No, I did not, but Michael, another customer service rep, reported to me that he saw Kareem in the bathroom washing his hands and feet and that he also saw him on a mat in the corner of the service center making strange movements with his body and speaking softly. ER Rep: Ok, so when Michael reported this, did you talk to Kareem about it? Janet: No, I reported it to Thomas. You know, this is a high-prod ...
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