Reference no: EM132763220
Garbage... Not Just the Work but the Outcomes Too In an effort to cut costs, Albuquerque city officials decided to stop paying their garbage collectors for working overtime. This decision had a noticeable impact on the quality of their performance. This exercise is important because managers must consider how decisions about the financial health of a company can impact the quality of performance among its employees. The goal of this exercise is to draw the connection between consequences and performance outcomes. Read the case about trash collection crews in Albuquerque getting paid for only eight hours of work, then using the 3-step problem-solving approach, answer the questions that follow. City officials in Albuquerque, New Mexico, needed to cut costs. Among the targets they identified was overtime pay of trash collectors. The officials decided to pay trash collection crews for eight hours of work no matter how long it actually took them to finish their routes. The hope was that the crews would work more efficiently and quickly, given that they could then go home early and still get paid for eight hours of work. This PM practice seemed like a success, and overtime costs dropped significantly. However, unintended consequences emerged. Crews overloaded their trucks to reduce the time they spent going to the dump, but strict weight limits resulted in fines when they arrived. So they drove faster, which resulted in more tickets and accidents. Sometimes they skipped trash pickups and truck maintenance, which generated customer complaints and more frequent vehicle breakdowns.1 Apply the 3-Step Problem Solving Approach Step 1: Define the problem city officials wanted to fix. Step 2: Identify the potential causes of this problem. (Consider also the common reasons rewards fail to motivate.) Step 3: Make your recommendations.
What is the key problem in this mini-case?
Customer complaints about trash collectors
The need to increase overtime pay from its current levels
Increase in accidents involving trash collecting trucks
Low quality performance by trash collectors
If city officials considered the elimination of overtime as a reward-meaning trash collectors could go home early if they finished their work, yet still get paid for eight hours-then, why did it fail to motivate the desired behaviors?
There was a long delay between the performance and when the reward was provided
The reward had a short-lived motivational impact
The reward seemed to be one-size-fits-all
The trash collectors seemed entitled
The practices focused only on monetary rewards
What is one way city officials could have had more success in achieving their cost-cutting goals?
Quickly terminating trash collectors who were exhibiting counterproductive behavior
Including the trash collectors in the process of designing the cost-saving program
Allowing for overtime pay to continue
Upgrading trash trucks
Reducing the number of pickups for drivers