November 29th, 2015
Southern New Hampshire University
Final Project Submission
Engstrom Auto Mirror Plant and Work Analysis Case Study
During May 2007, the Engstrom Auto Mirror Plant faces a low employee morale issue. The newly appointed manager, Ron Bent, sees a decline in work place productivity and culture throughout his recent years of working at the plant. When Bent joined the company, it was facing a similar issue of low morale. He then decided to introduce the Scalon Plan, an incentive program for the employees, to raise morale. The program was successful when it was first introduced but ran into problems time after. Bent was faced with many challenges ...view middle of the document...
With the introduction of the new plant manager, Ron Bent, there was hope that with his successful background as a manager, a turnaround of the plant was possible. Bent saw the low morale and wanted to change it. I feel that he used the supportive model mentioned in our book Organizational behavior: Human behavior at work. According to Newstrom, “Management’s orientation, there, is to support the employee’s job performance rather than simply support employee benefit payments as in the custodial approach.” (Newstrom, 2015. P. 39)
I believe that one of Engstrom’s strengths would be the fact they were able to identify the low morale by the employees and correlate it with the low productivity. I actually commend Bent for doing research and finding a program that has proven to work in many other companies. The Scanlon Plan is the oldest organization-wide incentive plan with proven success still in use in the United States. The first Scanlon Plan was developed in the 1930’s by Joseph Scanlon. Scanlon was a cost accountant by training and a steelworkers’ union official at a steel mi facing bankruptcy. (Beer & Collins 2008). The Scanlon Plan reinforced teamwork and cooperation across work groups while they focus attention on cost savings and motivating employees to “work smarter, not harder”. (Beer & Collins 2008). A problem and weakness in the program came when the employees distrusted the bonus calculations. Some employees felt the company was “playing with” numbers when they changed the reward ratio to a final 32.6%. This introduces an organizational issue of distrust between the employees and managers. The morale will continue to distrust the management team until the management team can come up with a possible solution to bridge the gap. Introducing a committee made up of employees and managers who are in charge of the Scalon Plan can definitely help with the distrust and low morale at Engstrom.
The Scanlon Plan has the potential to be a great asset to the Engstrom’s Auto Mirror Plant’s production if it was revised. I believe if they managers did more research and re-launched the Scanlon Plan correctly, the employees would receive it better and morale would rise again. If upper management used the Supportive Model in Newstrom’s book, the employees would feel like the company was invested in them and in turn would increase production.
Engstrom Auto Mirror plant suffered through many rough quarters as far as productivity and profit. The low numbers in productivity and profits gave the Engstrom Family a thought of wanting to close the plant down altogether (Engstrom, 2008). With a plant manager who was not up to date on technology suddenly resign, Engstrom needed to find someone who help turn around the terrible morale. Ron Bent introducing the Scanlon Plan was initially a great idea but with the proper motivation needed by the employees, it was bound to fail. Engstrom Auto Mirror Plant had root causes as to the continuing...