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Case Study Of Fab Sweets

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Motivation by Fawad Iqbal

MGT 3120 M-W 3:45pm-5:00pm

FAB Sweets Limited Case Summary

FAB Sweets Limited is a manufacturer of high quality sweets. This mid-sized family owned company is partially unionized, and a successful confectionery producer in Northern England. The case study takes place in a single and most problematic department of the factory hereby referred to as HB. This department produces and packs more than 40 lines of hard boiled candies using a batch production system.

In total, 37 people work in HB. There are 25 male workers in the production division and 12 women in packing. The two divisions are separated by a physical barrier overseen by a charge hand and a supervisor respectfully. The department manager oversees both divisions and has to report to the factory manager.

Although the production process is quite simple, it usually takes 2 years to acquire the skills necessary to effectively complete all tasks of production. Sugar is boiled to a set temperature depending on the batch line and the resulting batches are manipulated by the workers to create the required texture, color and flavor of the candies. This is also referred to as slabbing and mixing. Different batches are molded together before they begin to cool and then cut into individual size sweets ready to be packed.

Some of the products are automatically wrapped and transported by a conveyor belt to the packing room to be inspected, bagged and boxed, ready for shipment to retail and wholesale markets. Remaining unwrapped product lines are fed into a wrapping machine where they are inspected, bagged and dispatched. Many different product lines can be produced simultaneously with each task interdependent of the next. The most crucial stage of the production process occurs early, and the operator needs to "feel" the right finish for each product line. The job seems quite simple; however HB faced many serious problems.

Main Problems and Practical Importance

Some of the main problems facing HB were a high level of labor turnover, production below targets, high levels of scrap, attitude, and atmosphere. Workers experienced low levels of motivation, low job satisfaction, and received little feedback from management about their performance. Compensation and interpersonal issues between workers and management were not uncommon.

How well a manager performed was in terms of overall production. When production fell below charts, the pressure was transferred to the supervisors who stressed the employees for an increase in productivity. Sometimes the production supervisor pushed the pace of work at levels unattainable by the workers. He also ignored the wishes of the staff to work less in the afternoon when they were tired. In both cases, high level of scrap resulted and feeling of dissatisfaction spread amongst the workers.

Likewise, the packing supervisor had added pressure from management to pack sweets more efficiently. Since the packing department's task was interdependent of the production, her only option was to alter work hours and allocate workers to help out else where when production fell behind. Interpersonal conflicts between the two divisions were common when the men worked too fast or too slow.

Seasonal peaks and troughs in the market demand created additional problems in HB. During busy periods, unskilled labor was drafted in to assist. When demand was low, workers were transferred to other departments where they were given the least desirable position. In either case, the employee's view of management practices received much criticism. The blame shifted from one person to the next, from one department to the other, until all the employees, supervisors, and senior management agreed that HB was in a crisis.

Theoretical background

Too many companies believe that employee motivation rests in monetary rewards, without either realizing or acknowledging individuals' needs for recognition. Formal studies and informal surveys alike reveal that while managers often will list money as the top factor in motivating employees, the employees themselves are much more likely to list first their desire for recognition, for someone to let them know they truly have done a good job. Today's most successful companies employ workers that feel empowered, appreciated and motivated.

The job of the manager is to get things done through employees. To do this effectively, the manager must be able to motivate the employees. There is an old saying that you can take a horse to the river, but you can't make it drink; it will drink only if it's thirsty. Likewise with people, they will do what they want to do or otherwise motivated to do. Whether is to be a top producer in the firm or carry out a project successfully, they must be motivated or driven to do it, either by themselves (internal drive) or by an external stimulus (management). Are people born with self motivation, not necessarily? It is an essential skill than can and must be learnt. This is crucial for any business to survive and succeed.

In spite of enormous research, basic as well as applied, the subject of motivation is not crystal clear to every manager. To understand motivation, one must understand human nature itself. As simple as it is, it can be very complicated. A clear understanding and appreciation of human nature is an essential tool to effectively motivate employees in the workplace as well as being an effective manager and leader. Frederick Herzberg (motivation hygiene theory), Douglas McGregor's (theory Y), and Abraham Maslow (Hierarchy of needs) are few examples of research that has been undertaken regarding human nature in general and motivation in the workplace.

FAB Sweets' HB department is faced with numerous employee and supervisory problems. Just to reiterate, high level of labor turnover, production below targets, high levels of scrap, attitude, and atmosphere. In attempt to alleviate these problems I'll apply several motivation theories that will help HB in creating an environment where employees feel appreciated, motivated and empowered. First, to understand what each theory suggests.

Frederick Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory: This theory contributed to human relations and motivation. The first part of the motivation theory involves the hygiene theory and includes the job environment. The hygiene factors include the company,



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