Odette N. Thompson
LEG 500 – Law, Ethics & Corporate Governance
Dr. Augustine Weekley
January 27, 2013
1. Describe what steps you would take to address the following scenario involving skills, competence, and abilities:
The employee seems to be unable to learn the computer applications that are basic to her job responsibilities, but, consistently “tells” her boss that she is “a good worker and a genius” and that he does not “appreciate her”. Even after a few months of training and support, she is unable to use the computer tools to be productive and efficient in completing the required tasks.
The employer has a duty to ensure employees have the necessary resources to perform their jobs; these resources may include training, technology, supplies, a safe work environment, etc. A manager must determine whether an employee’s lack of performance, inefficiency, or lack of productivity is a product of a lack of support from the employer, or is a result of the employee’s own motivations. The employer also has a right to have an employee who is sufficiently skilled to perform the duties assigned, provides value to the organization, and does not drain the organization’s resources. An employee who the organization has to spend money and time training, seemingly to no avail, is one that is a liability to the organization. The employee has a duty to perform the duties assigned to her. This employee may be “over her head”, being expected to perform a job for which she does not have the skills, or the capacity to acquire the skills for the job. She may be facing a situation where she is not motivated to do the job, and is intentionally sabotaging the efforts to prepare her for the job with this dysfunctional behavior (Carter, Murray, & Gray, 2011). The sentiment that her boss does not appreciate her points to a supervisor/subordinate relationship that is not characterized by trust, or a lack of self-esteem, and she may be in need of more interpersonal supervisory support, as opposed to training. According to Banderet (1986) an employer’s disciplinary powers emerge from the fact that he is the head of the organization, which has hierarchical structure, and as such, has the responsibility and power to make rules and make decisions to exercise control over the organization’s resources. An employer also derives disciplinary power from the employment contract, which places the employee in a subordinate position, where they must submit to the employer’s authority on matters dealing with the employee’s assigned duties. This is perfectly in line with today’s Employment-At-Will Doctrine (EAW), which gives employers wide latitude to make personnel decisions that are to the benefit of the organization, as long as they do not violate laws established to guard against discriminatory practices. My first action would be to assess whether the job that she is expected to perform is truly within her capabilities, based on her demonstrable skills and experience. If not, I would transfer her into a job that is more in line with her capabilities, if such a position is available. If such position is not available, I would dismiss her, because she would not be of any value to the organization. If I determine that it is within her capabilities to perform the job, I would have a counseling session with her; in this session I would go over what is expected of her, and would discuss her performance to date. I would ask her whether she feels she is capable of doing the job, and what she thinks she needs or lacks to be able to do it. The problem may not be a lack of training; it may be a lack of motivation, a medical condition, or as simple as changing the method that is being used to train her, for example, from one that is video based, to one that is interactive, or having a mentor. The counseling session would include a plan