Essays on Issues at the Workplace, a Written Contract between Employer and Employees Case Study

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The paper “ Issues at the Workplace, a Written Contract between Employer and Employees" is a  wonderful example of a case study on human resource. Whenever an employee is outside a company’ s building, they represent that company to those they are in contact with. That is the reason why a positive attitude among employees is vital to a company. A dissatisfied employee does not only do a shoddy job but can cause a loss of clientele by painting a negative image, which can cost a company major losses. It is therefore very important for an employer to ensure that they do not only hire employees with a positive attitude but they can retain that attitude within their workers.

This paper reviews a case study on Josh Martin, an employee at the Centre Street Settlement House. It examines the various issues in the workplace, as raised in the study. DiscussionOne of the problems identified is lacked a job analysis which can be looked upon in two perspectives. First, there is no job description governing what Josh does at work. This means that there is no written document which details his responsibilities at work and therefore, they keep on changing at the pleasure of his boss.

According to the case study, his responsibilities have “ increased exponentially over the last few years” . It is due to the same shortcoming that Josh gets to be blamed for small things such as a missing tile in the cafeteria, a job which is very likely not supposed to be his responsibility. Developed around 1900 as a management technique, job analysis entails analyzing a new position being created within an organization or an existing position that needs to be filled (Clifford, 2007).

It looks at the type of job being done, the responsibilities involved, time is taken, salary position and such facts of a position. Job analysis has two outcomes namely a job description and a job specification. In the case under review, the agency seems to have overlooked both of them. Second, Tom Saunders lacks a job specification to fit into his current role as Josh’ s boss. According to the study, Saunders in inattentive to the agency’ s details and in the absence of Josh, he cannot accomplish tasks as is required of him.

On keenly analyzing the case, Tom Saunders lacks a proper job specification. A job specification outlines the minimum level of education, skills, experience and other attributes that are necessary to maintain a certain standard of work done. A specification addresses issues such as minimum education required, a minimum level of professional experience that one should have, abilities, skills, knowledge and those attributes that can be developed on the job and how long that would take (Holmes, 2007).

According to the case study, due to Josh’ s absence, Saunders had to “ cancel an important meeting to supervise an agency fiscal audit” . Being Josh’ s superior, Saunders should have the capabilities to shoulder his responsibilities or to delegate them in his absence. Mary also says that without Josh, nothing would get done within the agency, meaning that Saunders lacks the skills and knowledge required to shoulder the responsibilities expected of him and therefore heavily relies on Josh to take the load off him. The other issue emerging within the case study is a lack of effective job descriptions for Josh.

A job description is a summary of the duties which come with a specific position. The statement details the responsibilities to be assumed by the person taking up the job, the accountability or reporting procedure and authority of the position held within the agency including the limits of authority when it comes to activities such as decision making, expenditure and making company decisions(Grant, 2006). Having a list of duties eliminates the possibility of employees arguing that they are doing a job that is “ not theirs” or employees offloading their responsibilities to those under them.

This is clearly seen in the case study where Josh’ s work seems to be growing exponentially within a span of few years. Due to lack of a proper job description, there seems to be no one responsible for certain jobs like processing invoices for agency vendors, a job, which is claimed to be a shared responsibility between Josh, Saunders and the agency’ s accountant. For this same reason, Josh seems to get blames over “ little problems” within the agency which are not within his job description.

This oversight gives Saunders a right to blame Josh for anything that goes amiss in the agency. The fourth issue pointed out in the case study is the lack of a signed contract between Josh and his employer. A job contract is a legal document that is supposed to protect both the employer and the employee. In this case, although Josh enjoys various benefits coming with his role at the agency, he could lose them at the will of his employer as there is no document biding his employer to continue offering them.

It is said in the case that Josh has no written Contractual agreement and essentially serves at the pleasure of Saunders. Some of the requirements of a job is a written agreement, also known as a contract, which in most cases is a legal document detailing the terms and conditions of employment. Upon signing it, the employee agrees to be bound by those terms as long his term of service with this particular employer lasts. A job contract is also supposed to protect both the employee and the employer during the time that they are working together.

Some of the terms listed in a contract include; names of both employer and employee, job title, employment date, end date in case of a temporary contract, working hours, employee’ s compensation package, health insurance, severance clauses and bonuses such as minimum notice required either from the employer or from the employee and benefits coverage Holmes (1996). Due to lack of a written contract to which he can refer, Josh suffers issues like extended working hours and a lack of proper and detailed pension schemes in the case that he retires.

As mentioned earlier, although he has an attractive compensation package, this can be recalled at any time as there is no written agreement that bides the company to provide the benefits he enjoys. Also, good to note is that despite the fact that Josh has served with this agency for twenty years, he can be terminated easily as long as his employer wills so, since there is no legal document that states the terms of terminating the contract.

He could also lose his termination benefits in the process. The last problem raised in the case is the issue of bad staff attitude. This is especially coming out when Saunders screams at two of the agency employees in the cafeteria about a missing file. Looking deeper into his words at that moment, Saunders considers himself to be doing everything within the agency. According to Mary, one of the employees in the cafeteria at the moment, Saunders blames Josh for every little problem that comes up within the agency.

A job is an agreement or a transaction between a buyer and a seller, where the employee is the one selling while the employer is the buyer, Mullen (2011). For both parties, this transaction is voluntary and like any other transaction, the buyer (employer) offers to buy the services of the seller (employee) at a price that is affordable to them. In retrospect, the employee decides whether to accept the terms offered or not. As earlier mentioned, this is a review of a case study where Josh Martin, an employee at the Centre Street Settlement House is dissatisfied with his job due to the attitude of his direct supervisor Tom Saunders amongst other reasons.

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