Case Study :
Homemade Food Company
Mr. Lim has just joined Homemade Food Company, a company manufacturing different kinds of local food products. As a production manager, he oversees food production and packaging. The production department works in teams and its output is measured on a daily basis. The production department productivity has been less than ideal for quite a while under Mr. Lim’s predecessor and the senior management has now tasked Mr. Lim to look into how it can be improved.
It does not take long for Mr. Lim to notice that in the past year, while the food production teams are able to meet daily targets, the packaging team is clearly lagging behind. Mr. Lim reviewed the work schedules and realised that the packaging team works in two daily shifts and packages the food products manufactured by the production team. The first shift is often unable to cope with the volume of finished products that require packaging. As a result, the backlog is passed to the second shift, which packages even less products than the first shift so much so that the backlog continues to build up, resulting in food spoilage and waste. Mr. Lim knows that there are sufficient workers in the packaging team. In an attempt to boost the productivity of the packaging team, his predecessor even transferred some of the more efficient workers from the production teams to the packaging team but that did not improve the situation.
After observing and speaking to various supervisors, Mr. Lim learnt that the packaging team workers tend to take unusually long lunch breaks. They also like to chat with one another while packaging the goods and most of them leave work at least 15 minutes before their shift is actually over. Even the diligent workers who were transferred to the packaging team start to exhibit the same behaviour after working in the packaging team for only a few days. Mr. Lim is puzzled by the situation and he is now unsure how he can improve the productivity of the packaging team
Question 1 (Word Limit: 1200)
Discuss a group property that likely affects the performance of the packaging team. Show how Mr. Lim can improve the performance of the team by applying one (1) factor from each of the three (3) categories of the team effectiveness model.
Question 2 (Word Limit: 800)
Mr. Lim thinks that the best way to raise productivity in the packaging team is to assign only young workers to the team, as he believes that younger workers have more energy and can work faster. He also thinks that he should place only workers with high ability in the team. He believes these arrangements should solve the problem and increase the packaging team productivity.
Do you agree with him? Explain.
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