Sorting out labours. conflict in workforce

Renee Swimmer is a qualified secretary with 15 years’ experience working in a variety of industries. Last year she successfully applied for a job advertised by a large financial services company. At the time she was working as a director’s PA in a small manufacturing firm. While happy in this job, and by all accounts highly successful, she felt that after five years it was time to move on. The new job attracted her because of the high rate of pay being offered and because she wanted a new challenge. The company’s website was attractive and after her interview with the HR manager and an outgoing line manager, Renee felt that the job perfectly suited what she was looking for. She would now work with a team and was told that if she could prove herself, in a few years’ time she could be managing it as a team leader. However, within two weeks of arriving at her new desk she began to realise that she had made a major mistake in moving jobs. Whereas in the previous company she had been responsible for organising her own work and that of her boss, in the new job she was part of a ten-strong team of administrators who shared a range of duties and responsibilities. Previously she had enjoyed a close personal relationship with her manager, but her new boss (an employee who had spent 10 years in the department and was recently promoted) was a seemingly insensitive woman whose manner Renee found patronising. She also found it hard to empathise with the other team members. She didn’t wish to join in with their cynical banter and could not share their harsh jokes or unequivocal acceptance of the managers instructions. Moreover, she found their approach to work to be far too chaotic and disorganised. She was unable to feel comfortable participating in the team-building activities that were held two or three times a week and yearned to be able to express her own feelings and opinions openly without fear of losing credibility with her colleagues. Above all, being used to the calm and privacy of her own office, she disliked the open-plan arrangement in which she was now obliged to work. Within three weeks she found that she did not want to go to work in the mornings. At lunchtime she avoided the company of her new colleagues, preferring instead to sit in her car listening to the radio. She spent each afternoon looking anxiously at her watch and working out how early she could leave without giving the appearance of idleness. In the fourth week she developed a slight temperature one night.

1. Why do you think Renee couldn’t fit into the new job? Discuss relevant theory to support your answer. 2. What are the likely costs to the employer associated with the departure of Renee after such a short period of employment (a little over a month)? 3. Suggest two alternate selection methods that might have been more effective. Give reasons for your answer.




Sample Solution