The Long-Term Employee
Bill Harrison is 57 years old and has been with Ross Products for 37 years. He is on a top-paying machine-operator job and has been for the last 20 years. Bill is quite active in community affairs and takes a genuine interest in most employee activities. He is very friendly and well-liked by all employees, especially the younger ones, who often come to him for advice. He is extremely helpful to these younger employees and never hesitate to help when asked. When talking with the younger employees, Bill never talks negatively about the company.
Bill’s one shortcoming, as his supervisor Alice Jeffries sees it, is his tendency to spend too much time talking with other employees. This is not only causing Bill’s work to suffer but also, perhaps more importantly, hinders the output of others. Whenever Alice confronts Bill with the problem, Bill’s performance improves for a day or two. It never takes long, however, for Bill to slip back into his old habit of storytelling and interrupting others.
Alice considered trying to have Bill transferred to another area where he would have less opportunity to interrupt others. However, Alice concluded she needs Bill’s experience, especially since she has no available replacement for Bill’s job.
Bill is secure in his personal life. He owns a nice house and lives well. His wife works as a librarian, and their two children are grown and married. Alice has sensed that Bill thinks he is as high he’ll ever go in the company. This does not seem to bother him since he feels comfortable and likes his present job.
1. What approach to motivation would you use to try to motivate Bill? Explain in detail what you would do?
2. Suppose Alice could transfer Bill. Would you recommend that she do it? Justify your answer.