Case Study: Attempt all questions. Answer comprehensively as you can.
David Brooks was one of the most liked managers at the Financial Security Investments. In an industry known for its cutthroat competiveness, high employee turnover, low loyalty, and high employee mobility, the 20 brokers who reported to Brooks had surprisingly long tenures and strong loyalty to the company. They were all high performers with well-established clients who would deal only with them. They also displayed an unheard-of level of cooperation in helping one another, training new brokers, and supporting others areas of the company. At Financial Security Investment, it is important to increase the number of clients on annual basis, increase the client’s investment portfolios and keep great relation with the clients. Increasing profit and reducing cost has been Brook’s deliverable while keeping the team motivated, engaged and committed! Brook’s group had the lowest training costs and one of the best performance ratings among the five brokerage groups at Financial Security Investments.
Brooks’s brokers had nothing but praise for him. They described him as one of the fairest managers around. They said he really knew the business and took excellent care of his people. He provided them with extensive training, rewarded them fairly, supported them in their disputes with other departments and groups, and represented their interests with upper management. They all knew he demanded excellent performance, but they also knew they could count on him to be flexible in accommodating their personal lives and the ups and downs that are an inherent part of the investment business.
Brooks had been with Financial Security Investments for close to seven years. Within his first three years there, he had received four quick promotions, leading to his current appointment as group manager three years earlier. Brooks liked his job. Working with brokers and clients was exciting and always oared something new. He got along well with his manager, who praised him for his group’s excellent performance and relied on him to train new brokers and to resolve problems in other parts of the company. However, Brooks felt that he was somehow stuck. His several recent requests for promotions and his two applications for higher-level positions had been denied. He became particularly frustrated when he compared himself with Leslie Baskin, who joined the company a year earlier he did and was now being made an associate vice president in the strategic division.
Like Brooks, Baskin had been a group manager and until the new promotion, she and Brooks had reported to the same division manager. Baskin had managed three different groups in a very short time period, which some attributed to the brokers’ extreme dislike of her. Although her groups performed well enough, their turnover rate was high. In many ways they were more like the rest of the industry than Brooks’s group: they were fiercely competitive, cutthroat loners who cared only about themselves. Baskin herself matched that profile. She spends most of her time with upper management developing big accounts. She was always ready with a flashy proposal for the big projects. She managed to make her presentations when all the top executives were present. Although she never mentioned any of the people who had helped her put together her proposals, she always dropped the name of a few powerful people in her acknowledgements. She seemed to know the important people in the company, and she came through with some impressive clients. The fact that she rarely followed through and dumped her work on the other groups and the brokers seemed to escape the attention of upper management.
Brooks could not help but envy Baskin’s success. He was also puzzled by how she had become successful given her actual performance. Yes, she had brought in some major clients, but overall her performance was lower than that of several other group managers, including himself. Her brokers disliked her and complained about her temper tantrums, her threats, her lack of support, and her unreasonable demands. Yet, she was going places. Brooks shared his discontent with his manager and asked his manager to provide an explanation for Baskin’s promotion versus Brook’s promotion. His manager response was that “she is just really good” without providing any further information. Brooks is very frustrated and feels his manager is not considering all performance aspects when making his decision for promoting Baskin.
Brook has started to talk to other managers and has recently become aware of a document called “Goal Setting Document” that other departments in the organization are using to evaluate employee performance and want to learn more about this document and how it can help him receive a fair promotional opportunity. Brooks has decided to reach out to you as the HR department manager asking for help and support.
- As the HR manager, critically evaluate the current performance appraisal process at the Financial Security Investment including Brook’s manager’s behavior and decision making as well as the organization’s role in this process.
- Based on your knowledge of HR and performance appraisal best practices recommend at least two changes besides having a goal setting document to improve this process and provide your rational for each recommendation.
- Based on Brooks role and responsibility, develop a goal setting table with at least three deliverables that could be used for his performance review with his manager to help him build his case for a fair promotion opportunity. Ensure to include all the necessary information in an organized manner.
- Identify and critically analyze which HRM area is involved in this case. Be specific with your discussion.
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