3 cases of PRD
Reproduced from “Performance Appraisal and management skills book”, TVRLS, Ahmedabad:
© TVRao Learning Systems Pvt. Ltd.
Mr. Gupta is the manager of the cost-accounting department of a large company manufacturing road transport equipment. Mr. Anand is one of his supervisory employees. Anand has been with the company for three years and has been doing satisfactory work. However, Mr. Gupta has never noticed Anand assisting others in the department nor taking any responsibility beyond his prescribed duties. He thinks that Anand also has problems with other employees and tends to waste a good deal of time in socializing. Mr. Gupta feels that while Anand’s performance is satisfactory in terms of meeting targets, he needs to improve his ability to contribute to the team spirit and to the development of his subordinates. Mr. Gupta calls Anand for a review discussion to mention these points (The scene takes place in Mr. Gupta’s Office).
Gupta: Hello! Anand, please come and have a seat. I called you to talk about your performance.
Anand: Thank you sir. What about my performance?
Gupta: Please sit and relax; we shall talk about it.
(As Anand sits down, Gupta keeps signing some papers. He completes signing, calls his Secretary, passes on the files and asks her to bring in the letters he dictated in the morning as soon as she has completed them.)
Gupta: Yes Mr. Anand. I am a little concerned about one or two things in relation to your job. I see you quite often spending time with Satish and Chander of the other department and taking long coffee breaks with them. I have also received complaints from Satish and Chander’s boss that they are not to be found in their seats most of the time.
Anand: Well, I am sorry sir, if you got this impression. I thought you were going to say something positive about my job. I am not wasting my time with Satish and Chander. You know that a couple of years back both of them were in this department and they did a good job. Recently I have been having some problems both at home and here at work. I was discussing with them….
Gupta: If you are having problems, they are not the people to talk to just because they did a good job two years back. You must talk to me rather than waste your time and their and get a bad name in the bargain.
Anand: I am not wasting anyone’s time here sir. In fact, I don’t want to waste your time too. Recently I faced a particular problem and I knew when a similar situation came up a couple of yours back, they had both handled it very well. I have been going to them to discuss this issue. In fact the reason behind my getting the new costing methodology for our project and is also a suggestion given by them.
Gupta: Oh I see!. They are responsible for your target achievement. Another thing I would like to mention to you before I forget is that I am not sure to what extent you are helping your subordinates to take more responsibility and develop to perform managerial roles of higher levels. This is another quality you must develop. You must work with them like a team leader and build them..
Anand: I have given enough freedom to my subordinates and responsibility too. In fact, I leave them most of the time on their own.
Gupta: Is that how you get enough time to spend with Satish and the other fellow? I would not like to see you….
(The telephone rings and Mr. Gupta picks up the phone. The phone call from another officer at Mr. Anand’s level).
Gupta: Yes Mr. Sampat… I am not busy … You can come over. That is an excellent job done… I know I can always rely on you…. Come immediately (keeps the phone down).
Gupta: (to Anand) Yes, I was saying that hereafter I would like to see you doing much better than you have done so far and not taking long coffee breaks and not spending too much time with your friends, OK? I would like to see you grow and develop. You should aspire to be a better performer, OK? I am your well-wisher. Now you go and look after your work.
Anand: Thank you sir. I only wish you had some more time to discuss the issues at length.
Gupta: I am going to see Sampat now to discuss some urgent issues. As long as you keep the points I am telling you in mind, we can discuss matters any time. Come to me if you need any help, OK? See you. Before I forget, I am nominating you for the team building program at IIMA. It costs Rs. 80,000. Hope you will enjoy this and it adds to your bio-data.
Anand: Thank you (leaves the room).
Materials Manager Punjabi
Mr. Punjabi is a Materials Manager in charge of a Centralised Material Control Department. Mr. Gulati is one of the four engineers working in his department and is attached to the purchase section. Six months back Mr. Punjabi told Gulati to take charge of two more items independently and ensure that there were not stock-outs nor inventory mount-ups. Punjabi also assigned him the work of meeting all the suppliers as he did not have time to speak to them himself. After six months. Mr. Punjabi was getting more and more complaints from each department and he had to intervene very frequently to calm the irate suppliers. He called Gulati for a review and to counsel him to improve things. The scene is in Punjabi’s office.
Punjabi: Mr. Gulati, I have received 26 complaints in the last six months, four about inspection, ten about payment and twelve about change in delivery schedules. What the hell is the matter?
Gulati: You know that I never had so many complaints in the past. I am terribly unhappy about my job now. I have to run around a lot for getting the transport to get materials on time. Many a time I have to go outdoors particularly in the rainy season. I have many problems at home too. My children are sick and my landlord is asking me to vacate the house.
Punjabi: I see (pause). What can we do to reduce the complaints? I am getting fed up having to pacify people every day.
Gulati: Besides these problems, I do not see much opportunity for my growth in the purchase section. You have given me independent charge of some more items. I have to supervise and maintain so many records. You know when your mind is being pulled in so many directions, at home and here , you cannot attend to everything perfectly…
Punjabi: (Interrupting Gulati) Now look, we all have problems and we all have limitations. Now, I do not want to spend my time dealing with irate suppliers. What can we do concretely to minimize these complaints?
Gulati: Oh, the suppliers! They keep on saying things, you know. I am very much overworked here. On top of it you expect me to send every bill and every note to you. I have to be meticulous. That takes away a hell of a lot of time.
Punjabi: My dear Gulati, I understand all that. I know in this Company people have to work very hard if they have to survive. Now, let us see what we can do about reducing the complaints….
Gulati: …………….. (continues)
General Manager Wells
Mr.Puri is Personal Secretary to Mr. Wells who is General Manager (Marketing) of a multinational company. Mr. Puri’s job requires him to be accurate in typing from dictations and keeping the various correspondence files of Mr. Wells in order. As Wells cannot spend a lot of time going through every letter he dictates, he would like to have his Secretary do a good job of getting his letters done neatly. He would also like to have his files maintained well. Recently he has been finding a number of mistakes in Puri’s letters. So much so that one of his clients commented that he had received a letter from Wells with the word ‘urinal’ in place of ‘union’. Wells is very much concerned about the drop in Puri’s accuracy. He decides to talk to Puri about it.
Wells: Puri, can you come in a little while for a persona discussion?
Puri: Yes, Sirs.
Wells: Come and please have your seat.
Puri: Thank you sir(Gets seated)
Wells: How are things with you?
Puri: Fine sir. Thank you. I am preparing for my MBA examinations, for which I am appearing privately. That keeps me a little tied up.
Wells: Oh! I see. You are doing the evening course for which we sponsored you? I clean forgot about it. How do you find the course?
Puri: Quite interesting sir. I am learning many things sir. It is very useful program. I keep talking about the things learned in that school to visitors who come to see you while they wait for you. That reinforces my learning.
Wells: Oh, you are keeping them busy and you also find yourself busy, don’t you?
Puri: Yes sir, certainly, I must thank you for sponsoring me for this course.
Wells: So, you are enjoying the MBA course and you are tied up with your exams. Do you think this overload on you is causing some anxiety to you?
Puri: No sir. Not at all. though I have to prepare a lot for the exams and struggle for time to do concentrated work. But I am managing sir.
Wells: Oh I see!. You have to struggle for time to concentrate. Do you think this is affecting your office work in any way?
Puri: I don’t think so sir. I do not see any issues. Any problem sir?.
Wells: Well, of late the number of mistakes in your letters has increased. I am a little concerned about that. I wonder if that has something to do with your having to work under pressure and concentration. You also seem to have missed noting some of my appointments. For example the other day there was call from the MDs office and apparently they left a message to call them back. I did not even know about it. I have one or two other instances but I hope there are no other calls you missed noting.
Puri: Well, sir thank you for pointing this out. I am sorry that the mistakes have increased. I shall try to be careful. May be I am trying to save time by doing things in a hurry. Have I committed any serious mistakes?
Wells: Well, you know that I do not go through all the letters I dictate before I sign. In one of the letters ‘union’ was typed as ‘urinal’ and the client was joking about it in a party. I was embarrassed.
Puri: Oh my God! I am extremely sorry sir. How could that happen? What a shame! Has that created too much of a problem? I always try to read the letters twice after I type. Recently I have been slipping up on that. I am extremely sorry. May I write an apology letter to the party concerned.
Wells: No, don’t worry. Fortunately it is a friend. I am glad you realize the importance of being extra careful before you dispatch the letters or even send them for my signature. Hereafter you may like to follow the procedures of reading twice before you put it for my signature. That would certainly require some more time. Can we do something to reduce any other workload you have?
Puri: Regarding the call from MDs office sir, they wanted some information to be passed on to the Public Relations Officer. I had promptly given that information directly to the PRO. I did not want to bother you by informing about what I have done. What are the other appointments missed by me sir? I will be careful next time.
Wells: they are from our customers. I will tell you once I remember. They may not be that important but I wanted to make sure that there is no goofing with our clients.
Puri: Yes, sir please tell me. I will however be careful and keep leaving all messages on your table. I will also make sure to read letters twice once after typing and another before sending to dispatch. If part of the routine filing can be taken care of by the typist in our office, it will help me a good deal sir..
Wells: How much of filing work would he have? You can use him for an hour every day. Is that OK?….
Puri: Yes sir. Thank you for this. ……….. (continues)