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Sarala’s ‘saral’ case
Sarala is about 40 years old. She works in a private manufacturing organization as a Senior Assistant (non-managerial cadre) in the Accounts department of the plant. Along with her usual responsibilities, she handles the petty cash for the plant. She has been employed in this company for the last 9 years and has obtained one promotion during this period for her consistent good performance. Prior to this she was a school teacher for about 6 years and was teaching book keeping and accounts to students of classes VIII and IX.
Sarala is a dedicated and intelligent worker. She is disciplined in her approach and plans out her own work and carries out her superiors’ instructions diligently. She is a well behaved lady with good inter-personal relations with colleagues. She cooperates with her colleagues in their work.
Based on her performance and all round work-related behaviour in the organization, her manager has been considering promoting her to the management cadre in the next performance cycle. He is also contemplating to send her for a training programme on Leadership skills development.
Sarala is a single mother with a 10-year old school going boy. She lives with her mother. She has started seeing a man, for the last four months, who is not regularly employed and earns infrequently. However, he is very caring to Sarala’s mother and child.
Sarala’s son has been suffering from an undiagnosed fever for a few months now and he, off and on, falls sick and suffers from high temperature. Whenever he falls sick and suffers from fever, his blood platelet count diminishes and requires blood transfusion. This is expensive process and is quite worrisome for Sarala.
The organization in which Sarala works is in existence for about 22 years. It has about 300 regular workmen, 54 contract employees and 35 managerial and non-managerial staff in its rolls. It is engaged in manufacturing ball-bearings, as an ancillary industry, required by a two-wheeler manufacturing unit. The company operated in two-shifts and is a profit making organization and has been increasing its production capacity for the last six years, almost year-on-year basis.
The quality of the product is required to be of a very high degree and it has to meet with the standards set by the two-wheeler manufacturer. In fact, the billing of the company is based on the quantity approved by the parent manufacturer. Hence, maintaining high quality of ball-bearings is the top priority.
The organization has introduced ISO 9000 / 14000 and OSHA.
The company has a fairly well accepted Performance Management System (PMS). The reward system (based on performance) is sound. The KRAs of the employees are decided mutually and monitored. Employees are also coached for better performance.
The organization, which employs Sarala, is located in an area where there are other ancillary units who also supply various parts of their products. There are three such organizations in and around.
The employees of these organizations often travel back and forth from / to the city in the same public transports or use their privately arranged pool transports. Sarala also uses one such privately used transport and travels with other employees of other organizations.
The organizations, in and around, follow somewhat similar nature of running the organizations with comparable salaries and benefits.
One of the fellow travelers of Sarala, from another company, has already broached her to contact his boss as he has been looking for a new junior manager in their Accounts Department. This position offers a reasonable increase in salaries and perks.
Of late, Sarala is found often to be under stress and signs of slipshod working are coming into notice. When pointed out, Sarala, gets embarrassed and tries to defend her mistakes by holding others responsible for these. Her manager has also got unusual report of Sarala losing her temper with her colleagues while working.
Recently, while undertaking a surprise check of the petty-cash account, the manager found a shortage of Rs.2000/- in the petty-cash. Initially, Sarala tried to defend by saying that some receipts are misplaced etc, however, later she admitted to have used the amount for her son’s treatment.
Sarala has now applied to her manager for leave of 30 days from next Monday.
- How do you diagnose the case?
- What needs to be done – in the short – term and long – term? Is it possible to develop a step by step plan for an HR intervention(s) in this case?
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