INTEGRATIVE CASE: A PROBLEM AT METRO TRANSIT
Ahmed Das is the Vice President of Human Resources at Metropolitan Transit System, a large and complex rail system that covers both a large city and suburbs in a metropolitan area. The Vice President of Operations, Billy Watson, has called Das to complain about the quality of candidates available to become new Rail Operations Managers. Watson’s specific comments were: “How come your training program is not delivering the people we need? What’s wrong with the training anyway? You people in HR need to get with it! We’re experiencing some retirements and we need quality people to fill these positions.” Assume that you are the Organization Development (OD) manager for Metro Transit, and that Mr. Das has called you in to ask for advice. In looking for new Rail Operations Managers, Metro Transit allows all Metro employees to apply when there are openings. As this is one of the better-paid positions at Metro Transit, many employees apply. HR staff first remove individuals from the pool who are recent hires, or who have had attendance or disciplinary problems. HR then narrows the list to not more than 20 candidates by reviewing candidates’ work records and annual appraisals, as well as by asking for current evaluations from each candidate’s supervisor. The remaining candidates are then interviewed by a panel of three to four interviewers. Typically, one or two interviewers are from HR, one is from the Training Department, and one is a Rail Operations Manager. Because of scheduling conflicts, Rail Operations Managers are not always a part of these panel interviews. Based on the panel ratings, HR then picks eight candidates to attend a week-long Rail Operations Manager training program.
The training program covers the procedures and rules used to govern the rail system, and also emphasizes simulated incidents to address service disruption problems. After training, candidates are placed in a Manager pool from which they are called on to temporarily replace a regular Rail Operations Manager who is unavailable due to sickness, vacation, or other reason. The performance of the candidates in these temporary assignments is evaluated, and those whose performance is viewed as acceptable are eventually promoted to be a regular Rail Operations Manager. The content of the training program was designed collaboratively with current Rail Operations Managers, and as recently as two years ago, had been highly praised by Rail Operations Managers. However, only four of the eight candidates who completed the training 11 months ago remain. Two candidates were removed from the pool by the Rail Operations Director due to their inability to perform the job, and two had resigned saying that they had not been adequately trained concerning what the job entailed.
Werner, Jon M.; DeSimone, Randy L. (2011). Human Resource Development (Page 514-515). Cengage Textbook.
Answer the questions that are presented:
1. Based on what you have learned in this chapter, as well as a Chapter 13, what advice would you give to Mr. Das? That is, from an organizational development or “systems” perspective, what approach would you take to solve this problem? Who should be involved, e.g., should individuals from HR, OD, and Operations be involved, and if so how? What challenges do you anticipate facing as you work on this project?