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As part of Avondale Industries' performance management initiative,...

  1. As part of Avondale Industries' performance management initiative, the training and development director was asked to customize a training program that would increase managers' ability to manage the performance of their employees through coaching and feedback. Because most of Avondale's managers have been promoted from within the company, they lack skills that are needed to lead their employees. Training on how to coach through a more hands-on approach to performance management was offered in a modular format. Choose the best reason why improving managers' skills in coaching and feedback is an important part of the company's performance management initiative.
  • Managers who are trained to give accurate and timely feedback are more likely willing to listen to employees' concerns and be ready to help when needed.
  • Managers with good coaching and feedback skills help employees achieve their goals by reducing barriers to good performance, thus helping the company achieve its goals.
  • Managers who develop good coaching and feedback skills are more likely to continue to be promoted to higher leadership positions.
  • Improving managers' skills in coaching and feedback allows them to stay in touch with the day-to-day struggles and accomplishments of their employees


2) The managers at Avondale Industries' production sites have been asked to keep a monthly electronic performance journal for each direct report. The journals are to be used in the six-month performance appraisals. Many of the managers have balked at the request saying that entering data into the journals takes too much time. The HR department feels that training on how to effectively manage the process would be helpful and has assigned the training and development office the task of developing an online training to help the supervisors become more proficient with this task. Which of the following statements best explains why it is important for the supervisors to keep the journals as requested?

  • Ensuring supervisors keep a journal will protect them and the company in case there is ever an accusation of favoritism and bias.
  • Keeping a journal will provide documentation and justification on an employee's behavior in the event their employment must be terminated.
  • An employee is more likely to listen to and respect a supervisor who shows enough interest in them to monitor their performance.
  • Keeping a journal will help supervisors be more accurate in their recall of employee performance and more effective in giving feedback.


3) Avondale Industries' top management has set a goal to reduce cost and waste, improve efficiency at all their production sites (both domestic and abroad), and increase profitability. They recognize this is a continuous improvement journey and will involve much more than just the implementation of tools and alignment of work. They are committed to making change, however, and recognize that employee engagement and empowerment are key elements to improving productivity on the production lines. As a first step, the training and development office has engaged several groups of employees (line workers, engineers, quality assurance, quality control, and maintenance) to review production processes and set performance standards. Why is it important that these employees be involved in the process of setting standards?

  • Engaging the different groups of people will allow for differing opinions to inform the company on what needs to be done on the production line.
  • Establishing standards for work on the production lines will enable all employees involved to be safe, which is the most important priority of the company.
  • Meeting standards are best achieved when the people who must meet the standards are involved in establishing them.
  • Involving the employees right from the beginning of the continuous improvement journey will increase the likelihood they will support the new standards.


4) The quality assurance (QA) office at Avondale Industries' site in Atlanta, GA, routinely outperforms the other QA offices in the company, and employees there almost always receive the highest performance evaluations. When researching what was being done in hopes the success could be replicated in other QA offices, the HR department found that the QA manager in Atlanta knew what was going on in her department, gave timely feedback to her employees, and coached them through problems that arose. The supervisor also collaborated with the employees to set goals, identify new skills to learn, and set realistic but challenging job expectations. Why would these activities make such a difference in employees' performance?

  • A supervisor who is well liked by employees is more likely to have employees who are willing to follow their example and leadership.
  • Employees who are productive and feel that they are contributing to the company tend to worry less and have a more positive outlook on doing their jobs.
  • A supervisor who is aware of employees' goals, coaches them, and involves them helps employees be more committed, motivated, and productive.
  • Employees who are satisfied with their jobs and feel that they have access to opportunities for growth are more likely to help their fellow employees.


5) An African American employee at Avondale Industries' site in Houston, TX, was passed over for a training program that prepared employees for promotion opportunities in the unmanned vehicles division. The reason for not including her, even though she was an outstanding employee, was that she was a single mother who needed to spend time with her two children and could not put in the necessary study time required for the training. The woman filed a charge of discrimination against the company through Texas' Fair Employment Practices Agency (FEPA), and, as a first step, both parties were contacted to see if they were interested in mediation. The company was very interested, as was the employee, and mediation talks were scheduled. Why is it in the best interest of the company to participate in mediation in this case?

  • Participating in mediation would help the company's reputation so that other employees do not become concerned about discrimination on the part of the company.
  • Mediation would allow the company and the employee to communicate more effectively and in a non-adversarial manner, thus maintaining a better work environment.
  • Participating in mediation would demonstrate that the company understands that under the law, all employees should have an equal opportunity for promotion and advancement.
  • Participating in mediation would allow the company to explain that concern for the employee and her family was the impetus behind her not being selected for the training.

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