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Human Relations fictional scenarios: Store Manager & Investor

Updated on June 26, 2015

Consider This Scenario:

Ed is a manager at the local retail outlet. Memorial Day weekend is coming, which is characteristically one of the busiest weekends of the year for the store but also one that many employees request as vacation days. Ed has a team of 10 employees, all with varying levels of seniority and experience. He typically works during the day, while his shift supervisor (Karen) works in the evenings and closes the store. Ed came into the store one morning to find a note from Karen, warning that employees were fighting about the upcoming holiday weekend and that each believes that he or she deserves to have the weekend off. Justifications for employee requests include seniority, family commitments, lack of childcare on the holiday weekend, sick parents, and preparing for college final exams. Many employees have stated that if they do not get the weekend off, they will quit. The job market is tight right now and Ed knows that he cannot replace staff quickly enough for the upcoming busy season.

My Solution

If I was Ed I would first consider my score of 56 on the people skills self-assessment which indicates that I generally get along with others, my score of 67 on the anger management self-assessment means that I am able to successfully manage my anger most of the time, and my ISFJ personality. After considering my personality, my people skills, and my degree of anger management control I would come up with a plan to deal with the situation. Knowing that Karen was the one there when most of the arguing was happening I would first call her to get her insights into the situations and find out if she made any promises to any employees as I would not want to contradict her when I dealt with the situation. After speaking to Karen I would call a staff meeting and explain my understanding of the situation to the employees and to make sure that everyone is on the same page. My first priority would be to get a list of who needs what days off and who can work the weekend without problems. I would ask that my staff write down what they each want and what they actually need; for example one of the employees might want the whole weekend off because of lack of child care, but that employee might actually be able to get their spouse to watch the children one day and thus only really needs one day of Memorial Day weekend off. I would then ask the staff to brainstorm ideas amongst themselves for how to deal with the problem while I would work to get the list complied into a schedule so I could see which parts of the holiday weekend I would have staff for and which parts I don’t.

After I complied the schedule based on what employees actually need I would ask for the staffs’ ideas for dealing with the situation. After hearing their ideas I would then share my ideas about how to deal with the conflict. My first idea would be to have everyone pitch in to work the weekend, but in shorter shifts. For instance if normal shifts are eight hours we could do four hour shifts for Memorial Day weekend. My second idea would be to offer a holiday weekend only raise for those who voluntarily work Memorial Day weekend; for example if normal pay is eight dollars an hour for Memorial Day weekend then the pay would be twelve dollars an hour. My final idea would be to let the employees themselves fill in the spots in my schedule where we need employees. By doing this employees could pool their own resources; for instance if numerous employees lack child care perhaps the employees could do a mass playdate at one of their homes where one person watches the kids while another works and then when that person’s shift ends they would switch roles.

Consider This Scenario:

Mike has recently inherited a sizable amount of money and is looking to invest it. He is considering several options and has met with a number of financial advisors to help him narrow down the options and decide where to invest his funds. Some of the advisors are suggesting funds that have characteristically been solid but conservative performers, but are based on products and services that are not environmentally friendly. Since Mike is very passionate about supporting and protecting the environment, he consults with other advisors who suggest that he align his investment strategy with his passion and suggest several funds that are also solid performers, but not quite as aggressive as those funds that do not support environmental issues. Mike needs to make a relatively quick decision, as the tax deadlines are looming.

What to do?

Given the results you got on your decision making and creativity self-assessments, how would you invest the funds if you were Mike?

My Solution

I received a 67 on the decision making self-assessment; meaning that I have an excellent approach to decision-making and that I am good at knowing how to set up the process and generate many potential solutions, analyze the options carefully, and make the best decision based on my knowledge of the situation. My creativity self-assessment gave me a score of 53; meaning that creativity level is a "work in progress" and that I need to let loose and stretch myself more. Knowing this about myself if I were Mike I would first evaluate my wants and needs in relation to my investment. I would consider my views toward my environmental passion; I would ask myself what is more important to me the environment or money, am I willing to lose money in order to support the environmentally friendly stocks over more lucrative stocks, and do these environmentally friendly stock options have the potential for failure. I would then evaluate my needs: does Mike have anyone he is responsible for example a child, parent, or sibling where it is important that he has money, is Mike investing for long term or short term gain, and whether Mike has enough money in savings not to suffer if one of the stock companies that he invests in goes under.

If Mike is in a financially stable position where he is not financially responsible for anyone and can afford to invest in line with his passion then as Mike I would invest in companies that were environmentally friendly even if they are not as aggressive as those funds that do not support environmental issues. However if Mike is not in a financially stable position or if he is financially responsible for someone outside of himself, then as Mike I would invest in the funds that are more likely to do well regardless of the environment at first until I had collected enough funds to be financially stable and/or support the dependent; I would switch to more environmentally friendly funds. The important thing for Mike to do is to make sure that he and any dependents are financially taken care of first and that he has enough money in a savings account that if he loses the money he has invested, he will not be financially ruined or in debt.

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