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Human Resources Fictional Scenarios-Bonus Plan

Updated on June 4, 2015

The Situation

Consider the following: Jane knows that she must with Larry about the bonus plan and the effect that it is having on employees other than Samuel and James, but she has no idea where to start. In thinking about your personality assessment and learning style results, how might you be the most comfortable in communicating with Larry? What would you say to him?

My Solution

My personality assessment told me that I have an ISFJ, meaning I have a strong preference of introversion over extraversion, a slight preference of sensing over intuition, a moderate preference of feeling over thinking, and a moderate preference of judging over perceiving. According to the Education Planner online learning style quiz, I am a visual learner. Based on my personality type speaking with Larry would be difficult for me because I have a very introverted personality. However if I was in Jane’s place then I would feel obligated to talk to Larry about how his bonus plan is only beneficial to Samuel and James and how it is negatively impacting the other employees. Before speaking with Larry I would create a survey to give to all of the employees on the topic of the bonus plan. I would put the survey in a table format and the questions would be close-ended. My questions would be phrased on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being bad and 5 being good): do you agree with the new bonus plan, how does it make you feel about the company in general, and do you feel that this bonus plan is a good representation of the efforts you have put in. Once I had collected all of the surveys I would create a report that incorporated visual elements, statistics, and a summary of my findings. For my visual elements I would need to create a circle graph for each of my questions that would show the percent of employees who answer the question with a 1,2,3,4, or 5. For the statistics part I would include a chart with the number of people who answered each question with a 1,2,3,4, or 5. My summary would include my conclusions based on the data, and a hypothesis on how the feelings of most of the employees could influence the productivity of the company as a whole. Once I had put my report together I would email it to Larry with a request to meet and discuss it after he read it. During our discussion I would ask Larry how he came up with this bonus plan, if it would be possible to alter or create a new one to have everyone treated equally and fairly, and how to prevent these situations from occurring in the future.

The New Situation

In thinking about Larry’s bonus plan, who does this plan appear to motivate? What about those who are not able to make the bonus anytime soon; does this motivate them in any way? Could there be a better way to design a bonus plan?

My New Solution

The information that I learned about Larry’s bonus plan this week does give me a different feel about the bonus plan. Last week I felt like Larry created this bonus plan specifically for Samuel and James. However I now feel Larry has built the bonus plan for the high achievers of the sales team and for the purpose of motivating the sales team to learn from Samuel and James. However even though I believe that Larry’s intentions are honest I feel that the bonus plan fails to motivate anyone besides Samuel and James. I do not believe that the bonus plan will motivate the members of the sales team who are not able to make the bonus anytime soon. In its current state the bonus plan only succeeds in ensuring that most of the employees feel underappreciated with how the bonus plan seems to only favor Samuel and James; the plan lacks any motivating effect.

If I were Jane I would suggest to Larry that we find a better way to design the bonus plan. I would suggest altering the bonus plan so that the amount of bonus each person gets depends on their sales. For instance the employees who had the most sales would get the biggest bonus, employees who had a medium level of sales would get a medium bonus, and employees with a small number of sales would get a small bonus. This plan would motivate newer employees to work hard to increase their bonus while rewarding high level sales employees with a higher bonus. As Jane I would also take care to explain the bonus plan to the employees so that they understood that there was no favoritism taking place. I would also suggest that employees looking to improve their sales could speak with Samuel and James for assistance, tips, and advice.

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