Complete 2-page written assignment based on your work, experience, and interest – what you want to focus on. DO NOT summarize the book, or quote the book, or any external source. Read the questions for each chapter, to have as reference before reading the book and then complete assignment based on your own thoughts and understandings.
You may respond to any of the points below or you may take a point from any of the chapters that caught your attention.
Chapter 5: In this chapter, Liff offers a philosophy and a series of techniques for enhancing performance. Some of his suggestions seem obvious, such as creating performance measures that align organizational goals and individual performance and then ensuring that all employees have the training, tools, and assistance they need to meet their goals. He also stresses that performance measures should be the joint product of management, employees, and unions and that management most often fails by not providing poorly performing employees with enough assistance to meet their goals. Other suggestions are more surprising, such as posting performance information so that everyone can see how they compare to their peers. Evaluate the suggestions Liff offers. Do you think they will work? Do you think they are fair? What alternatives can you offer if you are unsatisfied with his suggestions? What are the consequences of not following his advice?
Chapter 6: Like the performance systems detailed in Chapter 5, Chapter 6 sets out the specifics of reward systems. Liff again stresses that reward systems should be aligned with organizational goals; he further notes that they should be reliable, prompt, and consistent with contributions made by individual employees; they should be developed by management, labor, and unions; they should recognize team as well as individual effort; and they should get good publicity. Programs with unrealistic goals or a lack of resources will be perceived as unfair and thus create disincentives for performance. It is increasingly clear that Liff believes it is incumbent upon management to create the best possible environment for people to do their best work. As he notes on page 128, “Once you hire and train your employees, provide them with the proper tools and resources, make them aware of the organization’s goals and objectives, and issue them performance standards that have a clear line of sight (the input), you need to insure that employees and/or teams that exceed your expectations (the output) will be rewarded.” Evaluate the suggestions Liff offers. Do you think they will work? Do you think they are fair? What alternatives can you offer if you are unsatisfied with his suggestions? What are the consequences of not following his advice?
Chapter 7: Liff suggests that attendance management is a matter of both clear rules and humane application of those rules. On the one hand, he insists that policies for tours of duty, sick leave, and vacations be widely known and equitably enforced. Management has discretion over leave without pay and can insist that vacations be scheduled well in advance. On the other hand, he does recognize that there are exceptions and that a zero-tolerance policy is not warranted. Evaluate the suggestions Liff offers. Do you think they will work? Do you think they are fair? What alternatives can you offer if you are unsatisfied with his suggestions? What are the