Case Analysis: Communication Management

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The book

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION: Developing Leaders for a Networked World, Peter Cardon, 4th Edition

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Part 1: Case Analysis

Read the discussion forum below, which shows several employees’ posts about how to develop a better performance review system. Then, answer the questions that follow.

Jackson: Hi team, this week we’ll use this forum to discuss our performance review system. Specifically, we want to explore the benefits and drawbacks about the timing of our reviews. Currently, our reviews are conducted annually. The HR team wants to know what we think about quarterly reviews. The HR team wants us to share our views with them by September 10.

Cynthia: I’ve never experienced quarterly reviews before, so it’s hard for me to say if that’s better. My hunch is quarterly reviews would be more fair and helpful. But, I also assume they take a lot of extra time for our managers. @Erin I think your last company held quarterly reviews. What are your experiences with more frequent reviews? Has anyone else worked at a company with more frequent reviews? Tell us what it was like.

Erin: @Cynthia your assumptions match my experience. I enjoyed getting more frequent feedback. But, when I was a manager, it was a crushing responsibility because the company expected me to conduct the reviews without lightening my load elsewhere. @Nigel thanks for sharing your experiences with monthly reviews. You mentioned the reviews are more like check-ins that don’t require so much time by the managers. Totally makes sense to me. @Vilma also think your comments about adding peer reviews makes a lot of sense and relieves managers.

Nigel: Hi all, there’s one discussion point I hope we can meet in person (or by online conference) to discuss. I appreciate the HR team wants our input about the frequency of reviews, but I’m worried that we’re not addressing one of the problems: perceived fairness of the reviews. I believe in 15 minutes, we could work out a few common concerns to share with the HR group from our whole team.

Jackson: Thanks for your comments, team. Overall, here are what I think are the key take-aways: (a) we want more feedback, so quarterly reviews may be helpful; (b) we don’t want to create an unreasonable burden on managers; and (c) we want more conversation around objectivity and fairness of the reviews. At this point, I propose I draft our comments into a short report for your review. I also suggest we set up a one-hour

Questions:

1.Identify five strategies used in this online forum. (3 Marks)

2.What are the main differences and similarities between blogs and forums? (1 Mark)

3.In your point of view, do you think this forum is an effective or ineffective forum? Why? (1 Mark)

Part 2: Writing Exercise

Anne Jenkins is a finance manager for J.L.N. Used Cars (JLN), a used-car business with about 30 dealerships. She is in charge of running the company’s financing program. She sets terms for loans provided through the dealerships. She also manages a team that works directly with dealerships to ensure that loans are promoted and granted appropriately. On Anne to-do list for the day, she has several writing tasks.

Anne needs to be efficient with her writing thus she hires you to help her writing in one of the following options:(5 Marks)

Option 1: Recently, Anne was reimbursed for several trips she took, but the company did not cover several of her expenses. She wants to write an email to the personnel director requesting compensation for mileage in which she used her own auto for several recent work trips. Help Anne to write a claim Message. OR

Option 2: Anne wants to send a memo to dealership managers about changes to financing eligibility. Help Anne to write an announcement regarding these changes. OR

Option 3: Anne wants to better understand the customer profile of those who choose to finance their car purchases through the dealerships. She wants the dealership managers to ask three questions of these customers during the upcoming month and then provide her with the responses. Help Anne to write a request message.

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