What Would You Do?
ISG Steelton – International Steel Group, Steelton, Pennsylvania
As the day-shift supervisor at the ISG Steelton steel plant, you summon the six college students who are working for you this summer, doing whatever you need done (sweeping up, sandblasting the inside of boilers that are down for maintenance, running errands, and so forth). You walk them across the plant to a field where the company stores scrap metal. The area, about the size of a football field, is stacked with organized piles of metal. You explain that everything they see has just been sold. Metal prices, which have been depressed, have finally risen enough that the company can earn a small profit by selling its scrap.
You point out that…show more content… But the purchasing manager who sold it says it must be shipped in 2 weeks. Without more workers (there’s a hiring freeze) and without forklifts, all of the metal has to be loaded by hand by these six workers in 2 weeks. But how do you do that? What would motivate the students to work much, much harder than they have all summer? They’ve gotten used to a leisurely pace and easy job assignments. Motivation might help, but motivation will only get so much done. After all, short of illegal steroids, nothing is going to work once muscle fatigue kicks in from carrying those 92-pound pieces of metal up a ramp all day long. What can you change about the way the work is done to deal with the unavoidable physical fatigue?
If you were the supervisor in charge, what would you do?
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I would let the team of struggling college students know their