NUCOR: Value and Transition Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Problem Statement and Analysis

The main problem that is identified in the case “Nucor: Values and Transition” is the high level of autonomy or independence at work. Along with this, with performance of each team member was associated with other team member’s performance therefore it was difficult to motivate every employee individually. The bonuses for the teams were paid on team performance rather than individual performance; therefore it was sometimes demotivating for the employees who were working with commitment.

This situation got even worse with the workers on many occasions was coming up drunk at work and eventually they were hurting the overall performance of the department. And the bonus was based on team performance it was sometimes not given to the specific team. This was again something that was causing issues at the company Nucor. Since the team performance was the only method of appraising workers it was a rather complicated way to judge the performance. As the case states, not all employees worked with same dedication and conviction, but since bonus was team based even the non-performers got the same amount as other workers. Motivation levels of top performers were being affected with this situation and they felt undone with the situation. To overcome the problem certain alternates have been proposed to Nucor in the following section.

Case Problem Alternatives

Individual Performance Assessment

As the case states, the main problem identified is the case is the performance appraisal system at Nucor. The company was following a team appraisal system instead of individual appraisal for top performers. As the case states, this was not a perfect move for the company because of the nature of business where team work was necessary. Instead, the best way to appraise the performance of employees should be judged on an individual basis. This will motivate each employee to perform better because he might knows eventually his hard work will not be dependent upon other team members. And he will be appraised for his personal efforts by the company Nucor. Therefore, the first alternative for the company is to revive and change the appraisal system to individual basis.

Continue with the team based appraisal system:

The second alternate for the company Nucor based on the problem identified is to follow the current performance structure at the company. The current system although has been a beneficial one for the company where ultimately the company has earned a considerable profit. But eventually the employees do not like the overall structure. They feel a better way is to introduce individual appraisal system. But looking at the recent success of the company Nucor, they can look to follow the same structure. With this the only thing Nucor could do is to make sure that all employees hired by the company are competent and motivated to perform as a team. Nucor is all about performing as a team to receive bonus. Therefore, it is necessary to have a workforce that is energetic, confident and willing to work as a team.

Recommendations and Solution

Individual Performance Assessment

With the two alternatives available for the company Nucor to overcome the problem, the most appropriate option for the company is to introduce a new appraisal system for employees. The most feasible option for the company will be to go for a revised system of individual performance assessment. With a new system, it will make all employees perform in a rather swift and accurate manner. All employees will know that if they perform extraordinary well the company will pay them for their efforts. Along with this, a system that is for individual employees will make sure no worker takes unnecessary leaves, because eventually it will affect their performance at Nucor. This will be a rather easy way to motivate employees at all levels. Secondly, having a revised system will ensure positive results and help Nucor overcoming its existing problem at Nucor (Robbins, 2007).

As the case states, as for now, on many occasions workers were coming drunk to work, this was not only a concern for the department because eventually the productivity was being affected, but also it was unsafe for everyone around. And since the performance system at Nucor was based on team performance such individuals were hurting others rewards. Therefore, the new appraisal system will also overcome such issues as each individual will be accountable for his actions. The three scenarios or the cases presented in the case study, also indicate that because of team based system of evaluating all the internal matters it was difficult for an individual to decide. Since these things were affecting the image and productivity of the company, it is rather appropriate to shift the performance assessment system to individual levels (Robbins, 2007)..................................

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