Red Cross Childrens Home: Building Capabilities in Guyana Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


The Children’s Convalescent Home is an orphanage that fosters the abandoned children and serve as a rehabilitation center. The home was built by the Guyana Red Cross Society in alliance with the ministry of health and was facing serious issues regarding the lack of interest shown by the employees. The employees appointed were working as volunteers and use to work 54-hours a week, which was exhausting, and they were not getting enough salaries thus resulting in absenteeism. Guyana, a country suffering from poverty and major political and economic developments in the western hemisphere consisted of people mostly belonging from different cultures and decants. The GRCS was formed in 1968 and was responsible for providing support to the programs aiming to improve the health, education and community assistance. Due to lack of funds the society was unable to attract volunteers, and the number of volunteers continued on decreasing. The CCH was the highly funded program of GRCS but was facing administrative issues. The CCH had 40 committee members and consisted of 20 volunteers working in 12-hour shift, six days a week and were being paid only $30 a month which was not attractive and resulted in more absenteeism. The director, Dorothy Fraser recommended Michelle Goffin as his successor who had previously served the CCH on a temporary basis. Michelle was completely aware of the issues from which the CCH is suffering from and was highly motivated to resolve those issues. Michelle, after taking the charge took some bold steps to improve the condition and doubled the salaries of the employees in order to motivate them and to keep the children happy in CCH. Provided trainings to the employees and encourage them to communicate regarding the issues in order to improve their productivity. With the help of a local businessman, Michelle resolved the cleaning and sanitary issues of the home.

While the steps taken were showing positive signs towards improvement a major drawback came in the form of Mashrami, the national day of Guyana on which every employee was absent and was hinting towards old days of CCH. This situation was a major concern for Michelle as she became frustrated from the attitude of the employees as she had taken some major steps towards improvement.


The absenteeismshowed on the Mahrami Day made things worse for Michelle as she become frustrated and disappointed. Few facts became clear to her that the employees are not showing interest and are not working together as a team and are clearly depending on the supervisor. The employees lack interests and not responding to the issues and giving suggestions reflected that they are not willing to communicate and are doing their jobs with interest and honesty. Although they were being provided with training by Michelle, and she also clearly communicated her aim towards CCH to them still no sense of responsibility and willingness was shown by them. The rise in salary almost 100% was not enough for encouraging them as well. The situation was getting worse, and Michelle was under real consideration about the possible solutions that can help her resolving the issue. Michelle came up with four possible solutions which were as enlisted below:

•    Resigning from her post and going back.

•    Asking for additional funds for improvement.

•    Making the staff more responsible.

•    Disciplining the staff.


The director can use all the options excluding the first one. Arranging funds will help in hiring some permanent employees with a clear job description and an encouraging salary. The CCH can hire 5-6 permanent females who can stay for a 12-hour shift, five days a week on a rotation basis. Besides that a support staff will be there to help in the form of volunteers with the same job description designed by Michelle. This will require some extra funds, but will clearly help the aim of Michelle as there will be someone every time to take care of the children. A separate staff member for the kitchen, for cleaning, operations, and finance shall be assigned to keep a check and balance of the resources. The employees hired should provide with training on three aspects, skills, knowledge and attitude. The skill-building aspect should focus on developing communication, relationship building or teamwork, and self-monitoring. While the knowledge portion should focus on making the employees aware of the CCH culture and their responsibilities in order to make the employees more responsible and disciplined. The third aspect of attitude building must focus on developing a sense of empathy..................

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