Employee Relations
You are the newly appointed director of human resource management for the police department of a city in the northeastern United States. Your organization has struggled to hire new police officers for some time. Your predecessor attempted to increase recruitment and selection of new officers by implementing an employee referral plan; however, the number of new officers hired through referrals has fallen short of hiring goals. The need for police officers intensified when your city’s newly elected mayor promised to lower crime by increasing the number of police patrols in high-crime areas. The police department has met the need for increased patrols by assigning existing police officers additional hours and paying overtime wages. As the number of hours worked and overtime payments increased over time, the practice—originally intended to be a short-term remedy—attracted unwanted attention. A front-page article in your city’s newspaper has revealed that three police officers earned higher annual salaries than the mayor, due to excessive overtime. Stung and embarrassed by this disclosure, the mayor fired your predecessor and put you in his place. Both the mayor and your boss have given orders to “reduce overtime by hiring new police officers immediately!” The mayor’s mandate to cut the overtime of currently employed police officers has created an employee relations problem. Officers on the city’s police force have worked extra hours for so long that the extra overtime pay is now perceived as an entitlement. Some police officers have assumed loans or increased living expenses in the expectation that the opportunity to earn overtime pay would continue. The officers are now unhappy that their ability to earn overtime pay will be greatly reduced (by the hiring of new police recruits) and are upset by the manner in which they learned about city management’s decision to cut overtime pay. Representatives of the officer’s union have responded with the attached “Memo on Police Officers’ Reaction to Planned Cuts in Overtime Pay.” You must manage the current conflict between the police officers and city management and try to prevent future conflicts by developing a workplace culture that creates a positive work environment for employees and management. You will also revise job descriptions and selection procedures using the attached “Job Description of City Police Officers” to make managing workplace conflict a required job competency.
discuss strategies for managing conflict caused by cuts in overtime pay.
A.  Discuss three causes of workplace conflict between the city’s police officers and city management in the current situation.
B.  Discuss two possible short-term outcomes if the conflict is not resolved.
C.  Discuss two possible long-term outcomes if the conflict is not resolved.
D.  Discuss three possible actions for resolving the current conflict about overtime pay.
E.  Design a plan to create a more positive work culture in the city’s police department by doing the following:
1.  Discuss two basic components of a work culture that prevent negative conflict.
2.  Create two new specifications for the “required” section of the attached “Job Description of City Police Officers” that relate to a candidate’s ability to effectively manage workplace conflict.
3.  Create three situational interview questions designed to illuminate a job candidate’s competency in managing workplace conflict.
F.  Explain two methods of evaluating improvements in employee relations in the city police department.


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