Rahul Tractors Ltd. Is a large and reputed engineering company operating in Maharashtra with head office at Kolhapur. The total employees of the company are 4500 which include unskilled and skilled workers, supervisors, managers and departmental heads. Large number of electrical and mechanical engineers are required by the company for production, marketing and for providing after sales services.
Every year a batch of 20 trainee engineers is selected by the company. They are given training for a period of six months. Thereafter, training continues along with job assignment. In the first three months, theoretical training is given through lectures by the company executives, lectures by guest speakers, workshops, and seminars and so on.
A fresh batch of trainee engineers joined the company on the 4th October 2008. All of them were promising fresh engineering degreeholders with distinction. However, they lacked experience, maturity and information about the rules and procedures followed in their company.
An unhappy incident took place on 20th October 2008 when semi-finals and finals of Commonwealth Games were held. The trainees were in a sportive mood of that day. Like college students, they were eager to bunk the lectures and see the matches on the TV screen. The chief instructor Mr. Mane advised the trainees to attend the classes and asked the peon not to allow anybody to operate TV between 10 am and 5pm. (the normal training period). Prior to this, the trainee engineers had requested the chief instructor to adjust the training timing in such a way that they will be able to witness the matches and can also attend lectures if arranged early morning and late evening. This request was turned down by Mr. Mane stating that he will have to take consent from the head office for such change and this is not possible at this late stage.
The first lecture on the day (i.e. 20th October 2008) went peacefully with full attendance as there was no match during that time. The second lecture was by Mr. Khanna, the General Manager of the company. The attendance was again full because of the position of the speaker. The third lecture was of three hours duration. The guest speaker was Mr. Karkare, Director of a reputed management consultancy firm. The attendance for his session was very thin. Some trainees were listening to the radio commentary while others left the training premises and were watching the match on TV screen in the nearby hotel. The speaker Mr. Karkare came out of the class in angry mood and shouted at Mr. Mane. “Had I known that this would happen, I would not have come to deliver the lecture. These trainees behave like college students, are more interested in match than lectures.”
Mr. Mane felt very bad about the incident. He somehow managed the situation and even expressed apology to Mr. Karkare. In the meantime, the trainees returned and approached Mr. Mane. They informed him that Mr. Karkare himself inquired about the score before moving towards the lecture hall. We casually remarked that we are more interested in the match which is a rare opportunity. Lectures and study are routine and we can do well in the tests even after remaining absent for the lectures.
Mr.Mane was not happy with the observations of his trainees. He warned them of serious action if they remain absent in the future. He also told them to behave in a responsible manner and not like college students. Mr. Mane was in two minds about the action to be taken on the absentee trainees. Fortunately, the situation improved considerably from the next day itself.
1) Will you take the behavior of the trainee engineers rightly? What according to you are the possible reasons for such behavior of trainees? (5 marks)
2) How would you deal with trainees who are not interested in the training programs? Do you feel that it was possible to avoid the unpleasant situation by adjusting the timetable for a day? (5 marks)
3) Do you feel the college lectures and lectures in training class of a company are identical? (5 marks)
4) Suggest five remedial measures to make training to trainee engineers interesting and purposeful. (5 marks)
(Case Study of Human Resource Management November 2008)
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