Read the following case study and then answer the questions that follow. Remember: your answers…

Read the following case study and then answer the questions that follow. Remember: your answers should relate to the information provided in the case study.

And you thought your job was bad …

Ally Crawford is experiencing a miserable night at work again. The 58-year-old telemarketer is on her 21st phone call of the evening, but, so far, she has sold just one timeshare unit. She is becoming frustrated as she dials the next potential customer. Finally, the person answers the telephone. All Ally’s colleagues are close to reaching their targets, but, for some inexplicable reason, tonight is not going well for her, causing her to feel anxious and helpless. Management has on several occasions informed Ally that her performance is not up to standard and recently issued Ally with a final written warning for poor performance. Ally knows that the pressure goes with the job. She is a seasoned veteran, who has over six years of experience in a variety of telemarketing industries. Ally is one of the most senior people in her current job and she has attended several marketing courses. For her and other experienced callers, the daily target is 50 calls for a four-hour shift. The expected “conversion rate” is 15% of those who listen long enough to count as a presentation. These people usually agree to attend a presentation on the specific timeshare unit.
Ally’s current supervisor is intense, demanding and quick to criticise. Frankly, all of them have been that way. “Their job is just as stressful as mine,” she says. “If they don’t reach their sales targets, they’re history, just like us.” Although some of the supervisor’s comments are positive, employees more often hear “suggestions” for improving their sales pitch, such as, “Slow the presentation down”, or “Don’t ad-lib on the script!” While Ally wants recognition as much as anyone does, she has become somewhat exhausted by the insincere and condescending form it takes. She would rather have more pay or benefits, but neither is on the cards.
Most telemarketers are paid an hourly wage plus commission. For Ally that amounts to R30 per hour, plus approximately R15 commission for each timeshare unit she sells. There are no health benefits and, if you believe telemarketing executives, no prospects for any in the future. The constant stress takes a toll on everyone. The turnover in the industry is one of the highest in the country. The average turnover rate in a call centre is between 30% and 45%. Those who want to make it a career, hope to break into management, where pay and benefits are much better. However, that usually requires more education and experience. The last opening for a supervisor’s position drew over 50 applications from telemarketers. Ally, however, knows that she will never qualify for a management position, because no one was invested in developing her career.
1.1 Identify and briefly discuss the health condition that Ally is experiencing because of her situation at work [1 mark]. Substantiate your answer with an example from the case study [1 mark]. (2)
1.2 Explain what Ally’s supervisor can do to assist her with this health condition [3 marks]. (3)

1.3 Ally is currently on a final written warning for poor performance. Can Ally’s employer dismiss her for poor performance should her performance remain below standard? [1 mark]. Motivate your answer with examples from the case study [4 marks]. (5)

1.4 Briefly explain what Ally’s supervisor can do to improve her motivation and performance. (5)

1.5 Identify and briefly discuss the type of pay system that is used to reward Ally for performing her job [2 marks]. Provide an example from the case study to substantiate your answer [1 mark]. (3)

1.6 The following snippet was obtained from the case study: “Ally, however, knows that she will never qualify for a management position, because no one was invested in developing her career”. Explain to Ally who is responsible for managing her career. (5)

1.7 Explain the role of Ally’s supervisor in managing training and development (T&D).

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