The 40-Year Employee John Brown, 62 years old, has been at the State Bank for 40 years. For the past 20 years, he has worked in the bank’s investment department. During his first 15 years in the department, it was managed by Bill Adams. The department consisted of Bill, John, and two other employees. Bill made all decisions, while the others performed record-keeping functions. Tom Smith took over the investment department after Bill Adams retired. Tom, 56, has worked for the State Bank for the past 28 years. Shortly after taking control of the department, Tom recognized that it needed to be modernized and staffed with people capable of giving better service to the bank’s customers. As a result, he increased the department work force to 10 people. Of the 10 employees, only John and Tom are older than 33. When Tom took over the department, John was able to be helpful since he knew all about how the department had been run in the past. Tom considered John to be a capable employee; after about a year, he promoted John to assistant vice president. After he had headed the department for about a year and a half, Tom purchased a new computer package to handle the bond portfolio and its accounting. When the new system was implemented, John said he did not like the new system and preferred the old system. At that time, his attitude created no real problem, since there were still many other records to be kept. John continued to handle most of the daily record-keeping. Over the next two years, further changes came about. As the other employees in the department became more experienced, they branched into new areas of investment work. The old ways of doing things were replaced by new, more sophisticated methods. John resisted these changes; he refused to accept or learn new methods and ideas. He slipped more and more into doing only simple but time-consuming busywork. Presently a new computer system is being acquired for the investment section, and another department is being put under Tom’s control. John has written Tom a letter stating he wants no part of the new computer system but would like to be the manager of the new department. In his letter, John said he was tired of being given routine tasks while the young people got all the exciting jobs. John contended that since he had been with the bank longer than anyone else, he should be given first shot at the newly created job. QUESTIONS 1. Who has failed, John or the company? 2. Does the company owe something to a 40-year employee? If so, what? 3. What type of development program would you recommend for John?
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