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R & D Case Study #3.

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Case Study 3 Recognition and Discipline as Motivators

Described below are three different foodservice employee situations. You are the supervisor/manager
for each of the employees described below. As you read their stories, give consideration to how you
might help motivate employees to follow safe food handling practices. After reading the situation,
answer the critical thinking questions at the end of the scenarios and compare your answers to the
Notes to Supplement Answers.

Employee A: Amir
Amir is a 19 year old part-time employee. He is new to the operation and has been employed only 2
months. He was provided training when he started, as is every employee. Amirs main reason for
working is to earn enough money to pay for his gas and car insurance. Despite Amirs limited time
working, he has learned the job duties quickly and does well following food safety practices. Yesterday,
he notified you that the thermometer reading on the walk-in cooler was at 46F. You were impressed
given his limited experience and noting that Conrad is the employee responsible for monitoring and
recording refrigerator temperatures.

Employee B: Beulah
Beulah is a long-term, seasoned employee. She has been working in the operation for 12 years. Her
overall performance has been good and she has served as a role model for younger, newer employees
as she shows up to work in a clean uniform and demonstrates appropriate hand washing (evident by her
standing at the sink singing Happy Birthday while she lathers up). She diligently checks temperatures
of the foods she prepares and takes action if food is not within the appropriate temperature range.
However, lately, Beulahs attention to food safety has been slipping. You notice that her temperature
logs are not being kept and she seems to do the splash and dash when she goes to the hand sink.

Employee C: Conrad
Conrad has been a full-time employee at the operation for 1 year. He has responsibility for dishwashing
and completing all records of equipment temperatures (this includes coolers, freezers, and
dishmachine). When a temperature is out of the standard range, he is to notify you about this. On
several occasions, he has not recorded the temperatures and/or not notified you when temperatures
were substandard. You have given him a verbal warning in the past based on these actions. Today, you
have confirmed another incident where he has not checked temperatures and the cooler is above the
acceptable temperature at 46F.

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Given the scenario above, consider the following critical thinking questions.


1. What factors should be considered before using a recognition or discipline as a motivator?

2. Of the three employees, who is most deserving of recognition?

a. Why is this employee most deserving?

b. What type(s) of recognition or carrots would you consider for this employee?

3. Of the three employees, whose actions might warrant discipline ?

a. Why will you consider punishing this person?

b. What actions will you consider the punishments or sticks and why?

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Notes to Supplement Answers:
1. Factors to consider:
a. Everyone is motivated by something different. For example, some individuals may be
motivated by internal rewards such as a sense of accomplishment, helping others, or
doing a good job whereas others might be more externally motivated wanted to
receive a monetary or non-monetary reward (i.e. recognition by coworkers).
b. Best practices should guide distribution of recognition and discipline.
c. Equitability in dispersing recognition and discipline should be a consideration. The
recognition or discipline should match with the behavior and consideration should be
given for previous actions.

2. It appears Amir is the most deserving of recognition. He seems to be motivated to adhere to
food safety practices as demonstrated. It appears Amir might prefer an external reward such as
an increase in pay or other monetary reward (ie. gas gift card). If this is not possible, other
external non monetary rewards may also be beneficial including a public recognition (ie.
employee of the month or similar) or a personal thank you.

3. It appears that formal disciplinary actions may be appropriate for both Beulah and Conrad. We
have limited information related to their previous performance although it appears Beulahs
disregard for food safety is a more recent and Conrad has received disciplinary action in the
past. Following the three strikes and you are out approach, it seems Beulah would receive
her first strike as a documented warning whereas Conrad would receive either another warning
(written this time) or his second strike, dependent on organization policy and any labor union

A brief description of the three strikes and you are out approach follows. For more
information about Recognition and Discipline Best Practices, refer to http:www or the printed
copy in your supervisor training module tool kit.
The three strikes and you are out approach is easily understood by employees. Discipline
intensity progresses over the three contacts.
Strike one
The manager or supervisor verbally corrects an employee about practices not in compliance
with SOP or organization policy. Policy may allow up to three verbal warnings to allow for
training to kick in or corrective actions to become ingrained. The warning is documented in the
employee file. For example, a manager may verbally remind an employee about washing hands
before returning to the kitchen after a break period.
Strike two
The manager or supervisor observes a second occurrence in which the employee failed to wash
hands after a break. The manager informs the employee of need for meeting. At the meeting,
the manager shows the employee written description of the incident, and asks employee to
initial the report was reviewed. The written reprimand is placed in employees file.
Strike Three
Punishment phase this could mean suspension or termination.