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Chapter 23. The Importance of Follow-Up > Exercise: Practice Case Studies

Exercise: Practice Case Studies

The following case studies will give you a chance to try your hand at dealing with recurring problems.

Case Study #1: Performance Expectations Problem

A. Background Information

Jim Smith is a senior underwriter with 15 years’ tenure at Million Dollar Insurance Company (MDI). He feels that he is a good employee, and he has received good performance evaluations from his previous manager. Joanne Jenkins was hired from outside MDI to manage the underwriting department 6 months ago. She came to MDI with 12 years’ underwriting experience and has 8 years of experience managing underwriters. She brings to MDI both depth of experience and education. She is considered by most to be a “people person” and has high expectations of her employees. She has expanded the old MDI performance appraisal system and utilizes it to ensure top performance from those who report to her.

Jim Smith is now 58 years old and reporting to Joanne Jenkins. Of his 15 years at MDI, 10 were spent in the underwriting department. Prior to MDI, he worked in a management position in another industry. He feels that he was unfairly overlooked and should have been hired instead of Joanne.

Jim is not sure why Joanne has expanded the performance evaluation form and thinks the old form was sufficient. All his past evaluations rated him as meeting performance standards. He is unaware of any current performance problems, although he has concerns about Joanne’s high expectations. Jim dislikes criticism and can be defensive if the criticism is not well-founded.

Two months ago, Joanne met with Jim to discuss and formally decide upon performance goals for his area of responsibility, Joanne sent a memo to Jim indicating she would like to meet with him on Friday to discuss his performance evaluation.



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