01 HR Case Study Clean Washrooms


Chairman, ABC Steel was holding a weekly meeting with staff in Jamshedpur. A worker took up a serious issue. He said the quality and hygiene of toilets for the workers was very bad. Whereas, he pointed that the cleanliness and the hygiene of executive toilets was always very good. Chairman asked his top executive how much time he needs to set it right. The executive asked for a month to set it right.

Chairman said "I would rather do it in a day. Send me a carpenter." Next day, when the carpenter came, he ordered the sign boards to be swapped. The sign board on the workers’ toilet displayed "Executives" and the Executives’ toilet displayed "Workers”. Chairman then instructed this sign to be changed every fortnight.

The quality of both the toilets came at par in the next three days. The Leadership is something much more than being an Executive Learning from this message : - Problem identification requires critical thinking But- Problem solution requires creative thinking Critically evaluate the above paragraph with your comments.


I want you to think more on this.. will you give a different opinion if you are the Chairman? Is this the best approach? Any holistic approach?


Response from Students

  1. Nice thinking, it shows how he show care towards his worker's.

  2. I can see that the chairman is trying to abolish discrimination among them. And If had asked them to clean it, it would have been a one time thing. But when he kept changing the boards it's going to long last.

  3. the way he handled the problem was very unique and the solution he gave for that problem is also a permanent one. but we need to think that will the executive follow the rule he made. because as he is least bother about the cleanliness it is doubt that he will follow this.

  4. Here evaluating proposed solutions normally ignites the leader’s creative thinking and they begin to generate additional ideas, discover alternative perspectives, and redefine the original problem. In the above case given the problem needs an immediate solution and not the one which consumes more time. So the given solution by the chairman differentiates him from the co workers. And it is what exactly needed for becoming a critical thinking might not be helpful at the time but creative thinking with the new ideas and unique ideas always helps. Because it is the plus point for business minded people!

  5. It is great insight to their success, there are many problem we come across every day but how we respond to them directs our path

  6. A leader should stand in first line to face or handle any problem. should treat everyone in equal manner without any partiality. should process creative thinking skills to sort out the problems.

  7. A leader is meant to satisfy the needs and who can solve any problem without any delay..

  8. the strategy of chairman was very intelligent where he just changed signboards, in the place executive toilet he put workers to sign, in the place of workers toilet he has put the executive sign.

  9. Here it shows how the chairman is making executives learn their lesson that everyone should be treated equally but apparently it turned out to be bad. If he could’ve waited for a month, both of them would’ve had a clean and hygiene washroom but in order to teach them a lesson he ruined the well maintained washroom as well. Now he has to invest and fix both the washrooms. Being smart is good but being over smart would be like calling upon the trouble to yourself. But whatever he did was really creative but apparently both the toilet is unhygienic now

  10. The action taken by chairman is highly appreciative where he treated all his employees equally and paid attention to the hygiene of workers.

  11. Best example to show that every human need to be treated and respected well, no matter what their profession is. Also now that the executives are using the same toilets may be that would be repaired in a very less time than stated by the executive

  12. On the above paragraph we can see as well as learn mr. Chairman smart work here because of Executive are using good toilets and workers are using very bad toilets , thatswhy there's no good hygiene , sanitation . And top Executive say this much time to clean toilet so ,We can see chairman smart work to change both toilet by using executive toilet workers and by using working toilet Executive so clean both quickly and problem solved easily .

  13. creative, sportive leadership is more important than good executive officer.

  14. Creativity is most important thing that all leaders should have as we can see that in this example chairman solved that issue in lesser time with his creative mind.

  15. This is a very clever approach by the chairman. Here he solved the issue in very less time without demoralizing anyone. Here he made the executives know the impact of the problem being faced by the workers and both the toilets came in par with each other as soon as the executives learnt the impact of the problem

  16. There are problems that we come across every day, but how we respond to those problems is what directs our path ahead instead of worrying or running away from those problems. from my perspective leaders has to be creative thinking while solving a problems or situation.

  17. Here evaluating proposed solutions normally ignites the leader’s creative thinking and they begin to generate additional ideas, discover alternative perspectives, and redefine the original problem. In the above case given the problem needs an immediate solution and not the one which consumes more time. So the given solution by the chairman differentiates him from the co workers. And it is what exactly needed at this situation. For becoming a leader critical thinking might not be helpful at all times but creative thinking with the new ideas and unique ideas always helps. Because it is the plus point for business minded people!!

  18. Aisha AFMI I remember this example said by you in the class once sir and if I'm the chairman I would make sure that there will be no 2 sign boards for executives and labor instead only male and female boards so that everyone uses them accordingly to gender but not according to positions😅

Perfect. this is the holistic approach 👍


Teacher's comments

The earlier one is a more legacy based response.. More from British Raj. Though the option looks best from the view, may not be holistic as in the new HR the workplace is more flat and all are team members their status is only as per their work and contribution to the organisation. Intel Technology has a cubicle culture, if the MD needs to work also its cubicle only and no special status as per amenities concerned. This gives a good insight about the management's view towards its employees.

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