Jessica was happy to find a position as a scanning technician at a business process outsourcing company, Specialist Resource Inc. A major part of the Specialist’s business was con- verting paperwork related to human resource
management into digital form. Clients would mail their forms, such as medical claims, to Specialist. Scanning technicians would then insert the claim forms into large scanning machines to make the conversion to digital. Clients would then have digital instead of paper documents for health claims and other human resource records.
The scanning technicians interacted with other employees in several ways. Because many of the claims received contained illegible identifying information, they were sent to a security department that attempted to obtain the proper identification for the forms. The scanning technicians were expected to help level the workload among the technicians. For example, if one of the technicians was over- whelmed, someone who was caught up was sup- posed to help. The company frequently held small celebrations in the office such as a brunch in honor of a new employee.
Jessica believed that if she performed well in her position as scanning technician, she would be eligible for promotion to the information technology department. Eventually being pro- moted to a supervisor position was also within the realm of possibility. Jessica recognized that having good skills and speed in scanning documents were not sufficient. Her size-up of the situation was that being a good team player would be required if she wanted to be considered for promotion. Jessica then set out to develop a reputation.
The next Monday morning Jessica arrived at the office with a box of donuts and bagels, which she placed in the break room with a note that said, “Enjoy your coffee or tea this morning with a treat from your co-worker Jessica.” Several of the other scanning technicians thanked Jessica but one technician said, “Why did you bring us donuts and bagels?
You’re not our supervisor.”
A week later, Jessica implemented another
tactic designed to boost her reputation as a team player. She sent an e-mail to the other technicians informing them that they were free to send her an e-mail or an IM anytime they were overloaded with documents to scan.
Jessica said that she would help the over-loaded co-worker so long as she was caught up on her own work.
A week later Jessica reflected, “I think am developing a reputation as a good team player, but I can’t give up yet. I think there’s something else I should try.” Jessica then wrote an e-mail to the other scanning technicians, as well as hersupervisor. The e-mail read in part:
“We all know that it takes a village to raise a child. Did you also know that it takes a group?
of friendly and cooperative co-workers to get a scanning technician up to speed? I want to thank you all for your cooperation and friendliness. You have been very helpful to me.”

Discussion Questions

  1. How effective do you think Jessica’s initiatives are in helping her develop a reputation as a strong team player?
  2. If you were Jessica’s supervisor, how would you react to the e-mails she sent to the group?
  3. What advice might you offer Jessica to help her advance her reputation as a team player?

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