"Many other companies have recently stated that having their employees take the Easy Read Speed-Reading Course has greatly improved productivity. One graduate of the course was able to read a 500-page report in only two hours; another graduate rose from an assistant manager to vice president of the company in under a year. Obviously, the faster you can read, the more information you can absorb in a single workday. Moreover, Easy Read would cost Acme only $500 per employee-a small price to pay when you consider the benefits. Included in this fee is a three-week seminar in Spruce City and a lifelong subscription to the Easy Read newsletter. Clearly, to improve productivity, Acme should require all of our employees to take the Easy Read course."
Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the advice and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the advice.eport just as fast?Response:
The increase in productivity of any company is due an overall increase in the work efficiency of all employees and not individuals. Just assuming that an increase in any one character because of taking a course will increase the productivity is unjustified. There may be several factors at play and surely office environment would have changed at least a bit since before the course. The company needs to evaluate the difference made by this course and not the difference made by the company overall. Only then can it be confirmed that the course really made a significant difference for the employees and ultimately, for the company.
The first question that arises is whether the inclusion of the course was the only change made? Were there other courses, trainings or assistance provided to the company employees at that time? Furthermore, changes in office environment such as computers and laptop, seating arrangements, number of employees and changes in management must be analyzed. These changes may play more important roles in increasing productivity than an Easy-Read one!
Also, it should be noted that an increase in reading speed is not proportional to the speed of understanding and critically analyzing important documents. One need to read carefully not fast in order to achieve fair understanding and respond accordingly. Hence the efficiency in complete tasks should be observed instead of just in the reading part. Furthermore, the evidence of high reading speeds maybe flawed if those observed already possessed efficient reading skills. Also, the other graduate may have rose because of extreme hard work, an open position or even favoritism!
Most importantly, the three week in Spruce City was a break from routine and hence would have been more refreshing than the course itself. The increased reading efficiency can therefore be induced by these emotions and may as well be temporary. A longer term observation may bring out the defect in this supposedly increased productivity.
If the company thinks that the course has made a significant change they should evaluate the profits earned before and after this period. A $500 charge for reading practice may only be justified if, in turn, the profits can fill up the cost spent. The Acme company can then evaluate its potential advantage for their own employees.
(The word count is 364 which seems very low from GRE perspective. Please suggest new points that may be included)