Human Resource

All posts tagged Human Resource

WINTER BREAK EDITION – Agents of Change (Conclusion)

Published January 3, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

 

LightsCameraActivism

Activism

Indeed, while the actions of change agents can cause confusion and pain, their servitude is focused on making society better. For instance, as another strategy, advocates of change with respect to independent moms, will engage their resources to reach out and network with women in similar conditions at forums and support groups to open a dialog. Some may decide to organize and provide a safe, accepting, and life-changing platform online, eventually opening local group chapters. These tactics provide similarly strong women a place to gather, exchange ideas, share inspirational stories of survival and triumph, and look for additional help and resources.

The recruitment and support from corporations and individuals with influential power in the political arena is equally important to change agents. They solicit these individuals to reveal that the intent of the movement is noble. Their focus is to make their goals and intentions clear: to stop the spread of fatherless homes and help put an end to children growing up without their dads.

Agents of change also acknowledge that one way of doing this is the formation and implementation of fatherhood support programs and initiatives. In truth, not all fathers set out to become inactive participants in their children’s lives. Many are unemployed and looking for opportunities to become a better parent but because they lack the education, support, and guidance, they can become depressed and give up. In addition, strict measures could be sought for those fathers who do have the means to support their children, yet choose to hide or avoid their responsibilities as an active participant because of their bitterness and anger towards the mother. Initiating tougher laws on tracking down these types of absentee parents could include strict penalties. Some agents in this case, may seek to expose this misconduct publicly, with the intent of implementing programs that will subject these deadbeats to substantial fines, and in extreme cases, spend time in a penitentiary. This may help provide the negligent parent a place of solitude giving them the opportunity to rethink their choices and poor judgment as one means to reform their destructive behavior.

The-Winds-of-Change

Conclusion

In summary, even though their actions can be disruptive, agents of change can transform society by shifting perceptions and revolutionizing old systems. With respect to the topic of absentee fathers, this can be achieved by revealing how their absence impacts a child their entire life – this includes their attitude, actions, beliefs, decisions, and how it shapes their identity. The truth is, children do not ask to be neglected. It is the responsibility of the parents to provide a safe, loving, and supportive environment for their offspring. Children of a negligent parent are forced to learn how to adapt to their condition in order to address the resulting negative behaviors; and in order to help lead the child to their breaking free so they can experience a confidence building, empowering love that will help them heal their pain and loss in order to pursue and fulfill their deepest longings.

As an agent of change for this particular kind of movement, educating and setting up programs for single mothers and absentee fathers can inspire motivation to create reforms. Working to shift these individuals into empowered, accountable, and caring parents, will only serve to aid in the healing process. In other words, creating new opportunities for estranged fathers can help encourage them to become active participants in their children’s lives, which will ultimately benefit everyone involved.

Our posts this week revealed different strategies on how an agent of change could address the epidemic of the absentee fathers; a topic that continues to plague society which affects families from every corner of the world and in all walks of life. Whether fathers leave entirely during childhood or are physically present but emotionally distant, those who miss out on an affirming, intimate parental relationship, continue to experience the devastating consequences of that loss. In conclusion, change agents that support a noble and worthy cause are passionate about it and will work diligently to set the stage for social transformation.

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It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. – C. S. Lewis

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References

Administration for Children and Families. (2012, October 1). Office of child support enforcement preliminary report. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/resource/fy2011-preliminary-report

Kaufman, G. (2012, December 21). This week in poverty: US single mothers – the worst off. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from The Nation.com: http://www.thenation.com/blog/171886/week-poverty-us-single-mothers-worst#

Legal Momentum. (2012). Single motherhood in the United States. Retrieved January 25, 2012, from: http://www.legalmomentum.org/our-work/women-and-poverty/resources–publications/single-mothers-snapshot.pdf

Office of the Inspector General. (n.d.). Child support enforcement.  Retrieved January 25, 2013, from: https://oig.hhs.gov/frau

Job Replacement Management

Published June 28, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

Unemployed Americans attend a National C

Human issues are at the core of every business enterprise. The most successful leaders embrace these challenges as opportunities to improve themselves and their organizations. Additionally, executives want to support their most significant assets – their personnel – but often experience difficulty implementing the right people in the most effective positions. Furthermore, organizational leaders do not always offer adequate support to their staff members. This makes it difficult for employees to perform their duties efficiently and enthusiastically. Jackson and Mathis (2011) deduced that some of the biggest staffing problems executives face are (a) attracting and retaining key employees; (b) adjusting benefits because of inflation; (c) training and developing staff members for future job needs; (d) planning the replacement of retirees; (e) dealing with expanded use of technology; (f) complying with changes in Federal, State, and local laws; and (g) how all these conflicting issues are managed and contribute to organizational culture and performance (Jackson & Mathis, 2011). This research is an analysis of the many job replacement issues managers face when filling key positions in their organization. To offer as an example of a case study, it is organized by the premise that a staff member’s promotion to a higher managerial level within the organization creates a vacancy.  As an experiment, it examines the significant task of recruiting a replacement staff member for the vacating position. The experiment is based on the personal experiences of the author of this research, as an alumnus of Capitol-EMI Records, drawing from strategies implemented during the personal departure process in pursuit of other career opportunities. This project provides a closer analysis of the employee hiring process and reveals that the most effective leaders attract high level performers by implementing the following components: (a) an analysis and the design of a detailed job description; (b) the development of efficient recruiting plans devised with strategies from successfully tested and proven methods; (c) providing training programs that introduce the organization’s culture including education on policies, rules, and regulations; and (d) the design of programs to evaluate staff member performances using proficient models in the testing and interview process. In addition, once the candidate was selected for the position, an evaluation of the new recruit’s performance levels was conducted from various methods, including observation of their behavior in the new position. The findings of this research conclude that the most effective management teams work in partnership with employees by implementing strategies and effective training programs to find, invest, and retain the best possible candidates that will help them achieve long term economic goals.

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Employee Staffing

Talent Management

The best operational supervisors create systems to recruit high level performers as well as devise efficient strategies to help manage their talent. Berger (2008) suggested that leaders implement talent management programs. This is one effective method used by many organizations to help them with the assessment process as well as measure staff member performance levels. In addition, the management systems should be designed to evaluate personnel outcomes and produce efficient methods that serve to motivate workers by helping them tap into their highest potential. Berger contended that this model creates an effective formula that can help establish a means to identify employee talent so that Human Resource (HR) units and their leaders can attract top level performers. This framework is also used as a devise to develop more effective compensation plans (Berger, 2008). The case study of this research is centered on an employee vacancy and the process of finding a qualified, suitable replacement for the position. The first step was to begin developing a well devised recruiting plan with the end goal of attracting a top level recruit who has the potential to evolve into a highly valued asset for the organization.

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The Recruiting Process

The initial step of the job replacement process begins with the design and development of efficient recruitment strategies that can also serve to evaluate staff member performance levels. Arthur (2012) purported an effective recruiting strategy should include: (a) details and clarity of the organization’s goals, values, and mission statement; (b) programs that inspire, attract, and retain high level performers; (c) a detailed analysis and description of the position; (d) expectations and opportunities for advancement; and (e) effective compensation plans and benefit packages to reflect an organization that values and appreciates their staff members (Arthur, 2012). These components were included in the recruiting process for the experimental case study of this research. This strategy placed everyone involved in the recruitment process in a better position to assess the possibility of an organizational fit.

The employer’s role is to seek out and attract the best possible candidates for the vacating position. Hayes and Ninemeier (2001) suggested applying some of the following proven effective recruitment strategies to attract high level potentials: (a) consider employees to promote from within the organization, (b) reward current employees for referrals, (c) recruit former employees, (d) create eye catching employment ads, (e) consider recruiting current and past clients or customers, (f) provide recruitment packages with special services, (g) seek and contact local employment agencies, (h) add an employment section on the company website, and (i) participate in community recruitment events and programs (Hayes & Ninemeier, 2001). These approaches were used as effective strategies for the case study of this research.  This methodology was designed to attract a wide array of potential candidates to choose from to help in the decision making process.

Following Guidelines

In addition, it is imperative that these systems are designed and developed to remain within the legal parameters of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and the Privacy Act of 1974. For example, in order to conduct a thorough background check of possible candidates it is required that each applicant sign a release form to authorize the organization to conduct one. Without such an agreement, the company risks time-consuming litigation by gathering confidential information without legal authority. Dessler (2011) cited that additional methods and guidelines should be devised to create authentic testing conditions for the employer to extract accurate employee information. This system will allow the test taker to respond in a genuine fashion rather than replying with what they perceive is the correct response the test giver wants to hear (Dessler, 2011). To extract the most authentic information for the case study of this experiment, interview questions were also focused on the candidate’s perception of codes of conduct and ethics. The evaluation process was based on transparency and alleviated the possibility of the candidate submitting false information from the onset. This plan was designed to avoid violations and falls within the legal framework of the law which ultimately serves to protect all parties involved.

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Recruiting Top Level Performer Strategies

Job Analysis

Leaders are also encouraged to engage in strategies that will tap into an individual’s passions in order to motivate and inspire performances that drive the organization’s success. Hayes and Ninemeier suggested that to attract the best candidate, employers must also do their part to create an organization that employees want to work for (Hayes & Ninemeier, 2001). To recruit a high level performer for this case study, methods to attract valuable staff members who are loyal and offer long term commitment are developed. In order to provide the best job description, the first task in the recruiting process is to conduct a thorough analysis of the position that needs to be filled. This examination includes the determination of duties as well as the characteristics required and methods that will be utilized from the individual who fills the spot, such as their level of education and the nature of their professional work experiences.

For this experiment, the job title of the vacancy was classified as the Promotion Coordinator for the West Coast Division of EMI America Records. An analysis of the position helped provide a detailed job description. A close examination of this role revealed many forms of communication, including telephonically in real time as well as via electronic correspondence and traditional forms of communication like inter- and outer-departmental memos, emails, faxes, and so on. In addition, the post requires receipt and distribution of all promotional material within and outside of the organization and, on occasion, at an international level. The job also entails heavy interaction with top level record industry executives, including attorneys, managers, celebrity recording artists, producers, and other prominent players of the music industry. In short, this occupation requires the ability to discern proper and improper behavior with dignitaries at this level. The job analysis also reveals a requirement on occasion, of long hours, participation in after hour corporate events, concerts, movie screenings, and other events related to the organization. Short travel excursions are also part of the responsibilities included for this position. These were important elements that helped with the development of an accurate detailed job description required as part of the recruitment process to identify expectations and qualifications for the position being filled.

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Job Description

The primary focus for the job replacement task presented in this research is to attract a top level candidate and extract accurate information from potential hires. Axulay (2012) contended that employee development needs to be measured, calculated, and strategic as a deliberate procedure (Axulay, 2012). Creating an effective and detailed job description is an important element in the recruitment process.  This should include information on the jobholder’s duties, the method in which to perform their tasks, and provide details on the conditions that the individual will perform under. The job analysis stage served to gather substantial information to help in the development of this next phase: developing the job description. This stage provides the applicant details on such things as job title, tasks, and performance expectations. It also serves to screen applicants by determining information like level of education, abilities, skills, and aptitude to perform the job effectively. For this experiment, the job description includes information on the organization’s expectations of the candidate and outlines the responsibilities for the position. They include: (a) the management of all incoming calls, correspondence, and promotional material; (b) the collection, coordination, and distribution of products and radio tracking data to the applicable recipients; (c) the coordination of scheduling, travel, corporate events, and meetings for applicable staff members, including the VP and other top level executives; (d) the management and coordination of artist events in collaboration with other departments internally including marketing and publicity, as well as externally with radio stations, concert arenas, and other venues; (e) the receipt, distribution, and management of promotional material to applicable recipients;(f) the management and coordination of promotion related events on a local and national level; and (g) the management, organization and coordination of events for regional staff members. This job description provided detailed information that was significant for the candidate and helped the applicant determine whether the position was acceptable.

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The Testing and Interview Process

Successful leadership strategies include a recruiting plan that implements efficient tests as part of the interview process. Wigdor (1989) postulated that methods of testing should include an analysis of skill levels, knowledge, and capabilities that are developed from a predetermined set of conditions and guidelines specific to the position being filled. This procedure helps determine whether the applicant is qualified. It is also designed within the guidelines and regulations provided by the EEOC, ADA and other applicable civil laws to avoid violation of discrimination and privacy issues (Wigdor, 1989). In short, employee testing provides an effective way to collect accurate information directly from the potential candidate.

There are a variety of testing strategies that employers can apply. Falcone (2008) postulated that to yield the best results from potential employees, leaders should determine the following information from potential applicants: (a) the motivation the candidate is applying for the position, (b) whether the individual is willing to commit to career management or merely seeking to fill a temporary position while they wait for other opportunities, (c) whether the individual applying for a salary increase using this as an opportunity for self-promotion, (d) whether the individual is willing to assume additional responsibilities, (e) how well the individual handles emotions like stress and constructive criticism, and (f) verify the individual’s work ethic (Falcone, 2008). For the experiment of this case study, the individual’s motivation in applying for the position played a significant role in the screening process for the vacant position. This method was designed to be used as another means to help assess whether the applicant was a viable candidate.

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The Job Evaluation Process

The end goal for this experiment is to attract the best possible contender to fill the employee position and incorporate efficient methods to evaluate staff member performances. Welcoming a new employee into an organization is not a simple process. For this case study, HR managers worked as partners to help devise models to make the new hire’s orientation a smooth experience.  This strategy helped the new recruit’s transition feel comfortable more quickly. Keefe and Sander (2011) purported that to receive an accurate appraisal, supervisors must find ways to keep their staff motivated to perform at high production levels.  Doing so helps employers justify employee promotion and salary increases. It also provides a method to assess employees who fall short of organizational goals and sets up the ground work for the possibility of further training or, in worst case scenarios, dismissal procedures (Keefe & Sandler, 2004). For this research project, an evaluation system was devised to examine the following work performance related issues: (a) the level of accuracy and attention to details reflected in the new hire’s productivity, (b) the quality of their work, (c) their work habits, (d) the development of their interpersonal and teamwork skills, (e) the amount of time it takes for them to complete their tasks and whether they are able to achieve their goals, and (f) their overall work attitude.  The appraisal program was designed to combine a variety of methods to measure the new recruit’s outcomes and included supervision from the departing employee as part of the evaluation process. For example, by incorporating a graphic rating system it served to measure the new hire’s skills and aptitude levels. In addition, the integration of a ranking system helped identify how the new recruit compares to other employee performance levels. Implementation of the critical incident method was another strategy included.  This method served to create a paper trail for specific recorded work related behavior issues. The combination of these components comprised the design of the assessment process for this experiment. The integration of these appraisal methods were developed to yield the best outcomes for the evaluation process.

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Developing an Effective Compensation Plan

Another significant aspect of devising strategic job management strategies is that it plays an important role in the development of effective compensation plans. Effectual incentive plans reward employees for outstanding performances in achieving their goals and completing assigned tasks. Kohn (1999) asserted that rewards increase the probability of individuals achieving higher performance levels. To reward employees, HR managers resort to a variety of incentive programs and award systems to compensate employees for exemplary achievements. This includes employee wages, commissions, bonuses, and other means of compensation like travel rewards, gift certificates, leased automobiles, and other similar perks (Kohn, 1999). For this case study, HR units classified this position under a predetermined grade level established by the board of directors. This particular position was categorized above the hourly wage staff level and identified as a managerial level. At this grade, the organization implements a direct payment system that includes a salary based on performance achievements. Because the position includes participation in after hour events, other indirect payment plans are included, such as (a) an expense account, (b) employer paid health insurance; (c) vacation, holiday and sick time; and (d) a retirement or IRA plan. These components comprised the salary and benefit compensation package that were devised for the case study of this project. By creating a generous compensation plan, employers communicate that in return for an employee’s services and loyalty, leaders are willing to show their appreciation and gratitude.  In addition, it serves as a motivator for employees to offer higher performance levels and in return they are more likely to remain with the organization on a long term basis.

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Training and Development

Another significant component to recruiting and retaining top level employees is designing and developing effective methods to train and educate staff members.  Successful executives recognize the significance that training plays during the staffing process. They comprehend that the purpose for educating and training employees is to permit them to absorb the information and transform their behavior. Rosenberg and Stolovitch (2011) explained that in order to do this, leaders must develop training programs that include: the expansion of cognitive (mental), psychomotor (physical), and effective (emotional) knowledge and skills (Rosenberg & Stolovitch, 2011). For the case study of this research, activities and learning plans were designed to incorporate practical tools and technology that helped yield the most effective outcomes for the new jobholder.

A lack of motivation is usually at the core of why employees are not engaged in high performance levels. Kolb (1990) asserted that managers must develop and implement training programs that can also help determine the employees who are performing at substandard levels. This will help identify whether low performance levels are due to skill deficiencies or personal trait issues (Kolb, 1990). In this case study, once the new recruit completed the training process, the evaluation system devised helped detect whether the new employee was performing and meeting organizational expectations. The training process also included observation from the individual vacating the position of the new recruit performing their duties. This was achieved without making the new applicant feel intimated or uncomfortable. When this was accomplished effectively, the new recruit was thankful for the supervision and guidance at that early stage.

Equally important is that a new hire is trained and educated in the organizational culture.It is essential a new jobholder comprehends the company’s vision as well as the acceptable parameters with which to operate. Lawson (2002) pointed out that although employees are the most valuable resource, most companies do not support this premise because the orientation process consists of ineffective programs that offer little opportunity for interaction. In addition, new recruits are inundated with learning new procedures, data, and exposure to a plethora of unfamiliar faces, all at what seems like lightning speed (Lawson, 2002). Being able to perform their duties with confidence and security is the end goal, so the observation process is meticulously devised in way that is pleasant and nonintrusive. These were strategies developed for this research project to encourage the new employee to participate enthusiastically; help them feel comfortable to contribute innovative ideas; motivate them to sustain higher levels of energy; and inspire the jobholder to engage in superior levels of productivity.

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Conclusion

Job replacement management requires the design and development of effective strategies. McCoy (2012) proposed that because leaders are dependent on employees to fulfill organizational goals, employers need to focus their energy on attracting staff members that will deliver outstanding levels in attitude, ability, and performance. In addition, leaders want to attract and maintain a motivated and passionate team of personnel and therefore apply formulas that will help employees to tap into their highest levels of human potential (McCoy, 2012). The research gathered for this case study deduced that the most efficient employers establish an effective job recruiting strategy that includes the design, development, and implementation of proven employee recruiting techniques, maintenance plans, and training programs to help managers and HR units with the difficult task of finding and retaining effective employees that will perform at top levels. The findings of this research concluded that employers who invest in their staff members, support and reward them, as well as help them develop career goals, will most likely inspire their employees to work at higher levels, remain loyal to their organizations, and achieve top levels of productivity.

References

Arthur, D. (2012). Recruiting, interviewing, selecting & orienting new employees. New York, NY: AMACOM.

Axulay, H. (2012). Employee development on a shoestring. Danvers, MA: ASTD Press.

Berger, L. (2008). The compensation handbook. New York, NY, USA: McGraw-Hill.

Dessler, G. (2011). A framework for human resource management (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Falcone, P. (2008). 96 great interview questions to ask before you hire. New York, NY: AMACOM.

Hayes, D., & Ninemeier, J. (2001). 50 one-minute tips for recruiting employees. Seattle, WA, USA: Crisp Publications, Inc.

Jackson, J., & Mathis, R. (2011). Human Resource Management (13th ed.). Mason, OH, USA: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Keefe, J., & Sandler, C. (2004). Performance appraisal phrase book. Avon, MA, USA: F&W Publications Company.

Kohn, A. (1999). Punished by rewards. New York, NY, USA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Kolb, R. (1990, October 2). Focus on employees’ positive contributions demanding that workers perform tasks outside of their “comfort zones” is counterproductive. Milwaukee Journal. Milwaukee, WI, USA. Retrieved May 22, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/333455300?accountid=32521

Lawson, K. (2002). New employee orientation training. Danvers, MA: ASTD Press.

McCoy, T. (2012). Compensation and motivation. CreateSpace Independent Publishing.

Rosenberg, M., & Stolovitch, H. (2011). Telling ain’t training (2nd ed.). Danvers, MA: ASTD Press.

Wigdor, A. (1989, August 21). Employment tests can be useful. Chicago Tribune. Chicago, IL, USA. Retrieved 15 2013, May , from http://search.proquest.com/docview/282608644?accountid=32521

How Organizations Can Maximize the Success of Expatriate Employees

Published June 24, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

Nächste Ausfahrt - Expatriate

There are many things organizations can do to maximize the likelihood of success with respect to the expatriation process of their employees. Palmer and Varner’s (2005) research suggested that employers work in partnership with their employees and train them effectively. Their findings suggested that employers can do so in four stages: (a) a pre-screening phase to assess whether the employee meets the qualifications and support of their family as a viable candidate for the assignment, (b) the self-discovery stage where employees train, identify, and study personal cultural awareness including the pros and cons, (c) the education and training stage to identify and study the visible and invisible culture (reasons) of the foreign country, including an analysis of their responses and acceptance levels, and (d) instruction, exploration, and implementation of strategies designed to help make the necessary changes and adaptations to adjust to the foreign culture (Palmer & Varner, 2005). The most important aspect of this model is that training is a significant component of the process.

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Leaders are beginning to discover that the single point of failure in the expatriation process is the employee’s experience of the process. Hyder and Lovblad (2007) deduced that an individual’s success as an expatriate was contingent on whether they had a positive or negative experience. In addition, their research concluded that the experience was more favorable when the organization participated in both the expatriation and repatriation phases with the employee and their families (Hyder & Lovblad, 2007). For example, when employers devise systems and training programs to help both the executive and their family understand and help assist them in the relocation and acclamation process as well as when they return from the assignment, employees tend to experience a smoother transition making the experience more pleasant and manageable. In most cases, when organizations invest in the welfare of the employee and their families, the employee is likely to offer their loyalty and work hard for the organization. Employers that do not participate in this process risk losing a valuable employee as well as not having access to the information and experience that employee gained from the assignment. This is very significant component for multinational organizations that want an edge on the competitive global market.

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One of the most important things an organization can do to prevent the employee from having a negative experience is become a partner with them in the expatriation process by first helping them identify their own organization’s culture and values as well as that of their home country. Dessler (2011) suggested that employers design training systems focused on cultural differences to bring awareness of the impact these variances have on business outcomes (Dessler, 2011). For example, an immigrant from France trying to establish a small business with limited education and ethnocentric views, may find it difficult to adjust to the norms of the US work schedule where shops do not shut down in mid-afternoon like they do in many of the EU countries. This aspect of doing business in a new country creates culture shock for those unfamiliar with the work schedules of that region. Employers and organizations can create a win-win situation in the expatriation process if they train and work in partnership with employees who are selected for international work assignments. A leader that shows they value their employees will most likely inspire staff members to perform at higher levels that are happy to offer the organization their loyalty and full commitment. With this strategy, organizations gain invaluable information from their expatriate employees and also benefit from having an edge on the global marketplace from the results of these successful experiences.

References:

Dessler, G. (2011). A framework for human resource management (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Hyder, A., & Lovblad, M. (2007, January). The repatriation process – a realistic approach. Career Develop International. Bradford, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing, Limited. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13620430710745890

Palmer, T., & Varner, I. (2005). Role of cultural self-knowledge in successful expatriation. Singapore Management Review. Singapore, Singapore: Singapore Institute of Management. Retrieved June 09, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/226851345?accountid=32521

Employee Incentive Plans

Published June 14, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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For organizational leaders, superior quality service and exceptional products are the mechanisms of cooperation. Many employers express their appreciation and gratitude and recognize the contribution of their employees by rewarding them for their outstanding achievements. Reward systems are common. In fact, they have been used throughout history by merchants for example, as a device to domesticate and train animals to work for them. It is natural that organizational managers would incorporate fundamental incentive plans then to influence personnel behavior as well. Kohn (1999) proposed that rewards increase the probability of individuals achieving higher performances levels. In other words, compensation devices are used to inspire people to engage in activities with more enthusiasm.  In addition, they can change the attitude of an individual to voluntarily become more productive. On the other hand, there are some leaders who are under the impression that people can pay a substantial price for rewarding the success of their employees (Kohn, 1999). This research takes a look at the significance of incentive plans that employers design for their organizations. It is an evaluation of two different types of reward systems: (1) direct financial payment derived from a base salary, commissions, and bonuses; and (2) indirect financial benefits that include training programs, insurance coverage, and leave for holidays, vacation, sick leave, and personal time off. A closer analysis will reveal: (a) whether rewards change an individual’s behavior, (b) the people they effect, (c) how long reward systems remain effective, and (d) just what exactly are incentive plans effective at? In addition, this study examines some of the reasons compensation plan systems can fail. The conclusions derived from the evidence collected, suggests that to achieve the most successful outcomes, employers implement incentive plans that emphasize high level performances, inspire long and short term methods of motivation, and serve as a means to review and analyze operational outcomes.

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Reward Systems

Their Function

Leaders set goals to increase an organization’s profits, improve production outcomes, provide outstanding quality service and expand their business. Employers work together with Human Resource (HR) units to attract top quality personnel. They establish reward systems to encourage higher levels of performance and inspire long-term employee loyalty. They do this by defining organizational standards and identify individuals eligible for receiving them. Arahood’s (1998) research outlined four basic kinds of compensation plans: (a) a base salary that assures income during a planned period, (b) a bonus plan with no base salary, usually as a standard method for rewarding sales staff like manufacturing representatives and distributors, (c) a combination of salary and bonus where a portion of employees’ income is at risk in the short term and contingent on actual performances rather than outcomes, and (d) a combination of salary and incentives that include additional long term income opportunities when specific goals are achieved (Arahood, 1998). These are common plans organizations include in their incentive programs to motivate both financial and operational performances from staff members. Once organizational leaders and HR units identify the company’s vision and establish specific goals, next they can design a plan that defines the skills and competency levels they require from the professionals they hire to achieve their desired outcomes. This strategy helps developers fabricate compensation plans that will serve to attract the actors best qualified to perform those skills consistently and effectively.

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Direct Financial Payment Plans

The Pros

To reward employees, HR units and organizational managers resort to a variety of incentive programs and award systems to compensate employees for their outstanding achievements. One method of doing this is by way of direct financial payment. This method includes employee wages, commissions, bonuses, and other means of compensation like travel rewards, gift certificates, cash prizes, leased cars, and other similar perks. Bergen (2004) suggested that even with the trend for organizations to go lean, employers are still finding innovative ways to reward their employees through cost effective methods (Bergen, 2008). For example, in addition to salary increases based on performance achievements, leaders may resort to providing other rewards like merchandise or discounts for merchandise, gift certificates, and cash bonuses to show employees their appreciation and gratitude for excellent levels of accomplishment and their part in helping the organization reach desired outcomes. These kinds of programs make employees feel valued and give them a sense of pride for their efforts and organizational successes.

The Cons

Employers that rely on reward systems risk altering the behavior of their staff, create competitive environments, and can stifle intrinsic motivation. Kohn (1994) stated that using a reward system can send the wrong message to employees. His studies indicate that incentives are a way to redefine relationships and describe them as elementary economic exchanges that can dehumanize the recipient. It is generally accepted that seldom does it result in permanent behavior. In fact, Kohn’s research implies that reward systems can evolve into a way of punishing people (Kohn, 1999). For example, when one member of a team is rewarded for achieving the highest goals, other members who may have worked just as hard may feel they are being penalized for not achieving the same results. Additionally, it can discourage employees from taking risks and trying out new methods. In short, the study suggests that praise for recognition is a common method that is utilized to control outcomes which can eventually lead to the creation of a dysfunctional working environment. If compensation plans and award systems are not carefully constructed to yield the highest results from employees, they can prove to be disastrous.

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Indirect Payment Plans

The Pros

Employers and HR managers also look towards other directions that encourage long and short term motivation from their staff by designing indirect payment and bonus plans. In this arena, they create plans that include other forms of incentives and special employee recognition events like: (a) employer paid health, worker’s compensation, and unemployment insurance, (b) employer paid holidays, vacation, sick, maternity leave and other days for personal time off, (c) stock options, (d) child care, (e) country club memberships, and (f) special luncheons, dinners, parties, and other similar types of events to acknowledge valued staff member performances. Kohn (1999) defined the efforts of employee hard work into two significant categories: failure or success (Kohn, 1999). These are what most leaders use as a starting point to determine employee indirect compensation plans. Next, they design programs that train employees efficiently so they can perform their tasks with confidence and enthusiasm. Then, leaders can determine who the key employees are and fabricate incentive plans that will motivate higher outcome levels.

The Cons

Employers also discover that there are many reasons why reward systems fail and if they are not designed effectively and monitored. For one thing, they can damage relationships and inhibit the motivation process. Marcum’s (1994) research purported that reward systems are a sure way for employees to lose interest and commitment to the original task because they are solely focused on the reward rather than organizational goals (Marcum, 1994). In fact, these methods tend to have a counterproductive effect on motivating people for the right reasons. Employees can become so focused on the end prize, they tend to ignore reason, cut corners, and use whatever methods as a means to their end, creating a wake of damage in their attempt to achieve their idea of the gold medal. When this occurs, HR units and leaders must find ways to authentically motivate their staff by reevaluating their methods and creating conditions that foster collaboration, offering more choices for individuals to accomplish their tasks. Reward systems that set the stage for a highly competitive culture, where the sole motivation is based on achieving the highest levels of success based on obtaining more compensation and praise, tend to cultivate unhealthy behavior, especially from individuals with substantial egos driven by an extreme need for attention and recognition. These types of individuals usually resort to any method to achieve their outcomes.  This is one reason it is imperative that employers determine whether reward systems make sense to the basic success of organizational goals because for some individuals, incentives merely serve as motivation to boast on how well they are doing based on the amount of goodies they receive.

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Conclusion

Ultimately, employers and HR managers want the best of both worlds. They want to achieve organizational goals, increase their profitability, and motivate high level performances from their employees while retaining their loyalty and long term commitment. Employers are looking to achieve these goals by devising an effective compensation program that includes a base salary as well as employee benefits. Montemayor (1995) asserted that employers should use extrinsic rewards effectively to sustain and motivate employees because it represents an exchange of energy based on economic value. In short, his experiments deduced that effective pay-for-performance incentives in the workplace produce positive results and have a great impact on productivity (Montemayor, 1995). In conclusion, incentive plans serve to reward employees for outstanding achievements in performing their duties and assigned tasks. They are used as a means to reward above average outcomes and to recognize personnel for their hard work. The most common perquisites can include bonuses like first class airfare, electronic devices, supplemental retirement plans, and long term employment contracts. Even though it may discourage risk-taking, employers implement effective incentive plans, to emphasize their financial goals, motivate high performance levels, and encourage enthusiasm from their staff to help them achieve operational outcomes.

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References

Arahood, D. (1998). How to design and install management incentive compensation plans. Wheaton, IL, USA: Incentive Compensation Publications.

Bergen, K. (2008, November 28). Companies find incentive to offer more rewards: After three down years, the employee-incentive industry is buoyed by an increase in trip rewards and more spending on merchandise. Chicago Tribune. Chicago, IL, USA: Tribune Publishing Company. Retrieved May 29, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/420054268?accountid=32521

Kohn, A. (1999). Punished by rewards. New York, NY, USA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Marcum, J. (1994, Spring). Punished by rewards: The trouble with gold stars, incentive. National Productivity Review. New York, NY, USA: Wiley Periodicals. Retrieved May 29, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/215031998?accountid=32521

Montemayor, E. (1995, Winter). Punished by rewards: The trouble with gold stars, incentive plans, A’s, praise, and other bribes. Personnel Psychology. Durham, England, United Kingdom: Blackwell Publishing. Retrieved May 29, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/220128747?accountid=32521

Salary Inequities

Published June 12, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Leaders in organizations constantly find themselves facing salary inequity issues. For example, in one case study, an employer was trying to figure out what to do about a salary problem he had in his plant when he took over as president of a major manufacturing firm. His predecessor, the founder, had been president for 35 years. The company was family owned and located in a small town. A short time after joining, he started to notice that there was considerable inequity in the pay structure for salaried employees. He quickly discovered that many women in top level management positions were being compensated considerably lower than their male counterparts. This put him in a difficult situation. If he does nothing, he risks employees making the salary inequities discovery on their own. In a worst case scenario, that could lead to litigation. If he immediately or gradually increases the female supervisors’ salaries, it may lead to their questioning the reason for the increase and through further investigation discover the discrepancies which again in a worst case scenario, can lead to litigation.

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Most employers believe that honesty and transparency is the best policy when it comes to resolving issues. As one possible solution for instance, the executive could meet with the three supervisors (independently) and explain the discovery he made upon taking over the new position. In addition, he could conduct a candid discussion and advise his valued staff members that former leaders did not have the tools to make the best decisions at the time. However, now that this issue had been revealed, company policy revisions and updates were being implemented in the compensation system to reflect current EEOC laws and regulations. He can also discuss a variety of benefits, including tenure, promotions, compensation plans, and bonuses directly with each supervisor (as their needs may be different) to make up for the discretion of the past and include a pay raise to reflect the same salaries as their male counterparts (or equivalent with benefit packages). This displays that employers are taking accountability for their actions and sends the message they are regretful for this oversight. This action also exhibits that employers value their employees and establishes that the organization participates and is in alignment with a culture that engages in ethical practices.

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One way organizations can prevent this scenario from happening in their organization is by: (a) having an effective HR Unit in place, (b) keeping better track in measuring employee compensation plans, and (c) being up to date on EEOC rules and regulations. McCoy (2012) suggests because employers are dependent on employees to fulfill organizational goals, they should focus their energy on garnering outstanding performance levels in employee attitude, ability, and productivity. Employers want to attract and maintain motivated and passionate personnel so they look for formulas to tap into their staff’s highest human potential (McCoy, 2012). As a result of the salary inequities issue, the employer must now implement methods to encourage and maintain continual loyalty and involvement from his supervisors to keep them from leaving and to avoid possible litigation.

Business Employee Climbs Up Evaluation Improvement Form

The most successful employers work to create effective talent management strategies. Berger (2008) suggests leaders fabricate talent management strategies to help identify performance levels from managerial and support staff. These systems should be created to measure actual results and support the most effective methods for helping employees tap into their highest human potential. Berger developed a formula that helps classify employee talent so leaders can devise more efficient compensation plans (Berger, 2008). By discussing the situation with each supervisor independently, the new executive creates the opportunity to connect one on one with each staff member as well as engage their active listening skills to develop a genuine relationship. This is one effective method to implement a winning strategy that shows support to personnel. The executive may find these tactics useful for garnering a positive outcome to balance the problem past employers inadvertently created with their lack of knowledge regarding EEOC regulations and fair employee compensation packages.

References:

Berger, L. (2008). The compensation handbook. New York, NY, USA: McGraw-Hill.

McCoy, T. (2012). Compensation and motivation. CreateSpace Independent Publishing.

Staff Appraisal

Published June 5, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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In order to issue an accurate appraisal, supervisors are required to assess the work performances of their staff members. The employer’s responsibility is to find ways to motivate personnel to perform at stellar levels and help them achieve their highest potential. Sander and Keefe (2004) contend that an employee evaluation helps leaders justify the parameters for a salary increase and/or a promotion; or on the other hand, its sets the groundwork for the dismissal of an unacceptable employee whose performance levels are substandard. The experts suggest and recommend revisions in current appraisal systems as many are outdated and deemed insufficient for collecting accurate information. The terms supervisors used to evaluate employees, for example, may be too general, ambiguous and in some cases merely bias statements to insure the highest level of monetary promotion rather than to garner accurate appraisals of staff work performance levels. Sandler and Keefe (2004) postulate that in addition, leaders design an evaluation system that can assess the following components with respect to the work performances of their staff: (a) the level of accuracy and attention to details, (b) quality of their work, (c) their work habits, (d) how developed their teamwork and interpersonal skills are, (e) amount of time devoted to their occupation, and (e) their overall work attitude (Sandler & Keefe, 2004).

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There are many effective methods employers could use to appraise their employees. For best results, Dessler’s research (2011) contends that employers design an appraisal system that combines a variety of methods. For example, incorporating a graphic rating system can serve to measure skills and aptitude levels, while integrating a ranking system is an effective method to quickly identify personnel with the highest and lowest performance levels. In addition, incorporating a system to include Critical Incidents creates a paper trail of specific work-related behavior that has been recorded which is then applied as part of the assessment process (Dessler, 2011). Employers that integrate a variety of appraisal methods will most likely yield the best results.

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Because today’s business arena is extremely driven, successful employers find ways to stay competitive by rewarding their staff for outstanding performances. Some managers are concerned that their current appraisal systems are ineffective however, because they are based on monetary incentives by way of salary increases, rather than performance levels. Lyster and Arthur’s (2007) research suggests that employee performance appraisals need not be salary driven. Instead, employers should focus their efforts and provide employees other forms of incentives that are focused on inspiring exceptional performance achievement levels. They purport that reviews should integrate the organization’s goals, vision, ethics, and values. In this way, the appraisal process becomes a significant part of the organization’s climate (Lyster & Arthur, 2007). Managers can develop appraisal systems that combine rating, ranking, and critical incident methods as effective tools to assess the strengths and weaknesses in their personnel. This system would be designed to include a platform that provides workers the opportunity to engage in one-to-one communication and allows employers to convey the organization’s vision and objectives with the entire staff, as well as gather information to identify specific elements that inspire employee passion and motivation, while incorporating those results to develop more effective incentives and an efficient reward system.

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References:

Dessler, G. (2011). A framework for human resource management (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Lyster, S., & Arthur, A. (2007). 199 Pre-written employee performance appraisals. Ocala, FL, USA: Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.

Sandler, C., & Keefe, J. (2004). Performance appraisal phrase book. Avon, MA, USA: F&W Publications Company.

New Employees and Reinventing the Wheel

Published June 3, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

Business Meeting

Embracing a new employee into an organization’s fold is not an easy process.  Employers seek ways to make a new hire’s orientation process a smooth experience to help transition the employee into the organization as quickly as possible. Sims (2011) postulates that successful training programs with high-end strategies that include activities, checklists, and implement the latest tools and technology can help make the orientation process a positive experience. In addition, designing creative methods of on-boarding is effective in gathering significant data with measurable results (Sims, 2011). Employers should also engage in formal training programs for their employees, otherwise supervisors must verbally and repeatedly advise employees how to perform their jobs. This method is less effective and leaders risk: (a) employees developing a lack respect for the line supervisors, (b) staffers beginning to lack confidence in performing their tasks from the inconsistent methods they are taught, and (c) it garners lower performance and motivational levels in personnel.

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It is important that an employee become familiar with their job so that they may perform it as efficiently as possible to help them achieve organizational goals.  It is the responsibility of the employer, however, to provide a detailed description of the skills, knowledge, attitude, attendance expectations and other pertinent information that is expected of the employee regarding the position being filled and the consequences for not operating within those parameters.  Equally important is that employers convey the organizational culture so that employees comprehend the organization’s vision and acceptable conditions with which to operate. Lawson (2002) pointed out that although employees are the most valuable resource of any organization, most companies do not support this premise because of the manner in which they welcome a new hire. Primarily because the orientation process (if any) consists of boring programs, are lecture driven with little opportunity for interaction, and are full of procedures, data, and a bombardment of new faces inundating new recruits at lightning speed (Lawson, 2002). More emphasis in fact, is put on employees who leave an organization lavishing them with extravagant lunches, parties and other events celebrating their departure. When an employee is provided with a clear description of their job responsibilities, what is expected of them, consequences for violating those parameters, as well as the organization’s responsibilities to support the employee, they tend to perform their roles with more confidence and security.

Training-man

An effective leader must find ways to motivate employees to perform at higher levels. If their training methods (if any) are inefficient and inconsistent it will be indicated by employee low performance levels and their lack of respect for line-managers.  In addition, they must establish consequences for below par performances. Furthermore, employees that define their own operational methods that is satisfactory to their own needs means a better system must be devised so personnel operate consistently. An employer’s priority is to create and implement effective training programs designed to motivate employees to perform at higher levels. When employees are not properly oriented they tend to develop ineffective work habits. For the most effective results, employers must design programs to train employees and develop on-boarding programs consistently in the orientation process. Lawson (2002) suggested leaders implement training and on-boarding techniques that include a variety of educational processes because each adult learns differently. Training programs should offer a variety learning methods which may include: (a) visual learning using video, slides, photos, and other forms of media, (b) print learning using text, writing exercises that enable the absorption of written information, (c) aural learning from lectures and audiotapes, (d) interactive participation from group discussions and question and answer sessions with opportunities to talk and exchange ideas, opinions and responses, (e) tactile learning with hands on activities, and (f) kinesthetic learning that includes role playing and physical activities which involve the use of psycho-motor skills (Lawson, 2002). In conclusion, organizational managers need to design an effective training program that identifies employee expectations and define occupational parameters that meet the organization’s specifications. In short, leaders must develop systems to inspire high performance levels that include clearly defined consequences for not achieving those goals. These are a few strategies that can  help leaders improve ineffective employee performance conditions.

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References:
Lawson, K. (2002). New employee orientation training. Danvers, MA: ASTD Press.
Sims, D. (2011). Creative onboarding programs: Tools for energizing your orientation programs. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.