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Job Replacement Management

Published June 28, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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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.

Recruitment

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

Employee Staffing

Published June 7, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Employees are the lifeblood of an organization. In order for them to perform their responsibilities effectively, they must have certain knowledge and skills to accomplish their tasks. Axulay (2012) contends that in order to train staff effectively, employers need a plan with specific parameters and regulations to help their employees navigate with purposeful intent to achieve their organizational goals. Employee development needs to be calculated, measured, strategic, and a deliberate procedure (Axulay, 2012). This research takes a closer examination of the staffing process and the strategies leaders use to produce the most effective results. As an example to support our research, we will analyze, assess, and provide recommendations for a fictitious case scenario where employees at an organization are operating at below par performances in the assembly of cell phone tuning devices. In addition, a closer examination reveals of some of the effective principles, activities, traditional methods, and misconceptions behind the obstacles that create barriers which prohibit efficient learning. The research deduces that training employees plays a significant role during the staffing process because it provides practical tools that produce a high probability of success, creates a climate that is open to new types of learning, and provides employees an opportunity to expand their skills.

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Training

The Purpose of Training

Many employers and managers recognize the significance that training plays during the staffing process. However, according to Stolovitch and Rosenberg (2011), most employers are not cognizant that learning means change. As more companies transit into learning organizations, they are moving from traditional methods of training and development and evolving into groups where workplace learning is part of their culture (Stolovitch & Rosenberg, 2011). The purpose for instructing, educating, and training employees is to permit them to absorb information.

The Leader’s Role in Training

Leaders are learning that the most effective training methods employ a variety of learning devices that include expanding: mental (cognitive), physical (psychomotor), and emotional (effective) knowledge and skills. In addition, they design activities, learning plans, and incorporate practical tools that will yield the most effective results (Stolovitch & Rosenberg, 2011). Employers also apply technology that encourages fundamental education to support the training process. Subsequently, they create efficient methods to measure the effectiveness of their training programs, thereby alleviating ineffective and counterproductive systems. In short, the most successful leaders find ways to restructure the mindset of trainers so that they transform the individual being trained, rather than their students just becoming recipients of an educational process.

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Assessment

Employee Readiness

Employers that do not train staff risk high employee turnover and set the stage for staffers to experience job dissatisfaction. Axulay (2012) suggests it is essential that staff development is strategically planned. Additionally, the most effective trainers are able to ascertain whether staffers are at the discovery, developmental, or demonstration stages to implement the most productive training methods that will yield the highest results (Axulay, 2012). Their goal is to penetrate barriers that impede receptivity in the learner.

Case Study Analysis

In one case study, for instance, where cell phone assembly line employees are operating at below par performances, the line-manager is looking to change the behavior of staff members. Axulay (2012) contends one way to accomplish this is for leaders to help staffers comprehend the impact their poor performance has on the organization and other staff members. The next step is for managers to identify the causes for low quality performances and whether staffers are ready and receptive to change (Axulay, 2012). The readiness assessment phase is imperative because employees will not have the ability to change their behavior unless they first acknowledge a need to change it. The line leader must ascertain the reason employees are producing poor quality workmanship and the staffing factors that are contributing to the problem and assess whether it may be a training issue. To tackle this systematically, they must determine a variety of factors. They have already discerned the need for change, but in order to determine what type of learning the employees require, they must decide whether it is based on knowledge deficiencies, a lack of skills, or merely an unhealthy attitude. For example, some employees may disagree with assembly line protocol, or have personal trait issues, while other employees simply do not perform effectively because they do not value or take pride in their occupation on the assembly line. Once these factors are determined, an efficient training system can be designed to produce more effective results.

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Strategizing

Identifying the Problem

Organizations that implement training programs for employees create a climate that is open to new types of learning. Kolb (1990) purports that more often employers tend to focus valuable time improving weaknesses in personnel due to technical deficiencies that they believe can be remedied merely with proper training. However when individuals are asked to perform outside their comfort zones, people are resistant to change creating barriers that affect the learning process (Kolb, 1990). Employees eventually become frustrated, dissatisfied, and perform poorly.

Designing an Effective Plan

Regardless of the causes, it is evident that a lack of motivation is at the core of why the assembly line employees are not engaged in high performance levels in addition to insufficient training. For these reasons, we recommend that managers design and implement an evaluation process designed to ascertain the number of employees who are delivering substandard outcomes due to skill deficiencies and identify those who are struggling with personal trait issues. Kolb’s (1990) research concludes that when employees are underpaid and feel unappreciated, employers experience higher absenteeism and substandard work performances (Kolb, 1990). On the other hand, employers benefit substantially by nurturing a culture where personnel are appreciated and rewarded for outstanding performances. Under these conditions, employees are more inclined to participate enthusiastically, offer innovative ideas, display higher levels of energy, and engage in superior productivity.

Apprenticeship Programs

Training provides employees with practical tools that help produce a high probability of success. Bednarek’s (1990) research looks at another kind of system organizations implement to experience high levels of success from their employees: apprenticeship training programs. His research studied organizations where employees were not just the master craftsmen they were also trained and became the trainers themselves in their apprenticeship programs. In addition to teaching employees new skills, these kinds of programs also include instruction in theory that is applicable to their trade so that the student receives a whole picture of the business that supports the learning process (Bednarek, 1990). Apprenticeship training systems educate employees from a platform that is methodical, precise, and consistent because they have been tested and proven effective. Based on Bednarek’s studies, our next recommendation for the assembly line crew would be to establish an apprenticeship program that outlines standard procedures, policies and repercussions for violating those parameters. Effective tutoring programs can help establish consistent outcomes, are nurturing, and usually produce higher results.

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Conclusion

The line managers in our case study strive to achieve organizational goals by providing superior quality products in a cost effective manner. Indeed, these are important goals that all effective leaders strive to achieve for their organization. Amernic’s (1982) research deduced that the reason personnel shortages are elevating at record rate is because of a serious need to educate and train employees (Amernic, 1982). Organizational leaders who can identify whether an employee requires more knowledge and information, more opportunities to practice their knowledge and skills, or more situations where they can apply their expertise effectively on the job, will have an edge on how to elicit better performances from staff members. Successful employers who cultivate developmental goals that define their brand’s vision of success design systems that are practical for achieving those outcomes.  To these leaders, goals are the key to their results and effective employees is the significant component that helps an organization to support their vision. Employees that are trained to focus on the value they achieve from their behavior and not the behavior itself will most likely experience successful outcomes.  Our research concludes it is imperative employers identify the root causes of poor work performances and design effective employee training programs as a significant part of the staffing process. This strategy provides employees the opportunity to expand their skills and encourages higher levels of performance, which is a significant contributing factor to attaining organizational goals.

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References

Amernic, J. (1982, June). Training programs counter personnel shortages. Canadian Datasystems. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Retrieved May 22, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/208855476?accountid=32521

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

Bednarek, D. (1990, August). Skillfully crafted apprentices/programs turn employees into craftsmen. Milwaukee Journal. Milwaukee, WI, USA. Retrieved May 22, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/333428413?accountid=32521

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

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

New Employees and Reinventing the Wheel

Published June 3, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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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.

Finding People Who Are Passionate About What They Do

Published May 27, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Leaders encounter a variety of challenges when it comes to hiring new employees. In addition, during times of downsizing, employers look to existing staff members to step in to pick up the extra work load. This creates an overworked crew who tend to lose motivation which often results in lower quality performances and lower productivity, not to mention does nothing to boost personnel morale (Arthur, 2012). But what does it take for employers to find people that are passionate and will be committed to their companies?

At many organizations, new recruits engage in grueling training techniques provided by the educational system established at the firm. Employees in some companies for example, describe unconventional recruiting methods that resemble those offered in military institutions with boot camp like conditions. In these kinds of arenas recruits are being inundated with training techniques and massive amounts of information. In addition, they are expected to fully commit to every aspect of the organization. Employers implement these methods to arouse passion and motivation in new hires. It also weeds out those who cannot keep up with the curriculum.

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Organizations, in the meantime, do what they can to create more appealing cultures.  For example, companies whose climate includes a leniency on dress code and scheduling, produce a welcoming atmosphere where employees are a bit more relaxed about their appearance. Another alluring aspect is the flexibility to schedule their own work hours. In addition, organizations that offer a platform for socializing is highly favorable among staffers. As a result many have established hospitable areas, events, and activities for colleagues to convene. Some include a fully equipped kitchen to encourage socializing. Other organizations cultivate a climate that reflects an ethic of “work hard, play hard,” which can be very appealing to a more youthful age demographic.

Working in an environment with people who are passionate about their organization is a highly motivating factor that attracts certain kinds of individuals as well as charismatic leaders who lead by action. In other words, managers that walk their talk and are not afraid to roll their sleeves up to work right along with staff members inspire higher performances from staff members. An organization that is focused on supporting staff members future and career growth, provides fair compensation, encourages open communication, and offers employee benefits are all appealing employer components that provide value to the people that serve to help these leaders achieve organizational goals.

Organizations that employ a huge staff, look to attract the best recruits possible because it is essential to their success. The recruiting methods successful companies employ seek top notch candidates with very similar techniques implemented in the most successful MLM organizations, like World Ventures. Leaders that engage in effective strategies can tap into an individual’s passions to motivate and inspire actions that will drive their success. Employers are required to do their homework first and foremost in seeking new candidates. This means building a reputation and becoming an employer that people want to work for. In addition the most effective leaders understand that the significant components they seek in employees are value, loyalty, and commitment. Knowing this, they build their recruiting strategies geared to achieve finding people who can meet those criteria. Executives and HR Units must keep their recruitment strategies current and employ the best techniques to attract top level performers (Hayes & Ninemeier, 2001). These are a few tactics organizations use to find and retain top level personnel that are passionate about their work.

References:

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

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

Human Resource Challenges

Published May 24, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Some suggest that human issues are at the core of every business. Leaders who face these challenges look for opportunities to find solutions. Numerous executives are unaware that seeking methods to strategically plan, design, and measure work place performances may present possible solutions. Since many departments consist of teams with a well-developed vision of their strategic goals, leaders look to senior line managers to help solve growing problems like finding top quality personnel and utilizing technology effectively to serve their needs. These types of challenges arise because executives are unclear the role a human resource unit plays in an organization’s success. In fact, a growing number of researchers state that many corporate bosses find it difficult to identify Human Resource (HR) functions. Leaders want to support their significant assets – the people they hire and the technology they invest in – but are unable to comprehend how HR managers can help serve to achieve their vision. Ulrich and Huselid (2001) postulate that some of these problems emerge due to the inherent difficulty managers utilize to measure personnel performance records without an HR unit’s influence (Ulrich & Huselid, 2001). This research examines two of the biggest challenges facing HR departments today: personnel and technology and why leaders encounter these challenges without the guidance or collaboration of an efficient HR unit that serves to manage these important issues.

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HR’s Influence on Personnel

In order to analyze the problems leaders face with respect to human resource units, we must first examine the influence an HR division has in a business arena. HR units are established to systematically supply and monitor intelligence on a regular basis to produce effective strategic systems. These strategies contribute to an organization’s culture and performance by managing personnel conflicts and challenges. For example, an HR management team typically provides the following organizational functions with respect to personnel: (a) training, (b) development, (c) efficiency, (d) flexibility, (e) compensation, (f) employee turnover, (g) the cost per hire, (h) job satisfaction, and (i) performance evaluation (Stavrou-Costea, 2005). In addition, HR managers assign effective strategies that assist with achieving goals. They are focused on developing a committed capable workforce that supports the cultivation of personnel productivity. They also incorporate training systems that are engaging, produce efficient knowledge in their employees, establish activities and methods to motivate commitment, and inspire higher performance levels in staff members to outperform the competition (Ulrich & Huselid, 2001).

In today’s organizational climate, leaders are experiencing extensive challenges in locating and hiring quality skilled workers who are dedicated and focused.  This occurs because organizations are finding it difficult to retain skilled employees.  In response, they are beginning to develop more effective training and development programs. Large corporations, for example, are competing for executives at smaller organizations. It is the HR department’s duty to ascertain, assimilate, develop, compensate, and retain valuable personnel. Organizations that are committed to excellence, for instance, understand the importance of cultivating skilled employees.  As a result, they invest in HR management systems and design programs that educate and motivate workers (Seyed-Mahmoud, 1999).

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HR’s Influence on Technology

Technology is also a significant component in many areas of operational decision making. The use of innovative and upgraded technological systems has become standard practice throughout organizational management. A colossal obstacle that leaders face is the utilization of technology to improve performance and productivity (Seyed-Mahmoud, 1999). Some leaders, for instance, invest in technology as part of a new trend to keep up with the competition and therefore do not utilize the systems to full capacity. Effective leaders on the other hand, distribute communication devices to personnel like smartphones and tablets for the capabilities and features these electronic devices provide as self-sufficient smartware. These innovative devices offer features similar to those of portable computers at a fraction of the cost. The distribution of advance technology like this to personnel allows staff members the ability to access files, share information, and communicate instantly with colleagues and clients from remote locations. In short, productivity, efficiency, and long- and short-term goals are taken into consideration when making the most practical technological decisions.

In addition, HR managers are incorporating technology as management resources. For example, technology tools like (a) automated manufacturing processes, (b) personnel software packages, intellectual property rights (c) communication, (d) collaboration, and (e) internet and intranet systems can help HR management teams to measure strengths and weaknesses in performance and progress outcomes (Seyed-Mahmoud, 1999). HR managers in this case, work in collaboration with organizational leaders and personnel to make the best decisions on the most effective use of technology available to help run an organization more efficiently.

For instance, in today’s workplace, most offices consist of telephones, computers, IT networks, scanners, fax machines, and copiers.  With advances in communication technology, many of these devices can be linked over telephone lines and wireless modems to make up a more sophisticated telecommunication system capable of real-time interaction from remote locations. An employee in the field can now capture an image or video clip through their smartphone, upload it via a wireless connection, add an attachment to include any other pertinent information or documentation, and submit the transmission instantly, with the ability to reach others on a global level. These kinds of unprecedented advances open the door for productivity and invite opportunities that present challenges for those who are not able to acquire or retain the knowledge to implement these advances in a constructive manner.

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Conclusion

Our research shows that although some leaders may find it difficult to identify HR functions and systems, those that do not comprehend an HR unit’s influence and are unsure of their role in a company’s success will not last very long in today’s global marketplace. Without a Human Resource Department to tackle personnel and technology issues effectively, a company will face challenges which include recruiting and retaining top talent and communicating the organization’s vision. In conclusion, the key components to an effective human resource team consist of finding solutions that address their biggest challenges with respect to personnel and technology. An effective HR management team works in collaboration with leaders to gather intelligence, design activities, and incorporate effective programs that support the organization’s personnel and utilizes technology efficiently. In this context, the HR unit is established to support the company’s ability to remain flexible and manage systems efficiently.  An effective HR management team works in collaboration with the organization to achieve long term economic success.

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References

Aghazadeh, S.-M. (1999). Human resource management: Issues and challenges in the new millennium. Management Research News. Patrington, England, UK: Emerald Group Publishing, Ltd. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from Proquest: http://search.proquest.com/docview/223548850?accountid=32521

Stavrou-Costea, E. (2005). The challenges of human resouce management towards organizational effectiveness: A comparative study in Southern EU. Journal of European Industrial Training. Bradford, England, UK: Emerald Groupd Publishing, Ltd. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/215386876?accountid=32521

Ulrich, D., & Huselid, M. (2001). The HR scorecard: Linking people, strategy and performance. Boston, MA, USA: Harvard Business Review Press.

HR Units To The Rescue

Published May 20, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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In today’s business climate, leaders are having to address high employee turnover and the reasons behind the high volume of employee resignation in new hires.  Clues they receive from the remaining employees help give insight.  When an employer receives information that other employees are too busy and engaged in their own job responsibilities to help new hires, managers must find other more effective means to train new recruits. For example, at one banking firm, all branch supervisors hire their own employees, without communicating to the home office or other branches. In addition, employees were trained on equipment but only retained fragmented operational knowledge without understanding how it functioned or even the names of the machines they were working on.  All of these are clear symptoms of an organization in desperate need of services that Human Resource (HR) Management offers. HR management teams play a critical role to help organizations achieve their strategic goals.

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One possible solution the banking firm may apply to help manage their employee problem is to set up an HR unit at their main corporate office. This could prove to be an effective strategy to alleviate their high employee turnover problem. An HR unit can help a company achieve higher levels of success by providing the recruitment, training and development each staff member requires to perform their job more efficiently, with confidence, and punctuality. If employees were satisfied and confident in their positions, and can form a cohesive relationship with their associates and supervisors, they would not be inclined to resign so quickly. An effective HR management team can develop more efficient training programs and implement strategies that can help produce employees with higher skill levels, competencies, and behavior. These are some of the essential components that can help an organization achieve their desired outcomes. An HR management unit in the banking firm’s situation can help produce high performance work systems that will reduce employee turnover. The establishment of effective training programs can provide personnel the confidence to perform their responsibilities at higher levels. In addition, an HR unit can help create a more pleasant and safer environment that would prevent an employee’s loss of time (Dessler, 2011).

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An HR unit in this situation functions to supply intelligence that will help develop effective and strategic plans to achieve the bank’s goals. For example, they could create incentive plans to motivate employees as well as help identify personnel strengths and weaknesses. In addition, they also serve to tackle other problems like: (a) attracting and retaining key employees, (b) training and developing the capabilities of employees for future needs, (c) dealing with expanded organizational use of HR technology to help employees comprehend procedure and functioning purposes for the machines and systems they operate, and (d) comply with revisions in changing labor laws that may affect issues for high employee turnover like discrimination, conduct errors, unions and other issues. All of these serve to keep employees satisfied and committed to an organization’s goals. HR strategies also serve to contribute to an organization’s culture and performance in the way conflicting issues are managed (Jackson & Mathis, 2011). In the bank’s situation, the HR team would train new hires so other workers can focus on their own responsibilities. In addition, an HR Unit set up at the main office, will establish precedent in training procedures that can work effectively for all bank branches. This way the HR managers would serve as staff managers to assist and advise the line managers (or supervisors) in areas like recruitment, hiring, and compensation packages. These are some of the strategies that an effective HR management unit designs and implements  to share the important responsibilities with employers so that they can run the company more efficiently.

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References:

Dessler, G. (2011). A framework for human resource management (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. Jackson, J., & Mathis, R. (2011). Human Resource Management (13th ed.). Mason, OH, USA: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Knowledge Management

Published May 3, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Most experts agree that knowledge management is not utilized to its fullest potential in many organizations.  The ability to respond quickly to changes in the marketplace and recognizing opportunities has become an important competitive advantage.  Hanley’s (2003) research asserts that knowledge management must be considered as a prerequisite, for it has become a significant component and more visible in the balance sheets that reveal the financial worth of organizations.  The asset of knowledge management has the power to deliver organizational success in a variety of ways including: (a) the reduction of cycle time, (b) the improvement of quality, (c) lowered costs, (d) increased organizational learning, and (e) improved core competencies (Haney, 2003).  In other words, knowledge management is important to the success of organizations because acquiring and processing information increases situational understanding, helps to identify and analyze relationships, and enables higher quality decision making.

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Knowledge Management Components

Some organizational leaders believe that a huge investment in information technology will bring about higher quality decisions, only to discover that the delivery and presentation of said technology shows very little improvement in knowledge generation for decision making.  Leaders in this case fail to recognize that factors identified in the decision making process encompass more than the process of base technological usage.  It also includes the following influential components: (a) the organizational culture, (b) the organizational processes, and (c) the compensation and reward systems that have been established in the firm.  Organizations with knowledge exploiting capabilities are known as knowledge intensive firms because they have implemented an organizational system that efficiently manages and uses information effectively to stimulate organizational learning.  For example, one aspect of knowledge management amalgamates organizational information in a manner that produces value by generating new intellectual property (Ward, 2006).  Organizations that do not apply knowledge management strategies can hinder organizational development and productivity.

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Knowledge Management Programs

Effective leaders and management teams comprehend that information increases situational understanding.  Hsieh (2007) postulates that knowledge management in organizations must consider three viewpoints: (a) a business view that focuses on the why, where, and to what extent the company must invest in or exploit information – including which strategies, products and services, alliances, or acquisitions or divestments should be considered from a knowledge based perspective; (b) a managerial view that is centered on determining, organizing, directing, and monitoring knowledge related activities that will help achieve business goals; and (c) a hands-on operational viewpoint that focuses on applying professional skills to manage explicit knowledge-based operation.  Knowledge management programs should include strategies and vehicles to help enable and identify the organizational direction and facilitate effective activities to help achieve those desired outcomes (Hsieh, 2007). The use of technology, organizational systems, and socialization are three examples of how knowledge management programs can be implemented in organizations to foster higher quality decision making that can affect their development and productivity.

Technology – One knowledge management program that leaders employ is the use of technology.  Researchers observe that the three common technologies utilized the most for knowledge management are e-mail, virtual face-to-face conversations, and the use of databases.  These systems can help manage knowledge as both formal and informal processes and exists at all levels: divisional, departmental, team, and individual.  For example, with communication and computer technology, personnel expertise is documented and shared within a company at unprecedented speed and efficiency.

Organizational Systems – Another example of how organizations apply knowledge management consists of the different processes and coordinated systems they execute. For instance various forms, reports, spreadsheets, and other procedures can be used to track activity and progress. This information collection process identifies strengths and weaknesses as well as progress towards outcomes.

Socialization – Finally, one of the most successful knowledge management strategies that organizations employ is social interaction. These face-to-face interactions occur at all levels and in a variety of ways, often intertwined in the production and administrative processes and include: (a) debriefing new members, (b) debriefing returning members, (c) classroom training, (d) luncheons, (e) project team meetings, (f) working with external experts on a project, (g) team conversation, and (h) informal conversations (Haney, 2003). An organization’s climate must include a system that encourages socialization as a means to stimulate staff interaction and knowledge sharing.

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Conclusion

Knowledge management is the key to the survival for any organization.  A collaborative culture that values trust and offers incentives opens opportunities for knowledgeable individuals to share information freely.  Executive leadership that does not implement and support knowledge management systems will most likely experience difficulty governing a productive and efficient organization. Most experts agree that the main constraints to knowledge management are incompetent employers, ineffective strategies, and poorly designed structures.  Organizations that foster a culture which provides support for an effective knowledge management program will experience higher levels of success, growth, and profitability in the marketplace.

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References

Haney, D. (2003). Knowledge management in a professional service firm. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Ann Arbor, IN, USA: ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing. Retrieved April 18, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/305334057?accountid=32521

Hsieh, H.-J. (2007). Organizational characteristics, knowledge management strategy, enablers, and process capability: Knowledge management performance in US software companies. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Retrieved April 18, 2012, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304700978?accountid=3252

Ward, T. (2006). Implementing knowledge management to support effective decision making in a joint military environment: Key enablers and obstacles. Minneapolis, MN, USA: ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing. Retrieved April 18, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304910517?accountid=32521