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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 15th Class Discussion

In calss today we continued the research presentations. There were a lot of interesting ones and I actually learned a lot about some subjects I was unaware of. One that really stuck out was the health care savings plans and how they can be really helpful when looking at health care insurance.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 13th Class Reflcetion

The class today was half of the students doing their presentations. I learned a lot from the presentations and felt that some of the people did a really good job. There were a few that were a little confusing and hard to figure out what their point was but overall it was good. I did my presentation and felt that it went ok. I could have preparred a little better but it worked out. I am glad it is over with now. The semester is coming to an end and I am getting excited for the summer.

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 6th Class Discussion

In this class we went over business ethics and different theories. The three that we discussed were utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics. We looked at both Costco and Walmart and compared the way they treat their employees and which ethical perspective they both match. I found the discussion vey interesting and find it hard for me to decide what is best out of the two strategies. One thing i go back to is is if it would be better to pay a few employees better or provide more opportunities?

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 1st Class Reflection

During this class we went over what it takes to create a high performance work environment. The part that stuck out most to me on this is the idea of having a learning organization. It seems like all business implement training in some respect but for them to foster and encourage a learning organization is something so much more. Often training is focused on what employees should not do and ways for the company to protect themselves. Not only do the organization need to encourage continued learning but also sharing of that knowledge with others. In class we talked about how some people will deliberately not help others because it makes themselves more valuable. This is something that companies need to overcome and encourage more knowledge sharing.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 30th Class Reflection

Since we are now done with the book for the class, these will be the only post I do going forward. I reviewed what I was supposed to be doing on these and realized I may have been doing them a bit wrong in the past. It is supposed to be more of a reflection on what I got out of the class rather than a recap of what we went over in the class. I will try and personalize the rest of these post.

The thing that stuck out to me the most in the last class was the Hofsteads Five Dimensions of Culture. I thought it was interesting to be able to do an accurate comparison of different cultures based on these five somewhat simple dimensions. With my experience with different cultures I tried to uses these dimensions to see if I could see the differences. The culture that I feel I am most familiar with other than my own would be the latin culture. I think there are may differences between the American culture and the Latin culture on these five dimensions.

The other topic that we discussed that really stuck out to me was the criteria for selecting an employe for a foreign assignment. A lot of it was common sense but when you put it all together you realize how many potential issues can come up if you do not pick the right person for the assignment. Not only that but you also need to make sure you prepare the person you select properly for the assignment.

Monday, March 29, 2010

March 16th Class Reflection

In class today we talked about the research paper and when it was due. Then went on to Chapter 14 discussion and talk about unions. One of the main things that we discussed was how organizations can discourage the formation of unions. Here are some of the points that I found interesting:
What to do
  • Be consistent in the treatment of employees.
  • Ensure due process in performance management
  • Protect employees from harassment or humiliation
  • Treat all employees with dignity and respect
What to Avoid
  • Threatening employees with harsher terms of employment or employment loss.
  • Promising anything if they don't form a union
We then went into Chapter 15 and talked about HRM in a global environment. Which I felt was more like a review chapter. It showed how everything we have talked about so far can apply to the global environment.

Chapter 16 Discussion Topics

Chapter 16 Discussion Topics

Concept and Brief Description

High Performance Work Systems is a combination of people, technology, and organizational structure to use all the resources available and achieve the goals (definition from the book). For this to be successful HRM can play a crucial role. They do this by properly designing Jobs, recruiting the right employees, focusing the training and development on high performance systems, and proper performance management. They can also help set-up the proper compensation to promote this.

Technology can also play a big role for HRM in setting up high performance work systems. There are 3 applications that are widely used:

1. Transaction Processing

2. Decision Support Systems

3. Expert Systems

Along with these applications the HRM can also use information systems such as an HR dashboard or other online options.

Emotional Hook

There are many conditions that contribute to high performance. The most important condition however is support by the whole company, especially the owners and management.

Key Points to Elicit in Discussion

Teamwork and empowerment are a crucial part of a high performance team, however the teams must have the proper resources to accomplish what they need or they will not be effective.

Facilitative Questions

How is continuous learning used in developing high performance teams?

Why are ethics so important when implementing high performance work systems?

Monday, March 15, 2010

March 11th Class Reflection

In class today we discussed the Optional Benefits Programs and how companies can use them to improve the performance and loyalty of its employees. The most important thing to consider in any benefits program is to understand what the total compensation package is and communicate it appropriately. This was the last part of Chapter 13 and then we moved into Chapter 14 which was on unions and why and how they came about. The class consensus was that unions were needed when they first came out and had a good affect on helping workplaces become safer and employes to be treated more fairly. We then did an exercise to demonstrate the way that management and unions come to agreements. It was a fun exercise and it helped me understand the how it all would work.

Chapter 15 Discussion Topics

Concept and Brief Description

This chapter was all about the concepts we have learned all semester and how to apply them to the global marketplace. There are many issues that surround HRM when dealing with other countries and government. From laying off employees to compensation, there are many things that need to be considered. The factors that affect how to deal with international markets are:

· Culture

· Education

· Economic Systems

· Political-Legal Systems

The other part of the chapter talked about selecting the right people to go oversees to work for the company and how to pick the right people called expatriates. The following things should be considered; Motivation, Health, Language Ability, Family Considerations, Resourcefulness and Initiative, Adaptability, Career Planning, and Financial.

Emotional Hook

Companies need to look to internationally if they want to be able to continue to expand their company. However if they do not do it properly the opposite may happen and the company could make mistakes that could put them out of business.

Key Points to Elicit in Discussion

Not only do you need to focus on training the employee for the move to another country but often their family also to make the transition.

Individualism, Uncertainty Avoidance, Masculinity, Power Distance, and Time Orientation are all things that affect the design of training design for other cultures.

Facilitative Questions

What is cross cultural preparation mean for an employee and how does a company go about doing this?

How are parent country, host country, and third country all related in reference to an organization?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March 9th Class Reflection

Today in class we finished up the talk on Chapter 12 and then went into Chapter 13. On Chapter 12 we talked about the process that make incentives work. Here are some of the things that must be considered for this:
  • Participation in Decisions
  • Communication fairness and paint a picture for your employees
  • Get input from employees
In Chapter 13 we went over employee benefits and the role they play in the organization. Many employees do not appreciate the value the benefits have for them and often will look at the pay and not realize that they may actually make more somewhere else with the added benefits even of the pay itself is less. There are also certain benefits that are required by law. These are:
  1. Social Security
  2. Unemployment Insurance
  3. Workers Compensation Insurance
  4. Family and Medical Leave- 12 weeks unpaid

Chapter 14 Discussion Topics

Concept and Brief Description

Labor unions are a way for employees to join together and create a group that gains power in numbers. Unions strive for fair pay and safe working conditions for all members of the union. Companies that use unions as their workforce usually pay more than ones that don’t but can also benefit from potentially more productivity and consistency. Labor unions are on the decline in the public sector and have been for a while, except in government work.

Emotional Hook

Labor Unions have had a bad reputation in some peoples mind because of the ties they used to have with the mob. Unions now are very organized and structured in the way they handle their relationship with companies.

Key Points to Elicit in Discussion

Unions need to be approved by 50% or more of the employees for it to be considered. Unless they get 30% to 50% they can do a secret ballot. What do you think about this process?

Unions make it better for employees to voice their concerns and have support to be heard. How can employers do this even if they don’t use unions?

Facilitative Questions

Why are so many government employees in Unions?

What happens in collective bargaining? Who is involved in these discussion?

Monday, March 8, 2010

March 4th Class Reflection

In this class we discussed incentive pay and how it can be used. There are three different options to base the pay: individual performance, group performance, and company performance. There are certain requirements that effective incentive pay plans should follow:
  1. Measures are limited to the organizational goals
  2. Employee's believe they can meet performance standards
  3. Organization gives employee the resources they need to meet their goals
  4. Employee value the reward given
  5. Employee believe the reward system in fair
  6. Pay Plan takes into account that employees may ignore any goals that are not rewarded

Chapter 13 Discussion Topics

Concept and Brief Description

This chapter is all about employee benefit options, which are vast. Companies can offer nearly anything as a benefit but need to be conscious of the cost of all of the benefits that they offer. Companies must also communicate to their employees what the values of their benefits are so they are appreciated. There are certain benefits that all employers must offer including social security, unemployment insurance, workers compensation, and family and medical leave (unpaid). Even though this seems like quite a bit that must be given, it is very small compared to what other countries require of companies, especially in parts of Europe.

Emotional Hook

Benefits are such a tricky thing, offer to little and you will not be able to compete with other companies in recruiting. Offer to many and you may spend to much and go out of business.

Key Points to Elicit in Discussion

There are many options with health insurance, how do companies choose what is best for them?

Retirement plans can be very complex and get very expensive.

Facilitative Questions

What are some of the legal issues surrounding benefits?

If you were an employer what would be the benefits you would offer?

What is the coolest benefit you could think of to offer?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 2 Class Reflection

We spent the entire class today in the library learning about finding articles for our research paper and how to develop our topic. It was very helpful for me and I feel a lot better about the paper now after going through this. I learned a lot of tricks that will help me put my paper together and find articles that will be relevant and applicable to the research paper. I am still a bit nervous that about the project but I have confidence that I can get it done and am actually excited to learn more about the subject that I picked. There is a lot of work ahead and a challenge that I am better prepared for now.

chapter 12 Discussion Topics

Concept and Brief Description

Chapter 12 continued the discussion on pay more in regards to incentive and bonus pay. Setting pay is often very complicated for HRM and owners but setting incentives and bonuses is often much harder. They must always weigh the pros and cons of using this type of pay as motivation while managing cost as well as ensuring the motivation is in the best interest of the company. Often incentive pay can encourage workers to get work done quickly and efficiently but the focus on customer service and quality may suffer. Along with bonus and incentive pay there are options for group bonuses, profit sharing, and stock options. Again with these options there are many pros and cons. The biggest thing is to consider how to get this type of pay to motivate employees to perform better in a way that will improve the profitability of the company as a whole. There are also concerns with ethics with executive bonus pay since they have the ability to manipulate the earnings and accounting documents to tell a story that could be better than it really was.

Emotional Hook

Every level of employee can be motivated by incentive pay but the same type pay will not work for every level of employee. Bonus pay that employees feel they have no control of is often viewed as not motivating and can actually be a waste of a company’s money since it does not lead to more productivity or efficiency.

Key Points to Elicit in Discussion

Stock options can be good since it ties the employee to the performance of the company. However the profit is not realized for the employee until the stock it sold and that is often after they leave the company not while they are their contributing to the performance of it.

Pay for group performance can be good for rewarding a group for working together but it can also frustrate members of the group that feel that they did more or that a member of the group that did not participate gets the same bonus.

Although the balance scorecard often the most effective, it can also be the most work.

Facilitative Questions

What are some potential ethical issues with performance pay or stock options?

Who does a sales commissions pay structure work best for?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Feb 25th Class Reflection

In class today we went over chapter 11. This chapter was one of the most interesting for me because I am responsible for coming up with the pay for my entire department. I know how complicated of an issue it can be. Here are all of the sections that we discussed:
  1. Pay and all the facets surrounding it.
  2. Legal Requirements
  3. Market Forces
  4. Organizational Goals
  5. Pay Level, Job Structure, Pay Structure Decisions
One of the other important factors to consider is equity (fairness). There are many dimensions to this, you need to consider what is fair in the industry, area, and for the person.
After the discussion we had Jeff Weber come in and talk about pay and setting up a proper pay program.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chapter 11 Discussion Topics

Chapter 11 Discussion Topics

Concept and Brief Description

Pay, such an important and complicated subject. You pay people too much and you may go out of business or not be competitive at all. Pay people too little and you may have a hard time getting good workers that will make you more competitive. It is also very interesting to think that even if you pay your employees what is fair they may not be view it as fair because they may know someone that does the same job somewhere else that makes more. It is also on the employer to help the employee understand and appreciate the pay they are receiving since they may not know if it is competitive or not. Although now there is so much information available on the Internet that employees can usually find out what the pay is for their position in other companies.

Emotional Hook

Pay is so complex that if a company does not have a good strategy and consistency they are destined to fail. If a company does not have a good strategy for pay then they will most likely not be able to make it.

Key Points to Elicit in Discussion

There are many issues surrounding pay that have legal implications.

Even if pay is fair the employee may still not perceive it that way.

There are many ways to evaluate pay, choosing the best for your company is crucial.

Facilitative Questions

What is the difference between product and labor markets when it comes to determining pay?

Benchmarking is used in so many areas. How is it used it in evaluating pay?

What do you think of minimum wage, is it needed?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Feb 18th Class Reflection

Human Resource Managers must manage turnover in many companies. To effectively do this they must know concepts of job satisfaction and motivation and determine how that affects their company and employees at the company. Things to look at that affect job satisfaction are:
  • Personal Disposition
  • Negative Affectivity
  • Task and Roles
  • Supervisors and Co-Workers
  • Pay and Benefits
One principle to know if that intrinsic work characteristics are what make people the most satisfied with work. This means that companies can pay people the most in the industry but if the working conditions are not good and they find another company that has more intriguing intrinsic benefits.

We also had a quest speaker that came to talk to us about being a Human Resource manager and what you need to consider in doing the job. He talked about a specific case of how to compete with a recruiting new employees and the only option is to pay them more than you are currently paying your own employees. How do you manage the situation if you were a the Human Resource Manager?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Feb 16th Class Reflection

Development is different from training, the focus of training should be for current assignments and development should be for future planning. Training can be required while development should be voluntary. There are many tools to use for assessment such as Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Benchmark Assessments, and 360 degree feedback. 360 is the most effective because it gets multiple people feedback. This is better because it gets supervisors, peers, subordinates, and possibly customers feedback.
The career management process is; Self Assessment-Reality Check-Goal Setting- then Action Planning. In this process there are both employee responsibilities as well as employer responsibilities for it to be successful.
The guest speaker that came in was very interesting. I wish we would have had more time with him. He said something about employee performance reviews and how he feels like the way it is done is all wrong. I would like to see what he thinks would be better than the traditional system.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Feb 11th Class Reflection

I was not able to attend the class today so I decided to go through what I thought we probably went through in class. On the 9th we went through most of chapter 7 and were about to start 8 so I assume that we went through 8 and then started 9. I went through the power point for both 8 and 9. Both chapters tie into each other very closely, chapter 8 is more about doing the performance management and then 9 is more of what to with that information in developing your employees. I am really intrigued by these chapters because I am currently in the process of doing this in my department at my company and this is the very good information. I even used it as an opportunity to teach my subordinates about these topics which reinforced the information for me.

Chapter 10 Discussion Topics

Concept and Brief Description

The most important part of discipline is being consistent and letting people know what is expected of them and what is not acceptable. Best thing to do is have a policy that says how discipline will be handled and use that every time. There is a big risk of lawsuit for wrongful termination so you must be careful as a company in this area. The three areas that must be considered for appropriate justice are Procedural Justice, Interactional Justice, and Outcome Fairness.

Emotional Hook

Companies are always trying to retain their best talent, but there are many things that may cause their best talent to withdraw from their job. Not only do you have to retain your best talent you also have to ensure their commitment to the company.

Key Points to Elicit in Discussion

Having a job that is to easy for an employee can cause job withdrawal but a job that is too difficult can have the same affect.

There are many different ways to resolve disputes and companies should look at them to prevent costly lawsuits.

Notifying employees of layoff in advance is necessary in most situations, however these notifications can be more damaging than the actual layoff.

Facilitative Questions

Why is progressive discipline an important principle?

What are ways to manage voluntary and involuntary turnover?

What are the legal requirements for employee discipline?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Feb 9th Class Reflection

In class we finished chapter 6 specifically on resumes, applications and the benefit of each. We also went over the way to to do interview effectively and legally. The best type of questions to ask in interviews are behavioral based questions. We then moved onto chapter 7 and talked about how to develop an effective training program. The focus of the discussion was to compare what the book said and compare it to the presentation that the guy from Tahitian Noni talked about. The most important thing to consider when developing a training program is to focus on measurable objectives. That way you can see where the company is at, do the training to improve weaknesses and then measure the results following the training to measure the effectiveness of the training. Always focus on the ROI and it should be successful.

Chapter 9 Discussion Topics

Concept and Brief Description

I really liked this chapter. I think that business that take the time and spend the money to develop their employees really reap the benefits. Although just doing this to do it does not mean that it will be successful or beneficial, it must be planned and supported by the company. Especially when the company can help custom fit a program for their company, this is the most beneficial.

Emotional Hook

Many companies use pay as the biggest motivator, however studies have show that although money is the main reason people choose to work for a company, there are many other things a company can use for motivation. One of the best is having a development program that really helps the employees improve.

Key Points to Elicit in Discussion

There are four steps in the career management process. How do they all fit together?

Mentoring is one of the most effective ways to develop employees but the hardest to manage effectively.

Enlargement of a job can be horizontal movement, promotion and demotion. What is the most effective?

Facilitative Questions

If you were the owner of a company what strategy would you use to develop your employees?

What do you feel is more effective Job Rotation or Job Enlargment?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Feb 4th Class Reflection

The first part of the class was spent finishing up the the discussion on hiring and discussion on the comparison of hiring and Oceans Eleven. Selection process is very vital for companies and recruiting is the first step of this process. There are tools to measure the effectiveness of selection methods; reliable, valid, generalized, high utility, and legal.
We then had a guest speaker come and start our discussion on chapter 7-training. The speaker was a training director for Tahitian Noni. It was very interesting to hear their process of training and re-training. You could tell that the company takes training very serious. Here is the basic process they follow:
  • Gather Feedback- Customers, Employee, Management
  • Put into themes
  • Monthly Planning Meeting
  • Assign Projects
  • Project Manager develop training content
  • Project Manager presents training to upper management and training team.
  • Project Manager presents training to broader management group.
  • Training is implemented
  • Post training analysis

Chapter 8 Discussion Topics

Concept and Brief Description

The whole process of performance management is rather complex and takes a lot of planning and work to pull off properly. There are many different strategies for doing a successful performance management system. Five criteria will help ensure this success; Fit with Strategy, Validity, Reliability, Acceptability, and Specific Feedback. There are also five basic approaches to take and the decision on which to use should be based on the job and company. Here are the approaches:

· Comparative

· Attributive

· Behavioral

· Results

· Quality

Emotional Hook

Performance reviews are often an awkward situation for both the manager and the employee. If not handled properly they can have more of a negative affect than positive. Why would this be the case?

Key Points to Elicit in Discussion

Feedback is more effective the more specific it is. Why?

Ranking employees can be a good way to do reviews since it compares employees to their peers.

What good are reviews if they are not used to develop employees?

Facilitative Questions

What is 360-degree performance appraisal?

What method do you feel is more effective for rating, simple rating, forced-distribution, or paired-comparison method?

When conducting the feedback session which approach is best? Tell-and-Sell, Tell-and-Listen, or Problem-Solving.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Feb 2nd Class Reflection

In class todays we finished up the talks on chapter 5 with a discussion on handling labor shortages and what options there are. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages and a lot of it depends on the reason you are in a shortage. It is is a short term shortage (temporary project) then overtime, temp workers, or outsourcing might be the best options. If it looks to be permanent or longer term then the HRM/Company can look at new hires, technology advances to improve efficiency, and other methods. To do new hires you will need to look at recruiting options. There are many different methods and again it depends on the quality and knowledge of employee you are looking for.
We then started talking about chapter 6 and personnel selection. This is the process of deciding you need to hire and actually hiring. You need to know what you are looking for before you begin and the general goal is to find the right fit for the company. To illustrate how this works we watched a clip from Oceans Eleven.

Chapter 7 Discussion Topics

Concept and Brief Description

Training, Training, Training. There is so much more that goes into training in companies than I ever thought up. It all starts with analysis and seeing if and what type of training is needed. Once the company has established the need then it must be ready for the training. For the training to be successful the planning is the most important step. There is so much that must go into it, objectives must be defined, in house or contracted out, and the choice of training method. There are many different types of training methods and a company needs to choose which method works best for them. There can also be a combination of methods used. After planning the training it must be implemented and supported by the company and all managers and supervisors for it to be effective. Following the training there must also be evaluation of the training to see if it accomplished what it was meant to do and make changes if necessary.

Emotional Hook

Would you want to work for a company that was not willing to invest in its employees by offering further training and development of job skills? Is this important for you as an employee?

Key Points to Elicit in Discussion

There are many different methods for training and selecting the right one for the right job is key.

Orientation and diversity training are very common type of trainings that company offer. Even though there is not a lot of evidence for diversity affecting behaviors. Why do they still offer them so often?

Facilitative Questions

What type of training is most effective for you?

What is the best training you have ever attended and why?

Do you feel that companies ever do trainings just to do them never knowing if they are effective and/or needed?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Jan 28th Class Reflection

We finished up discussion on chapter 4 on designing jobs that are motivating. There are 5 factors that are important to consider in Job motivation. These are:
  1. Skill Variety
  2. Task Identity
  3. Task Significance
  4. Autonomy
  5. Feedback-Reviews
The last discussion was on job enlargement, job extension, and job rotation, when to use which strategy. All can be an effective way to change up a job and make it more interesting and motivating to employees.
We then moved onto chapter 5, this chapter deals with a lot of what I do at work so it really interest me. The staffing of a company is a rather complex and ever changing, it is very important for the company to manage the levels of staffing to stay viable. There are many options for managing the staffing levels, the most extreme measure is downsizing while other options include overtime, outsourcing, retrained transfers, temp workers, early retirement, and more.

Chapter 6 Discussion Topics

Concept and Brief Description

The entire chapter is all about how to select the right employee for the right decision. There are many different ways to qualify a person before you hire them but none that work in every situation. The most widely used step in the selection process is the interview. However interviews can be very subjective and the person conducting the interview may have biases that affect the interview. You must also remember that through the entire selection process you need to avoid discrimination. There are many things that you are not allowed to ask and methods you use must not be discriminatory to any particular group.

Emotional Hook

Most resumes only get looked at for a very short amount of time if at all. Why even spend the time putting one together? Resumes are usually used as a “foot in the door”. Many employer look over a resume for bits or pieces of information as well as a indicator of how good of a communicator you are.

Key Points to Elicit in Discussion

Background checks can be done if an employee chooses to, however they can’t pick and choose whom they want to do one on. They must do them consistently.

Employment test are a great way to qualify potential candidates but the cost can be great to set-up and administer test. What are good ways to cut down the cost of these test?

Facilitative Questions

Is reliability and validity important in the strategy used for the selection process?

Why do employers have potential employees fill out applications?

When is it better to use a Physical Abilities test over a Cognitive Abilities test?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chapter 5 Discussion Topics

Concept and Brief Description

This chapter struck home with me and was very interesting. In my current position I do a lot of recruiting and hiring new employees so it was interesting to read how companies do it and hopefully apply some of the stuff I have learned to do my job better. The first part was all about human resource planning and trying to forecast the right number of employees needed for the foreseeable future. This is very difficult to and the implications can be very drastic. If it is to high then there could be downsizing, if it is to low then the company’s production could suffer and cost go up.

The second section was the part on recruiting and finding new Human Resources. It was interesting to see that such a high percentage of people are hired either internally or by referrals. It was also kind of interesting that there are so little solid facts on the characteristics of recruiters and how it affects the success of recruiting.

Emotional Hook

Has someone trying to recruit you to work for their company ever approached you in the halls at school? How did you react and how could they have approached you differently?

Key Points to Elicit in Discussion

If referrals are the most successful forms of recruiting how can a company leverage this even more?

Proper staffing levels are very important for every company but so hard to do accurately.

Even though overtime can cost a company more it is sometimes the best solution for staffing influxes.

Facilitative Questions

If you had to recruit 15 people for your current job where would you begin?

If your company needed to downsize in December and then March it needed to hire more, would you rather them bring in temp workers or outsource the work?

If you ran a company would you use more internal or external sources for filling positions?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jan 26th Class Reflection

Today in class we finished our discussion on chapter 3. The most important thing to remember to avoid possible discrimination issues is to base all decisions on abilities and performance. The only time that discrimination is accepted is in the case of a bona-fide occupational qualification an example used was the Hooters example.
The last section we covered in chapter 3 was sexual harassment. We watched a clip of The Office to illustrate the point.
Then we began our discussion on Chapter 4 specifically Job Analysis. HRM's create job descriptions and job specifications (focus on Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other Characteristics) from job analysis (focus on Task, Responsibilities, and Duties). Also the job analysis will lead into all of the following area; work redesign, human resource planning, selection, training, performance appraisal, career planning, and job evaluation.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Chapter 4 Discussion Topics

Concept and Brief Description

This chapter is all about job analysis and how to design work effectively. Job analysis can be a big part of HRM job and they can play a crucial role in not only analyzing but helping in designing and redesigning jobs. For a HRM to do this effectively they need to have a good understanding of the business as a whole. There are many methods to doing effective job analysis from questionnaires, to interviewing incumbents, and also government and industry resources.

Upon completion of a proper analysis, the company then needs to use this information to come up with job descriptions and job specifications. Once they have done this they need to continually update these and re-analyze the jobs to stay on top of changes. There should be a focus on increasing efficiency while still staying focused on keeping employee’s happy and motivated to do their job.

Emotional Hook

What if you had the opportunity to work from home and still make the same amount as you did by going to the office everyday? Would you do it and do you believe that you could remain as productive?

Key Points to Elicit in Discussion

When analyzing a job you can rely on information from incumbents but it should not be your only source of information. Why?

When the focus is too much on making a job “easy” it can make it so the employee does not feel motivated. When a job is too complicated the employee may feel overwhelmed and quit. How do you find the middle ground?

Facilitative Questions

What is the difference between job enlargement and job enrichment?

What are some examples of “flexible work schedules”?

What does KSAOs stand for? Where is it used?

What does TDRs stand for? When is it used?

What are the three categories of inputs for companies?

Jan 21st Class Reflection

The class was spent going over all of the EEO laws there are. I felt like after hearing each one discussed in class I had a better understanding of them all. While I read the chapter most of them made sense but I think I interpreted them a bit different than what they really meant so it was great to discuss them. It was also great to hear what interesting articles other people found about employment laws. One of the most interesting articles one of my group members found was on AIDS discrimination and how it is becoming more prevalent.
Although the laws can seem daunting and numerous, it is best to just remember that the goal is to provide equal opportunities for all in hiring and employment. If you keep that as your goal and strive for equal opportunities for all, you should be able to comply to all laws. Also ensure you have a good HRM (or advisor if you are a small company) that can help navigate through all the laws and help you remain compliant. Setting good policies from the begging can save you a lot of headache and potential problems in the future.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jan 19th Class Reflection

In class today I we finished up chapter 2 and started with chapter 3. There was a good discussion on the pros and cons of both the internal and external labor markets. In the past the majority of new hires were at the entry level positions and other positions were filled by promoting from within. This trend is changing now and a lot of companies are looking outside for some of their top positions to bring in new ideas and diversity.

There is also an aver changing employment relationship. In the past the norm was work from 9-5 for the same company for the majority of your career. Now people are changing their jobs many times throughout their career. This is causing a change in the way the employment relationship is since companies know that people aren't always just going to stick around and employees know that they may lose their jobs. This has also led to more flexible wok schedules, flexible staffing levels (temp agencies), and overall just more flexibility.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Human Resource Article on Legal Concerns Discussion Topics

Concept and Brief Description

The article I read was about a legal concern that is relatively new and becoming more and more prevalent. It involves the issues of drug use and abuse in the workplace. It is a very touchy subject that needs to be handled delicately, often employers have tried to help their employees with problems and it has backfired by them getting sued. The article goes over ways to protect yourself if you find yourself in a situation like this but overall it says to consult a HRM or an attorney to help come up with a company policy regarding the handling of drugs in the workplace.

Emotional Hook

One of your best employee’s comes to you and tells you he/she has a problem with drugs. How would you handle the situation?

Key Points to Elicit in Discussion

Make sure that you do not try to play counselor if you find out that an employee has or potentially has a drug problem. This could put you in a bad situation and potential lawsuit if you handle it wrong.

The whole subject of drug abuse is very sticky and hard to approach. By even inquiring about a drug problem can get you in trouble for defamation and even worse if you talk to others about it to try and get information.

State laws are different on how you can conduct drug test and what you can and can’t do once you get the results.

Facilitative Questions

How would you approach an employee you suspect has a drug problem?

How can Human Resource Managers help in the situation of dugs in the workplace?

There are more and more cases of drug use in the workplace every year. What are contributing factors to this?

Article Details:

Title- Tread Carefully When Dealing With Troubled Employees

Abstract Author- Phillip M. Perry

Source- Health Facilities Management July 1995 Pg. 58-65 Vol. 8 No. 7

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chapter 3 Discussion Topics

Concept and Brief Description

Chapter 3 is all about the laws and enforcement of anti-discrimination laws and creating a safe workplace. Over the years there the workplace has been changing and the government has to continue to make laws to protect employees from discrimination. It becomes complicated to know all of the ins and outs of the laws and that is where a good HRM can come in. Not abiding by these laws can be very costly and possibly the cause of the company going out of business. Not only are there laws that are in place to protect employees from discrimination but there are also laws but in place to ensure workplace safety.

Emotional Hook

How would you feel if you applied at company that did work for the government and you were the most qualified applicant but you did not get the job because you were not a minority? There is a lot of controversy with affirmative action. The reason it was enacted was to ensure that women and minorities had more opportunity, but it has had some negative repercussions.

Key Points to Elicit in Discussion

When the age discrimination in employment act was enacted, it was in an effort to stop employers from laying off their more senior employees as a way to cut cost. Since it was enacted some companies have come up with early retirement bonuses to have the same effect.

There are many laws that are put in place to ensure equal opportunities. There are also many companies hat have “figured out” that a diverse workforce can actually be very beneficial. How?

Facilitative Questions

What is your stance on affirmative action? What about when it involves specific quotas?

What branches of government are involved in laws regarding equal opportunities? How are each involved?

What are some basic ways that employers can avoid costly equal employment lawsuits?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January 14th Class Reflection

In class today we watched the movie about Pike's Place Fish Market. It was a very interesting clip, I learned that no matter what industry you are in or what type of work you do you can really stand out. The way they created such a fun and enjoyable atmosphere by getting everyone involved and buying into it. It also changed my perspective on employee training, in the clip they talked about coaching and that everyone coaches everyone. Instead of the traditional training where it is done either by supervisors or by specific trainers. This increases the cooperation of all and creates more of a team atmosphere where no one is better than anyone else and all can equally contribute.

I also like the discussion on HR supporting the strategy of the company. There is sometimes a feeling that HR is a separate part of an org. that just makes sure the company is in compliance with laws and manages benefits, but there is so much more HR can contribute to the company if the management get them involved and the HRM are capable.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Steven “Mikey” Heinz Introduction

I was born February 14 1979 in Provo, UT at the UVRMC. I have 1 brother and 4 sisters and a huge extended family that mostly all live in Utah. I went to Cherry Hill Elementary and went through the Spanish emersion program which has helped through my whole life (being fluent in Spanish). I then went onto Lakeridge Junior High and finished up at Mountain View in 1997. I started going to UVSC in 1999 and obviously am still going. I took a few years off in between then and now but I am finally close to graduating (within the next year). I am a business management major and once I graduate I will most likely go on for an MBA.

I am married to a girl that I met in one of my classes at UVU in 2002. We got married in 2004 in November. We have a 2 year old son and another little boy on the way (due May 15th). We live in Provo in a house that we built last year. We plan on living in Utah for the rest of our lives and possibly our current house because of how much work we put into it.

I work at Pinnacle Security based out of Orem. I have worked for them since 2002; I started in Puerto Rico and spent 10 months down there. After I was done in PR I came home and started working at the corporate office. I am currently the Senior Vice President of installations and run the installation department. I love my job and I currently oversee 800+ technicians and over the past 7 years I have overseen over 3000 technicians. I am currently going to school to become more qualified with my current position. As the company continues to grow there is more and more that I need to do and know and school is really helping me. I love working with people and being able to help them achieve their goals.

I love the outdoors and sports. My favorites are snowboarding, wakeboarding, soccer, football, and working out. I just bought a boat so I can’t wait until the summer so I can use it. I get to travel a lot with work and really enjoy it. I travel more than 100 days a year and still try to go on vacation with my family when I can. I have been to most of the major cities in the US. I feel like I have lived a great life so far and look forward to my next 50 years (possibly more).

Chapter 2 Discussion Topics

Concept and Brief Description

Chapter 2 addresses many of the trends and issues that Human Resource Management deals with and can help overcome. It begins by discussing the changes in the labor force and what issues it can cause for organizations. Some of these issues are aging and the ever increasing diverse workforce and how businesses can leverage their HR departments to help manage these changes.

The next section covers the idea of High-Performance Work Systems, which is when a company combines its social and technical systems. HRM can help organizations achieve this by assisting in hiring the right people, training programs, and continued development of employees. Employers can also use Employee empowerment and teamwork to help achieve High-Performance Work Systems.

A business’s strategy can affect and be influenced greatly by HRM. Some strategies are to grow the company and others are to try and manage the cost. Strategies that can be used to grow the company are Mergers and Acquisitions, implementing Total Quality Management, International Expansion, and Outsourcing. Downsizing and Reengineering can be the strategies to try and manage costs.

The last two sections are all about improving efficiencies and accessibility for HR activities by using technology and also helping companies manage employment relationships.

Emotional Hook

How would you feel if all of your personal information was available on the Internet for all to see, and your company put it there? It is very important as HRM move to more information over the Internet to secure this information by securing access either through only allowing it on the company Intranet or a web portal.

Key Points to Elicit in Discussion

There are many issues surrounding international labor, from companies hiring illegal immigrants to outsourcing jobs to places that will do them for cheaper than Americans. Although hiring illegal immigrants is against the law, there is nothing illegal about outsourcing.

Facilitative Questions

How do you feel about outsourcing of potential American jobs?

Do you think the move to more flexible schedules and the different type of employees, like independent contractors and temporary workers, is good for business and the employees?

Friday, January 8, 2010