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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?