“Human resources (HR) issues commonly experienced by employers today include diversity, productivity, training, benefits and outsourcing. How each business deals with its specific human resources issues depends on the HR manager or director as well as company policy”(wiseGEEK, n.d.). Utiliscan is currently facing challenges similar to those of other companies. Some of their challenges include hiring, compensation, advancement opportunities, training, benefits, and retaining people. There is also a struggle with developing a program that would improve employee’s performance and level of engagement. To try to get a better handle on how to address the challenges, Utiliscan has asked Paul, the HR Director, to develop a plan that would identify the options for management to consider. One of Paul’s key objectives is to find quick and cost effective solutions.
Case Analysis II: Utiliscan
Changes would be made based upon the employee’s survey, starting with the less expensive change. Paul would first address the performance review issues. Employees feel as if the performance review had not been done on a regular basis. They feel as if there is no relationship between their performance and their pay. To address their concerns, the performance review process would be revamp. Managers and supervisors would be held accountable for managing employees’ performance and making sure they’re given as scheduled. During the first year of being hired, an employee would receive a 90 day, 6 month, and then a yearly evaluation. Each year thereafter, a yearly evaluation would be conducted. The evaluations would be reviewed to make sure that it’s directly related to the company’s goals and the performance of employees, based upon their job and position within the company. Pay increases would be directly related to the employee’s overall performance results of their yearly evaluation. This process would take time and effort to reassure that the performance review process has a connection between employee’s performance, their pay, and the company’s performance goals.
Next issue that would be addressed is training. Training is a very critical part of a company. Even the most experienced person need to be trained to become accustomed to the expectations and practices of a company. Employees at Utiliscan feel as if there are few opportunities for them to improve their skills. It’s important that the CEO, CFO, and the VP of operations understand that in order for employees to perform their jobs, it’s important that the company supply them with the tools they need to be a productive employee. It would be difficult to hold employees accountable and expect their best if the proper training hasn’t been given. Management would need to consider implementing an inexpensive training program. Since finances have been stretched and money would need to be spent in different areas, training could consist of the less expensive methods. On the job training, e-learning/online training, and cross training employees within other departments through the company are ways that training would be conducted. The training could be done in an individual or group setting. Managers would train those employees in their departments as well as those from other departments. The training sessions would take place on a monthly basis. It would consist of classroom and hands on training. A test would be given to each employee following the training.
Time is money, and when employees are sent to different training programs, their work is put on hold. Utiliscan would invest in e-learning/online training programs. This would take money to initiate; however, it would save the company money in the long run. They would have to purchase and have the programs installed. Since there are limited computers to use for such training, Utiliscan will have to buy additional computers. E-learning programs are available at the employer’s place of convenience rather than the other way round. This would also give Utiliscan the ability to monitor and track employee’s process. Employees would not only be responsible for completing the training sessions that pertains to their job and department, but also for other areas throughout the company. Employees would specify other areas of interest during their performance review. This would not only broaden employee’s knowledge but also it would give them additional skills making their chances for advancement stronger. No matter which training program an employee participates in, there will be a test given upon completion. Each employee would have to pass the test with a 70% or better to receive credit for the training.
“American businesses spend nearly $134 billion on employee development each year — but it could be wasted, new research suggests, if businesses don’t also provide chances to move up the ladder” (Brooks, 2011). According to the employee survey, 89% of the employees believe that there are no opportunities for promotion. It would be essential that those who are in upper management understand that if there is a lack of career advancement within the company, then spending excess money on the training programs would be a waste of money. Employees are more likely to leave the company if they fell that there are no advancement opportunities. This in turn means that the time and money spent training the employees would be considered as an unnecessary expense. To avoid this type of scenario, a plan needs to be put in motion prior to employees deciding to leave the company to pursue better job opportunities.
Utiliscan is a small company where fewer open positions are available making it difficult for the company to internally promote employees at a fast enough rate to address the issues that may arise because of lack of promotion. Promotion opportunities don’t always need to be a higher position in the company. Developing a plan for employees’ advancement through job rotation can help employees feel as if they are advancing without receiving full scale promotions. A job rotation program would be the first reasonable option to purpose to the CEO, CFO, and VP of Operations. The program would consist of about 10 employees, 2 from each department. The employees would rotate jobs throughout the company within a two year period. Job rotation would give the employees the opportunity to gain additional knowledge and experience in other areas. It would also give them a change of scenery, reducing the possibility of boredom. This would boost the morale and the increase retention. It would also increase the chances of receiving a raise.
It would bring upon a stronger relationship between employee’s performance and their pay. A severance package would be offered to those employees who are upper management position and are willing to resign or retire early. This method would create job opening and the opportunity for advancement. This alternative and offering a better benefit package to the active employees would be considered as the most expensive changes. “Once the economy starts to recover, workers that feel that they are getting the short end of the stick won’t be as willing to stick around as workers who know their company went out of the way to offer them a decent raise with a good employee benefits program” About.com, 2008). The current benefit package does not compare to those that are currently being offered by the larger organizations. Comparing benefits to those of a larger organization is unrealistic for Utiliscan being that they are a smaller company. Therefore, they should look at benefits in smaller companies within their industry that are being offered and try to match or exceed it. Most companies offer health care plans with lower deductibles but employees are paying a higher premium. Utiliscan could add an option that offers to pay for the employees’ health coverage but it would be a plan that has a higher deductible with a Health Saving Account.
This would save the employees from having money being taken out of their pay checks. Utiliscan need to keep in mind that they must not cut back too much. Employees are well aware that benefits and compensation is available to them in other organizations. Paul has reviewed and shared most of the employees’ concerns with the CEO, CFO, and VP of Operations. The conceptual plan would address training, advancement opportunities, pay increases, performance reviews, and benefits concerns. Paul has taken into consideration the specific costs for the options available. Implementing an effective training program would reduce liability and cost, improve employees’ skills, and increase morale. Even though finances are being stretched to the limit, Utiliscan must try to keep ahead of the employee benefit and compensation trend.
About.com (22 August, 2008). Keeping Up with Compensation. Employees Benefits. Retrieved
on October 8, 2012, from http://employeebenefits.about.com/ Brooks, Chad. (June 14, 2011). If Employees Can’t Climb the Ladder, Training is a Waste.
Business News Daily Contributor. Retrieved on October 6, 2012, from
http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/1080-employee-training-advancement.html wiseGEEK. (n.d.) What Are the Most Common Human Resources Issues? Retrieved October 4, 2012, from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-most-common-human-resources-issues.htm