Q.1. Jennifer asks that you make a list of five specific HR problems you think Carter Cleaning will have to grapple with. Answer:
In my opinion, the carter Cleaning Company will have to face the following specific HR related problems. a) High Turnovers:
One of the HR issues that the case deals with is high employees’ turnover rate. As mentioned in the case, the nature of job does not require higher skills and therefore most of the employees are unskilled. These employees look for similar but better jobs in the market that provide them higher pay. They tend to switch their job quite frequently leading to high turnovers.
b) Low job performance due to lack of training:
Since most of the workers are unskilled and the company does not have a separate HR department for better selection of employees and training them, the performance level was satisfactory but not the best. In other words, the employees were not performing at their peak level. Further efficiency could be brought in with proper training which seems to be lacking here.
c) Increased Employees’ Dissatisfaction:
Absence of proper training and supervision to the subordinate’s work might cause the employees to lack the knowledge of what exactly they are supposed to do and how. The repetitive task with lower pay and higher workload might create discontentment within themselves which also increases their dissatisfaction and grievances.
d) Poor Management & Communication Issues :
As it is stated in the case, each department employees seem to be highly dependent on their managers. If these managers lack proper job description, then this might lead to the fact that all the subordinates will not be motivated or determined to work as required by the job. Also they might need to set up a communication standard between it various branches so as to develop effective communication system within them.
e) Higher Chances for Violation of HR Rules:
They might also have to grapple with work standards, workplace ethics, legal issues and fair hiring practices to avoid the discrimination in work. If these issues are not properly handled, there are higher chances of HR rules being violated. Higher competition is also a great concern for them. Q.2. And she asks, what would you do first if you were me?
If I was Jennifer, the first thing I would do is meet discuss with my father about how HR related tasks were done in the company before she came. Then, I would call for a meeting or survey the employees to understand what are their concerns and wants. I would then develop a strategic plan on how to motivate the managers and how to make them motivate the lower level staffs, after a proper analysis of data. I would also develop training opportunities for new jobs as well as old ones so as to ensure that every employee know how to make their part of work done more efficiently and develop a recruiting process too. After speaking with managers and her father about what the employees need to be successful I would then run an ad for a hiring event, to have candidates come in to the stores and see what motivates them to work. Cater Cleaning Company Case: The Job Description
Q.1. What should be the format and final form of the store manager’s job description? Answer:
The following format would be the best format for Jennifer to use in her company:
1. Job Identification
2. Job Summary
3. Responsibilities and Duties
4. Authority of Incumbent
5. Standards of Performance
6. Working Conditions
7. Job Specification
A job description designed on the basis of above mentioned points, would give an effective guideline to the managers on the standard of performance they are expected to show and also provide a general description on his/her duties and responsibilities along with the authorities. This type job description will help the employees and the store manager to understand company’s policies, procedures and expectations. It would be even more fruitful if Jennifer uses a competency-based approach which specifically puts the jobs in terms of the measurable, observable and behavioral competencies that is a must for employees’ performance. Such an analysis would focus more on “how” the worker meets the job’s objectives or actually accomplishes the work, it is more worker focused. Q.2. Is it practical to specify standards and procedures in the body of the job description, or should these be kept separate? Answer:
In my opinion, it is practical to specify standards and procedures in the body of the job description. In fact, they do not need to be kept separately. Both Jennifer and the employees would be better served by incorporating standards and procedures into the body of the description. However, in case if the standards and procedures are so complex, it would be better if they maintain a separate procedure manual to keep it simple.
Q.3. How should Jennifer go about collecting the information required for the standards, procedures and job description?
First of all, she should conduct a job analysis which includes collecting information about the work activities that are performed in the company. After the collection of information on job activities, she must also find out the workers behaviors, performance standards, job context, employees needs and requirements and so on. In addition, she must also maintain a detail sheet on present conditions of machineries, tools and equipment available for each of the task. She can collect this information through various methods such as direct personal interviews, observations, questionnaires and through the study of diaries or logs maintained by employees. Furthermore, she has to make sure that she identifies the essential functions of a job and prepares the job description that has no fault with the HR rules and does not contradict with law.
Q.4.What, in your opinion should the store manager’s job description look like and contain? Answer:
The store manager’s job description should include a list of significant responsibilities and duties. For example, the following duties should include quality control, store appearance and cleanliness, customer relations, book keeping and cash management, cost control and productivity, damage control, pricing, inventory control etc. as stated in the case itself. The job description should also include any educational requirements as well as information regarding working conditions.
Carter Cleaning Company: Getting Better Applicants
Q.1.First, how would you recommend we go about reducing the turnover in our stores? Answer:
My recommendation would be that Jennifer can do a quick analysis on what it costs her to recruit and train a new employee including the cost of lower productivity as a person learns a new job. Every reduction in employees’ turnover can be translated to dollars. In fact, Jennifer can improve working conditions without any change in her profit if she pays for improvements from savings in employee turnover costs. The best source of ideas from improvement may come from exit interviews which includes questions like what would we have done to our work environment that would have made you more likely to stay? Existing employees can also be interviewed regarding the work environment that they would prefer. For example air-conditioned work space, more employees to reduce work hours, longer or more frequent breaks. Job rotation could also be a solution in some cases though it is a more complicated one. The use of deferred compensation or profit sharing is also one of the possibilities to keep employees a full year.
For quick results, we can also hire more qualified employees with certain years of experiences in the related field so that we don’t need much time to train those employees. Rehiring, i.e hiring someone who has already worked for us could be another possibility. This benefits to the company because the employees already have knowledge about the organizations culture and policies thus reducing the time in training. Providing favorable work environment, understanding employees’ needs and motivating them towards organizational goal is a must.
Q.2. Provide a detailed list of recommendations concerning how we should go about increasing our pool of acceptable job applicants so we no longer face the need to hire almost anyone who walks in the door.
The Carter Cleaning Company can use the following strategies to find suitable candidates:
a) Internal candidates
Job posting is unsuitable because company needs a permanent staff before promoting someone.
As stated above, if hiring someone who has already worked for us, is possible then it would create a lot of benefits to the company such as reduced training costs and employees familiarity with company’s culture.
c) Internet Recruiting
The most people nowadays use the internet to find suitable jobs. For this reason it is important for us to have a good internet presentation, which includes our homepage, Online Recruiting Job Boards and Social Media Websites. If we want to recruit new applicants over the internet, it is important to formulate a detailed list with all requirements the applicant need for the job.
d) The Media (Job Ad)
The classical way is to place an ad in the local newspaper. Job Ad is popular and effective method of seeking candidates with the advantage of wider reach. e) Referrals and walk-ins. Existing employees refer names of potential candidates suitable for the vacant jobs. It has benefits of more applicants, more hires and more yield ratio; high quality candidates with realistic picture of employer; low turnover; cost effective.