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Identifying and Solving Personnel Issues


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Identifying and Solving Personnel Issues

  1. 1. Introduction <ul><li>Companies are in the business of making money. Workers are the greatest asset or resource to a company. It’s good business to keep employees happy and prevent personnel issues or other distracters from disrupting the work environment; yet, companies lose millions of dollars as a result disgruntled employees having valid grievances against the very company they are employed. Companies that are pro-active and implement effective measures are more successful at identifying potential problems prior to them spiraling out of control, spreading through the work area and negatively impacting the work levels of employees. Pro-active measures help create and establish a hostile free working environment that promotes good order and respect for all employees. Knowing these facts, why don’t more companies work toward establishing effective programs to address such personnel matters? </li></ul><ul><li>The purpose of this lesson is to provide the knowledge and skills to recognize the early warning signs of employee dissatisfaction and give you the opportunity to solve the problem prior to the matter escalating. The cases presented provide situational problems and give you the chance to see how you would solve the matter. Expert advice is provided for you to review and compare your approach to the experts. </li></ul><ul><li>To demonstrate successful achievement of the lesson skill students will create a scenario containing a problem. Students will: </li></ul><ul><li>Determine possible solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Select the best course of action to solve the problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop expert opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Complete written evaluation </li></ul>
  2. 2. Scenario #1 <ul><li>Larry is an electrician and has been employed by Solar Aerospace Division for 5 years. Larry has a total of 10 years experience and is considered one of the best workers in the department. Larry is approached by Jerry, the department supervisor, and asked if he can work overtime. Larry is scheduled for vacation in 30 days and figures the extra hours can be used toward the trip. He decides to work the overtime. The following week, Larry receives a pay statement and notices the overtime hours are not included in his pay. Larry decides to bring the matter to the attention of his supervisor but before communicating the matter he checks a copy of his time sheet to validate that the overtime submitted was documented as part of the pay period in question. </li></ul><ul><li>He informs Jerry of the apparent mistake and asks for an explanation. Jerry doesn’t have an answer and promises Larry he will look further into the matter and get back with him within a day or two. A week passes without Larry receiving an explanation concerning the overtime pay issue. He decides to approach Jerry once again to find out the status of his inquiry. Jerry apologizes for not getting back with Larry but was involved in other pressing matters. Jerry informs Larry that the company chose to give him compensatory time instead of overtime pay. Larry doesn’t know quite how to respond but expresses the fact he documented the overtime pay on his time sheet and that management had signed the document. </li></ul><ul><li>Larry suggests that Larry speak directly with the Site Manager. During their conversation, Marcus, the Site Manager, inform Larry that the matter is being resolved at the corporate office and no other information is available at this time. Larry finds out other co-workers are experiencing similar problems with the company regarding overtime worked. Three months past before Larry receives a check for the overtime worked. Larry is very upset and as a result of his experience has decided not to work any overtime unless he has written approval from management concerning the type of compensation that will be provided for overtime worked. </li></ul>
  3. 3. My Solution <ul><li>The main cause of the problem is: </li></ul><ul><li>The problem identified based on the evidence described in the case </li></ul><ul><li>study: </li></ul><ul><li>My proposed solutions are: </li></ul>
  4. 4. Author’s Point of View <ul><li>A professionally managed company will have a written benefits and compensation policy that provides specific guidance regarding compensation matters such as overtime pay. Federal law establishes strict guidelines for businesses to properly provide fair compensation according to federal law. Solar Aerospace Division should instruct managers and supervisors of current compensation policies and ensure all personnel understand company policy concerning how overtime is determined. Employees are entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked over a 40 hour work week. If company policy offers the option of either pay or compensatory time off the employee will be given the opportunity to select their preference. The employee’s decision should be communicated to his/her immediate supervisor. It is highly suggested the employee provide in writing via the time sheet how they choose to be compensated. Jerry, the department supervisor neglected to respond with a level of urgency appropriate to handle the problem. The Site Manager added to the substandard service provided to Jerry. Its seems the problem is pervasive throughout the organization based on the comments of other employees. Management should conduct a meeting to educate workers on the company’s compensation and benefits policy and provide step by step procedures on how to submit documentation to receive overtime pay. Hopefully, these steps will put to rest the confusion, frustration and apprehension of employees working overtime and expecting fair compensation. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Scenario #2 <ul><li>Caldwell Engines has been in business for over 75 years and has prided itself on superior workmanship and quality products. The company has a history of taking care of its employees. The company founder, Gary Howard, has directed the successful operation through perilous times. He was well respected by his employees. Mr. Howard battled medical complications for a time but finally succumbed to heart failure. Mr. Howard’s son Ernie took control of the company in 2005 after working for his father 20 years. Prior to the founder’s death, the employees of Caldwell Engines, under the direction of non-union representation, negotiated a new benefits package. Employees received an increase in the number of vacations days awarded from 40 hours to 80 hours annually. The boost of 40 hours is significant and long deserved since the company has not given any type of benefit or wage increase for ten years. </li></ul><ul><li>Ernie Caldwell is looking to tighten the purse strings at Caldwell Engines and has discovered a loop hole in company policy regarding health and welfare benefits paid to employees. The policy states employees are eligible for health and welfare benefits when performing their day to day duties. Since employees are not performing work duties when on vacation, management feels the right to deny health and welfare benefits. Workers will lose a total of two hundred dollars or twenty dollars per day each time they take a vacation day (vacation days 10 x $20 = $200). The new president uses this loop hole to eliminate paying workers the twenty dollars per day when employees use vacation time. The policy saves the company two hundred dollars per employee but sparks an upheaval within the ranks of hourly workers. The workers have requested a meeting with the company president and are seeking legal advice on the issue of health and welfare benefits. </li></ul>
  6. 6. My Solution <ul><li>The main cause of the problem is: </li></ul><ul><li>The problem identified based on the evidence described in the case </li></ul><ul><li>study: </li></ul><ul><li>My proposed solutions are: </li></ul>
  7. 7. Author’s Point of View <ul><li>The main problem surrounds an enforcement of a questionable policy regarding health and welfare benefits. The new president Ernie Caldwell has created a hostile work environment through a single course of action. Thorough research of the company policy concerning compensation of employees is necessary to determine the next step to be implemented. Ernie's actions beg the question what if anything did he learn from the many years of being under his father’s mentoring? The company seems to have circumvented the recent increase of vacation days as part of the benefits package. Is the amount of money saved worth alienating management from the work force? Any harmony or trust that existed has surely been lost and will be hard to regain. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Scenario #3 <ul><li>Davis Shipping and Freight is a package delivery company. The organization employs approximately 5000 workers. The industry is known for its high tempo operation. The company handles over a million packages daily. The loading and unloading of packages by employees into long haul trucks for immediate delivery to customers is at the heart of the company’s business. The work accomplished in the warehouse is physical. During the summer, temperatures on the dock and within truck belly are quite hot and test the physical endurance of package handlers. </li></ul><ul><li>Workers rely upon a fifteen minute break provided during each four hour shift to rest and replenish vital fluids in order to maintain the grueling pace required to sort the numerous packages and ensure customers receive the high quality service of on time delivery. The months of June through December are the most difficult due to extreme working temperatures and an increase in the number of packages handled by employees. </li></ul><ul><li>The demands on workers have led to supervisors requiring package handlers to work through their break periods to compensate for the extra work load. Workers have begun to complain about not having the opportunity to take the fifteen minute break stipulated in company policy. Several employees have taken their concerns to the district manager and have received assurances the fifteen minute break policy will be honored; however, first line supervisors continue to demand package handlers work through scheduled break periods. The results have led to workers walking off the job and others voicing the desire to seek union representation. </li></ul>
  9. 9. My Solution <ul><li>The main cause of the problem is: </li></ul><ul><li>The problem identified based on the evidence described in the case </li></ul><ul><li>study: </li></ul><ul><li>My proposed solutions are: </li></ul>
  10. 10. Author’s Point of view <ul><li>Davis Shipping and Freight forfeited a good working relationship between company management and hourly workers in exchange for greater profits. The organization missed golden opportunities to satisfy workers and enhance the company’s image with employees. Davis Shipping and Freight could utilize services of an employee relations manager to gauge employee satisfaction in the work environment and possibly identify the surfacing frustration with management thus averting a major disruption to operations. Initiatives for consideration designed to address employee concerns include hiring additional employees during peak periods. This would bolster manpower and give management the flexibility to permit workers to take fifteen minute breaks. To boost moral, complimentary cold beverages can be provided at management’s discretion. Management should consider the option of installing fans at strategic locations within the dock to provide some comfort to employees. A recognition program can be implemented by having first line supervisors select a package handler who has exhibited superior performance during a specified period and award a gift certificate. It is recommended for management to institute and schedule monthly meetings with employees to discuss issues relevant to hourly employees and provide the opportunity for workers to respond to information presented by management or any subject of importance. The actions outlined provide realistic solutions to addressing employee grievances and decreasing the chances of workers seeking the assistance from union representatives. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Practice Exercise <ul><li>The following exercise will provide you the opportunity to practice the lesson knowledge and skills presented. You will create your own case scenario. The case topic should be job related. Start by developing a story that introduces a problem. The learner will be required to: </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Determine possible solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Select the best course of action to solve the problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop an author’s point of view to provide expert opinion for your learning audience regarding the case scenario </li></ul><ul><li>Refer to the problem-solution case scenario examples to help you develop and complete the practice assignment. Post the assignment exercise so your instructor can evaluate the work and provide feedback </li></ul>
  12. 12. Problem Solution Case Evaluation <ul><li>Now that you have had the opportunity to practice identifying and solving problems take the following evaluation. There are two separate problems for you to examine and solve. Here are your directions. You are a consultant hired to address the events occurring in a major organization. Read the below paragraph then identify and solve the problem by providing solutions to resolve the issue. You will be graded on the thoroughness of your response. </li></ul><ul><li>PMJ Electronics is a manufacturer of precision electronic components and aircraft equipment. The company is in a highly competitive market and with the recent down turn in the industry drastic action has been taken by the organization to account for the loss of profits. As a cost reduction strategy, PMJ Electronics has eliminated all paid training until further notice. The company recently landed a contract with a major airline carrier. The work to be accomplished requires skills that less than one percent of the current employees possess. PMJ Electronics decides to acquire the needed skill set by aggressively recruiting highly qualified employees from local competitors possessing the specific skill. The company entice highly sought employees by offering bonuses and higher salaries. The employees sought were fortunate to acquire their skills from paid training programs negotiated by the union. PMJ Electronics is a union free organization. PMJ employees are upset and frustrated with management. Long standing employees have begun to leave the company and seek positions with competitors having a union presence. PMJ has been negatively impacted by the sudden loss of employees possessing in depth corporate knowledge. PMJ employees are considering striking for improved benefits. PMJ employees have begun talks with local union representatives. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the main cause of the problem PMJ Electronics is experiencing. </li></ul><ul><li>What evidence supports your point of view? </li></ul><ul><li>What course of action do you recommend be taken in remedying the problem? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Problem Solution Case Evaluation <ul><li>You are a consultant hired to address the events occurring in a major organization. Read the below paragraph then identify and solve the problem by providing solutions to resolve the issue. You will be graded on the thoroughness of your response. </li></ul><ul><li>Smith Aerospace Defense Corporation was award a federal government contract located in the western region of the United States. The organization hired 150 employees and anticipates increasing the number to 200 by the end of the year. The corporate office is located in Florida. The company president and the human resources director (HR Director) are present at the first official day of the operation to welcome and brief new employees on a number of subjects. The workers are energetic and anxious to get started in their new positions. The HR Director covers the benefits offered in generic terms and promises he will return in a month after everyone has had the opportunity to settle in and get acquainted with their new surroundings. </li></ul><ul><li>The Site Manager in charge of directing the new operation seems unapproachable and based on his actions shows a lack of interest in the views or concerns of employees. The company secretary is tasked with explaining the various benefit packages and struggles to provide detailed information to the employees. Numerous calls are made to the HR Director at the corporate office in Florida to respond to employee inquiries. A basic response is provided by the corporate office. The first quarter ends and management holds a meeting to inform employees they are pleased with their performance. Employees ask why the HR Director has not returned as promised to provide additional benefit information. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Problem Continued <ul><li>The Site Manager promises to check into their concerns. Employees communicate how they would like the opportunity to submit suggestions and recommendations about work areas they feel can be improved. They are encouraged to submit their ideas; however, most suggestions are dismissed by management. </li></ul><ul><li>Workers have begun to show signs of disappointment with the current management. During a scheduled meeting between management and workers, a question is asked about bonuses issued by the federal government when specific goals are achieved. The Site Manager informs workers that the money goes to the company president and neither salary (management) nor hourly employees will share in the bonus monies. Later, it is revealed that salary employees are receiving shares of the bonus monies. Workers feel their trust has been violated and decide to hold a closed meeting with hourly workers to discuss concerns and ways to respond to management. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the main cause of the problem Smith Aerospace Defense Corporation is experiencing. </li></ul><ul><li>What evidence supports your point of view? </li></ul><ul><li>What course of action do you recommend be taken in remedying the problem? </li></ul>