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SpiderWeb Case Analysis Final.pdf

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Human Resources
MHR 523
Rasha Nasra

Winter   14   SpiderWeb  Case  Analysis   Submitted by: Course: Facilitator:     |  EPM             Table of Contents Page Introduction 1 Problem Identification 2 Mission & Goals 3 HR Policies 4 Recruitment & Selection 5 Compensation 7 Training & Development 9 General Recommendations 10 Mission & Goals 10 HR Policies 11 Recruitment & Selection 13 Compensation 14 Training & Development 16 Detailed Recommendations 17 Short Term Plan 17 Long Term Plan 21 Work Cited 22 Appendix 23 i   |  EPM             Introduction Elite People Management is a n HR consulting firm, commissioned by SpiderWeb— a telecommunications and manufacturing company, with a head office in Montreal and a new plant in Vancouver. As the company looks toward future expansion our position is to provide support through analysis of how it conducts its business activities, along with the roles and behaviours of its employees in order to identify problems that will hinder the company’s business objectives. Following a meeting with its executive committee composed of the founders and four key managers from Montreal and Vancouver (the finance director, R&D director, operations d irector and CEO of the Vancouver plant) (Excalibur, 2011) we have identified five main problem areas, formulated general recommendations and provide d detail recommendations of what SpiderWeb should consider accomplishing in the short -term and made some suggestions for long-term maintenance. Careful consideration and research has gone into our recommendations and we believe when taken, it will allow SpiderWeb to successfully deal with its challenges and meets its goals. 1 1   |  EPM             Problem Identification Executive Outline of Problems Identified 1. Lack of Mission & Goals i. Mission Statement ii. Mid-term & Long-term Goals 2. HR Policies—Employee Conduct i. Absenteeism ii. Ethics & Professionalism 3. Recruitment & Selection i. Inexperience Workers ii. High Turnover iii. Unclear Job Expectations 4. Compensation i. Supply & Demand ii. High Turnover iii. Union Talks 5. Training & Development i. Management Training ii. Disability Cases 2 2   |  EPM             1. Mission & Goals A problem that SpiderWeb has is that it lacks a company mission statement. More specifically, the company abstains to show where it is headed, by not claiming any mid-term or long-term goals. i. Mission Statement A Mission statement is crucial as it provides companies with a unique identity by defining: who it is, what it does, and where it’s heading (Scwhind et al, 2013). The absence of one has created low-level awareness about its corporate culture, and brand (Excalibur, 2011). Employees are not aware of what the company is all about, and will not be able to carry out tasks that support the company’s objectives. This reduces employee motivation, and contributes to its high turnover rates (Excalibur, 2011). ii. Mid-term & Long-term Goals Although the founders of SpiderWeb have stated that it plans to double its company’s workforce over the next two years, through developing the American and world markets, many experienced executives of the company have shared their concern over the founders’ lack of mid-term and long-term goals (Excalibur, 2011). The founders themselves have stated that they have focused exclusively on their company’s growth, since the start (Excalibur, 2011). The founders have not thought about the priorities and strategic planning that is needed to ensure the company’s survival (Excalibur, 2011). This is a problem because, if the founders do not know where the company is headed in the future, growth will be stagnant . Employees will leave, because they will have no goals to work towards, and competitors will succeed over SpiderWeb . 3 3   |  EPM             2. HR Policies HR policies are formal rules and guidelines that companies put in place to guide employee conduct (Mansueto Ventures, 2014). Currently SpiderWeb has no existing HR policies and as a result several issues relating specifically to employee conduct has risen. i. Absenteeism Absenteeism is defined as an employee’s intentional or habitual absence from work (Investopedia, 2013). High absenteeism has been reported at the Vancouver plant, if not addressed it will result in low productivity. Employee morale will also decrease as work input will be unequal and will further contribute to high turnovers. Absenteeism is also a symptom of various underlying issues such as disengagement, injurie s, poor working conditions etc. ii. Ethics & Professionalism Upon returning to Montreal, rumours about the strategic R&D team were brought to our attention. It was shared that some had met with outside competitors, failed to comply with the protection of company intellectual property and lacked professional ethics their roles required (Excalibur, 2011). Whether the rumours are true or not, several implications are im portant to consider. The company’s unique intellectual property is at the core of its differentiation strategy and needs to be protected to maintain an advantage in a competitive industry. Employees are also ambassa dors who represent the company and their actions can affect its image. Also the spreading of rumours in the workplace can result in a hostile environment, alluding to lack of communication, HR policies and respect for the company (Brown, 2014). The company should be weary of all these issues and address appropriately. 4 4   |  EPM             3. Recruitment & Selection The success of a company stems not only from innovative ideas, but also on having a workforce capable of executing tasks that support the company’s objectives. A major concern is its recruitment and selection of its managers and staff. The goal of recruitment and selection is to find the right people, who are the right fit, for the right job. Many of its employees lack the technical skills and experience their jo b requires. i. Inexperienced Workers Many of its employees raised concerns about the managers. After some research, we concluded that most of the managers are unskilled for their positions. It appears that for many, it is their first managerial experience. We discovered most of the hired employees are from generation Y (Excalibur, 2011). Ranging from ages 13 to 32, this millennial age group contains a vast amount of youth, who have recently graduated from University/ College (Grewal et al., 2012, pg. 95). Although employees from this generation can provide fresh idea s for the company, they do not respond well to traditional management practices and have a strong need for respect and work -life balance (Schwind et al., 2013, p.16 ). When their workplace needs are not met, they have no reservations about leaving the company for another. Another issue arising from the lack of proper recruitment and selection of employees is the CEO of Vancouver. Currently the CEO of SpiderWeb’s Vancouver plant is the brother of one of the founders (Excalibur, 2011). The plant’s employees have complained that he lacks the organization and management skills n eeded to carry out the positions’ requirements (Excalibur, 2011). By selecting an inexperience manager, disrespect, confusion and frustrations are shared among the employees. 5 5   |  EPM             ii. High Turnover Rates Poor recruitment and selection also results in high turnover rates. When comparing the turnover rate of SpiderWeb ’s with the rate of other companies in the same industry, we found SpiderWeb has one of the highest rates (Excalibur, 2011). When employees are not the right fit for the company, they can affect the company in several ways. They are often less productive and motivated to carry out their tasks. They affect the company’s financial resources, and may diminish company morale and brand. iii. Unclear Job Expectations Without a recruitment system in place, the company also fails to establish clear job expectations. While we conducted the analysis, we discovered that the senior managers are assigned to their responsibilities on an “arbitrary basis” (Excalibur, 2011). This means that there is no system to guide the senior managers’ actions, which further diminishes their credibility to lead such roles. Lack of job descriptions, outlining roles and responsibilities also means that performance is not accurately measured or m anaged. 6 6   |  EPM             4. Compensation SpiderWeb is currently facing issues surrounding compensation for its employees, and the assignment of tasks for its managers (Excalibur, 2011). i. Supply and Demand Compensation is defined as all the rewards earned by employees in return for their labour (HR Council). One problem that SpiderWeb face is that supply and demand is used as guidelines for compensation (Excalibur, 2011). Employees are paid at different rates depending on the work they have done, as there is no regulate d standard of compensation. This inconsistency causes a great deal of dissatisfaction amongst its workers (Excalibur, 2011). Poor job evaluation may have played a role in the current problem with compensation. SpiderWeb may not have gone through job evaluations for all jobs within the company. This along with the lack of external equity (comparing the wage rates with other organizations in the same market) may have resulted in the employees not being paid fairly. ii. High Turnover We believe that certain problems within the organization were due to the lack of proper compensation policies. For example, the turnover for the company is far too high (Excalibur, 2011). Employees are leaving because they b elieve that they are underpaid when compared to other employees doing similar work. Hence, an employee will leave their current position if a co-worker is being paid higher regardless of the fact they’ve done almost the same amount of work. Employees feel that they are not treated fairly in the organization and move onto other companies where the compensa tion policy is more structured, and their contributions are fairly compensated. 7 7   |  EPM             iii. Union Talks Another arising issue within the company are the employees at the plant’s distribution centre. These emplo yees are currently applying for a union certification (Excalibur, 2011). When the compensation policy of a company is unstructured and weak, the employees will try to take advantage of this. Taking advantage of these situations usually and in this case res ult in trying to form unions. Union power can change the organization. It would mean the employees will try to use their power in acquiring wage rates relative to their worth, that are superfluous (Schwind et al., 2013, p. 341). If union requests are not met, they will go on strike and since giving the union what it wants is less problematic than a strike most HR departments give in (Schwind et al., 2013, p. 341). This can endanger SpiderWeb as they are a relatively new company, their financial resources will be affected. SpiderWeb would also not want to deal with strikes since they are still a growing organization and require productivity to meet its customers demands. 8 8   |  EPM             5. Training & Development Training and development provides employees with increased job knowledge, by providing them with relevant workplace information and expectations. Without a program in place employees are unaware of how to interact appropriately with others, adequately execute their jobs, or work in a safe manner that is respectful of employment laws and health and safety. i. Management Training Recently, managerial problems due to lack of experience, were made present in the Vancouver plant distribution center. When told about the employees’ idea to get a union certification, the pl ant manager was unconcerned (Excalibur, 2011). In the plant managers’ perspective, the employees in question about the union certification were “isolated cases or trouble makers”. He stated that he planned to “take care” of the situation (Excalibur, 2011). How he plans to address his employees is concerning, without proper training he may exasperate the situation further. Moreover the CEO of SpiderWeb’s Vancouver plant lacks experience for the position, however the two founders have clearly stated that they would like to see him continue on with his role. ii. Disability Cases Lack of training in the company has lead to a large number of disability cases at the Vancouver plant. When employees are injured on the job, they tend to take significant time off work to recuperate. This also affects the company’s productivity and finances. Without adequate training on health and safety, the company runs the risk of being held legally responsible for the injuries or death of its employees. The unsafe work environment contributes to negative company brand and low employee morale. 9 9   |  EPM             General Recommendations To help the company manage the fore mentioned problems , our team has formulated and described some general recommendations for its consideration. Mission & Goals Mission Statement When creating their mission statement, the founders should consider the answering the following: • Who is SpiderWeb? • What does SpiderWeb do? • Where is SpiderWeb headed? By creating a mission statement, the founders of SpiderWeb will increase the level of awareness of the employer brand. This in turn will help employees identify with the company’s values, goals and culture. It will also keep them motivated to work harder. In the end this can also help with the high turnovers SpiderWeb is currently facing (Excalibur, 2011). Goal Setting To keep its employees motivated, and to help the company thrive the founders of SpiderWeb must set short-term, mid-term and long-term goals. By doing so, their employees will know what to work towards, and SpiderWeb itself will continue to stay competitive. When deciding on the goals they will set, the founders will have to decide what strategies to implement to improve operations, communications and attract talent . It will have to also develop modes to evaluate its success. 10 10   |  EPM             HR Policies HR policies cover an array of areas including employee conduct, compensation, hiring practices, payroll, health and safety to list a few. SpiderWeb has no existing policies and it is recommended that the new VP of HR work with their staff to develop comprehensive HR policies and communicate them to new and existing employees in an employee handbook. To address immediate problems relating to employee conduct, we have made some recommendations to consider when developing policies addressing absenteeism, ethics and professionalism. Policies to Address Absenteeism Many of the employees are from Gen Y, who don’t conform to traditional management rules or practices of the workplace, many of them are more focused on productivity rather than presence (Friese & Jowett , 2013). Gen Y-ers are highly educated and strongly influenced by technology. They enjoy working anywhere and everywhere at varying times of the day on their laptops, tablets, and smartphones (Friese & Jowett , 2013). As technology advances and its use increases, the company should consider its function in creating flexible work design , such as telecommuting to reduce absenteeism. Employees can work without leaving their homes by connecting remotely to work via the Internet. The presence of the employees at the Vancouver plant is vital since it’s not possible to do their job from home. The option of flexible hours, and schedules can be presented to them. These options can also reduce absenteeism as well as turnover. Providin g the employees with choice about how they conduct their work has many benefits as it has been found to reduce stress and boost productivity (Schwind et al., 2013, p. 10). Policies outlining the program on scheduling, locations and hours will need to be clearly written, communicated and monitored . Regular attendance 11 11   |  EPM             demonstrated by participation in workplace duties is key to achieving organization goals. Policies on absenteeism and its consequences must also be developed in order to discourage absences. Policies to Address Ethics & Professionalism Policies on ethics and professionalism will prepare employees to make sound decisions when deciding which action or behaviours is appropriate in different situations. These policies serve as guideline to prohibit i nappropriate behaviours, hold each employee accountable for their actions, and supports positive corporate brand. The VP of HR can outline polices that discourages its employees from meeting with outside competitors and mandate that all its employee sign a confidentiality agreement which helps to protect its intellectual property. Should any employee breach the policy and break their contract, the results
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