New Manager of Human Resource
Discuss the relationship between corporate human resources structure andoperations at the plant level. What impact, if any, did that relationship have on thesituation described by Newcombe? Answer: After investigation of Mount Ridge Engineerings corporate human resource structure and plant operation procedures, in my opinion currently the relationships between humanresource policies and actual plant operations are very weak.
Although we can say that thehuman resource department has established a fairly complete set of procedures and policies,the actual implementation of the policies at plant level operations do not seem to be thoroughenough, no employee implement those rules. Especially, the staffing function is very weak. There is no proper linkage between corporate HR structure and operations at the plant level. In other word there is no chain of command kind of linkage between them. It seems thatoperations office can do the HR functions by themselves like hire and fire which is in factcorporate HR departments sole function.
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Even in the termination form there is onlyEmployees signature and Plant supervisors signature i. e. no control of the corporate HR department at all. The leave reason seems to be written by the supervisor not the employee,this is not logical. In fact, forcing a person for signing on the blank form of termination noticeis completely illegal and against labor act (if the allegation of Johnson is true). This maycreate a big legal problem in future. Here are the examples which show the fuzzy relationship between corporate human resourcestructure and operations at the plant level:1.
What Johnson had done was out of his job description or employee handbook:Johnson would like to have a promotion due to know a good deal about the equipmentoperators job. But seems the standard promotion channel was not set up or Braxtondidn follow the system when doing evaluation. Hence Johnson did a lots but stillcouldnt get the promotion from Braxton. 2. Johnson didnt follow personnel regulations when hes absent: As Johnson was notsatisfied with the annual evaluation, hence, he was absent without notifying his boss. 3.
Braxton took advantage of his authority to terminate Johnson. Because on thetermination letter his signature was enough to terminate him (while making Johnsonto sign on the blank form, as per allegation). There are several causes for this situation:1. Rapid expansion preventing proper dissemination of human resource policies. 2. Lack of comprehensive human resource training program. 3. Lack of proper human resource related internal controls. 4. Retention culture has not yet developed (to hire a new staff is more expensive than toretain the old staff).
Due to the above fuzzy relationship between corporate HR structure and operations at plant ithas created a long term negative impact on the whole organization itself. As described by Newcobe, one of their biggest problems has been getting management-especially plantmanagement to understand the legal and governmental regulations affecting HR procedures. Over the years there have been situations where supervisors have not followed company policy. An example of this adverse impact is Johnsons case. Though Newcombe had alreadydeveloped many benefit packages of human resource as company policies at the beginning,seems nobody followed.
Such as, Johnson didnt notify his supervisor when hes absent,Braxton added the incorrect reason through the termination form for Johnsons leave, and the job Johnson did was out of employee handbook. O ne of the important goals of the company is to remain nonunion. But if the situation getmore bad shape there may be chance of discrimination, deprivation and finally the companycan get unionized. If the situation gets continued, the company can even get warning or punishment from department of labor, which will adversely affect the competitive advantage.
How should Newcombe have handled this situation? Answer: Newcombe should first investigate whether allegations made by Bud Johnson are true or not. A fair decision cannot be made without hearing from both sides in an unbiased manner. Sheneeds to investigate if there were any friction between Braxton and Johnson. After allinvestigations, if she finds that Braxton is to be blamed for all the mess, then necessarydisciplinary actions should be taken against Braxton according to companys policy. Here are some alternative solutions to Newcombe to handle this situation:1. C rrecting the leave reason for Johnson as per his request and dont let the issue to gooutside the organization.
Try to retain Johnson by incrementing reasonable amount in salary (fulfilling hismajor motivation factor). Because he deserves higher salary as per his extraordinary performance ( several times he had handled equipment operators problem that no oneelse could handle). 3. Re-designing the termination form and process procedure : The HR department should be involved in the sign loop, employees should maintain the reason of leave and norevise of the termination form is allowed.
For the process procedure, all terminationforms should be feedback to HR department, and the employees should have theinterview with HR department as well. 4. Maintain a HR officer in each plant. If it is expensive, at least corporate office cantrain a person in each plant to look after the HR function and report to the corporateHR Department. 5. Auditing each department to know if it implement company policy or not. 6. Setting up a communication channel for employees to highlight or for relatedsupervisors to ask help7.
Reviewing the employee handbook and make sure that all managers know theemployee handbook is a legal concern as well. (Due to a jury construed the handbook as a contract of employment that was breached by the employer. ) C onsidering the company current policy that was low cost production, the short-term bestalternative will be ? Re-design the termination form and process procedure?. And in order tomake sure all related departments all clear with company policies, auditing activity can beheld at the end of the year.
Hiring of additional HR personnel is also necessary to supportrelated activities. Q3. What, if any, disciplinary action should have been taken against the plantsuperintendent (Braxton) at the time of the incident? Answer: First of all, before taking any disciplinary action the higher authority of corporate HR department shall listen to the arguments of both Braxton and Johnson. To verify abouttheir arguments, management can take interview of their respective colleagues andsupervisors independently. Here all allegations made by Johnson may not be 100% true.