Module 4 – Case
Lisa McDonald is the new VP of HR at Company XYZ. She has been with this company for 4 years and is nervous of this demanding position. While working for Company XYZ as an HR Generalist, she went to school in the evenings and earned a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management at a local university. As a result of her education, she was the right person for the job when the VP of HR left the company without notice. Unfortunately, Company XYZ did not have a succession plan in place and the CEO decided to “throw” Lisa into this prestigious position of VP of HR. Her first big project was to figure out why productivity levels have been decreasing over the last three quarters. She decided to create a survey. She had all of the employees at Company XYZ take the survey.
After analyzing the results of the “Employee Climate and Worklife” survey, she learned that many of the employees feel as if they are overworked and burnt-out. After conducting some personal research and reviewing the data from the last survey, she learned that many of the employees have over 200 hours of unused sick-time (i.e., 5 weeks) and over 400 hours (i.e., 10 weeks) of unused vacation time. Her employees did not want to take any time-off from work. She wondered if it was because they simply loved their job or if they were so overwhelmed with work, they could not afford to take time-off from work.
After calling her favorite professor from college, she understands that she has some options. Perhaps it’s time to implement a condensed work week? Perhaps it’s time to give employees the option of working 10 hour shifts, 4 days per week? Perhaps it’s time to offer the senior employees the option of working 13 hour shifts, 3 days per week? Perhaps it is time to let employees telecommute? All of the options have potential and could increase productivity levels and the other issues that emerged from the survey. The only problem is that she needs to discuss the situation with the CEO before she can implement a new policy.
Drawing on the material in the background readings and doing additional research, please prepare a 2-4 page paper (not including the cover and reference pages) in which you thoroughly answer the following questions (your paper should be in essay format where you address these questions in your essay):
Case Study Questions
- How should Lisa McDonald approach the situation? As the new VP of HR, is it worth implementing a new “controversial” policy (i.e., condensed work week) or is time for a routine work flow analysis and job analysis? Justify your response.
- Do you believe Company XYZ has an effective succession plan? Justify your response. What are the consequences of not having a succession plan?
- Do you think a plausible solution for this situation is job enlargement, job sharing, job rotation, and/or job enrichment? Justify your response.
- What if the CEO agrees to telecommuting? Create a memo highlighting the policy in detail so there is no confusion.
- As an HR Manager, what is the best way to gauge how your employees feel about a telecommuting policy (e.g., large meeting, anonymous survey, or one-on-one meetings)? Justify your response.
- If the CEO opposes telecommuting but is willing to hear some “options for a condensed work week” (i.e., 3 days a week with 13 hours shifts), what are the pros and cons of such a unique schedule?