December 03, 2005

Discipline in the Workplace

How to discipline employees in the workplace is again a difficult problem that faces managers. Often cases can be very complex and raise ethical and moral questions. Many cases are challenging because it is hard to draw lines on a slippery slope. It is normal for circumstance to play a large role in an individual case. As a manager it becomes extremely difficult to set standards that apply to every case, in fact, almost impossible.
The most important part is to be consistent and as fair as possible.

Performance appraisals

Performance appraisals are a very useful tool in having an effective and efficient work environment. I thought that the 360 appraisal was the best method because it accounted for the most variables. I thought it was unique in that it allowed for bi-directional feedback between the manager and employee. The process also allows for input from peer workers. It seems to be the most comprehensive plan for this type of evaluations. It is a much more solid system because it gives an individual feedback from all directions in an organization. This system provides ways to catch employees which have “fallen through the cracks” in other evaluation methods.

Coaching

Coaching employees is one of the hardest roles as an HR manager. Employees need guidance at work for direction. It is a fine line between helping employees and doing their work for them. It is important to approach employees in a non-invasive way so that they do not feel that they are being babysat. It is also important to have open communication channels between manager and employee so that ideas and thoughts can flow freely between the two.

SMART Goals

I think that the SMART goal strategy is a great way to achieve goals in an efficient way. I know that most goals that I have never come to fruition, because they are often not useful. SMART goals have direction and guidance on how to achieve a goal. The main goal is broken down into several small steps that are much easier to achieve. For me this was the best way to set a goal for a summer internship. The SMART system forced me to set small deadlines that should be easy to achieve so that I can obtain my final goal.

HR Simulation Quarter 8

Our group just finished the input for quarter eight in the HR simulation manual. The two years of inputs and outputs have brought about many choices through both hard and good times. We were faced with tough staffing decisions and other HR problems. The simulation was most effective in showing how difficult it is to determine which of the inputs affected which outputs. It finally came together in the end and I feel that our team succeeded over the two years of inputs. The project is almost complete, except for the final annual report, which should be a useful reflection on what did and did not work.

November 02, 2005

Summer Intern Position

I had an interview last week for a summer intern position at Target. The interview was on campus and was similar to the mock interview that I had in September. The mock interview prepared me well for the tough questions I was asked. Also it is true about what we learned in class, that the interview extends beyond the half-hour "interview." For example the night before they put on a "meet and greet" at Wackadoos and the actual interviewer was there socializing with all the potential hires. The mock interview and the skills I learned in class paid off, and I thought I did well. I just found out this week that they want me to go to a second interview in Minneapolis in two weeks. I hope my interview skills will help me through the second-round of interviews also.

Ethics in the Workplace

Ethics are important in every part of living, including the workplace. Ethics at work can be a touchy subject that is a slipery slope. Each individual and employeer has a diffent view on ethics in the workplace, but they need to be aligned. It is important for a company to give each employee a set of values that the company holds and expects an individual to respect. Many times employees don't even know they are breeching company policy. It is important for a company to respect their employees values as well. A company needs to make sure its policies are clearly stated, so that many of these ethical/unethical situations are stopped before they are started.