December 11, 2006

Final Report in HR Simulation

While writing our final report, we were asked to describe what we have learned from our experiences. One of the most crucial things I have learned from the simulation is that trust is an essential for a successful team. If you are able to trust your teammates, then there are a lot less headaches. If a team member is assigned a certain assignment, I trust him to complete it. I do not have to worry about whether he will get it done, or question the quality of his work.

Trust can be established through responsibility. If the whole team does their share of work in the first few weeks, then the trust will come easily. My recommendation for future teams is to establish that trust quickly and firmly. It makes the whole simulation a lot more efficient and enjoyable.

Catch a Dream

One of the exercises in class was to list our dreams and goals in life. Some I wrote down were unrealistic, such as never having a job, while others are very attainable, such as having kids. I organized my goals into five groups: unrealistic, career related, personal possessions, family goals, and travel. With the exception of the unrealistic category, I believe it is crucial to have a balance of the different categories.

From this exercise, I have learned that I value my travel goals just as much as my career. My life will not fell complete if I do not enjoy myself through vacationing or personal possessions. Also, having a family is a large portion of my goals. Interestingly, these goals correlate very closely with the values I chose in the My Values exercise earlier in the year.

The Learning Plan Continued

When I first started writing my learning plan, I thought that I would hate the whole process. Self-evaluations are not typically the most appealing writing assignments. However, as I finished writing the second part of my learning plan, I realized that the whole experience has benefited me.

Although I had a general idea of what I wanted to do during and after college, I never considered all the steps I would have to take. Writing this learning plan forced me to set out a detailed plan of reaching my long-term goals. I know exactly what I need to do now to achieve my goal of attending law school, and my goal of increasing participation in campus organizations.

I definitely recommend keeping the learning plan in the syllabus for future sections of Management 250.

Tom Mendola Case

We discussed the Tom Mendola case in class last week. The case is basically about a high school dropout who is a very bad worker. He was warned many times by his superiors that he had to improve his quality of work or they would have to let him go. After being reassigned to another section of the plant, he still performed poorly. Finally, the decision was made to fire him. He pleaded for his job and promised to perform better. He also stated how much his family depended on his income.

This situation is actually quite common. There was a similar situation with a woman that I worked with. She was a below average worker who was eventually fired. She pleaded for her job back. My boss did let her have her job back, and he explained to me that it was because she had a newborn baby that needed to be supported.

Making a decision in this case is very difficult. Ultimately, I believe that the worker's repeated poor performance is enough grounds for his or her removal.

Coming to a close on the HR Simulation

During one of the last quarters of the simulation, our team encountered the problem of having too many employees. Our quarterly result form recommended that we terminate any excess employees. However, we did not agree with this assessment. Instead, we did not hire any future employees in the levels that had too many employees. We decided to let the natural turnover reduce the amount of employees.

We predicted that terminating employees would have a very negative effect on morale. Our prediction was accurate as can be seen by our extremely high morale among employees the quarter following our decision not to layoff. We later found out that almost every other team decided to layoff employees, and that can explain why our morale level was a lot higher than industry average.

November 09, 2006

Creighton Case

The Creighton Case revolved around the racism in an international company. My job was to critique Jonah's handling of the situation. He definitely had the right intentions as he tried to confront the racism head-on. He repeatedly pressed his superiors into addressing the issue, and eventually left his company in protest.

One of the things I believed Jonah could have done different is that he should have addressed other executives in the company, and maybe even the board of directors. By making the issue company wide, it would make racism an important issue, and it would increase the priority of addressing it.

I also did not think Jonah should have quit. By quitting his job, he is giving up on his cause and the racism would continue. It should be his priority to make a difference in the company.

Hiring Ethics

We learned about guidelines surrounding the interview process in class. I believe a lot of the points made were common sense, but a few things were definitely something worth remembering.

The presenter made it clear that although the applicant should be courteous and respectful to the employer, the employers have just as large of a responsibility to the applicants. It is the employer's responsibility to respond in a timely fashion to inquiries from the applicants. I also learned that it is completely acceptable for applicants to negotiate contracts.

Some further advice the presenter gave was that applicants should not settle for a job they do not want. She told us that many people have made the mistake of taking a job they were uncertain about simply because they offered an attractive contract. This is something that I hope I remember when looking for jobs. I do not want to be stuck in a job that I get tired of after only a few months. I would prefer an interesting job over a bigger salary.