Borders are disappearing, and employees work side by side with other employees from around the world. As more organizations enter new markets and new countries, they need to expatriate talents into foreign lands, and hire locals. Both of these processes require a great deal of information gathering and analysis of various countries’ laws, customs, cultures, and labor supply. Understanding and overcoming the challenges of managing employees in the global workplace is the focus of the following exercises.
Beth Zuech Schneider, Vicki R. Whiting, Nicholas D. Rhew and Arlise McKinney
Scott J. Behson, Vicki R. Whiting, Suzanne C. de Janasz, Deb Cohen and Gary Stark
The following exercises don’t fit neatly into one chapter; instead, they feature, and often integrate, multiple HR concepts. Some, like the first two exercises, can be used across the entire semester, enabling students to learn and apply HR concepts across a variety of situations.
Sheri B. Schulte, Avi Kay, Denise Potosky and Monika Renard
Many organizations operate on autopilot. An employee leaves the organization and a new employee is hired to replace him or her. This practice may be efficient, but it might not be effective. What if technology plays a more significant role in the position than it did when it was previously conceived? What if several of the required tasks are no longer needed? What if the need for the position has changed drastically, or if a new position must be created, rendering a previous job description useless? Simply refilling the job without considering these kinds of changes in the environment could end in disaster. An apparent short cut to save time and money could in fact lead to hiring the wrong person for the wrong job, robbing the individual and the organization from effectively utilizing a valuable human resource. In this chapter, students are exposed to four exercises that afford them opportunities to perform a job analysis, determine job specifications, and create a new job description. With this experience, students learn first-hand the importance of job analysis and design, from both individual and organizational perspectives.
Monica Forret, Lakshmi Balachandra and Smriti Anand
In the early twentieth century, when employees began to speak out against unsafe or unfair work environments, unions began to emerge. These organizations advocated for the interests of employees – who felt (and often were) abused by managers and owners. Over time, while unions have in fact been instrumental in changing workplace conditions and legislation, there have also been instances of abuse of power and inequity within unions. Whether unions work with management or against management would be an interesting conversation. Union contracts have to be negotiated and renegotiated regularly, and not too infrequently we read news reports of strikes (work stoppages) used as a threat to move a negotiation along. However, negative implications of strikes affect more than just employees. The exercises which follow provide students with opportunities to learn more about unions and bargaining/negotiation.
Carol Scott, Suzanne C. de Janasz and Joy Schneer
Over the last 30 years, the workforce has become more demographically diverse, which reflects changes in jobs and careers. No longer does an individual (person) join an organization out of high school or college and stay until s/he retires. Organizational researchers also note that the current work environment demonstrates how the psychological contract between an organization and its employees has changed: Employment is at the whim of the organization in its increasingly competitive environment, and employees (who are responsible for navigating their advancement) are more loyal to their profession than to an organization. They change jobs more often, share jobs, and work virtually. While traditionally, the HR organization watched over employees’ careers, employees – and by extension HR professionals – must develop the ability to network, seek mentors, and balance competing work/family roles – especially as they change over the life cycle. The diverse exercises included in this chapter provide ample opportunities to start this process.
Vicki R. Whiting, Maury Peiperl and Suzanne C. de Janasz
Whereas training is the focus of developing the skills of employees as individuals, organization development is all about helping an organization develop as it grows, matures, and even nears its end. A critical component of organizational development is leading and managing change – dealing with which is difficult for more humans. The first exercise focuses on change at the individual level; after all, if individuals can’t implement change on themselves, how can they model and lead change processes aimed at an organization full of people? The other exercises focus on organizational change and development.
Edmund Chow, Julie Palmer, Phanikiran Radhakrishnan and Sunil Sookdeo
The new employees are hired, and they are working hard … but how effectively are they working? Perhaps one of the most important and difficult tasks of a manager is to give employees feedback on their performance. Much has been said about the fear of giving feedback, and this explains why it is delayed, done poorly, or avoided completely. Appraising performance requires great skill and can be used with a variety of approaches, some of which are the subject of the exercises which follow.
David M. Kaplan, Julie Palmer, Katina Thompson, Susan Dustin, Christina Arroyo, Sanjeewa Perera and Robert D. Marx
Once a job is evaluated and designed the process for filling the position begins. Decisions to be made include: determining the labor needs both now and in the future, where to advertise the job, whether to look internally first, what kind of special considerations might be made, and the criteria for selection. While this may sound simple, there is a mountain of research that demonstrates biases – both conscious and unconscious – that get in the way of making the best selection decisions. Included in this chapter are several exercises that enable students to experience the challenges of hiring employees, including special cases where diversity, overqualification, and group roles in decision-making processes are potential issues.
Lisa T. Stickney, Alexander L. A. Crossman, Joanna Crossman and Lydia Richards
In the U.S. alone, on average 13 employees die each day in workplace accidents. The industry which tops the list – construction – accounts for nearly 20 percent of workplace deaths. Ideally, workplaces are designed and maintained to be safe. However, workplace safety goes beyond construction accidents, or even the slip/fall common in food service. More work is done by knowledge workers, and with more employees spending increasingly more time at a computer, we are seeing a growing incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome and other issues related to the sedentary nature of work. Workplace safety, housed within Human Resources, is concerned with employees’ safety and well-being, and works to prevent and resolve safety-related issues. The exercises which follow will be of interest to faculty and students alike.