Human Resource Management

05 Jul

CASE: I    Conceptualise and Get Sacked

HSS Ltd. is a leader in high-end textiles having headquarters in Bangalore.

The company records a turnover of Rs 1,000 cr. Plus a year. A year back, HSS set up a unit at Hassan (250 km away from Bangalore) to spin home textiles. The firm hired Maniyam as GM-HR and asked him to operationalise the Hassan unit.

Maniyam has a vision. Being a firm believer in affirmative actions, he plans to reach out to the rural areas and tap the potentials of teenaged girls with plus two educational background. Having completed their 12th standard, these girls are sitting at homes, idling their time, watching TV serials endlessly and probably dreaming about their marriages. Junior colleges are located in their respective villages and it is easy for these girls to get enrolled in them. But degree colleges are not nearby. The nearest degree college is minimum 10 km and no parents dare send their daughters on such long distances and that too for obtaining degrees, which would not guarantee them jobs but could make searching for suitable boys highly difficult.

These are the girls to whom Maniyam wants to reach out. How to go about hiring 1500 people from a large number who can be hired? And Karnataka is a big state with 27 districts. The GM-HR studies the geography of all the 27 districts and zeroes in on nine of them known for backwardness and industriousness.

Maniyam then thinks of the principals of Junior Colleges in all the nine districts as contact persons to identify potential candidates. This route is sure to ensure desirability and authenticity of the candidates. The girls are raw hands. Except the little educational background, they know nothing else. They need to be trained. Maniyam plans to set up a training centre at Hassan with hostel facilities for new hires. He even hires Anil, an MBA from UK, to head the training centre.

All is set. It is bright day in October 2006. MD and the newly hired VP-HR came to Hassan from Bangalore. 50 principals from different parts of the nine districts also came on invitation from Maniyam and Anil. Discussions, involving all, go on upto 2 PM. At that time, MD and VP-HR ask Maniyam to meet them at the guest house to discuss some confidential matter.

In this meeting, Maniyam is told that his style of functioning does not jell with the culture of HSS. He gets the shock of life. He responds on expected by submitting his papers.

Back in his room, Maniyam wonders what has gone wrong. Probably, the VP-HR being the same age as he is, is feeling jealous and insecure since the MD has all appreciation for the concept and the way things are happening. Maniyam does not have regrets. On the contrary he is happy that his concept is being followed though he has been sacked. After all, HSS has already hired 500 girls. With Rs 3,000 plus a month each, these girls and their parents now find it easy to find suitable boys.

Question:

1. What mad the MD change his mind and go against Maniyam? What role might the VP-HR have played in the episode?

2. If you were Maniyam, what would you do?

 

CASE: II  A Tale of Twists and Turns

Rudely shaken, Vijay came home in the evening. He was not in a mood to talk to his wife. Bolted inside, he sat in his room, lit a cigarette, and brooded over his experience with a company he loved most.

Vijay, an M.Com and an ICWA, joined the finance department of a Bangalore-based electric company (Unit 1), which boasts of an annual turnover of Rs. 400 crores. He is smart, intelligent, but conscientious. He introduced several new systems in record-keeping and was responsible for cost reduction in several areas. Being a loner, Vijay developed few friends in and outside the organization. He also missed promotions four times though he richly deserved them.

G.M. Finance saw to it that Vijay was shifted to Unit 2 where he was posted in purchasing. Though purchasing was not his cup of tea, Vijay went into it whole hog, streamlined the purchasing function, and introduced new systems, particularly in vendor development. Being honest himself, Vijay ensured that nobody else made money through questionable means.

After two years in purchasing, Vijay was shifted to stores. From finance to purchasing to stores was too much for Vijay to swallow.

He burst out before the unit head, and unable to control his anger, Vijay put in his papers too. The unit head was aghast at this development but did nothing to console Vijay. He forwarded the papers to the V.P. Finance, Unit 1.

The V.P. Finance called in Vijay, heard him for a couple of hours, advised him not to lose heart, assured him that his interests would be taken care of and requested him to resume duties in purchasing Unit 2. Vijay was also assured that no action would be taken on the papers he had put in.

Six months passed by. Then came the time to effect promotions. The list of promotees was announced and to his dismay, Vijay found that his name was missing. Angered, Vijay met the unit head who coolly told Vijay that he could collect his dues and pack off to his house for good. It was great betrayal for Vijay.

Question:

1. What should Vijay do?

 

CASE: III  Mechanist’s Indisciplined Behaviour

Dinesh, a machine operator, worked as a mechanist for Ganesh, the supervisor. Ganesh told Dinesh to pick up some trash that had fallen from Dinesh’s work area, and Dinesh replied, “I won’t do the janitor’s work.”

Ganesh replied, “when you drop it, you pick it up”. Dinesh became angry and abusive, calling Ganesh a number of names in a loud voice and refusing to pick up the trash. All employees in the department heard Dinesh’s comments.

Ganesh had been trying for two weeks to get his employees to pick up trash in order to have cleaner workplace and prevent accidents. He talked to all employees in a weekly departmental meeting and to each employee individually at least once. He stated that he was following the instructions of the general manager. The only objection came from Dinesh.

Dinesh has been with the company for five years, and in this department for six months. Ganesh had spoken to him twice about excessive alcoholism, but otherwise his record was good. He was known to have quick temper.

This outburst by Dinesh hurt Ganesh badly, Ganesh told Dinesh to come to the office and suspended him for one day for insubordination and abusive language to a supervisor. The decision was within company policy, and similar behaviours had been punished in other departments.

After Dinesh left Ganesh’s office, Ganesh phoned the HR manager, reported what he had done, and said that he was sending a copy of the suspension order for Dinesh’s file.

Question:

1. How would you rate Dinesh’s behaviour? What method of appraisal would you use? Why?

2. Do you assess any training needs of employees? If yes, what inputs should be embodied in the training programme?

 

CASE: IV   A Case of Misunderstood Message

Indane Biscuits is located in an industrial area. The biscuit factory employs labour on a daily basis. The management does not follow statutory regulations, and are able to get away with violations by keeping the concerned inspectors in good books.

The factory has a designated room to which employees are periodically called either to hire or to fire.

On the National Safety Day, the Industries Association, of which Indane Biscuits is a member, decided to celebrate collectively at a central place. Each of the member was given a specific task. The Personnel Manager, Indane Biscuits, desired to consult his supervisors and to inform everybody through them about the safety day celebrations. He sent a memo requesting them to be present in the room meant for hiring and firing. As soon as the supervisors read the memo, they all got panicky thinking that now it was their turn to get fired. They started having ‘hush-hush’ consultations. The workers also learnt about it, and since they had a lot of scores to settle with the management they extended their sympathy and support to the supervisors. As a consequence, everybody struck work and the factory came to a grinding halt.

In the meantime, the personnel manager was unaware of the developments and when he came to know of it he went immediately and tried to convince the supervisors about the purpose of inviting them and the reason why that particular room was chosen. To be fair to the Personnel Manager, he selected the room because no other room was available. But the supervisors and the workers were in no mood to listen.

The Managing Director, who rushed to the factory on hearing about the strike, also couldn’t convince the workers.

The matter was referred to the labour department. The enquiry that followed resulted in all irregularities of the factory getting exposed and imposition of heavy penalties. The Personnel Manager was sacked.  The factory opened after prolonged negotiations and settlements.

Question:

1. In the case of the Indane Biscuits, bring out the importance of ‘context’ and ‘credibility’ in communication.

2. List the direct and indirect causes for the escalation of tension at Indane Biscuits.

3. If you were the Personnel Manager what would you do?

 

CASE: V  Rise and Fall

Jagannath (Jaggu to his friends) is an over ambitious young man. For him ends justify means.

With a diploma in engineering. Jaggu joined, in 1977, a Bangalore-based company as a Technical Assistant. He got himself enrolled as a student in a evening college and obtained his degree in engineering in 1982. Recognising his improved qualification, Jaggu was promoted as Engineer-Sales in 1984.

Jaggu excelled himself in the new role and became the blue-eyed boy of the management. Promotions came to him in quick succession. He was made Manager-Sales in 1986 and Senior Manager-Marketing in 1988.

Jaggu did not forget his academic pursuits. After being promoted as Engineer-Sales, he joined an MBA (part-time) programme. After completing MBA, Jaggu became a Ph.D. scholar and obtained his doctoral degree in 1989.

Functioning as Senior Manager-Marketing, Jaggu eyed on things beyond his jurisdiction. He started complaining Suresh—the Section Head and Phahalad the Unit Chief (both production) with Ravi, the EVP (Executive-Vice President). The complaints included delay in executing orders, poor quality and customer rejections. Most of the complaints were concocted.

Ravi was convinced and requested Jaggu to head the production section so that things could be straightened up there. Jaggu became the Section head and Suresh was shifted to sales.

Jaggu started spreading wings. He prevailed upon Ravi and got sales and quality under his control, in addition to production. Suresh, an equal in status, was now subordinated to Jaggu. Success had gone to Jaggu’s head. He had everything going in his favour—position, power, money and qualification. He divided workers and used them as pawns. He ignored Prahalad and established direct link with Ravi. Unable to bear the humiliation, Prahalad quit the company. Jaggu was promoted as General Manager. He became a megalomaniac.

Things had to end at some point. It happened in Jaggu’s life too. There were complaints against him. He had inducted his brother-in-law, Ganesh, as an engineer. Ganesh was by nature corrupt. He stole copper worth Rs.5 lakh and was suspended. Jaggu tried to defend Ganesh but failed in his effort. Corruption charges were also leveled against Jaggu who was reported to have made nearly Rs.20 lakh himself.

On the new-year day of 1993, Jaggu was reverted to his old position—sales. Suresh was promoted and was asked to head production. Roles got reversed. Suresh became the boss to Jaggu.

Unable to swallow the insult, Jaggu put in his papers.

From 1977 to 1993, Jaggu’s career graph has a steep rise and sudden fall. Whether there would be another hump in the curve is a big question.

Question:

1. Bring out the principles of promotion that were employed in promoting Jaggu.

2. What would you do if you were (i) Suresh, (ii) Prahalad or (iii) Ravi?

3. Bring out the ethical issues involved in Jaggu’s behaviour.

 

CASE: VI   Chairman and CEO Seeking a Solution and Finding It

Sitting on 50-plus year old ION Tyres, the Kolkata-based tyres and tubes manufacturing company with a turnover of more than Rs.1,000 crore, both A.K. Mathur, and Raman Kumar, the CEO are searching for solutions to problems which their company started unfolding.

Financial performance of ION Tyres, is poor as reflected in its falling PBT. Performance gap between the top performer in tyres and tubes and ION Tyres ranges from 4 per cent to 5 per cent. The company has aging managerial people and equally old plant and equipment. High cost of production keeps the company in a disadvantaged position. “Boss is always right” culture has permeated everywhere. Common thread binding all the departments is missing. Each department is a stand alone entity.

There are positives nevertheless. ION Tyres and tubes are famous world-wide for durability, and superior quality. The company offers a wide range of bias tyres and tubes catering to all users segments like heavy and light commercial vehicles, motorbikes, scooters, and autos. The firm has state-of-the-art radial plant. The client list of ION comprises several big guns in Indian corporate sector. Tata Motors, Hero Honda, TVS Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, L&T, Eicher, Swaraj Mazda, Maruti Udyog and Bajaj are the regularly buying ION’s tyres and tubes.

ION seems to have everything going in its favour. It is the market leader in the Indian market enjoying 19 per cent of the market share; manufactures 5.6 m tyres per year, has a network of 50 regional offices with over 4,000 dealers and 180 C&F agents.

Suddenly both Chairman and CEO have realised that there are too many road blocks ahead of them and the journey to be rough and bumpy.

Realisation dawned on Mathur and Raman Kumar way back in 2001 when they both attended a two-day seminar on “Enhancing Organisational Capability through Balanced Scorecard” organised by CII at Kolkotta. The duo had personal talk with Sanjeev Kumar, the then Chairman of CII. They are now convinced that Balanced Score card is ideal performance assessment tool that could be used in ION with greater benefits.

Mathur and Raman Kumar acted fast. They soon organised a workshop on “Balanced Score” to educate in-house managers about the concept and the procedural aspects of its implementation. There was initial resistance to accept the scorecard as the managers felt that they were already burdened since they were busy implementing other quality improvement initiatives. Deliberations in the workshop changed them. They are now convinced and enthusiastic about the positives of the scorecard. They are ready to implement the system.

A two member task force was constituted comprising Director—HRD and G.M.—Strategy and Planning. The task force travelled to all three factories as well as zonal headquarters to unfold the implementation of scorecard. The scorecard principles were implemented successfully from November 2002 and completed by March 2003. Figures 1 to 4 show the scorecards adopted by ION Tyres.

Fig. 1

Financial
“To succeed financially how should we appear to our shareholder Objectives Measure Target Initiatives
To achieve turnover of Rs.1850 crs by FY05 ·      Sales turnover

·      PBIDT

·      To achieve turnover of Rs.1850 crs by FY05

·      PBIDT of Rs.150 crs (FY05)

·      Decrease in conversion cost from Rs.25 to Rs.21/kg in Bhopal plant and Rs.25/kg in Mysore plant

·      Develop acceptable 1000-20 lug tyres

·      Increasing number of sales offices from 180 to 220

·      7 day work week to be introduced at Bhopal plant

·      Improve fuel wastage and ensure lower power

·      VP Technology and MD to initiate technology tie-ups

 

Fig. 2

Customer
“To achieve our vision, how should we appear to out customers” Objectives Measure Target Initiatives
Improvement in customer satisfaction ·  Customer satisfaction survey (by external agency) ·      To improve from 65% to 70%

·   Customer engagement at 30%

·    Claim settlement to be reduced from 8 to 2 days

·    Improvement of casing value of used tyres, atleast by 15%

·    Cost per Kilometer of tyre comparable to competitors

Outcomes of scorecard implementation have been very encouraging. PBT improved and the gap between ION Tyres and the toppers in the industry reduced by 50 per cent. A transparent and objective performance assessment system came to be kept in place. With inertia and the ennui being broken, both Mathur and Kumar felt galvanized and realised that the road ahead of them was no more bumpy and rough. Thus, solutions to the problems were found.

 

Fig. 3

Learning and Growth
“To achieve our vision, how will we sustain our ability to change an improve” Objectives Measure Target Initiatives
Identification of “high-fliers”; Talents to be identified through development workshops ·      Job enrichment, job enlargement,  job rotation

·      Competency Assessment

·      Potential Appraisals

·   Career planning for the High-Fliers (expected to be around 30 managers)

·   Successions planning for all key positions

·   5 manday’s training/manager/year

·    Move people within same functions, in the first two years and at the year two move them to another function

·    Variable pay component in the ration 1:4 for the “high-fliers”

·    Non-financial rewards

·    Felicitation by company chairman in presence of family members for recognizing extraordinary contributions

 

Fig. 4

Internal Business Processes
“To satisfy our shareholders and customers, what business processes must we excel at” Objectives Measure Target Initiatives
Introduction of new products in the commercial tyre segment

Reduction of development time

Quarterly reconciliation of accounts receivables from dealers

Annual increases on-time to employees

·  Introduction of 3-4 new products per year in commercial tyre segment

·  Reduction of development time from 18 months to 6 months

·  Achieve 100% reconciliation

·  Annual increases by on time by 1st July

·   Introduction of 3-4 new products per year in commercial tyre segment

·   Reduction of development time from 18 months to 6 months

·   Achieve 100% reconciliation

·   Annual increases by on time by 1st July

·    Regular quarterly review of performance

·    KRA targets to be ready by 1st April

·    European certification for tyres


Question:
1. Do you agree with the conclusion drawn at the end of the case that scorecard system has galvanised ION Tyres? In other words, does scorecard system deserve all the credit?

2. Will quality improvement initiatives clash with scorecard implementation? If yes, how to avoid the clashes?

Human Resource Management

05 Jul

CASE I

EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION IN A GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION”

Bhumika Services Ltd., one of the largest public sector companies of India, was serving more than 31 million customers. Along with its vast customer base, BSNL’s financial and asset bases too were vast and strong. Changing regulations, converging markets, competition and ever demanding customers had generated challenges for BSNL. The Indore division of BSNL was the first in the country, which faced competition in basic telecom services from 1998. In spite of being a government department, Indore telephones had to face the competition, and relentless efforts were put in to improve the services and provide world­class telecom services to its customers. Among the various services offered by Indore Telecom, 197 and 183 were two special services. 197 provided non-metered enquiry services to obtain telephone numbers by simply giving the name of person/name of organization/ name and designation of person, or by giving address. 183 on the other hand, was a non­metered enquiry service that provided similar services for distant stations. There were a large number of complaints related to these services. Complaints were either directly forwarded to the district office by customers or raised during Telephone Adalats or pointed out by correspondents during press conferences, which were conducted quarterly. Complaints ranged from non-response, long waiting time to rude responses.

S. Baheti took charge as Area Manager (North) on July 25, 2001 In the Indore Division. Immediately after taking charge, he realized that special services like 197 and 183 required urgent attention as they were directly affecting the image of the organization amongst customers. Since most of the complaints during Telephone Adalats and press conferences were related to these services, Baheti wanted to reach the root cause of the problem, to solve it forever. In this process, he looked at the background of the employees involved in the special services and found that most of the employees were office bearers of various unions that were active in the organization. The problem was more complicated than it seemed to during interactions, the employees indicated that they were not to be blamed for poor services since they were facing a number of problems in providing services and senior officials were not paying enough attention to alleviate their problems. Defective handsets, non-operating telephone lines, disturbance in lines, jacks not making proper connections, fans and air conditioners not working properly and non availability of typewriter/computer terminals were some of the problems brought to the notice of Baheti by operators.

Further investigation revealed that in addition to these technical problems, there were some Human Resource Management problems as well, such as frequent short leave, extended breaks, uninformed leave and indifferent attitude of employees towards customers. Baheti identified that despite technical problems, some operators were sincere towards their viork and tried their best to provide better services. To improve these services, Baheti decided to use multipronged strategies. Most of the technical problems were solved immediately, other problems that could not be solved at his level were forwarded to higher authorities and pursued rigorously. As the technical problems were taken care of, efficiency of sincere employees went up. Moreover, Baheti also began regular interaction with the operators, appreciating their good work, listening to their problems and explaining them the;-i. importance of their jobs. The employees were made aware of the facts that B5NL did not enjoy a sole monopolistic position any more and had to compete with private players. So the laidback attitude towards customer complaints was not only detrimental to the image of the organization, but also could lead to a reduced market share.

After gaining the confidence of operators, the next step was to motivate them. Towards this end, Baheti started announcing the best operator of the month and recognition was given to the operator by displaying his name on the board of honor. The criteria for award were minimum 200 calls attended per day and 20 days’ attendance. In addition, based on last six months performance, three best performers were identified. Appreciation letters from Area Manager and General Manager were conferred upon these operators in a public function and prizes of their own choice were given to them. These efforts had a desired result and the performance of all the operators showed a marked improvement. The number of calls attended by some operators increased from 200 to 700 calls per day. Further, quick and polite response had reduced customer complaints. While reviewing the situation, Baheti was quite contended to see a remarkable change in the behavior of operators just four months. He wondered whether this change was a permanent phenomenon or he would have to strategize further.

Questions:

1. Discuss the long-term relevance of motivational techniques used by Baheti in the light of prevailing environment in the organization.

2. Had you been Baheti, what other techniques you would have used to improve the special services provided by the organization?

 

CASE II

EMPLOYEE RELATIONS AUDIT

Triveni Foods Pvt. Ltd., a multinational confectionary company, having its branches in more than 50 countries and marketing its products in about 135 countries, established one of its production units in 1988 at Mathura near Delhi. It had a workforce of nearly 320 employees and sales turnover was more than Rs. 150 crores. Being a confectionary unit, hygiene was given the upper most priority to the extent that no one was allowed to enter the production area without taking bath and wearing sterilized clothes provided by the company. The entire process was automatic and required only food specialists and labor. In order to match the required standards, emphasis was given on training and welfare of employees on regular basis. Facilities like transportation were also provided since delay by ten minutes could cause production losses at the time of shift changes.

Over a period of time due to start and workers’ redundancy, it was observed that problems like lethargy, absenteeism, violation of work practices were increasing. Absenteeism rate went up to 18 percent. Employees visited canteen for drinking water and started gossiping during working hours. Buses did not arrive on time due to which production suffered. Operators came late and left shop floor early without waiting for relievers. Employees were found hovering in administration building without any reason. It was also found that employees were violating personal hygiene standards. Malpractices were also reported with attendance process and records. These activities were having a negative impact on managerial effectiveness and performance of the unit. The management tried to take number of initiatives to overcome these problems. However, these initiatives seemed ad hoc solutions and did not serve the purpose in the long run.

In 1996, Alok Trivedi joined the company as Head of the Department H.R. While facing these problems, he realized that the causes of these problems were deep rooted and required a proactive approach. He started with an approach called Employee Relation Audit, developed by him, where everything was to be monitored, regulated and reported on regular intervals. He along with his team prepared an action plan (Appendix 1) and corrective measures were taken accordingly. Facilities of drinking water were arranged at 3 to 4 places in the production area which stopped employees from going to canteen for this purpose. Action was taken against the late arrivals of the buses. A proper time study was done and they were given ten minutes margin so that they could report on time. Operators were frequently questioned and stringent vigilance was kept for amenities. Regular counseling was also arranged. A grievance register was also kept and effective grievance redressal was undertaken. Groups were formed called ‘Pragati’ groups for solving work related problems. Employees were frequently checked for ensuring their strict adherence to personal hygiene standards. For ensuring timely processing and printing of attendance records, training was given to al! line officers and production of records was made mandatory on shift basis.

It was further decided that based on this action plan an audit should be carried out at regular periods so that actual performance could be measured. For quantification, a 5 point. scale 0- poor, 2-below average, 3-average, 4-good, 5-v.good) audit report was prepared featuring practices, criteria for evaluation, standards, observations/comments and rating :Appendix 2). For example, in canteen criteria for evaluation there were food quality, menu, timings and unauthorized presence of the employees in the kitchen. The standards were strict adherence to the rules defined. For transportation, arrival, departure and punching of cards by drivers were the criteria for evaluation. Internal teams of auditors were asked to observe and comment against the set standards and give the rating accordingly. Performance vas evaluated on the basis of percentage, the highest point being 215. For example, if the total points scored on various parameters in a audit report was one hundred and fifty five, hen percentage score would be seventy-two (l55/215xl00 = 72 per cent). The first audit “as carried out in August 1999 and percentage of performance was sixty two.

In the year 2000, the performance rose to sixty-five per cent. Proactive approach of solving le problems was adopted. For example, registers were maintained at different work areas, write down the complaints experienced by employees and action was taken by the concerned person. A complaint of tap leaking in a bathroom was recorded in register by a workman. It was attended by a supervisor in charge and he got it repaired immediately. At times these were reviewed and signed by H.R. department and the higher management. Due to these practices, a lot of improvement was observed. Better working conditions, increased productivity, rise in employees’ commitment towards their goals and better superior -subordinate relationship could be seen. In 2001, the percentage of the performance rose to seventy two. While reviewing the Employee relation audit, Alok Trivedi was quite satisfied to note the steady though slow improvement in the figures of performance.

Questions:

1. Had you been in place of Alok Trivedi, what additional measures would you have taken?

2. Critically analyze the Employee Relations Audit in the light of its contribution to self motivation of employees.

 

CA S E III

EMPLOYEE TURNOVER AT XYZ MOON LIFE INSURANCE

In 1950, with the enactment of the Insurance Act, Government of India decided to bring all the insurance companies under one umbrella of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). Despite the monopoly of LIC, the insurance sector was not doing well. Till 1995, only 12% of the country’s people had insurance cover. The need for exploring the insurance market was felt and consequently the Government of India set up the Malhotra Committee. On the basis of their recommendations, Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IRDA) Act was passed in parliament in 2000. This move allowed the private insurers in the market with the stop foreign players with 74:26% stake. XYZ- Moon life was one of the first three private players getting the license to operate in India in the year 2000.

XYZ Moon Life Insurance was a joint venture between the XYZ Group and Moon Inc. of US. XYZ starred off its operations in 1965, providing finance for industrial development and since then it had diversified into housing finance, consumer finance, mutual funds and now its latest venture was Life Insurance. Its foreign partner Moon Inc. was established in 1858 and had grown to be the largest life insurance and mutual fund company in the U.S. Moon Inc. had its presence in Asia since the past 75 years catering to over 1 million customers across 11 Asian countries.

Within a span of two years, twelve private players obtained the license from IRDA. IRDA had provided certain base policies like, Endowment Policies, Money back Policies, Retirement Policies, Term Policies, Whole Life Policies, and Health Policies. They were free to customize their products by adding on the riders. In the year 2003, the company became one of the market leaders amongst the private players. Till 2003, total market share of private insurers was about 4%, but Moon Life was performing well and had the market share of about 30% of the private insurance business.

In June 2002, XYZ Moon Life started its operations at Nagpur with one Sales Manager (SM) and ten Development Officers (DO). The role of a DO was to recruit the agents and sell a career to those who have an inclination towards insurance and could work either on part time or full time basis. They were very specific in recruiting the agents, because their contribution directly reflected their performance. All DOs faced three challenges such as Case Rate (number of policies), Case Size (amount of premium), and Recruitment of advisors by natural market, personal observations, nominators, and centre of influence. Incentives offered by the company to development officers and agents were based on their performance, which resulted into internal competition and finally converted into rivalry.

In August 2002, ,a Branch Manager joined along with one more Sales Manager and ten Development Officers. Initially, the branch was performing well and was able to build their image in the local market. As the industry was dynamic in nature, there were frequent opportunities bubbling in the market. In order to capitalize the outside opportunities, one sales manager left the organization in January 2003. As the sales manager was a real performer, he was able to convince all the good performers at XYZ Moon Life Insurance to join the new company. As a result of this, the organizational structure got disturbed and the development officers, who were earlier reporting to the SM had started reporting directly to the branch manager. Now, nepotism crept in and the branch manager began reallocating good agents to his favorite development officers. The sales team of another sales manager became weak (low performer). Seeing the low performance of the sales manager and his development officers, the company decided to terminate their services. As the employees’ turnover rate of the organization was more than the industry rate, the company had to continuously recruit sales agents as well as development officers to sustain itself in a highly competitive environment. The internal competition among development officers resulted into problems like, high employee turnover and dissatisfaction. Hence the branch was not able to perform as per the benchmarks set by the company. Its performance was not even comparable to that of other branches of the same company.

In April 2004, the company faced a grave problem, when the Branch Manager left the organization for greener pastures. To fill the position, in May 2004, the company appointed a new Branch Manager, Shashank Malik, and a Sales Manager, Rohit Pandey. The Branch Manager in his early thirties had an experience of sales and training of about 12 years and was looking after two branches i.e., Nagpur and Nasik.

Malik was given one Assistant Manager and 25 Development Officers. Out of that, ten were reporting to Assistant Manager and remaining fifteen were directly reporting to him. He was given the responsibility of handling all the operations and the authority to make all the decisions, while informing the Branch Manager. Malik opined that the insurance industry is a sunrise industry where manpower plays an important role as the business is based on relationship. He wanted to encourage one-to-one interaction, transparency and 4iscipline in his organization. While managing his team, he wanted his co-workers to analyze themselves i.e., to understand their own strengths and weaknesses. He wanted them to be result-oriented and was willing to extend his full support. Finally, he wanted to introduce weekly analysis in his game plan along with inflow of new blood in his organization. Using his vast experience, he began informal interactions among .the employees, by organizing outings and parties, to inculcate the feelings of friendliness and belonging. He wanted to increase the commitment level and integrity of his young dynamic team by facilitating proper civilization of their energy. He believed that proper training could give his team a proper understanding of the business and the dynamics of insurance industry.

Questions:

1. If you were Malik, what strategies would you adopt to solve the problem?

2. With high employee turnover in insurance industry, how can the company retain a person like Malik?

 

CASE IV

FRAGRANCE COMPANY LIMITED

Petals Company Limited (PCL) was initiated in the year 1919. Since then, it had produced a number of brands which enjoyed customer loyalty. It had adapted well with the changing environment and had entered into a strategic alliance with the S & G Limited, the producer of personal care products. The new company Fragrance Company Limited Was formed as a result in 1993 with equity participation from S& G and Petals Company Limited. This company marketed the products manufactured by the PCL. This alliance had given PCL access to the latest international technology in soaps and detergents. Thus, Fragrance Company Limited was now ideally placed to offer high value, international quality products at competitive prices. It was already an exporter of toilet soaps, detergents and cosmetics. It was a private organisation headed by Dharamchand, with its company’s headquarters at Mumbai and seven units all over the country with one of the units at Faridabad. The turnover of the company was Rs 900 crores. The company marketed the products using the latest international technology in soaps and detergents.

The organization structure was traditionally hierarchical with the senior vice president at the top of the management, the supervisory heads at the middle level and the workers at the shop floor. The company had 450 permanent workers, and 150 contract workers, with an average age of 32 years. The recruitment policy framed was to employ freshers. The various departments in the organization were: purchase, finance, systems, engineering services, excise and dispatch, operations and personnel department. The personnel and administration department were headed by Gyanchand and the functions of the personnel administration department were: recruitment, selection, training, counseling, performance appraisal, internal mobility of employees, negotiation With workers, fixation and implementation of rules and regulations regarding wages, salary, allowances and benefits to the workers. The philosophy of the company was based on Total Quality Management (TQM) and Kaizen. The company was highly environment-friendly and was oriented towards customer’s satisfaction.

Fragrance was facing an acute crisis due to high rate of absenteeism among its permanent workers. The losses were soaring high. There was loss in production, and high expenses and indiscipline were also observed. The personnel administration department conducted a survey in the year 1998. They found that the rate of absenteeism was about 20% on an average. The rules and regulations regarding leave were-12-17 days of leave with pay, 7 days casual leave with pay, 5 day sick leave with pay, extra leave without any pay. The benefits were provided as per the Employees State Insurance Act. The data collected revealed that 36% of the absenteeism was due to transportation problem, 48% was because of the workers staying away from their families, 52% due to festivals, 32% due to farming, 48% on account of alcholism, 80% on account of social occasions/marriages and 76% due to sickness of family members.

The other findings were that approximately 80% of the workers were married and they had children to look after and hence had a greater tendency towards taking leave, 8% of workers possessed dual jobs ,e.g., driving for others, mechanic work etc., so they felt that they could earn more on a particular day by remaining absent; 96% of the workers did not like night shifts and they remained absent from duty; 28% of the workers were not satisfied with the working conditions i.e. canteen facilities, drinking water, social and cultural activities and cleanliness. In 1998, the company tried to reduce absenteeism by introducing conveyance allowance for attendance and night shift allowance. The scheme called Inaam; was launched in which a worker who did not avail leave in three months, received Rs 200 per month. In­house training was imparted to workers In order to educate them about the consequences of absenteeism. They were also sent for 3-6 months training to the Central Board of Workers Education on rotation.

Counseling sessions were held for the workers in order to increase their awareness. The company also introduced the philosophy of workers participation in the management to increase their involvement and commitment towards the work. The practice of organizing picnics, festival celebration, informal get-togethers, and sports activities were also adopted to increase the commitment. Regularity was made an important component of performance appraisal and promotion. After one year, Gyanchand was highly perplexed to see only a negligible improvement in the report of the survey conducted by the personnel administration department. The rate of absenteeism had dropped by only 3%, i.e. from. 20% to 17% in spite of introducing the aforesaid schemes.

Questions:

1. What role do the non-financial incentives play in motivating the workers and minimizing the rate of absenteeism?2. What innovative solutions would you suggest to minimize the rate of absenteeism?

 

C A S E V

HE WHO RIDES A TIGER

In the Year of the Youth, the author took up a research project on young industrial workers. It involved comparing young and old workers. Two industries producing the same machines at similar technological level were selected. One belonged to the private sector and the other to the public sector. While the latter was started a decade later than the former, it had achieved greater expansion. Both were located in the same state.

After we obtained necessary permission to conduct our study, we reached the mofussil town where the private sector industry was located. Before we could launch our study, as a matter of principle, we wanted to meet the General Secretary of the workers’ union. The Personnel Department was not willing for this. On our insistence they called the union official. We talked to him for about half an hour but Personnel Department people were all the time hovering around. So we fixed a time in the evening to meet him in the union office in the town. We visited the union office in the evening. The union was having problem regarding wage deduction of some workers who did not show up for overtime. The overtime notice was short and they had not consented either, even then the management was threatening wage deduction for one week. The union could hardly do a thing’ as they in the past had burnt their hands when they had to unilaterally call off the 106 day old strike in which even their Treasurer had committed suicide. They were scared to the extent that they had productivity linked bonus agreement for even 12% bonus. Moreover, a new minuscue union was recently started in the company.

We visited the new union’s office next evening and held a long discussion. They asked for’ our suggestions. The union believed in legal battles more than agitations. After a visit to the industry the author visited the state headquarters of the new union. There every office bearer was surprisingly a lawyer. In the HQ we learnt that after we left, their union took out a procession and held a meeting in the temple. Perhaps this was the result of our discussion. While the older union was a prisoner of its past, the new union was free to write its own history. Workers’ interests were being served perhaps by both.

Questions:

1. Discuss merits/demerits of the role of strike, agitation and legal approach in union­management relations.

2. What role does mutual trust play in building union-management relations?

Human Resource Management

05 Jul

NO: 1

ENRICHING JOBS AT STANDARD DECOY

Standard Decoy in Witchell, has been making traditional wooden hunting decoys

since 1927. Cyrus Witchell began the business by carving a couple of ducks a day by hand. Demand and competition have long since driven the company to use modern machinery and assembly-line techniques, and they now turn out two hundred ducks daily even on the slowest days.

When Steward Alcorn, Cyrus Witchell’s grandson, took over the business, he knew things needed to change. Output had not fallen, and the company was surviving financially despite competition from what he called “plastic ducks” from the Far East. But Alcorn noticed that the productivity per worker had stayed the same for ten years, even during the period since the company had bought the latest equipment. While touring the plant, he noticed many employees yawning, and he found himself doing the same. No one quit. No one complained, They all gave him a smile when he walked by. But no one seemed excited with the work.

Alcorn decided to undertake a survey. He appointed a respected worker at each step in the production process to ask each of his or her co-workers questions and to fill in response sheets. One conclusion emerged from the survey: The “fine-tuners”, as Alcorn thought of them, were the most content ones. That is, those who used fine tools and brushes to get the ducks’ heads, expressions, and feathers just right seemed to enjoy their work most. In contrast, the people who planed and cut the wood into blocks, rough – cut the body shapes, spray – painted the body colour, and applied the varnish were all pretty bored.

Alcorn had heard about a technique called “job rotation” and decided to try it out. He gave all workers a taste of the “fun” jobs. He asked for volunteers to exchange jobs for one morning a week. The fine-tuners were skeptical, and the other workers were only slightly more enthusiastic. The whole programme turned out to be a disaster. Even with guidance, the planers and the spray – painters could not master the higher – precision techniques, and the fine-tuners seemed to give them only limited assistance. After one trial week, Alcorn gave up.

During a lunch break that Friday, Alcorn was wandering outside around the plant bemoaning his failure. Then he noticed one of the rough-cutters, Al Price, whittling at something with an ordinary pocket knife. It turned out to be a block of wood that he had cut incorrectly and normally would have thrown in the scrap heap. But as Price said, “It kind of looked like a duck, in an odd way,” and he had started whittling on it in spare moments.

Alcorn liked what he saw and asked Price if he would be willing to sell him the duck when he got through with it. Price looked surprised, but he agreed. The following week, Alcorn notice that Price had finished the whittling and was getting one of the fine-turners to help him paint the duck in a way that made it look even odder. When it was finished, Alcorn offered it to one of his regular customers, who took a look at it and said, “You’ve got this hand made?” and asked if he could order a gross.

By the middle of the next month, Alcorn’s “Odd Ducks” programme was in full swing. Workers were still responsible for producing the usual number of conventional ducks, but they were allowed to use company tools and materials any time they wanted to work on their own projects. There were no quotes or expectations for the Odd Ducks. Some employees worked on for weeks. Others collaborated and produced one or two a day.

Some wouldn’t sell their ducks but crafted them to practice their skills and brought them home to display on their mantels. Those who would sell them kept half the selling price. That price usually did not amount to more than their regular hourly wage, but no one seemed to care about the precise amount of income.

The response to the Odd Duck programme was so great that Alcorn put up a bulletin board he called “Odd Letters, as a place to post appreciative notes from customers. Most of the customers, it seemed, had no interest in hunting but just liked to have the ducks around. And when Alcorn learned that some of his customers were in turn selling the ducks as “Cyrus Witchell’s Olde Time Odd Ducks,” he did not complain.

Questions:

1. How did the “Odd Docks” programme enrich the jobs at Standard Decoy?

2. What motivated workers to participate in marking the Odd Ducks?

 

NO: 2

DETERMINING PAY RAISE

The Scientific Equipment Manufacturing Company is a small manufacturing unit located in Peenya, Bangalore. The company is non-unionised and manufactures analytical equipment for hospital laboratories.

Approximately one year ago, the manager of the Component Assembly Department established three production goals for the department. The goals were: (i) reduce raw material storage costs by 10 per cent; (ii) reduce variable labour costs (i.e. overtime) by 12 per cent; and (iii) decrease the number of quality rejects by 15 per cent. The manager told the six unit supervisors that the degree to which each supervisor or exceeded these goals would be one of the major inputs for their merit – pay increases for the year. In previous years, merit increases were based on seniority and an informal evaluation by the department manager.

The six supervisors worked on separate but similar production lines. A profile of each supervisor is as follows:

Amitha aged 28, single; three years with the company after receiving her degree from the Bangalore University. Has a job offer from another company for a similar job that provides a substantial pay increase over her present salary. The scientific Equipment does not want to lose Amitha because her overall performance has been excellent.

Shindhe Aged 32, married with three children; three years with the company, high school education. One of the most stable and steady supervisors. However, he supervise a group of workers who are known to be unfriendly and uncooperative with him and other employees.

Anandan Aged 34, married with four children; high school equivalent learning; one year with the company. Came to Karnataka six years ago from Tamil Nadu. A steady worker, well-liked by his co-workers, but has difficulty in learning the local language. He has, therefore, problems of communication within his group and with others.

Hemalatha Aged 29, divorcee with three children, two years with the company; high school education. Since her divorce one year ago, her performance has begun to improve. Prior to that, her performance was very erratic; with frequent absences. She is the sole support for her three children.

Eshwar Murthy Aged 27, single; two years with the company, college graduate. One of the best liked employees at Scientific Equipment. However, he had shown a lack of initiative and ambition on the job. Appears to be preoccupied with his social life, particularly around his recently purchased house.

Cheriyan Aged 24, married with no children; one year with the company after graduating from a local college. First full-time job since graduation from college. He is liked by all employees and has exhibited a high level of enthusiasm for his work.

Exhibit 11.3 presents summary of the performance of the six supervisors’ during the past year. The data include the current annual salary, the performance level on the three goals, and an overall evaluation by the department manager.

The new budget for the upcoming year has allocated a total of Rs. 1,40,000 for supervisory salaries in the Component Assembly Department, Rs. 40,000, increase from last year. The management has indicated that salary increases should range from five per cent to 12 per cent of the supervisors’ current salaries and should be tied, as closely as possible, to their performance.

In making the merit-pay increase decisions, the following points should be considered.

  1. The decisions will likely set a precedent for further salary and merit increases.
  2. Salary increases should not be excessive, but should be representative of the supervisor’s performance during the past year. It is hoped that the supervisors develop a clear perception that performance will lead to monetary rewards and that this will serve to motivate them to even better performance.
  3. The decisions should be concerned with equity, that is, they ought to be consistent and comparable with each other.
  4. The company does not want to lose these experienced supervisors to other firms. The management of this company not only wants the supervisors to be satisfied with their salary increases, but also to further develop the feeling the Scientific Equipment Manufacturing is a good company for advancement, growth and career development.
Exhibit 11.3
Supervisor Current Salary (Rs.) Storage Costs (10%) Goal Labour Costs (12%) Attainment Quality Rejects (15%) Effort Manager’s Cooperativeness Evaluation Ability to work Independently Knowledge of job
Cherian 23,000 12% 12% 17% Excellent Excellent Good Good
Amitha 24,000 12% 13% 16% Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Shindhe 24,000 6% 2% 3% Good Excellent Good Good
Anandan 22,000 4% 4% 12% Excellent Good Fair Fair
Hemalatha 23,000 11% 10% 10% Fair Fair Fair Good
Eshwar Murthy 24,000 8% 10% 3% Fair Fair Fair Fair

Instructions for the exercise

  1. Each person in the class should individually determine the Rupee amount and percentage increase in salary for each of the six supervisors, Individual decisions should be justified by a rationale or decision rule.
  2. After each individual has reached a decision, the group will convene and make the same decision as noted in (1) above.
  3. After each group has reached a decision, a spokesperson for each group will present the following information to the full class:
  4. The group’s decision concerning merit pay increase for each supervisor (rupee and percentage)
  5. The high, low and average individual decisions in the group.
  6. A rationale for the group’s decision.

 

NO. 3

TRAVAILS OF A TRAINING MANAGER

Ashwin Kumar, who has recently joined System, as a training manager, was feeling uneasy at the end of his first with Pesu Shroff, the managing director of the company.

Systems was a ten-year old unit employing 300 people. It had a turnover of Rs. 25 crore the previous year. The company traded in several products – both domestic and imported. Nearly 80 percent of its turnover came from selling electronic component products which were assembled locally from imports of semi knocked – down kits. The landed cost of its imports was about Rs. 10 crore last year. The products had an assured demand in the country, with smuggled goods from Taiwan and Korea providing whatever little competition there was. The company had been operating in a seller’s market for years and, as a result, most of its activities were production oriented rather than market oriented.

Early during the current financial year, the Government of India had announced, as a part of its economic liberalization strategy, several policy measures which made imports costlier. All imports had to be financed by exports – there were restrictions on margin money and interest rates for working capital had shot up at one stroke. With little export income in its account, Systems had no choice but to discontinue in importing SKD kits.

The company management had three option before it. First, to build up its domestic trading activity rapidly; second, to assemble at least a few of the component products from raw materials sourced locally and third, pursue after sales service aggressively both to generate revenue in the short run and to establish an enduring client-base for the company’s products in the long run.

Invariably, this meant that the survival of Systems depended on how quickly it could train its people – beginning from a handful of sales engineers – to become market – centred and customer – friendly in their approach to business.

“The days of easy revenue money are over for us,” Shroff had told Kumar, who had a formal training in HRD and had been an officer in the training cell of a multinational firm before signing up with Systems. “We have to compete now in the marketplace and sell hard to be able to secure orders. Times are changing. We have to change too. And that is where you come in. It will be your responsibility, as the training manager, to ensure that people here acquire marketing skills,” he said, adding, as a clincher, “Frankly, have always felt that a salesman is born, not trained. I have had no belief in non-technical training. In fact, have found no need so far for a training manager at Systems. But I am prepared to do anything to get more sales.”

That punching was what had made Kumar uneasy. But he decided to let it pass. Over the next few days, Kumar got busy evolving specific training packages for workers, shop –floor supervisors, administrative staff and senior functional executives and an intensive module for field salesman. Deciding to start with the salesman first, he met the sales manager to ask him to depute 10 salesmen for a training session the next day. The sales manager was skeptical and only half – heartedly consented to release people for the two – day training.

The session was a disaster. No one showed any interested in the proceedings. In fact, one of the salesmen came up to him during the coffee break and said, “You see, all this is a waste of time. Take the client for a drink and you get the sale. It is as simple as that. It has worked in the past and it will work in the future.” Kumar laughed if off but the message had been delivered.

The attendance for the second day session was thin. This lack of interest was again obvious at the session for workers next day. The works manager who had originally agreed to the idea was vague about the absence of so many workers at the training session. “They are sick, I believe,” he said, making no attempts to hide his feeling that to him to whole thing was a big joke.

Kumar had encountered such resistance in the company where he had worked earlier. He also knew that his training capsule was very effective. He was aware that training needs were universal for all companies and so were the training techniques which were also easily transferable from one set of working conditions to another and from one industry to another. He also knew that he had the aptitude and interest to become a professional trainer.

But Kumar began to realize that he had made a few tactical errors in his particular case. He should have perhaps asked Shroff to personally inaugurate the training session to give the whole exercise an air of formality and, more importantly, of authority. He should have perhaps started with the module for senior executives first.

“I must find a way out of this and bring everyone round. There is simply no way I am going to accept failure. Whatever damage there has been must be undone. I must do something,” he said to himself. What should he do?

 

NO: 4

“WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON, ANYWAY?”

It was past 4 pm and Purushottam Kshirsagar was still at his shop floor office. The small but elegant office was a perk he was entitled to after he had been nominated to the board of Horizon Industries (P) Ltd., as workman – director six months ago. His shift generally ended at 3 pm and he would be home by late evening. But that day, he still had long hours ahead of him.

Kshirsagar had been with Horizon for over twenty years. Starting off as a substitute mill-hand in the paint shop at one of the company’s manufacturing facilities; he had been made permanent on the job five years later. He had to formal education. He felt this was a handicap, but he made up for it with a willingness to learn and a certain enthusiasm on the job. He was soon marked by the works manager as someone to watch out for. Simultaneously, Kshirsagar also came to the attention of the president of the Horizon Employees’ Union who drafted him into union activities.

Even while he got promoted twice during the period to become the head colour mixer last year, Kshirsagar had gradually moved up the union hierarchy and had been thrice elected secretary of the union.

Labour-management relations at Horizon were not always cordial. This was largely because the company had not been recording a consistently good performance. There were frequent cuts in production every year because of go-slows and strikes by workmen – most, of them related to wager hikes and bonus payments.

With a view to ensuring a better understanding on the part of labour, the problems of company management, the Horizon Board, led by chairman and managing director Avinash Chaturvedi, began to toy with the idea of taking on a workman on the board. What started off as a hesitant move snowballed, after a series of brainstorming sessions with executives and meetings with the union leaders, into a situation in which Kshirsagar found himself catapulted to the Horizon board as workman-director.

It was an untested ground for the company. But the novelty of it all excited both the management and the labour force. The board members – all functional heads went out of their way to make Kshirsagar comfortable and the latter also responded quite well. He got used to the ambience of the boardroom and the sense of power it conveyed. Significantly, he was soon at home with the perspectives of top management and began to see each issue from both sides.

It was smooth going until the union the union presented a week before the monthly board meeting, its charter of demands, one of which was a 30 per cent across-the-board hike in wages. The matter was taken up at the board meeting as part of a special agenda.

“Look at what your people are asking for,” said Chaturvedi, addressing Kshirsagar with a sarcasm that no one in the board missed. “You know the precarious finances of the company. How could you be a party to a demand that simply can’t be met? You better explain to them how ridiculous the demands are,” he said.

“I don’t think they can all be dismissed as ridiculous,” said Kshirsagar. “And the board can surely consider the alternatives. We owe at least that much to the union.” But Chaturvedi adjourned the meeting in a huff, mentioning, once again to Kshirsagar that he should “advise the union properly.”

When Kshirsagar told the executive committee members of the union that the board was simply not prepared to even consider the demands, he immediately sensed the hostility in the room. “You are a sell out,” one of them said. “Who do you really represent – us or them?” asked another.

“Here comes the crunch,” thought Kshirsagar. And however hard he tried to explain, he felt he was talking to a wall.

A victim of divided loyalties, he himself was unable to understand whose side he was on. Perhaps the best course would be resigned from the board. Perhaps he should resign both from the board and the union. Or may be resign from Horizon itself and seek a job elsewhere. But, he felt, sitting in his office a little later, “none of it can solve the problem.”

Question:

1. What should he do?

 

NO: 5

THE RESENTFUL EMPLOYEE

It was a bitterly cold night, and even at the far end of the bus the east wind that raved along the street cut like a knife. The bus stopped, and two women and a man got in together and filled the vacant places. The younger woman was dressed in sealskin, and carried one of those little Pekinese dogs that women in sealskin like to carry in their laps. The conductor came and took the fare. Then his eye rested with cold malice on the beady-eyed toy dog. I saw trouble brewing. This was the opportunity for which he had been waiting, and he intended to make the most of it. I had marked him as the type of what Mr. Wells has called the Resentful Employee, the man with a general, vague grievance against everything, and in particular, a grievance against passengers who came and sat in his bus while he shivered at the door.

“You must take that dog out”, he said with sour venom.

“I shall certainly do nothing of the kind. You can take my name and address,” said the women, who had evidently expected the challenge and knew the reply.

“You must take the dog out-that is my order.”

“I won’t go on the top in such weather. It would kill me,” said the woman.

“Certainly not,” said her lady companion. “You have got a cough as it is.”

“It is nonsense”, said her male companion.

The conductor pulled the bell and the bus stopped.

“This bus does not go no until that dog is brought out.” And he stepped on the pavement and waited. It was his moment of triumph. He had the law on his side and a bus-full of angry people under his thumb. His embittered soul was having a real holiday.

The storm inside rose high. “Shameful”, Why is not he in the army?” “Call the police,” “Let us all report him,” “Let us make him give us our fares back,” “Yes, that is it, let us make him give us our fares back.” Everybody was on the side of the lady and the dog.

That little animal sat blinking at the dim lights in happy unconsciousness of the rumpus of which he was the cause.

The conductor came to the door. “What is your number?” said one taking out a pocket-book, with a gesture of terrible things, “There is my number,” said the conductor imperturbably. “Give us our fares back – you have engaged to carry us – you can not leave us here all right.” No fares back,” said the conductor.

Two or three of the passengers got out and disappeared into the night. The conductor took another turn on the pavement, then went and had a talk with the driver. Another bus, the last on the road, sailed by, indifferent to the shouts of the passengers to stop. “They stick by each other, the villains,” was the comment.

Some one pulled the bell violently. That brought the driver round to the door. “Who’s conductor of this bus?” He said, and paused for a reply. None coming, he returned to his seat and resumed beating his arms across his chest. There was no hope in that quarter. A policeman strolled up and looked in at the door. An avalanche of indignant protests and appeals burst on him. “Well, he has got his rules you know, he said generally. “Give your name and address,” “That is what he is being offered and he won’t take it.” “Oh”, said the policemen, and he went away and took his stand a few yards down the street, where he was joined by two more constables.

And still the little dog blinked at the lights, and the conductor walked to and from on the pavement like a captain on the quarter – deck in the hour of victory. A young woman, whose vice had raised high above the gale inside, descended on him with an air of threatening and slaughter. He was immovable as cold as the night and hard as the pavement. She passed on in a fury of importance to the three policemen who stood like a group of statuary up the steel watching the drama. Then she came back, imperviously beckoned her “Young man” who had sat a silent witness of her rage, and vanished. Others followed. The bus was emptying. Even the dashing young fellow who had demanded the number, and who had declared he would see this thing through if he sat there all night, had taken an opportunity to slip away.

Meanwhile the Pekinese party was passing through every stage of resistance to abject surrender. “I will go on the top,” said the sealskin lady at last. “You must not.” “I will”. “You will have pneumonia”. “Let me take it” (This from the man.) Certainly not – she would die with her dog”. When she had disappeared up the stairs the conductor came back, pulled the bell, and the bus went on. He stood sourly triumphant while his conduct was savagely discussed in his face by the remnant of the party.

Then the engine struck work, and the conductor went to the help of the driver. It was a long job, and presently the lady with the dog stole down the stairs and re-entered the bus. When the engine was put right the conductor came back and pulled the bell. Then his eye fell on the dog and his hand went to the bell-rope again. The driver looked around, the conductor pointed to the dog, the bus stopped, and the struggle recommenced with all the original features, the conductor walking the pavement, the driver smacking his arms on the box, the little dog blinking at the lights, the sealskin lady declaring that she would not go on the top and finally going.

Questions:

1. Which theory of motivation do use to motivate the bus crew? Why?

2. If you were the conductor what would you do?

3. If you were the lady with the pet dog, what would you do?

4. Role play (a) conversation between the conductor and the lady with sealskin, (b) between policemen and the fellow passengers, and (c) between the conductor and the driver.

 

NO: 6

WHEN AN EMPLOYEE SAYS HE IS HIV POSITIVE

Chemtech was a chemical firm employing nearly 1,500 people. Since the company was operating in a sheltered economic environment, the organizational focus for many years was on technology and manufacturing. There was little accent on marketing. But a liberal import regime heralded by the Government of India galvanized the management into sprucing up its sales and marketing team. A number of people were being hired from outside the company in a long overdue exercise of giving a customer – oriented focus to the company’s operations. A few employees were also being promoted from within. In a professional career spanning over two decades in personnel function in different companies, Aparojit Das, Vice president (HRD), was closely involved with the hiring interviews. And he had always chosen well even while most of his contemporaries had been expressing disillusionment with the interview as a medium of getting the right candidate for the right job.

The secret of his success lay in a technique he had worked to perfection. As a candidate walked in for an interview, Das would quickly size him up for a first impression. Subsequently, the whole tenor of his questioning over the period of the interview would be aimed at destroying that impression. If the first impression was favorable and if it persisted till the end of and interview or if an unfavourable impression turned otherwise by the end, Das had an intuitive feeling that he had a good candidate on his hands. Of course, the assessment already made by the concerned divisional head regarding specific job requirements would be a major benchmark in the final selection of a candidate.

Das knew, however, that if he had chosen people well, it was not because of any particular skill but because he was simply lucky.

That morning, as he looked at the folder lying in his desk, Das wondered whether he was finally running out of luck. The folder contained dossiers of two candidates who have been interviewed at various levels over the previous month. As a part of the final assessment, Das himself had met them individually an hour ago. Both were internal candidates, presently working as sales executives and seeking promotion to the post of the sales manager to be based at the head office of the company. Both were highly recommended by the company’s vice –president (sales) for the post.

The first dossier was of Prem Sagar who had been with Chemtech for five years. Sagar had worked his way up and understood the company’s product end their markets. He was very keen to take on new responsibilities. The second was of Arvind Vardhan who had joined the company only the previous year. He seemed confident, sensitive to others points of view, a self starter, and a good team player Das’s maiden impression was that Vardhan was a natural salesperson and it persisted, however hard he tried to disprove himself. He was clearly in favour of Vardhan.

It was when he was about to terminate the interview that Vardhan said “Mr.Das, there is something that I think I must mention in all fairness. But before I do so, I need to have your word that what I tell you will remain between the two of us.” You have my word,” said Das. “I have been declared HIV positive,” said Vardhan, “the tests came last week.

If Das panicked, he did not show it. “I don’t see how it can affect your chances of promotion,” he said, in a voice that, much to his own surprise, lacked conviction. “I think we should talk about this separately,” he continued, trying hard to retain composure. “I will get back to you. In the meantime, take care.”

Later, alone in his cabin, Das found the burden of having to make a decision lying heavily upon him. The company’s standing orders stated that no physical disability or even a chronic health problem should come in the way of a promotion as long as it does not interfere with a performance directly. But there were two major issues, as Das saw them. First, although the HIV infected people were known to work productively for years, the risk of developing active AIDS at any point of time was real. Recovery from even a temporary about of illness such as pneumonia for example, would be longer, reducing the pace of work and effecting performance on the job. This was an angle which had to be borne in the mind while giving a promotion. Second, could the confidentiality of the information given by Vardhan be retained at all for long? It was important that two other persons be informed quickly – the company’s managing director because this was the first ever case of its kind in the history of the company, and the vice-president (sales) because he was Vardhan’s functional head.

Das further thought that once it was leaked, everyone in the company would know quickly enough. Although there was no danger of contagion from casual contact, people would surely be prejudiced against Vardhan which in turn would affect his ability to deal with them. Das wondered whether in such a scenario Vardhan could be entrusted with a responsibility which in its very nature involved greater interaction with people and higher pressure of work. On the other hand, Vardhan deserved the promotion on sheer merit. To deny what was due to him would be unfair.

Question:

1. What should Das do?

Human Resource Management

05 Jul

CASE: I    Enterprise Builds On People

When most people think of car-rental firms, the names of Hertz and Avis usually come to mind. But in the last few years, Enterprise Rent-A-Car has overtaken both of these industry giants, and today it stands as both the largest and the most profitable business in the car-rental industry. In 2001, for instance, the firm had sales in excess of $6.3 billion and employed over 50,000 people.

Jack Taylor started Enterprise in St. Louis in 1957. Taylor had a unique strategy in mind for Enterprise, and that strategy played a key role in the firm’s initial success. Most car-rental firms like Hertz and Avis base most of their locations in or near airports, train stations, and other transportation hubs. These firms see their customers as business travellers and people who fly for vacation and then need transportation at the end of their flight. But Enterprise went after a different customer. It sought to rent cars to individuals whose own cars are being repaired or who are taking a driving vacation.

The firm got its start by working with insurance companies. A standard feature in many automobile insurance policies is the provision of a rental car when one’s personal car has been in an accident or has been stolen. Firms like Hertz and Avis charge relatively high daily rates because their customers need the convenience of being near an airport and/or they are having their expenses paid by their employer. These rates are often higher than insurance companies are willing to pay, so customers who these firms end up paying part of the rental bills themselves. In addition, their locations are also often inconvenient for people seeking a replacement car while theirs is in the shop.

But Enterprise located stores in downtown and suburban areas, where local residents actually live. The firm also provides local pickup and delivery service in most areas. It also negotiates exclusive contract arrangements with local insurance agents. They get the agent’s referral business while guaranteeing lower rates that are more in line with what insurance covers.

In recent years, Enterprise has started to expand its market base by pursuing a two-pronged growth strategy. First, the firm has started opening  airport locations to compete with Hertz and Avis more directly. But their target is still the occasional renter than the frequent business traveller. Second, the firm also began to expand into international markets and today has rental offices in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany.

Another key to Enterprise’s success has been its human resource strategy. The firm targets a certain kind of individual to hire; its preferred new employee is a college graduate from bottom half of graduating class, and preferably one who was an athlete or who was otherwise actively involved in campus social activities. The rationale for this unusual academic standard is actually quite simple. Enterprise managers do not believe that especially high levels of achievements are necessary to perform well in the car-rental industry, but having a college degree nevertheless demonstrates intelligence and motivation. In addition, since interpersonal relations are important to its business, Enterprise wants people who were social directors or high-ranking officers of social organisations such as fraternities or sororities. Athletes are also desirable because of their competitiveness.

Once hired, new employees at Enterprise are often shocked at the performance expectations placed on them by the firm. They generally work long, grueling hours for relatively low pay.

And all Enterprise managers are expected to jump in and help wash or vacuum cars when a rental agency gets backed up. All Enterprise managers must wear coordinated dress shirts and ties and can have facial hair only when “medically necessary”. And women must wear skirts no shorter than two inches above their knees or creased pants.

So what are the incentives for working at Enterprise? For one thing, it’s an unfortunate fact of life that college graduates with low grades often struggle to find work. Thus, a job at Enterprise is still better than no job at all. The firm does not hire outsiders—every position is filled by promoting someone already inside the company. Thus, Enterprise employees know that if they work hard and do their best, they may very well succeed in moving higher up the corporate ladder at a growing and successful firm.

Question:

1. Would Enterprise’s approach human resource management work in other industries?

2. Does Enterprise face any risks from its human resource strategy?

3. Would you want to work for Enterprise? Why or why not?

 

CASE: II    Doing The Dirty Work

Business magazines and newspapers regularly publish articles about the changing nature of work in the United States and about how many jobs are being changed. Indeed, because so much has been made of the shift toward service-sector and professional jobs, many people assumed that the number of unpleasant an undesirable jobs has declined.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Millions of Americans work in gleaming air-conditioned facilities, but many others work in dirty, grimy, and unsafe settings. For example, many jobs in the recycling industry require workers to sort through moving conveyors of trash, pulling out those items that can be recycled. Other relatively unattractive jobs include cleaning hospital restrooms, washing dishes in a restaurant, and handling toxic waste.

Consider the jobs in a chicken-processing facility. Much like a manufacturing assembly line, a chicken-processing facility is organised around a moving conveyor system. Workers call it the chain. In reality, it’s a steel cable with large clips that carries dead chickens down what might be called a “disassembly line.” Standing along this line are dozens of workers who do, in fact, take the birds apart as they pass.

Even the titles of the jobs are unsavory. Among the first set of jobs along the chain is the skinner. Skinners use sharp instruments to cut and pull the skin off the dead chicken. Towards the middle of the line are the gut pullers. These workers reach inside the chicken carcasses and remove the intestines and other organs. At the end of the line are the gizzard cutters, who tackle the more difficult organs attached to the inside of the chicken’s carcass. These organs have to be individually cut and removed for disposal.

The work is obviously distasteful, and the pace of the work is unrelenting. On a good day the chain moves an average of ninety chickens a minute for nine hours. And the workers are essentially held captive by the moving chain. For example, no one can vacate a post to use the bathroom or for other reasons without the permission of the supervisor. In some plants, taking an unauthorised bathroom break can result in suspension without pay. But the noise in a typical chicken-processing plant is so loud that the supervisor can’t hear someone calling for relief unless the person happens to be standing close by.

Jobs such as these on the chicken-processing line are actually becoming increasingly common. Fuelled by Americans’ growing appetites for lean, easy-to-cook meat, the number of poultry workers has almost doubled since 1980, and today they constitute a work force of around a quarter of a million people. Indeed, the chicken-processing industry has become a major component of the state economies of Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama.

Besides being unpleasant and dirty, many jobs in a chicken-processing plant are dangerous and unhealthy. Some workers, for example, have to fight the live birds when they are first hung on the chains. These workers are routinely scratched and pecked by the chickens. And the air inside a typical chicken-processing plant is difficult to breathe. Workers are usually supplied with paper masks, but most don’t use them because they are hot and confining.

And the work space itself is so tight that the workers often cut themselves—and sometimes their coworkers—with the knives, scissors, and other instruments they use to perform their jobs. Indeed, poultry processing ranks third among industries in the United States for cumulative trauma injuries such as carpet tunnel syndrome. The inevitable chicken feathers, faeces, and blood also contribute to the hazardous and unpleasant work environment.

Question:

1. How relevant are the concepts of competencies to the jobs in a chicken-processing plant?

2. How might you try to improve the jobs in a chicken-processing plant?

3. Are dirty, dangerous, and unpleasant jobs an inevitable part of any economy?

 

CASE: III    On Pegging Pay to Performance

“As you are aware, the Government of India has removed the capping on salaries of directors and has left the matter of their compensation to be decided by shareholders. This is indeed a welcome step,” said Samuel Menezes, president Abhayankar, Ltd., opening the meeting of the managing committee convened to discuss the elements of the company’s new plan for middle managers.

Abhayankar was am engineering firm with a turnover of Rs 600 crore last year and an employee strength of 18,00. Two years ago, as a sequel to liberalisation at the macroeconomic level, the company had restructured its operations from functional teams to product teams. The change had helped speed up transactional times and reduce systemic inefficiencies, leading to a healthy drive towards performance.

“I think it is only logical that performance should hereafter be linked to pay,” continued Menezes. “A scheme in which over 40 per cent of salary will be related to annual profits has been evolved for executives above the vice-president’s level and it will be implemented after getting shareholders approval. As far as the shopfloor staff is concerned, a system of incentive-linked monthly productivity bonus has been in place for years and it serves the purpose of rewarding good work at the assembly line. In any case, a bulk of its salary will have to continue to be governed by good old values like hierarchy, rank, seniority and attendance. But it is the middle management which poses a real dilemma. How does one evaluate its performance? More importantly, how can one ensure that managers are not shortchanged but get what they truly deserve?”

“Our vice-president (HRD), Ravi Narayanan, has now a plan ready in this regard. He has had personal discussions with all the 125 middle managers individually over the last few weeks and the plan is based on their feedback. If there are no major disagreements on the plan, we can put it into effect from next month. Ravi, may I now ask you to take the floor and make your presentation?”

The lights in the conference room dimmed and the screen on the podium lit up. “The plan I am going to unfold,” said Narayanan, pointing to the data that surfaced on the screen, “is designed to enhance team-work and provide incentives for constant improvement and excellence among middle-level managers. Briefly, the pay will be split into two components. The first consists of 75 per cent of the original salary and will be determined, as before, by factors of internal equity comprising what Sam referred to as good old values. It will be a fixed component.”

“The second component of 25 per cent,” he went on, “will be flexible. It will depend on the ability of each product team as a whole to show a minimum of 5 per cent improvement in five areas every month—product quality, cost control, speed of delivery, financial performance of the division to which the product belongs and, finally, compliance with safety and environmental norms. The five areas will have rating of 30, 25, 20, 15, and 10 per cent respectively.

“This, gentlemen, is the broad premise. The rest is a matter of detail which will be worked out after some finetuning. Any questions?”

As the lights reappeared, Gautam Ghosh, vice-president (R&D), said, “I don’t like it. And I will tell you why. Teamwork as a criterion is okay but it also has its pitfalls. The people I take on and develop are good at what they do. Their research skills are individualistic. Why should their pay depend on the performance of other members of the product team? The new pay plan makes them team players first and scientists next. It does not seem right.”

“That is a good one, Gautam,” said Narayanan. “Any other questions? I think I will take them all together.”

“I have no problems with the scheme and I think it is fine. But just for the sake of argument, let me take Gautam’s point further without meaning to pick holes in the plan,” said Avinash Sarin, vice-president (sales). “Look at my dispatch division. My people there have reduced the shipping time from four hours to one over the last six months. But what have they got? Nothing. Why? Because the other members of the team are not measuring up.”

“I think that is a situation which is bound to prevail until everyone falls in line,” intervened Vipul Desai, vice president (finance). “There would always be temporary problems in implementing anything new. The question is whether our long term objectives is right. To the extend that we are trying to promote teamwork, I think we are on the right track. However, I wish to raise a point. There are many external factors which impinge on both individual and collective performance. For instance, the cost of a raw material may suddenly go up in the market affecting product profitability. Why should the concerned product team be penalised for something beyond its control?”

“I have an observation to make too, Ravi,” said Menezes, “You would recall the survey conducted by a business fortnightly on ‘The ten companies Indian managers fancy most as a working place’. Abhayankar got top billings there. We have been the trendsetters in executive compensation in Indian industry. We have been paying the best. Will your plan ensure that it remains that way?”

As he took the floor again, the dominant thought in Narayanan’s mind was that if his plan were to be put into place, Abhayankar would set another new trend in executive compensation.

Question:

But how should he see it through?

 

CASE: IV      Crisis Blown Over

November 30, 1997 goes down in the history of a Bangalore-based electric company as the day nobody wanting it to recur but everyone recollecting it with sense of pride.

It was a festive day for all the 700-plus employees. Festoons were strung all over, banners were put up; banana trunks and leaves adorned the factory gate, instead of the usual red flags; and loud speakers were blaring Kannada songs. It was day the employees chose to celebrate Kannada Rajyothsava, annual feature of all Karnataka-based organisations. The function was to start at 4 p.m. and everybody was eagerly waiting for the big event to take place.

But the event, budgeted at Rs 1,00,000 did not take place. At around 2 p.m., there was a ghastly accident in the machine shop. Murthy was caught in the vertical turret lathe and was wounded fatally. His end came in the ambulance on the way to hospital.

The management sought union help, and the union leaders did respond with a positive attitude. They did not want to fish in troubled waters.

Series of meetings were held between the union leaders and the management. The discussions centred around two major issues—(i) restoring normalcy, and (ii) determining the amount of compensation to be paid to the dependants of Murthy.

Luckily for the management, the accident took place on a Saturday. The next day was a weekly holiday and this helped the tension to diffuse to a large extent. The funeral of the deceased took place on Sunday without any hitch. The management hoped that things would be normal on Monday morning.

But the hope was belied. The workers refused to resume work. Again the management approached the union for help. Union leaders advised the workers to resume work in al departments except in the machine shop, and the suggestions was accepted by all.

Two weeks went by, nobody entered the machine shop, though work in other places resumed. Union leaders came with a new idea to the management—to perform a pooja to ward off any evil that had befallen on the lathe. The management accepted the idea and homa was performed in the machine shop for about five hours commencing early in the morning. This helped to some extent. The workers started operations on all other machines in the machine shop except on the fateful lathe. It took two full months and a lot of persuasion from the union leaders for the workers to switch on the lathe.

The crisis was blown over, thanks to the responsible role played by the union leaders and their fellow workers. Neither the management nor the workers wish that such an incident should recur.

As the wages of the deceased grossed Rs 6,500 per month, Murthy was not covered under the ESI Act. Management had to pay compensation. Age and experience of the victim were taken into account to arrive at Rs 1,87,000 which  was the amount to be payable to the wife of the deceased. To this was added Rs 2,50,000 at the intervention of the union leaders. In addition, the widow was paid a gratuity and a monthly pension of Rs 4,300. And nobody’s wages were cut for the days not worked.

Murthy’s death witnessed an unusual behavior on the part of the workers and their leaders, and magnanimous gesture from the management. It is a pride moment in the life of the factory.

Question:

1. Do you think that the Bangalore-based company had practised participative management?

2. If your answer is yes, with what method of participation (you have read in this chapter) do you relate the above case?

3. If you were the union leader, would your behaviour have been different? If yes, what would it be?

 

CASE: V    A Case of Burnout

When Mahesh joined XYZ Bank (private sector) in 1985, he had one clear goal—to prove his mettle. He did prove himself and has been promoted five times since his entry into the bank. Compared to others, his progress has been fastest. Currently, his job demands that Mahesh should work 10 hours a day with practically no holidays. At least two day in a week, Mahesh is required to travel.

Peers and subordinates at the bank have appreciation for Mahesh. They don’t grudge the ascension achieved by Mahesh, though there are some who wish they too had been promoted as well.

The post of General Manager fell vacant. One should work as GM for a couple of years if he were to climb up to the top of the ladder, Mahesh applied for the post along with others in the bank. The Chairman assured Mahesh that the post would be his.

A sudden development took place which almost wrecked Mahesh’s chances. The bank has the practice of subjecting all its executives to medical check-up once in a year. The medical reports go straight to the Chairman who would initiate remedials where necessary. Though Mahesh was only 35, he too, was required to undergo the test.

The Chairman of the bank received a copy of Mahesh’s physical examination results, along with a note from the doctor. The note explained that Mahesh was seriously overworked, and recommended that he be given an immediate four-week vacation. The doctor also recommended that Mahesh’s workload must be reduced and he must take physical exercise every day. The note warned that if Mahesh did not care for advice, he would be in for heart trouble in another six months.

After reading the doctor’s note, the Chairman sat back in his chair, and started brooding over. Three issues were uppermost in his mind—(i) How would Mahesh take this news? (ii) How many others do have similar fitness problems? (iii) Since the environment in the bank helps create the problem, what could he do to alleviate it? The idea of holding a stress-management programme flashed in his mind and suddenly he instructed his secretary to set up a meeting with the doctor and some key staff members, at the earliest.

Question:

1. If the news is broken to Mahesh, how would he react?

2. If you were giving advice to the Chairman on this matter, what would you recommend?

 

CASE: VI    “Whose Side are you on, Anyway?”

It was past 4 pm and Purushottam Mahesh was still at his shopfloor office. The small but elegant office was a perk he was entitled to after he had been nominated to the board of Horizon Industries (P) Ltd., as workman-director six months ago. His shift generally ended at 3 pm and he would be home by late evening. But that day, he still had long hours ahead of him.

Kshirsagar had been with Horizon for over twenty years. Starting off as a substitute mill-hand in the paint shop at one of the company’s manufacturing facilities, he had been made permanent on the job five years later. He had no formal education. He felt this was a handicap, but he made up for it with a willingness to learn and a certain enthusiasm on the job. He was soon marked by the works manager as someone to watch out for. Simultaneously, Kshirsagar also came to the attention of the president of the Horizon Employees’ Union who drafted him into union activities.

Even while he got promoted twice during the period to become the head colour mixer last year, Kshirsagar had gradually moved up the union hierarchy and had been thrice elected secretary of the union. Labour-management relations at Horizon were not always cordial. This was largely because the company had not been recording a consistently good performance. There were frequent cuts in production every year because of go-slows and strikes by workmen—most of them related to wage hikes and bonus payments. With a view to ensuring a better understanding on the part of labour, the problems of company management, the Horizon board, led by chairman and managing director Aninash Chaturvedi, began to toy with idea of taking on a workman on the board. What started off as a hesitant move snowballed, after a series of brainstorming sessions with executives and meetings with the union leaders, into a situation in which Kshirsagar found himself catapulted to the Horizon board as work-man-director.

It was an untested ground for the company. But the novelty of it all excited both the management and the labour force. The board members—all functional heads went out of their way to make Kshirsagar comfortable and the latter also responded quite well. He got used to the ambience of the boardroom and the sense of power it conveyed. Significantly, he was soon at home with the perspectives of top management and began to see each issue from both sides.

It was smooth going until the union presented a week before the monthly board meeting, its charter of demands, one of which was a 30 per cent across-the board hike in wages. The matter was taken up at the board meeting as part of a special agenda.

“Look at what your people are asking for,” said Chaturvedi, addressing Kshirsagar with a sarcasm that no one in the board missed. “You know the precarious finances of the company. How could you be a party to a demand that can’t be met? You better explain to them how ridiculous the demands are,” he said.

“I don’t think they can all be dismissed as ridiculous,” said Kshirsagar. “And the board can surely consider the alternatives. We owe at least that much to the union.” But Chaturvedi adjourned the meeting in a huff, mentioning, once to Kshirsagar that he should “advise the union properly”.

When Kshirsagar told the executive committee members of the union that the board was simply not prepared to even consider the demands, he immediately sensed the hostility in the room. “You are a sell out,” one of them said. “Who do you really represent—us or them?” asked another.

“Here comes the crunch,” thought Kshirsagar. And however hard he tried to explain, he felt he was talking to a wall.

A victim of divided loyalities, he himself was unable to understand whose side he was on. Perhaps the best course would be to resign from the board. Perhaps he should resign both from the board and the union. Or may be resign from Horizon itself and seek a job elsewhere. But, he felt, sitting in his office a little later, “none of it could solve the problem.”

Question:

1. What should he do?

Human Resource Management

05 Jul

Case 1:

PROMOTING THE PROTÉGÉ

The die was cast.  Prem Nath Divan, executive chairman of Vertigo, the country’s largest engineering project organization, decided to switch tracks for a career in academics.  Divan was still six years short of the company’s retirement age of 65.  His premature exit was bound to create a flutter at the Vertigo board.  Having joined Vertigo as a management trainee soon after college, he had gradually risen through the hierarchy to take a board position as the marketing director of the firm at 32.  He had become the president five years later and the youngest chairman of the company at 45.  But, by the time he was 50, the whizkid had acquired a larger than life image of a role model for younger managers and a statesman who symbolized the best and brightest face of Indian management.

On his wife’s suggestion that it would be wise to discuss the move with one of his trusted colleagues before making a formal announcement of his intention to seek premature retirement, Divan called on Ramcharan Saxena, a solicitor who has been on the Vertigo board for over a decade.  Sexena was surprised at Divan’s plan.  But he was unfazed.  “If that is what you want to do for the rest of your life, we can only wish you well”, he told him.  “The board will miss you. But the business should go on.  We should get down to the task of choosing a successor.  The sooner it is done, the better.

“I think the choice is quite obvious, “said Divan, “Ranjan Warrior. He is good and …” Divan was taken aback to see Saxena grimace.  “You don’t have anything against him, do you?” he asks him. “No, no,” said Saxena, “He is good.  A financial strategist and a visionary.  His conceptual skills have served the company well.  But he has always had staff role with no line experience.  What we need is someone from operations.  Like Richard Crasta.”

“Richard known things inside out alright”, said Divan, “But he is just a doer.  Not fire in the belly.  Vertigo needs someone who understands the value of power and known how to use it.  Like me.  Like Ranjan.”

“That is just the problem, “said Saxena. “Prem, let me tell you something. Ranjan is a man in your own image. Everyone known that he is your protégé.  And are never popular.  He has generated a lot of resentment among senior Veritigo executives and there would be a revolt if he were to succeed you.  An exodus is something we can’t afford to have on our hands.  We should think of someone else in the interest of stability to top management.” Divan could not believe what he heard.  He had always prided himself on his hands – on style and thought he had his ear to the ground. “How could I lose touch?”  he wondered, somewhat shaken.

“When you are the boss, people accept your authority without question,” continued Saxena. “In any case, you have been successful at Vertigo and it is difficult to argue with success.  But the moment you announce your intention to leave, the aura begins to fade away.  And in deciding on your successor, the board will seek your opinion, with due regard to your judgment.  The board member must do what in their view is right for the company.  Having said that, may I also mention that if there is a showdown in the boardroom, you could always choose to stay on? We would like it.  Or we could bring in an outsider.”

“I have finalized my career plans and there is no question of staying on beyond six months from now,” said Divan.  “The board is scheduled to meet next month.  Let us shelve the matter till then.  In the meantime, I rely on you, Ram, to keep this discussion between the two of us.”

“Of course yes,” said Saxena.

On his way home, Divan thought about the matter in detail.  Bringing an outsider would undo all his life’s work at Vertigo.  There were considerations like cuture and compatibility which were paramount.  The chairman had to be an inside man.  “Richard lacks stature, “Divan said to himself. “Ranjan is the one I have been grooming, but heavens, the flip side of it all had missed me completely.  There is no way I can allow a split at the top just before I quit.  I must leave on a high note in my own interest.  I must find a way out of he imminent mess.”

Question:

1. What should Divan do?

 

Case 2:

PREJUDICES IN WORKPLACES : REAL OR PERCEIVED ?

Manjula Srivastav had been head of marketing for the last four years at Blue Chips, a computer products firm.  The company’s turnover had increased by two – and a half times during the period and its market share in a number of precuts had also moved up marginally.  What was creditable was that all this had happened in an environment in which computer prices had been crashing.

Although she had a talent for striking an instant report with people – particularly with the company’s dealers – Srivastav often found herself battling against odds, as she perceived it, as far as her relationships with her subordinates and peers in the company were concerned.  Srivastav had to fight male prejudice all the way.  She found it unfair that she had to prove herself regularly at work and she used to make her displeasure on that score quite obvious to everyone.

Six months ago, Blue Chips had been taken over by an industrial group which had a diversity of business interests and was, more importantly, flush with funds.  The change of ownership had led to a replacement of the managing director, but it had not affected the existing core management team.  Anand Prakash, the new managing director, had his priorities clear.  “Blue Chips will go international,” he had declared in the first executive committee meeting, “and exports will be our first concern.”

Prakash had also brought in Harish Naik as his executive assistant with special responsibility for exports. Naik had been seconded to Srivastav for five weeks as a part of a familiarization programme.  Much to her surprise, he had been appointed, within two months, as the vice president (exports), with compensation and perks higher than her own.  Srivastav had made a formal protest to Prakash who had assured her that he was aware of her good work in the company and that she would have an appropriate role once the restructuring plan he was already working on would by put into effect.

One morning, as she entered the office and switched on her workstation, a message flashed on her screen.  It was from Prakash. “Want to see you sometime today regarding restructuring.  Will 2.30 be convenient?” It went.

Later at his office, Prakash had come straight to the point.  He wanted to create a new post called general manager (public affairs) in the company. “With your excellent background in customer relations and connections with the dealer network, you are the ideal material for the job,” he said, “and I am offering it to you.” Srivastav was quick to react.  “There is very little I can contribute in that kind of job,” she said.  “I was in fact expecting to be promoted as vice president (home marketing).” Prakash said that the entire gamut of marketing functions would be looked after by Naik who would have boardroom responsibility for both domestic and export sales.  “If you continue in marketing, you will have to be reporting to Naik which I thought may not be fair to you.  In any case, we need someone who is strong in marketing to handle public affairs.  Let me assure you that the new post I am offering will in no way diminish your importance in the company.  You will in fact be reporting to me directly.”

“You are being unfair and your are diminishing my importance in the company,” reported Srivastav. “You know that I am a hardcore marketing professional and you also know I am the best.  Why then am I being deprived of a rightful promotion in marketing? Tell me,” she asked pointedly, “would you have done this to a male colleague?”

“That is a hypothetical question,” said Prakash.  “But I can’t think of any other slot for you in the restructuring plan I want to implement except what I am offering.”

“If the reason why you are asking me to handle this fancy public affairs business of yours,” said Srivastav, “is that you can’t think of any other slot for me, then I would have second thoughts about continuing to work for this company.”

“May I reiterate,” Said Prakash, “that I value your role and its is precisely because of this that I am delegating to you the work I have been personally handling so far? May I also state that I am upgrading the job not only because it is important but also because it should match your existing stature in the organization?”

“I need to think about this.  I will let you know tomorrow,” said Srivastav and left the office.

Question:

1. What should she do?

 

Case 3:

MECHANIST’S INDISCIPLINED BEHAVIOUR

Dinesh, a machine operator, worked as a mechanist for Ganesh, the supervisor.  Ganesh told Dinesh to pick up some trash that had fallen from Dinesh’s work area, and Dinesh replied, “I won’t do the janitor’s work.”

Ganesh replied, “When you drop it, you pick it up”.  Dinesh became angry and abusive, calling Ganesh a number of names in a loud voice and refusing to pick up the trash.  All employees in the department heard Dinesh’s comments.

Ganesh had been trying for two weeks to get his employees to pick up trash in order to have cleaner workplace and prevent accidents.  He talked to all employees in a weekly departmental meeting and to each employee individually at least once.  He stated that he was following the instructions of the general manager.  The only objection came from Dinesh.

Dinesh has been with the company for five years, and in this department for six months. Ganesh had spoken to him twice about excessive alcoholism, but otherwise his record was good.  He was known to have quick temper.

This outburst by Dinesh hurt Ganesh badly.  Ganesh told Dinesh to come to the office and suspended him for one day for insubordination and abusive language to a supervisor.   The decision was within company policy, and similar behaviors had been punished in other departments.

After Dinesh left Ganesh’s office, Ganesh phoned the HR manager, reported what he had done, and said that he was sending a copy of the suspension order for Dinesh’s file.

Questions:

1. How would you rate Dinesh’s behaviour? What method of appraisal would you use?

2. Do you assess any training needs of employees? If yes, what inputs should be embodied in the training programme?

 

Case 4:

 RISE AND FALL

Jagannath (Jaggu to his friends) is an over ambitious young man.  For him ends justify means.

With a diploma in engineering.  Jaggu joined, in 1977, a Bangalore-based company as a Technical Assistant.  He got himself enrolled as a student in an evening college and obtained his degree in engineering in 1982.  Recognizing as Engineer-Sales in 1984.

Jaggu excelled himself in the new role and became the blue-eyed boy of the management.  Promotions came to him in quick succession.  He was made Manager-Sales in 1986 and Senior Manager-Marketing in 1988.

Jaggu did not forget his academic pursuits.  After being promoted as Engineer-Sales, he joined an MBA (part-time) programme.  After completing MBA, Jaggu became a Ph.D. scholar and obtained his doctoral degree in 1989.

Functioning as Senior Manger-Marketing, Jaggu eyed on things beyond his jurisdiction.  He started complaining against Suresh the Section Head and Prahalad the Unit Chief (both production) with Ravi, the EVP (Executive – Vice President).  The complaints included delay in executing orders, poor quality and customer rejections.  Most of the complaints were concocted.

Ravi was convinced and requested Jaggu to head the production section so that things could be straightened up there.  Jaggu became the Section head and Suresh was shifted to sales.

Jaggu started spreading his wings.  He prevailed upon Ravi and got sales and quality under his control, in addition to production.  Suresh, an equal in status, was now subordinated to Jaggu.  Success had gone to Jaggu’s head.  He had everything going in his favor-position, power, money, and qualification.  He divided workers and used them as pawns.  He ignored Prahalad and established direct link with Ravi. Unable to bear the humiliation, Prahalad quit the company.  Jaggu was promoted as General Manager.  He became a megalomaniac.

Things had to end at some point.  It happened in Jaggu’s life too.  There were complaints against him.  He had inducted his brother – in – law, Ganesh, as an engineer.  Ganesh was by nature corrupt. He stole copper worth Rs. 5 lakh and was suspended.  Jaggu tried to defend Ganesh but failed in his effort.  Corruption charges were also leveled against Jaggu who was reported to have made nearly Rs. 20 lakh for himself.

On the new-year day of 1993, Jaggu was reverted back to his old position- sales.  Suresh was promoted and was asked to head production. Roles got reversed.  Suresh became boss to Jaggu.

Unable to swallow the insult, Jaggu put in his papers.

Back home, Jaggu started his own consultancy claiming himself as an authority in quality management. He poached on his previous company and picked up two best brains in quality.

Fro 1977 to 1993, Jaggu’s career graph had a steep rise and a sudden fall.  Whether there would be another hump in the curve is a big question.

Questions:

1. Bring out the principles of promotion that were employed in promoting Jaggu.

2. What would you do if you were (i) Suresh, (ii) Prahalad or (iii) Ravi?

3. Bring out the ethical issues involved in Jaggu’s behaviour.

Human Resource Management

02 Jul

Answer the following question.

Q1. State the factors affecting Job Design?

Q2. What are the various factors affecting HRP?

Q3. Write the various methods of training?

Q4. What do you understand by employee benefits?

Q5. What is Management By Objectives (MBO)?

Q6. State the objectives purposes of performance evaluation?

Q7. Explain the recruitment process?

Q8. Explain the model of strategic HRM?

Human Resource Management

28 Jun

CASE –1                                                                                                                   

The reality of software development is a huge company like Microsoft-it employs more than 48,000 people- is that a substantial portion of your work involves days of boredom punctuated by hours of tedium. You basically spend your time in an isolated office writing code and sitting in meetings during which you participate in looking for and evaluating hundreds of current employees and potential employees. Microsoft has no problem in finding and retaining software programmers. Their programmers work for very long hours and obsess on the goal of shipping product.

From the day new employees begin at Microsoft, they know they are special. New hires all have one thing in common-they are smart. The company prides itself on putting all recruits through a grueling “interviewing loop”, during which they confront a barrage (an overwhelming number of questions or complaints) of brain-teasers by future colleagues to see how well they think. Only the best and the brightest survive to become employees. The company does this because Microsofties truly believe that their company is special. For example, it has high tolerance for non-conformity, would you believe that one software tester comes to work everyday dressed in extravagant Victorian outfits?  But the underlying theme that unites Microsofties is the belief that the firm has a manifest destiny to change the world.

The least important decision as programmer can have a large importance which it can affect a new release that might be used by 50 million people. Microsoft employees are famous for putting in long hours. One program Manager said “In my First Five Years, I was the Microsoft stereotype. I lived on caffeine and vending-machine hamburgers and free beer and 20-hour work-days……I had no life…..I considered everything outside the building as a necessary evil”. More recently things have changed. There are still a number of people who put in 80-hour weeks, but 60 and 70 hour weeks are more typical and some even are doing their jobs in only 40 hours.

No discussion of the employee life at Microsoft would be complete without mentioning the company’s lucrative stock option program. Microsoft created more millionaire employees, faster, than any company in American history-more than 10,000 by the late – 1990’s while the company is certainly more than a place to get rich, executive still realize that money matters. One former Manager claims that the human resources’ department actually kept a running chart of employee satisfaction versus the company’s stock price. “When the stock was up, human resources could turn off the ventilation and everybody would say they were happy. When the stock was down, we could give people Massages and they would tell us that the Massages were too hard.” In the go-go 1990’s, when the Microsoft stock was doubling every few months and yearly stock splits were predictable, employees not only got to participate in the Microsoft’s manifest destiny, they would get rich in the process. By the spring of 2002, with the world in a recession, stock prices down, and the growth for Microsoft products slowing, it wasn’t so clear what was driving its employees to continue the company’s dominance of the software industry.

Questions

1. If you were the programmer, would you want to work at Microsoft? Why or Why not?

2. How many activities in this case can you tie into specific motivation theories? List the activities; list the motivation theories, and how they apply.

3. As Microsoft continues to get larger and its growth rate flattens do you think Management will have to modify any of its motivation practices? Elaborate.

4. Can money act as a motivator? Explain.

 

CASE-2                                                                                                                     

Merlyn Monroe is not a complainer. If she has a major ache, she usually suffers in silence. Although her employer, Atlantic Mutual Insurance, has an employee assistance program- to provide emotional and psychological support in the work plan. She certainly never thinks of using it, even if she did have a worry on her mind. “They say its confidential but who really knows? Asked Ms. Monroe’, an administrative assistant at the insurance company.

But Merlyn Monroe’s life changed on September 11, 2001. Her office at 140 Broadway in New York City, was near the world trade Center. She watched the whole thing from her 50th Floor office window.

Ms.Monroe had never seen so much destruction in her life. She had never seen such a horrific terrorist attack. Nor had she forced her to relieve 9/11 over and over.

Everything she talked to people they wanted details, which made it worse for her. She had so much anger about what had happened to her life and lives of so many people and the city where she worked for 40 Years.

Two weeks after 9/11, Ms.Monroe was still suffering after effects. Even though she lives on state Island and Atlantic Mutual’s offices have been temporarily relocated to Madison, New Jersey, not an hour goes by when she doesn’t have flashbacks of her experiences of 9/11.

Questions

1. What should Atlantic Mutual Management do, if anything, to cope with the aftereffects of 9/11?

2. How long would You expect employees to be adversely affected by 9/11 if a company provides no formal assistance for dealing with anger and stress?

3. What, if anything, should Management do about employees who appear to be suffering from such kind or trauma and stress, but will neither admit it nor accept help from their employee?

4. Outline the role of HR specialist in providing a safe and healthy environment for employees.

 

CASE – 3                                                                                                                  

Patil, RK Materials, is very angry, anxious and restless. He bumped into Mehta, RK Materials, threw the resignation letter on his table, screamed and walked out of the room swiftly.

Patil has a reason for his sudden outburst. Details of the story will tell the reasons for Patil’s anger and why he put his resignation, only four months after he took up his job.

In the year 2000 Patil quit his prestigious Mittal plant at Vishakhapatnam. As a manager Materials, Patil had various powers like he could even place an order of materials worth Rs.50 Lakhs. He required nobody’s prior consent.

Patil Joined a pulp-making plant located at Kerala, as RK Materials. The plant is part of a multiproduct and multi-plant conglomerate owned by a prestigious business house in India. The perks, reputation and designation of the conglomerate attracted Patil away from the public sector steel monolith.

When he joined the eucalyptus pulp making company, little did Patil realize that he needed prior approval to place an order for materials worth Rs.25lakh. He thought that he had the authority to place an order for materials by himself worth half the amount of what he used to as at the Mega Steel maker. He placed the order, materials arrived, were received, accepted and used up in the plant. Trouble started when the bill for Rs.25 lakh came from the vendor. The accounts department withheld the payment for the reason that the bill was not endorsed by Mehta. Mehta refused to sign on the bill as his approval was not taken by Patil before placing the order.

Patil felt very angry and cheated. A brief encounter with Mehta only made the situation worse. Patil was rudely told that he should have known company rules before venturing. He decided to Quit.

Questions

1. Do you think the company has any orientation programme? If yes, discuss its effectiveness.

2. If employees were properly selected, there should be no need for an orientation programme”. Comment on the statement.

3. If You were Patil, how would you react to the above situation?

4. Discuss the purpose of orientation. What are various requisites of an effective programme?

 

CASE-4                                                                                                                     

ABC Tool Engineering is a company producing machinery and machine tools and some other related engineering products for specialist production companies. It’s workforce consists of 1000 employees, two-thirds of which work in the production department. In 2000, the Management decided to introduce a total quality Management Scheme to increase efficiency and quality control. Throughout the 1990’s, more flexible arrangements had been introduced together with a breakdown of old work demarcation lines. Machines were now built by flexible teams of workers employing different skills like fitters, electricians, hydraulic engineers, etc. In 2000, the initiatives towards TQM were made with the introduction of BS 1110. Workers were asked to inspect the quality of their work which resulted in reduction of the need for specialist inspectors and both time and money were saved. Agreements were negotiated with the union for extra pay as a result of the increase in worker responsibility. In 2001, the Management decided to introduce a full-blown Total-quality Management Scheme on the basis of the success with the introduction of BS 1110. Problem solving groups were formed based on work groups with voluntary participation. Group leaders, who were mainly supervisors, were trained is how to run a group and in problem-solving techniques. The aims of the groups were

  1. Identifying problems inside their work area.
  2. Propose solutions
  3. Identifying problems outside their work area
  4. Refer external problems to a review team.

The review team consisted of Managers with one representative from each group, usually the group leader. The unions were lukewarm to the scheme and some shop stewards were directly against it. Within a period of 9 Months, the Total quality Management Scheme was reviewed and the senior Management came to the conclusion that it had not lived up to expectations, and few board members called it a failure. Some reason s they had identified were that team leaders had felt uncomfortable in their roles and there has been a lot of skepticism from some of the workers.

Questions

1. According to You, why did the Bs1110 Scheme succeed and the TQM Scheme failed in ABC engineering? Define the term “workers” participation in management. Bring out the prerequisites for its success.

2. Explain in your own words what empowerment means to You. Also discuss “A worker is a worker, a Manager a Manager and never the two shall meet.” Do You agree? Why?

3. What suggestions would You give to a similar company who were thinking of introducing Total Quality Management to make it a success?

Human Resource Management

28 Jun

Q.1. Elaborate on the system of HR Planning. Outline the steps to be undertaken by organizations to effectively engage in HR Planning.

Q.2. Discuss the various ways in which the commitment of errors in performance appraisal can be minimized.

Q.3. The nature and scope of the Human Resource Management Systems keeps on evolving with the changes in the external and internal environments of organizations. Elaborate on the same.

Q.4. what are some of the traditional and current sources of recruitment used by organizations? What are their pros and cons?

Q.5. How does HRM enable organizations to adapt to the dynamic changes in the environment? Illustrate with examples.

Q.6. As an HR executive, how would you go about devising HRIS for a mid – sized organization?

Q 7. Discuss the various principles and purposes of promotion and types and purpose of transfers.

 

Human Resource Management

28 Jun

CASE STUDY: 1

A policy is a plan of action.  It is a statement of intention committing the management to a general course of action.  When the management drafts a policy statement to cover some features of its personnel programmes, the statement may often contain an expression of philosophy and principle as well.  Although it is perfectly legitimate for an organization to include its philosophy, principles and policy in one policy expression.

Q1)  Why organizations adopt personnel policies explain the benefits?

Q2)  What are the sources and content of personnel policies?

Q3)  Explain few personnel policies?

Q4)  Explain principles of personnel policies?

 

CASE STUDY  : 2

Recruitment is understood as the process of searching for and obtaining applicants for jobs, from among whom the rights people can be selected.  Theoretically, recruitment process is said to end with the receipt of applications, in practice the activity extends to the screening of applications so as to eliminate those who are not qualified for the job.

Recruitment refers to the process of receipt of applications from job seekers.  In reality, the term is used to describe the entire process of employee hiring.  These are recruitment boards for railways, banks and other organization.

Q1)  Explain in detail the general purpose of recruitment?

Q2)  Explain factors governing Recruitment?

Q3)  Explain the Recruitment process with diagram?

Q4)  Explain Recruitment planning?

 

CASE STUDY  :  3

Navin AGM materials, is fuming and fretting.  He bumped into Kiran, GM Materials, threw the resignation letter on his table, shouted and walked out of the room swiftly.

Navin has reason for his sudden outburst.  He has been driven to the wall.  Perhaps details of the story will tell the reasons for Navin’s bile and why he put in his papers, barely four months after he took up his assignment.

The year was 2005 when Navin quit the prestigious Sail plant at Mumbai.  As a manager material Navin enjoyed the power.  He could even place an order for materials worth Rs 25 lakh. He needed nobody’s prior approval.

Navin joined a pulp making plant located at Pune as AGM Materials.  The plant is owned by a prestigious business house in India.  Obviously perks, designation and reputation of the conglomerate lured Navin away from the public sector.

When he joined the pulp making company, little did Navin realize that he needed prior approval to place an order for materials worth Rs 12 lakhs.  He had presumed that he had the authority to place an order by himself worth half the amount of what he used to do at the mega steel maker.  He placed the order material arrived, were recived, accepted and used up in the plant.

Trouble started when the bill for Rs 12 lakh came from vendor.  The accounts department withheld payment for the reason that the bill was not endorsed by Kiran.  Kiran rused to sign the bill as his approval was not taken by Navin  before placing the order.

Navin felt fumigated and cheated.  A brief encounter with Kiran only aggrarated the problem.  Navin was curtly told that he should have known company rules before venturing.  Navin decided to quit the company.

Q1)  Does the company have an orientation programme?

Q2)  If yes how effective is it?

Q3)  How is formal Orientation programme conducted?

Q4)  If you were Navin what would have you done?

 

CASE STUDY  :  4

Bitter it may taste, shrill it may sound, and sleepless nights it may cause, but it is true.  In a major shake up Airbus.  The European aircraft manufacturers has thrown a big shock to its employees.  Before coming to the details of the shock, a peep into the company’s resume.

Name Airbus
Created 1970
President CEO  : Vijay M.
Employees 57000
Turnover 26 Bn (Euro)
Total Aircraft sold (Feb 2007) 7187
Delivered 4598
Headquarters Paris (France)
Facilities 16
Rival Boeing

Airbus announced on February 27, 2007 that it would shed 10,000 jobs across four European contries and sell six of its unit.  On the same day the helpless workers did what was expected of them – downed tools and staged protests.  The protesting workers at Airbus’s factory at Meaulte, northern France, were seen picketing outside the factory gate after holding up production a day earlier.  To be fair to Airbus, its management entered talks with unions before the job loss and sale was formally announced.  But the talks did not mollify the agitated workers.

Job sheating and hiring of units are a part of Power and restructuring plan unleashed by Airbus to save itself from increasing loss of its ground to the arch rival, Boeing Co.

Airbus Power & Strategy was first mooted in October 2006 but sparkled a split between France & Germany over the distribution of job losses and the placement of future ones.  Later the two countries agreed to share both job losses and new technology.

The power and plan, if finalized, would mean a 3 per cent reduction to Airbus’s 55000 employee strength.

Q1)  Why should Power and focus on shedding jobs to save on cost?

Q2)  Are there no alternative strategies?

Q3)  Will the proposed shedding of jobs and scale of six units help airbus survive the intense competition from Boeing?

Q4)  Comment on the whole issue?

Human Resource Management

27 Jun

1. Explain Job Description and Job Specification.

2. Explain the modern methods of performance evaluation?

3. What are the factors affecting Job Design?

4. What do you understand by Career Development Program?

5. Explain the model of strategic HRM? What are the strategic challenges HRM facing?

6. What do you understand by employee benefits?

7. Write the various methods of training?

8. Explain the traditional methods of performance evaluation?