Clearwater Electronics now has 1,600 employees and an HR department
Clearwater Electronics now has 1,600 employees and an HR department
Clearwater Electronics now has 1,600 employees and an HR department with several employees. However, it was not always that large. In its second year, the company was growing steadily and hired its 40th employee. At that time, the CEO decided to hire an HR generalist to manage all human resources functions. Why was this decision the best thing for the company at the time?
· The CEO believed HR was important to the strategic mission of the firm, and the company needed someone qualified to handle a wide variety of HR responsibilities.
· The CEO, who had been handling the HR functions, was overwhelmed by all the HR tasks as well as the overall company responsibilities and needed someone dedicated to HR.
· The company needed someone who could manage complex HR reporting functions in a timely manner as well as manage the time-consuming task of recruiting.
· The company was past the start-up stage, and someone handling HR would help recruit better applicants.
2. .As the HR director of Clearwater Electronics, you know it is important for HR to be as close as possible to where the people and problems are located. Which reason best explains why it is important for HR to know the line managers and their needs?
· Because line managers are the ones responsible for interviewing and hiring potential employees, it is best that HR collaborate on recruiting efforts to ensure the right people are hired.
· Because line managers are on the front line, HR needs to ensure they and their employees are protected from legal ramifications should something go wrong.
· Because line managers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees, it is necessary for HR to provide training to prevent accidents.
· Because line managers are responsible for their employees, it is necessary for HR to empower them to implement HR initiatives and make sure they are successfully carried out.
3. Clearwater Electronics wants to strategically attract new talent to the organization to support future growth. Why is it important for the HR director to work with top management to improve the firm’s recruiting system?
· Because the HR director is responsible for the firm’s talent management, it is important to work with top management to ensure the recruiting is legally compliant.
· Because the HR director is responsible for the firm’s talent management, it is important to work with top management to ensure the recruiting strategy meets the firm’s overall needs and attracts top talent.
· Because the HR director is responsible for the firm’s talent management, it is important to work with top management to make sure that those recruited will fit into the company culture.
· Because the HR director is responsible for the firm’s talent management, it is important to work with top management to make sure employees are satisfied with their pay and that the firm has enough financial resources to attract top talent.
4. The results of unethical behavior in a business can be catastrophic, both financially and in reputation. Clearwater Electronics currently has a solid reputation as an ethical organization and wants to maintain that reputation. Top management has tasked the HR department to reinforce ethical behavior consistently throughout the company. Given that responsibility, why is it especially important for the HR professionals themselves to behave ethically?
· Because HR professionals in positions of authority are responsible for creating and sustaining a positive work environment, it is important that they always behave ethically.
· Because employees depend on HR to process their compensation and benefits, it is important to know that they can trust the HR professionals who process their payments.
· Because HR professionals deal directly with employees, they are able to see when unethical behaviors occur and address them.
· Because employees depend on HR to know about and enforce legal compliance, it is important for the HR professionals to set a good example
5. Productivity is an important goal for Clearwater Electronics. Like most productive organizations, Clearwater recognizes the contributions human resource management (HRM) can make to improve productivity through people. How can HRM best ensure that the work environment at Clearwater is one in which employees are productive and add value?
· HR managers can contribute by ensuring line managers and employees comply with the many laws, regulations, arbitration, and court decisions a company will face.
· HR managers can contribute by providing top management with a regular report of what is going on in the company.
· HR managers can contribute by providing work organization and design that allow for an increase of output as well as quality.
· HR managers can contribute by ensuring employee tasks and responsibilities are described in detail to avoid lack of understanding on the part of employees
6. Susan Lopez, the CEO of Clearwater Electronics, has recently provided details of a large change initiative that is forecasted to begin next year. As part of the briefing, Susan explained that previous company-wide changes were rough, that both time and money were wasted, and that employee morale suffered. If the previous organizational change was so painful, why would the CEO feel it important to implement another change initiative, and how can HR best support the CEO in this initiative?
· The CEO wants Clearwater Electronics to become more successful and stave off the possibility of being acquired by another company. HR can help the CEO by recording reactions to the changes by managers and employees and monitoring morale.
· The CEO wants Clearwater Electronics to make changes because other organizations are doing so, and she does not want the company to be left behind. HR can help the CEO by reminding employees of the mission and vision of the company.
· The CEO wants Clearwater Electronics to improve its market position and be prepared for the competitive and uncertain environment in today’s global economy. HR can help the CEO by monitoring the effectiveness of the changes.
· The CEO wants Clearwater Electronics to diversify its portfolio. HR can help the CEO by counseling employees to embrace the changes being made.
7. The HR recruiting specialist and line managers at Clearwater Electronics work closely together when hiring new employees. The line managers are ultimately responsible for the final selection of a new employee, but the HR recruiting specialist serves an important role by providing information about potential employees and arranging for interviews. Why is this service helpful to the line managers?
· The recruiting specialist can help the line managers from expecting too much, too soon from new employees.
· The recruiting specialist can help the line managers from interviewing applicants who are not qualified for the positions.
· The recruiting specialist can help the line managers from rushing the hire because there is an immediate need to fill positions.
· The recruiting specialist can help the line managers from relying too much on the interview, a common recruiting pitfall.
8. An employee on one of Clearwater Electronics’ production lines violated safety protocols by disabling a machine’s safety guard. The line manager wrote up the employee and submitted the violation to HR. Why is it important for managers and HR to work together to promote a safety-first culture?
· It is necessary for them to work together because ignoring safety issues shows a lack of respect for employees as well as the company.
· It is necessary for them to work together to make sure OSHA guidelines are clearly stated in many places on the production line.
· It is necessary for them to work together to make sure employees pay attention and understand safety training offered by HR.
· It is necessary for them to work together because neglecting safety issues can cost the company substantially when workplace injuries occur.
9. Clearwater Electronics has installed several new machines that will improve line productivity. The training and development specialist at Clearwater Electronics is working with the line managers who are responsible for the new machines to develop a training program for line workers. Why is a training program needed in this situation, and how can it best help the employees?
· Because none of the employees know how to run the new machines, the training program will give the line managers the opportunity to observe the employees and determine which ones are best suited for advancement.
· Because the employees lack the technical skills needed to run the new machines, the training program will help them comply with OSHA regulations.
· Because none of the employees know how to run the new machines, the training program will allow line managers to observe which employees perform best.
· Because the employees lack the technical skills needed to run the new machines, the training program will help them improve their knowledge and skills and thus improve their performance.
10. As the HR director of Clearwater Electronics, you are the direct supervisor for several employees within your department. As their direct supervisor, you are tasked with conducting individual performance appraisals and providing feedback on their performance. Why should you and your direct reports take this activity seriously?
· Employees need to know job expectations and that things will not change in those expectations.
· Employees want consistent feedback to know how well they are doing their jobs and what they can do to improve.
· Employees want to know what areas they are failing in and how it will affect their bonuses and raises.
· Employees want to know how they compare to others, and a performance appraisal will allow them to make the comparison.
11. The scarcity of qualified HR managers with global experience has been identified as a major challenge for the HR department at Clearwater Electronics. Therefore, the HR director has developed a job rotation program where selected, highly skilled HR managers will work abroad in one or more assignments during their career. Why is it most important for these HR managers to increase their appreciation of cross-cultural differences, develop a global perspective, strengthen their technical skills, and broaden their socioeconomic and political knowledge?
· These skills and abilities will enable the HR managers to recruit better employees in the company subsidiaries.
· These skills and abilities will enable the HR managers to appreciate all aspect of the company’s operations, especially the contributions made by the company subsidiaries.
· These skills and abilities will provide the HR managers with greater managerial mobility.
· These skills and abilities will enable the HR managers to manage, engage, and support employees in the company’s international subsidiaries more effectively.
12. Clearwater Electronics just hired a new warehouse manager in India. He has several employees who report to him. The HR director will be training the warehouse manager to conduct quarterly performance appraisals and has sent him the performance appraisal form she uses for her own direct reports as a template. However, she has asked him to modify it to better assess the needs of the Indian subsidiary. Why is it important that the warehouse manager make the modifications?
· It is important for the performance appraisal to assess performance independent of culture.
· It is important for the performance appraisal to be consistent among the company subsidiaries. Therefore, the warehouse manager can contact managers in other countries to see what their performance appraisals contain.
· It is important for the performance appraisal to assess competence and contribution to the company, but it is also important for it to be sensitive to Indian norms and values.
· It is important for the performance appraisal to recognize conflicts that arise in the subsidiary because of cultural differences.
13. The HR department at Clearwater Electronics has been asked to develop a job description for a new managerial position in Dubai. Clearwater’s policy states that subsidiary managers should be employees from the parent company. What benefits does the company hope to realize from this ethnocentric approach?
· An employee from the parent company will cost the company less than it would cost to hire and train a local national from Dubai.
· Ethnocentric staffing offers the opportunity for the manager to learn from and transfer foreign values to the company.
· The ethnocentric approach will allow the manager to better represent the company subsidiary to the parent company.
· An employee from the parent company will have a strong working knowledge of company policies and procedures, work ethic, and productivity, and can ensure that company guidelines are followed.
14. Clearwater Electronics is planning to open an office in Shanghai, China, and the HR department has been asked to benchmark the compensation practices of other multinational organizations in the region. Why is benchmarking a first good step to developing a compensation and benefits plan to attract and retain new employees who will contribute to the organization?
· Benchmarking will allow the company to identify trend data and use it to improve their products.
· Benchmarking will ensure that salary and benefit decisions are made on solid data. This information will aid and influence the cost management of the organization.
· Benchmarking will enable the company to identify strengths and weaknesses of competitors as well as gain insights into its own strengths and weaknesses.
· Benchmarking will allow the company to offer wages comparable to other organizations in the region.
15. The HR director at Clearwater Electronics has had negative feedback from employees about perceived inequalities in compensation among its company subsidiaries. While the HR director believes compensation is already consistent and fair, a review of the compensation and benefits packages will be conducted and shared with the employees. Which of the following statements gives the best reason for conducting and sharing the compensation assessment?
· It is important that employees believe their opinions matter.
· It is important that employees perceive they are being treated equitably.
· It is important that employees see that something is being done because of their feedback.
· It is important that employees see that their contribution is valued.