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1. I think his request is reasonable. Nancy should have the time to address Mark’s request to develop an appropriate structure to deal with the growth of both companies. She will be able to present the possible strategies to overcome a shortage of employees. As well, she can discuss reasons why Family Distribution has experienced such a drastic fallout of staff over the past two years. Another topic she should have time to research are the complaints about the hiring practices at Family Manufacturing, whether they have genuine merit, and if so, what can be done to correct the situation. She should also be able to address the concerns of the vice president’s of both companies. .
2. I would not recommend one comprehensive plan for both companies because they are both experiencing different challenges that require separate action plans. Family Medical Distribution is making far less profit than it did at its peak in 1989 and has had to evolve into a specialty distributor of high end supplies just to stay afloat. Family Medical Manufacturing, on the other hand, is continuously exceeding its growth and profit projections yearly. They have the potential to grow the company even further but do not currently have the human resources to do so. .
3. Sam is a person who has been with the company for quite a long time. He has served in various positions and moved his way up the ranks, so he would have a good understanding about how the business is run. I think that Nancy should befriend him to understand his point of view and unique insights on how the company has evolved over time. . I think that Sam understands that a plan needs to be implemented to turn the company around. He has spent time and resources trying to evaluate his marketing department, sales, and operations. He’s even expressed that the staff need to work “smarter” not “harder”, but has given no specific direction on what could be done to make this a reality. His skepticism towards the value of HR seems to be based on the results of a department that has been running without a manager for the past 13 months.
Even though the HR associate, Claire Jackson, has done a great job trying to keep things afloat, she simply does not have the time or expertise to run the entire department by herself. His judgment of the results is fair in the sense that HR is not particularly useful in its current incarnation, but he doesn’t seem to have the insight to understand how much it could accomplish if it were running smoothly with competent leadership. . Nancy should explain to Sam that the best way to make the company more efficient and to work “smarter” is by appreciating how important a structured, secure working environment is to people. In order to make the company more profitable, she needs to convince him that the most important thing to do right now is to sort out how best to utilize people to achieve quality performance while at the same time promoting a business plan that will encourage growth. .
4. One glaring challenge is that there are four past complaints about hiring practices. Trust among the employees for the hiring process has been diminished, and the damage has already been done. Even though Mark Olsen seems to understand the importance of a strategic HR program, he has made some critical mistakes and shown a lapse in judgment in three ways. . Firstly, he has shown a bias in hiring people from his former employer in all cases of formal complaints made against the company. It is doubtful that the interview and selection process for these positions was done in a fair, unbiased manner. .
Secondly, he has ignored the resources he already had at his disposal by hiring employees externally. In all formal complaints the employees had the education and training do the job they were applying for. Most people want a sense of purpose and accomplishment from their careers, and ignoring that basic desire will only create discontent among the workforce. . Finally, he disregarded and disrespected the entire hiring process by promising a position to someone before the opening had even been posted. In my opinion, this type of favoritism is one of the fastest ways to demoralize people. . At the upcoming meeting for Nancy’s presentation of her human resource plans, she needs to address these mistakes and explain to Mark how important it is to follow procedure, respect the hiring process, and moreover to respect his own employees. .
2. When Nancy present’s her plan, she needs to explain the different challenges that both companies are dealing with. There are pressures and opportunities to be found in both cases. Family Medical Distribution is a well respected company but has undergone significant downsizing due to government cutbacks. The opportunity here is to create an efficient supplementary business that will complement its manufacturing counterpart. Family Medical Manufacturing has plenty of room to grow, but not enough qualified personnel to help develop its upcoming products. . Next, she should state what goals of the company are to get clear about where they want to be in a five year time frame and what it will take to get there. Mark has said that his goal is to enter the home nursing market, so the plan needs to account for what needs to be done to achieve this goal from a HR perspective. .
I think the most important issue that both companies need help with is in utilizing the talents and skills of their workforce in a way that compliments the needs of both divisions. The best solution is to consider both companies as one working unit from a HR standpoint. The deficiencies in staffing at Manufacturing could feasibly be satisfied by transferring the appropriate staff from Distribution. This would be an elegant way of taking care of the staffing needs of both companies while at the same time improving employee relations with upper management, an important first step in regaining a sense of trust and security. Nancy should also suggest that some of the money and employee benefits invested in Manufacturing’s new facility be put into effect at Distribution’s plant. It’s important to show genuine equality to employees and this would help to impart the understanding that both businesses are important for continued success.