Attributes of the staffing system: Career system orientation
Janet Durham, VP of human resourses for InterClean, Inc, remarked in an e-mail sent to her staff on February 1, 2005, that they will certainly be responsible for screening new sales hires. This statement along with David Spencer's notes from the executive committee meeting on February 7, 2005, would lead one to believe that new employees will be hired. David states that "gaps need to be filled with new hires". Based on the level of expertise that each new hire will need to meet the expectations of the new corporate structure, it would seem evident that these new recruits will be taking on positions well above the entry level.
David Spencer remarked in his InterClean company wide memo that "clearly, this is a golden opportunity for anybody at Interclean who wants to help create and fill new and exciting positions of responsibility".
This indicates that although the company is willing to go to the external labor market for other than entry level positions, there is room for advancement from within for those who are willing to put in the extra work. This attribute of the staffing system is concerned with the typical sources of talent for a company. Termed a "supply flow," this dimension is "measured by the openness of the career system to the external labor market at other than entry level. Some companies focus on internal labor markets, drawing from the external labor market only for entry-level assignments, and" then follow a "promotion-from-within" policy. Others hire as needed, across organizational levels, from the external labor market. The difference in approach seems to be a function of the firm's strategic focus and the employee behaviors required to implement the desired strategy. (Dreher and Dougherty, 2001, ch 3, p.6).
Attributes of the training and development system.
Dreher and Dougherty (2001) discuss five dimensions along which firms can differ with respect to their general approach to training; skill orientation, training method orientation, career pathing, succession planning and skill inventories.
InterClean seems to focus on three of these dimensions; skill orientation, training method orientation and skill inventories. It appears that they have completely ignored career pathing and succession planning at this stage of their development.
David Spencer speaks of the sales staff becoming conversant in the language of each client's industry as it relates to cleaning and sanitation. This focus indicates that sales staff with have to become "multiskilled" and cross functionally trained in order to meet the goals of the company's new plan.
The training methods mentioned in the scenario are pretty standard and not really spelled out. Janet Durham asks her staff to "start thinking about training strategy" in her February 1, 2005 memo. David Spencer states that he "expects all management personnel to begin integration efforts immediately" between InterClean and EnviroTech employees, but nothing is spelled out about how this should be carried out.
Employee 1 mentions that she is volunteering for the training that Janet has mentioned, but the specifics of this training have not been outlined.
On a positive note, Carol Stanley, the internal consultant, has done an intense and thorough job of compiling demographic data concerning proficiency levels of all the InterClean and EnviroTech employees. This data will most certainly prove invaluable in making decisions about how the current employees will fit into the new business model and where the gaps are going to need to be filled.
High-quality training and development in organizations is based on systemic thinking about: assessing training needs, designing training solutions, deploying these solutions and evaluating the results of these initiatives. (Dreher and Dougherty, 2001, ch 3, p.7)
Attributes of the performance measurement system
By measurement type, we are thinking about results- versus process oriented measurement practices. Some performance measurement systems focus on the outcomes or products of work (or the time taken to complete tasks). Other systems tend to focus more on how the work gets done.
Based on the comments made around the water cooler, it appears that Interclean is using a results oriented measurement system as a gauge for measuring the success of it's employees. Based on Employee 2's comments around the water cooler, it appears that Interclean has been experiencing lower than expected sales over the past year. The information provided doesn't talk about the past years performance in any other venue except when Dave Spencer comments in his memo to the entire company that the sales team is talented. This is the most feeble of attempts at feedback for the sales team and really doesn't provide any hints for improving performance. (Dreher and Dougherty, 2001 p. 9).Deciding what to measure communicates what matters
- the process of setting and monitoring standards
determines how well those measurements work. Some choices for setting and monitoring
standards include deciding who sets and tracks
standards, tracking results, having measures that have
consequences and offering frequent feedback.
(Ulrich and Brockbank, 2005, vol 4, issue 5).
Frameworks for integrating staffing practice with strategy
David Spencer, InterClean CEO, states in his Strategic direction memo of January 31, 2005, "If we are among the first to introduce all-inclusive service, the potential for growth and strategic advantage is huge".
The text gives us two frameworks for staffing practices related to Prospector firms: Olian and Ryne and Sonnenfeld and Peiperl. InterClean tends to lean toward the strategies of Olian and Ryne.
Janet Durham's memo to her staff concerning hiring new staff, "It'll be up to us to screen new sales hires for the appropriate background and skill sets that will ease this transition", certainly indicates that the company is pursuing an external labor market orientation.
Carol Stanley's memo to Janet Durham recommending "recruiting key sales team leaders" confirms that key knowledge, skills and abilities will tend to be concentrated in the areas of marketing and basic research.
Terry Garcia's memo to his senior sales specialists at EnviroTech indicates a an independence and risk taking attitude that fits in well with InterClean's new vision and goals. "....we should be prepared to take lead roles in sales and marketing....I think this is our big break...there are so many things I want to talk to you guys about". Terry seems to know that this new combined company is a risk, but he is enthusiastic about the possibilities. (Dreher and Dougherty, 2001, ch 5, p.4)
Prospector firms attempt to be the first to market with new products and services. These firms rely on innovation, flexibility, and speed. (Dreher and Dougherty, 2001, ch 5, p.3)
Organization fit and systems for addressing employee motivation.The Interclean scenario doesn't talk much about "fit" but they are certainly concerned about the proficiency levels of their employees in a number of areas. It is clear from the skills inventory that InterClean's current employees are really going to have to step it up to meet the expectations of the CEO in the implementation of his new vision and goals plan.
Envirotech employees seem to have the upper hand in the skills inventory areas of performance. The vision and goals of InterClean's CEO seem to fit right in with their skills and education.
It is not clear that any of the employees have seen this skill assessment document and it is hoped that upper management will keep this information confidential. However, it seems obvious that the discrepancies in skill levels could create some difficulties in merging the two work forces.
It is not clear how the skill inventories will be used to hire new employees, however, using some type of testing to compare the skills of new employees to those sought by the company would be most advantageous to Interclean, and would quickly further their need to fill in the gaps in skills brought to the table by current employees.
Training is mentioned many different times in the scenario, however, the specifics of the training are not really clear. This leads one to believe that the specifics are not really clear to the employees either. This most likely is contributing to the low employee morale that David talks about in his notes from the executive meeting.
The company is receiving memo's concerning the acquisition of a new entity, a new direction that the company is moving in and new training, however, none of this is spelled out for the employees. Employee morale is not likely to increase until more specifics are given and employees can see where they fit into the plan.Identifying job candidates who possess not only the ability to be top performers but also the motivation to work hard and the desire to stay at a company represents another difficult challenge. Finding and retaining motivated employees is often about identifying individuals who "fit" your company's unique culture and who find the outcomes associated with high performance to their liking (Dreher and Dougherty, 2001, ch 5, p.8)
Dreher, George & Dougherty, Thomas,W. (2001). Human Resource Strategy, 1e. New York: the McGraw-Hill Companies.
Ulrich, Dave & Brockban, Wayne, (Jul/Aug 2005). The work of HR part one: people and performance, Strategic HR Review, 4(5), 20-23. Retrieved February 28, 2007, from EBSCOHost database.