Business Functions: HRM Tutorial Exercises 1
Carter Cleaning Company Jennifer Carter graduated from State University in June 2005, and, after considering several job offers, decided to do what she always planned to do – go into business with her father, Jack Carter. Jack Carter opened his first Laundromat in 1995 and his second in 1998. The main attraction of these coin laundry businesses for him was that they were capital – rather than labour-intensive. Thus, once the investment in machinery was made, the stores could be run with just one unskilled attendant and none of the labour problems one normally expects from being in the retail service business. The attractiveness of operating with virtually no skilled labour notwithstanding, Jack had decided by 2015 to expand the services in each of his stores to include the dry cleaning and pressing of clothes. He embarked, in other words, on a strategy of “related diversification” by ...view middle of the document...
Each store had its own on-site manager, and on average, about seven employees and annual revenues of about $500,000. It was this six-store chain that Jeniffer joined after graduating. Her understanding with her father was that she would serve as a trouble-shooter/ consultant to the elder Carter with the aim of both learning the business and bringing to it modern management concepts and techniques for solving the business’s problems and facilitating its growth.
(a) Make a list of 5 specific HR problems you think Carter Cleaning will have to grapple with?
(b) What would you do first if you were Jennifer?
Apex Door Company Jin Du, general manager of Apex Door, has a problem. No matter how often he tells his employees how to do their jobs, they always ‘do it their way’. There were several arguments between Jin, the employee, and the employee’s supervisor. One example is the door-design department, where the designers are expected to work with the architects to design doors that meet the specifications. The designers always make mistakes – such as designing in too much steel, a problem that can cost Apex tens of thousands of wasted dollars, if you think if the number of doors in, say, a 30-storey office tower. The order-processing department is another example. Jin has a very specific and detailed way in which he wants the order to be written up, but most of the older clerks do not understand how to use the multi-page order form. The current training process is as follows. None of the jobs has a good training manual, although several have somewhat out-of-date job descriptions. The training for new people is all on the job. Usually the person leaving the company trains the new person during the one-or two-week overlap period. If there is no overlap, the new person is trained by other employees who have done the job in the past. The training is basically the same throughout the company – for machinists, secretaries, assemblers, and accounting clerks.
What do you think of Apex’s training process? Could it help to explain why employees “do things their way” and if so, how? What role do job descriptions play in training?