I. Background and Problem statement:
Natural Knibbles recently decided to serve a small niche market. They now have a mixed strategy designed to increase the company’s profit margin through further market penetration and developing in other new markets. The owners Brandon and Cherrie Wheat want to make Knibbles an interesting place to work in. They believe that the family atmosphere, open communication and employee consultation are major contributors to their success. Over the last six months Knibbles has conducted training programs based on the specific changes in the company; Cherrie constructed and offered (to their employees) courses that would improve organizational performance and would also ensure that the employees become familiar with the new standards; Orientation on the usage and maintenance of new technology was done as well. Feedback has been positive and encouraging up to this point. Two new employees – Lisa and Kane – had joined the company and took part in a formal orientation which introduced them to everything that they needed to know. With the use of a “buddy system” they two newcomers were taught by the more experienced workers; the two were mainly instructed about the routines and procedures in every position and were given hands-on work. There was, however, inadequate time to become familiar with everything. The two tried to talk to Cherrie, who told them to “not worry because they will catch up eventually”. In the end, Lisa took a permanent job and only shifted when there was a lack in hands. Kane, on the other hand, found working in Knibbles difficult because he often found it hard to recall all the routines and procedures. This eventually resulted in his peers giving negative feedback, and because of this he was considering leaving the organization. Kane and Lisa were dissatisfied with the outcome of their employment. The expectations of both were poorly met because of their employment experience, which in that time were only a few months old. In line with the problem, how can Natural Knibbles avoid the reoccurrence of such situation?
The group is aiming to be able to do the following:
* Identify the reason/s behind Lisa and Kane’s disappointment. * Answer the ff. questions/ statements:
* Identify the key characteristics of Natural Knibbles’ orientation program and how it supports the goals of the organization. * What forms of training and development do you believe would have been beneficial to a.) Kane and b.) Lisa following their initial experiences at Natural Knibbles? * What are the advantages and disadvantages of peer evaluation, and why would Natural Knibbles choose this approach as part of its performance management process? * Do believe that Cherrie should have hired an HRD consultant to design and deliver the programs needed at Natural Knibbles? Why or Why not?
III. Areas to Consider:
* The owners Brandon and Cherrie are the top management; Cherrie mainly takes the role of HR Director. * Natural Knibbles is still a small company; there are little opportunities in promotion and distribution. * The initial training program is voluntary for existing employees but mandatory for newcomers. * The formal training program which Lisa and Kane took part in lasts for three months, with a different “buddy” paired to them every month. * After the formal training program, no other training and development opportunities were offered. * Peer evaluation is used in the performance management process.
* Introduction of new production equipment
* Modified work schedules
* Job redesign
* Team-based work methods
* Staff development
* Family atmosphere/environment
* Employee consultation
* No lay-off policy
* Employees are ensured of growth and development
* Computer-based ordering system
* New work roster
* Hands-on owners...
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