Part A. –Multiple Choice
1. Which of the following is an example of job rotation?
A. Angie is the office receptionist on Tuesdays and Fridays, but Bill fills this job on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
B. A worker paints chairs on Monday, operates the metal stamping press on Tuesday and Wednesday, and works on final assembly Thursday and Friday
C. A customer service representative deals with multiple customers during the week.
D. A manager Skypes into a meeting while dealing with a crisis in another part of the company.
E. Employees are given quality control authority over their own work.
5. When identifying the effective labor market, you must determine if you can find the ________ of candidates in that market.
A. best and brightest
B. right number and right type
C. simplest and most eligible
D. easiest and most useful
12. When Laura started working in the accounting department, her boss hovered over her all day and constantly double checked her work because she usually made errors. As time went along, Laura made sure she always did her work exactly as the boss would like and that she double checked her own work so the boss would find no errors. Eventually, she found that her boss stopped hovering and double checking her work. What Laura experienced was _________.
a. positive reinforcement
d. negative reinforcement
15. Robert arrives at work 15 minutes early every day. When Dillon arrives right on time each day, he notices that the boss has already given Robert the best assignments. Dillon decides to start arriving 20 minutes early to try to get the better assignments. What Dillon is experiencing is _________.
a. classical conditioning
b. operant conditioning
c. social learning
d. positive reinforcement
16. Patrick is looking for a method of training his employees for complex situations. He would like a method that allows employees to try out experimental solutions to a problem and receive feedback on how they did. Patrick’s best choice of training method would be ________ training.
Part B. – Fill in the Blank.
a. Due to a recession, the AB Corporation has a labor surplus. It wants to find a way to reduce the surplus while both being fair to employees and being ready to respond to increased demand when the recession is over. So, downsizing and layoffs are out of the question. It has already instituted a hiring freeze and is not filling positions when workers leave the company. One method for dealing with its surplus would be ___________.
b. The Design Corp. just received a large order and needs more work hours very quickly to complete the order. The order must be finished in two weeks. At that time, the labor shortage will be over. Design Corp.’s best method for dealing with its labor shortage would be ________.
c. Tire Company forecasts that it will have a labor shortage in two years. Given the new products the organization is developing, there will not be enough skilled workers for Tire Company to hire. One method for dealing with its labor shortage would be __________.
d. The Eat-in Industries has a very large labor surplus and needs to cut costs quickly due to a reduction in business. Its best method for dealing with its surplus would be ________ avoiding worker benefit programs ___________.
e. Resting Easy Corp. has a shortage of workers in their manufacturing operation in Kentucky, but has a surplus of people in their customer service center in neighboring Ohio. ___________ and transferring employees from Ohio to Kentucky is probably the best option for the company.
Part C – Paragraph Short Answer.
Beemon is a diverse differentiated industrial conglomerate with segments such as transportation systems, performance materials & technologies, and aerospace and automation & control solution. It is best known by the average consumer for its thermostats. According to the 2014 Fortune 500 list, Beemon ranked 67th out of all US companies with a revenue of $69 billion.
In 2003 Beemon merged with AlliedTemp and Bidway but encountered problems when it realized that each company possessed its own unique corporate culture. During the next several years, Beemon found itself addressing new challenges while trying to absorb its acquisitions. For example, environmental-related business liabilities had never been addressed and now required real attention. While managers were reducing research and development, new product development ceased. Beemon also experienced high turnover in upper management having three different CEOs in four years.
Beemon’s main focus in the past decade has been resolving these issues by first implementing their “One Beemon” culture. “One Beemon” or “One Bee” resulted from the identification of 12 measurable behaviors the company wanted to exhibit—including customer focus, self-awareness and championing change. The major focus is on continuous improvement processes. This strategy increased overseas sales by 10% while also helping Beemon to become more aware and responsive to their environmental responsibilities. Investments in new products and services increased while the turnover rate started to decrease with employees filling more than 85% of the vacancies in top-level positions. Just as Beemon turned the corner in 2008, the US entered a recession and Beemon’s orders were being cancelled or postponed. No new orders were being placed and sales were decreasing. As a result, direct costs of production were decreasing because the company simply did not need to purchase raw materials to make new products.
In the manufacturing industry, the cost of people covers more than 30% of the total expenses and most firms responded to the recession by restructuring their workforce by firing thousands of employees. Cutting costs for production was not an option because a loss of customers is a major risk for a company therefore; the only option left was cutting costs through employees.
Beemon knew though that even the worst recessions are not permanent and that they usually last about 12-18 months. Beemon wanted to be prepared when the economy started to heal. So, with its new culture in place Beemon took a different approach than their competitors. They projected the possible impact of economic recovery on their business noting that they would have to rehire many of the employees they would lay off during the recession. Given this projection Beemon then followed a different method of restructuring and instituted mandatory furloughs. A furlough is when the employer directs that some employees do not report to work due to special needs of a company, which may be due to economic conditions at the specific employer or in the economy as a whole. Furlough days are unpaid and therefore save the company money. Beemon knew that furloughs would harm the morale and the loyalty of its employees. Therefore, in order to benefit from furloughs, Beemon limited their use by implementing more diligent performance reviews and avoiding hiring for new positions. In the end, furlough days were rarely used by Beemon.
Many Beemon managers disagreed with the CEO Daryl Kite’s furlough approach. They believed that bigger savings could be realized by laying off employees. Kite, however, believed that the managers hugely overestimated the potential savings from a layoff and underestimated how disruptive layoffs would be given that the average employee received six months’ worth of severance pay. Beemon believed that the value of the employees’ contributions was intangible; and the company might be losing its most skilled employees if it utilized layoffs. In the end, Kite was correct: keeping their valuable employees, Beemon bounced back quicker than their competitors after the recession and Beemon’s business increased at a higher pace.
Answer the following questions:
1. How does the use of HR forecasting reflect Beemon’s strategy and culture? Explain in fewer than 10 sentences.
2. Which quantitative or qualitative manpower forecasting method do you believe Beemon used to decide to move forward with furloughs rather than layoffs? Explain in fewer than 15 sentences.
3. Name three options Beemon could have used other than furloughs to overcome the projected labor surplus during the recession? Also, give one downside to each of the options you select.
4. Compared to layoffs, do you expect the impact of furloughs to be higher on the turnover rate or lower? Explain in fewer than 6 sentences.