Assignment 1: Discussion – Separation and Retention

Discussion – Separation and Retention

This assignment is designed to integrate the reflection of personal experience, and the information covered in the textbook. Using what you have learned about Juanita, answer the following questions:
o Should Juanita attempt to reduce voluntary and involuntary turnover?
o A risk of disciplining employees is that some may retaliate. To avoid that risk, what organizational policies might encourage high-performing employees to stay while encouraging low-performing employees to leave?
o To what extent are exit interviews meaningful and what kind of opinions should you attempt to capture? How are these opinions relevant to employee separation and retention?
By Saturday, March 14, 2015 submit your response to the appropriate Discussion Area. Use the same Discussion Area to comment on your classmates’ submissions and continue the discussion until Wednesday, March 18, 2015.Comment on how your classmates would address differing views.
Attachments:
Introduction to Juanita’s World

This continuing scenario will develop further in each module and will capture glimpses of Juanita Espinosa a 24 year old Hispanic woman, who has recently been hired to the position of HR Manager for a regional branch of an international non-profit organization from another non-profit. In her role she was an unpaid intern working on a Bachelors degree thesis. She is highly motivated and embraces their mission to “stamp out hunger among the young and elderly in our lifetime”.
The national organization is doing well but this regional branch is struggling with donations, retaining personnel, and numerous other issues related to motivation, pay, and training. She has been told by the US headquarters that they must show significant improvement in HR related matters within twelve months or the regional office will be closed.
Current staff consists of 30 full time personnel who work in fundraising, transportation, marketing/communications, and HR plus nearly 60 volunteers who work in the same offices as well as directly serving the constituency they are trying to serve.
During this course you will read as Juanita goes about visiting with various paid and unpaid managers during her first week. During these conversations she will hear the good, and the bad. You will assume her personality as she will be taking notes during each visit and will sit down with her notes at the end of the day to reflect and strategize on her priorities and actions that can best drive short term changes in performance that improve the organizations quality and efficiency of services while also building commitment and performance among the paid and volunteer staff.
She has a target date of establishing her priorities and developing her strategic plan from an HR perspective for 5 weeks from her hire date in order to track with the course modules.

Juanita’s World part 2
Yesterday was a bit of a surprise for Juanita as she sensed a gap between what her boss said he wanted and what he conveyed as expectations and limits on her authority. It is now Day 2 and she is excited and ready to go with her early afternoon appointment with fundraising’s Director of Development.
As she is reviewing past reports on fundraising efforts and success a visitor stops in to see her. When Melissa, introduces herself Juanita finds that she is the previous HR Manager who left the organization about 3 months earlier. Juanita perceives this is an ideal time to glean what she can about challenges and opportunities. While speaking with Melissa, Juanita finds out who the real workers are and who just seems to be filling a spot. She learns that since resources are limited they have struggled to find qualified and committed personnel to fill numerous important positions. Juanita finds that the people do care…a lot…about the mission but hardly think beyond their current circumstances and most are discouraged with their perceived lack of impact on their community. When Juanita questions Melissa about why she left she finds that Melissa had aspired to have greater responsibility and make a bigger impact but felt limited in her role in this organization. In a way, this confirmed for Juanita that she would definitely have to speak with Rich sooner than later to be sure she understood her authority to do all she thought she was hired to do.
As she visits with Jackie, the Director of Development, she learns that the economy has had a negative impact on their historical donor base. Cash gifts are down and have been trending down for about 2 years. Gifts in kind, like food, are up but since it is perishable they must distribute it quickly or it must be thrown away. And, since gifts are down they have had to rely more heavily on volunteers. This means their drivers and those who distribute food are less consistent and reliable. This is beginning to impact their gifts from donors since they are finding out that much of what they are giving is being thrown away.
As Juanita sits in her office at the end of the day she feels she is beginning to understand the complexity of the issues. It seems she has limited authority over areas that most HR Managers have and that the lack of cash is negatively impacting their ability to hire and retain the right people. Since she cannot control the availability of cash she will have to come up with some innovative ways to better hire and retain the right people.
uanita’s World part 3
While attending one of her last classes last night Juanita learned of an assignment she has related to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO). As she is driving home from class she realizes that her new employer would be a great source for the assignment and help her better understand how to do her job better.
When she met with Rich he never mentioned laws and regulations that may impact the organizations. And, when she thinks about it, she had assumed that since they were a non-profit doing work to alleviate hunger that they would somehow be exempt from government oversight.
Her appointment for Day 3 has cancelled so she decides to use the day to learn what she can about laws and regulations that they could be potentially violating and also try to better understand how they could use them to their advantage.
After about 2 hours of research she has learned:
o Full time employees number between 15-30 people depending on the year and workload.
o They receive both federal and state contracts. Each is for $20,000 per year.
o Periodically they hire people who serve in the National Guard and Reserves.
Juanita’s World part 4

It is Juanita’s 4th day on the job and it has been both exciting and scary. The more she learns the more she realizes she has to learn if she is to be successful in this new role. Based on her observations in previous jobs and as an intern at her last non-profit experience, it seemed as if the pace was slow and easy. To her surprise and with great anticipation, she is finding that there is much to be done to help this organization that she is so committed to.
Her passion and commitment runs deep as a first generation Hispanic American in her family. She remembers the trouble her family had finding suitable housing, food, and work when they first came to America when she was just 6 years old. Much has changed for her and her family but not without pain and sacrifice. Juanita is determined to make a difference for those who have little ability to help themselves. And, as far as she is concerned, this applies to all the stakeholders she will serve including the hungry, employees, employer, and the community at large.
Although there is much to do she remembers what her mama taught her….you eat an elephant one bite at a time. Based on this counsel she decides to establish some short term priorities based on what she has learned so far. From what she has heard during her first conversations with managers and what she hears from various employees, it seems the greatest need the organization has is to stabilize the employee base.
Her own job description seems inadequate for what the job will entail and she wonders if this is true of other jobs. She wonders if job descriptions are designed to reflect what is or what used to be when the organization was just getting started. And, how have they historically planned for their needs or have they merely reacted to changing requirements?

Juanita’s World part 5

Juanita feels she is developing rapport and trust with a number of the people she has visited with. It seems obvious that hiring and retaining the right people is critical to long term success. As she has probed deeper into the issues she has turned up some details on performance appraisals…or lack thereof, a weakness in employee and volunteer development and a significant lack of training.
Given these difficulties she decides the best way to gather information without having to schedule more appointments with people she has already visited is to simply engage in some discussion via email. She builds her group list and then begins to compose her email.
“….thank you for taking the time to help me feel welcome and for sharing your perspective on how HR and I can better help you accomplish your goals as well as the mission that we share. As I continue to meet with various people I find that most challenges we face point back to training and development, our performance evaluation system and related feedback, and a lack of a career track for full time employees. I am hoping you will help me out by responding to a few questions by email so I can keep thinking about these issues without having to make another appointment with you so soon after our initial meeting.”

Juanita’s World part 5

Juanita feels she is developing rapport and trust with a number of the people she has visited with. It seems obvious that hiring and retaining the right people is critical to long term success. As she has probed deeper into the issues she has turned up some details on performance appraisals…or lack thereof, a weakness in employee and volunteer development and a significant lack of training.
Given these difficulties she decides the best way to gather information without having to schedule more appointments with people she has already visited is to simply engage in some discussion via email. She builds her group list and then begins to compose her email.
“….thank you for taking the time to help me feel welcome and for sharing your perspective on how HR and I can better help you accomplish your goals as well as the mission that we share. As I continue to meet with various people I find that most challenges we face point back to training and development, our performance evaluation system and related feedback, and a lack of a career track for full time employees. I am hoping you will help me out by responding to a few questions by email so I can keep thinking about these issues without having to make another appointment with you so soon after our initial meeting.”

J Juanita’s World part 6uanita’s World part 5

When Juanita visited with Melissa, the previous HR manager, she felt Melissa was a bit evasive on issues like hiring, firing, and retaining employees and volunteers. It is Day 6 since her hire start date and already she has received two notices of resignation from key personnel. She was hoping that she could analyze the situation before trying to implement solutions. But, Rich, her boss, is applying a lot of pressure because his boss seems to be applying pressure on him.
Although she did not know the two people very well, she did conduct exit interviews. Much of what she was told fit with what she sensed about training and development, compensation, recognition, and career development. Both individuals seemed genuinely committed to the mission of the organization, but expressed frustration with people they work with due to their incompetence and also with the organization, due to its unwillingness to invest in its employees.
As Juanita considers a short-term strategy she considers that it may be best in the short-term to voluntarily separate individuals who are unwilling to perform and replace them with new hires who exhibit an interest in development. As she considers the implications she is certain she will get significant “push back” from Rich and other more tenured managers. Plus, she knows that the organization falls under some federal guidelines for what they can and cannot do.
In preparation for making this issue a priority with an actionable tactical plan, she knows she must be fair, above reproach, and demonstrate grace in order to preserve the dignity of the workers and to attempt to build a system of accountability.
J Juanita’s World part 7 u
As part of Juanita’s plan to revise her organizations hiring and retention practices she decides to focus on issues that could differentiate their organization from others that have a similar mission.
From her interviews she has learned that most employees who voluntarily separate move to other humanitarian organizations that include employee recognition and some basic benefits. As part of her plan Juanita hopes to convince Rich that they can revamp the entire compensation system to better reward high performance employees and yet continue to hold the costs down to fit the current budget. She feels Rich will think this will be disruptive to the sense of security that employees have but she is convinced that they have been balancing the scales of justice in terms of work output for the small compensation they receive.
At the end of the day Juanita believes pay has been based on equality rather than equity. She believes if performance is to improve they must pay competitively for those who they want to retain.

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