problem 1: Describe the different challenges faced by present day Human Resource Development in organizations. What are the major characteristics of Strategic HRM?
problem 2: Determine the objectives of performance appraisal? What factors can distort the fair appraisal of performance of employees? How can these be minimized?
problem 3: What is Job Evaluation? How organizations can successfully implement performance related pay structure to motivate employees and enhance their performance?
problem 4: A leading software company in India needs to fill up the Position of Chief of raining. Propose appropriate recruitment and selection technique exclusively for this position only.
Case Study: The Wilderness Training Lab:
Claudia, a successful 33-year old corporate marketing executive, found herself in the mountains preparing to climb a rope ladder attached to a tree. When she reached the top of ladder. She would fall off backwards. It would not be an accident. No. She was not suicidal or deranged. She was participating in an executive development program called ‘The Wilderness Training Lab’.
At the Corporate office, she was known as independent, smart and tenacious business women. She moved rapidly up the corporate ladder from product research assistant to brand manager. Claudia had a status for micromanaging her subordinates and being a loner. When asked regarding these issues, Claudia replied, “When I was in college, I had a lot of group projects. At first I went all along with the group decisions and trusted others to do a good job, even although I felt anxious regarding putting my grade in the hands of someone else. This seemed to be a good way to get all along in the group. Such projects received mediocre grades, and I am only satisfied with being the best. Then I started to take over the leadership of every group I was in. I developed the plan, decided who would do what and what the time lines were and always took on the most hard and complex part myself, all the time making sure that others were doing what they were assigned. From then on my group projects always got an ‘A’. I carried such lessons with me into the workplace and I have had good success here too. Maybe it rubs some people the wrong way, but it works for me. The only trouble I am having is keeping up with all my projects. Some of the other brand managers want to work with me on joint projects, but I don’t have time. Besides probably they just want me to do their work for them or steal my ideas. The VP of marketing will be retiring soon and only one of the seven brand managers will get that job. What is in it for me if I collaborate with them? Let each of us sink or swim on our own merits.”
A few months ago, the VP of marketing, sandy Clines, set down with Claudia to discuss career plans. Sandy had always admired and encouraged Claudia’s work, however this time he was little reserved. He recommended rather in strong terms, that she attended a Wilderness Executive Development Program. Claudia hesitated since of her workload and pending upcoming projects. Sandy said, “Well I leave this decision up to you. The director training and I have looked at your strengths and what you will require at the next level as an executive. Technically you are very strong, but more significant at the next level is building good interpersonal relationships. The training director recommended this program for you. However as I said I will leave this decision up to you.”
Claudia wondered what he thought was wrong with her interpersonal relationships. She had great relationships with customers, with outside vendors and in her personal life. Relationships with her subordinates and peers required to be different. She required being firmer and less flexible with them. Didn’t She? She didn’t think she had bad relationships with her subordinates and peers. They never complained to her. Though, Claudia decided that Sandy wanted her to attend the Wilderness program.
In the training camp she found a diverse group of men and women executives from all parts of US. Many confided that they had been sent by their organizations to ‘Learn how to be more effective in groups’ most of them indicated they were fascinated and eager, however a little nervous regarding what was expected of them. They soon found out. They were divided into groups of 10 and taken out on the ‘course’. The first exercise was climbing the ‘trust ladder’. The program director described that the group members would have to rely on each other quite a bit during the coming week. To describe that the group can be trusted, each person was to climb the top of ladder and fall backwards into the group, who would catch the person in a proper way. He showed them how. After every one completed the exercise, they discussed risk-taking, building and trusting one’s support systems, being a part of support system and communicating one’s needs. Then came more challenging exercises, building and using rope bridges to cross-a stream, water rafting and – the most challenging of all – scaling a 3 foot wall. The front of the wall was sheer and smooth. On other side was a platform on which two people could stand at about waist level with the top of the wall, and from which extended a ladder to the ground.
Everyone had to scale the wall and no one could stand on platform till he or she had scaled the wall. The event was timed and the groups were in competition with one other. The first thing a group had to do was to develop a plan. Strong and tall people were required to boost the others to a point where they could pull themselves over. Some stood on the platform to and helped such who were not strong to pull themselves over. It was clear that the first people over. Another problem was the last person over. Everyone except the last pair would have ‘spotters in case of a fall and last person would have no one left to boost him or her to the top. Someone would have to act as a human rope, hanging down from the top and hence last person could climb up him and over the wall. Thus the last person would have to be light but strong adequate to boost the second –to- last person up and climb up the human rope.
In order to find out the order, the group member required to share one another their strengths and weaknesses. Claudia wanted to be the last person therefore she could make sure everyone was doing what they were supposed to do, and as well because the as the last person over the wall, she would represent the group’s successful completion of this exercise. Two of the strongest men in the group confessed to having injuries which would hamper them. Claudia realized that her tennis elbow would be a great liability. When it came to her turn to discuss her strengths and weaknesses she was honest regarding her injury and indicated she would fit best somewhere in the middle. Where many people could help her.
When Claudia’s turn to climb came, she called out to those on top what to expect – where she could not put much strain and how she would point out that someone was pulling too hard. Then she was being pushed up with spotters all around her, and the next thing she knew she was over the wall.
Later when the members discussed the event, Claudia asked what impact her limitations caused in the group. Those who had been pullers replied “none” they said that as she told them regarding the problem ahead of time, they knew what to do.
While getting packed to go home, Claudia thought regarding how much she had learned about herself and her relationship to other people, especially at work. She recognized that she usually failed to trust others to do their part and so she was being not as efficient as she could be. Her success came at a high price because of the extra workload she imposed on herself. Additionally, s is that behavior really in my or my company’s best interest? She knew she would have a lot to think about on the trip home. She wondered,” what was the price paid by my subordinates? How have my actions affected their attitudes and performance? Do I need to be so competitive with my peers?
problem 1: Do you think Claudia was appropriate for promotion to VP marketing from the position of Brand manager? How has the MDP –The Wilderness Lab prepared her?
problem 2: Has the program successful in enhancing interpersonal relations skills of Claudia? How?
problem 3: Describe what other MDPs could have been helpful to Claudia?