1. Jennifer asks that you make a list of five specific HR problems you think Carter Cleaning will have to grapple with.
1. High Turnover. Carter Cleaning Company will more than likely face the HR issue of high turnover because of the nature of the business. Most service industry/retail jobs result in high turnover rates due to the demanding workload and hours in return for little compensation. Since the laundromat/ dry cleaning business does not require skilled labor, the employees are not committed to the development of their careers and therefore are much more willing to look for better employment.
2. Lack of training. Due to the nature of the employment, the workers are unskilled laborers and therefore lack any training whatsoever in regards to the business functions with the exception of their daily responsibilities.
3. Employees not working at their peak performance. Since the employees are not skilled laborers they therefore lack drive and determination to work at their top levels of performance. They may not necessarily be unmotivated to work at all but they would more than likely be inclined to do the bare minimum to collect a paycheck.
4. Grievance/employee dissatisfaction. Service/retail jobs function under very similar qualifications that tend to arouse discontent and disenchantment: pay, time/hours, and work-load. I do not expect that Carter Cleaning Company will be immune to this.
5. Economic trends. It is my experience that service industries, especially those not considered a necessity, tend to be subject to economic trends such as booms and depressions. A laundromat/dry cleaning business is not overwhelmingly considered a must-have and therefore will be subject to changes in the economy and dispensable or spendable cash.
2. And she asks, what would you do first if you were me, Jennifer Carter?
If I were Jennifer Carter the first thing I would do as a trouble shooter/ problem solver would be to conduct a performance appraisal on three different levels to gauge any problem areas that need attention: at the store level for profitability, at the management level to discern effective/ineffective management practices, and at the employee level to determine employee satisfaction and productivity levels. Although these three levels are interconnected in business practice, examining each independently first would allow for easier judgment of problematic issues and areas that need remedying. Jennifer Carter could use this information to diagnose and cure the potential for loss of profits, inefficiency, and customer dissatisfaction at any store that showed these symptoms as well as implement not only corrective but preventative HR practices across the board.
She could also train managers who needed the redirection in their practices regarding basic managerial responsibilities, employee relations, or any other issues deemed needing adjustment as well as reward exceptional managers based on their assessments. Furthermore, Ms. Carter could evaluate employees who showed potential for increased responsibility and promotion as well as provide useful training for those who demonstrated a lack of skill. An evaluation and appraisal overall would be beneficial because there is always room for improvement in any business, none excluded. By recognizing problem areas and areas of success steps could be taken to fix those problems and also expand upon the things that are going right.