How to formalize orientation, training policies and procedures within Carter Cleaning Company?
1.To make employees adhere to the company standards set by the owners
2.To provide adequate employee training and orientation relative to position
3.To reduce employee turnovers
4.To resolve issues on remuneration and benefits
5.Bottom line: employees to accomplish tasks the way Carters want them to be accomplished
III.FACTS OF THE CASE
Carter Cleaning Company is managed and owned by Mr. Jack Carters and his daughter Jennifer.
The Carters would prefer that certain practices and procedures be implemented. Sample coverage of policies follows:
b.Specific Job Description
e.Training and Development
f.Workplace Ethics and Guidelines
Carter Cleaning Company is composed of many Cleaning Centers located in different strategic locations.
It is formed as sole proprietorship in the name of Jack Carters. Operation is directly managed by his daughter Jennifer Carters.
Carter Cleaning Company exists in a market with the same status quo and best practices to cleaning/laundry shops here in Cebu.
The company is neither too young nor too old per business life cycle.
As a family business, it has lean organizational chart:
Each cleaning center has the following minimum functions: front counter/counterperson, pressing, cleaning, spotting and equipment maintenance. One employee may perform more than one function.
Each Cleaning Center is managed by a manager/supervisor.
There is enough market to hire employees with the basic functions and skills.
Jennifer is a MBA student (assumed as provided in the “Questions” portion of the case, number 2), of which the curriculum is exactly the same as with San Carlos.
Operating days is from Monday to Friday.
IV.ALTERNATIVE COURSES OF ACTION
1.Outsource services by engaging external consultants
2.Form Human Resource Department
3.Have general assembly of all/selected employees and conduct open forum
4.Discuss among the Carter family members
5.Consult competitors or similar business and imitate existing policies and procedures
6.Have Jennifer prepare her MBA thesis base on their existing company needs
Given the facts and assumptions of the case, the following criteria shall be applied in evaluating the alternative courses of action:
Availability of Information
Feasibility of Implementation
TIMELINESS: Immediate execution of alternative and faster result to resolve
problem statement and address objectives.
COST EFFICIENCY: Alternative with least cost to implement and/or capacity to generate most savings.
AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION: Ready access to information with no constraints on confidentiality issues, most convenient to access and lesser process to convert data to valuable information.
FEASIBILITY OF IMPLEMENTATION: Easy, smooth and lesser effort execution.
EXPECTED EFFECTIVENESS: Potential influence, impact and direct contact to business.
HOW EVALUATION MATRIX WORKS:
Each alternative will be ranked per criteria. Highest order is 6 as most outstanding alternative while 1 as the worst. No alternative will have the same rank. The rationale is to average the options that contribute to the objectives of the company demarcated by the criteria as considerations in selecting the methodology to answer the problem. The alternative with has the highest score will be the most favorable option.
Summary of the evaluation matrix:
PER CRITERIA DISCUSSION OF ALTERNATIVES
TIMELINESS: Carter Cleaning Company is a family business. Brainstorming options on what orientation methodology to implement, and what training policies and procedures to employ with family members that had direct association to the company is like having a meeting with company’s own Board of Directors or Management Committee. While if relying on Jennifer’s thesis, it would take more or less 3 years to finalize.
COST EFFICIENCY: Same as to Timeliness, conducting meeting with family members that are connected to the company entail lesser costs. The Carters can just do their brainstorming during family gatherings or any family celebrations. Contrary to this, forming HRD function will require hiring of additional personnel and probably with higher salary rates. Compared to Outsourcing, instituting a support department is more costly in the long run due to defrayment of regular costs like salaries and supplies. Outsourcing is generally one-time or lumpsum spending in accordance to the scope of the engagement.
AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION: Outsourcing services gives more comprehensive and open access to wide array of data under the custody of the service provider. Access can range from broader, general information to industry-specific inputs. More so, by outsourcing, the company can engage services of an expert that has the competency and valuable experience to focus resolve a problem at a reasonable fee. While consulting critical issues solely with family members, especially those with no specialty to the field is more costly due to risks of having faulty assumptions and biased decisions.
FEASIBILITY OF IMPLEMENTATION: By way of convenient execution, consulting with family members could be at a greater advantage. No more hustle-bustle to gather members. While referring to competitors poses a lot of challenge due to confidentiality issues and reluctance of competitors to divulge “trade secrets”.
EXPECTED EFFECTIVENESS: Conferring to employees as the subject of the study produces two direct results: involvement as training/orientation and employee feedback as raw and first hand information. To discuss only with family members limits information to general observation and lacks overall “feel” of conducting business on day to day basis.
To come up with an orientation methodology and training policies/procedures for Carter Cleaning Company, I recommend having discussion/conference/general assembly with employees. I recommend further to limit employee participation to key personnel only. This includes cleaning center manager/supervisors and tenured/long-time employees as representation for the functions of front counter/counterperson, pressing, cleaning, spotting and equipment maintenance.
The event could be a company-wide teambuilding activity. Training duration will depend on how dispersed the centers are. The farther the locations (i.e. in the Philippines- Luzon, Vizayas, Mindanao) the shorter it will be to save costs for food, venue and lodging.
The conference/general assembly/teambuilding/training will cover the following areas. The first five are those specified by the owners while the last entry is to complete the scope to produce the official company by-laws.
b.Specific Job Description
e.Training and Development
f.Workplace Ethics and Guidelines
g.Disciplinary action in cases of violation
At the end of the session, the success indicator factors will be the issuance of Carter Cleaning Company By-laws signed off by all training participants including the owners and the Employee Manual/handbook with its corresponding Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) to be uniformly and equitably implemented in all cleaning centers.
Evaluation check points will be immediately put in place to validate if methods, policies and procedures are as effective and functional as perceived they would be. Amendments and revisions will be made immediately if found reasonable and valid.
Though the option I recommend requires high investment in cost, time and effort at commencement phase, it is expected to have long-term benefit for the company. At this point, the value it will contribute is deemed boundless, totally outweighing the initial costs.
Involving employees to the formulation of policies is a form of motivation, giving in effect self-efficacy- that they contribute to the welfare of the organization where they belong. It breeds loyalty and commitment to adhere to the policies because they know how the policies and processes were prepared and that their opinions were given value. It will also reduce turnover. By this way, formalizing orientation, training policies and procedures will not simply be a company exercise but a common understanding between management and the employees to do the right things and doing things right.
VII.PLAN OF ACTION:
Jack and Jennifer to conduct a two-day General Assembly and 1st Team Building activity of Carter Cleaning Company.
Prior to the Event:
a.The Carters to prepare a draft of by-laws and employee manual templates to include company profile: history, vision, mission, core values, branding. (See Appendix 1 for sample of table of contents of employee manual) b.Plan the event: venue, participants, training profile, etc. Schedule event on a weekend so no work. Provide reasonable per diem as incentive.
Note: Jennifer, as MBA student currently taking Human Resource Management, can ask her classmates to assist her in facilitating the event and may even raise the activity to the department as class project for practical application of the course.
c.Invite local personnel from Department of Labor and Employment or its equivalent to give a short talk during the event.
d.Prepare list of participants to include center manager/supervisor (mandatory) and 1 or 2 tenured employees of the center – if none any employee with multi skill will do.
Note: Tenured employees are those employed for more than 75% of the life of the company.
e.Post invitation to cleaning centers at least a month before so participants can arrange their schedules. Post also training profile for everyone’s information.
f.Distribute survey forms to all employees as evaluation of the company. Jennifer and her cohort of MBA colleagues will personally administer the survey of the centers. If center managers/supervisors will conduct survey, they may revise/manipulate data if information is against them.
Questions will cover the criteria below:
a.Customer Handling: How will you entertain the customers once they entered shops? What difficulties did you encounter dealing with them?
b.Specific Job Description: State you position: what are your basic functions and roles?
c.Orientation: Were you oriented when you boarded the company? Who and how were you oriented? Did you find it helpful?
d.Payroll: For comments/reactions/suggestions for improvement.
e.Training and Development: For comments/reactions/suggestions for improvement.
f.Workplace Ethics and Guidelines: For comments/reactions/ suggestions for improvement.
g.Disciplinary action in cases of violation: Jennifer to prepare proposal for discussion during the event.
g.Jennifer and colleagues to summarize survey. Send report to managers/supervisors 1-week prior to the training as “FYIs”. Result of the survey will be used during training not only as input to by-laws and/or employee manual but also status report of the cleaning centers.
During the Event:
Jack and Jennifer with the MBA students will facilitate the program. Schedule of activities presented below:
After the Event:
a.Have managers/supervisors cascade information to their respective cleaning centers.
b.Implement by-laws and mandate to comply with the manual.
c.One-month after the training, do surprise visits at cleaning centers or have colleagues of Jennifer pose as customers and provide feedback.
d.Provide evaluation check points on a regular basis.
e.Amend/revise/update by-laws and/or employee manual on the next general assembly/teambuilding activity, if necessary.