Overview of industry partner
The increase in the degree of uncertainty in the modern business environment has motivated businesses to consider adjusting their approach towards attaining competitive advantage. One of the approaches that firms are adopting entails industrial partnership. The rationale for forming strategic partnership is to promote a firm’s competitive edge by leveraging on the respective skills and expertise of the different partners (Sabri and Sabri-Matanagah 67).
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In its quest to achieve competitiveness in the industrial goods industry, Seymour Whyte Company acquired Rob Carr Pty Limited [RCPL] that specializes in civil construction business by offering expertise in underground utility services. The acquisition is expected to generate a synergistic effect in Seymour Whyte operations. One of the areas that Seymour Whyte intends to attain synergy relates to project completion.
Bath asserts that undertaking major infrastructural projects such as transport and communication projects is complex because of the risks involved (45). Some of the core sources of risks relate to time and resource constraints and environmental impacts. Seymour Whyte has attained past successes has arisen from the integration of good business practices and values. One of the values that the firm has incorporated includes safety. The company has integrated safety as one of core operational mantras. The firm enacts the safety mantra by incorporating the Stop-Think-Plan approach. Thus, the firm is focused on ensuring a high level of safety in all its operations. Secondly, the company values client collaboration to deliver the desired outcome. However, the Seymour Whyte will gain additional capabilities in delivering innovative and creative transport infrastructure due to the acquisition.
In addition to the above issues, Seymour Whyte Limited has appreciated the importance of effective human resource management practices and processes. One of the issues that the firm focuses on entails HRM sustainability. The rationale for HRM sustainability is to promote the development of a strong human capital base (Robbins et al. 485). The company’s approach to HRM sustainability is evidenced by its investment in talent management, performance management and employee learning and development. In line with its focus to achieve HRM sustainability, Seymour has further incorporated the concept of ‘future thinking’ in its strategic focus. Furthermore, the company seeks to establish flexible and collaborative contracts with its clients. The motive is to enhance the probability of attaining the most desirable outcomes.
Problem issue statement
Seymour Whyte intends to attain a competitive advantage by improving its efficiency and effectiveness in delivering projects. However, one of the fundamental components that will influence the attainment of the desired performance entails human capital. Seymour Whyte must ensure that it has sufficient human capital base to undertake the different project activities. Moreover, the firm’s capacity to leverage on human capital will be influenced by how well the employees understand the firm’s overall goal, vision, and mission. This aspect highlights the importance of the firm ensuring that the employees are optimally inducted. The level of induction will induction influences the employees’ focus on attaining the organizational goals and vision.
Seymour Whyte recently implemented some measures aimed at improving the induction program. However, the program was ineffective due to the existence of miscommunication and lack of training on the Line Managers on how to conduct employee induction. Seymour Whyte does not have a learning management system in place. Furthermore, the company does not have sufficient HR Managers to aid in implementing the induction program. This aspect presents a challenge in the company’s effort to ensure that the geographically distributed employees are duly inducted hence improving their focus in attaining the organization and project vision. The ineffectiveness of the induction program might be compounded because of Seymour Whyte growth. Currently, the company’s projects are distributed across Australia, which makes it challenging from the company to manage human capital.
These issues underline the significance of Seymour Whyte improving its induction program to develop a strong and focused human capital base in all its geographically distributed projects in Australia. Implementing a new program will facilitate productivity amongst the incumbent and new employees.
The acquisition of Rob Carr presents a remarkable opportunity for Seymour Whyte to achieve its desired growth in the industrial goods industry. Moreover, the acquisition will significantly promote Seymour Whyte industry position. However, the firm‘s management team should appreciate the fact that its capacity to deliver its promise to its stakeholders will depend on the commitment, engagement and productivity of its workforce. One of the essential strategies in HR that can enhance the attainment of this goal entails implementation of an effective induction program. Compton and Nankervis assert that induction “familiarizes new employees to an organization, ensure that they understand their role and the role of their work unit” (183). Therefore, induction increases the employees’ knowledge of how their job roles and responsibilities are linked to the overall organizational success.
Despite its effort to ensure that employees are duly committed to the attainment of the overall organizational goal, Seymour Whyte induction program was ineffective. The ineffectiveness of the induction program can be attributed to different reasons. First, Seymour Whyte has undergone rapid market growth over the past few years. The firm is currently undertaking construction projects in different locations in Australia. Subsequently, the firms’ employees are geographically distributed. Rudani asserts that implementing an employee orientation program on the geographically dispersed workforce is challenging (465).
Budgetary restrictions further compound the ineffectiveness of the company’s induction program. Lawson affirms that it is “not cost effective to bring employees to a central location for an orientation session” (87). Therefore, bringing the new employees undertaking remote construction projects to a central location such as Seymour Whyte headquarters can be costly. Another challenge that has limited the effectiveness of the induction program adopted by Seymour Whyte relates to the delivery method adopted. The company has over-relied on a manual orientation method.
The HR Management and the Line Managers facilitate the induction process at Seymour. Under this method, the supervisor or the manager facilitates the induction of the new employees (Truss, Mankin, and Kelliher 94). According to Butt, the orientation can be conducted through one-on-one interaction either with the supervisor or through the implementation of emerging communication technologies (234). In inducting new employees, Seymour Whyte organizes 90-minute sessions that are conducted manually. However, the firm does not have a sufficient number of Line Managers to conduct the performance appraisal in all the geographical locations. Currently, a workforce of over 250 professionals facilitates the firm’s operations.
Seymour Whyte should further consider recruiting additional staff to complete its projects successfully. Seymour Whyte must ensure that the newly hired employees understand the company’s policies on different aspects such as health and safety, code of conduct, workplace behavior standards. The induction program must also be sufficiently engaging to be valuable to the organization and the employees. Currently, Seymour Whyte has not implemented emerging technologies in its induction program hence limiting the delivery of the program.
One of the factors that might have motivated the company to use Line Managers in the induction program entails the prevailing budgetary constraints Durai argues that this method is low-tech and low-cost (23). It is imperative for organizations management team to ensure that the employee orientation program is effectively designed by taking into account the daily responsibilities. In addition to the above factors, the ineffectiveness of the induction program at Seymour Whyte is further increased by misalignment between the Line Managers and the HR Management due to the lack of understanding of the procedure and importance of the induction program. El-Shamy emphasizes that the implementation of the employee induction program should be a joint responsibility between the new employees’ supervisor and the HR department (45).
Moreover, the organization should ensure that the parties charged with the responsibility of undertaking the induction program. However, Seymour Whyte has not implemented an effective training on its Line Managers on how to implement the induction program. The first aspect of handling the orientation program involves ensuring that the new employees understand the general issues associated with the company. Some of these aspects relate to organization’s vision and mission. The second aspect should involve ensuring that the new employee is well versed with his or her work responsibilities (Wagen and Goonetilleke 221). The new employees’ supervisor should undertake this task. Therefore, the supervisor must ensure that the induction program is highly personalized (Keats 41).
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Organizational managers and supervisors have additional managerial responsibilities, and thus they may not have adequate time to design and prepare an effective employee induction program. Lawson stresses that if the “managers perceive the additional responsibility of conducting the employee orientation program as an intrusion or inconvenience they may not give it the necessary attention” (88). Therefore, the organization might encounter ethical dilemma due to lack of commitment amongst the Line Managers in enacting the induction program (Trevino and Nelson 56). Krishnan emphasizes that the employee induction program should be optimally designed to make it enjoyable for the facilitators (31).
Considering the inefficiencies associated with the employee orientation program at Seymour Whyte, the company might not be able to attain the intended operational efficiency by hiring an additional workforce. This assertion arises from the view that the firm is not in a position to undertake a formal induction for its employees. Thus, the new employees might not develop a comprehensive understanding of Seymour Whyte values. Subsequently, their productivity might be negatively affected (Perry 92).
Additionally, the acquisition might have a significant effect on several HR issues at Rob Carr. Some of these issues relate to terms of employment such as the employment policies rules and compensation (Watson 37). Moreover, the acquisition might lead to an adjustment in different personnel programs such as the employees’ benefits plan, self-improvement opportunities, employee welfare plans, and other off-the-job activities. Krishnaveni emphasizes that the employee induction program should be aimed at dispelling fears amongst the employees (76). Therefore, to deal with this problem, the organizational manager might consider implementing the employee induction program over a longer duration such as weeks or months (Madison 87). However, considering the view that Seymour Whyte is required to complete the construction projects within the specified timeframe, this approach might not be feasible. Therefore, the firm must implement a feasible employee induction program that is aligned with its current growth.
Key Decision Criteria
As an industry partner to Seymour Whyte, Top Off Consulting recommends the implementation of a new employee induction program. This decision is based on a comprehensive decision criterion as evaluated herein.
The implementation of a new employee induction program at Seymour Whyte should be based on the results of a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis. The hiring of additional staff is intended to promote the organization’s operational efficiency regarding the delivery of transport projects. The firm must focus on developing a collaborative working environment between the incumbent and the newly hired employees. However, in the process of implementing a new employee induction program, the organization is likely to incur substantial costs. However, the benefits greatly outweigh the costs. Through effective implementation of the new induction program, Seymour Whyte will ensure that the employees located in different project sites understand their job roles and responsibilities. Subsequently, the rate of success in completing the projects will be improved due to improved employee understanding on the overall organizational and project vision and mission.
Correlation between employee induction programs and organizational identification
The motivation for employees to join organizations is multifaceted. First, employees work to earn a livelihood. Secondly, their involvement in the workplace is influenced by the extent to which their presence and continued stay will culminate to the attainment of the desired personal and career development goals. The current induction program, which largely relies on Line Managers, is ineffective in ensuring that the geographically distributed employees understand how the attainment of the desired personal and career goals would be achieved by working at Seymour Whyte. However, redesigning the induction program is likely to foster the development of a strong degree of organizational identification. Subsequently, this criterion will culminate in designing an induction program that is valuable to the organization’s long-term success.
To implement the new employee induction program successfully, it is imperative for the organization to take into account the following alternatives.
Increasing the number of line managers and HR managers
The current employee induction program at Seymour Whyte relies on Line Managers and other HR Managers. Considering the view that the firm is experiencing rapid growth as evidenced by the geographically distributed projects, it is imperative for the firm to increase the number of Line Managers to conduct employee induction successfully. Increasing the number of Line Managers will further ensure that incumbent and newly hired employees effectively understand the company’s values and their job roles. Moreover, the Line Managers will also assess the level to which the employees understand the assigned roles.
Automating the employee induction program
Seymour Whyte can also improve its approach to employee induction through automation of the program. This approach will enable the firm to undertake employee induction in a more cost effective manner. Automating the induction program will save the amount of money and time required to undertake the induction. Besides, the automation of the program will ensure a high level of consistency in ensuring that the employees understand their job roles and responsibilities.
Outsourcing the services of HR Consultants
Considering the view that the employee induction process is often considered a one-off human resource management activity, Seymour Whyte can consider outsourcing the services of external HR Consultancy firms. The rationale for outsourcing is to ensure that the induction process is effectively conducted. Thus, the selection of the consultancy firm should be based on an extensive criterion such as the level of expertise in undertaking employee induction. This aspect will aid in ensuring that the process is effectively undertaken. Moreover, outsourcing consultants will ensure that the Line Managers are not disrupted from undertaking their job roles and responsibilities. Furthermore, the cost of outsourcing HR consultants is relatively lower as compared to hiring additional Line Managers.
The alternatives section illustrates that Seymour Whyte has several options that it can consider in its quest to improve employee induction. However, some of the alternatives might not be cost effective. For example, hiring additional Line Managers will increase the company’s personnel budget. Alternatively, the consultants outsourced might not fully understand the organization’s value hence affecting their capacity to initiate the employees successfully. Thus, Seymour Whyte should consider adopting the concept of automating the employee induction program. The rationale of this approach arises from the costs and benefits associated with the approach compared to using Line Managers.
Development of mobile application
The automation of the induction program should be undertaken through the development of mobile application containing the necessary aspects of new employee induction. The purpose of automating the induction program is to improve the company’s capacity to conduct induction on all employees in its geographically dispersed project sites. Furthermore, automation of the induction program will enable the firm to undertake the orientation program cost-effectively. Additionally, it will be possible for the firm to ensure that the orientation in all the project sites is remotely controlled. Thus, the firm will ensure uniformity in implementing the induction. This aspect will be achieved through implementation of a standardized employee induction process in the entire project site. Therefore, errors arising from personal judgement and bias will be eliminated. Moreover, Seymour Whyte will successfully overcome the challenge of having to over-rely on its inadequate Line Managers.
Training of the managers
Even after the automation of the employees’ induction program, it is imperative for the organization’s management team to undertake extensive training on Line Managers and Supervisors on how to use the automated employee induction program. The rationale for training the parties charged with the responsibility of enacting the induction program is multidimensional (Persaud 74). First, the training should equip the HR personnel on the most fundamental training modules to be included in the application. This assertion arises from the view that the module will vary significantly depending on the nature of the project and the employee’s roles and responsibilities. Secondly, the training should aim at enhancing the level of appreciation on the importance of effective implementation of the induction program amongst the HR personnel. This move will increase the value of the induction program to the organization’s performance (Belzer 130).
Improvement of the automated induction program
Seymour Whyte should continuously improve the induction modules implemented in the mobile applications. The rationale for continuous improvement is to ensure that the changes in the firm’s approach to employee induction are implemented on the mobile devices. This aspect will sustain the value of the module to both the organization and the employees.
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