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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.

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.

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:

  • Should Juanita attempt to reduce voluntary and involuntary turnover?
  • 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?
  • 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?

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