ABC Inc. Case Study Analysis
Although ABC Inc. employees should know how to do their jobs, a company standard work procedure, otherwise known as a standard operating procedure, document should be written. Employees need step by step guidance on how to accomplish specific tasks and departments need to know what they are responsible for on a regular basis. New employees, in particular, need to know what is expected of them and a general idea of how their tasks should be performed within the company. “Simply defined, standard work means establishing precise, efficient procedures for each task undertaken as part of any process or job - whether on the manufacturing floor or in an office” (Hemmant, 2008). In a recent case, a fairly new employee made a few decisions that could have crippled company operations. The employee hired a fairly large number of trainees and failed to allow enough time between the new hire application process and employee training and orientation start dates. Without a checklist to follow or any guidance from the company, the employee set himself and the company up for failure by trying to do too much in very little time. Background
The new campus recruiter, Carl Robins, hired 15 new employees without first setting up a good foundation in the hiring process. He failed to notice a red flag when Monica Carolls, the Operations supervisor, called him to inquire about specific boxes that needed to be checked in the hiring process one month prior to the new hire start date. Carl failed to do the appropriate research on the company’s employee hiring process and the steps associated with such. A company standard operating procedure would have been very beneficial to him at this early stage of his own employment at ABC Inc. Carl also neglected to act in a timely manner after his conversation with Monica and did not notice the shortfalls until two weeks before the new hires were expected to start. He never allowed himself enough time. At 15 days until new hire start, the problem was only graver. Key Problems
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ABC Inc. lacks a standard operating procedure. Without a written set of guidelines, the entire company runs inefficiently. Each department does whatever it believes is more suitable for the entire company, but fails to harmonize with the other departments. There is a lack of communication, support, and mentorship within ABC Inc. With a standard operating procedure in place, Carl would know what documentation to collect from each employee. He would also have a better understanding of everything entailed in hiring new employees, such as setting up medical appointments for employee physicals and drug screening. Carl would also know to check the company calendar for conflicting schedules and existing reservations for the company training room. A company standard operating procedure would also enlighten Carl on the material needed for the new hire orientation. Carl would have known to revise and mass produce the company orientation manuals well in advance to the expected start date. This same company standard operating procedure would have suggested an amount of time necessary to complete all the steps post job interview and prior to new hire start date. If Carl had a better understanding of this timeframe, he would probably have allowed himself more time or even considered hiring fewer employees during his first recruitment effort. This same company standard operating procedure could have helped prevent the hiring of an incompetent recruiter. If not prevent Carl’s hiring, it would have at least helped to identify his deficiencies and more guidance and mentorship would have probably been provided to him by his supervisors.
The proposed alternatives include generating a company standard operating procedure document that highlights the specific job duties and responsibilities of every department within the company. It should also break down the steps to follow and requirements for ordinary tasks, such as hiring new employees. The standard operating procedure should also identify the points of contact for each specific department in case anyone has concerns related to interaction with other departments. It can also include details on repercussions in the event that employees fail to adhere to the standard operating procedure guidelines. It is easier to hold employees accountable for their responsibilities if they have signed acknowledgement of receipt, review, and understanding of a company standard operating procedure. ABC Inc. may want to consider using an electronic calendar. “Electronic calendars and schedule tools improve communication and ensure the latest information is available to all who need it” (Gamauf, 2012). Another alternative is to place special emphasis on the new employee interviewing and hiring process with detailed job descriptions and qualification requirements.
If strict hiring guidelines are in place, it is harder for underqualified personnel to get hired without offering them unique job training and assigning them a sponsor during the first few months at the company. “Finally, once found, such individuals need support in the form of mentoring, peer support and correct placement in the corporate structure to help them flourish” (Strategic Direction, 2009). Carl could have benefited tremendously from a company standard operating procedure document, job specific training, and a sponsor who would help guide him during the first few months working at ABC Inc.
The proposed solution for the specific problem is for Carl immediately to set up medical appointments for all new hires. Maybe he can organize for medical professionals to visit the company on a specific date and request all new hires to attend for the physicals and drug screening. Any new hires who cannot attend on the specified date can make personal arrangements with the clinic to be seen prior to June 15. Carl can look at the conference room schedule or even the company break room as potential alternate locations to hold the new hire orientation and training. He can also contact local hotels for vacant conference rooms and pricing. He may find a reasonably priced conference room close to ABC Inc. where orientation and training can be conducted with few interruptions. Carl also needs to get on the phone with the new hires who still owe him documentation, such as transcripts and any other pertinent missing documents. Another issue in need of immediate attention is the orientation manual. Carl needs to take material from the three copies that he currently has, assemble one complete copy, and go to the company print shop to reproduce more copies. If ABC Inc. does not have a print shop, Carl can go to a local office supplies store to have the company orientation manuals reproduced. Because time is of the essence, Carl shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.
He should also get in touch with Monica and advise her of the situation. Monica may offer to help connect some of the dots for him. After all, the new hires will be assigned to her department. Monica may be a valuable asset to Carl at this point. ABC Inc. currently has the expectation that employees should know how to do their jobs without the need to put things is black and white. The company may argue that employee titles and job descriptions should be enough to set a tone for success within the company. This mentality, however, does not foment good inter-department communication and company success. All company employees need to have a clear understanding of specific responsibilities associated within their departments and the goal and mission of the company. It is easier for each individual department to pull its weight when it has the bigger picture in mind. Otherwise, ABC Inc. is limiting the extent of its success. ABC Inc. should embrace the idea of generating a company standard operating procedure and involve its employees in the creative process. Employees are more likely to take ownership and assume personal responsibility for their tasks if they are allowed to form part in the creation process of the company standard operating procedure and company mission statement. They will be proud of what they helped put together and feel as if they play an important role within their company. Recommendations
Carl has been working with ABC Inc. for six months now. He has been with the company long enough to have a fair understanding of what is expected of him and how to accomplish his daily job duties. Carl may have procrastinated and overlooked a few important steps during his first hiring process. He has encountered a few hiccups during his first recruitment effort and is essentially running out of time because of his poor organizational skills. However, he is not entirely at fault for being in the situation he is in. ABC Inc. has failed to offer him clear guidance on his job description, his responsibilities, and a step by step policy detailing how to accomplish regular tasks associated with his position. ABC Inc. should consider generating a company standard operating procedure. This document will aid employees from all departments in knowing what their role within the company is and how it intertwines with the role of everyone else on the staff. The standard operating procedure will stimulate better communication within ABC Inc. and make company success a more easily attainable objective with fewer opportunities for problems.
Creating space for innovation. (2009). Strategic Direction, 25(6), 32-35. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02580540910952217 Gamauf, M. (2012). Time Management Skills. Business & Commercial Aviation, 108(10), 36. Hemmant, R. (2008). Standard work procedures. Circuits Assembly, 19(5), 43-43. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/216069650?accountid=35812
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