Part A. –Multiple Choice.
- Jason could not develop the phone app for the customer because he never finished the training classes. Jason is an example of which type of problem employee?
- Lacks motivation
- Lacks ability
- Rule breaker
- Has problems
- Steven was fired from his job after three years of good performance. His boss simply said that the organization was changing and did not need Steven’s work any longer. This type of firing is likely acceptable under the doctrine of __________.
- employment variability
- workplace monitoring
- orientation period
- Allison found several job duties that were listed on her subordinate’s job description which are no longer part of the job. Also, the company recently updated its strategic plan. Based on the new plan, Allison will add some related job duties to her subordinate’s job and communicate with her subordinate about the changes. Allison is engaged in ________.
- performance appraisal
- performance management
- performance monitoring
- performance planning
- Top salesperson Carl noticed that the new salesperson, Brandon, was struggling to make sales. Carl told Brandon that learning sales was a process and made some suggestions for how Brandon could improve his sales techniques. Together, Carl and Brandon practiced the techniques and Brandon said he would start trying them out on clients. The two made an appointment to follow up on how the techniques were working in two weeks. Carl provided _________ to Brandon.
- conduct training
- Morgan is working on the compensation package for bank tellers. Bank customers like to see the same faces in the bank when they come in to talk about their money. Therefore, Morgan needs to find a way to reduce turnover among the tellers. Adopting a(n) _________ organizational philosophy on compensation might be a good idea.
- pay for longevity
- wage compression
- If companies hire replacement workers:
- it is illegal during any strike action.
- during an economic strike, the company doesn’t have to lay off replacement workers to give the strikers their jobs back.
- it’s OK any time, but the striking worker always has to be given their job back after the strike.
- during an unfair labor practices strike, the company doesn’t have to lay off replacement workers to give the strikers their jobs back
- during any strike, all employees can be permanently replaced.
- At the beginning of the quarter, Marcus sat down with his manager and set three goals for the next three months. The achievement of each goal will depend on Marcus. No one else in his work group can affect the work toward the goal. Which advantage of individual incentives does this illustrate?
- easy to evaluate employee’s effect on team
- ability to match rewards to employee desires
- promotes the link between performance and results
- may motivate less productive employees to work harder
- Mallory would like to attract better workers and enhance her organization’s employment brand. Adopting a(n) ________ organizational philosophy on compensation could help her achieve her goals.
- pay for longevity
- pay secrecy
- One reason for re-evaluating social security is because
- there have been changes in the lifespan of the retiree population.
- congress did not intend the law to cover both men and women since men were primarily the wage earners when the law first passed in 1935.
- the law was written to have a re-evaluation in the new millennium.
- the global economy affected the value of the retirement dollar.
- Under OSHA employees have a right to all of the following except:
- to refuse to be interviewed by an inspector.
- to have a company representative present during any interview.
- to have working conditions free from unnecessary hazards.
- to file a complaint about hazardous working conditions.
- to report hazardous conditions to their supervisor.
Part B. – Short Answer. Each question is worth 5 points. Please do not exceed the sentence maximum response limits.
- You are writing an employee handbook for a manufacturing company with 50 employees. The company says it does not need any SDS forms or policies. What do you say? 6 sentence maximum response.
- Discuss two differences between an HMO and a PPO? 6 sentence maximum response.
- Name two common problems with performance evaluations and provide one potential solution to each problem you identified? 6 sentence maximum response.
- Explain why an employer can limit an employee’s speech in the workplace. 5 sentence maximum response.
- What is the difference between a lockout and a strike? 5 sentence maximum response.
- You lost your job. Why would COBRA help you? 4 sentence maximum response.
Part C – Paragraph Short Answer. This section is worth 30% of the test grade. This section must be cited by APA style
Amazon.com, originally started as the biggest online bookstore, has become a household name by expanding rapidly in the retail market offering millions of movies, games, and music, electronics and other general merchandise categories, including apparel and accessories, auto parts, home furnishings, health and beauty aids, toys, and groceries. Shoppers can also download e-books, games, MP3s, and films to their computers or handheld devices, including Amazon’s own portable e-reader, the Kindle. Amazon also offers products and services, such as self-publishing, online advertising, e-commerce platform, hosting, and a co-branded credit card.
To keep this megastore running at a fast pace, Amazon hired 115,000 employees who generated $74 billion in 2013. Target and Home Depot made a combined income of close to $74 billion in the same year yet employed more than 340,000 people between them in their retail stores. Why does it take only one third of its competitors’ labor force to produce same the revenue? Like the other mega retailer Wal-Mart, Amazon has delivered creative business solutions to their own processes in order to continuously increase their operating effectiveness. However, their strategy focuses on enhancing the customer shopping experience and providing excellent customer service rather than providing the lowest priced products. In order to meet their customers’ needs, Amazon must deliver more speed and efficiency in its giant warehouse. They use more automated work-processes which reduce the company’s operational costs, as well increase labor efficiency and employee safety.
Quality of their warehouse labor has become the critical issue in the firm’s success and hence hiring and retaining the best, most suitable candidates for their manual labor positions is a key success factor. That being said, Amazon’s turnover rate at these lowest ranked positions in the organization is high since Amazon lets go of its lowest-performing employees to make room for new, more appropriate candidates while promoting the very best. To detect the lowest and top performing employees, Amazon initiated a performance evaluation system called the Organization and Leadership Review (OLR).
OLR actually has two main goals: first, is to find the future leaders and prepare them to be able to face the most challenging tasks presented in a fast paced work environment; and second, to determine the 10% of the employees who are the least effective and take necessary corrective action. OLRs take place twice a year to grant promotions and find the least effective employees. Only the top-level managers attend this meeting where there could be two reasons why an employee’s name may be mentioned in them. Either the employee is being considered for a promotion the employee has asked for or the employee’s job at Amazon might be at stake.
OLRs start with the attendees reading the agenda of the meeting. Then supervisors suggest the most deserving subordinate’s name to be considered for the promotion. All executives in the room evaluate these suggestions which are then followed by a debate. Promotions are given at the end. During the process, instead of using hard data, executives tend to bring personal experiences by using anecdotes to evaluate the employees’ performance. Anyone in the meeting may deny a promotion therefore ambitious employees seeking a promotion should also be very friendly with their boss’ peers as well. If an employee’s supervisor cannot present him or her well enough, another’s favorite subordinate will get the promotion.
In terms of promotion, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos expects the managers to set the performance bar quite high in order to allow only the most exceptional talent to progress. Promotions are protected by well-written promotion guidelines which focus on delivery, and impact, not on internal politics. People spend less time campaigning for their own promotions and top performers are heavily compensated based upon the quality of their work. Therefore only a few promotions are available each year and receiving positive feedback from an employee’s supervisor is quite rare. The approval the employee gets from his or her supervisor is not enough from the OLR to get a promotion; he/she will still have to ‘fight’ for the promotion and even if granted the promotion may not occur immediately.
- How might rater bias, stereotyping and traits appraisal impact the accuracy of OLR? Could this be corrected? If so, how?
- Given the differing appraisal systems described in this chapter, which appraisal systems mostly closely resembles OLR? Specifically discuss your response.
- Discuss at least one advantage and one disadvantages of having performance reviews like OLR, versus MBO, that are single way communication?