As part of Avondale Industries’ performance management initiative, the training and development director was asked to customize a training program that would increase managers’ ability to manage the performance of their employees through coaching and feedback. Because most of Avondale’s managers have been promoted from within the company, they lack skills that are needed to lead their employees. Training on how to coach through a more hands-on approach to performance management was offered in a modular format. Choose the best reason why improving managers’ skills in coaching and feedback is an important part of the company’s performance management initiative.
- Managers who are trained to give accurate and timely feedback are more likely willing to listen to employees’ concerns and be ready to help when needed.
- Improving managers’ skills in coaching and feedback allows them to stay in touch with the day-to-day struggles and accomplishments of their employees.
- Managers with good coaching and feedback skills help employees achieve their goals by reducing barriers to good performance, thus helping the company achieve its goals.
- Managers who develop good coaching and feedback skills are more likely to continue to be promoted to higher leadership positions.
The HR department at Avondale Industries wants to improve their performance management process and be more transparent about how performance reviews are tied to rewards (promotions, salary increases, bonuses, trainings, and so forth). One of the initial steps in this continuous improvement process was having the training and development office educate all employees on what constitutes high performance and how high performance would be recognized and rewarded in the company. Which of the following statements best explains how setting high-performance work standards and rewarding those who perform well benefits the company?
- Setting high performance work standards is essential if the company wants to improve its performance in the market and create value for its customers.
- Knowing what high-performance expectations are helps the company identify those that are not meeting expectations, and the company can let them go if production declines.
- Recognizing high performance and tying it to rewards and recognition has been proven to increase productivity and profitability, lower turnover, and improve the company’s value.
- When an employee knows what is expected, they are much more likely to be happy in their jobs and with their supervisors.
The finance department at Avondale Industries is updating their software platform, and the training and development office has been asked to work with the department to provide training for their financial analysts. The training will be conducted in a computer lab where all participants will be able to use a dedicated computer. One of the long-time employees has developed retinitis pigmentosa, which limits her field of vision. The trainer was told that for the training the employee will need a computer that has a larger-than-typical screen and a black background with white letters. Arranging for a larger screen in the lab that will meet the employee’s needs is proving to be a hassle for the trainer. Why is it necessary to accommodate these special needs
- If the training is required for her job, the trainer is obligated by law to provide anything the financial analyst needs to be successful.
- It is necessary to make the accommodations for the financial analyst because the company wants to be known for treating people with disabilities well.
- If the financial analyst can participate in the training with reasonable accommodations, the trainer is obligated by law to meet the special needs.
- Making accommodations for the financial analyst will make it more likely the company will be able to retain her as an employee.
Four months ago, an outstanding salesperson was transferred from Avondale Industries’ headquarters in Arizona to their avionics division in Brisbane, Australia, to help promote and sell a new product being released in the region. Previously, the salesperson had been a high performer, but shortly after arriving in Brisbane he began to miss quotas and became a problem employee. While he was still pleasant to be around, it was apparent he lacked the motivation he had previously exhibited in his job. His manager, who had recruited him to the job because of his previous success, was at a loss and requested help from HR. Which of the following advice might best help the sales manager improve the performance management process for this employee?
- The sales manager needs to motivate the employee. Giving him more work might make him feel more valued and trusted as a contributor to the department.
- The sales manager needs to have a heart-to-heart talk with the employee, explain that his behavior is not acceptable, that changes must be made, or he will have to return to the US.
- The sales manager should have the employee identify obstacles, get his buy-in on setting goals, set up regular times for feedback, and understand how his contribution affects the firm.
- For the employee to improve in his performance, the sales manager needs to engage the services of a mediator who can act as a go-between to iron out their differences.
Avondale Industries’ training and development office assigned one of its trainers to develop a program to train recruiters for its site in Long Beach, California, the second-largest site in the avionics division of the company with over 7,000 employees. The trainer developed an innovative program that combined in-person training with an impressive e-learning component. The e-learning component was found to be highly transferable from one area of training to another, and the employee received a company award for innovation. After successfully using the training program for more than a year, the trainer was approached by an online e-learning company to develop a training course utilizing the e-learning component. The offer was lucrative, and the trainer would receive royalties for the course, which was to be sold to companies developing their own training programs. The trainer signed a contract but was then notified by Avondale’s legal department that she could not use the e-learning program she developed. Which of the following statements best explains the reason why the legal department could shut down the trainer’s deal with the online e-learning company?
- The trainer should have gotten approval from her office to use the program even though she felt because it was her creation, she owned the copyright and did not need approval.
- The trainer created the training program as part of a work assignment, and the copyright belongs to the employer, not the employee. Therefore, the legal department could stop the deal.
- The trainer should have signed a deal with the company to retain the copyright in the first place. Since that was not done, the legal department could stop the deal.
- The legal department could stop the deal because the trainer did not include the company in the contract negotiations.
Avondale Industries’ avionics division in Hong Kong has recently started producing defective products. Upon investigation, it was discovered that employees have been skipping steps to increase output, and the resulting products are inferior in quality. Which statement best explains why this might have happened?
- A new performance measurement was implemented that rewarded employees for the number of products without reducing the count by those products that were defective.
- Expectations for quality work were not reviewed with employees on a routine basis, thus allowing the employees to slack off in their performance.
- Maintenance of the machines on the production line were neglected because of a significant increase in product sales, resulting in ramped up production needs.
- A new manager was hired who did not listen to the employees or value their opinions. Therefore, the employees’ interest in their work diminished.
A product orientation in PA refers to the approach that focuses only on outcomes or results. How many sales does the salesperson close? How much employee turnover does the manager experience in his or her unit? How many parts does the machinist produce? These are countable outcomes or results—measurables. For many, the product approach is most desirable because it is seemingly more objective than the alternatives. However, these outcomes, while easily measured, may not actually be very valid in terms of capturing the employee’s actual performance. The sales for the month may be much more influenced by general economic conditions or competitor pricing strategies than by salesperson behavior. A manager’s turnover level may be high because he or she is adept at developing employees for better jobs and not because of some flaw in management style. A machinist may be very productive in terms of parts produced but may, through uncooperative behaviors, have a negative impact on the performance of coworkers. Thus, despite the seeming advantage of results or outcome measures of performance, they are frequently deficient when used without other information. Further, they can be quite dangerous if they foster a results-at-any-price mentality, which may lead employees to engage in unethical or unlawful behavior in order to achieve their goals.
The quality assurance (QA) office at Avondale Industries’ site in Atlanta, GA, routinely outperforms the other QA offices in the company, and employees there almost always receive the highest performance evaluations. When researching what was being done in hopes the success could be replicated in other QA offices, the HR department found that the QA manager in Atlanta knew what was going on in her department, gave timely feedback to her employees, and coached them through problems that arose. The supervisor also collaborated with the employees to set goals, identify new skills to learn, and set realistic but challenging job expectations. Why would these activities make such a difference in employees’ performance?
- A supervisor who is aware of employees’ goals, coaches them, and involves them helps employees be more committed, motivated, and productive.
- Employees who are satisfied with their jobs and feel that they have access to opportunities for growth are more likely to help their fellow employees.
- Employees who are productive and feel that they are contributing to the company tend to worry less and have a more positive outlook on doing their jobs.
- A supervisor who is well liked by employees is more likely to have employees who are willing to follow their example and leadership.
An African American employee at Avondale Industries’ site in Houston, TX, was passed over for a training program that prepared employees for promotion opportunities in the unmanned vehicles division. The reason for not including her, even though she was an outstanding employee, was that she was a single mother who needed to spend time with her two children and could not put in the necessary study time required for the training. The woman filed a charge of discrimination against the company through Texas’ Fair Employment Practices Agency (FEPA), and, as a first step, both parties were contacted to see if they were interested in mediation. The company was very interested, as was the employee, and mediation talks were scheduled. Why is it in the best interest of the company to participate in mediation in this case?
- Participating in mediation would allow the company to explain that concern for the employee and her family was the impetus behind her not being selected for the training.
- Mediation would allow the company and the employee to communicate more effectively and in a non-adversarial manner, thus maintaining a better work environment.
- Participating in mediation would demonstrate that the company understands that under the law, all employees should have an equal opportunity for promotion and advancement.
- Participating in mediation would help the company’s reputation so that other employees do not become concerned about discrimination on the part of the company.
The federal requirement for equal protection under the law dates back to the Bill of Rights and 13th and 14th Amendments of the Constitution. However, it was the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that specifically brought employment practices under the jurisdiction of the courts. Title VII of this law prohibits discrimination in employment practices on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, and sex. A provision of the act provides equal access to training programs, giving all employees equal opportunities for promotion and advancement. When selecting candidates for training and development, employers need to be sure that they are not discriminating against or creating adverse impact for any protected class of potential participants.
Avondale Industries’ site in London, England, has a long history of successfully resolving poor performance issues. In ten years, not one employee has been terminated because of inadequate performance. On a site visit, the CHRO asked the site director how they had been able to maintain such an impressive record. The director stated that they proactively used the performance improvement plan (PIP) process and addressed performance and behavioral issues promptly. Why is the PIP a critical tool to use to benefit the company?
- The PIP process helps the company identify which employees are truly interested in improving their performance and remaining with the company.
- Utilizing the PIP process benefits the company by addressing performance deficiencies, particularly when the deficiencies persist and other methods to address them have failed.
- Using the PIP process helps supervisors identify which employees are prone to making mistakes and more likely to need training to improve.
- Correctly utilizing the PIP process improves communication between management and the workforce and promotes a more productive and healthier work atmosphere.
The employees at Avondale Industries’ IT department in Brisbane, Australia, have adopted a casual dress code in their office, which mostly means they wear shorts, t-shirts, and sandals. This has caused a conflict, however, when an IT employee needs to work on a computer that is located on the production line. The production supervisors told the IT department employees that it is company policy that they wear long trousers, long-sleeve shirts that are tucked in, and closed-toe shoes if they come on the shop floor. The IT employees responded that the computers on the production line can just not be fixed, then, and the issue was elevated to the HR department. The IT department supervisor and the shift production supervisors were called to the HR office to try to resolve the situation. Which of the following explanations will best explain to the IT supervisor why he should support and enforce the dress code when his people are on the shop floor?
- Following the dress code will demonstrate to the employees on the shop floor that the IT employees respect and value their work.
- The dress code was established many years ago, and all employees should comply so there is consistency in following the policy.
- The dress code was established for the protection of employees who work around dangerous equipment.
- The IT supervisor needs to support production’s dress code requirements to avoid awkwardness when his employees are on the shop floor
The employees in Avondale Industries’ sites were extremely anxious about the status of their jobs because of a recent downturn in the airline industry. The company reassured everyone that they did not intend to lay anyone off because the company had diversified their portfolio when they had expanded into the unmanned vehicles and systems industry as well when they acquired an adhesives and sealants company two years ago. In addition, the company had excellent government contracts that were scheduled to last for ten years. Avondale’s CEO sent a company-wide letter to all employees reassuring them that the company was not planning to dismiss any employees. Why is it of benefit to the company to help its employees feel secure in their jobs?
- Employees who are worried about losing their jobs tend to be more anxious, more prone to confrontation, and more apt to blow problems out of proportion.
- Employees who feel secure in their jobs are often less stressed, more productive, and more loyal to the company.
- Job security is important so that employees stop worrying about what might happen to them and their dependents if they lose their job.
- Feeling secure in a position allows an employee to focus on what is important in life, both at home and at work.
Within a month of transferring from Avondale Industries’ wheel and brake division in Atlanta, GA, to the Long Beach, CA, wheel and brake site, a supervisor encountered an issue with an employee that required disciplinary action and contacted the HR department to document the start of the process. He was surprised to learn that he could not just set a meeting with the employee to talk about the issue because in California, unlike Georgia, the employees were represented by a union. What is the best reason for the supervisor to involve HR in this disciplinary issue?
- As the supervisor was new to the area, it is a good idea for him to let other people take care of a situation that might get out of hand.
- The supervisor should involve HR in the disciplinary action so that responsibility for the discipline does not rest on his shoulders. Thus, he is protected should there be problems.
- Because the supervisor had never worked in a union shop, the HR office can provide expertise and training on the steps to take as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement.
- HR can help the supervisor understand that because it is expensive to hire new employees the goal is to retain the employee and provide constructive criticism.
A nationwide movement that increased the awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace sensitized Avondale Industries to the need for increased sexual harassment prevention training. The training and development office provides at least two hours of sexual harassment training to all employees with supervisor duties and at least one hour of training to all employees without supervisor duties. The training must be repeated every year. Which of the following statements best explains why it is necessary for supervisors to receive training on a regular basis and how the training will protect the company?
- Regular training will allow the supervisors the opportunity to ask questions and learn of any new policy changes.
- Supervisors will be better able to identify candidates during the hiring process who may be more likely to harass other employees and avoid hiring them.
- Without training, supervisors are more likely to commit sexual harassment offenses, which can result in increased discrimination claims.
- Training will help the supervisors understand the complaint process and what steps need to be taken should a complaint be filed.
Supervisors are more likely to unjustifiably dismiss employees and commit sexual harassment offenses if they have not received effective training on these issues than if they have received such training. Consequently, a frequently suggested approach to the issue of sexual harassment is to develop an organizational policy and train all the supervisors and managers in that policy, with updates annually. Also, discrimination claims can come from unequal opportunity or provision of training.
Avondale Industries was faced with a termination lawsuit in its Atlanta, GA, office. The employee had been written up several times for tardiness and poor performance, and the employee was let go based on this documentation. In the lawsuit, however, the employee, born as a woman but who identified as a man, claimed he was fired because he wanted to use the men’s restroom instead of the gender-neutral bathroom provided by the company. He claimed other employees who had similar poor performance and tardiness records were not terminated, which turned out to be true. The court case resulted in the employee being awarded $145,000 in lost past and future earnings as well as $700,000 in punitive damages. Which of the following statement best explains why the court sided with the former employee?
- Firing someone who is transgender, even though the employee was a poor performer, is always against the law.
- Because company policies and procedures were not followed consistently, the employee was wrongly dismissed.
- Disciplinary action should be applied equally to all employees.
- Because the company failed to explain to the employee that other employees were uncomfortable when he used the men’s restroom, the company was at fault.
- The employee should have been allowed to use the men’s restroom as there were stalls with doors that allowed everyone to have privacy.
The HR department at Avondale Industries has recently revised the company policy manual and asked the training and development office to provide training to all managers about the revised policies and how to apply them uniformly. The manager for quality assurance was gone on vacation when training occurred and did not receive it when she returned. One of the new policies established new data protection practices, which she did not know about. When a minor breach of security happened because of her failure to follow the new protocols, the manager was reprimanded and written up for the first time in her employment. Having the infraction on her record upset her, and she appealed to HR to have it removed. Is it possible, or even necessary, for HR to adjust her record and why?
- It is not necessary for HR to remove the infraction because the employee’s file is strictly confidential. Only select people would ever know, and it would not affect her employment.
- The employee’s personnel record can be adjusted and should be to keep the employee happy and satisfied.
- Ignorance of the policy opened the door for HR to remove the infraction. Employees must be informed about what is required or prohibited, or they cannot be disciplined.
- It is not necessary to make a record adjustment because, should the employee leave, the record will be destroyed after one year, thus effectively removing it.
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