Assignment 1 : 20% -please read the case study below.
Modern Industries Ltd. (MIL) in Bangalore is an automobile ancillary industry. It has a turnover of Rs. 100 crores. It employs around 4,000 persons. The company is professionally managed. The management team is headed by a dynamic Managing Director. He expects performance of high order at every level. It is more so at the Supervisory and Management levels. Normally people of high calibre are selected through open advertisements to meet the human resource requirements at higher levels. However, junior-level vacancies are filled up by different types of trainees who undergo training in the company.
The company offers a one-year training scheme for fresh engineering graduates. During the first six months of the training, the trainees are exposed to different functional areas which are considered to be the core training for this category of trainees. By then, the trainees are identified for placement against the available or projected vacancies. Their further training in the next quarter is planned according to individual placement requirements.
During the last quarter, the training will be on-the job. The trainee is required to perform the jobs expected of him after he is placed there. The training scheme is broadly structured mainly keeping in mind the training requirements of mechanical engineering graduates.
Mr. Rakesh Sharma joined the company in the year 1983 after his B. Tech. degree in Paint Technology from a reputed institute. He was taken as a trainee for a projected vacancy in the paints application department. In MIL, the areas of interest for a trainee in Paint Technology are few. Hence, Mr. Sharma’s core training was planned for the first 3 months only. Thereafter, he was put for on-the-job training in the paints application department. He took interest and showed enthusiasm in his work there. The report from the shop manager was quite satisfactory.
The performance of the trainee is normally reviewed once at the end of every quarter. The Training Manager personally talks to the trainee about his progress, strengths and shortcomings. At the end of the second quarter, the Training Manager called Mr. Sharma for his performance review. He appreciated his good performance and told him to keep it up. A month later, Mr. Sharma met the Training Manager. He requested that his training period be curtailed to 7 months only and to absorb him as an Engineer. He argued that he had been performing like a regular employee in the department for the last one quarter. As such, there was no justification for him to be put on training anymore. Further, he indicated that by doing so, he could be more effective in the department as a regular engineer. He would also gain seniority as well as some monetary benefits as the trainees were eligible for a stipend only. The regular employees were eligible for many allowances like conveyance, dearness, house rent, education, etc. which was a substantial amount as compared to the stipend paid to a trainee.
The Training Manager turned down his request and informed him that it was not a practice of the company to do so. He told him that any good performance or contribution made by the trainees during the training period would be duly rewarded at the time of placement on completion of one year of training. Further, he told him that it would set a wrong precedence. Quite often, some trainees were put on the job much earlier than the normal period of three quarters for several reasons.
Thereafter, Mr. Sharma’s behaviour in the department became different. His changed attitude did not receive any attention in the initial period. However, by the end of the third quarter, his behaviour had become erratic and unacceptable. When he was asked by the Department Manager to attend to a particular task, he replied that he was still on training and such task shouldn’t be assigned to a trainee. According to him, those jobs were meant to be attended by full-time employees and not by trainees.
The Paintshop Manager complained to the Training Manager about Mr. Sharma’s behaviour and he was summoned by the Training Manager. During the discussion, Mr. Sharma complained that while all the remaining trainees were having a comfortable time as trainees, he was the only one who was put to a lot of stress and strain; and that the department was expecting too much from him. He felt that he should be duly rewarded for much hardwork; otherwise, it was not appropriate to expect similar work output from him.
The Training Manager tried to convince him again that he shouldn’t harp on rewards as he was a trainee; his sole concern should be to learn as much as possible and to improve his abilities. He should have a long-term perspective rather than such a narrow-minded approach. He also informed him that his good performance would be taken into account when the right occasion arose. He warned him that he was exhibiting negative attitude for which he would be viewed seriously.
His demand for earlier placement was illogical and he should forget it as he had already completed 8 months and had to wait only for another 4 months. He advised Mr. Sharma that the career of an individual had to be seen on a long-term perspective and that he should not resort to such childish behaviour as it would affect his own career and image in the company.
Mr. Sharma apparently seemed to have been convinced by the assurance given by the Training Manager and remained passive for some time. However, when the feedback was sought after a month, the report stated that he had become more perverted. He was called again for a counselling session and was given two weeks time to show improvement.
At the end of those two weeks, the Training Manager met the Department Manager, to have a discussion about Mr. Sharma. It was found that there was absolutely no reason for Mr. Sharma to nurture a grievance on poor rewards. It was decided that he should be given a warning letter as per the practice of the company and, accordingly, he was issued a warning letter.
This further aggravated the situation rather than bringing about any improvement. He felt offended and retaliated by thoroughly disobeying any instruction given to him. This deteriorated the situation more and the relationship between the manager of the department and the trainee was seriously affected.
In cases of rupture of relationship, normally the practice was to shift the trainee from the department where he was not getting along well so that he would be tried in some other department where he could have another lease for striking better rapport.
But unfortunately, in the case of Mr. Sharma, there was no other department to which he could be transferred, since that was the only department where his specialisation could have been of proper use. By the time he completed his training, he turned out to be one who was not at all acceptable in the department for placement. His behaviour and involvement was lacking. In view of this, the Department Manager recommended that he be taken out of the department. When Mr. Sharma was informed about it, he was thoroughly depressed.
One of the primary objectives of the Training Department is to recruit fresh graduates who have good potential and train them to be effective persons, in different departments. They are taken after a rigorous selection process which includes a written test, a preliminary and a final interview. During the training period, their aptitudes, strengths and weaknesses are identified. Their placement in departments is decided primarily on the basis of their overall effectiveness there.
Here is a case where the person happened to be hard-working in the beginning but turned out to be a failure in the end.
The Training Manager was conscious of this serious lapse and was not inclined to recommend his termination. But at the same time it was difficult to retain a person whose track record was not satisfactory. He still felt that a fresh look be given into this case but he was unable to find a way out. He was now faced with the dilemma whether to terminate or not to terminate Mr. Rakesh Sharma.
a) Discuss at least THREE (3) HRM issues that caused the above problems.
i) Training requirement
ii) Performance appraisal
iii) Competitive strategy and compensation
b) Discuss THREE (3) options to the Traini