This paper investigates a case study about Munroe Kitchens with the emphasis on the human relations management. Methods of employees selection in particular for designer’s and carpenter’s position, methods for improving staff performance and a way to improve employer-employee relationships with regard to the controversial issue of misconduct of one employee are described.
Methods of Employees’ Selection
According to Price (2011) there are many employees’ selection methods that evaluate whether potential employee meets all the requirements of the company including interviewing, general mental ability and situational judgment tests that reveal the reaction of the employee on different working situations. Each of these selection methods provide the possibility to evaluate professional and personal treats of the future employee, assess his/her ability to be a team member, communicate with others and work under pressure. Written tests that are used during the employees’ selection process become more popular nowadays. They include the following categories: written tests on the professional knowledge and skills; tests on the level of intelligence and other capabilities; tests on generally and specific for the position personal qualities.
In case of Munroe Kitchens and its need to find the best designer and carpenters for the enlarging production of fitted kitchen business direction, structured interview for both categories will be similar.
Selection of the designer position is impossible without his portfolio consideration. It should acknowledge the existing experience in the field of furniture design in particular fitted kitchen. With the aim to avoid future complaints from the customers relating to the low level of skills and experience of the carpenters as well as examples of disrespectful behaviour, recommendation letters should be considered. These recommendation letters and the results of the telephone conversation with the representatives of the previous employers have to prove that a potential employee possesses the needed level of professional qualification (specific education), 3-5 years of practical experience in furniture designing or manufacturing fitted kitchens, good interpersonal communication skills and ability to be a team player. It should be pointed that the process of the interviewing should include a personal interview with Simon Munroe after the preliminary passing situational judgment tests. After interview, each candidate either for a carpenter or for a designer position should fulfil experimental short task. Designer will draw some sketch comprising his/her idea for a fitted kitchen to in order to ensure that creativity and practicality in its proposed designs inherent to a given candidate. With the aim to verify the authenticity of working skills described in the curriculum vitae of applicants for the carpenter position, experimental practical task for the production of some small part of the fitted kitchen should be fulfilled.
Methods for Improving Staff Performance
First of all, it is needed to point that improvement of staff performance is a complex issue involving such areas of the company’s operations as information, resources, incentives, skills and knowledge, capacity and motivation. Improvement in communication of needed information to the employees is crucial. Employees should understand what the company expects to see in their performance. They have to receive regular feedback either positive or negative to be aware of their successes and failures and correct the examples of a poor performance immediately (Ripley 1999).
Ripley (1999) underlined that “if someone puts good performers in bad systems, the systems will win every time”. It means that the above mentioned factors of the organisational system should be considered in a combination with the aim to provide efficient working environment where the employee could demonstrate his/her best knowledge and skills.
It should be highlighted that in any business employees and customers are the most valuable assets. It is a core task for the Munroe Kitchens to invest in the professional development of its employees, conduct various trainings and practical studies to improve existing skills and enhance the overall productivity of the carpenter’s handwork and professional skills in areas of sales, marketing and design. It is particularly essential for the Munroe Kitchens to invest in its employees within the expansion of fitted kitchens field to guarantee the best quality of its products.
George and Jones (2005) provide an example of IKEA, leading brand in home furnishings operating in 40 countries and possessing 330 stores, in improving staff performance. They state that IKEA puts quality above all else. By investing in the professional development of its employees it supports innovation and the desire to promote the company developing forward. IKEA implements efficient system of employees’ rewards that enhances guarantee of high performance and productivity. Moreover, IKEA management and especially HR department emphasizes the importance of the team work encouraging cooperation and commitment of the Company’s employees.
It is needed for Simon Munroe to establish clear awards and incentives system for the evaluation of employee’s performance. In contrast to George’s position in putting the emphasis on the uniqueness of the product itself, Simon seeks to expand business and attract more customers desiring to purchase high quality kitchen for the relatively low price. Such a new strategy requires reviewing of the incentives for increased sales and quality and speed of tasks execution. Moreover, it is a challenging task for Simon to restore the spirit of a single team and dispel all the doubts that arose after the controversial Robert's firing showing charismatic leadership and communicating a clear position of the Company to the employees.
Recommendations on Improving Employee Relations
It is vital that each employee beginning his/her carrier at the company will be assured of harassment and discrimination absence. Employer has to provide such a working environment for an employee where trust, reliability and accountability for the employee’s deeds are predominating. There should be no bias in the judgment of the employer; any conclusions regarding the work must be confirmed by irrefutable facts. Employee has the right to defend his/her interests and appeal to the courts if his/her rights have been violated (Price 2011).
Regarding the case study about Munroe Kitchens, it must be noted that Robert Timms dismissal was rather disputed in particular the main reason of firing stated as consumer’s personal paper theft. Naturally, numerous complaints received from the customers and proved fact of unqualified kitchen installation could be the reasons for the termination of the working relationship with the employee as one who did not demonstrate professional qualifications required by the company. However, accuse an employee in the act, that he did not do, especially stealing a personal paper of the client was unlawful. It was a full Robert’s freedom to defend his rights.
It should be stated that developing an employment practices code is the most effective tool of determining the extent of the employer and employee rights for the small business including the main section on ethical behaviour. Such a document should be the primary source for conflict resolution and consolidation of the basic legislation norms applicable to the human resources management field (Information Commissioner’s Office 2012).
The situation with Robert Timms and impending law suit seriously undermined the confidence of workers to the employer. Tzafrir (2005) stated “managerial philosophies, attitudes, and perceptions of their employees shape the organisational mechanisms utilized” (p. 1602). Relationships between employer and employee that are not based on trust and respect will result in the poor performance results, demotivation of employees and decline in the productivity. Tzafrir (2005) argues that universal for the HR practice system of employees’ performance enhancing includes four parameters:
- incentive system of compensation;
- employees participation in the decision-making process;
- internal labour market in the form of employees’ internal promotion;
The main recommendation for Simon Munroe in the field of improving employee relations is to reassure employees that they are the core value for the Company. The Company should recognize officially that in Robert’s case it acted rashly and groundless focusing on the action, which this person did not commit. Trust and confidence in the legitimacy of the employer actions is a great guarantee that workers will be committed to the company and not to wait for the same fate as Robert the other day.
Simon Munroe has to formalise the existing relationships between employees and employer especially with regard to the enlarging of the business scope and possible increase in the number of conflicts. In the above mentioned Code of Ethics essential requirements concerning usage of the non-public company’s information and assets for the personal benefit of the employee, strict clear division of responsibilities and employee rights, arbitration of disputes, and the obligation of the employer to carry out all the necessary procedures to investigate controversial cases.
Today Munroe Kitchens faces the most challenging times in its history. Simon Munroe made an emphasis on development of fitted kitchens manufacturing and further marketing efforts on the promotion of this business direction with the aim to increase sales and profits. High level of employee’s engagement and the desire to support the Company in such business direction is vital for the Company. However, Simon Munroe has to reform efficiently the initial working environment to guarantee that the Robert’s example was isolated case and the Company revised its view to the evaluation of employees and resolving conflicts. Otherwise the company may fail in the market without adequate participation of employees or neglect attitude to their work without being sure that all their efforts will be judged fairly and without subjective viewpoints.