This is an individual take home exam. You are to complete it on your own with no outside help. Please honor this requirement. You may use your textbook and notes to complete the exam. Each item is worth 20 points, making the full exam worth 100 points. Your response must be attached as a Word document to the Final Exam Assignment in CANVAS and submitted by the deadline listed in the course schedule. Clear presentation, organization of ideas, grammar, and spelling will impact your grade. Respond as you would in a professional situation to your supervisor (except please double space for easier grading).
Your responses should be well-organized, concise and thorough. A shotgun listing of items directly from the textbook without applying those concepts to the situation presented will not earn a high grade. For most of the questions there is more than one correct answer, although some answers are certainly better than others. Also for most of the questions, concepts apply from various parts of the course. In most cases you will earn a better score if you avoid the temptation to focus on only one chapter in writing your answer.
- You are the Cancer Program Director for a large hospital. The Vice President you report to has just informed you that the Board of Directors has approved the development of a radiation treatment department. The feasibility study listed the employees that will be needed by job title and an estimated total payroll. It did not include further details about staffing. The types of positions include entry level service and support staff, licensed technical and nursing staff, and a supervisor. You have four months, while the facility is remodeled and equipment installed, to hire the staff so they can begin training and open the center five months from now. Your first step will be to consult with the Human Resources staff.
Show the work plan that you would develop for this assignment. The work plan should be in chronological order and should show for each action step: a brief description of activities, start and end dates, parties involved, and responsible party. For example: “recruit nursing candidates by June 30” would not be adequate; a good answer would indicate where, how, and by whom. Hint: there are several steps that come before this one!
- Your hospital implemented a new pay-for-performance system about 10 months ago. A preliminary review of the results shows the following. Managers (who earn bonuses based on budget savings) have held back in equipment maintenance and employee training on new techniques in order to save money. Employees perceive little connection between work and pay and feel the system is unfair. Some former high performers have become problem employees. Some employees have received significant increases and others have seen their pay decrease. Many of those with pay decreases are older and more experienced, but are not as adept with newer technology as some of the younger employees. Many of the older employees complain that, because of their experience, they are given more difficult patients.
- These are symptoms of several problems that are common with pay-for-performance systems. Briefly describe those problems.
- How might you solve the problem with your managers and their bonus plan?
- How might you improve the perception of a connection between work and pay?
- What steps would you take to analyze and address the problem the older, more experienced employees are having?
- Manor Care Changes Its Benefits and Reduces Turnover
When Manor Care, Inc. set out to become one of the world’s great service organizations, it decided to find out what would motivate its front-line service employees to stay with the company. At 72 percent, employee turnover was a big problem for the Springfield, Maryland-based parent company of Choice Hotels International and Manor Health Care Corporation. After conducting extensive surveys and studies, the company concluded that to reduce turnover, it needed to offer its lower-paid front-line employees a benefits program they could afford. For instance, while Manor Care’s 401(k) plan was a good one, only 20 percent of employees making $12,000 a year were participating in it.
The company decided to redesign it benefits program, and the result was a program unlike any before it. For instance, in contrast to most defined contribution pension plans, which make contributions based on a uniform percentage for all participants, Manor Care adjusted its contribution percentages according to employee salaries, paying proportionately higher amounts at the lower salary ranges. But Manor Care did not stop there. It also revamped its medical benefits in a similar manner, so that the more an employee earns, the higher his or her deductible and co-payments are. Long-term employees pay less for their benefits as their years of service increase. Since the company redesigned its benefits package, turnover among front-line employees has declined by 25 percent. In turn, customer service quality has increased, according to surveys completed by 10,000 of Manor Care’s health-care customers.
- Do you think Manor Care could have reduced turnover just as much by raising front-line service employees’ compensation? Why or why not?
- What other steps might Manor Care take to reduce turnover?
- You have been a department manager at MetroHospital for 15 months. Today you received a memo from the Human Resources department indicating that one of the employees whom you supervise, Ramon Olivarez, has come to them to file a grievance against one of your actions. In accordance with company policy, you are asked to provide a written response within a week. A copy of Ramon’s grievance is attached to the memo and reads as follows:
“My manager don’t understand my situation. He may have a college degree, but he don’t know nothing about what it takes to do my job. Last year he was only here a couple months before he done my eval. He wrote me up for not doing stuff Mrs. Johnson always told me I didn’t have to do. He gave me a stinking 15 cent raise. Mrs. Johnson always gave me at least 25 cents. He don’t like me and I can prove it. He’s been on my case all year to keep the halls and doorways clear of boxes and stuff when that’s not even my job. Now he gave me a written warning! I want that out of my record. I know he only did it because my eval is due again and he’s setting me up for another lousy 15 cent raise. He never tells Mary or Dennis to get rid of the boxes. He’s warned Freddy to stop sneaking off for smoke breaks a hundred times but he never wrote him up. This ain’t fair. He just don’t like the way I look or something.”
Describe the steps you would take in preparation for writing your response to Ramon’s grievance. (Hint: Firing Ramon would not be a good choice.) You do not need to write the response. During the formal grievance review process, policy prohibits you from discussing the grievance directly with Ramon.
- You have just graduated with your HAS degree and have been hired by Quality Home Care. The owner hasn’t given you a written job description or even a title but has told you what he wants you to do. “I started this company because I got tired of the bureaucracy at Mega Health System. We couldn’t get anything done. Even when it was obviously best for the patients and for the company, there was always some reason we couldn’t move ahead: not in the budget, the lawyers have some concerns, not consistent with our core strategies, and on and on. Well, I started my own company, hand-picked the best staff members, offered them a little higher pay than they were getting from Mega and some basic benefits. It worked. Our patient volume grew another 25% last quarter and we expect that to continue. We’re now up to 20 employees, and need more. I’ve had to hire some people I didn’t know before. I don’t have a management degree but I need to have all the administrative things done that they taught you how to do at Weber. The first thing I want you to do is organize all this Personnel stuff. Remember, I don’t want a @#$% mega-bureaucracy here, I just want things organized so we can keep up with this growth!”
- What are the main factors you would consider in establishing an overall Human Resources strategy for QHC?
- List the titles of the first five HR policies you would recommend to the owner and the main concepts that would be covered by each policy. Briefly explain to the owner why he needs a policy in each of these areas. Do not write the full policy statements. Remember, he doesn’t consider himself an administrator, he’s extremely busy, and he hates bureaucracy—this needs to be concise, clear, and persuasive.