You have just been appointed as the first graduate trainee ever recruited at Rosewall Rentals, a Car Hire company which operates from 6 locations in the South West of the UK. You are reporting directly to the new Managing Director who has taken over what was considered a ‘failing’ company with a brief from her funders to return the organisation to profitability in the next 3 years.
Your MD would like you to take on the task of investigating some of the many employee-related problems which she has become aware of during her first 4 months in office, and to make recommendations about what needs to be done to generate improvements. From the information she has shared with you and your initial investigations of company reports and reports, as well as conversations with a small number of employees, you have established that:
• Each branch employs approximately 15 staff, a mixture of full and part time workers, with a manager overseeing each branch. Of the 6 managers, 5 are male and 1 is female.
• There are three main teams in each branch:
o the sales and marketing (S and M) mixed male and female team,
o the customer services (CS) predominantly female team,
o and the maintenance and operations (M and O) majority male team.
• S and M are paid some (limited) bonuses and incentives for acquiring corporate accounts, but there has been no evidence of performance being managed, of target or objectives setting, or of records being kept about achievements and bonuses paid; C and S and M and O have no bonuses or incentives available, although M and O are often paid overtime;
• There is no training and development or talent development policy in place. There is no induction policy or strategy for new recruits or employees taking on new roles. Managers have tended to be promoted from the S and M teams in the past but have had no specific managerial training or development to support their performance in their role.
• Employee turnover at the company is currently running at around 35% per annum; most employees serve little more than 3 years, and leave for jobs which pay more and which offer more interesting work and career progression opportunities
• Absence levels are high across all branches, and particularly for the CS and M and O teams. This has caused regular problems in the past when vehicles have been unavailable for customers due to a lack of cleaning and servicing, and a shortage of staff to deal with customer collections and returns.
• During periods of staff absence, you are aware that 2 of the branches have employed casual staff from a local hostel where migrant workers live and paid them ‘cash in hand’
• Recruitment and selection often takes place by word of mouth in local communities, with branch managers responsible for all recruitment in their branches
• Most branches have a poor record on staff discipline, and relationships between the different teams are often ill-tempered and fractious. There have been a number of sackings of employees for fighting in 2 of the branches, although the previous MD apparently believed that this was simply evidence of ‘healthy competition’ between teams
• You are aware that 4 of the 6 branches have had at least one grievance case brought against the line manager in the past 2 years
• Head office has consisted of a very skeletal staff in the past with only two small teams in place for fleet management and finance, and a small general administration team. You understand that the previous MD’s PA tended to oversee payroll and the issuing of contracts for new staff, but you can see no record of formal policies or practice guidelines
Write a briefing paper (report) for your manager of 2800-3000 words which meets the following objectives:
1. Sets out what you consider to be the most urgent issues/problems which need addressing at the company in relation to effective people management, and the changes that need to be made to the HR policies and practices at the company; ensure that these are clearly and specifically explained in relation the problems identified, and avoid making generalised comments.
2. Justifies each of these proposed changes with a good rationale, i.e. what will the benefits be for the organisation? What problems or issues will be addressed by the changes you are proposing?
3. Makes reference to the ethical and moral concerns informing your analysis, and demonstrates how and why legislation should be taken into account in the company’s future people management policy and practice