QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION:
Note: Feel free to critique, comment, or ask questions on your classmates' answers.
DUE DATE: 27 May 2016
Hi everyone, here is mine.
1. Losing trust and loyalty from employees: As Rie-san said, the management should have responded. No communication means they don't care about the issue and the effect on their people. When employees feel in that way, it is impossible to keep their loyalty to the company as well as trust in the management.
2. Transparency of decision making process, sharing the whole situation of the company: I think the reason why they didn't respond to Tanaka-san and his team for a long time was that the management didn't prioritize the issue over other issues within the company. For the top management, HR management is just one of the way to realize the company's vision or business plan and usually they tend to focus more on thier financial targets or business strategies even HR management is closely connected to these. If the management showed the situation inside/outside of the company and shared what they are thinking or planning, the employee might understand or, if not, then they can start communicate to fill the gap.
3. If I am in his shoes...well the biggest thing is that the management believed the standard pay system worked, so I would firstly ask them why they think so. If it is just they don't want to make the pay system complicated and is troublesome to change it, then I will try to convince them how critical the situation is and the system should be re-designed as soon as possible. Or, if there is a certain reason or background of keeping the current pay system, like Rie-san said there might be specific situation in Western region, they I would recommend to share with the employees to remove their feeling of unfairness.
3. If I were in his shoes, after telling the Management what would happen in sales division if nothing would change, I would recommend the Management to investigate if other divisions have any problems or concerns on the current pay system. If there are some other problems in the company, the performance-based compensation system Tanaka-san presented might not be enough to solve other divisions’ problems and new pay systems need to be established.
Also, as Rie-san mentioned, I would recommend the Management to analyze the competitors’ pay system. This will help the Management understand what kind of approach other companies are taking to retain good people.
My apologies for delay in submitting my replies and joining everyone in this discussion. I wasn't very well the last few days. I will do my best to keep the future due dates!
1. Employees' lost loyalty to and trust in the company. As Misuzu-san mentioned, I think the management team should have responded earlier to the Eastern Division's issue about the compensation structure, even if they couldn't change the scheme right away, or they needed more time to look into this matter. The employees of Eastern Division had hope at first after their initial discussion with Tanaka-san, and must have felt that they were being ignored by the company, and that their concern was not taken seriously. Therefore, they got dis-engaged, and lost loyalty to the company.
2. It is important for the management to show that the company cares about its employees, and I think HR (who didn't appear in this caselet) could have taken a role to support Tanaka-san's voice to make it heard more, or to convince the management to prioritize this matter over other issues by stressing the critical situation. As Rie-san mentioned, the company will have to look into the matter holistically. The current pay structure may not be the only issue, but the management team should at least show an attitude that they heard the employees' voices and are examining the matter, and perhaps set a time frame for their reply or show a transparent decision making process, if possible.
3. If I was in Tanaka-san's shoes, as a first step, I would closely work with HR to collect feedback from the other divisions regarding the company's pay scheme and, if possible, also about the competitors' comp scheme information. If the competitors are also keen to adopt, or are adopting, a merit-based pay scheme, I would suggest the company seriously considers a merit-based pay scheme, to retain good talent and keep competitive in the market. It may depend on the organization, but I think employees are more or less interested in being recognized for their effort in the way of a monetary reward, especially the sales rep groups. Of course, the management should look at the company's financial aspect and impact of any change when making a final decision, but they should also strive to understand what motivates their employees and to find out how the company can retain passionate and loyal employees.
Aki Yamamoto wrote:2. Reliable HR and manager, and quick response: First, HR should be reliable and open for employees including managers to discuss these matters Tanaka-san was aware of. One of our HR missions is to create a workplace that keeps employee engaged, so HR should increase the knowledge and be a go-to place to talk what kind of problem the team/division has.