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January 10, 2007

Commerce 392
Introduction to the Employment Relationship

- Understand the interests of both the employer and employee

Role Play Simulation – The Interview

Student A (3rd Year Accounting Option)

- Currently, Vancity understaffed and very busy
- Undergoing interview for teller position
- Going to school part-time
o Hours and availability
- Identify interests in the employment relationship (general terms)
o Training
o Compensation
o Sick Pay
o Vacation Pay
o Bonuses
o Advancement in company
o Employment assurance
o Company environment and culture
o Dental and Medical Benefits
o Injury at the job – compensation?
o Tuition reimbursement
- What do you want in contract?
o Training – Offer on-the-job training + pay and future cross-training
o Hours and availability – To match school schedule
o Compensation – Hourly wage around $13-15/hour
o Sick Pay – Receive pay when I am unable to go to work
o Vacation Pay – Receive vacation pay and days off over the year
o Bonuses – Receive extra compensation for exceptional service
o Advancement in company – Possibility to advance position
o Employment Assurance – Not to be laid off or terminated due to budget
o Company environment/culture – Want more responsibilities,
empowerment, and sense of worth in company
o Dental and Medical Benefits – Preferably some kind of plan offered
o Injury at the job – receive sick pay for not able to work and not to have
position terminated
o Tuition reimbursement – “we both benefit from further education”
- What is your relative power in setting T&A?
o Not much considering there are probably other candidates applying for the
position but slightly higher than usual due to the current position at
Student B (Branch Manager)
In Class Discussion (Teacher Notes)

Compensation: not usually on the top of employee interests

Employee Interests:
- scheduling, promotions, compensation, orientation, training, mentoring, EI,
benefits, organizational culture, severance pay, evaluation, job security, health and

Employer Interests:
- scheduling, flexibility in term (short/long), customer service, money skills,
training costs, personality

Terms and Conditions

Manager Side
- Compensation  probationary period, training pay
- Minimum hours per week
- Start and end date
- Rules

Employee Side
- Compensation  Backpay for probation period, additional pay
- Benefits  Medical, dental, vacation, leave time

Interview Steps/Questions:
- Why work here?
- Situational Question
- “Marketing”
- Future career plans
- Strengths and weaknesses
- Why did you leave past employer?
January 15, 2007

“Critical Labour Shortage Looms”

- Baby boom generation is so huge and most of them are up in upper management
- Creates unprecedented pressure on the labor market
- High tuition cost also means fewer educated employees entering the workforce
- Pension plans are going to be a huge issue
o Air Canada’s pension plan was crucially under funded and that’s how it
almost failed as a company

Recruitment focuses more on personality, empathy, instead of just a degree.

Shortage means possible changes to new immigration laws, faster promotions, and more
money put into the HR department.
- turnover is an issue right now and keeping employees is important

Importance of HRM to Business Success

HR Strategies as solution for boosting profits, share value, and in some cases, ensuring
company survival and there is evidence to support this (Harvard)

HRM Function
- Maintaining healthy and safe work environment
o Important topic these days because of several work-related deaths

Who is Responsible for HRM?

- every single manager despite whether or not there is a HR department
- manager right above you on chain of command is responsible for your termination

Organizational Chart – what is the reporting line to the CEO?

- first thing to have on the day of the job
- essentially the chain of command in the company
- Front Line = entry level positions where no employees are under these people
- Tip: when going through interview, ask where on the org. chart you fall

HR Department – Employment Services

- offers consultation and sets policies and standards
- clients are the employees inside the company
- “Line Managers” – implementation of policies, staffing, hiring/firing, evaluations
Case Study – Trendy’s

Sue Ron Mike

Interests - being treated fairly - Justify his actions - Solve the conflict
- keeping her job - Not sound like a pervert - Avoid legal issues
- future job prospects - keep job - Avoid rumours
with good reputation - future relationship with - possible unionization
and fair reference employees - maintain reputation
- $$ owing to her - containment of rumours - training for all managers
- assurance that - wants to set an example (esp. in HR)
discrimination is dealt - workplace culture, morale
with -

Rights 2 weeks notice - Innocent until proven guilty

- Power to terminate
- Show up when scheduled
- Performance
What would you do? - Bring in a mediator
- Investigating
- Group discussion
- Reinstate Sue
- Pay out
- Analysis of problem
- Legal Advice
- Other HR expert advice
- Training
- Communication
What management - Establish harassment and fraternization policy
policy and practices - Job Description – more detailed
change? - Safety Policies – more realistic expectations from staff for dine & dash
o Policies on having people not pay
- Absenteeism Reporting Policy
- Disciplinary policies
- Tips should not be divided equally
- Performance Review Policy

What impact on - Lawsuit

Trendy’s business - Rumor might spread and lower employee morale
Success? - Media, business
- Unionization
- Future recruitment problems

- harassment issue here, so falls under legal

January 17, 2007

Environmental Influences on HRM Function

Internal Factors
- Organizational Culture and Climate
o e.g. Relevant: Acquisitions and Mergers, many businesses are being
bought out and this changes the culture and climate. Employee fear that
there will be layoffs and lots of uncertainty.

Question: What external factors would influence recruiting, benefits provision,

compensation, performance management, health and safety and other HRM functions?
- Competitors
- State of the Economy
- Unemployment Rate
- Government policies and regulations
- Demographics (e.g. available work force population – what are their
demographics; baby boom generation – companies will lose 40% of their top
executives due to retirement)

- Advancement decrease in “blue collar” and clerical jobs and increase in technical,
managerial and professional jobs
- Robotics and biotech are high in skill demand, booming industry
- Use of technology to monitor employees

- More firms conducting business outside Canada
- Locating human resources in other countries where wages are lower, lower
operating costs, less government regulation
- Challenge: how to recruit/select, manage performance

Trends in Employment
- Shift from manufacturing to service (people skills important now)
o “Knowledge worker” – someone who can transform information into a
product or service
o Canada competes internationally by producing high quality products in
order to remain competitive because operations costs are way cheaper in
China, India
o Rise in need for knowledge workers
o New HRM skills and functions are required to recruit and train these
employees and win their commitment
HRM plays pivotal role in:
- Improving productivity
- Increasing corporation’s responsiveness to market fluctuations and tech change
Result: Maintaining a competitive advantage means moving HRM to the center of
strategic management planning

Issue: How to “boost profits through people?”

1. Providing employment security
2. Excellent Selection/Recruitment process: marks are less relevant, PEOPLE SKILLS!
3. Utilization of Self-managed teams
4. “Winning” compensation strategies
5. Training
6. Reduction of “status differences” between managers and line workers
- Methods:
o Symbolically – use of language (“associates” vs. “employees), physical
o Substantive means – i.e. reducing wage inequality
o Examples: Wal-Mart, SW airlines
7. Sharing information (financial performance, business plans, etc)

If gains are so great, why aren’t all firms implementing this successfully?
- Not as easy as it seems

Study question: “If you were advising a business about successful implementation of HR
strategies, what key advice would you give them?”

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