HR QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS BY SANJU JEEBOY Q.1What items are typically included in the job description?

A job description is usually developed by conducting a job analysis, which includes examining the tasks and sequences of tasks necessary to perform the job. The analysis looks at the areas of knowledge and skills needed by the job. Note that a role is the set of responsibilities or expected results associated with a job. A job usually includes several roles.

Purpose The objective of a job description is to have a clear outline of duties and responsibilities to make the screening process as direct and focused as possible. [1] Job descriptions may have the following elements: • • • • • • improvement cooperation by giving all members of the organization insight in existing responsibilities/roles enabling career moves within the organization determination of amount of pay per function increase of results by specification of responsibilities and key performance indicators development of job owner by specification of competences may include the phrase "perform other duties as assigned"

Possible job description items Job title A specific designation of a post within an organization, normally associated with a job description that details the tasks and responsibilities that go with it. With the rise of online job search engines, job titles became increasingly important. In many cases, this causes job title inflation.[2] Job duties may also be called Tasks Performed; may be as lengthy as necessary to fully describe each essential duty or responsibility which comprises the employee's functions, generally starting with principle duties.

Roles and responsibilities This includes supervisory level, managerial requirements, and any working relationships and may also include your corporate/individual objectives. Job specifications or qualifications Their job details Salary and benefits Describes the compensation type, hourly or salary, and amount. In addition it includes both standard benefits and any fringe benefits associated with the position

Q.2 Discuss the basic facts about OSHA its purpose, standards, rights and responsibilities The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the United States Department of Labor. It was created by Congress of the United States under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, signed by President Richard M Nixon, on December 29, 1970. Its mission is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and occupational fatality by issuing and enforcing rules called standards for workplace safety and health. The agency is headed by a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women; by authorizing enforcement of the standards developed under the Act; by assisting and encouraging the States in their efforts to assure safe and healthful working conditions; by providing for research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health. For more information, visit Services OSHA and its state partners have approximately 2100 inspectors, plus complaint discrimination investigators, engineers, physicians, educators, standards writers, and other technical and support personnel spread over more than 200 offices throughout the country. This staff establishes protective standards, enforces those standards, and reaches out to employers and employees through technical assistance and consultation programs.

The Public We Serve Nearly every working man and woman in the nation comes under OSHA's jurisdiction (with some exceptions such as miners, transportation workers, many public employees, and the self-employed). Other users and recipients of OSHA services include: occupational safety and health professionals, the academic community, lawyers, journalists, and personnel of other government entities. Service Improvement Plan OSHA is determined to use its limited resources effectively to stimulate management commitment and employee participation in comprehensive workplace safety and health programs. Surveying Our Public At OSHA, we are dedicated to improving the quality of our efforts and know that to be successful we must become an agency that is driven by commitment to public service. The first step is for OSHA to listen and respond to its customers. Accordingly, we conducted a survey to learn more about what employers and employees think of OSHA's services. Because workplace inspections are one of OSHA's principal activities and because voluntary efforts to improve working conditions ultimately depend on strong enforcement, our survey focused primarily on the inspection process. We asked a random sample of employees and employers who had recently experienced an OSHA inspection what they thought of the inspection in particular, and of OSHA's standards and educational and other assistance activities in general. Service Standards We based OSHA's new standards for public service on what we learned from the survey, from meetings with employee and employer groups, and from focus group discussions with workers from many plants and industries across the country. Our public service improvement program will be an ongoing one. We will continue to gather information on the quality of our performance in delivering services in areas not included in this year's survey, particularly in the construction sector. Next year, too, we plan to learn more about public response to our assistance and consultation programs.

Q.3 Explain the four ways in which interviews can be classified? Group Discussion Interview: There are two methods of conducting group discussion interview, namely, group interview method and discussion interview method. All candidates are brought into one room i.e. interview room and are interviewed one by one under group interview This method helps a busy executive to save valuable time and gives a fair account of the objectivity of the interview to the candidates. Under the discussion interview method, one topic is given for discussion to the candidates who assemble in one room and they are asked to discuss the topic in detail. This type of interview helps the interviewer in appraising, certain skills of the candidates like initiative, inter-personal skills, dynamism, presentation, leading comprehension, collaboration etc. Interviewers are at ease in this category of interview because of its informality and flexibility. But it may fail to cover some significant portions of the candidates’ background and skills. Panel Interview: Interviewing of candidates by one person may not be effective as he cannot judge the candidates in different areas/ skills owning to lack of knowledge and competence in multiple disciplines and areas. Hence most organizations invite a panel of experts, specialized in different areas / fields / disciplines, to interview the candidates. A panel of experts interviews each candidates, judges his performance individually and prepares a consolidated judgment based on each expert’s judgment and weighted of each factor. This type of interview is called as panel interview. This type of interview would be more effective as each candidate is prepared by an expert in relevant areas. Experts should be cautioned against over accuracy, excessive weight-age to a particular factor, domination of other experts etc. Depth Interview: In this type of Interview, the candidates would be examined extensively in core areas of knowledge and skills of the job. Experts in that particular field examine the candidates by posing relevant questions as to extract critical answers from them, initiating discussions regarding critical areas of the job, and by asking the candidates to explain even minute operations of the job performance. Thus, the candidate is examined thoroughly in critical / core areas in their interviews. Stress Interview: This interview aims at testing the candidate’s job behavior and level of withstanding during the period of stress and strain. Interviewer tests the candidate by putting him under stress and strain by interrupting the applicant from answering, criticizing his opinions, asking questions pertaining to unrelated areas, keeping silent for unduly long period after he has finished speaking etc. Stress during the middle portion of the interview gives effective results. Stress

interview must be handled with at most care and skill. This type of interview is often invalid. As the interviewee’s need for a job, his previous experience in such type of interviews may inhibit his actual behavior under such situations.

Q.4 Briefly discuss at least five common interviewing mistakes? You stress the candidate out Some interviewers use high-pressure techniques designed to trap or fluster the applicant. While you do want to know how a candidate performs in a pinch, it's almost impossible to re-create the same type of stressors an employee will encounter in the workplace. Moreover, if you do hire the person, he or she may not trust you because you launched the relationship on a rocky foundation You cut it short A series of interviews can eat up your whole day, so it's tempting to keep them brief. But a quick meeting just doesn't give you enough time to gauge a candidate's responses and behavior. Judging candidates is nuanced work, and it relies on tracking lots of subtle inputs. An interview that runs 45 minutes to an hour increases your chances of getting a meaningful sample You rate candidates against each other Mediocre candidates may look like superstars when they follow a dud, but that doesn't mean they're the most qualified for the job. The person who comes in tomorrow may smoke all of them, but you won't be able to tell if you rated mediocre candidates too highly in your notes. Evaluate each applicant on your established criteria -- don't grade on a curve. You invade their privacy First of all, it's illegal to delve too deeply into personal or lifestyle details. Second, it doesn't help you find the best person for the job. Avoid all questions about home life ("Do you have children?" "Do you think you'd quit if you got married?"), ethnic background ("That's an unusual name, what nationality are you?"), age ("What year did you graduate from high school?"), and financials ("Do you own your home?") You fall prey to the halo effect (or the horns effect) If a candidate arrives dressed to kill, gives a firm handshake, and answers the first question perfectly, you might be tempted to check the imaginary "Hired!" box

in your mind. But make sure you pay attention to all the answers and don't be swayed by a first impression. Q.5 What is meant by strategic human resource management and HRs role in strategic planning process? Strategic human resource management is designed to help companies best meet the needs of their employees while promoting company goals. Human resource management deals with any aspects of a business that affects employees, such as hiring and firing, pay, benefits, training, and administration. Human resources may also provide work incentives, safety procedure information, and sick or vacation days. Strategic human resource management is the proactive management of people. It requires thinking ahead, and planning ways for a company to better meet the needs of its employees, and for the employees to better meet the needs of the company. This can affect the way things are done at a business site, improving everything from hiring practices and employee training programs to assessment techniques and discipline. An important aspect of strategic human resource management is employee development. This process begins when a company is recruiting and interviewing prospective employees. Improved interviewing techniques can help to weed out applicants that may not be a good match for the company. The Strategic Management Process includes: – Determining what needs to be done to achieve corporate objectives, often over 3 - 5 years – Examining organization and competitive environment – Establishing optimal fit between organization and its environment – Reviewing and revising strategic plan Benefits of a Strategic Approach to HR: * Facilitates development of high-quality workforce through focus on types of people and skills needed * Facilitates cost-effective utilization of labor, particularly in service industries where labor is generally greatest cost * Facilitates planning and assessment of environmental uncertainty, and adaptation of organization to external forces * Successful SHRM efforts begin with identification of strategic needs * Employee participation is critical to linking strategy and HR practices

* Strategic HR depends on systematic and analytical mindset * Corporate HR departments can have impact on organization's efforts to launch strategic initiatives Strategic human resource management is essential in both large and small companies. In small companies, this may be as simple as the owner or manager taking a little time every day to observe, assist, and assess employees, and provide regular reviews. Larger companies may have a whole department in charge of human resources and development. By meeting the needs of the employees in a way that also benefits the company, it is possible to improve the quality of staff members. Taking the effort to provide employees with the tools they need to thrive is worth the investment. Q.6What steps would you take to institute self directed teams? Self-directed work teams represent an approach to organizational design that goes beyond quality circles or ad hoc problem-solving teams. These teams are natural work groups that work together to perform a function or produce a product or service. They not only do the work but also take on the management of that work -- functions formerly performed by supervisors and managers. This allows managers to teach, coach, develop and facilitate rather than simply direct and control. Self-directed work teams, also known as self-managing teams, represent a revolutionary approach to the way work is organized and performed. Instead of organizing work based on the traditional Taylor model -- reducing a process to individual steps -- work becomes restructured around whole processes. There must be interdependence and joint responsibility for outputs if there is to be a self-directed work team. Whereas the traditional system reduces the required skill at every level of work, producing boredom in the bottom-level jobs, the new system integrates the needs of the people with the work to be done, and those closest to the jobs help design the job.

Advantages of self-directed teams * Improved quality, productivity and service. * Greater flexibility. * Reduced operating costs. * Faster response to technological change.

* Fewer, simpler job classifications. * Better response to workers' values. * Increased employee commitment to the organization. * Ability to attract and retain the best people. Challenges in developing self-direction The major challenges organizations face in changing from a traditional environment to a high-involvement environment include developing the teams and fostering a culture of management support. Teams go through several stages of increasing involvement on their way to self-management. This journey can take between two and five years, and is never-ending from a learning and renewal perspective. Comprehensive training is also critical to developing effective self-directed work teams. The training for these teams must be more comprehensive than for other types of teams. Not only must employees learn to work effectively in teams and develop skills in problem solving and decision making, they also must learn basic management skills so they can manage their own processes. Additionally, people must be cross-trained in every team member's job. Therefore, it is not uncommon for self-directed work teams to spend 20 percent of their time in ongoing training The following are some examples of organizations that attribute major productivity results to the advantages of self-directed work teams: * AT&T -- Increased the quality of its operator service by 12 percent. * Federal Express -- Cut service errors by 13 percent. * Johnson & Johnson -- Achieved inventory reductions of $6 million

Q.7 Explain the steps involved in operating a quality circle including problem identification and problem selection? Quality Circle is a small group of 6 to 12 employees doing similar work who voluntarily meet together on a regular basis to identify improvements in their respective work areas using proven techniques for analysing and solving work related problems coming in the way of achieving and sustaining excellence

leading to mutual upliftment of employees as well as the organisation. It is "a way of capturing the creative and innovative power that lies within the work force". CONCEPT The concept of Quality Circle is primarily based upon recognition of the value of the worker as a human being, as someone who willingly activises on his job, his wisdom, intelligence, experience, attitude and feelings. It is based upon the human resource management considered as one of the key factors in the improvement of product quality & productivity. Quality Circle concept has three major attributes: Quality Circle is a form of participation management. Quality Circle is a human resource development technique. Quality Circle is a problem solving technique. OBJECTIVE The objectives of Quality Circles are multi-faced. a) Change in Attitude. From "I don’t care" to "I do care" Continuous improvement in quality of work life through humanisation of work. b) Self Development Bring out ‘Hidden Potential’ of people People get to learn additional skills. c) Development of Team Spirit Individual Vs Team – "I could not do but we did it" Eliminate inter departmental conflicts. d) Improved Organisational Culture Positive working environment. Total involvement of people at all levels. Higher motivational level. Participate Management process. ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE A Quality Circle has an appropriate organisational structure for its effective and efficient performance. It varies from industry to industry, organisation to organisation. But it is useful to have a basic framework as a model. The structure of a Quality Circle consists of the following elements.

A steering committee: This is at the top of the structure. It is headed by a senior executive and includes representatives from the top management personnel and human resources development people. It establishes policy, plans and directs the program and meets usually once in a month. Co-ordinator: He may be a Personnel or Administrative officer who co-ordinates and supervises the work of the facilitators and administers the programme. Facilitator: He may be a senior supervisory officer. He co-ordiates the works of several quality circles through the Circle leaders. Circle leader: Leaders may be from lowest level workers or Supervisors. A Circle leader organises and conducts Circle activities. Circle members : They may be staff workers. Without circle members the porgramme cannot exist. They are the lifeblood of quality circles. They should attend all meetings as far as possible, offer suggestions and ideas, participate actively in group process, take training seriously with a receptive attitude.The roles of Steering Committee, Co-0rdinator, Facilitator, Circle leader and Circle members are well defined. PROCESS OF OPERATION The operation of quality circles involves a set of sequential steps as under: 1 Problem identification: Identify a number of problems. 2 Problem selection : Decide the priority and select the problem to be taken up first. 3 Problem Analysis : Problem is clarified and analysed by basic problem solving methods. 4 Generate alternative solutions : Identify and evaluate causes and generate number of possible alternative solutions. 5 Select the most appropriate solution : Discuss and evaluate the alternative solutions by comparison in terms of investment and return from the investment. This enables to select the most appropriate solution. 6 Prepare plan of action: Prepare plan of action for converting the solution into reality which includes the considerations "who, what, when, where, why and how" of solving problems. 7 Present solution to management circle members present solution to management fore approval. 8. Implementation of solution : The management evaluates the recommended solution. Then it is tested and if successful, implemented on a full scale.

BASIC PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES The following techniques are most commonly used to analyse and solve work related problems. 1 Brain storming 2 Pareto Diagrams 3 Cause & Effect Analysis 4 Data Collection 5 Data Analysis The tools used for data analysis are : 1 Table 2 Bar Charts 3 Histograms 4 Circle graphs 5 Line graphs 6 Scatter grams 7 Control Charts A variety of benefits have been attributed to Quality Circles, including higher quality, improved productivity, greater upward flow of information, broader improved worker attitudes, job enrichment, and greater teamwork. Q 8 Explain how you would reduce stress at work. Ans:‘Stress is often a symptom of poor employment relations and can seriously affect productivity. Organisations who talk regularly with their employees and have sound systems and procedures in place for dealing with issues like absence and discipline are much more likely to avoid work-related stress and to be able to deal with potentially stressful situations when they arise.’ ‘Workplace stress is one of the biggest causes of employee absence – and also one of the more difficult issues to manage. The Management Standards will help employers identify and manage stress at work by providing a framework to pinpoint particular causes of stress, as well as achievable solutions.’ Stress at work can affect so much more than just your job. Too much stress can also have an impact on your home life. Reducing stress at work is vital to a happier, healthier and more efficient you. Here are some ways to help reduce stress at work.

Stress is a killer, and we all probably know that, especially in those situations when the deadlines are nearing and we find we still haven’t completed the task at hand. Whatever the reason it appears for, stress diminishes productivity, while also taking a toll on our health. This is why experts recommend a few simple guidelines that we have to bear in mind when dealing with it Fortunately, there are specific things you can do that will help you reduce your stress at work and better cope with it. Here's How:  Clean up & Improve your time management and organization skills.. Throw away old memos and outdated messages. Go through everything in your area and get rid of everything that you no longer need. Organize your work space. Having a cluttered desk or work area adds to your stress level. By organizing your space, it will help you work more efficiently. Of the many things you can to in this area the best ones include getting a to do list that works, learning to say "no", asking for help when you need it, and stop setting unrealistic goals for yourself. Catch up on your work. By catching yourself up, you will no longer have deadlines hanging over your head. By avoiding procrastination, you will find that you are also avoiding added stress.

 Prioritize your work. Determine what needs to be done first and what can wait a
bit. If you have a deadline that is stressing you out, get that job done. It will give you a sense of accomplishment and rev you up to tackle other pressing jobs.

Communicate with co-workers and supervisors. Let them know if you have a situation that is stressing you out. Don't hold it in until you're ready to explode. You will often find that others are more than willing to lend a helping hand, if possible.

 Relax and breathe deeply. Whether you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount or work you have to do or if someone is "in your face", a good thing to do is to "breathe through your nose". You can't get as worked up if you force yourself to breathe

through your nose. Your body simply can't maintain the same level of energy without that extra oxygen you get when breathing through your mouth.  Take more breaks from your work. Even a five-minute break will help. Get away from your desk. Go for a walk - outside is better, but up two flights of stairs and back down is good too. Getting more exercise in general will help you reduce your overall stress levels and that will make it easier to reduce your stress level at work. Walk away for a bit. If possible, sometimes all you need is a few minutes away from your work area. Use this time to relax and regroup. Once you've had a short break, you may feel more refreshed and ready to work more efficiently.  Lighten up. Smile more. We all know laughter reduces stress. You will be amazed at how much more pleasant the people around you are when you make an effort to be pleasant yourself.  Learn to listen better. Rather than getting upset when others disagree with you, listen actively and find the areas of agreement. Be assertive and stand up for yourself, but don't be rigid.  Fix your environment. Make whatever adjustments you need to the lighting, temperature, noise level, and other controllable factors in your office.  Don't sweat the small stuff. Realize that there are some things that just aren't worth worrying about and there are some things you just can't change. Don't waste time stressing over the things in either category.  Get more sleep. This is another of the things you can do to reduce your overall stress that will have benefits at the office as well. In addition to reducing your stress, it will increase your energy level and your ability to concentrate.  Find a mentor If not a mentor, a friend will do. Having someone to talk to can take a lot of stress off you.  Spend more time with optimistic people. Negative people will pull you down to their level. Choose to work with people who have a positive attitude instead. Q 9. Explain the supervisor's role in safety. Ans:Organization change starts from the top and safety improvement efforts must be driven by senior- most leaders. Safety ultimately is about what happens in the workplace. When leaders set the directive to change the culture and lead improvement throughout the

organization, it becomes imperative to transfer safety leadership principles and practices down to the site level. In most organizations, supervisors and middle managers are key influences on organizational effectiveness and the natural proxy for senior leaders in day-to-day activities. Yet they often are left out of safety improvement efforts, largely because their role in safety is poorly understood. Supervisors, Managers and Safety At its heart, management is about motivating, coordinating and directing the efforts of other people in accomplishing organizational objectives. While front-line employees exercise some control over how they interact with the technology, they often have little if any control over the quality or condition of equipment, how systems fit the particular situation, the unstated assumptions of the organization or other factors that affect the level of exposure to hazard. This is where supervisors and middle managers come in. By virtue of their proximity to the front-line, supervisors and managers provide the first line of defense in managing safety issues, communicating organizational priorities and values and building relationships with individual team members. They act as messengers from the senior leader to the employee and back up to leadership. The basic safety role of supervisors and managers is to enable and reduce exposures and to promote a culture in which injuries are not acceptable. Leading from the Middle Supervisors or middle managers are responsible for multiple priorities but have limited time in which to manage them. In addition, many people are promoted into these positions for their technical expertise and may not have received formal training in management and leadership. Engaging supervisors and managers effectively in safety requires more than a general charge to “support safety.” Organizations need to define specific

activities that can be integrated with the supervisor’s or manager’s other tasks and demands, including (at least):

Practice safety-critical behaviors – At-risk behaviors can occur at any level. Supervisors and managers must be able to identify how their behaviors influence hazards and consciously practice behaviors that reflect their support of safety.

Make regular safety contacts – Supervisors and managers need to assure basic safety functioning beyond the usual safety meeting. Together with senior leaders, this level can define essential safety practices that can be tracked over time for the workgroup. For example, safety planning with employees before a particular job or personally signing work permits. Remove system barriers – Supervisors and managers are wellpositioned to correct organizational conditions and systems that contribute to exposure. Addressing equipment availability or applying exposure recognition systems, for example, can help align the safety objective and conditions on the ground. Monitor and correct working interface conditions – Supervisors and managers need to track leading indicator data and correct identified exposure conditions as they occur. To support this, this group needs to build fluency with the hierarchy of controls and its application in reducing or eliminating exposures. Build the culture – Finally, supervisors and middle managers need to develop strong working relationships with their employees. In many respects, workers take the words and deeds of their supervisors and managers to represent “the company.” Qualities such as the perceived fairness of a supervisor’s decisions and the level of a manager’s credibility powerfully contribute to a safety-supporting culture.

Supervisor`s Role in Preventing Accidents
• •

You will be able to apply this knowledge in the workplace You will have an appreciable understanding of the subject matter

You will be trained in a systematic manner designed to get you up to speed on the subject matter in a short period of time

Q.10 Discuss various types of incentive plans? Incentive plans that employ a profit sharing component work well in that they tend to emphasize that what is best for the company is also best for the employee. When company profits increase and more money is available for bonuses, the employees get larger bonuses. However, during lean times, bonuses can be quite small. For small companies, this large fluctuation in compensation can become a problem. There is also a problem with this approach in that there is sometimes a long delay between the time when the effort that earns the profit occurs and the time when the bonus is paid.

Some incentive plans are best avoided, as they tend to be counter productive. A salary at risk plan is such a scheme. In this incentive plan, the employee is given a minimum base salary and can only earn the full salary if certain performance objectives are met. Incentive plans of this type tend to cause employees to become discouraged, particularly if the performance objectives seem out of reach. This approach feels like a punishment to the employee, an approach known as negative reinforcement. Studies have shown that positive reinforcement of desired behaviour is much more effective than a negative approach. Different types of incentive plans can be in place at the same company at the same time. This approach allows the company to take advantage of the benefits of the various incentive plans while minimizing their disadvantages. Incentive plans that use merchandise prizes, for instance, can be very closely linked to a specific activity, while an incentive plan that uses long term objectives can also be in place to help keep all of the employees motivated and focused over the entire year. Classification of Incentives Incentives are classified as under. •FINANCIAL AND NON FINANCIAL INCENTIVES •INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP INCENTIVES (a) Financial incentives Financial incentives include Salary, premium, reward, dividend, bonus, income from investment. Financial incentives play a very important role in improving the performance of the employees. Cash plays a very important role in fulfilling the needs of the individuals especially of labor class. (b) Non financial incentives As the employees have other needs like respect and self centered needs , they can be motivated with the help of following non-financial incentives. •Job satisfaction •Job security •Respect and recognition •Training and other employee improvement programs •Housing/medical/educational facilities •Opportunities for growth.

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