Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chapter 16

There was a survey in the book that asked high school students if they would be willing to do something unethical just to get ahead if they knew they wouldn't get caught. The results were that 22% of those surveyed said yes, they would act unethically to get ahead. That means that 1 out 5 people are willing to cheat to get ahead.

There are some companies that include an ethical culture training, but this doesn't always prevent unethical behavior. Ethical decisions will be based more on a person's own moral compass than training.

I think that this training provides more of a sense of awareness than a sense of decision making. I think it makes employees more aware of the companies expectations. It sends a message that choosing to do the right thing is important to the company, so if there are any ideas of unethical behavior, it is clear that the behavior is unacceptable and will be handled according to company policy.

Is it just enough for an HR department to train on procedures, policies, and laws or should they incorporate an ethical framework into their training system?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chapter 15

Managing Human Resources Globally

With the rise of offshoring practices within companies there are bound to be ethical dilemmas within labor practices and regulation. When a company utilizes the human resources of an outside country, there is always a question of who is ultimately responsible for the treatment of the employees. Although the US may have standards and laws that govern the work place, is it justified for them to enforce their practices on a foreign country?
The issue of "sweatshops" always comes up in conversation when speaking of offshoring. As a parent company, is there really a way for them to control the labor practices on foreign soil? There can be multiple inspections and numerous reprimands, but if there is no legal ramifications for the wrongful labor practices, then would the ultimate threat be to pull their company from that country? If they do, are they then imposing their beliefs on another country's age old practices?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chapter 14

I've never really had any experience working with or for a union. It seems like it has a division as clear as political parties. Because I have never really been involved in unions, I see questions that can rise from both sides. I appreciate what unions intend to accomplish. I like that the unions try to ensure that workers have a voice and that their treatment by employers is closely monitored.
The main unions that I am familiar is within the automotive industry.

What role did the unions play in the big picture of the recent automotive financial fiasco?

Were the unions a contributing factor to the downside, and if so, could they have done anything different that could have possibly saved the industry?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chapter 13

Family and Medical Leave Act

I've heard of the FMLA, but never really had a clear understanding. First off, I never knew that you were entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, and that time is not required to be consecutive. The FMLA act suggests that a majority of those opting for this benefit fail to take the full 12 weeks.

Although the company is not required to pay an employee that is out on FMLA, can an employee still be paid through a paid time off account? Also, what if your company offers an Extended Leave Benefit bank of hours? Can an employee choose to use these two pools of available hours during the FMLA leave?

If a woman has a child employers would have to comply with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, but then would her spouse be entitled to take advantage of FMLA to take care of his wife and perhaps maybe even their other children?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Reflections from 3/4/10 class

Commission pay offers a bonus based on a percentage of sales. Some companies will offer their employees a commission on top of their salaries. Straight commission plans offer pay based only on sales. This plan would require an extremely committed and driven employee because their pay is based on their efforts. Some straight commissioned employees also must be good at self supervision. These employees can lose track and focus on the close and not the customer. When this happens, it can lead to unethical scenarios.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chapter 12

The term incentive pay has a positive connotation to it, but I view it as vague and open to interpretation. The interpretation that it allows is the interpretation of your work performance. Incentive pay is tied to an individuals performance. There are various ways that the performance is measured, it can be measured through profits or earnings, or it can be measured through reviews and evaluations.

What if the standards for incentive pay are not equal?

I have worked in environments where various managers will conduct performance reviews on their perspective employees. I have seen a rating process that is not clearly defined and therefore employees from different shifts are rated with different interpretations and therefor there are fluctuating scores among staff within same positions. Some average employees from one shift will receive similar scores to high achievers on another shift.

When the incentive is a pay increase and this is the standard for the pay increase, then where is the incentive?

I know that there are some companies out there that reward their employees with an incentive laden contract, and when it is practiced effectively I think it maximizes an employees potential. I think by creating a contract laden with incentives, it lays out a framework that motivates an employee to strive for excellence and it rewards the employees in their progression.

Reflections from class 3/2/2010

Today we met in the library and received instruction on more effective search methods for research papers. I left the library extremely frustrated. I was frustrated because this paper is the last research paper I will have to do. I graduate this April, and I have been doing research papers since I've enrolled and this was the first time that I received this instruction. I wish so much that I would have known about these research tools a few years ago. Maybe it's just my bad luck that I missed out on this instruction, but for whatever reasons, it never made it to me. I'm not saying that I'm excited about my research paper, but I''m not as apprehensive.