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The New Director of Human Resources

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1. Discuss the relationship between corporate human resources structure and operations at the plan level. What impact, if any, did that relationship have on the situation described by Newcombe?

 Gareet Levinson, the president of Mount Ridge Engineering Systems highlights the internal employee relationship being important in order to maintain an enjoyable and productive workforce for the future and believes that companies that are good to their employees reap the benefits in terms of increased productivity and loyalty. The significance of good relationship between the employee and organization appears weak with the plants and might be strong at the corporate headquarters. The Human Resource (HR) Director Joyce Newcombe states that the biggest problem has been to get the plant management understand the legal and governmental regulations affecting the HR procedures. Despite of having a detailed employee handbook and supervisor’s manual, Mt. Ridge has had experienced various situations where the plant supervisor have not followed company policy.

The weak relationship between HR and plant managers reflects in the situation described by Newcombe. A highly skilled and performing employee would not abscond from job without any reasons. Bud Johnson was skilled. Being a good performer he got promoted from a laborer to an auxiliary operator. He was now able to handle equipment operator responsibility and even acted as one when required. Johnson expected a promotion to the Equipment operator and talked with his plant superintendent Larry Braxton. Braxton did was unable to capture the potential and reward Johnson for his abilities and performance and made no raise or promotion even after the appraisals. He insisted Johnson to spend more time as the auxiliary operator and wait until any positions were available. Johnson lost the satisfaction and quit the job. Following are the impacts made by the weak relation between HR and plant managers to Johnson.

• The behavior of plant superintendent affected the performance, satisfaction and trust level of the employee and can have adverse effects in future

• Plant managers do not understand how to value/reward the performance of employees who are enthusiastic, sharp at learning and have higher potential to deliver at work

• Employees at plant had routine task defined and least expectations accepted out of performance

• The work ethics and conduct were less informed to the plant manager and employees

• Even the termination of Johnson did not state fact, rather the mangers version of being absent.

The mentioned gaps between the understanding of HR procedures, ethics and conduct has adverse impact on the overall image and productivity of Mt. Ridge at the plant locations

2. How should Newcombe have handled this situation?

 Newcombe received the phone call from Johnson who explained Newcombe that he was not terminated for absence from work without information but that he had quit the job as his deliverables were not considered for raise in pay and promotion and Braxton made false comments in his termination form. The case does not state what Newcombe did after, but following steps could be beneficial for the organization.

Fix the situation

a. Mention Johnson that she is unaware of the dissatisfaction and that she would check on the matter and get back

b. Check with Braxton on Johnson’s performance and past records of absenteeism and/or other misconduct

c. Reinstate Johnson at work; sit together with Braxton and Johnson and clarify the HR policies on promotion and requirements (as Braxton stated Johnson had to wait and get more experience in existing post to gain a promotion)

Preventing future incidents

In order to prevent from repeating such incidents in future, following steps has to be carried out by Newcombe.

a. Discuss the issue with management team at Corporate headquarters

b. Make plan of action to train the plant managers (superintendents)

c. Train the plant managers on all the necessary HR policies.

d. Mark compliance of policies by managers in the performance scorecards

e. Conduct regular surveys or site visits to guarantee the implication of HR policies by mangers in corporate and plants.

3. What, if any, disciplinary action should have been taken against the plant superintendent (Braxton) at the time of the incident?

 It is inappropriate to comment without knowing the HR policies of Mount Ridge Engineering Systems on what disciplinary action should be taken against Braxton (the plant superintendent). Yet, following actions can be recommended based on the details available.

a. Seek explanation from Braxton on Johnson’s termination

b. Issue warning letter to Braxton for his act

c. If the scorecard includes compliance to policies, take actions as per the set standards

d. Make Braxton to apologize with Johnson and replace him at work

e. Else, place Braxton at task which does not involve handing staff members

 Alternatively, Braxton has followed the company policies. He mentioned Johnson that he can’t give any promotion to Johnson as there is not any available positions. Also, he terminated Johnson because Johnson did not follow HR policy while taking leave. Here, Braxton has made no faults that calls for any disciplinary action. Thus, following steps should be followed by Newcombe.

a. Revise the leave policies- not to terminate employee for one instance of uninformed leave, rather to issue warning letter that remain in the personal records of the employee.

b. Revise termination policies- take final decision by HR only after having interaction of the line manager and employee to be terminated.

4. If Johnson’s allegations were true, what are the legal ramifications



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