Case needs, this allows for more accurate training

Case Analysis

Granite Rock company has
implemented several Human Resource Management (HRM) initiatives to improve its
customer satisfaction index. These initiatives include the following:

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      I.         
Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP)

    II.         
Training

  III.         
Employee Empowerment

 

Individual Professional
Development Plan (IPDP) is a written plan outlining your career goals and
the steps you need to take to meet those goals. It helps you focus your
professional development by creating a career “action plan” for skill
development and career management. It provides a means for you to document your
development, through assessment and reflection, allowing for continued growth
and development. It is an excellent tool that can be used to identify,
organize, and plan for the next stage. University of Nebraska-Lincoln | Web Developer Network. (n.d.). The
Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP): A Career Management Tool.
Retrieved from
https://www.unl.edu/gradstudies/current/news/individual-professional-development-plan-ipdp-career-management-tool

Granite
Rock IPDP requires for employees to meet with their supervisor at least once
per year to discuss:

                 
I.         
Job Responsibilities

               
II.         
Review Accomplishment

             
III.         
Asses Skills

            
IV.         
Set Skills and Career
Development Goals 

The IPDP is not mandatory for
employees at Granite Rock however the participation rate stands at over eighty-three
(83%) of unionize employees. These statics points to the trust employees have
in the company as such an important program which in not mandatory received
this level of participation from staff members. This program allows for
employees to take responsibility for their own training program. The IPDP
prepares employees to assume greater responsibilities which benefits both the
company and staff alike as Granite Rock promotes heavily from within.

 

The Benefits of IPDP

The IPDP can be used as a planning
device which can assist supervisor and employees to become clear on individual
goals. The data gathered from the IPDP should be inputted into the organization’s
training needs assessment and training plan. It provides a more accurate
forecast of financial resources needs, this allows for more accurate training
budget. It facilitates more effective communication between employees and
supervisor as it relates to careers goals and maintenance of productivity
level.

 

Employee
Empowerment is giving employees
a certain degree of autonomy and responsibility for decision-making regarding
their specific organizational tasks. It allows decisions to be made at the
lower levels of an organization where employees have a unique view of the
issues and problems facing the organization at a certain level.

(n.d.).
Retrieved from https://study.com/academy/lesson/employee-empowerment-definition-advantages-disadvantages.html

 

 

John
Zink of the PHCC Educational Foundation states “Employees have great ideas
about how to improve productivity and reduce costs”, however organisation need to
know how to ask for these ideas and listen to the solutions been put forward.
“Sometimes it takes an employee stepping outside of their authority to
show the benefits of employee empowerment to an owner,” he says. Employees
who are assured that their input will be valued, listened to and acted upon
will be more likely to put forward their ideas, advancing employee and employer
alike.

The
Human Resource Management (HRM) initiatives implemented by Granite Rock has a
direct relationship on the improvement in the company’s quality efforts. 

 

Improved Morale

Including staffs in the policy changes and decisions that
directly impact their job, while permitting employees to be more self-directed,
significantly improves staff morale. When an organization invest in its
employees and treat them as an important part of the decision-making process
where their input is valued and is given consideration, this increases
confidence among team members. These factors lead to the company seeing
substantial gains in diverse facets of the company’s operations such as
increase in productivity and employee’s loyalties. Improvement in staff morale
can lead to an increase in employee’s longevity with the organization. The
longer employees are associated with an organization, the more experienced they
become, making them mentors to new employees and essential to managerial staff.

 

 

 

Increased Productivity

Organizations that practice employees’ engagement and
empowerment experiences increased productivity. These factors facilitate employees
investing themselves in the company’s best interest by increasing their role in
the company, fostering better work ethic. When employees are empowered to act
independently, and are expected to be more autonomous, they become more
efficient over time, as they learn to navigate their responsibilities with
negligible intrusion and relies less on management for direction. This allows
managerial staff to focus more on the strategic direction of the organization
instead of involving in micromanagement activities, which stifles productivity.

 

Team Cohesion

Employee empowerment fosters better working relationship
with employees and management, it allows both party to view each other as
mutually benefitting from the established working relationship. The autonomy
gained from employee empowerment reduces the dependence on supervisors and
managers and redirects that reliance laterally to co-workers.

 

Better Customer Service

Simon
Sinek, a blogger who writes “The Empowered Employee”, says that
empowered employees provide exceptional service and he’s experienced this
first-hand. “Empowered employees have the power to make decisions without
a supervisor. They are entitled to go off script, bend the rules, do what they
see fit if they believe it is the right thing to do for the customer. More than
any other kind of employee, the empowered employee is able to create a feeling
of true customer service that ultimately yields much greater customer
loyalty,” he says. When an organization enables it employees the freedom to
make decisions based on the situation faced by the employees, that may even
contradict established rules and standard operating procedure, often find that
service to internal and external customers is improved. Empowered employees
take great pride and ownership in their work when they know that they can
exercise independent judgment when necessary.

 

Better Customer Service

Simon
Sinek, a blogger who writes “The Empowered Employee”, says that
empowered employees provide exceptional service and he’s experienced this
first-hand. “Empowered employees have the power to make decisions without
a supervisor. They are entitled to go off script, bend the rules, do what they
see fit if they believe it is the right thing to do for the customer. More than
any other kind of employee, the empowered employee can create a feeling of true
customer service that ultimately yields much greater customer loyalty,” he
says. When an organization enables it employees the freedom to make decisions
based on the situation faced by the employees, that may even contradict
established rules and standard operating procedure, often find that service to
internal and external customers is improved. Empowered employees take great
pride and ownership in their work when they know that they can exercise
independent judgment when necessary.

 

 

People Management: The
number of high quality products produce is directly proportional to the calibre
of people working in the process. Factors such as their level of training,
motivation, number of days absent from work and the design of the product they
produce will directly influence the available capacity.  Rojas,
G. (n.d.). Michael Armstrong th edition 10 HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PRACTICE.
Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/9026115/Michael_Armstrong_th_edition_10_HUMAN_RESOURCE_MANAGEMENT_PRACT_ICE

 

Bruce
Woolpert CEO of Granite Rock held the view that a focus on employee development
and empowerment is essential to the company been able to acquire a quality
management system throughout the organisation which will lead to consistency
and increase customer satisfaction. Without such a system what has been
communicated to the customer by the sales team cannot be translated into a
complete follow up by the production and operations teams, which may eventually
lead to customer dissatisfaction. Kotler (1998:46) Defines product quality with
regards to the extent to which the customer’s demands, needs and expectations
are met. The drive of the company was to equip its employees to contribute to
the firm’s effort in this regard.  In
order to achieve this objective there has to an atmosphere of trust between
management and rank and file employees. Piskar (2007:46) the discrepancy
between customer’s expected product and delivered (perceived) product is a
basic measure for quality of products and customer satisfaction. Employees were
allowed to take responsibilities for their area of work and empowered to make
decision to solve problem and address customers concerns. This reduce the
bureaucracy involved in decision making which leads to more satisfied customers
and a highly motivated workforce.

 

Why might it cost Granite Rock less to “do things right”
the first time?

According to Phillip B. Crosby in his book
“Quality is Free” first published in 1979, he believed that in the traditional
trade-off between the cost of improving quality and the cost of quality, the
cost of poor quality is understated. He believed the cost of poor quality
should include all the things that are involved in not doing the job right the
first time.

The attention Granite Rock pays to totally
quality management ensure that they do it right the first time. This means the
probability of errors are significantly reduce as they engendered a culture and
company philosophy of total quality management among all employees.  Granite Rock focuses on quality as a way of
increasing productivity, reducing costs, and meeting customer needs. Their
employees understand the importance of continuously improving the quality of
their services and products as a way of achieving these goals total customer
satisfaction.

Crosby developed four Absolutes of Quality
Management as listed below, these principles personifies the operations of
Granite Rock.

1.                 
Quality must be defined as conformance to
requirements, not goodness. 

2.                 
Quality comes from prevention, not
detection. 

3.                 
The quality performance standard is zero
defects, not acceptable quality levels.

4.                 
Quality is measured by the price of
non-conformance, not by indexes.

 

 

Granite Rock on Conformance

Conformance to requirements means
that any product that conforms to requirements, even where requirements are
specified at less than perfection, would deemed to be defect free. He states
that non-conformance includes the cost of waste and scrap, down time due to
poor maintenance, putting things right, product recall, replacement and at
worst legal cost. All these can be measured, and according to Crosby cost of
non-conformance can be as much as twenty (20%) percent of manufacturing sales
and thirty (30%) percent of operating costs in service industries (Crosby,
1979a).

The above cost is those that can be
readily measured, however there are other cost to be taken into consideration such
as reputation damage, loss of business as a result, time spent on customer
service relations. These functions all have cost implication and can be avoided
if it is done right the first time. Crosby believed that if staff have the
right attitude, know what the standards are and do things right the first time
every time the cost of conformance will be free.

Granite Rock has an effective
quality improvement programs that reduce this substantially, thus making a
direct contribution to profits. The quality initiatives program they
established, is very dynamic and have a positive impact on the achievement of
the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives.

Granite Rock approach of doing
things right the first time every time would avoid incurring the above cost it
cost to get things right. Their approach to total quality management means
their operational cost is kept at a minimum because of not having to take many
corrective actions. They have an effective quality improvement programs that
reduce this substantially, thus making a direct contribution to profits.

Prevention Cost

Prevention costs are incurred to prevent or
avoid quality problems. These costs are associated with the design,
implementation, and maintenance of the quality management system. They are
planned and incurred before actual operation, and they could include:

Product or service requirements establishment of
specifications for incoming materials, processes, finished products, and
services
Quality Planning- creation of plans for quality, reliability,
operations, production, and inspection.
Quality Assurance- Creation and maintenance of the
quality system.
Training- Development, preparation, and maintenance of
programs

 

At Granite
Rock your satisfaction is guaranteed through their unique Short Pay Policy that
states, “If you are not satisfied… don’t pay us. They will contact you
immediately to resolve the problem.” Whether you need aggregate, ready-mix
concrete, hot mix asphalt or building materials for a new building site or your
next home improvement project, get to know Granite Rock”.

Granite Rock implemented an
aggressive training program, involving on-the-job training and classroom time
for most of the firm’s employees. They offered training in statistical process
control, root-cause analysis, and other quality-minded competencies. Granite
Rock spends $1,600 per year for the training of each employee. This is more
than ten times the average for the mining and construction industries.

Granite Rock on Zero Defects

According to Phillip Crosby “Zero
Defects means doing what we agreed to do when we agreed to do it. It means
clear requirements, training, a positive attitude, and a plan.” Granite Rock
Management tells staff what was expected from them, they are about changing the
perspective of new employees to Granite Rock way by instilling their culture
and demanding that they:

     
I.         
Recognize the high cost of quality issues

   
II.          
Continuously think of the place where flaws may be
introduced

  III.         
Work proactively to address the flaws in the system and
processes, which allow defects to occur

 

Granite Rock emphasize to their
staff that person who commits himself or herself to watch each detail and
carefully avoid error takes the giant step toward setting a goal of Zero
Defects. They empower their employees to act once they identify issues that
could negatively impacts a customer experience or the quality of service they
provide.

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

As part of its effort to reduce
process variability and increase product reliability, numerous staff members
were trained in statistical process control, root cause analysis and other
quality minded competencies. These training programs are geared towards
improving the employee’s competencies and skills in the listed discipline which
will lead to improvement in the company quality initiative being pursued.  Zero defects mean the company would have very
satisfied customers which would leads to increase market share. It cost Granite
Rock company approximately One Thousand, Six Hundred Dollard ($1.600.00) to
train each employee, which is ten times more the industry average. Invariable
the magnitude of such investment will go a far way towards achieving the
company objective of “doing things right”, the first time.