w was the highest post in research and development other than the position of director of research and devels engineering position and four as a section chief. The latter promotion Morgan daimed that “the company doesn’t really care about its good people. We View, the present director, Harry James, does not want to allow his better people to Morgan also claimed she was told she “has a bright future with the company by both a can meet his own departmental goals without having to orient and train new experts up in the organization. He is more interested in keeping them in his own departments with employee development. Morgan recommended that steps be taken to remedy each of de She went on to criticize the company for using an appraisal form with no sections for dead and the former personnel director. Her performance appraisals have been uniformly excele ment opportunities, rewards for supervisors who successfully mentor subordinates, planning problems she identified. Among these steps were helping employees identify future developer of career paths and career ladders, greater efforts to help employees achieve work family We to identify future job opportunities, better communication of job opportunities, identification balance, childcare assistance, and telecommuting opportunities. Sweeney checked out the information Morgan had provided him and found it to be accurate. he has an immediate problem concerning high turnover of certain key employees. In addition, nearby competitor. Clearly, he has an even greater challenge than he had anticipated. He realines Moreover, he heard through the “grapevine” that she is in line for an excellent position with Sweeney also has a series of interconnected problems associated with career development. However, he is not quite sure what steps to take and in what order. STIONS 1. Describe the nature and causes of the problem faced by Harold Sweeney. 2. What additional questions should Sweeney ask or what additional information is needed before proceeding toward a solution to this problem? Why? 3. What are the individual and organizational benefits of a formalized career development system? 4. If Sweeney decides to develop a formalized career development system at Electronic Applications, what components or types of services should be offered? Why? 5. Should the career development activities be integrated with other human resource management activities? If yes, which ones? Why? 6. What criteria should Sweeney consider to evaluate good candidates for promotion? What criteria could be used to evaluate the performance of supervisors in development of their subordinates? solado Wood CASE 51 Career Development Career Development at Electronic Applications Electronic Applications Corporation is a major producer of silicon chips for the computer industry. It is located southeast of San Francisco in an area of high technology firms. Since its founding in 1972, the company has grown rapidly in terms of sales and profits, thus enhancing its stock price many times over. Human resource policies, however, have tended to lag behind company growth. Emphasis has been on reactive policies to meet the regulatory resources have not been a high priority. requirements of external stakeholders such as the federal government. In short, human Recently, Harold Sweeney has been hired as director of human resources for the company. Sweeney had previously served as assistant personnel director for a large “blue- chip” corporation in southern California. He accepted his present position not only because of bringing this company from a 1970s human resources mentality to one more compatible with an increase in pay and the realities of the 2000s.” responsibility, but also because of what he termed “the challenge of Sweeney has been on the job for four months and has been assessing the situation to the high turnover among electrical engineers who work in research and development and are determine the more significant human resource problems. One problem seems to have been the core of the research function. Prior to the 2008–2010 financial crisis, the turnover rate averaged about 30 percent per year over the past three years. As a result of the recent financial crisis, however, unemployment in Silicon Valley has increased to 9.7 percent . Most technology companies are not hiring at all or are only hiring individuals on a highly selective basis. The result is that most employees have decided to stay put in the short term, but will be looking to take advantage of more attractive opportunities elsewhere when and if the economy improves. Sweeney was aware of these intentions and wanted to take steps now to minimize future employee turnover. In assessing the cause of the problem, Sweeney checked area wage surveys and found Electronic Applications paid 5 to 8 percent above the market for various categories of electrical engineers. Since the company did not have a formal exit interview system, he could not check out other possible explanations through that mechanism. However , through informal conversations with a large number of individuals, including the engineers them- selves , he learned that many of the engineers felt “dead-ended” in the technical aspects of engineering. In particular, the research and development department had lost some of the younger engineers who had been considered to be on the “fast track.” Most had gone to competitors in the local area. One particular research and development employee who impressed Sweeney was Helen Morgan. Morgan is 29 years old, has a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from California Institute of Technology, and is studying for her MBA at the University of Santa Clara at night. Helen had been employed for seven years at Electronic Applications, three in an entry-level 157
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