Career Development

Home / News / Career Development

Human Resource Management
University of Phoenix MBA
Career Development Plan

Gina Burns
October 13, 2008

Career Development Plan Summary

Recently upper management has decided to centralize all computer support. Currently the computer support team is responsible for any software on employees??™ company computers as well as the company computers (hardware). In addition to these responsibilities, the support team will now support the Retail Enterprise Management System (REMS) and the NCR RealPOS 30 cash registers. In order to comply with the restructure a new team will be created. Kudler currently has two computer support specialists on staff. These employees will be retained and move into the new team. Training will be developed for all team members, new and existing. There will also be a new appraisal system that will promote a more well-rounded performance review. The following sections outline the components of the proposed team.

Job Descriptions

The proposed team will consist of five employees, including one first-level manager. The following are the job descriptions of the proposed team members:

o First-Level Manager
o Qualifications
o Bachelor??™s Degree in Information Systems
o 3-5 years of experience in Information Technology
o 2-3 years of experience managing technical teams
o Proficient in analytical problem solving
o Excellent communication skills
o Duties
o Communicate to upper management on status of technical projects
o Responsible for team members performance
o Ensure projects are completed on time and within budget
o Create quarterly performance appraisals for team members
o Create yearly budget for management

o Team Members (Four)
o Qualifications
o Bachelor??™s Degree in Information Systems
o Proficient in analytical problem solving
o 1-2 years of experience in Information Technology
o Duties
o Support REMS Accounting System, NCR RealPOS 30 terminals (cash registers), software installed on employee computers
o Support company computers (hardware)
o Troubleshoot issues regarding company software
o Develop enhancements to current systems
o Train users on software
o Communicate to end users any issues and when resolution reached

Training Program

Since the new team will be responsible for all software applications within Kudler, training will be critical to the team??™s success. All members will be required to attend a training session for REMS and the NCR RealPOS 30 cash registers. The REMS training will be facilitated through the outside consultant, Smith Consulting, who is currently under contract for maintaining the system. The training will be done within two weeks of the team??™s formation.

The installation of the cash registers will be occurring in the next six weeks. The vendor has training materials and will be offering training. Originally it was decided the vendor would train one of Kudler??™s employees and then the employee would train the rest of the staff. However, with the creation of the new computer support team, it would be best if the vendor trained the team. The team would then develop training materials for the Kudler staff and hold training sessions for all store employees. The training of the new team by the vendor will be completed three weeks prior to the cash register installation. The team will then train all store employees one week prior to the installation.

Regarding other software that is already loaded onto company computers, the existing team members will be responsible for developing a training manual. This training manual will be given to new members if they have no experience with the given application. This type of training will benefit all team members because it will encourage team work and cross-training.

There will also be a training session dealing with the corporate culture and strategy of Kulder. This training session will be mandatory for all team members and will be held within a week of the team formation. It??™s important that the team is aware of Kudler??™s strategic plan so that the team??™s goals can be aligned with the company??™s strategy.

Since the team members will be responsible for communications to the company regarding issues and resolutions involving any software, a business communication class will be offered to the team. This will not be mandatory, but will be encouraged for all to attend. The training will be given online through on outside vendor.

The first-level manager will be required to attend the current training schedule Kudler offers within the first year of hire. This training includes:
o Interviewing Skills
o How to motivate employees to increase performance
o EEO and Sexual Harassment in the workplace
o Building a Positive Service Employment
o Conducting Effective Performance Reviews
o Interpersonal Skills
In addition to the above areas, the new manager will also be required to attend a communication skills seminar. This will help the manager in the duties of reporting to management and effectively communicating to the team.

Performance Evaluation

The team will use a 360 performance evaluation system. This type of evaluation receives input not only from the employee??™s manager, but from co-workers and the end-users the employee supports on a daily basis. Evaluations will be held quarterly so the employee is kept current on their performance.

Once all evaluations have been completed, the manager will summarize the results. The manager will then send the evaluations and the summarization to Human Resources. HR will review the results, ensuring the results are fair and unbiased. Once HR signs off on the summarization, the manager meets with the employee. The employee and the manager go over the results and discuss any improvements or issues. The employee will then sign off on the evaluation. Any merit increases will be given during the last quarter evaluation.

Dispute Resolution

The employee handbook contains the section on ???Employee Conduct and Work Rules??™. This section outlines examples of work rules that all employees must adhere to. The handbook only states the employee will be disciplined and ultimately terminated if any rules are broken. The new team will use a more outlined approach to disciplinary action. Working with HR on the current list of work rules, it will be determined which constitute an immediate termination; infractions such as theft of company property or physical harm to others would require immediate termination. Minor infractions would follow the following process:
o First occurrence: verbal reminder
o Second occurrence: written reminder
o Third occurrence: Time-off paid day
o Employee will reflect on how to fix the problem
o Fourth occurrence: termination

The employee handbook does not list out any dispute-resolution steps. It is suggested that a dispute-resolution program be instituted. The dispute-resolution program will consist of the following mechanisms:
o Employees must not feel they will be punished for using the dispute-resolution process
o Employees must have an appeals process
o All grievances must be treated equally by management

Human Resources will do a more thorough investigation to develop a dispute resolution that all of Kudler can use. By incorporating a dispute-resolution program, Kudler may save time and money on court costs.

In the interim, the computer support team will establish its own dispute-resolution program containing the following steps:
o Report grievance to manager
o If uncomfortable reporting to manager, report directly to HR representative
o HR meets with all parties involved in dispute
o HR comes up with resolution
o All sides must sign off
o If resolution not agreed upon by all parties, HR will investigate next step ( i.e. mediation)

Incentives and Benefits

Benefits are an important part of any company??™s total rewards package. Kudler currently has the following benefits: 401-K Savings Plan, Health Insurance, Holidays and Vacation Days. These benefits are available to all full-time employees. The team members will all be full-time employees, thus they are all eligible for these benefits.

In addition to the current benefits Kudler carries, it will be proposed that Kudler participate in a Wellness Program. It is proven that healthier employees will use less sick days and less insurance claims. Although a Wellness Program will cost money, it will save Kudler money in the end with fewer sick days. Since Kudler already offers cooking classes as one of its benefits, it would be easy for these classes to focus on eating healthy. The classes would be held twice a month. Employees would not be required to attend, but an incentive could be given out to those who do attend, such as a dinner coupon to a healthy restaurant. The key to keeping health insurance costs down is to have healthy employees.

Kudler also has an Employee Recognition Program. This program consists of: Associate of the Month, Store Associate of the Year, Company Associate of the Year and Discretionary Spot Bonuses. The three rewards regarding the associates are not available to the team members since they are not employees of a specific store. An additional award will be created that will reward the support staff within Kudler. This reward will be given out quarterly and the employee will be given $1,500. Each quarter a survey will be given to Kudler??™s end-users. The employees will be asked to comment on all the support staff??™s timeliness, effectiveness, professionalism and customer service. The survey will also ask for nominations for the support staff employee who has shown exceptional performance during the past quarter. These surveys as well as management??™s input will be used to select the recipient. The discretionary spot bonuses will be available to all team members, which range from $10-$25. The spot bonus can be given to any team member by the manager at any time. Time off will also be included in the spot bonus; if an employee has been working hard on a particular project, the manager can allow the employee to leave early or take hours off when needed.

In addition to the spot bonuses just mentioned, the team members will also be eligible for a bonus. The bonus will be based on percentage of employee??™s salary plus a percentage of the company??™s overall performance. The amount of the bonus will be dependent on the employee??™s quarterly employee performance ratings. The bonuses will be given out quarterly along with the performance evaluation. Although all employees are eligible for the bonus, it is not a guarantee that all employees will receive a bonus.

Career Development

It??™s important that each employee is allowed the opportunity for career development. Kudler currently offers tuition reimbursement which will allow employees the chance to go back to school to further their career. Promotions will be considered on a yearly basis unless an employee has demonstrated during the course of the year that a promotion is warranted. Employees will be encouraged to attend any training session available and to seek outside educational classes. Time will not be allowed during the work hours to attend sessions or classes. However, Kudler is aware that there are time constraints involved when taking on additional responsibilities such as education. If an employee needs to leave work early to attend a class, the employee will not be punished for his early departure if pre-approval from manager is given and the circumstances allow an early departure. This flexible schedule will be available to all team members.

Compensation Plan

Currently the computer specialists on staff are paid hourly. The new team will all be paid on a salary basis, with potential for a bonus. An analysis will be done on competing companies in the industry located in the same geographical area as Kudler. Once the analysis is complete Human Resources will create the appropriate pay levels. Each employee will be assigned a pay range according to years of experience and knowledge.

The team will continue to use Kudler??™s current merit-pay system. Team members who receive exceptional performance reviews all year (four per year) are eligible for a higher increase than other team members. Employees who continue to perform at an unsatisfactory level will not be eligible for a merit increase until substantial improvement is shown. Merit increases are based on performance, thus employees will have an incentive to perform at their best.

Summary

In summary the new team will be a welcome benefit to Kudler. Instead of paying an outside consulting firm maintenance fees, the support will be done internally. Since Kudler already has two computer support specialists on staff, the team would only need three new positions. The entire staff would be knowledgeable in REMS, new cash registers and any other software the company owns or leases. By having a centralized computer support team in house, the turn around time for issues and enhancements will decrease and end-user customer satisfaction will increase. Kudler also offers a competitive total rewards package to attract, retain and motivate its team members. Kudler is aware that the most important resource is human capital and that it??™s vital for Kudler??™s success to ensure that its employees continue to grow and learn while working at Kudler.