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    Custom Food: Develop an HR plan to increase communication, training, teamwork

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    Custom Food and Feed Corporation (CF&F)is a major manufacturer and marketer of food and animal feed ingredients. Over the past 10 years, there have been several major investigations and allegations of company mismanagement. In question is CF&F's compliance with federal and state regulatory regulations (safety, environment and quality), Federal and State Labor Laws, and Equal Employment Opportunity guidelines.

    In the light of recent negative publicity and to regain and maintain the company's market share, a new CEO was appointed by the Board of Directors. The CEO has insisted that the president of the company look into the recent allegations and make recommendations for changes in company management practices in resource management. The president has outlined the CEO concerns for change and has tasked the Vice President of Human Resources to analyze the current company culture and to give recommendations to him for change. The Vice President of Human Resources has decided to use the Tech Division for this corporate analysis.

    The Tech Division is the newest division, being 12-years old. This division has grown from a single product to seven products. The Tech Division is a non-union facility which has a staff of 92 managers and 300 hourly employees. This division uses fermentation technology to convert dextrose (sugar)into a variety of food and feed ingredients. This division operates 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Following are major results of the study:

    ? There is no real concern for safety, environmental and/or quality controls.
    ? Tech's managers use an authoritarian approach to managing human resources. This approach over the years has built many barriers between the hourly employees and management and there has been some talk of unionizing.
    ? The plant manager's responsibility is to make all the daily production decisions. His staff of production supervisors is to monitor the production cycle and report to him for direction.
    ? Frontline Supervisors have been promoted from within the company. There was no apparent consideration to who would be promoted and no guidance and training was given to them.
    ? There is a history of nepotism that runs throughout the culture of this division.
    Up until now, the Corporate Human Resource department has been responsible for all of the Human Resource activities for each of its divisions. The Vice President of Human Resources has convinced the president of the company that the first change is to put a Human Resource Manager (HRM) in the Tech division. The president agreed.

    You are the newly hired Human Resource Manager for the Tech Division. Your responsibility is to diagnosis the present culture, develop strategies for implementing a plan for change, and implement the plan. The Vice President of Human Resources has pointed out that you will face many challenges and a strong resistance from different levels of management not to change the established culture.

    You have been working for CF&F for the past 5 months as the Human Resource Manager. Your company has recently had a large turnover of upper management and has hired a number of new middle management persons from other companies. It has also integrated a few engineers freshly out of college to help optimize production and lower cost. Historically, Frontline Supervisors have been promoted from within the company and without any management development training. Eighty-five percent of your hourly employees have been with the company 5+ years.

    In past few months you have heard from some of the hourly employees that management has not been keeping their promises concerning employee training and promotion. Some of the employees even fear for their jobs if they complain about the work environment. Employees are also concerned that management is not adhering to company polices, yet forcing the employees to follow company policies. Employees feel resentment over this.

    Because of the overwhelming production schedule, you feel that Frontline Supervisors are not training employees properly and they leave a lot of the decision- make up to the hourly employees. Some of the employees are coming to you and voicing concerns that because of the lack of communication, professional development and leadership from management, they are concerned for their personal safety.

    As you start to investigate the allegations from the hourly employees, you find out that Frontline Supervisors are not happy, either. Their concerns are that no one from upper management will back them up when it comes to making technical or managerial decisions.

    Using the internet, develop a detailed plan that will increase communications, training, professional development and teamwork across all functional areas of your division.

    The plan should include the following:
    1. A complete diagnosis of the problem.
    2. Developed strategies that will guide management in their decision-making process regarding plan implementation.
    3. A clear plan regarding how you will advise management on direction and focus as they implement the plan.
    4. Remember to consider that every member of the CF&F team should embrace the plan for change. Include the indicators or trends will you could track to tell management if the plan is/will be successful.

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    Solution Preview

    Situation Analysis

    Custom Food and Feed Corporation (CF&F) is continuously suffering from the investigations and allegations that leave question marks in our investors' and customers' minds. I am sure our firm lost a lot of opportunities because of these accusations during the last ten years. I believe that we are not doing our homework good enough to comply Federal Laws. We are still alive because in our industry, typical consumers have low level of brand commitment or no commitment. Thus they are not considering or caring negative information to be informative or diagnostic, therefore they are not heavily influenced by them. But this is changing and American consumers are pickier today due to health concerns and increasing customer awareness in our society.

    Our Tech division is comparably younger then other divisions in our company. This is a 24/7 operating busy facility manufacturing 7 different products. Thus our operations are highly sensitive to any kind of change or mistake during the manufacturing processes. There has been a recent study made to check our division for the compliance of managerial, ethical, quality and safety standards. First of all I want to talk about safety. Strict legislation, growing public concern and the threat of legal action has made food safety and quality the priority of the industry and this is going to be a real threat to our company if we don't take action before its too late. Tech's managers are generally very strict, authoritarian and nervous due to the time constraints in the manufacturing processes. But they forget the fact that our hourly employees are not machines and for every human there are psychological and emotional limits to bear this pressure. Extreme conditions can make it difficult for our employees to focus on their works; they may decrease our employees' concentrations and lead to losses in productivity and efficiency. Our frontline supervisors may not be capable of understanding the operations since there is no evidence that adequate training is given to them. How can we trust their observations to track manufacturing process analyze the data and check the quality? The last and maybe the most important problem is the rumors of nepotism in this division. Of course there are many ethical issues forming the prior drawbacks but if we think about the harms of these privileges to our company when we realize the probability that these people may not be enough qualified for their positions, we can estimate how much damage they give to us.


    Health and Occupational Safety
    We must start with a good industrial health and safety program that can reduce illnesses and injuries to reduce the government's and public's doubts about our occupational safety standards. Our vision must be to create healthy and safe workforce in productive workplaces. This requires us to manage workplace hazards and prevent work-related illness and injury. The vision is as much about health as it is about safety. Given our historical focus on safety issues, more attention needs to be given to addressing health. The new challenges for workplaces also tend to be ...

    Solution Summary

    In a 1991 word discussion, the response explores how to effectively develop a plan.