Action to Accomplish: Individual Reflection Paper Specifics
Develop a one-page reflection paper in which you focus on the dynamics of the competing and synergistic priorities of the respective organizational roles. In particular, you should discuss what you learned about the role of the human resources function. This assignment helps to apply knowledge about the decision-making process of an organizational executive team (Chief financial officer (CFO), chief human capital officer (CHCO), chief marketing officer (CMO), and chief operating officer (COO)) and bring insight regarding the specific role of the chief human resources officer (CHRO) in the strategic planning of the organization.
Individual Reflection Paper Rubric
A: You reflected on personal learning about the role of the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) on an executive team, and showed a good understanding of the contributions the HR function can make strategically to business decisions. Your reflection paper was well-organized, you provided clear examples, and your paper was free of errors.
B: While it could have been more in depth, you provided general reflections on personal learning. You articulated a fair understanding of the strategic role of HR in business discussions.
C: Your paper had some slight errors, but was generally well-written. You gave some examples. You shared some reflections, but they were not of good depth. Your understanding of the role of the CHRO was not explicit. Several errors in grammar, punctuation, format, or style were noted.
D or F: Your reflections were not adequate to demonstrate a good understanding of the role of HR in business decisions. Numerous errors or lack of information were noted. While you may have made a good start on a reflection paper, you need to do additional work in order to complete the assignment adequately.
1. The Players
Players: Chief financial officer (CFO), chief human capital officer (CHCO), chief marketing officer (CMO), and chief operating officer (COO).
Role of the executive team: Executive teams comprising the top executives of the disciplines of finance, human resources, marketing, and operations, all reporting to the chief executive officer, make or influence major decisions and strategies for the organization. The positions all report to the chief executive officer. Most often, the chief of information technology and the general counsel are also members of the executive team, but for purposes of this role play, these two positions are not included.
Professional focus of each position: While all positions have responsibility for achieving the business goals of the organization, each has a unique expertise and lens.
The chief marketing officer (CMO) is tasked with advertising, sales, and the image of the product or service, and is concerned with increasing revenues and expanding the market. The CMO’s mantra could be, “The more products we can sell, the better!”
The chief financial officer (CFO) has a focus on the bottom line of the organization, the profit margin. He or she will not only look at revenues, but also at how much of the revenue is converted into profit dollars. The CFO’s mantra could be, “It doesn’t matter how much we sell; what matters is how much profit we make.”
The chief human capital officer (CHCO) is tasked with ensuring that the organization has the right knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs), now and in the future. His or her focus will be on the availability of labor; what KSAs potential employees have; what will need to be done to recruit; what to offer in compensation, benefits, and work culture; training and retaining employees; what laws and regulations are applicable; and whether unions are involved. At times, the CHCO will be responsible for the safety and security of employees. The CHCO’s mantra could be, “We can never be successful unless we have skilled employees!”
The chief operations officer (COO) is responsible for ensuring that products are made in a quality manner or that services are performed satisfactorily. In many cases, the COO is also responsible for the buildings, equipment, and maintenance of the organization. In this case study, the COO is responsible for the overall management and success of the hotels. The COO’s mantra could be, “The most important element is the facility and how well the employees are performing.”
The chief executive officer (CEO) is responsible for the entire organization and reports to a board of directors. He or she is also concerned with the price of the company’s stock. Boards are concerned more and more about ethical standards and the image of the corporation that is perceived by the public and by shareholders. The CEO’s mantra could be, “What will the board or our stock holders think of this? Will it represent us well?”
Role of the executive team: Executive teams comprising the top executives of the disciplines of finance, human resources, marketing, and operations, all reporting to the chief executive officer, make or influence major decisions and strategies for the organization. The positions all report to the chief executive officer. Most often, the chief of information technology and the general counsel are also members of the executive team, but for purposes of this memo, these two positions are not included.
2. The Situation
A major hotel company in the U.S. has an opportunity with the potential for significantly increasing its revenue base and global market share. There are, however, human resource issues that must be considered. The nonunion, U.S.-based company has the opportunity to purchase a chain of hotels in Italy. The Italian company’s hotel employees are represented by unions and are accustomed to many more benefits?such as more time off, more expansive health care benefits, and more say in the operation of the hotels?than U.S. employees. They also have boundaries around their work schedules and limitations on the work they will perform in the hotels. In addition, the labor market for hotel employees is very limited. The employees available for work in the cities where the hotels are located require extensive training.
If the hotel chain is purchased, there will be a need to retrain all employees and possibly change shifts worked and jobs performed, as well as limit input into decisions about the operation of the hotels. It is most likely that U.S.-based employees will need to help with the training of current employees; however, most of them have never traveled to Europe and therefore are not familiar with the culture. One known difference in the culture is the lack of EEO laws and regulations and a tolerance for sexual harassment.
The executive team, without the CEO present, has convened a meeting to discuss whether the hotel chain should be purchased; what the risks and rewards could be; and if the decision is made to purchase the chain, what needs to be addressed and what should be included in the budget to ensure a smooth transition of ownership.
Each member of the team has a role to play in the conversation, and each member is expected to look at the situation through the lens of his or her discipline. For example, the CFO may want to cut benefits in order to reduce labor costs; the COO may be concerned about the buildings and the flexibility of employees’ assignments; and the CMO may be concerned about whether guests in the U.S. hotels will expect the same level of service and type of hotel as those found in Italy, and if not, how to market the change. The CHCO will be concerned with achieving the organizational objectives, but knows that without the ability to attract and retain employees who are capable of being trained to deliver good service, the hotels will not be able to remain open.
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