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Flashcards in Making Human Resource Decisions Deck (60):
1

Does a business with a hierarchical structure have a long or short chain of command?

Has a long chain of command. This makes the business easier to control and provides opportunities for promotion, but it can be costly and slows down effective communication.

2

Does a business with a flat structure have a lot or a few levels of management?

Has few levels of management but a wide span of control. This improves the business’s flexibility but lines of authority are not always clear.

3

What is span of control?

The number of employees that are managed by a manager (e.g. if a person manages three employees, their span of control is three).

4

What are centralised decisions?

Decisions made by senior managers (normally at head office).

5

What are decentralised decisions?

Decentralised decisions are delegates to regional employees at local stores and branches.

6

What is an advantage of centralised decisions?

Increased control and standardisation

7

What is a disadvantage of centralised decisions?

Decisions can be slow

8

What is an advantage of decentralised decisions?

Decisions devolved to branches or divisions that may know their local customers better

9

What is a disadvantage of decentralised decisions?

Loss of control

10

Why might a business downsize (reduce size) or delayer (reduce the number of layers in the hierarchy)?

To:
Reduce costs
Improve efficiency
Improve communication

11

What does effective communication ensure?

That the business’s vision, mission and objectives are clear, that customers are able to understand its products and services, and that employees feel motivated because they understand their role within the business.

12

For communication to be effective, what happens?

The sender has to choose an appropriate medium to reach the receiver
Feedback should also be available to ensure the communication has been successful

13

What is the impact of poor communication?

Insufficient or excessive communication can have an impact on:
Employee motivation
Customer service
The number of mistakes made
The understanding of employees
The efficient implementation of decisions
The image/brand of the business (through advertising).

14

What are the two types of communication?

Formal communication- is approved by the organisation. It follows set rules of communication used within a business.
Informal communication- (e.g. gossip) is also used in business. It can get in the way of effective communication

15

What are some barriers to effective communication?

Using inappropriate mediums or email system failure
Being angry or tired
Cultural differences
Use of jargon. This depends on the skill or knowledge of the sender or receiver
Too much or too little information

16

What is information overload?

When workers are faced with too much information (e.g. receiving more than 100 emails a day or complicated instructions), their motivation and efficiency will fall. Managers must ensure communication is controlled and organised effectively to ensure that this does not happen.

17

What are the six types of workers?

Full-time hours
Flexible hours
Permanent contract
Temporary contract
Freelance contract
Part-time hours

18

Why might a business use flexible working contracts?

It has more control over its costs and can increase or lower its capacity when it needs to.

19

When are freelance contracts used?

Often used when a business needs to employ a specialist, such as a consultant or accountant, for a short period of time.

20

What is the problem with flexible contracts?

Employees might not be committed to the business if they do not have long-term job security.

21

What is remote working?

Employees can work from home while keeping in touch with colleagues through teleconferencing and email. Working arrangements can be agreed to meet the needs of the business and its workers, e.g. working from home one day a week.

22

What is video conferencing?

Face-to-face communication and presentations can be streamed live over the internet so that employees no longer need to travel long distances to meet clients or share important information. This is more efficient as employees do not have to spend time and money travelling.

23

What are management information systems?

Business intranet systems hold vast amounts of information that employees can access using a computer anywhere in the world.

24

What are directors responsible for?

Overall business performance
Business target-setting and strategy formation

25

What are senior managers responsible for?

Management and leadership of key business functions

26

What are supervisors and team leaders responsible for?

Leading a team of workers
Performance management
Providing training, support and motivation

27

What are operational staff responsible for?

Carrying out the key operations of a business

28

What are support staff responsible for?

Providing services that support the main function of a business

29

What documents are used in the recruitment process to help identify the best candidates?

Application forms
Curriculum vitae (CV)
Job descriptions
Person specifications

30

What is the recruitment process?

Draw up recruitment documents including job adverts, job particulars, job descriptions and job specifications> receive applications through CVs, application forms and letters> shortlisting- a list of suitable candidates is drawn up> selection involves interviews and assessments; references might be requested> training to develop skills using on-the-job and off-the-job training (all staff, but especially new staff)

31

What does a job description include?

The job title
Who the person is responsive to (line manager)
Who the person is responsible for (subordinates)
The key duties
The salary or wage

32

What does a person specification contain?

A description of the characteristics, qualifications, experience and skills that are required to meet the need of the job description. These factors are normally broken down into:
Essential characteristics (must have)
Desirable characteristics (would like)

33

What is a CV?

A document that lists a person’s experience and qualifications, including details of their:
Education and qualifications
Employment history
Skills and experience
References from current or previous employers

34

What are some techniques used to help identify the best candidate for a job?

May include interviews, tests, role plays, group discussions and candidate presentations

35

What is internal recruitment?

Promoting an employee who currently works for the business to a new role

36

What is external recruitment?

Recruiting someone who does not already work for the business.

37

What are the advantages of internal communication?

Fast and easy to advertise vacancy
Cheaper than external advertising
Candidates already know the business so will be more efficient from the beginning
Promotion opportunities motivate current employees

38

What are the advantages of external recruitment?

More potential applicants
New ideas and skills brought into the business
Suitable if the business is growing and needs more employees

39

What is formal training?

Employees attend specific training courses to improve their skills.

40

What are the advantages of formal training?

May be provided by external companies who are subject or industry specialists
May offer formal accreditation or qualifications

41

What are the disadvantages of formal training?

Can be expensive and time-consuming
May require employees to stop working while they are training, so productivity falls.

42

What is informal training?

Employees learn skills ‘on-the-job’, by developing skills and experience over time or by being coached by other employees.

43

What are the advantages of informal training?

Is cheaper and less-time consuming than formal learning
Gives employees real or ‘hands-on’ experience

44

What are the disadvantages of informal training?

May be stressful for employees if they are doing the job without all the necessary skills
May mean that employees have to take responsibility for seeking or providing training

45

What is performance management?

All employees in a business should receive performance management. This involves setting targets for personal development and performance, and agreeing these targets with their line manager. Performance management may be used to support internal promotion and pay progression. Performance management meetings are formal and may take place several times a year. It is likely that ongoing training will be made part of an employee’s personal development, e.g. gaining relevant qualifications or attending external training courses. These may be set as targets.

46

What are performance management documents?

A formal record of an agreement between an employee and their line manager

47

What is the importance of training employees?

Skills- training employees will improve their skills and value to the business. Having the most skilled employees may give a business a competitive advantage over its rivals.
Motivation- as employees improve their skills and knowledge, their confidence will also improve. This can lead to a highly motivated and happy workforce.
Retention- investing money in training employees shows that the business values its employees. This means they are less likely to leave to find a job elsewhere, so improving the business’s retention rates.

48

What are the benefits of new technology on training employees?

New technology enables training as employees can use computer simulations (e.g. pilots and surgeons).
Training can be more flexible and can be accessed remotely using webinars and online courses
Technology can be used as a low-risk method of training employees to do high-risk tasks

49

What is a disadvantage of using new technology when training employees?

Employees need to be retrained whenever new technology is introduced. This can be expensive and can lower productivity.

50

What is self-learning?

Employees can now take responsibility for their own learning. Many training courses are available online for employees to complete in their own time. Technology can also be used to record employees’ performances, e.g. a teacher can watch a video of one of their own lessons. This makes it easier for employees to monitor their performance and learn from experience.

51

What can a motivated workforce do?

Create a hard-working and flexible workforce, that is willing to ‘go the extra mile’ for the business
Encourage employees to have greater commitment to the organisation
Reduce employee sick leave rates
Improve customer service
Improve communication within the business
Attract and retain good employees
Increase productivity because the workforce is happy

52

What are some examples of time-based motivation systems?

Wages for part-time or full-time workers
Overtime

53

What are some examples of salaries as a method of motivation?

For non-manual jobs
For professional workers

54

What are some results-based systems (suitable where output or success can be measured) examples as a method of motivation?

Piece rate
Commission
Bonus schemes

55

What are some examples of fringe benefits as a method of motivation?

Company car
Healthcare
Pension schemes
Company discounts

56

What is an example of a career progression as a motivation method?

Promotion

57

How important is money?

Most people think that receiving a fair income is important. However, some theories of motivation state that money alone is not enough to fully motivate people in the workplace. Other needs are as important or even more important motivating factors, such as self-esteem and the freedom to be creative

58

What are some non-financial methods of motivation?

Job rotation- gives employees the opportunity to work in other areas of the business, experience different roles and develop new skills
Job enrichment- develops employees’ skills by giving them opportunities to lead, make key decisions and take on new responsibilities.
Employee reward scheme- recognises employees’ performance and contribution through schemes, e.g. employee of the week
Team working- allows employees to develop social bonds through being part of a team

59

What does autonomy mean?

Means being empowered to make your own decisions. Employees are often more motivated when they can make their own decisions and choices about the best way to work and achieve their goals

60

What is remuneration?

money paid for work or a service