Role play - Scenario 1
Mark French has called his senior management team in early on a Monday morning about three weeks ago. He handed each of the managers a document titled, Future Directions. This is a summary of the main points in the ‘Future Directions’ document: CERA Future Directions.docx
CERA has been considering expanding its geographical footprint to regional NSW and he has been thinking for some time about how best to do this. Following several productive meetings with government Ministers and their agencies over the last six months, Mark has decided that CERA will relocate its office to Bathurst in NSW over the next six months in a bid to capture a share of the market in central western NSW. This move is designed to signal the company’s intention to be a serious player in infrastructure development in regional NSW, coinciding with the government’s plans to invest significant funds in regional infrastructure development. Charles Sturt University is also developing an innovative engineering school headquartered in Bathurst, and there are some potential synergies there. There are already several engineering consultancies located in the region, but the size and experience of CERA will make it a very competitive player. This move will also provide opportunities for CERA to establish its credentials to move into other regions in Australia in the longer term.
Mark stressed that CERA will continue to source work in Sydney and surrounding areas. Bathurst is reasonably proximate to the Sydney basin and, with the right communications technology solutions, it will be feasible for CERA to operate in both the metropolitan and central west.
This is a bold strategic move, and Mark French is taking personal responsibility. He has asked his managers for their “full-throated support”. Mark had already visited several potential sites for the CERA office, and he expected to finalise a lease for an office building in downtown Bathurst, fairly close to the Bathurst Regional Council building. He announced that he’d had preliminary discussions with the Mayor, several Councillors and staff in the Economic Development Unit, and there was “absolutely unreserved enthusiasm” for the move by CERA.
That afternoon, the executive team met with all staff in the organisation. Mark French led the meeting and did most of the talking, supported by Israel Tobin and Kellie Lincoln. Predictably, staff were stunned at the move, although they had known for some time that CERA was looking to expand its footprint into regional NSW. But, no one had expected this. A few people had heard rumours, but no one really took that seriously. There were several ‘dead spots’ in the meeting – periods of silence as Mark and the others invited questions. People looked at each other, some shook their heads, some wept quietly and struggled to take in the news.
Mark advised that the senior team would be issuing weekly bulletins to keep people informed of progress. He made it clear that the relocation would go ahead. He said that he appreciated the contribution that everyone has made to the development of the company since its formation, and understood that not everyone would welcome this news. He hoped that all staff would take some time to consider the pros and cons of staying with the company, and choose to stay. However, he was realistic and understood that some people would prefer to stay in Sydney. He knew it was going to be a difficult time for everyone, but it was time to make the bold, but difficult decision to move CERA to a new level.
Israel Tobin announced that staff would be provided with assistance to relocate and that his team would be meeting with each section to talk over the implications of the move and needs for support. It was likely, he announced, that CERA would retain the services of an outplacement company to assist those who felt that they couldn’t continue with the company.
Your task as a group is to produce 7-page power point slides to address the following:
1.Identify the top five HR risks that Mark French and his team will need to manage in the next 6 months. The five HR risks must correspond to the roles in your group – that is, one risk is identified for each role. The challenge is to work out how to prioritise the risks that are the most important in each area of HR practice in the next six months and to then apply this to the risks identified by each group member. Justify your list in ppt slides and during the class presentations.
2.Recommend how each of the five risks should be managed. The challenge here is to devise a strategy for each of your top five HR risks that is appropriate and practical in the circumstances outlined in the scenario, taking into account the goals of the company and the HR history of the company as provided throughout the subject. (Watch for interactions among the recommendations too.)
Here’s a suggested process for the role play.
Step 1 The HR Manager to coordinate a meeting of the group to discuss the scenario, confirm roles, discuss norms, and document deliverables and deadlines. Discuss the principle/s to be used to prioritise the HR risks that will be identified by group members.
Step 2 Each group member produce powerpoint slide setting out a list of HR risks in the next 6 months in their area of HR practice, and recommended a strategy to manage each risk. A relevant explanation of the slide should be provided by each team member during the class presentations.
Step 3 Each group member circulates the draft work in advance of a second meeting of the group.
Step 4 The group meets again to discuss the lists and work through a consolidated set of the five top HR risks (in the next six months) covering each of the five areas of HR practice, and recommended actions to manage each risk.
Step 5 During the class presentations, each group member will present his/her explanation regarding the slide/s prepared and according to the HR role allocated. A copy of the ppt slides (a slide for each page printed in black and white) will be provided to the lecturer at the start of the class during the presentation week.
Your work must demonstrate knowledge of relevant topics covered in the subject; however, it is not necessary to provide citations and references. Use the format below to prepare the powerpoint presentation.
Title slide – Subject code and title; assessment item name; group names and student numbers.
Slide 1 – Top human resource planning risks and strategies to manage
Slide 2 – Top recruitment risks and strategies to manage
Slide 3 – top selection risks and strategies to manage
Slide 4 – Top performance and reward risks and strategies to manage
Slide 5 – top employee development risks and strategies to manage
Slide 6 – Principle/s used to prioritise the HR risks; the top 5 HR risks and strategies to manage, Part 1
Slide 7 – Top 5 HR risks and strategies to manage, Part 2
The HR manager should provide a copy of the powerpoint slides at the start of class during the presentation week to the lecturer.