Over the years, Mitron Computers enjoyed significant success as a custom builder of personal computers for several office supply chains. The company’s competitive advantage stems from the organization’s ability not only to build quality product to specifications, but also the assurance that the orders will be delivered on time. In order to maintain such a high level of efficiency, it is important that Mitron Computers to continually hire and train personnel until the company is able to manage enough number of workers able to handle different aspects of the assembly line. In the current set-up there are only a few people who are able to handle some of the critical aspects of the job. Thus, if one of the members of this small group of specialists is absent, the production capacity of the company is negatively affected. The solution is a pay-for-knowledge incentive program. The said training program enables the workers to learn more about the different aspects of the assembly line process. However, the said program is easier said than done. Holly Hunter, the company’s human resource director must develop a creative and efficient pay-for-knowledge incentive program to enhance the productivity and competitive advantage of Mitron Computers.
Mitron Computers’s Strategy
It has to be made clear that the success of Mitron Computers can be seen in its cost-efficient manufacturing process. As a result, the company was able to reduce waste through the strategic use of resources, specifically human resources. It is based on the principle of using the least amount of resources in order to lower cost and yet at the same time provide a high-quality product (Bell, 2006). The key component in this strategy is the presence of well-trained workers. If the company cannot maintain the appropriate number of workers with the correct set of skills, then, they will not be able to produce the necessary number of computer units to keep the company in a profitable level (Shim & Siegel, 2008). It is therefore imperative to develop a pay-for-knowledge program in order to increase the capability of the current crop of workers and enable them to accomplish more complicated tasks. As a result there will enough workers on standby ready to handle an increase in the number of orders that will be coming in.
The first problem that Holly Turner will encounter is the need to come up with the funds that will be needed to pay for her project. She had to go to the board of directors and persuade them that there is no other option available for them. She will have to convince them that if they will not support this project, then, they will not be able to meet the high level of demand that they are expecting in the next few months. She will have to make them understand that the company is already well known in the industry so that the number of clients had been on a steady rise as of recent months.
Holly Turner will find it a tremendous challenge for the corporate leaders to take risk on something that has not yet been proven to be effective in the past. In other words, if there is no precedent and therefore business leaders are reluctant to release funds (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2009). However, Holly Turner is well aware of the fact that the main problem they faced is not a problem of technology or the delivery of materials. Turner is convinced that it is the lack of qualified specialists that has created numerous backlogs in the system.
If Turner succeeds in convincing the board of directors regarding the need for a pay-for-knowledge program, the next challenge will be to develop and implement the said strategy. She will have to hire consultants and to conduct research. The research component of the project is not limited to the acquisition of information through reading books and other related literature but this also includes interviews. If needed Turner must seek the assistance of CEOs and other human resource managers who had extensive experience when it comes to pay-for-knowledge programs. She will have to understand the strengths and weakness of the said strategy.
Even before she can complete her research she is already aware of a specific problem that can block the successful implementation of the said program. There are many technicians in the company that are not interested in attending training programs. The reason for their reluctance is that they will miss out on the money that they will earn working in the manufacturing floor of the said company rather than to spend time away and train with other technicians.
Turner must be creative in not only designing the training program that will suit the needs fo the company. She will also have to learn how to motivate workers to join the training program. One way to deal with this problem is to provide incentives so that they will be interested to join the training sessions. The first thing that Turner must do was to clarify and then, write down the basic features of the said pay-for-knowledge program. She will have to write it down and communicate it in such a manner that all the technicians will have a clear understanding of what has to be done in order to enjoy a significant increase in pay.
If there is still hesitation on the part of the workers, then, Turner must create an incentive or bonus system for those who attend the training sessions. She will have to devise a way to reward those who had completed a training module. The incentive may not come in the form of monetary rewards. Instead of giving cash, the company can provide other forms of incentives so that the technicians will do everything that they can do train and learn new skills.
The next important thing that Turner must do is to constantly evaluate the workers. She will have to determine why there are some workers who are not willing to upgrade their skills. She will have to find out if the main reason is the lack of incentive. If there are other reasons aside from the lack of incentive to learn new skills, then, Turner, must be able to determine if there are any workers with attitude problems. She will have to look into the hiring process employed by the company (Tucker, McCarthy, & Benton (2003). She will have to develop a hiring system that will enable the company to determine if a certain applicant is unwilling to learn new skills. She will have to figure out if it is prudent to let go some of the current workers at Mitron Computers.
Holly Turner was able to determine the root cause of the problem. She was able to identify that it was the lack of able technicians that caused the less than satisfactory performance of the company in recent months. She was able to pinpoint the main cause of the problem and as a result she decided to implement a pay-for-knowledge program. But she had to convince several stakeholders within the company. She needed money to fund her project, therefore, it is important she will have to convince the board of directors that there is no other option but to enhance the capability of their workers and technicians. Turner will encounter problems from the corporate leaders. She will also encounter resistance from the technicians. The technicians who are only experts on a few stages in the manufacturing process are unable to see the big picture. As a consequence, they view additional training as time that has to be taken away from their wages. They are paid on an hourly rate and therefore it is difficult to blame them if they are not interested to spend time learning other aspects of the job. It is therefore important that Turner develop not only a persuasive presentation with regards to the importance of pay-for-knowledge program, she also needs to convince the technicians that their wages will considerably increase if they have mastered additional skills that can help the company move forward.