Hr Research Methods Summerpops
Business and Management
Submitted By peterstojanov
HR Research Methods – Final Exam, Winter 2015
STUDENT NAME: Peter Stojanov
SummerPops is a Popsicle manufacturer based in Montreal, Quebec, and has been operating since its founding in 1919. SummerPops moved into a large manufacturing facility in southeast Montreal in 1925, and has stayed in the building (with renovations and upgrades) ever since. The facility contains 4 major sections critical to the success of the business: * traditional loading docks to receive incoming raw materials, notably sugar; * mixing vats, water pipes, and heaters to create the liquid solution for the popsicles; * large freezers, to cool the liquid solution and form the popsicles; and * cold loading docks, to move the frozen popsicles to freezer trucks for transportation to stores.
SummerPops is a unique company, in that 5 months of the year (November to March), the entire production facility is shut down. SummerPops quickly discovered trying to maintain operations through the winter months was pointless, as few people bought their products during frigid Quebec winters. As such, these shutdown provisions mean that employees cling even harder to their unions and their seniority, in order to ensure they maintain predictable employment with the company when they start their jobs again each March. March represents the "start up" month, where the entire facility is de-winterized, cleaned, sterilized, and tested to ensure full operational capacity. Starting in April, the facility ramps up Popsicle production to 60% capacity, stockpiling product inventory to prep for the sales burst that hits when the heat and humidity descend on Quebec starting in late May. On May 1st, the facility reaches 100% production capacity and does not slow down until late September. In October, production is dropped to 25% while the plant is simultaneously prepped for the winter shutdown.
Employees are offered two compensation options at SummerPops: (1) full paycheques that reflect their hours of work from March to October, upon which they receive no paycheques from November to February, or (2) smaller, averaged paycheques that are paid out automatically every second week throughout the calendar year. Because most employees have children and do not want to have no income during Christmas, they elect for Option #2. Many employees have become accustomed to the winter break in employment, and many hold second jobs through the Christmas retail season as delivery drivers, retail sales people, or extra hands in other manufacturing plants that get busy for Christmas. It is a unique arrangement, but one that leaves SummerPops lean and efficient and the employees happy in their predictable circumstances and job security.
Every 30 years or so, however, the company seems to experience major disruptions for about 3 years straight. Because of the company's collective agreement provisions on seniority and early retirement, most of the company's employees all tend to retire at the same time, usually in their mid to late 50's. As such, because so many vacancies open up, an entirely new generation of workers, often in their 20's, are hired en masse, trained up, and start their lifelong employment with the company. Managers rarely see this disruption more than once in their own careers, so no living memory of these disruptions exist other than the glaring drops in profits in the 1950's and 1980's. Sales did not drop during these years, but operational costs shot through the roof as accidents, spillage, wastage, mistakes, and poor quality severely drained the company's cash reserves.
This was first discovered by accountants reviewing the company's historical records when an insurance company asked for a risk assessment to reinsure the factory. The insurance company noted an extremely damaging fire that had taken place in 1981 and wanted to know the circumstances that caused it. The company's accountants reviewed the records and discovered that new employees with little training and experience had made mistakes in the use of the mixing vat heaters, which caused a gas explosion and burned most of that section of the factory down (luckily, no fatalities). This accountant then talked to some retired employees from that era, who recalled very vividly that for several years, accidents and low productivity were commonplace as new employees were learning their jobs and becoming familiar with the factory's equipment.
Most accidents, minor and major, appear to be rooted in newer employees. In fact, company records track the number of accidents directly or indirectly caused by employees in their career at SummerPops. If management starts to note that one person in particular seems to be causing too many incidents, they may need to get rid of that person. Often, the company will offer severance packages to 'unsafe' employees, but in many cases, 'just cause' can be found to terminate someone so severance pay is no longer required.
The company has another issue in parallel, however: quits. Many employees starting in 1990's started giving up the prized, unionized jobs at SummerPop for no apparent reason other than "found something else." This puzzled management, because unionized factory jobs are difficult to come by in Montreal. Elevated turnover began causing more accidents, since a steady stream of newer staff were always on the factory floor, making mistakes. It was common to see employees hurling insults to each other in both English and French, but it became apparent after watching a few security videos that some new hires were not fitting in well and that more senior employees were verbally harassing them to get them to quit. It was working.
Final Exam Questions: Enter your answers directly into this Word document. Save often. When completed, save the file with your name in the file name and email it, attached, through Slate to the professor. Do not email your Excel file, only the answers in this document. If you feel you need to, copy and paste selections out of Excel into this Word document, but use "Paste Special >> Paste as an Image"
1. Create a report that will show the company's headcount, split by Occupation in "Row Labels" and Gender in "Column Labels." Filter for active employees only ("Status" field). Then calculate what % of men and % of women are in each Occupation (including the total for the whole company)? 5 marks
In this company there are 6 total occupations, with a grand total of 566 employees. Of this total, 144 employees have been terminated and 426 are actively working: Occupation (Active Workers) | Female | Male | Total Number of Employees in Each Department | Total % of Females | Total % of Males | Freezer Manufacturing | 21 | 115 | 136 | 15.44 % | 84.55 % | Inbound Loading Docks | 6 | 34 | 40 | 15% | 85 % | Manager | 2 | 18 | 20 | 10 % | 90% | Mixers and Cookers | 19 | 101 | 120 | 15.83% | 84.16 % | Office Support | 6 | 51 | 57 | 10.52 % | 89.47% | Outbound Loading Docks | 8 | 45 | 53 | 15.094% | 84.90% |
The total percentage of females that are still active in this company is 14.55%. While the percentage of males that are still active in this company is 85.44%
2. For active employees only (Status field), create another report that shows each Occupation in the company, split into Mother Tongue (French and English). Then calculate the % of English and % of French for each occupation (including the total for the whole company)? 5 marks
REMOVE GENDER FROM COLUMN LABELS, AND REPLACE IT WITH MOTHER TONGUE.
Occupation (Active Workers) | English | French | Total Number of Employees in Each Department | Total % of English-Speaking | Total % of French-Speaking | Freezer Manufacturing | 79 | 57 | 136 | 58.08% | 41.91% | Inbound Loading Docks | 20 | 20 | 40 | 50% | 50% | Manager | 6 | 14 | 20 | 30% | 70% | Mixers and Cookers | 50 | 70 | 120 | 41.66% | 58.83% | Office Support | 32 | 25 | 57 | 56.14% | 43.85% | Outbound Loading Docks | 28 | 25 | 53 | 52.83 % | 47.16% | TOTAL | 215 | 211 | 426 | 50.46% | 49.53% |
The total percentage of English-speaking employees that are still active in this company is 50.46%. While the percentage of males that are still active is 49.53%
3. Create a table that shows how many employees are from each Occupation (Row Labels), divided between "Active" and "Term" status (Column Labels). Then calculate the turnover rate % for each occupation. (Turnover = # of Terms / # Active Employees) 15 marks Occupation | TOTAL | ACTIVE | TERM | TURNOVER RATE | Freezer Manufacturing | 192 | 136 | 56 | 41.11% | Inbound Loading Docks | 40 | 40 | 0 | 0% | Manager | 26 | 20 | 6 | 30% | Mixers and Cookers | 160 | 120 | 10 | 33.33% | Office Support | 69 | 57 | 12 | 21.05% | Outbound Loading Docks | 79 | 53 | 26 | 49.05% | TOTAL | 566 | 426 | 140 | 32.9% |
4. Create a table that shows how many employees are from each Mother Tongue (Row Labels), divided between "Active" and "Term" status (Column Labels). Then calculate the turnover rate for each Mother Tongue. (Turnover = # of Terms / # Active Employees) 5 marks Mother Tongue | Total | Active | Term | Turnover Rate | English | 310 | 215 | 95 | 44.18% | French | 256 | 211 | 45 | 21.32% | TOTAL | 566 | 426 | 140 | 32.9% |
5. The following data was obtained from a survey of employees before they quit their jobs in the last 4 years. Using some your answers from Questions 1 to 4, along with this information, write a maximum of 3 paragraphs that tells the story of who is quitting and why: 20 marks
Note: Survey Question Scale is a 5 Point Likert Scale: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neutral, Agree, Strongly Agree
a. Are you happy with your rate of pay and benefits? Average answer: Agree
b. Do you believe you have a safe workplace? Average answer: Disagree
c. Do you believe managers are looking out for your best interests? Average answer: Neutral
d. Do you find your job engaging? Average answer: Neutral/Agree
e. Do you like your flexible hours/work schedules? Average answer: Strongly Agree
f. As most would know, do you enjoy working with your coworkers? Average answer: Strongly Disagree
Comments section: a sample of answers: * "One manager called me 'stupid' because I couldn't speak French. I called him a frog. He laughed." * "A French coworker threw a wrench at me. A wrench. Not a rag, or a pen, a frickin' wrench. I wish this was an isolated incident, but English speakers get harassed like this, A LOT." * "I kept trying to do everything right after I was hired, but all the equipment, training manuals, and safety signs are in French only. The managers say that's the law." * "The French truck drivers locked me in the freezer for 3 hours. When they unlocked the door, they apologized to me because they didn't know I could speak French." * "I'm quitting because the 'accident' the managers said I caused was in fact caused by someone else. I was blamed because I'm English speaking, and the guy who screwed up the machine is a French speaker." * "The managers all appear to be Quebec separatists, and they hate English speakers." * "I once put laxatives into the experimental test pops the Managers wanted to test run through production. I was happy when those bastards were fighting over the washroom." * “I love working here. The men are always so nice to me, and this is the first company I’ve been at where all of us women haven’t had to deal with any kind of sexual harassment. But I’m in a dead end job, because the prospects of a woman getting promoted around here are near zero.” * “We only have 2 female managers in the whole company. And there are too many rumor’s about how they got to that level….”
Write your 3 paragraphs here:
From examining the data collect from questions 1-4 and reading the comments, the following have been observed: 1. English-speaking workers throughout the company are quitting due to harassment received from French-speaking co-workers. English-speakers are receiving blame from French-speaking workers when nothing was their fault, due to the prejudice from French-speaking co-workers assuming the English-speaking (even if they do) don’t speak French. French employees bully English workers, for example a French worker threw a wrench at an English employee. Not only co-workers, but also managers appear to be conducting prejudice against English-speaking workers, as well, as mentioned in the comment provided, "The managers all appear to be Quebec separatists, and they hate English speaker.”
2. Many Generation-Y workers (20-35 years old) are increasing turnover due to them messing things up within the mainly dominating French-speaking company. The majority of Gen-Y workers are English speakers, and the majority of these English speakers have entered at least one disciplinary meeting with their superiors.
3. Voluntary turnover occurs due to the lack of promotion for females. Since there are only two female managers scattered amongst the 426 active workers, women feel discouraged when it comes to attempting to get promoted. Also, rumours emerge as to exactly how the two managers managed to reach such a high position within the company. A common quote heard throughout the workspace, “We only have 2 female managers in the whole company, and there are too many rumors about how they got to that level…”, is causing women to believe that some type of exploitation of their gender is the only way to move up, that otherwise it’s a dead-end job and the chances of moving up are near zero.
6. In the survey questions above, two of the questions have a critical error in their wording. Identify which questions have this error, and describe what the error is. 5 marks First incorrect question: * As most would know, do you enjoy working with your coworkers? - Leading questions. Since it assumes that the person should know about the question, leading to the to the one conducting the survey to feel that their answer might be inadequate to others and answer untruthfully or in favour of the desired answer that company wants.
Second incorrect question: * Are you happy with your rate of pay and benefits? - This is a double barreled question due to the fact that it asks about two things. This could be fixed by splitting the question into two. Such as: Are you happy with your rate? Are you happy with your benefits?
7. In the Excel file "Final Exam Data," use the field “# of Disciplinary Meetings” in your Pivot Table to determine if there patterns in who the company talks to about disciplinary infractions. Using other fields besides disciplinary meetings will help determine if patterns exist. If a person has a "0" in the field "# of Disciplinary Meetings," the company has never disciplined them. If they have 1 or more, that person has been to that many disciplinary meetings.
Provide descriptions of 2 different patterns that emerge from your Pivot Tables when you examine the field "# of Disciplinary Meetings." 10 marks Pattern 1: The first pattern I have noticed is that more English speakers have had more disciplinary infractions rather than French speakers. This could be due to the fact that the French speakers have been harassing the English speakers. Also it could be due to the fact that the English speakers are getting blamed for the French workers actions. And that the manager don’t like English speaking people, because most of the managers are French. Pattern 2: Close to 50% of Generation-Y employees in the company have had more disciplinary meetings. It is proven in the case that the company has had issues with the young people who work there. Accidents, both minor and major, have been noted to be caused by newer employees.
8. Using Sheridan’s library and accessing the database “Business Source Complete (EBSCO),” find and read the following article:
Valcour, Monique. 2007. Work-Based Resources as Moderators of the Relationship Between Work Hours and Satisfaction With Work–Family Balance. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 92, No. 6, 1512–1523.
9a. On Page 1518, Table 1 is a correlation matrix using the variables in the study. Ignore the numbers under columns "M" and "SD," as well as the numbers in parentheses. This study uses 1 star, 2 stars, or 3 stars to denote statistical significance. If you are unsure what concept the labeled variables in the study represent, consult the study, where it will be defined by the author.
Highlight the important findings of this correlation matrix. Discuss what variables are interesting to you, and important/relevant to the study. Interpret the variables found in plain English below (though providing the number in brackets will assist you and is encouraged), and discuss in a few paragraphs what you've found. 20 marks
Some of the more interesting correlations are:
- Work-life balance/neuroticism which has a negative correlation as with the increase in anxiety in the workplace, the worse the balance gets between your work and life (-.22***). Neuroticism deals with the many social disorders, anxieties, and stress-induced behaviour we develop while under demanding conditions at work. This can cause us to have an unbalanced relationship when dealing with family outside of the workplace, as it could travel home with you. This negative correlation is dangerous for the company as a high level in anxiety or unsupervised behaviour can cause stress-leave and worker-productivity to lower.
- Control over work time/work-life balance (.39***) has a positive correlation as when given a higher degree of control over your work time then it causes a higher degree of balance between work-life. As you dictate the amount of time you spend on a certain task to achieve in the workplace, this could possibly give you more time for personal time with family, causing a more positive outlook towards the job you’re currently in.
- Control over work time in relation to job complexity (.28***) causes a positive correlation as when the level of complexity in your tasks increase, the control that you output for your work time increases, creating a greater productivity. This causes workers to feel better about their role and tasks and stay with the company for longer.
- The correlation between Ideal Work hours and work-life balance is high (.16***) because the more convenient the work hours are for an employee, the better the worker will be able to balance their personal and professional life. This causes positive correlation and, with it, gives the worker a better outlook towards their occupation when given the hours they want, instead of imposed hours that could cause grief.
9b. On Page 1519, Table 2 is a regression table where all variables are related to "Satisfaction with Work-Family Balance." Ignore the complicated sets of calculation steps the author used, and note that almost all the variables are significant (denoted by stars). If a number is negative, satisfaction with work-family balance goes down as the other variable goes up. If a number is positive, satisfaction with work-family balance goes up, as does the other variable.
Highlight the important findings of this regression table. Discuss what variables are interesting to you, and important/relevant to the study. Interpret the variables found in plain English below, and discuss in a few paragraphs what you've found. 20 marks.
* Some of the variables that were interesting were:
- Commuting to work and work-family balance. There was a negative relationship between them as the longer it took to commute to work, the less time there was to spend with your family which caused a bad balance between work and home time. The variable was -0.14**, with a 90% accuracy. The second variable that was interesting I would agree with is that you spend and balance work and family more when the complexity of your job is less. The less complicated your job is, the easier you can get it done and therefore you get more time for work-family balance; the variable for this was +0.30*** with a 99% accuracy.
- Work hours and work-family balance, which had a -0.11** correlation with an accuracy of 90%. Therefore the more work hour you have, the less work-family balance you have. You work more and see your family less. Also, work-family balance, and control over work time. The more control over the hours you work, the more time you have to spend with your family and have a balance between work and family. The correlation between them was a 0.32*** with a 99% accuracy.
As family is such a big part of our lives and dictates (most of the time for workers or for me, at least) how we negatively relate to our jobs, it’s good to look at these statistics. We do this in order to weigh options into whether or not the occupation is right for you, or when calculating on behalf of the rest of the employees throughout the company in order to make changes to the current system.