For the last module in this class, you will be asked to evaluate a few scenarios and articles and answer based on both your ideas and the legal, procedural, and conceptual materials you learned in this class.  This is a final and it is comprehensive.  As you begin to craft your answers, you need to think about all the topics the class covered.  All the HR functions tie in together, so try to acknowledge and identify those connections. If you are referencing concepts from the book, please refer to the chapter (or general area) in the textbook that relates to the information.

I LOVE hearing about personal experiences that enhance the content.  If you have a story to share relevant to the topic, please add it to the discussion.  This is a learning opportunity, and you do not have to treat these questions as boring, formal essays.  I want you to engage with and enjoy the content.  So, bring your personality in.  Find ways to connect with it and make it meaningful to you and your classmates.

The Rules:

  • Each topic has directions for your initial posting and any replies you must make.  Read them carefully as they are different for each of the topics.
  • If you are referencing someone else’s ideas, please give them credit for their work.  Give us a link to the website or article so we can go read more. You don’t need to use any particular format to cite your sources – just let us know where you found the information or who originated it.
  • You’re a graduate student – you know how to hold a conversation and have a discussion.  Don’t just say, “oh yes, I agree.”  Ask questions, add information, tell a story.
  • Discussion boards will open Saturday, July 24th.
  • Starting posts are due no later than Tuesday, July 28th at 11:59pm.  This will give other classmates the time to build their responses.
  • Response posts begin on Wednesday, July 29th.  You need to wait until this day to begin your replies so that everyone has the chance to post their starting ideas.
  • All posts are due by Saturday, July 31st at 11:59pm.  This is the last day of the class, and grades are due shortly thereafter.

Topic 1 – Putting the “Human” in Human Resource Management

Each of these questions will be a separate discussion forum.  You will need to post your answer first before you can see other students’ answers. 

  1. It has often been said that people don’t leave bad companies; they leave bad bosses. What does this statement mean to you?  What is the most important thing you would do as a manger to enhance employee satisfaction and retention? (Pick the most important factor to you from what you learned in this class and be sure to explain WHY you chose it as the most important satisfier.)
  2. Read the article Can Merit-Based Rewards Increase Gender and Race Bias?: After reading this article, do you feel incentives, rewards, and compensation should be tied to performance evaluations?  Explain your answer. 
  3. On this website, read the section on compensation and benefits and employee motivation – If you were an HR director at a large corporation in America, what one benefit beyond the most common ones (such as healthcare, PTO, and 401k) would you choose to offer to attract the best talent, and why do you think it would set you apart enough for talented employees to come work for you instead of the competition?
  4. Consider the recent and still ongoing pandemic. With so many workers affected who are operating under massive amounts of stress in the workplace as well as stress in the home environment, what do you think HR departments’ Employee Assistance Programs should be doing to help? 

Beginning Wednesday, July 28th, return to the discussion boards above for the following:

  • Q1 – Locate the post of a person who had a different idea than you did to enhance employee satisfaction.  Pretend that you are the HR director who will roll out that suggestion to all the managers in your company.  What would you do to ensure success of that idea?  Are there any things you would need to be aware of?
  • Q2 – Make one thoughtful reply to any other student’s post.  Try to pick a post that either doesn’t have a reply already, or that sparks an interest for you.
  • Q3 – Make one thoughtful reply to any other student’s post.  Try to pick a post that either doesn’t have a reply already, or that sparks an interest for you.
  • Q4 – Locate the post of the person who posted RIGHT AFTER you. (The last person to post should select the very first person who posted.)  What are the legal and financial consequences to that person’s suggestion(s), and how would you address them so that other members of executive leadership would embrace that person’s ideas?

Topic 2 – HR with a Global Perspective

You will see three threads in this discussion board: one for each of the questions below.  Pick two of the threads to answer.  (Yes, you only have to choose two of the three questions below to answer.)

On Wednesday morning, return to the threads and reply to at least two other posts in any of the three threads that interests you.  

  1. Your best friend is considering a job offer from a foreign-owned firm. He knows you have studied this issue in your HR Processes class and asks for your assessment of the pros and cons of accepting the offer.
  2. What questions would you encourage him to ask before accepting?
  3. What advice would you give him overall, based on what you have read in the textbook?
  4. Would your advice differ based on the country he was relocating to?  Why or why not? (Give specific examples.)
  5. Read the following article from SHRM: Customize Performance Management to Fit Global Cultures: Thinking about this article and the one you read earlier on gender and race bias in compensation, what are three steps you can take to filter out as much bias as possible in performance evaluations?
  6. Consider the recent and still ongoing pandemic. 
  7. What cultural impacts does it have when people are unable to gather socially, and how do you think this will translate into the global workplace?
  8. Are there equitable policies that HR can implement that would offset the negative aspects that some countries’ employees may be experiencing?  Which ones do you think would have the most positive impact?

Topic 3 – Ethics in HR

Read this story:

There are two threads in this discussion forum: one for each of the questions below.  Everyone must post their response to the first question.  The second question is a discussion.  Some brave student posts first, and then others reply, and add their ideas or thoughts.  You can reply to any students’ posts, in any order, and add any ideas.  REMEMBER what you learned about giving feedback in Module 5!

  1. Think about the quote “If you’re thinking about a business decision, you are significantly more likely to lie than if you were thinking from an ethical frame.” Do you think this is something an HR professional would need to keep in mind?  Why or why not?
  2. Think about how his work friends were brought into the situation.  (We all like to think that we would be strong enough to say no, however, think about a time in your life when a friend asked you to do something you knew was slightly off, but you went along with it anyways because they were your friend.) 
    1. What do you think you could do as an HR director to make it more likely that the employees would come talk to you if this sort of thing happened in your company?
    1. Do you think, overall, that this type of situation is preventable?  Why or why not?

Topic 4 – Using Social Media to Make Employment and Strategy Decisions

There is only one discussion board for this topic.  You will post your own starting thread no later than Tuesday, 11:59pm. 

  1. Find an example of a person who was fired, or a company that was ‘canceled’ due to a social media posting, briefly summarize what happened, and provide a link to the story. 

Beginning Wednesday morning, locate another student’s posting with a different example than yours and read through their summary and the link. (It is best if you can find someone who does not already have responses so everyone can be involved.) Your reply to their post will contain the following:

  • Do you feel the company acted properly in the situation?  Explain why or why not. 
  • What information do you have from the textbook readings to back up your position?

Topic 5 – Let’s Talk About You

There are two threads in this discussion board.  You must make one post in each thread.  The posts will ALL BE HIDDEN.  You will not see yours after you submit it.  You will not see other students’ posts.  Only I will see your answers.

  1. While training and development in HR focuses on training for the job, you should think of your degree as a T&D opportunity.  A lot of professors will ask you what you hope to get out of their class.  This question really is important.  I urge you to always think about why you are taking a class, and not just from the ‘I need a degree’ or ‘because it is required’ perspective. 

Ron Brown, a professor of physics, asks this question of his students and when they reply, ‘because it is required,’ his response is “Surely it is not required, there are currently over seven billion people not taking physics – most of whom never will.”  So, start to think about why you chose this specific degree program at this specific university, and why this specific class is important for you to proceed in your chosen path.  What is your motivation?  What about the class would interest you?  How will the topics align with your educational or career goals?

  • Thinking about the statements above and the processes for designing and evaluating training and development from your textbook, what is your goal or outcome for your degree program? 
    • What specific behaviors or knowledge do you want to get from the degree program? How do they align with your overall goal? 
    • What is your motivation for completing this degree?
    • Principles of good training require an evaluation of the effectiveness of the program, and measurement of the outcomes for the organization (ROI).  If you were to apply these principles to your college classes, how would you go about identifying and measuring these factors?  Meaning, what metrics will you use to determine whether you achieved a positive ROI on the financial and time investments in your degree?
    • Now that you have learned about the many different types of benefits that can be offered, what types of benefits would you personally find most attractive in a company? (You can pull from the list in this article or add your own.) 
    • Which ones are your “deal breakers”; meaning you would NOT work for a company if they did not provide that benefit?
    • Do you feel you align with the list of benefit priorities that the article says your generation prefers?  Why or why not?