1. What do you see as the basic advantages and disadvantages of each system? American system: Advantages: • The cycle of production/servicing doesn’t interrupt, since people work long hours/night shifts and do not go for long leaves; • Trainings provided are quick, which means that the company-employer saves money for that matter. Disadvantages: • High staff turnover, since there is usually nothing (except certain level of wages) that keeps employees at the current place; • Low level of company-employer loyalty, which provokes such problems as unsatisfactory performance and staff turnover mentioned above;
• The absence of motivation – very often people just come to work to spend out their required time and leave (usually for another job). Moreover, people are simply exhausted with long hours of work. As a result, the absence of motivation and constant tiresomeness decrease the productivity of employees. German system Advantages: • Low staff turnover; • Employees get substantial training, which means they are qualified enough and can substitute each other combining several functions in case somebody is ill or absent.
Moreover, training gives the company-employer opportunity to raise serious professionals to ensure success of the company; • Higher level of employees loyalty due to the fact that money is not the only thing that keeps employees at German companies. It is also good trainings, stability, a chance to grow within the company; • German employees possess higher level of motivation working according to the principle “work hard when you’re on the job and get out as fast as you can”. Disadvantages: • Employees work less hours appreciating leisure over work.
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It means that it is impossible to plan longer business operations and the company might lose potential customers; • Working less employees become more demanding and oftentimes refuse to do the job going on strikes for any reason – relevant or not. 2. If you were the top Human Resources executive for this international department store chain with stores in Germany and the United states, what basic issues would you need to address regarding corporate HR policies? The first basic issue necessary to address in the USA is motivation. Obviously that Americans work solely for money. Yet, material reward is not so motivating.
Therefore, in order to increase productivity and prevent high staff turnover, it is necessary to increase motivation. One of the instruments is creating strong corporate culture and ensuring appropriate working conditions. Concerning Germany, it is important to make employees understand that they work not just solely for themselves. Their personal performance increase the productivity of the collective and thus the company benefits. If the company benefits, it means that its employees benefit as well. In other words, it is necessary to inculcate another approach to routine duties, to make people love what they are doing.
If they love their job, they will aspire to work on the result, not on assigned hours, as it is now in Germany. In order to make employees love their job, the latter should be portrayed from another side. Moreover, the job should be also enriched with different pretty much creative tasks, so people feel they contribute something, not just fulfill what is necessary. The meaningfulness and the richness of the job is what matters and what can help change approach to work on behalf of German employees. 3. Under which system would you prefer to work?
I would prefer to work under German system, because it provides more freedom for a person and it is not so exhausting. It is not a secret that when a person is extremely tired and is thinking only about how to get more money to feed family, he is not able to contribute much to the overall working process. He resembles a machine that automatically does what is expected. Under such conditions the productivity of performance only decreases. Under German system, a person has more spare time to spend it for himself, to rest, to enjoy life. It means that he becomes more satisfied, has more energy and consequently more zeal to work.
Even in short period (less hours), he can accomplish more than the American employee during longer hours. Under German system, the work doesn’t transform into heavy duty that becomes unbearable load on the shoulders of employees. German system is definitely more motivating and thus more preferable. It is able to provide better productivity and ensure commercial success of companies. Moreover, German system provides social peace and satisfaction, unlike American where working parents simply do not have time to spend on their kids. As the result, the latter use drugs, hang out in suspicious companies of people etc.