Management homework help

In this exam, write an essay in which you respond to the following tasks:

  • Reflect on what you have learned so far. What has surprised you about running a business?
  • Design a business plan for a startup company of your choice.

Start by describing your startup idea: what do you want to do? What industry will you be in? What population are you aiming to serve? Then, describe how you will plan, organize, direct, staff, and control your startup. This does not have to be a formal business plan or proposal, but you must address all elements of management of your startup.
Your paper will be double-spaced, 6-8 pages, and include proper citations and formatting.

Employee Engagement in Tough Times, Part One[8/7/2020 11:28:03 AM]
Employee Engagement in Tough
Times, Part One
The present economy may leave organizations feeling
as if they are being squeezed in a vise. But there is
opportunity amid the economic uncertainty.
Mark Masson
May. 06, 2009
Amid periods of economic uncertainty, engaging and
retaining valued employees is particularly critical if
organizations are to maintain quality in their products
and services and lay a foundation for future growth.
Yet while challenging economic environments make
employee engagement more critical, they also make it
more difficult to achieve. Belt-tightening often results
in organizational retrenching, reduced staffing levels,
increased workloads and constrained compensation
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Employee Engagement in Tough Times, Part One[8/7/2020 11:28:03 AM]
The present economy may leave organizations feeling
as if they are being squeezed in a vise. But there is
opportunity amid the economic uncertainty. Careful
attention to positioning individuals and teams to
succeed will not only allow organizations to weather
the storm, but also to emerge from the downturn in a
stronger competitive position.
All organizations will be changed by the
In the present economy, there will certainly be winners
and losers, as there are in any period. But while some
organizations may fare better than others, outcomes
will be consistent in at least one respect: All
companies can be expected to emerge from the
downturn as changed organizations. In some cases,
the changes may be fundamental, owing to mergers,
acquisitions, restructurings, or shifts in market focus or
positioning. In other cases, the changes may be more
modest. Cost-cutting efforts, layoffs and shifts in
priorities may simply result in new ways of addressing
existing goals and objectives.
Also read: Employee Engagement in Tough Times,
Part Two
However, regardless of the magnitude of the
downturn’s impact on your organization, it’s important
that you recognize that this time will bring changes,
and with them come immediate challenges and
longer-term opportunities. The immediate challenge is
to minimize the disruptive aspects of organizational
transitions on employees and customers. The longer-
Employee Engagement in Tough Times, Part One[8/7/2020 11:28:03 AM]
term opportunity is to ensure that once the downturn
ends, your organization will be not only different but
Disruptive events, such as recessions, cause
organizations to re-examine taken-for-granted ways
of working. In these periods, there is a unique opening
to restructure working relationships in more
productive ways—before managers and employees
once again settle into more stable patterns. And
therein lies the opportunity to leverage a downturn to
create positive changes that can serve your
organization well—now and in the future.
Lessons from the past
In understanding organizational responses to periods
of economic uncertainty, we can draw some lessons
from the 2001-2002 downturn. Near the end of the
recession, Hay Group surveyed executives from
organizations appearing on Fortune’s Most Admired
Companies list and from peer companies, as part of
our ongoing partnership with the magazine. Nearly all
respondents (86 percent) agreed that the economic
environment was more challenging for their
organizations than it was two years prior to the
recession. With respect to motivating employees,
however, respondents in the most admired companies
Employee Engagement in Tough Times, Part One[8/7/2020 11:28:03 AM]
generally reported that their organizations were in a
better position post-recession than pre-recession.
They also reported enhanced levels of employee
loyalty and reduced concern about losing key talent.
For the peer companies, by contrast, the downturn
was perceived to have had a net negative effect in
each of these areas.
The 2001-02 downturn was a transforming event for
the most admired companies and peer companies
alike, involving widespread changes in operations.
While the most admired organizations and their peers
exited the downturn in different places with respect to
employee motivation and commitment, all came away
with an enhanced appreciation for the impact on
business success of employees’ performance and
engagement. Fifty-seven percent of all respondents
viewed the impact as greater or much greater than
two years prior, whereas just 7 percent saw the impact
A perspective from the vice president of human
resources for a Fortune 500 building products
manufacturer highlights the particular importance of
employee performance in a downturn: “When our
business is good,” he noted, “you could put monkeys
in charge and they would still make money.” But when
times are tough, he continued, strong leadership is
essential and individual contributions are easily
distinguished. Put another way by Warren Buffett, you
find out who’s been swimming naked when the tide
goes out.
Employee Engagement in Tough Times, Part One[8/7/2020 11:28:03 AM]
A current view: human resource priorities
In November 2008, Hay Group conducted a global
study to understand how human resource strategies,
programs and priorities are being affected by the
current economy. Nearly 2,700 respondents from 91
countries were asked to describe whether changes
were being made to such areas as pay and benefits,
staffing levels, performance management and training
programs, and what those changes entailed.
Notably, three of the top five workforce concerns
indicated by respondents pertained to the employee
life cycle—attracting and recruiting the right talent,
engaging and motivating employees and retaining key
contributors. Concerns about talent acquisition and
retention may seem misplaced during an economic
downturn, when we are confronted with daily reports
of organizations laying off large numbers of people.
But the study results point to key reasons for
organizations to continue to attend to these issues.
Even amid downsizings, organizations are still hiring
staff to fill critical roles. And many are finding it harder
to do so, as promising candidates are reluctant to
move from their current positions. As one respondent
noted, “Our new-hire offer acceptance rate is low due
to the market situation. The candidates are worried
about future layoffs if they change jobs, as the
practice is commonly based on last in, first out.”
Likewise, faced with constrained compensation
budgets that limit their ability to reward staff, many
organizations are fearful of losing valued employees.
Employee Engagement in Tough Times, Part One[8/7/2020 11:28:03 AM]
Savvy leaders recognize that competitors often see
opportunities to lure away key contributors in
downturns and worry about vulnerabilities in some or
all of their markets.
Employee engagement is critical in a downturn,
but it’s not enough
Maintaining a focus on engagement is especially
critical in difficult times. Engagement refers to the
commitment employees feel toward the organization
(e.g., their willingness to recommend it to friends and
family, their pride in working for it and their intentions
to remain a part of it). But it’s also about employees’
discretionary effort—their willingness to go the extra
mile for the organization. Right now, as organizations
need to do more with less and strive for greater
efficiency, tapping into the discretionary effort of
employees is all the more essential.
Unfortunately, however, our research confirms that
many organizations that have enviably high levels of
employee engagement still struggle with performance
issues. So while engagement is necessary,
engagement alone is not sufficient for achieving
maximum levels of individual and organizational
performance. Leaders must not only engage and
motivate employees but also enable them to channel
their efforts productively and effectively.
In what we call an enabled workforce, employees are
effectively matched to positions, such that their skills
and abilities are put to optimal use. Likewise,
Employee Engagement in Tough Times, Part One[8/7/2020 11:28:03 AM]
employees have the essential resources—information,
technology, tools and equipment, and financial
support—to get the job done. They are able to focus
on their key responsibilities without wasting time
navigating such obstacles as procedural restrictions or
nonessential tasks in the work environment.
Most organizations employ a sizable number of
frustrated workers: individuals who are highly engaged
but lack the tools required to be fully effective and
successful. Frustration is a significant problem for
organizations and employees, especially in a
challenging economic environment. Organizations
trying to squeeze out every drop of productivity can’t
afford to squander the energy of motivated
employees. And employees who are being asked to
work harder and to do more with less understandably
want to work in smart and efficient ways. In the short
term, these motivated but frustrated employees may
suffer in silence. But over time many can be expected
to turn off and disengage, or tune out and leave.
The second part of this article will offer a “path to
performance” for generating business results through
enhanced levels of employee engagement and
Employee Engagement in Tough Times, Part One[8/7/2020 11:28:03 AM]
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