HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT 13
Thishuman resource development interview activity analysis andtheoretical discussion focuses on Boeing, the aircrafts manufacturer.The Company is one of the companies that have consistently been namedon the Fortune Magazine as the topmost in terms of performance andrevenue streams. The focus on Boeing is due to the company’scapability to be a seasoned aircrafts manufacturer, defying all theindustry odds that come with stiff competition and the recentlystream of tragedy in the aviation industry. Below is an overview ofthe company that entails the history, scope, size, and the purposefor its formation.
Boeinghas been in the industry for forty years. The company took itsleadership role in the industry through a groundbreaking merger in1997 with McDonnell Douglas(Mocenco, 2015). The two companies broughttogether a rich history of industry experience. They merged aheritage of seventy years in aviation. Together, they started the747 fleet, which has grown to 777. Boeing is currently involved inproducing business jets and planning to develop the 787 fleet andlater 787-8.
Boeinghas two manufacturing units that define its scope of production: thecommercial airplanes unit and the Defense, security, and space unit. The Boeing Capital Corporation is another separate unit that may notbe directly involved in production, but offer fiscal solutionsthrough its rich human resource comprising of financial consultants. The Shared Services Group offers different services to the company.The final unit is the Engineering, Operations, and Technology,responsible for identifying, developing, and protecting theinnovative ideas that have kept Boeing at the top.
Today,Boeing has about 12,000 of its manufactured jetliners in the globalskies. The numberis close to 75 percent of all the jetliners in theworld(Berrill, 2015). Boeing is the market leader in the world, andhas earned a place as one of the giants in aircraft manufacturing. The company also manufactures air defense systems, helicopters, andsatellites over the commercial and military planes that it producesin huge numbers. The corporate head offices are in Chicago with anemployee base of 163,000 workers in the United States and its branchoffices overseas. The number includes a multiplicity of talent thathas been driving innovation over the years. Of the total employee,140,000 are college graduates and an extra 35,000 of these employeesholding advanced college degrees. Boeing recruitment traditionstargets over 2,700 institutions of higher learning all over the worldthat provide technical knowledge to learners.A majority of theemployees serve the company from Washington State. Based on therecent statistics from the Company, 80,000 of its employees arestationed in Washington.
Interviewof Suzanne Charles, professional in chargeof Recruiting and Staffing
Placeof the interview:RiversidePlaza Site 105, Chicago, IL
Timeof the Interview: 10.00am
Contactinformation: 100N Riverside Plaza Site 105, Chicago, IL 60606-1596, Tel: (312) 544-
Overviewof Suzanne Charles
SuzanneCharles has been a human resource development officer at Boeing forover twenty years. Before joining Boeing she had worked for KPG,Solutions consultants, and the McDonnell and Boeing Merger before thetwo companies acquired a single identity. Charles’ work portfolioentails working directly with hiring managers on identifying theneeded skills for prospective employees, Come up with and executestaffing strategies, attend recruitment clinics and events on behalfof Boeing, establish and maintain correspondence with other entitiesof interest, and be part of the interviewing team for potentialrecruits. The spectacular aspect that makes Suzanne Charles theideal HDP for this interview is her exemplary experience in mattersof hiring, which are very critical to the human resource developmentof any organization. Furthermore, Charles also worked as a recruiterin the previous organizations she worked for such as KPG and SolutionConsultants before joining Boeing.
Theinterview with Suzanne Charles was based on, but not limited to thefollowing questions:
Interviewer:Whydid you pick this career path, and are you contented with what youhave achieved so far?
SuzanneCharles: Thankyou for having me. Since my days in college, my passion has alwaysbeen to work directly with people. In this case, I have always wantedto enrich people’s lives by helping them achieve their careergoals. HRD does not just stop at hiring. I have to make sure thatrecruits get the best of their time and the value of their life.
Interviewer:What are the four areas that you feel you have succeeded intransforming human resource development in Boeing?
SuzanneCharles:Ican say there are many areas which I have succeeded not just alonebut by working with other HDP in the company. However, I will pointfour that I feel are the most important. First, I have beensuccessful in establishing a reliable network of hiring managers thatcontinue to be instrumental for company. Secondly, all of thelong-term staffing projections we set every five years since a joinedBoeing have led to tremendous success. Boeing can now boast of ahighly trained human resource through the consortiums I built withtraining institutions across the world. Thirdly, I have drivensuccessfully driven the innovation agenda. It is through theseinnovations that you see Boeing growing every day. The Research andDevelopment Department has been very supportive on our pursuit ofinnovation by making it the key recruitment driver. Finally, I havebeen involved in creating a HRD tradition in the aviation industry. I represent Boeing in all the recruitment events that you can thinkof where we have developed the best ideas that continue to makeaircraft production an innovation driven industry.
Interviewer: Arethere any areas of influence that you feel have the greatest leveragethan your colleagues in other departments?
SuzanneCharles: Ingeneral, no single decision is made without the involvement of theHRD because so single decision can have zero impact on employees. Unless you tell me of any department without a single employee, then,I can comfortably say with influence almost everything.
Interviewer:Thecontemporary aviation market is very competitive. Are there anyobstacles for Human resource development practitioners?
SuzanneCharles: Yes.Many of the challenges have to do with the future. Having acompetitive human resource vitally increases the value of theorganization in the market, but there are challenges as well. Theyinclude the ability to retain skilled staff, creating the capacity tomanage knowledge, the contemporary high rate of labor mobility,crafting the right balance between learning and motivation for staff,and balancing the organization’s value for skills and the changingdemographics.
Interviewer:Whatare the main success factors for strategic planning in human resourcedevelopment?
SuzanneCharles:Definitely. Any organization that can build and leverage on skill,knowledge, experience, competencies, and balance them with anelaborate employee retention strategy can get the best out of its HRDpractices. I say so because the five issues are the driving forcesof all HRD practices.
Findingsfrom the interview
Theinterview was very educative. There is a lot to learn from anexperienced HDP such as Suzanne Charles. Firstly, one’s passionshould guide the career path they choose. Charles has the passion ofdealing directly with people and helping them meet their careergoals. She had to choose a career in human resource development torealize her dream. Secondly, the interview revealed that success inHRD is about working with other professionals inside the departmentand the organization as well as those outside the organization. AsCharles states in the interview, many of the milestones Boeing hasmade over the years in the work of collaborative efforts between herand many other professionals. Thirdly, the interview shows howmanaging staff is a continuous process. One would have thought thatHRD stops after recruiting a skilled employee, but Charles responsesreveal a different case. Organizations do more to ensure that theiremployees are competitive. Furthermore, organizations continuouslyface HRD challenges because the market is unrestrictive to labormobility even after investing so much in an employee. To mitigatethis challenge, the interview with Suzanne Charles indicated that,organizations have to have endless correspondence with recruitmentmanagers. Maintaining such essential contacts requires humandevelopment practitioners with the experience and knowledge similarto Charles. Finally, the interview was a great an opportunity tounderstand some of the drawbacks that human resource managers face. Charles mentioned that even Boeing faces challenges when it comes toemployee retention. She emphasized that while employees need to beretrained and remunerated properly, that has to balance with thestrategic goals of the organization and keep them motivated.
Applyingthe interview findings on one’s career path
One’sambitions to become a human resource practitioner stem from thepassion that Suzanne Charles exhibits. It is evident that one cannotsucceed by working alone in a career that is people-centered. Ittakes working and collaborating with people who have the sameinterest in human resource development. Human resource managementdepends more on experience rather than just educationalqualifications. Looking at Suzanne’s credentials, one learns thatinvesting in experience give one a high chance of landing more careeropportunities. One must also be ready to handle the dynamism ofchallenges in HRD. Charles’ experience shows that the challengeshuman resource practitioners are not static hence, the readiness todeal with them stems from one’s experience. However, throughworkshops and consultations within the industry, solutions areextractable from divergent ideas generated from professionals.
TheConcept of Change
TheTechno-Structural intervention Theory
Thetheory has four key terms that are vital for the discussion:organization, organizational development, intervention, and employees(Watkins, 2015). According to the techno-structural interventiontheory, human resource development is a process that goes on as longthe organization exists. Thus, human resource change initiativescontinue to happen through the leadership of the top management. Techno-structural changes focuses on transforming the general work ofa company through its operational units, spatial organization,employees, the hierarchy of leadership, the methods of communicationsbetween senior and junior employees, and the existing methods ofcontrol. The theory suggests that organization development mustincorporate all the vital aspects of the organizational culture tocreate a vision, empower the human resources, initiateproblem-solving processes, and use the applied behavioral science asthe main tool to make all these aspects compatible. Organizationaldevelopment based on this theory involves applying differenttheoretical frameworks with the sole aim of transformingorganizational structures and processes to maximize the performanceand value of the organization and minimize any negative effectsarising from different processes affecting employees. Thus,interventions in respect to this theory are the programs comprised ofspecific actions designed to cause positive change in a particularprocess in the organization. Specifically, techno-structuralinterventions, are about transforming overall processes in theorganization by dividing them into units, creating a hierarchy ofauthority, aligning equipment and employee to suit various roles andprocesses inside the organization, establishing methods of controland designing workflow configurations that suit all the processes.
Thetechno-structural theory lists four main aspects that constitutestructural interventions: 1) The socio-technical system of theorganization 2) Self-managed teams 3) Work redesign, and 4) Qualityof work life.
Socio-technical system- These are experimental activities that aim to harmonize technology, the structure of the organization, and the social interactions of employees in particular department of production unit. Socio technical systems are important in ensuring that the social and technical aspects of production produce optimal results.
Self-managed teams- This change gives total responsibility to employees managing a particular production unit. The intention of such a change is motive and instills shared leadership through the interaction of a set of skills among employees. The leaders in each production unit, therefore, ensure that members give their best because the group rather than individuals is accountable to the company.
Work redesign-Work redesign aims to create job features create psychological outcomes of “higher internal motivation among workers.” For the organization to achieve this change each job evaluated based on five main features as: skill variety, autonomy of work, feedback, task identity, and task significance. Each role that an employee plays in the organization should have high scores on the five aspects if the organization has to realize high work motivation among staff, improved effectiveness, and job satisfaction.
Quality of work of life (QWL)- QWL is an effort to change different aspects of the organizations structure and put in place mechanisms that make it possible for change to happen over time in a sustainable manner. Features of an effective QWL strategy are:
Allowing employee to voluntarily participate in structural change processes in the organization
Assuring employee that the changes will not lead to termination of their services
Providing training opportunities for problem-solving techniques.
Employing quality circles
Human resource managers need to participate in forecasting and planning exercises
Initiating and executing job rotations
Having as many plant and team engagements as possible
Enhancing employees to develop their skills.
Thetechno-structural intervention theory is sometimes referred to as theOD theory because it emphasizes not only on the technical changes inthe organization, but also the humanistic aspects that guide suchchange(Zabel, Baltes, Finkelstein, Truxillo, Fraccaroli,&Kanfer,2015). The suggestions of the theory are vital in handling theemotions that come with change. Structural changes usually cause asense of uncertainty among employee, but an adherence to the abovefeatures enhances the value of HRD by eliciting internal motivationamong employees. They will regard the change as a necessary step fora better future rather than a deliberate step to have them out ofwork.
Anopening Ice breaker before commencing training
Theintroductory ice breaker that would cheer up the group is to ask theemployees to state four issues about themselves(Cheah, Hazmi, Kiu,Lee, Lee,& Veronica Wong, 2015). One of the four issues isdeliberately false. After stating the issues, the group will have achance to vote on each other’s issues by stating the one they thinkis false. The person that gets the least votes on what is falseamong the four statements gets a small reward as a way of appearingtruthful even when one of the issues if false. This activity willliven up the group to make members ready for the training session tocommence. The initial ice breaker is simple so that all members havean opportunity to take part in the shortest time possible.
Twoexercises for implementation
TheHuman web: The exercise demonstrates to the group how they will worktogether through collaboration with each other. The implementer usesa ball of yarn to carry out the human web exercise. While keepingone end, the instructor passes the yarn ball to a participant. Theparticipant then responds by stating the role they will be playing inthe organization. After doing so, the participant passes the yarnball to another participant while also explaining how they expect torelate and work with next person. The ball of yarn is passed to allparticipants till everybody has introduces themselves. After theintroductions, the instructor pulls the thread cause the movement ofparticipants’ hands. The exercise emphasizes the reality of humaninterdependence.
Theball challenge: The exercise teaches the team about paying attentionto shared goals. The group is arranged in a circle and theinstructor asks each member to cast the ball across the createdcircle. The first team member shouts their name, then shouts thename of the colleague they are throwing the ball to. The processcontinues on a timed basis until individuals start moving closer toeach other so that they succeed. They learn how to work incollaboration rather than individually.
Onegame to conclude the training
WordAssociation: The game is relevant after the training. The game alsotests the trainees’ understanding of issues in the training. Theinstructor asks the group to generate words related to issues underdiscussion. They then write them on the board while arranging themin related clusters. After they have done so the instructor can usethe opportunity to add other terms that relate to the scope oftraining.
Berrill,J. (2015). Are the World`s Largest Firms Regional or Global?.ThunderbirdInternational Business Review,57(2), 87-101.
Cheah,W. L., Hazmi, H., Kiu, L. H., Lee, S. E., Lee, W. N., & VeronicaWong, H. S. (2015). Perceptions on Mentoring Concept and MentoringPractices among Medical Mentors: A Mixed-Methods Study. Educationin Medicine Journal,7(2).
Mocenco,D. (2015). Management strategies in the aerospace industry.Particular case: The Boeing Company. INCASBulletin,7(1), 111.
Watkins,J. A. (2015). Multimethodology:an alternative management paradigm to process quality improvement(Doctoral dissertation).
Zabel,K. L., Baltes, B. B., Finkelstein, L., Truxillo, D., Fraccaroli, F.,&Kanfer, R. (2015).Workplace intervention effectiveness acrossthe lifespan. Facing the Challenges of a Multi-Age Workforce: AUse-Inspired Approach, 209.