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Overview of HR Strategies

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1. Evaluate how effective Celeritas is as a company. What problems do you see at Celeritas? When the company was founded in 2003, it was effective and competitive in the market. At the beginning, the 3 founders had a clear vision towards Cloud technology, and after the two founders left, the company gained growth and the market changed, while the company was still providing the Cloud technology. So the company, under the leadership of Boyer is not effective at present, because of the following reasons: Lack of leadership skills among the top management: For example, during the VPs’ meeting, one staff commented, “Boyer is not a leader, but the others are just as bad.” This challenge was obvious in the decision making process and the lack of strategy in the company. Boyer’s attempts to fix the organizational wrangles among all the divisions were not reciprocated by the other leaders. No executive had the company’s vision for excellence except Boyer. The leaders did not have a clear path, specific goals nor priorities (no short term objectives), which would steer Celeritas Inc. towards efficiency.

Harper stated that each of the Vice Presidents was required to have his/her own idea on how Celeritas should operate and the direction it should take so as to perform efficiently in the future. However, the leaders’ main challenge was that some of their ideas were conflicting, thus, the leaders ended up working at odds with each other. Additionally, there were communication problems, which led to conflicts among the departments. The team members and employees had no mutual trust among themselves, which affected the coordination of operations. There was also lack of transparency and consistency in decision making which resulted in distrust. For example Boyer had one-on-one meetings with the VP’s, but ended up making decisions on his own. However, if any of the VPs objected, Boyer would reverse the decision, which affected his credibility as a leader. There was no employee professional development and involvement, which led to low motivation and low staff morale. This resulted in a high turnover.

A case in point is when one of the VPs stated, “The turnover comes from the lack of autonomy and professional development opportunities at the VP level. A few of us are never consulted about major decisions that will affect our areas, and we are never involved in strategic planning”. Lack of response to the market and competitor activities: In one case, the company introduced a product that was outdated, although the Marketing Vice President was aware of the discrepancy. The company’s competitors took advantage of the discrepancy and introduced better products. The marketing executives understood the market needs and failed to respond to them; the competitors thus satisfied the market with their up to-date products. Finally, the trap of success syndrome was obvious since the company was stuck with the view that they produced quality products. The lack of sales was not as a result of failures in the sales department, while in fact it was lack in technological innovation and response to market needs.

2. Evaluate how appropriate and effective the team building efforts were?

One of the characteristics of an effective team is the ability to develop a friendly atmosphere for communication. Reese identified that Celeritas Inc.’s executive management team members had difficulties communicating and trusting each other. Reese’s strategy to enhance team work was effective in that, she began by asking the members of the team to voice their challenges when dealing with each other. This was an effective tactic in that it helped each member understand their weaknesses and how they affected the team. In addition, Reese understood that the team members had to talk to each other. Communication ensured that there was a high level of interdependence among the members, which created room for sharing of ideas and positive contribution. One of the challenges that faced Celeritas was that decisions were not made unanimously. Reese, therefore, advised the team members to share their grievances so as to promote mutual trust among each other. Reese identified that the executive management members constantly blamed each other.

To build an effective team, it was appropriate that each member was accountable to the team’s failures. Reese’s strategy was aimed at promoting organizational development. This strategy was effective in that in ensured that all members understood their roles and the team’s goals. This strategy was also appropriate in that team members would appreciate each other’s roles and specialty. A team’s effectiveness is facilitated by members with different specialties working in coordination to ensure that the organization meets its set targets. As noted, when the executive management team members voiced their challenges, most of the members spoke of individuals who did not have a background in management. Reese’s team building efforts were, therefore, appropriate because they were aimed at convincing the members that, it was not about them; rather, it was about each members contributing and the entire company’s performance. Celeritas employed engineers, managers, and sales personnel. The decisions made had to involve all players in the organization. This means that Reese’s strategy to improve the organizational structure was effective. This strategy would facilitate an understanding among all the senior vice presidents.

The understanding would facilitate the team’s capacity to create new ideas and to establish clear goals and targets. Additionally, eliminating team members’ negative attitude towards each other would ensure that all members were willing to develop people skills and take risks that would benefit the company. On the same note, it was important that all members understood that they could not all be leaders. Therefore, they had to elect one team leader and allow him coordinate all sessions and meetings. However, Reese’s team building efforts were inclined at ensuring that each team member understood that they could influence a team’s agenda, which would facilitate cooperation and motivate the vice presidents. The team building efforts were, therefore, effective in that they ensured that all members could identify individual and team weaknesses, and address them effectively without attacking a member’s personality. In addition, the efforts ensured that all members were comfortable with each other and addressed all issues with the sole aim of promoting Celeritas Inc.’s goals and objectives.

3. How would you describe and evaluate the vice presidents meeting? What went wrong? The Vice Presidents meeting was ineffective, they were unable to come to an agreement at the end of every meeting, it was informative because a lot of people shared information they did not know before but it was not effective and they were meaning less to employees for the following reasons: Communicate for buy-in, getting VP’s consulted and involved in the meeting: The CEO should consider collecting the VPs opinions not just information to get them involved in the decision making process and provide them the opportunity to give their view point in the meeting to gain their agreements and supports which will help manage and implement the change. They imposed change to VPs as a way of accelerating ‘agreement’ and implementation. Selling change to people is not a sustainable strategy for success.

When VPs listen to CEO ‘selling’ them a change, they think, “I am being manipulated” this change will benefit the CEO, not me, so actually they won’t cooperate. Before the meetings, the CEO may have the informal one-on-one discussions with the SVPs to explain the strategic planning of change, collect their opinions to gain their agreements and supports. To ensure the SVPs understand and support the change strategy, and then arrange the meeting between the SPVs and VPs to ensure everyone understands, staff survey may be taken into account. The HR may do the survey to collect the opinions from VPs, how they view the upcoming change, which makes the meetings more effective. If the SVPs are empowered to find their own solutions and responses with facilitation, support and tolerance from the CEO and executive team, the meetings will be effective.

The CEO’s inability to communicate with his subordinates also played a major role in the ineffective meetings, the CEO should guide the VPs to understand why the change is necessary and how to make change strategy work. The VPs and SVPs expressed similar concerns, they didn’t trust the strategy of change based on past experiences of failed implementation, so before the meeting. Another problem that made the meeting ineffective was the CEO’s request for a meeting in such a short notice, regardless of the tight schedules of VPs. The CEO also tried to rush the change quickly.

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