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Microsoft: Changing Business

Essay by   •  November 2, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  1,691 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,799 Views

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INTRODUCTION

As you know, Microsoft has been operating under strenuous production conditions. Employees are required to put in very long hours often without monetary benefit. They are also expected to push the envelope in creating new and innovative components. They are stretched to the max and it is necessary for them to be flexible to continue to be creative and meet Microsoft's demands.

I have outlined a number of issues that should be addressed with the goal of changing the way new talent is sought after and hired. In addition to recruitment issues, we should also work at fostering a better relationship with our current employees. It is hoped that improving employee relations and changing the way Microsoft does business will reduce the high employee turnover. It is also hoped that changing the way we recruit new employees we will access a new pool of candidates previously overlooked.

PROBLEMS TO ADDRESS

In order for us to re-invent or fix the issues Microsoft is experiencing, we must know what the problems are that need to be addressed. Microsoft needs to be reinvented in respect to the human resources practices. The testing methods currently used do not focus on an individual's knowledge or experience. Instead, individuals are tested on their "thought process, problem solving abilities and work habits." All of these things are important however focusing on these as opposed to an individual's knowledge and or experience may prove costly over time. Some candidates may not have great problem solving skills yet work well under pressure, have great innovative ideas and know what it would take to see them to fruition. The current hiring practices do not allow Microsoft to benefit from the knowledge, skills and abilities such candidate may have to offer. As it stands, an individual does not really have to know what they are doing to secure a position.

Another problem that should be addressed is the possibility of missing out on great candidates who do not interview well. With hiring practices in mind one must ask, are the best and brightest really being brought into Microsoft? Because of the rigorous interview process, there may be candidates that are "just clearing the bar" during their interview process. Because they are "barely cutting it," they are not hired. It is quite possible that some of these candidates just do not interview well thereby causing their interview results to be low.

There is a great need to improve employee relations between employer and employee. Employees are overworked in part because of low hiring numbers. When standards are set that are too high, there comes a time when a great number will fall short. The incentives that are currently in place are not effective. We know they are not effective because they are not encouraging great employees to stay. They do not move employees to increase productivity or develop spectacular and innovative programs. Additionally, the incentives currently in place do not entice new and talented programmers to want to join Microsoft and help Microsoft grow into the next phase.

The combination of low pay scales, strict hiring practices and overworked employees cause a high turnover rate amongst employees as you know. The continuations of high turnover rate combined with a difficulty of finding "talented," qualified employees may in time force a hiring freeze at Microsoft. This hiring freeze will be caused by a lack of "quality" candidates and an inability to entice young creative qualified candidates.

RECOMMENDATIONS

As an incentive for employees we already employ, I would suggest we offer bonuses. These bonuses would increase job satisfaction for some. Ivancevich wrote, "For employees to be productive, they must feet that the job is right for their abilities and that they are being treated equitably" (Ivancevich, pg 11). The amount of these bonuses should be based on a number of things some of which are listed below:

* Seniority

* Difficulty of development and implementation

* Recruitment of new employees with the skills and ability Microsoft is looking for

I would suggest a buddy system be implemented between new and old employees. This would be beneficial in smoothing the way for newer employees. Additionally, employees would have a "sounding board" so to speak. Joan Wyly understood the benefit of developing a buddy system at Connors Communication. Ms. Wyly notes, "There are times you want to vent and understand more about your work environment, and you might not get that from someone within your group," Wyly says. "Having someone outside of those teams who you can catch up with, vent to, and bounce ideas off of is a great help" (Winning Workplaces, 2002).

With the growing need to get away from the computer and a desire to utilize other methods of communication (i.e....text messaging, telephone based web browsers, etc...), it would be useful to create a division that would focus on establishing software programs that can be used on a number of operating systems.

Another option towards the goal of re-inventing Microsoft is to utilize a scale when considering new "talent." Instituting a scale process would alleviate some of the rigidity currently used in hiring practices.

As a means of preventing burn out and reducing the high turnover rate, I recommend a mandatory work hour cap. In addition, employees should be required to rate themselves and the work they produce. Evaluating ones physical needs is necessary to ensure an employee's ability to continue to perform his or her duties. Along with evaluating ones physical self, encouraging employees to honestly look at the work they produce may encourage them to improve on their won when the need arises. The ability to evaluate oneself may help in quashing any doubts an employee may have about their jobs and ensure they are reaching their fullest potential. This should serve to be a "work motivator" and relates to Maslow's Hierarchy of need for self-actualization. Maslow's Hierarchy states, "people who have become self-actualized are self-fulfilled and have realized all their potential" (Luthans, pg 241).

IMPLEMENTATION

In order for the changes suggested previously to work, it must be decided what the best method of implementation will be. My suggestions for implementation

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