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EAP Advanced Case Study Modes: Study on Apex Car Rentals Assessment Answer

Name of Course: EAP Advanced 

Name of Task: Case Study Modes to be assessed: Writing, Reading research, presentation
Task Description: -

 You are to develop a case study by reading research an'd analysing a problem-situation. You will be given specific reading support to be able to understand the scope of the topic. You are then to write up a case study analysis following the format described below. 

Notes on the Case Study Method: 

• During university studies the use of case studies is a widely accepted means of bringing theoretical concepts and practical situations together. It is not possible to take a class into an organization and observe the subject matter of management or organizational behaviour in real life - hence a written case study outlining a real, or realistic, situation is the best available alternative 

THE CASE STUDY PROBLEM:  

A local car rental company, 'Apex Car Rentals', has recently suffered from poor reviews about its service in the local newspaper. A number of staff have left recently and the owners are struggling to recruit new workers. The level of absenteeism among the remaining employees has also increased over the last six months. The owner of the business has asked you to develop a Motivational Program for him to implement. Your work should include a definition of motivation and the expected benefits of having a motivated workforce, as well as your recommended program of activities and techniques.
On interviewing the workers at Apex, by Ms. Denise Myerson from Management Consultancy International, (MCI) she found several issues that the employees discussed when asked about their current job.
The issues included: - There was not a lot o raining provided and at times staff was told to simply work along with a more experienced car hire officer and they would get to understand the role. Staff felt that further training could have helped save them time just learning on the job. - Staff also felt they didn't get enough feedback about how they were performing at their work, and not understanding whether a particular task is important. - Staff especially if they felt that they tried to improve their own customer service performance there was no recognition of their good work. - Some staff who were there for some time, felt that there weren't any proper consequences for poor performance by other staff who made mistakes.
- Some of the staff said they found that other staff felt that mans ement didn't underst their problems; and when they meet up outside the job they a make negative comments about the lack of teamwork. Ms Myerson suggests that the negative feelings only further disengage new staff who have just joined the firm. This has led to staff turnover being high.

GUIDELINES 

First of all, the assignment should show that you have used the case study method throughout. In the case study approach, a scenario is analysed to identify the major problems that exist. The main section is the Problem Identification section where you apply the ability to succinctly identify problems, a relevant theory which explains the problem, and case evidence which illustrates the problems. You should also look for a range of possible solutions for each problem, which should be thoroughly evaluated, with at least two to three advantages and disadvantages being given for each. Finally, you need to offer clear recommendation (or two or three) which is justified using the theory, and an Implementation section presented in concise, practical steps.

PRESENTATION OF WRITTEN MATERIAL

FORMAT: 

1. Title Page [with student name and ID]

2. Table of Contents

3. Executive Summary: 

This section should comprise a brief overview of the case, giving a brief background and noting any important assumptions made. (You will not have all the information you would like - so you may need to make some assumptions). As well as this, you should give a synopsis of your case report, noting very briefly the major problems identified and the recommended solutions. Half a page to one page is enough. 

4. Problem Identification and Analysis: 

In this section you should identify all the major problems in the case. Try to get to underlying causes of problems, not just symptoms. You should link each 14174 problem identified to relevant theory and also to actual evidence from the case. Remember you MUST integrate theory and refererce all non-original work.  

5. Generation  and Evaluation of Alternative Solutions: 

While mostproblems will have a very large number of possible solutions it is your task to identify and evaluate a number of the more appropriate (at least 2-3 for each major problem identified). Each alternative solution should be briefly outlined and then evaluated in terms of its advantages and disadvantages (strong and weak points). Note: You must evaluate alternatives. It is not necessary to make a statement in this section as to which alternative is considered best - this is the next section. Do not integrate theory in this section and do not recommend theory. Practical solutions to the problems are required.

6.Recommendation This section should state which of the alternative solutions (either singly or in combination) identified in section six is recommended for implementation. You should briefly justify your choice, explaining how it will solve the major problems identified in section six. Integration of relevant theory is appropriate here.

8. Implementation In this section you should specifically explain how you will implement the recommended solutions. Theory cannot be implemented; you must translate it into actions. What should be done, by whom, when, in what sequence, what will it cost (rough estimates only) and other such issues. Remember if a recommended solution cannot be realistically implemented then it is no solution at all. 

9. Bibliography/References 

This will contain an alphabetical list of all the references you have cited in the body of the report. Do not include details of any sources you have not cited. Ensure the style used is correct and consistent.

Answer

A Case Study on Apex Car Rentals


Executive Summary:

Employee motivation along with a highly motivated workforce is the key to achieve success in a modern, dynamic business environment. Driven by poor customer services, Apex Car Rentals has recently received poor reviews in the local newspaper, indicating the lack of employee motivation and empowerment activities in the workplace. Based on the assessment, poor HR management policies and high staff turnover are reported to be the major problems affecting the position of the organisation among others. It is evaluated that implementation of an effective employee training program along with a dedicated talent recognition scheme among other various alternatives can essentially solve the problem faced by the business. The senior management, however, needs to provide special attention on implementation of these proposed ideas for gaining desired benefits contributing to overcoming the issues.

Problem Identification and Analysis:

Apex Car Rentals, a local car rental company, has been recently suffering from poor reviews regarding its existing services due to ineffective staff management policies in place causing a highly disoriented workforce alongside escalating rate of staff turnover.  

Problem 1: Ineffective Staff Management Policies

Based on the interviews conducted by Management Consultancy International (MCI), the first problem can be identified as the ineffective staff management policies, which has been the underlying reason for lack of performance among employees in the workplace. Ineffective execution of HR policies and processes alongside poor management practices can drastically affect staff retention objective of an organisation while hampering its business performance to create barriers in achieving bottom-line gains. The problem can hinder deficiency needs of individuals, as proposed by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Fitzgerald 2016). These needs arise due to deprivation, motivating individuals to satisfy those. The continuous deficiency in the management policies and approaches of Apex Car Rentals is the principal reason to create barriers in fulfilling deficiency needs of individuals, thereby creating demotivation in the work environment. As organisations strive to stay ahead of the curves as part of the dynamic business environment, which is continuously disrupted by new and innovative technologies, employees in the modern workplace are increasingly required exhibiting efficient performance to raise departmental efficiency (Witter et al. 2016). The collected interview results, suggesting lack of training, inadequate feedback, absence of recognition and proper consequences for poor performance are some of the useful indicators of ineffective HR management policies in the organisation.

Problem 2: High Rate of Staff Turnover 

The second major problem, which can be observed facing Apex Car Rentals is the high rate of staff turnover, which has not only created barriers to robust delivery of customer services but also led to higher operational costs for the business. The particular issue of staff turnover costs the organisation its precious time and money, thereby leading to loss of staff morale, which is substantially affiliated with their performance towards a particular task. The problem tends to affect growth needs of individuals, as specified in the Hierarchy of Needs of Maslow (Shumaker 2018). Growth needs principally involves self-actualisation, where an individual seeks to grow further in terms of their skills and capabilities. Lack of feedback, supervisor support and suggests from senior managers in Apex Car Rentals are preventing its staff to improve their roles in the organisation, thereby hindering the realisation of growth needs. Such a scenario greatly causes tarnished reputation, with people assuming that the organisation is a terrible place to work (Abou Hashish 2017). The management’s inability to understand staff problems, negative comments about the lack of teamwork, negative feelings and disengagement in the work environment are some of the reported incidents in Apex Car Rentals, leading to high staff turnover.

Generation and Evaluation of Alternative Solutions:

Following solutions can be considered for each of the identified problem:

Problem 1

Solution 1: Effective Training program

In order to address the first problem, i.e. poor HR management policies and practices, it is clear that existing processes and procedures do not provide significant attention to employee training and motivation. Therefore, the first alternative to solve to such a problem is the need for devising an effective training program that ideally addresses the employee concerns and their ability to match requirements of particular job roles. Concerning the scenario, on-demand and on-the-job training may have effective implications to the particular problems encountered by the firm.

Advantages

Advantages of employee training greatly include:

  • Increased performance productivity
  • …Employee satisfaction  
  • Enhanced ability to tackle shortcomings, thereby improving staff morale. 

Disadvantages

  • Increased investments in time and money 
  • The need for Increased engagement from incumbents to control different aspects as per requirements


Solution 2: Creating a Suitable Reward System

The second alternative is essentially based on creating and establishing a suitable reward system that addresses the motivational needs of employees. The focus is to target the psychological needs of employees and provide them with clear purpose to meet the goals.  Monthly incentive schemes, as well as health and wellness packages for employees are a couple of notable reward systems that can be used by the firm.

Advantages

  • Clearly define performance goals
  • Promote healthy competition within the workforce, thereby increasing the rate of employee retention

Disadvantages

  • Result in resentment among employees while being exposed to manipulation of different metrics to gauge performance
  • Dissatisfaction with performance metrics


Problem 2

Concerning the second problem, which is related to high staff turnover, it can be solved essentially using the following two approaches amongst a wide range of available solutions.

Solution 1: Establishing a Recognition Program

Establishing a recognition program and prioritising on career development opportunities attract greater attention. Suitability of employee recognition program allows employees to feel appreciated for their hard works while promoting a robust and happier work environment that improves productivity levels.   Milestone programs and peer recognitions are two of the relevant employee recognition approaches that can be used by this firm.

Advantages

  • Satisfaction, motivation and high morale of employees
  • Directed to goals in lieu of rewards and recognition
  • Meets Esteem needs of employees

Disadvantages

  • Significant cost burden for employees 
  • Creating an environment of favouritism to promote unfair practices.


Solution 2:  Career Development 

In case of career development, it greatly contributes to the increase in staff retention by creating career-oriented opportunities, self-development, personal growth, job promotions and job satisfaction. Such development help employees to assess explore and prepare for their interim career. They can easily manage their time and acquire new skills to improve their performance and productivity as a whole. 

Advantages

  • Self-development and enhancement of skills
  • Strengthening succession pipeline
  • Boost engagement and productivity

Disadvantages

  • Lack of objectivity and awareness
  • Difficult to measure success under the plan

Recommendation

Amongst the alternative approaches necessary to solve identified problems encountered by Apex Car Rentals, the need for implementing an effective training program together with an appropriate employee recognition scheme is pivotal for the organisation to increase performance productivity and achieve growth in the existing marketplace. 

The implementation of a relevant training program will not only contribute to increased productivity, knowledge and skills of employees but also remove confusions in performing specific tasks and enable application of uniform procedures to boost morale (Terrón-López et al. 2017). Properly used training procedures lead towards minimal supervision while allowing employees to develop new innovative skills alongside gaining superior knowledge about latest technologies to perform job roles more efficiently. A suitable recognition scheme, on the other hand, not only helps to create a happier employee base to improve productivity but also align workers to the overall business goals and mission statement to achieve excellence (Bradler et al. 2016). Both of these aspects must be provided with greater attention by the management to enable effective implementation.

Implementation

Training:

In order to implement the proposed training program, following criteria should be considered:

  • First, the departmental managers at Apex Car Rentals must ignite their efforts to establish the program goals first.
  • They must choose the right candidates for the session and creating highly personalised and engaging employee learning experiences (Larsen 2017).
  • On-demand training must be provided to staff on a Just-In-Time (JIT) basis.
  • Outcomes of training sessions should be tracked to enable improvement.
  • In order to improve customer service and increase current rating, Apex Car Rentals, on an average, must spend more than $1,000 per employee on training and development.

Employee Recognition:

In case of implementing the required employee recognition scheme, following criteria must be addressed:

  • Senior managers or supervisors must collaborate their effort to provide responses timely and frequently to work done by staff in different areas of job roles.
  • Responses must be specific and transparent to avoid any subjectivity.
  • The ongoing program must be designed to show appreciation by the organisation for employees for their variety of achievements.
  • Based on the rough estimates, milestones (years of service) programs will typically cost the organisation to spend an average of $45 per employee annually.
  • In case of programs like Peer Recognition, Manager Spot Awards and Living the Values would cost in a range between $15 and $65 per employee annually.
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