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Fresh Munchables is a mid-sized but steadily growing...

Fresh Munchables is a mid-sized but steadily growing food-processing company founded in 1967. Since its inception, the company has been committed to providing only premium quality health foods. The company is headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, and it is one of the area's largest producers of soups and simple meals. In the past 20 years, the company has also begun processing healthy snacks and beverages. Fresh Munchables has traditionally sold its products through large grocery stores, but it is now venturing into online and restaurant businesses, which is all very new territory for management.

The company is split up into three overarching strategic business units—soups and meals, drinks, and snacks. Additionally, the company is divided into several business units at the operational level, consisting of a mix of business operations, manufacturing (production), research and development, finance, and so on. As the company continues to grow, the executive team and other leaders are constantly looking for ways to improve processes.

Because Fresh Munchables has grown from a very small company into a well-established organization, management has decided to broaden the company's strategic HR functions. The human resources team is currently working to improve recruiting and hiring processes, succession planning, and most importantly, compensation and rewards.

For many years, the company has delegated compensation decisions to managers with little to no training on the subject. This has left the company in a disorganized, confused state when it comes to paying and rewarding employees. These problems have compounded as Fresh Munchables has recently opened up new manufacturing locations with new managers and many new employees.

The chief human resources officer has organized a team of compensation specialists of which you are a part to spearhead total compensation-related problems and help the company to reach its current and future goals. You and your team can achieve this by revising the current total compensation system to reflect the company's current business strategies and goals as well as attract and retain top talent.

The compensation team at Fresh Munchables has begun a review into the company's current compensation system. You have been assigned to conduct short interviews with mid-level and low-level employees to assess what type of compensation would be most attractive to them.



Which other group in the organization should you interview in order to fulfill the purpose of the total compensation system?

·      An outside consultant, because an external contact will provide less biased information

·      More mid-level and low-level employees, because if the employees' needs are not met, they will likely leave the company

·      Top management, because both the employer and employees need to be satisfied in order for the working relationship to continue

·      The finance department, because if the company is successful and profitable, more employees can be hired


As part of Fresh Munchables' new online marketplace venture, you have determined that 15 new jobs will be required to sell Fresh Munchables' products online and have arranged these jobs into three groups for internal alignment purposes: website development and support, processing, and shipping.

What have you created in doing this, and why is it important in the process of determining compensation?

·      You have created a job categorization structure to ensure that different types of employees will be paid equally as long as they contribute the same amount of relative value to the company.

·      You have created a job-value structure to determine the relative value of each job within the company for comparison to similar jobs at competing companies.

·      You have created a job-value structure to help determine what the jobs are, how they are related, and the relative importance of each one.

Communication at Fresh Munchables has traditionally been all over the place. Both misinformation and a lack of information among all levels of employees have created many avoidable problems over the years.

While developing the new compensation system for Fresh Munchables, what kind of communication strategy should the compensation team incorporate, and why?

·      Top-down, because it ensures that employees get the correct information from managers, who are the correct and best source

·      Bottom-up, because it allows management to consider information gathered from employees when making decisions

·      Multifaceted, because it allows for an increase in collaboration between functions and business units

·      Two-directional, because it enables the sharing and receiving of important information between the organization and employees



The shipping division at one of Fresh Munchables' facilities has been struggling with both absenteeism and high regrettable turnover. The facilities manager at this location is not sure what to do.

What steps can HR take to address this concern?

·      Ensure that employees in this division can receive promotions; employees won't stick around unless they have a clear career path.

·      Ensure that wages are at least average or above; wages that are even slightly below average cause absenteeism and turnover.

·      Ensure that employees aren't being poached by other companies; many companies will actively steal talented people, and organizations must be aware of it.

·      Ensure that wages in the unit are just and fair; the perception of justice plays an important role in absenteeism and turnover.

Unlike other healthy food producers in the local market that sell low-quality and cheap products, Fresh Munchables wants to provide premium food products at a high cost. In fact, Fresh Munchables has become known in its community for placing a high priority on always providing great food and superior customer service.

In order to continue to facilitate Fresh Munchables' goals and reputation, what competitive strategy should HR implement?

·      A differentiation strategy, because this approach justifies spending more money to stand out from competitors

·      A niche-focused strategy, because the company is targeting a small group of people in a segmented market

·      A cost leadership strategy, because the company desires to lead the market in providing the best products at a high cost

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