Blog: Ashlyn Lyda

In this week’s learning material, I was able to get a better understanding of the importance of job analysis and job descriptions. The lecture documents state that a proper job description obtains information such as job identification, job summary, task statements, and working conditions. These are all important elements as they explain exactly what the position being listed is and what the company is looking for. Organizations must stay up to date with changes in the role, company, and market trends. The article, “Job Worth Doing” elaborates on this point by stating, “You aren’t operating your business as efficiently as possible if you don’t keep job descriptions current. Job descriptions help with workforce planning. You can see how talent flows through the organization and holistically how it all fits together.” (Tyler, 2013). One of the biggest challenges with job descriptions is ensuring that they are relevant and straightforward. In my experience, while working in the hospitality industry, I observed instances where newer employees faced confusion regarding their duties due to a lack of explanation and guidance. This caused inefficiency and the biggest reason this occurred circled back to the fact that there was unclear instruction from the beginning, which caused confusion on their role and what was expected. The best way to overcome these challenges is for companies to prioritize updating their job descriptions and ensuring that their employees (both new and experienced) are constantly up to date with any changes that are happening or plan to happen in the future. This can be done by implementing regular meetings and training to make sure employees are informed about their roles which will help them meet the goals of the company. While transparency and communication with new and current employees is essential to avoid any of these implications, keeping up to date electronically with job descriptions is also key especially when a company is looking for new hires. All around, organizations must stay flexible and adaptable to ensure employees are fully aware of their roles and responsibilities to avoid any complications that could arise with job descriptions.

Tyler, K. (2023, December 21). Job worth doing: Update descriptions. Welcome to SHRM. 

Throughout all of my interview experiences, the effective ones resulted in a set of questions that seemed well planned out ahead of time and had structure. In effective interviews, the goal should be to create an environment where the person feels comfortable which will increase the effectiveness of the conversation and make it more natural. I always had a good experience when multiple people interviewed me because it created a more in-depth evaluation that was beneficial for all of us. Effective interviews should incorporate asking questions about the candidates past experiences and “what would you do in this scenario” questions related to the organization/position because it will help predict how they will act in a similar situation. Through my interview experience over the years, I also have experienced some that felt unnatural, unstructured, and unorganized. It felt like there was no motive to what they were asking me which led to confusion. The article, “How to Take the Bias Out of Interviews” gives additional information and insight on how to avoid situations like this and states, “Companies should rely on a structured interview that standardizes the process among candidates, eliminating much subjectivity. These interviews pose the same set of questions in the same order to all candidates, allowing clearer comparisons between them” (Bohnet,2016). Another way to improve the effectiveness of an interview that I would tell past employers is to make sure the interview process is consistent, valid, and efficient in choosing the best applicants for the position by regularly assessing its efficacy. Implementing these tactics will help with a smoother interview process for both the employer and the candidate.

Bohnet, I. (2016, July 18). How to take the bias out of interviews. Harvard Business Review. 

As I learned more about the overall idea of training effectiveness through the materials this week, I was able to discover many factors that make a training program effective from previous experiences. Currently, I am in the process of a job training program for my summer internship this upcoming summer. I will be working at a winery, and my boss wants me to develop a brief understanding of all of the terminology before I start so she sent me a structured course outline training to complete each week up until my start date. Once I get the terminology and basic knowledge under my belt, I will go up to the winery in a couple of weeks to watch and learn how everything is done in person. Through my experience, I have found that I learn the best from job training when I have both a structured reading training guide in addition to hands-on experience. I was not surprised to learn that many other individuals think the same way. This thought was also backed up by the article, “The Making of UPS Driver” when it states, “What Atkinson’s team uncovered in focus groups with Gen Y employees was surprising in its simplicity. To a person, they said give me hands-on. They liked the interaction with the computer, but they didn’t like learning from it necessarily” (Hira, 2007). Ultimately, many people prefer hands-on training as it helps them gain a better understanding of what needs to be done and what is expected of them, which is why I am happy I get that opportunity before I start my internship. On the other hand, I have had job trainings that were not the most effective and I think this was because of the ineffective onboarding process. My first job was at Jamba Juice. I remember how overwhelmed and unprepared I was when I first started and this was due to the ineffective onboarding. The lecture notes, state that an effective onboarding process should make new employees feel welcomed and part of the team and provide them with basic information needed to function effectively (Effective Onboarding). This was not the case at Jamba Juice as I felt as if I had little to no training and was just sent into the scene without feeling confident or comfortable in what was expected of me. In the end, I believe that effective onboarding, communication, hands-on training, and structured job descriptions/outlines of the position are the crucial elements that influence the success of training. 

Hira, N. A. (n.d.). The making of a UPS driver (p. 2). CNNMoney. 

Compensation is a significant and motivating factor for many employees when it comes to accepting a new position or staying in their current one. Reflecting on my personal experiences I have had with jobs, I can relate to being motivated to stay due to compensation.As a college student, it can be hard to balance academics while maintaining a job. I got my first “college job” at the beginning of this academic year and at first, was struggling to juggle all of my responsibilities. It came to the point where I thought I was going to have to quit my job so that my academic performance would no longer be affected.  However, before making my final decision I decided to talk to my boss about my current situation. My boss was extremely understanding of my situation and offered me a valuable solution that immediately changed my perspective on the situation and my decision. Not only did he offer me more flexibility within my schedule, but he also informed me that my monthly compensation was going to be going up as well due to the hard work and dedication I had been giving to our company.Although the raise was exciting and I was very thankful, the ultimate reason that I had decided to stay (in addition to flexible hours) was that I felt valued within the company which motivated me to want to stay, and that my hard work did not go unnoticed. However, it also showed how compensation can be a make or break for many employees. The article, “Most People Have No Idea Whether They’re Paid Fairly” further touches on this matter when it states, “Pay is a crucial component of engagement because it’s not just a number; it’s an emotional measure reflecting how valued an employee feels by their employer. And it turns out, how people feel about their deal plays a huge role in how engaged they are in their work” (Smith, 2024). In conclusion, I think that compensation, good management, clear communication, and a positive work environment are all valuable factors that contribute to motivating employees.  At the end of the day, being personally and financially rewarded can ultimately be the reason employees stay or leave a company.

Source:Smith, D. (2024, March 28). Most people have no idea whether they’re paid fairly. Harvard Business Review.

After taking the three different tests, I was able to learn a lot more about myself regarding stressors, triggers, and the different types of coping mechanisms I can incorporate into my life to help manage them. There are many steps and strategies one can take to help improve stress. What helps me the most is staying active and doing daily physical activity, eating clean foods, and finding time for myself to rewind. It is also important to find time for those you love and be able to balance out your social, work, and school life. I find that spending time alone and time with my close friends and family helps me relax and deal with any stressors. Stress in the workplace can affect your performance and overall well-being so individuals and companies must work together to help each other. An article I found stated that “Stress is a normal part of life, but companies can make a difference for their employees by focusing on lowering the stress people feel because of their work and workplace. Organizations that focus on boosting engagement play a significant role in helping employees manage stress, build resilience, and improve their overall wellbeing” (Frumar 2023). Overall I think that managers play a significant role in this which is why it should be their top priority to foster a positive work environment that prioritizes employees and their wellbeing. Encouraging open and clear communication and welcoming employees to talk whenever they are feeling overwhelmed go hand and hand with this as well. To conclude, stress is a factor that almost everyone deals with at some point. It is important that individuals recognize when they are stressed and seek help so that they can manage their symptoms and find what works best for them.  Organizations doing things such as implementing policies and programs that support employee well-being and providing positive support can also support their employee’s health and help with their success inside and outside of the office.

Frumar, M.-L. A. and C. (2023, December 11). Help your employees cope with stress.

After doing some additional research on labor unions concerning employees, employers, and society, I was able to conduct a list of the pros and cons. To begin, the pros to labor unions are that there will ultimately be higher wages for union workers. Compared to non-union workers, they typically earn more money and receive benefits such as health insurance and pensions. Another pro of unions is that their purpose is to help protect their members and are always aiming to improve working conditions. Cons of labor unions consist of limited flexibility for employees, membership fees, and higher labor costs. An article written by Ivestopedia goes into further detail on what critics have said about unions and states that they believe,  “Union contracts are anti-employer and make it more difficult for a company to fire an unproductive employee. They also believe that unions can increase long-term costs for employers, which can decrease competitiveness” (Connet, 2023). I do not know anyone who is a member of a union but I think that I would be interested in hearing more about their experience being a member and providing their input on these pros and cons. It would be fascinating to learn more about what they feel is effective with unions as well as any frustrations they have experienced while being a member of a union. One thing that I have learned is that even though unions are supposed to protect workers, additional research I have done expresses concerns such as potential strikes. Personally, I do not think that joining a union is for me. This is mainly due to factors such as losing my power especially when it comes to wages as well as the fear of potential strikes (I would just rather choose to work in a stable environment.) A factor that would make me consider joining a union would be if I felt as if my personal beliefs were not being represented in my current line of work and wanted to join a community with individuals who have similar and shared values. Overall, many factors go into unions that are both positive and negative. In the end, it all comes down to personal preferences and beliefs and it is important to research to decide if they align with your personal and professional goals. 

Connett, W. (2023, February 26). Are labor unions effective?. Investopedia.,companies%20to%20fire%20unproductive%20employees.

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