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ObjectivesThe learning objective of the project is to give you the practical experience of designing a compensation structure for an organization, beginning with the actual creation of a business, staffing it, implementing the pay plan, and assessing performance. You will also gain experience in utilizing a project team.Relationship to Case Study MaterialsSome of the tools and approaches found in the Recovered Hardwood Products and Services Case Study used in this course will be of particular assistance to you in your team projects. See the examples in the lectures in Week 3 and Week 4. If you work on both the Case Study and the team project in a parallel fashion, it will be easier to complete your deliverables on time.Getting StartedYou need to get started on this project as soon as possible, because it is quite a bit of work to complete in a short amount of time, and it will be imperative that you keep up. Do not wait until we have covered all of the material to get started. At a minimum, begin to familiarize yourselves with the online resources (O*NET and salary.com) as soon as possible to begin the job description processes. Good luck!Project PhasesThe project is designed in four phases.Phase I: Develop a theme for the organizationPhase II: Write job descriptions and establish a point factor evaluation systemPhase III: Market data and merit programPhase IV: Benefits and the compensation budgetPhase I: Develop a theme for the organizationungraded, but required draft (due Week 2)In this phase, you will establish a business.What is the business (technical, professional, service, etc.)? Create your business, and give it a name.Start developing a description of the organization (goals, strategy, culture, values, location, environment, and product or service).Establish a staffing plan. Determine the positions needed. There is to be a minimum of 35 employees in the organization.Think about the total compensation needs.Develop an HR mission statement and objectives. This should express the company’s attitude toward hiring and retaining employees.Phase II: Write job descriptions and establish a point factor evaluation systemungraded, but required draft (begin in Week 3 and due in Week 4)In this phase, you will write job descriptions, create an organizational chart, and rank the jobs.Create a minimum of six benchmark job descriptions and six additional nonbenchmark job descriptions to serve as your internal jobs hierarchy. (See the note below regarding software to assist with this process.)For each job description, you will want a standardized template.Each job description should contain the following.Scope of the positionIdentify the job dutiesDefine the qualifications (education requirements, experience, skills, and other criteria).Define the ADA requirements. Each job description should have ADA requirements defined per position. This should include the physical, mental, and environmental conditions per position.Show placement of staff or departments in the organization chart.Create a basic point method system. Identify what compensable factors will make up your evaluation criteria and their weights. Rank these jobs within the organization. Explain the methodology for your team project.
Note: The website of the national occupational information
network or O*NET www.onetcenter.org (Links to an external site.)Links to an
external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. contains
an excellent job description writer as well as all current U.S. job
descriptions that can be used for both research in this phase as well as models
for your submissions.Phase III: Market Data and Merit Programungraded, but required draft (begin in Week 5 and due Week 6)In this phase, you will collect market data.Market DataWhat is the competition?What are the local demographics for the immediate area?What is the job market like for the kinds of skills you will need? How hard or easy will it be to recruit and retain employees?Find market data on your positions online to assist you in determining a pay grade structure. (see note below)Establish a pay grade structure and pay grades for each position.Set up pay grades with a minimum, midpoint, and maximum.Explain how you set up your pay grades.Assign pay grades to each position.Performance EvaluationsDescribe your performance evaluation.Determine which type of performance evaluation you will use for each category of employees.Design and include the performance appraisal forms that will support your system.Develop a merit pay grid that supports your performance appraisal process. Explain the linkage from your performance appraisal to your merit system.Note: The website salary.com www.salary.com (Links to an
external site.)Links to an external site. offers a media wage for the geographic
area you have designated. These median wages can serve as alternatives to
actual survey data.Phase IV: Benefits and the compensation budgetpart of the final document (due in Week 7)In this phase, you will focus on benefits and the compensation budget.What benefits will be offered with the company plan?Develop a budget and projection for total compensation for five years. Project the costs for each program included in your plan for all phases in the project.Consider your percentage of sales for the organization in year one through year five. You are not required to project the company sales volume. Will the company be able to maintain the sales increases to support your proposed pay increases annually?TimelineThere is a definite timeline for when phases of the team paper are submitted.DeadlinePhase of ProjectDescription of itemWeek 2Phase IPhase I is submitted by posting a draft document in your team discussion area at the end of Week 2. One document is submitted for the entire team.Week 4Phase IIPhase II is posting a draft document in your team Discussion area at the end of Week 4.Week 6Phase IIIPhase III is also posting a draft document in your team Discussion area at the end of Week 6.Week 7Phase IVPhase IV is the final version of the team paper.All four phases should be organized and forwarded to the instructor by the team leader in one MS Word document by the end of Week 7.Your instructor will provide feedback on your draft work at the end of Phases I, II, and III. This will help you stay on track for the final project. Feedback will not be provided on your Phase IV draft.Your team will get the feedback on the draft submissions of Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III, usually within 48 hours from the instructor. The main purpose of the draft submissions is so that the instructor can see that you are keeping on track with the project. The feedback, which will be brief, should help you stay on track for the final project. These three submissions are considered rough draft documents that are evolving and may be revised.TeamsYour instructor will be assigning you to a team by Thursday of Week 1 and will be posting or e-mailing that information to you. You will be able to see your group thread set up in the Teams area in Week 8. By setting up your Discussion area in a separate location apart from the rest of the course, I can allow you access for the duration of the term, which makes it a lot easier to check back on directions and so forth. You will be able to talk to your teammates in this thread, and others will not be able to see your discussions (except me).During the first week, after you have been assigned to a team, you will select a team leader and e-mail that person’s name to the instructor. This individual will take a particular interest in making sure that everyone gets an assignment and that all information is gathered and shared with the group on an ongoing basis.In addition, the team leader will submit a Word document to the instructor by posting it as an attachment to a message in the team thread with a subject line that identifies the team and phase, such as “Team A Submission of Phase I” or “Team B Submission of Phase III.” These will be posted at the end of Week 2, Week 4, and Week 6, respectively, for the various phases so that the instructor can see that you are keeping on track with the project.All team members are expected to fully participate in their team (such as regularly posting and communicating, setting expectations, communicating with the quality and quantity necessary, clarifying, sharing drafts, challenging other members’ thinking, reflecting on group processes, and making or supporting decisions), contribute substantially (such as researching, drafting findings, writing sections of project, reviewing others’ work, refining written work, taking the lead, proofing papers, and posting and submitting final work), and all members are responsible for clarifying expectations and regularly communicating with each other. Please make sure that you complete your drafts early enough in the process and allow sufficient time to revise and proof your papers. Remember that when you accept responsibility to lead an effort or a produce part of the project, the expectation is that you will fulfill that responsibility.The learning objective of the project is to give you the practical experience of designing a compensation structure for an organization, beginning with the actual creation of a business, staffing it, implementing the pay plan, and assessing performance. You will also gain experience in utilizing a project team.Some of the tools and approaches found in the Recovered Hardwood Products and Services Case Study used in this course will be of particular assistance to you in your team projects. See the examples in the lectures in Week 3 and Week 4. If you work on both the Case Study and the team project in a parallel fashion, it will be easier to complete your deliverables on time.You need to get started on this project as soon as possible, because it is quite a bit of work to complete in a short amount of time, and it will be imperative that you keep up. Do not wait until we have covered all of the material to get started. At a minimum, begin to familiarize yourselves with the online resources (O*NET and salary.com) as soon as possible to begin the job description processes. Good luck!The project is designed in four phases.In this phase, you will establish a business.In this phase, you will write job descriptions, create an organizational chart, and rank the jobs.Each job description should contain the following.
Note: The website of the national occupational information
network or O*NET www.onetcenter.org (Links to an external site.)Links to an
external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. contains
an excellent job description writer as well as all current U.S. job
descriptions that can be used for both research in this phase as well as models
for your submissions.In this phase, you will collect market data.In this phase, you will focus on benefits and the compensation budget.There is a definite timeline for when phases of the team paper are submitted.DeadlinePhase of ProjectDescription of itemWeek 2Phase IPhase I is submitted by posting a draft document in your team discussion area at the end of Week 2. One document is submitted for the entire team.Week 4Phase IIPhase II is posting a draft document in your team Discussion area at the end of Week 4.Week 6Phase IIIPhase III is also posting a draft document in your team Discussion area at the end of Week 6.Week 7Phase IVPhase IV is the final version of the team paper.All four phases should be organized and forwarded to the instructor by the team leader in one MS Word document by the end of Week 7.Your instructor will provide feedback on your draft work at the end of Phases I, II, and III. This will help you stay on track for the final project. Feedback will not be provided on your Phase IV draft.Your team will get the feedback on the draft submissions of Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III, usually within 48 hours from the instructor. The main purpose of the draft submissions is so that the instructor can see that you are keeping on track with the project. The feedback, which will be brief, should help you stay on track for the final project. These three submissions are considered rough draft documents that are evolving and may be revised.Your instructor will be assigning you to a team by Thursday of Week 1 and will be posting or e-mailing that information to you. You will be able to see your group thread set up in the Teams area in Week 8. By setting up your Discussion area in a separate location apart from the rest of the course, I can allow you access for the duration of the term, which makes it a lot easier to check back on directions and so forth. You will be able to talk to your teammates in this thread, and others will not be able to see your discussions (except me).During the first week, after you have been assigned to a team, you will select a team leader and e-mail that person’s name to the instructor. This individual will take a particular interest in making sure that everyone gets an assignment and that all information is gathered and shared with the group on an ongoing basis.In addition, the team leader will submit a Word document to the instructor by posting it as an attachment to a message in the team thread with a subject line that identifies the team and phase, such as “Team A Submission of Phase I” or “Team B Submission of Phase III.” These will be posted at the end of Week 2, Week 4, and Week 6, respectively, for the various phases so that the instructor can see that you are keeping on track with the project.All team members are expected to fully participate in their team (such as regularly posting and communicating, setting expectations, communicating with the quality and quantity necessary, clarifying, sharing drafts, challenging other members’ thinking, reflecting on group processes, and making or supporting decisions), contribute substantially (such as researching, drafting findings, writing sections of project, reviewing others’ work, refining written work, taking the lead, proofing papers, and posting and submitting final work), and all members are responsible for clarifying expectations and regularly communicating with each other. Please make sure that you complete your drafts early enough in the process and allow sufficient time to revise and proof your papers. Remember that when you accept responsibility to lead an effort or a produce part of the project, the expectation is that you will fulfill that responsibility.

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