Read the case study "Aligning HR with the Business at SBC" on pages
32-33 of the textbook and respond to Case Questions 1–3.
Question 1. Who were the customers of Mitchell and his HR staff?
In this case study, Mitchell and his HR staff’s customers are the line managers. In any company or institution line managers are responsible mainly for carrying out policy and decision making, and targeting or setting goals and such in order to reach those goals for the organization or institution. The HR department plays a very important role in the success of an organization and so becomes an integral part of that success. Taking care of customers and their needs is key. Customers are the most important stakeholders in the company and their satisfaction is what matters most. If your customers are not satisfied then this can be viewed at the very least as a symptom of a very major problem because it can affect profitability and success of the company.
Question 2. What did Mitchell have to do so that his staff could do the necessary things to reposition and customerize?
In order for his staff to be able to reposition and customerize Mitchell had to consider four main aspects of his HR program. First he gathered information about the current environment. To do so he asked the line managers questions, he analyzed and evaluated the environment and also discussed matters with the HR department itself. Talking to the customers directly made Mitchell aware of what the line managers want and expect from the HR department. It helped him identify the problems by comparing what the department was doing for them and what line managers really want. In addition, he observed competitors to see how they respond to their customers and whether or not he could adopt their ideas. By talking to the department itself Mitchell not only learned what line managers want but he also learned how HR is perceived by them as well.
The second aspect for Mitchell was to develop agendas based on the information gathered. Mitchell made the HR staff analyze this information so that they could recognize their shortcomings in terms of what they were providing the customers as opposed to what the customer really wanted from them. As they developed their agendas it became apparent that they needed a vision for the group and needed a mission statement to go along with it. They also realized that they needed the approval of top management as well as line managers in order to be successful.
Next they set about implementing their agendas by first meeting with and speaking to line managers to explain how they would address their needs as well as to lay out a plan for future strategies. The new strategies would be more customer-oriented than in the past. This required some selling as the concepts were new to the line managers.
The final aspect of his program included evaluating his plans and revising them to be as successful as possible. They made sure that the clients’ needs were addressed to their satisfaction. They would revise and adjust their plans to deliver continuous improvement. Among the major points of consideration were reducing