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 Vesna Bladzik is a highly intelligent person with an undergraduate degree in business from Boston and a Masters degree in Communication from USQ Australia. At a recent interview for a position in one of Google’s worldwide locations (Atlanta, USA), she uses her superior communication skills to convince the selection panel of her ability in applying for a Communications Managerial role. Approximately
2 weeks later, Vesna started work and spent the first 2–3 months analysing and assessing how to do her role. After 6 months, her managers started to worry somewhat when she showed a real ‘lack of experience’ in assessing employee skills from performance reviews. This followed other concerns that she was ‘slow’ in applying much needed training functions to staff that showed gaps in their skill base; also, she had recommended 10–15 redundancies from her total staff of 50. This was based on the assumption that staff was not performing to previous performance standards as set out in annual performance reviews.


After some time, her manager, Nick Price, realised that despite her communication ability, there was a large disconnect between this and her overall management experience. However, he felt that Vesna should have more guidance on certain aspects on HR. In particular, he decided that he would ask you as a Google HR Director (High Performance) to assist Vesna in ‘bringing her up to speed’ on strategic HRM. After you
complete some brief reviews of her role, you discover that she is doing too much evaluation on her own with little or no advice from HR. Therefore, you decide that she requires practical advice and some practical skills related to implementing 360 degree feedback assessments. She also requires skills related to understanding the strategic aspect of Redundancy as distinct from Downsizing. Rather just ‘talk about theory’ to her, you decide to do some basic designs/charts for her illustrating 360 degree feedback and redundancy. You realise that despite her qualifications, she needs to understanding the difference between old fashioned functional HR and strategic HR. While redundancy often the first lever managers reach for in restructuring their
departments/divisions/businesses, you realise that she needs to know how staff are ‘really’ assessed and that in the assessment process a strategy will be worked out to clearly improve employee skills as valuable resources.

Required: Assuming less than perfect information where you may need to fill in the ‘facts’by adding more assumptions that will help in solving case facts, you are required to:

1.    Advise Vesna about the practical aspects of theories in relation to 360 degree feedback and strategic redundancy versus downsizing;
2.    Explain how Vesna can implement these ideas given the facts in the case with a design or a chart that illustrates the concepts and how to apply them. What else should Vesna consider before embarking on redundancies?
3.    Include in your answer to Vesna a one page summary of the facts in relation to ideas about how she can move forward, what strategies will be important, and how she can address key skill problems and use performance management strategies in ways that will advantage her workers.



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