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Assignment - Workforce Analytics Project

You have been asked by the CEO to investigate workforce analytics to determine how it could help support the achievement of business challenges or objectives.

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1. What are three significant challenges (i.e., ageing workforce) facing your organization today?

The present report is based on designing a workforce analytics for Ford Motors Company. It is the responsibility of the company leader to motivate employees for developing new and interesting offers, so as to create differentiators on the existing products and services. However, the biggest challenge being faced by most of the HR is the people challenges which minimizes their skill to innovate and remain ahead of their competitors. The three different people challenges being faced by the organization includes; i) ageing workforce, ii) management, and iii) investment in talent. Out of these, the major people challenge being faced in Ford Motors is hiring or maintaining the ageing workforce.

According to a statistic, more than 50 baby boomers of Ford Motors turn to 55-65 years each day. Management of the ageing workforce (mental and physical skill) is a major concern for most of the organizations. In the automobile industry, recruiting and retaining the ageing workforce is taken as a controversial objective for Human resource management (HRM) team as it can affect the personnel backlogs and cost saving concept. The older workforce is slightly costly for the employers as compared to the younger workforce because of their additional skills such as maturity, experience, and engagement. Apart from this, the cost related to their health care tends to increase with the age which is again an extra expense on the part of organization. Ageing workforce are less capable of working in shifts of the production line and are considered unfit to perform various degrees of physical work in the automobile industry. It is often found that the older workers are less flexible to adopt new technology and work process (Gahan, Harbridge, Healy, & Williams, 2017). They are bias towards their old method and prefer to work with it. Absenteeism is another common trend observed in most of the ageing workforce of the company. There are many reasons for their absenteeism which include health issue, physical difficulties, lack of motivation and depression. Their frequent absenteeism not only costs the money of the company but also hampers the production and innovation rate.

The presence of older employees in most of the companies, create a scenario of unemployment for the young applicants. According to the report of Ford Motors, the ageing workers are the least qualified employees in comparison to employees of other age groups.

On contrary, they possess the maximum skill and experience in all sectors than the newly entered employees. Thus, the increasing need for Ford to achieve success can be achieved by the transfer of experience and skill from older generation to the new generation.

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2. Are there other internal (i.e., org structure) or external (i.e., increased competition) challenges that are putting additional pressure on the organization?

Ford motors also suffers from several internal and external challenges which has a huge impact on its success. One of the major internal challenge the company is facing is its organizational structure. Ford's organizational structure is dependent on the varying business needs with the changing market conditions. The three major features of the company's organizational structure include; i) corporate hierarchy, ii) regional geographic divisions, and iii) global functional groups (De Toni, 2016). This organizational structure is quite simple approach in the present competitive automobile market. There is also risk of disregarding or ignoring the unique needs or conditions of the national market through this organizational structure. The organizational structure makes the manager to closely supervised the employees which eventually minimises their freedom as well as responsibilities. Moreover, the decision making process in this organizational structure is quite slow because the communication and approval is required from various levels of management (Salas-Fumás, Sáenz-Royo, & Lozano-Rojo, 2016). To bring any change in Ford motors is a relative slow process as the employees holds the direct contact with the customers. In order to report any change to the authority, the employees have to go through various level of management.

Apart from internal challenges, the company also faces some external challenges like competition. Some of the major competitors of Ford Motors include Fiat, Chrysler automobiles (FCA), Toyota, General Motors (GM), Honda Motors, Nissan, Chevrolet, and Daimler. With increase in number of competitors there is an increased risk markets growth, profit-making, technological leadership, and service leadership. General Motors (GM) holds the core competence of innovation in technology and service, while Toyota offers core competence in terms of total quality management (TQM). These core competencies of the competitors restrict the path of success for Ford Motors. These foreign automobile manufacturing companies are much more capable and efficient in terms of operation and cost of production. These companies not only give tough competition to Ford Motors but also provide more efficient and reliable cars. Toyota Nissan and Honda have extensively expanded their market share as a result of their ability to provide better products at minimum price with greater efficiency. These companies create maximum profit by producing more number of smaller vehicles. On the other hand, Ford Motors focuses on differentiating itself by producing the truck line vehicles and SUV vehicles. With changing demands of the customer this strategy of Ford motors is found to be no longer feasible and profitable (Bardwick, 2018). In the European region Volkswagen is considered as the major producer of automobiles in the area. Ford experienced a tough competition from Volkswagen and hence decided to produce small vehicles based on public demand. Therefore, sustaining and excelling in the competitive market is a pressure for the management team of the company.

3. Based upon the answers for Question 1 and 2, create at least two hypothesis statements to consider how workforce analytics could possibly help with these challenges. Hypothesis are informed, testable explanations or predictions the statements might look something like: if (we do this), then (this) will happen. For example, if we increase the salaries, then the turnover rate will reduce (Guenole, Ferrar and Feinzig, 2017, p.30). Or, if we change our recruitment methods, then we will get more/better candidates.

Aging Workforce is not always considered as a management problem for HRM Department. If Ford Motors Company can effectively make the placement of the elderly employees in various departments (like training, recruitment, and accounts), then it would be a benefit for the company. The ageing workforce can be placed in training department because theyholds maximum experience from their service period which they can provide to the new employees. The young employees will be able to perform more efficiently when they receive practical knowledge (experience) along with their technological knowledge (Gahan, Harbridge, Healy, & Williams, 2017). The ageing workers should be restricted from doing physical and other heavy duty work within the automobile industry.

The organisational structure of Ford Motors does not allow the employees to directly connect with the organisational head rather they have to deal with several levels of management. This kind of top-down organizational structure restricts the ability of employees at the lowest level for making decision. If Ford Motors will create several flat organizational structure within its tall organizational structure, then the employees at different level are given the autonomy of their job. It will eventually help in creating a flexible workplace having the feeling of inclusiveness and equality(Salas-Fumás, Sáenz-Royo, & Lozano-Rojo, 2016). Thus the opportunity of making decision by the front line employees will help in recognising and addressing the issues quickly.

Increased competition on a global scale is another major challenge against the success rate of Ford Motors. If Ford Motors will focus on differentiating itself successfully from its competitors, both in terms of quality and price, then it can become ahead in the competition. It is necessary to ensure that the product differentiation is based on the disparate and unique global preferences (Miyazaki, 2017). It is evident that Ford is a late arrival in the global hybrid automobile market and has to implement several other strategies to cope up and compete with other leading automobile companies. Apart from the strategy of product differentiation, Ford also needs to focus on the factory quality control and the developed process for vehicle design.

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