Rena Robinson, the new VP of HR at Can-Polymers Solutions (CPS)

Rena Robinson, the new VP of HR at Can-Polymers Solutions (CPS), was brought on board to help the company to be in a good position to handle its rapid growth from an HR perspective.

Rena Robinson, the new VP of HR at Can-Polymers Solutions (CPS)

The purpose of this assignment is to invite you to critically assess a fundamental aspect of the training and development process: needs analysis. In particular, the assignment asks that you focus on evaluating employee performance problems and determining how training can provide solutions.

Accordingly, the assignment requires that you read the case scenario provided, assess the organization’s employee performance and training needs, and report your findings by responding to the questions accompanying the case.
Your completed report should be in essay format, with your name and student number prominently displayed on a cover page or at the top of the first page. Your report should use headings for each question and be approximately 5 pages, using 12-poiont font, double-spacing and standard margins. Please use proper academic citations even though you need only reference the course textbook. For information about citations, please see Michael’s Notes on Footnotes on Blackboard. Note: You may use the citation style you prefer.

Above all, your analysis of the considerations raised by each question should demonstrate your ability to apply the needs analysis process. Demonstrated application requires using specific examples drawn from the case and/or textbook, and detailed analysis of the importance of fundamental concepts.

Please refer to the rubric posted with this outline for grade breakdown details.

The Case

Can-Polymers Solutions Inc.

Rena Robinson, the new VP of HR at Can-Polymers Solutions (CPS), was brought on board to help the company to be in a good position to handle its rapid growth from an HR perspective. CPS was formed four years ago with just 10 employees, including the management team, and they have since doubled in size. They are located in a suburb of the Greater Toronto Area and produce materials out of recycled plastic that are used in the construction industry to insulate and soundproof residential and commercial buildings. Are growing at such a fast rate because there has been a jump in demand for materials that are sustainable and environmentally-friendly, both in Canada HRM 848 SUMMER 2020 ASSIGNMENT #1 2 of 3 and across the world. They will soon be hiring 30-50 more employees to be able to cope with the increased demand.

As is common in the advanced manufacturing industry, CPS has a fast-paced working environment where employees are expected to have flexible schedules and work on different projects as needed. Team collaboration, trust and communication are critical in this line of work. Their competitive edge lies in their ability to keep improving on their product design and manufacturing processes, and their employees are expected to keep up with changes in their competitors’ products as well as to design and implement innovations at CPS.

Fortunately, the pool of candidates is quite large as there is a high concentration of engineers and internationally trained engineering professionals in the GTA.

Rena has a successful track record of attracting and retaining the best talent. When she joined the company, she was able to build a core team right away. By hiring some of the best people she had worked with previously. It was important to her to have a team she knew well and could rely on as there was little time for training after they came aboard.

In the past six months Rena has noticed that the excitement and energy within the company has been waning. Employees often come to work late and don’t seem to be keeping up with the latest developments in AI (artificial intelligence) and robotics. This has slowly been affecting their timelines and the quality of their product. The CEO has come up with the idea of sending CPS staff on a Caribbean retreat, as many of their competitors have been doing. To show the company’s appreciation of them and to boost morale before further damage is done.

Rena has asked for a meeting with you, the head of training, and has fully indicated her support of this trip as a way to solve the problem. She has asked you to design a minitraining program that the employees can take during the trip. She is also looking to transform CPS into a learning organization. Has asked you for suggestions on how to go about doing so. You both agreed to meet again in a few weeks after you’ve had a chance to conduct a needs analysis.

You start by reviewing the monthly financial and operations reports for the following departments at CPS:

(1) research and development (2) product development (3) manufacturing (4) quality assurance (QA) (5) installation (6) customer service. You quickly discover that the productivity of the five engineers in the manufacturing department. Also, ten technicians in the QA department has been on a steady decline for the past six months. This has been creating a bottleneck as. Without a constant supply of new parts.Installations cannot take place (hence that department cannot meet its targets) and customer service inquiries have skyrocketed. Of course, as the company only receives payment when orders are completed, there are significant payment delays as well.

You then met with the team leader for the technicians and together you reviewed the job description and performance targets. The team leader was new and it was only during your meeting that she realized that the technician job descriptions were out of date.

They were last updated five years ago, and since then the duties had changed significantly. When you spoke with the technicians themselves. You also discovered that HRM 848 SUMMER 2020 ASSIGNMENT. They each had a different understanding of what their production targets were. Some thought theirs were 5 parts per hour, and the others thought theirs were 7 parts per hour when it was actually 10 parts per hour. Otherwise, all their training was up to date in the areas of health and safety, machinery operation, product development. All technicians had completed their annual certification in these areas within the last six months.

Next you met with the engineers’ manager and with the engineers they and you discovered that it was the opposite.

Their job descriptions were updated six months ago, and they were all clear on their performance targets. However, while all five of the engineers were seasoned professionals who each took responsibility. For ensuring their annual professional certifications were up-to-date. You discovered that none had ever formally learned about the custom equipment and machinery CPS uses. Whatever little they knew was informally obtained by reading operating manuals or by “job-shadowing” senior members of the team. This had resulted in a patchwork of knowledge and different levels of ability on how to use the equipment.


1. (a) Identify the performance issues at CPS.

(b) based on this, indicate whether training is needed for the technicians or the engineers or both. Consider drawing from aspects of Mager and Pipe’s Performance Analysis Flowchart (see p. 97/124 of the textbook) to explain your answers.

2. Using rapid needs analysis (see p. 105/133) conduct a brief training needs analysis for those in need of training in your answer to 1(b) above. Do not suggest any training solutions at this stage.

3. Suggest possible root causes of the performance issues experienced by the technicians. Use the Barriers to Effective Performance Table (see p. 95/127) to determine the most relevant in this situation.

4. Briefly describe the actions that Rena should take if she decides to implement a Learning Organization at CPS.