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Bigi Canada

.. re not prerequisites. As Ms. De Rosa states, ..in this business the most important thing is not so much education, but the interpersonal and communication skills necessary to be successful with the customers. The skills that are necessary for management within the organization are leadership skills, reliability, good management style and good customer service.

Therefore, they encourage a team work setting for their stores. Upon hiring, Bigi Canada conducts regular performance appraisals on all employees. Like most retailers, Bigi Canada offers on the job training to its employees. However, the area that they lack in is in off the job training and courses that could develop their skills. Thus, not much effort or funds are allocated to carefully train their employees or in their continued education. Performance appraisals in Bigi Canada serve two purposes. The first is to evaluate the performance of its employees.

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This allows the organization to show the employee where they stand relative to the objectives and standards of the company. The second purpose of performance appraisals is development. It involves assisting in the training and continued development of the personnel. The manager and subordinate are able to identify any performance obstacles and any training needs. Ms. De Rosa states that, ..performance appraisals at our company are not so much a disciplinary function, but one that the employees need to be aware of their weakness and improve them.

Hence, the organization is able to document past performances and predict future performances. Upon being hired each employee is subject to a three month probationary period. After successful completion of the probationary period, the organization conducts semi-annual performance reviews. Ms. De Rosa states that, ..one would hope that performance appraisals are done on a more regular basis, but due to limitations of time and funds we merely do them formally twice a year. These appraisals are usually conducted by a manager and the supervisor.

The subordinates are not only evaluated based on their sales performance but a personal evaluation is conducted. In the personal evaluation the subordinates are evaluated based upon tardiness, attitudes with customers, team spirit and co-operation. Bigi Canada Ltd. finds that performance appraisals serve an important function in the success of their organization. Compensation and benefits is another important aspect of the human resources department of Bigi Canada.

These compensation and benefit systems help attract talented and qualified personnel and helps the organization retain them. Also, it motivates the employees to put forth every ounce of effort while working. These systems are attractive and competitive in the industry, therefore Bigi Canada becomes a more desirable workplace. The base compensation with the organization meets the Ontario Employee Standards Act. Part-time and full-time employees receive minimum wage, which presently stands a $6.85.

The starting salary for all managerial positions is $24 000. An added incentive for the employees is the fact that Bigi Canada offers commission on top of hourly wages. The way that the commission policy works is that the employees earn one percent on their total sales until $1800, if their sales exceed $1800 they earn two percent commission. This system motivates employees to maintain their quotas. As Antionetta De Rosa states, ..the employees are receiving an extra incentive for simply doing the job they are getting paid to do. Its really quite nice.

Reasonable staff discounts are also offered by the company. Each staff member is entitled to 35% discount off the lowest marked price after the three month probationary period. Bonuses are also offered by the company to the highest sales performance within each store. They are distributed bi-monthly, in the amount of $50. Ms. De Rosa explains that, The bonuses that the company offers rewards the top seller in each location.

It sort of spurs a competition between the employees. These factors all motivate the employee to increase their sales. Hence, making Bigi Canada an attractive place for employment is important. The benefits that the company offers its full-time employees also make Bigi Canada an attractive work place. The employees receive full coverage on all prescriptions, 80% of dental care is covered and life insurance is offered.

The coverage also extends to spouses and dependent children as well. The way that the benefit package works is that a percentage of pay is deducted bi-monthly to cover these medical plans. Although Bigi Canada does not indeed meet the standards set by legislation such as the Employment Standards Act, it does not surpass these standards. It offers exactly what the competition offers. According to Statistics Canada, ..the average wage of a retailer employee per week is $660.15. (Statistics Canada) The average pay of an employee at Bigi Canada is $440. Though Bigi Canada is offering the standard salary, it seems that on average they exceed the standards in order to attract highly skilled employees.

The policies for promotion and terminating employment are also under the control of the human resources department. Promotions within the company are made by consulting the managers in the organization. Here they can elect a subordinate who has show high sales performance, and whom has the qualities necessary for the position. The individual then must undergo a performance appraisal. Throughout this evaluation not only is their performance evaluated but they are evaluated personally as well. This identifies the employees goals and objectives for the future.

Upon completion of the evaluation, a decision is made on whether a merit increase is earned. Usually as an individual is promoted within the organization, they do receive a merit increase. A supervisor must then complete an evaluation for the changing of position. It is this evaluation that the supervisor must ensure that all qualities and skills are present in order to adequately comply with job specifications. Procedures for terminating an employee comply with the Employee Standards Act. A system of progressive discipline in Bigi Canada.

Under such a system, the penalties vary according to the severity of the disruption and the frequency of it. The employer must follow this procedure when disciplining an employee. The first warning is verbal, the second and the third ones are verbal as a second notice and the final warning is a written two-week termination notice given to the employee. If the employee chooses not to work for the two weeks then severance pay is given. Reasons for terminating employment range from: low sale performance, lack of motivation, conflicts of interests, theft and continued absenteeism. According to the Employment Standards Act, notice of termination depends on the period of time that the employee was working for the company.

During the interview Ms. De Rosa did not specify and generalized the procedure. Once again although Bigi Canada meets the standards set out by the legislation, it by no way attempts to exceed them. Retirement policies within the organization is not a major concern because approximately 60% of its staff is grouped between the ages of 16- and 25 years. Notwithstanding, the company does offer some plans to its employees if they desire them. A small bi-monthly percentage of pay is transferred into a RRSP, which compounds over the years.

Also, the company offers a program where they directly deposit a percentage of pay into additional RRSP investments. Since Bigi Canada is a solely owned enterprise they do not offer any golden handshakes or sums of money to the employee upon retirement. Bigi Canada rates fairly poor in this category. It does not offer any sort of retirement plan that would attract qualified people to their company. Overall Bigi Canada Ltd.s human resource department is merely average. Bigi Canada complys within the standards set out by legislation. Likewise, they only change their policies when the competition does, in order to maintain a degree of competitiveness. They do not however take the initiative to make the standards in the retail industry.

They fail to offer an enriching environment to their employees. Due to the aforementioned reasons Bigi Canada suffers from a high turnover rate. Although they are able to recruit the employees because they offer what every other retailer does, they have difficulty retaining them. Bigi Canada holds a defence strategy of social responsibility. They seek to protect their organization by doing the minimum legally required.

The company conforms to legislation and to the competitive market pressures. Hence, it can be stated that Bigi Canada offers what it does to its employees because of its external pressures. Thus, it must be stated that the company is socially responsible. Although, in the future efforts should try to be made to make their workplace more desirable and more than simply average. BIBLIOGRAPHY De Rosa, Antionetta, personal interview, December 19, 1998. Brenton, Bill. Management: The Competitive Advantage.

Toronto: John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd., 1997. Ontario Labour and Employment Legislation. Ottawa: Canada Law Books Inc., 1997. Working In Ontario: An Employees Guide To Workplace Law. Ottawa: Ontario Ministry of Labour, 1996.

Statistics Canada. Business.

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