HRM331e End-of-Course Assessment –

HRM331e Copyright © 2018 Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) Page 1 of 9
ECA – January Semester 2018
HRM331e
End-of-Course Assessment – January Semester 2018
Talent Management
__________________________________________________________________________________________
INSTRUCTIONS TO STUDENTS:
1. This End-of-Course Assessment paper comprises NINE (9) pages (including
the cover page).
2. You are to include the following particulars in your submission: Title, Your PI,
Your Name, and Submission Date.
3. Late submission will be subjected to mark-deduction scheme by the University.
IMPORTANT NOTE
ECA Submission Deadline: 10th May 2018 (Thursday), 1200hrs
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ECA – January Semester 2018
Please Read This Information before You Start Working on your ECA
ECA Submission Guidelines
Please follow the submission instructions stated below:
A. What Must Be Submitted
 Each student is required to submit an ECA report for marking and grading.
 This ECA carries 50% of the course marks and is a compulsory component. It is to be
done individually and not collaboratively with other students.
B. Submission Deadline and Mode of Submission
 Deadline for Report: Please submit online via Canvas by 10th May 2018 (Thursday),
1200hrs.
 Multiple submissions are allowed before the deadline. After the deadline, one
submission is allowed, only if there is no previous submission.
 After the 12-hour grace period, mark deduction will kick in, i.e. 10 marks of total ECA
marks will be deducted for each 24-hour block, or part thereof that the submission was
late. Submissions with more than 50 marks deducted because of late submission will
be given a zero mark.
 You are reminded that electronic transmission is not immediate. Hence, you are advised
to submit your work no later than the day before the cut-off date in order to ensure that
the submission is accepted and in good time. It is possible that the network traffic may
be particularly heavy on the cut-off date and connections to the system cannot be
guaranteed. You should not jeopardise your course result by submitting your ECA
at the last minute.
 Please ensure that your ECA submission is successful. Once you have submitted your
ECA, you will receive a Paper ID. Paper ID is the ONLY proof of your submission,
especially in the event of technical failure. To download a copy of your Paper ID, click
on the “Digital Receipt” icon.
C. Additional guidelines for file formatting are given as follows:
 Compose your ECA using Microsoft Office Word, and save either as .doc or .docx
(preferred)
 Name your document file strictly to this format – Full Name_ECA. Example,
TanMeiMeiSally_ECA (omit D/O, S/O).
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ECA – January Semester 2018
Plagiarism and Collusion
Plagiarism and collusion are forms of cheating and not acceptable in any form of a student’s
work, including this ECA. You are in effect taking work done by others or work done together
with others and passing it off as your own. You can avoid plagiarism by giving appropriate
references when you use some other people’s ideas, words or pictures (including diagrams).
Refer to the APA Manual if you need reminding about quoting and referencing. You can avoid
collusion by ensuring that your submission is based on your own individual effort.
The electronic submission of your ECA will be screened by a plagiarism detecting software.
For more information about plagiarism and cheating, you should refer to the Student Handbook
(Section 5.2, paragraph 1.3). You are reminded that SUSS takes a tough stance against
plagiarism or collusion. Serious cases will normally result in the student being referred to
SUSS’s Student Disciplinary Group. For other cases, significant marking penalties or
expulsion from the course will be imposed.
Introduction to this End of Course Assessment (ECA)
This ECA makes up for 50% of the overall course evaluation component. This ECA is designed
to assess your understanding and application of class concepts.
Guidelines
1. There are FOUR (4) COMPULSORY QUESTIONS that you have to answer in this
ECA.
2. This ECA presents to you a case which you need to read and analyse, following
which you need to answer (FOUR) 4 compulsory questions.
3. In order to do well in this ECA, you are encouraged to support your analysis, points and
recommendations with research.
4. Your answers should be typewritten, double-spaced, with a size 12-font and a one-inch
margin all around. All pages should be numbered.
5. Bibliography. Cite your references in standard format. This means that your bibliography
should include author(s) name, year of publication, source (e.g., journal/ book), and
publisher. Refer to the references or bibliography section of a textbook to see how
references are cited.
HRM331e Copyright © 2018 Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) Page 4 of 9
ECA – January Semester 2018
Answer ALL Questions (Total 100 marks)
Question 1:
Analyse table 4 of the case provided below. Based on your reading of the case and analysis of
the case, come up with specific reasons as to why the engagement numbers are the way they
are.
(30 marks)
Question 2:
Analyse and examine some of the problems with Life@Ease talent management programme.
Be sure to relate to theories and principles we have covered in class.
(20 marks)
Question 3:
Based on your analysis and evaluation of the case, design a talent management programme,
and engagement plan to increase engagement levels, retention and performance. You can think
out of the box and be creative in your solutions.
(20 marks)
Question 4:
Given the strategic direction of Life@Ease to start local and go global and to be innovative,
what are the competencies that you think employees at Life@Ease would need to “go global”
and be innovative. Based on your research on cultural agility and ability to be innovative,
develop a competencies framework that would reflect the direction of Life@Ease. Your
competencies framework should be specific to the industry and context of Life@Ease.
(30 marks)
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ECA – January Semester 2018
Reinventing Talent Management Programme at Life@Ease
Introduction
At the start of October 2017, the founder of Life@Ease, Mr Linus Ng called Joanne Lee, the
Head of Human Resource into his office.
“Joanne, it’s been more than 1 year since you have taken the position of Head of Human
Resource. Employee engagement levels are still low, and many of our young bright stars are
leaving the company. In fact, many of our scholars who have been trained abroad are breaking
their bonds and joining other startups at a lower pay. Our revenue is stagnant, if not dropping.
Can you do something on the HR side?
The new strategic direction of our organisation to be agile and innovative has been established
one year ago. Yet, I do not see any of your engagement strategies to be working. I hope you
can spend some time to take stock of the situation and improve our retention rate and
engagement levels. I hope to see your master-plan in a month or two.”
Joanne went back to her office and reflected on the progress she has made in her new role as
the Head of Human Resource for Life@Ease, a small-sized company that produces apps to
enhance the lives of Singaporeans. With a background in computer science and electronic
engineering, moving into a HR role back in June 2016 was unchartered territory for Joanne.
She rose to the ranks to become Head of HR. However, she still found the learning curve steep
as she intuitively felt that the organisational culture and structure of Life@Ease is not
conducive to the strategic mission of the company. As the Head of HR, Joanne decided to
analyse Life@Ease right from the very beginning to identify ways in which she can improve
retention rates and engagement in the company.
Background To Life@Ease
Life@Ease was established in July 2009 following the invention of the first iPhone Apple
produced under the leadership of Steve Jobs in 2007. The founder and CEO of Life@Ease,
Linus Ng saw a door wide open for the invention of apps given the rise of smartphones in the
late 2008. Therefore, he rallied one of his best buddy, Mr James Lee whom he met at MIT
while studying computer engineering for his masters to establish a start-up firm to offer living
solutions to Singaporeans through apps. James then invited his techie friends Colin Khoo and
Robin Tay to join the team. As for the product manager and designer roles for the start-up,
Linus posted a job advertisement on JobsStreet to find skilled people to fulfil these two roles.
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ECA – January Semester 2018
See table 1 below for the team make-up of the start-up in its founding year of 2009.
Founding Year 2009 Employees
CEO, Founder Mr Linus Ng
Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder Mr James Lee
Product Manager Mr Ong Tze Seng
Designer Ms Lila Lim
Developer Mr Colin Khoo and Mr Robin Tay
Table 1:Founding Team Members and Staff
Within a short span of 2.5 years, Life@Ease has developed 2 popular apps that made the lives
of Singaporeans more convenient.
Examples of Apps that Have been Developed by Life@Ease
App Name Details of App Year of
Launch
Average
Revenue
Generated
Per Year
Hire-AHelper
Both part-time cleaners and consumers looking for a
part-time cleaner can sign up for this app.
The app will make a match when time and location of
part-time cleaner and consumer matches. The per hour
charge to hire a cleaner is $20.
Life@Ease take a 30% cut out of the amount paid to
the helper. Thus, the cleaner gets $14 while Life@Ease
gets $6.
So far, there are 325 helpers on this app, and 20,102
users active on this app.
2010 $ 3.61
Million
Ask-aQuestion
This app matches a tutor and a student who has a query
about how to answer a homework question.
A student will post a question on the app for a charge
of $2. Tutors who know the answer will answer the
question directly, and be paid $1. Thus, Life@Ease
take a 50% cut from the transaction between students
and tutors.
This app targets primary and secondary school students
with homework questions. It also targets university
level students who are looking for side income to be
question answerers.
2011 $0.8 Million
Table 2: Example of Apps Created by Life@Ease
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ECA – January Semester 2018
Life@Ease’s Collaboration with Spring Singapore
Since the successful launch of the apps Hire-A-Helper in 2010 and Ask-A-Question in 2011,
Life@Ease has caught the attention of Spring Singapore, a government agency set up to help
grow SMEs and local talent in Singapore. In early 2012, Spring Singapore approached the
founder Mr Linus Ng to set up a collaboration between Spring Singapore and Life@Ease to
grow the company, its number of employees and also recruit young local talent as app
designers.
Spring Singapore’s Life@Ease High-Potential (Hi-Po) Programme
Spring Singapore offered to provide a subsidy to send top young graduates from local junior
colleges and polytechnics for undergraduate degrees in top programmes overseas in areas such
as computer science, computer engineering and human factors design. Spring Singapore would
cover 60% of the Hi-Pos’ education abroad, while Life@Ease would only need to cover 40%
of the cost. Should a Hi-Po choose to break their bond, they would have to pay the pro-rated
cost of their education (plus 10% of that cost as a penalty).
Once these Hi-Pos graduate, they are required to serve a 4 year bond at Life@Ease to apply
their knowledge and skills in the development of new apps to facilitate the government’s vision
of Singapore as a SmartNation.
The first batch of 20 Hi-Pos were sent abroad to get their degrees in a related field in September
2012. All of them graduated in June 2016. However, of the 20 Hi-Pos that graduated, 3 of them
have chosen to break their bond and pay the cost of their education even before starting work
at Life@Ease. Most of these bond breakers join start-ups in Silicon Valley. According to HR,
these bond breakers are actually getting paid slightly less than what they would otherwise get
at Life@Ease.
Amongst the 17 that eventually started working for Life@Ease, 6 of them left within a year to
join other startups even at a lower pay.
Spring Singapore’s Life@Ease Leadership Development Programme
Upon graduation and within their first year at work, Hi-Pos are required to participate in Spring
Singapore Leadership camp. Spring Singapore believes that Hi-Pos should be made leaders at
Life@Ease and therefore invest resources in developing leadership skills in them. During the
Leadership Camp, key values and culture are taught through modules like “Innovation”, and
“Breaking Boundaries”. Hi-Pos are also assessed for their leadership profile and given
feedback on the kind of actions they can take to be better leaders in the workplace. The intention
of the leadership camp is the prepare Hi-Pos for future leadership positions, where they will
lead inventive teams in designing new apps to support Singapore as a SmartNation.
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ECA – January Semester 2018
Life@Ease New Strategic Direction
Spring Singapore would also like Life@Ease to have a presence in the Southeast Asian market.
Together with the founder Mr Linus Ng, they came up with the slogan, “Start Local; Go
Global”.
Under this strategic direction, it is the goal of Spring Singapore and Life@Ease to develop
locally relevant apps in countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Philippines. With this
direction in mind, Linus Ng would like employees to develop a global mindset that would
enable them to develop relevant and culturally appropriate apps for the regional market.
Life@Ease in October 2017
Organisational Structure
Given that Spring Singapore has given financial incentives for Life@Ease to increase
headcount and develop more apps that may ease the busy lives of Singaporeans, Life@Ease
grew at a steady rate. See table 2 below for the number of employees by department in 2016.
Organisational Structure in
October 2017
Head(s) of Department No. of Employees
under Head
CEO, Founder Mr Linus Ng
Chief Technology Officer and CoFounder
Mr James Lee
Product Manager Mr Ong Tze Seng 8 product managers
(3 Hi-Pos, 5 non-HiPos)
Designer Ms Lila Lim 7 Design Specialists
(3 Hi-Pos, 4 non-HiPos)
Developer Mr Colin Khoo and Mr
Robin Tay
25 Developers
(5 Hi-Pos, 20 non-HiPos)
User Interface Specialist Ms Maria Dong 4 user interface
specialists
HR Joanne Lee 1 executive
Finance Mr Tommy Tay 1 executive
Marketing Mr Albert Ong 5 sales and marketing
specialists
Table 3: Organisational Structure in October 2017
Projects, Promotions and Raise
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ECA – January Semester 2018
At Life@Ease, there is a top-down approach to the development of apps. Normally, the head
of developers will come up with an idea for the developers and designers to execute. Each
developer paired with a designer can come up with a proposal and blueprint for the head to
evaluate. The head will then decide on the best idea to implement.
The structure of work at Life@Ease is structured this way because of their philosophy that
creativity thrives under intense competition.
At the end of each financial year, developers and designers are evaluated by their head on the
quality of the ideas they have produced throughout the year. They will then be rewarded for
their performance through a raise and / or promotion.
Engagement Survey Results by Group
In late September 2017, Joanne conducted a small-scale engagement survey to get a glimpse
of the engagement levels at Life@Ease. See table 4 below for the engagement levels of
employees by group.
Category of Engagement Percent Satisfied or Very Satisfied
Heads of
Department
Non-scholars Scholars
Job Significance 72% 40% 35%
Growth and development 80% 20% 38%
Opportunities for advancement 60% 37% 46%
Teamwork 70% 34% 45%
Recognition and Reward 66% 43% 68%
Pride about Employment at
Life@Ease
80% 45% 33%
Table 4: Engagement Levels of Employees by Group
—- END OF PAPER —–

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