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I will provide four discussion posts submitted by other students. You will need to respond to each one with approx 75 words each and  1 source each. Within your response, you could state why you agree/disagree with their post or maybe add some important information about the topic that you believe they forgot to mention.

Post one:
All of the strategies listed in chapter 8 really help shape an organization to their full potential, but the one I feel to be most important for maintaining the productivity of an organization is Human Resource Strategy. After taking Human Resource Management the past seven weeks, I quickly learned how important the HR department is within an organization. The HRM strategy  is “a functional strategy that makes the best use of corporate human assets” (Wheelen, Hunger, Hoffman, Bamford, 2018, p. G-5). The Human Resource department is responsible for hiring employees, they shape the character and dirction of HRM activities, and they help in the deployment and allocation of organizational resoucres. HR keeps up with employees satisfaction and performance, HR ensures that employees are aligned to assist with meeting business strategic objectives. I have always believed that HR can make or break a company because they are responsible for ensuring that employees are performing to the best of their abilities, they ensure employees are trained properly, and they ensure employees receive the proper benefits with their job. Having a HR strategy is important because it determines how HR works in an organizations and they align with the organization’s goals. “Strategic huma resource management involves a future-oriented process of developing and implementing HR programs that address and solve business problems and directly contribute to major long-term business objectives” (, 2022, para. 1).
Post two:

The importance of each of those strategies to overall company performance is very important. One thing that I remember is that the priority list of these strategies is dependent on the type of business. Most big businesses have all of these strategies implemented into their business, but some companies may hold certain strategies higher on their priority list than others. For example, my manufacturing company may hold research and development strategy, operations strategy, and logistic strategy whereas my father’s pine needle business holds marketing and logistics strategy higher in importance. When you are not providing a new product, purchasing and operations may be lower in importance than the marketing or logistics strategy.

I am personally more knowledgeable in the research and development strategy at my current work. The strategic implementation plan for research and development (R&D) must determine objectives, adopt a course of action and allocate resources (Backeberg, 2006). Being in the more quality side of the business helps to have that research and development structure beforehand to effectively provide a high-quality product.

Post three:

Thus, a mentor is a person who offers advice, information, and guidance to the mentee, who would otherwise grow more slowly or not at all without the mentoring (Kowalski, 2019). I believe you can mentor someone without having to cross-train because it only refers to teaching someone what you know about a certain topic. Cross-training on the other hand can only be done through mentoring. Therefore, you can mentor without having to cross-train, but you can’t cross-train without mentoring. Cross-training is an interactive planning method in which a human and a robot iteratively switch roles to learn a shared plan for a collaborative task (Nikolaidis, 2013).

My initial thought about mentoring and cross-training helping mitigate risk is that it acts as a contingency. Working in a manufacturing plant, in a day and age where it is difficult finding new employees, cross-training is crucial. It helps mitigate risk by providing a contingency plan if someone is out and there is a space open in a manufacturing process line. Another “soft” benefit of cross-training within a company is that it can provide a different insight into the larger process. For example, in building windows, you have many different parts that are built separately but then it is brought together to construct an entire window. From there it is inserted into a larger window frame which is done near the end, right before it’s checked (for quality checks), wrapped, and sent off to shipping. If an operator is cross-trained into processes up the line, then they would have a better understanding of what they are looking for and can adapt and fix problems that may not be a problem to that station but will be for future process stations.

Personally, these methods’ effectiveness is based on the company culture. If a company is illustrating a healthy sense of growth and improvement, then the people being mentored or cross-trained will be more willing to learn and apply the learned skills to the specific station/application.

Post four:

The use of mentoring and cross-training to help minimize risk is an excellent method of risk reduction especially when new project managers or team members are involved. Mentoring is the pairing of junior or inexperienced project managers or team members with senior managers or members with the goal of learning best practices (Pinto, 2019). This helps junior team members to be eased into their new roles as well as provided them with an excellent resource for any questions that they may have (Pinto, 2019). Cross-training is utilized so that those involved can fill each other’s roles give unforeseen circumstances (Pinto, 2019). This requires that team members not only be familiar with their role but also the role of others in case they are needed to fill that role in the future.

Mentoring is most effective when you have new or junior members on the team that require instruction to fully embrace their role on the team. Cross-training is best used when small teams are involved, especially if there is a risk of team member turn over or loosing a team member for an extended period.

I work a very technical job that requires very niche skillsets. I have a lot of experience with both mentoring and cross-training. For example, my current team is only 9 people, we are all cross trained to be able to perform any task or duty that may arise in our lab. So, when someone takes vacation, maternity leave, or any kind of leave of absence our lab does not loose capability to perform our work. I’ve been in excellent mentoring programs, and I’ve been in terrible ones. To give an example of a terrible one, I was once assigned as a mentee to a mentor that did not care whatsoever about mentoring me. Never answered questions, hoarded knowledge, would redo my work behind me without any explanation. I suspected he felt his job was threatened with my presence, but I never found out, he left a few months after I arrived. I learned nothing under his mentorship.

I’m currently in a mentorship with a doctorate engineer, it is an enlightening experience.  He is extremely knowledgeable, eager to help me and every interaction with him I learn something new. I’m constantly humbled by his knowledge and capabilities. This is an example of effective mentorship.