Compensating a Flexible Workforce and Expatriates – Discussion

From the case in Chapter 12, determine whether providing employees with a telecommuting option could help resolve the current high employee turnover issue. Provide specific examples to support your response.
Using the Internet and your textbook, analyze key issues and considerations that can impact expatriate compensation. Next, identify and describe one (1) of the most challenging aspects in setting compensation. Provide specific examples to support your response.
Case Telecommuting at MedEx

Harry Davis just finished interviewing a candidate to fill another medical billing specialist opening. As the human resources manager for MedEx, a medical billing company, Harry is concerned about the high turnover rate for the specialists. Turnover is very costly for the company, and Harry is trying to identify ways to lower the turnover rate. The candidate he just interviewed asked Harry if any of the specialists worked from home. Harry informed him that they do not right now, but telecommuting may be an option in the near future.

MedEx employs more than medical billing specialists in its office located in a busy downtown metropolitan area. Each specialist works on a group of specific accounts, coding medical records and entering them into the computer system. The specialist position requires an intense 3-week training program to learn the coding system, but once they are proficient at their work, the specialists work independently on their assigned accounts.

In an attempt to identify the cause of the high turnover rate, Harry asked the specialists to complete an employee survey that asked about their satisfaction with their pay, benefits, and working conditions. In general, the employees indicated satisfaction with pay levels and benefits, but were not satisfied in some other areas. In the “comments” section of the survey, several employees noted challenges in getting to work each day. Some mentioned heavy traffic that caused long commutes, while others noted the high cost of parking downtown. Further, many employees noted high stress levels due to trying to balance their work and personal responsibilities.

When asked for specific ideas on how to improve the work environment, more than half of the specialists noted the option to telecommute as a desirable benefit. Because the specialists work independently, telecommuting is a feasible option. The specialists would need to work in the office at least 1 or 2 days per week in order to get updates on their accounts, but it would be possible for the employees to work from home the other days. Harry now must carefully consider whether to recommend offering the telecommuting option.

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