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Managing Human Resources: Comparison of Theories and their Applications

Info: 8668 words (35 pages) Dissertation
Published: 9th Mar 2021

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Tagged: Human ResourcesManagement

Table of Contents

Introduction:…….………………………………………………………………………………2

Task: 1………………………………………………………………………………………….3

  1. Guest’s model of HRM……………………………………… ………………………..3

1.2 Differences between Storey’s definitions of HRM and IR and personnel practices……………………………………………………………………………………………………..…..4

1.3 Implications for line managers and employees for developing a strategic approach to HRM ……………………………………………………………………………………….6

Task: 2…………………………………………………………………………………………7

2.1 Application of a model of flexibility in practice…………………… …….……………7

2.2 Discussion of the types of flexibility which may be developed by an organisation…….9

2.3 Use of flexible working practices from the employee and the employer perspective..10

2.4 Impact changes in the labour market have had on flexible working practices………..11

Task: 3…………………………………………………………………………………………12

3.1 Forms of discrimination that can take place in the workplace …………………………12

3.2 Implications of equal opportunities legislation for an organisation ………………….14

3.3 Comparison of the approaches to managing equal opportunities and managing diversity ………………………………………………………………………………..……..14

Task: 4………………………………………………………………………………………..16

4.1 Comparison of the different methods of performance management ………………….16

4.2 Assessment of the approaches to the practice of managing employee welfare in a selected organisation………. …………………………………………………….……….…18

4.3 Implications of health and safety legislation on human resources practices………….19

4.4 E-learning…………………………………………………………………………..…20

Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………….……22

References……………………………………………………………………………………23

Introduction

Human Resource Management relates to every aspect of the way in which an organisation develops and interacts with its employees. The process of development involves  attracting suitable individuals, enabling them to perform their roles to the best of their ability by keeping them informed and providing relevant training opportunities, and by developing all of them to build their careers through provision of career progression opportunities.

This report is an attempt to seek and describe the methodologies adopted at organisations such as John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, British Telecom, and Johnson & Johnson. 

 

1.1 Guest’s model of HRM

Introduction

Guest’s model of HRM is based on the presumption that a dedicatory HR is linked to;

  • the strategic administration of an organisation,
  • seeking commitment of duty regarding organisational objectives,
  • focusing on the individual needs instead of the collective force,
  • enables organisations to devolve power and be more adaptable,
  • emphasising individuals as an asset to be positively used by the organization,
  • being particularly unique in relation to a compliant based traditional personnel management.

In seeking to define HRM, Guest (1987) identifies two strands. These are “soft” and “hard” human resource management, and “loose” and “tight” human resource management.

Soft and Hard HRM

Soft human resource management considers workers as the most important asset in an organization and therefore a source of competitive advantage. These workers are to be dealt with as people and their needs such as roles, rewards, motivation etc. are planned accordingly.

The key features of soft human resource human resource management are;

  • a strategic focus on longer term workforce planning,
  • a strong and regular two-way correspondence,
  • a competitive pay structure with appropriate performance related rewards,
  • appraisal systems focused on making judgements (good and bad) about staff and
  • employees empowered and encouraged to seek delegation and take responsibility.

Soft  human resource management suits majority rule authority style and compliment organisational structures.

Hard human resource management considers workers basically as a resource of the business. This consideration lends itself to strong links with corporate business planning which focuses on what resources are required, how to obtain them, and how much they will cost etc.

The key components of hard human resource management are;

  • short-term changes in employee numbers,
  • minimal correspondence starting from the top down,
  • enough pay to recruit and retain enough staff (e.g. minimum wage),
  • little empowerment and delegation, and
  • appraisal systems focused on making judgements (good and bad) about staff.

Hard human resource management suits autocratic authority style and taller hierarchical structures.

1.2 Differences between Storey’s definitions of HRM and IR and personnel practices

Introduction

Storey(1992) defines HRM as a strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organisation`s most valued assets, the staff, working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of its objectives.

Storey also contrasted hard and soft forms of HRM.

HARD HRM emphasises the need to manage people in ways that will achieve added value and therefore competitive advantage. The concentration is therefore on quantitative, measurable criteria, control and performance management.

SOFT HRM is based upon human relations principles and is identified by Storey as involving the treatment of employees as valued assets, a source of competitive advantage through their commitment, adaptability and high quality.

Storey sees Personnel management (PM) as management of the workforce or employees to comply with rules as required by the owners of the business. This is mostly concerned with recruitment, pay roll and employment laws. Storey therefore sees PM as being bureaucratic, based on rules and procedures and seen as a separate function from general management.

Storey detailed key points to differentiate between PM/IR and HRM.

Dimensions PM & IR HRM
Beliefs and assumptions
1. Contract Careful delineation of written contracts Aim to go beyond contract
2. Rules Importance of devising clear rules/mutually ‘Can-do’ outlook’; Impatience with ‘rule’
3. Guide to management    action Procedures Business-need
4. Behaviour referent Norms/Custom and practice Values/Mission
5. Managerial task vis-à-vis labour Monitoring Nurturing
6. Nature of relations Pluralist Unitarist
7. Conflict lnstitutionalised De-emphasized
Strategic aspects
8. Key relations Labour management Customer
9. Initiatives Piecemeal Integrated
10. Corporate plan Marginal Central
11. Speed of decision Slow Fast
Line management
12. Management role Transactional Transformational leadership
13. Key managers Personnel/IR specialists General/business/line managers
14. Communication Indirect Direct
15. Standardisation High (e.g. ‘parity’ an issue) Low (e.g. ‘parity’ not seen as relevant)
16. Prized management skills Negotiation Facilitation
Key levers
17. Selection Separate, marginal task Integrated, key task
18. Pay Job evaluation (fixed grades) Performance related

(Source: Rao, 2010)

It can be deduced from the table that the strategic aspects of Storey’s model shows HRM central to corporate planning in an organisation. The line management dimension gives HRM specialists a “transformational leadership” role in the organisation. These are aspects that PM and IR do not achieve within an organisation.

Mulberry UK & Khan’s
The  Mulberry Company is a high fashion company which produces luxurious range of fine leather handbags, luggage and footwear. This company’s approach to managing employees is HR based.

Khan’s is a chain of Indian cuisine restaurants. This company’s approach to managing employees is PM based.

HRM managers in Mulberry use transformational leadership style in motivating their charges to work towards the attainment of the company’s objectives and vision whilst Khan’s, management use transactional style to see to the adherence of laid down rules by employees.

Employment contract, terms and conditions would be rigidly adhered to by the Personnel Managers of Khan’s, but Human Resource Managers at Mulberry would have the authority to modify employment contracts to suit demands of Mulberry’s dynamic objectives.

Line managers in Mulberry engender harmonisation of work conditions for employees and encourage them to take pride in their wok and performance however there is no devolution at Khan’s and management monitor employees strictly in order to get work done effectively.

The process for interventions at Mulberry would be relatively wide-ranging and cultural whilst that of Khan’s would be based on personnel procedures.

Management at Mulberry is concerned with administrative efficiency and the design of HR policies and intervention.

Khan’s gains the co-operation of their staff and good working relationship between management and workers despite paying little explicit attention to people management issues and having few formalised practices for managing them. 

1.3 Implications for line managers and employees for developing a strategic approach to HRM

Introduction

Line Managers role in an organization includes not just the everyday supervision of individuals and operations but additionally, the execution of HR strategies especially in those organizations where there is a devolution of HR functions to them.

From a strategic perspective, a number of benefits exist in using line managers as developers of people such as; line managers specialise in the day-to-day people management; line managers can manage operational costs effectively; line managers apply technical expertise where necessary; line managers organise work allocation and rota; line managers monitor and evaluate work processes; line managers measure operational performance and check quality; line managers deal with customers and clients directly.

Employees play the most important role in HRM since they are the key asset. High performing and innovative employees are the foundation of productivity. The major implications are; effective leaders can set direction and execute a corporate strategy that builds commitment; employees help develop performance metrics for continuous improvement; support for employee innovation can dramatically increase productivity; employee collaboration and best-practice sharing improves efficiency; effective communication and feedback from employees can reduce errors and frustration at work; effective reward system for employees drive toward better performance; on-monetary factors like better status can motivate employees in addition.

Sainsbury’s supermarket

At the Sainsbury’s, Line Managers are trained in various parts of HRM and assume a more conspicuous role in taking care of HR issues in the organization. The fundamental  assumption is that line managers can drive HRM policies and practices, which are designed to achieve the organization’s strategic objectives through identifying, developing and supporting the appropriate knowledge, skills, commitment, and performance in employees.

This  role entrusted to Line Managers is an essential component of an organization’s success. Line managers balance the demands of senior management and employees and are both the suppliers of information to senior managers, and the implementers of the decisions taken by senior managers. They are in a position of responsibility without authority to influence senior management decision making.

Line managers have to integrate strategic HRM approaches with overall organisational culture, leadership style, company policy and organisational goals.  These tasks have implications since line managers have to avoid devising approaches that will conflict with business operations thereby negatively impacting the business.

The workloads of the line managers could marginalise their efforts in developing employees and they may not be able to pay sufficient attention to employee development. Performance criteria and reward systems are more likely to consider business results, rather than a longer term people development role. Also, it might be difficult for line managers to play two opposing roles of assessor and coach.

For the employees, the implications range from job security, fluctuation of remuneration and bonuses which will now be based on performance and contribution to the success of the team and not on position held.

Conclusion

The development of a strategic approach to the management of HRM has  changed organizational performance. This has facilitated an enabling environment for the achievement of organizational performance objectives, competitiveness, and ensured the continuity of an organization.

Task 2

2.1 Application of a model of flexibility in practice

Introduction
The changing business environment owing to highly competitive global product markets, the ever increasing advancements in Information and Communication Technology, increasing capital intensity of production, the increasing female participation ratio and the trend towards early retirement, a changing social environment, and government policy environment, has led to employers restructuring in quite unconventional ways. Firms have found themselves under pressure to find more flexible ways of manning which take account of these new market realities. The concept of flexibility has permeated much of current human resources management thinking which is justifiable for recent developments in more flexible and variable working patterns.

Flexible Firm Model
Atkinson’s (1984) model of ‘flexible firm’ identifies four types of flexibility that companies seek.

1. Functional

This refers to a firm’s ability to adjust and deploy the skills of its employees to match the tasks required by its changing workload, production methods. This is done by multi-skilling / dual skilling / dismantling of traditional rigidities between occupational groups (horizontal and vertical flexibility). This is designed to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
This is a core area of traditional conflict within the division of labour between distinct skilled groups and between the skilled and the non-skilled.

2. Numerical

This refers to a firm’s ability to adjust the level of labour inputs to meet fluctuations in outputs. There is increased use of part-timers, temporary, short-term contract staff, job sharers and agency workers.
There is a contrast between ‘core’ permanent workforce and ‘peripheral’ non-permanent. The general idea is that an increasing mixture of non-standard employment forms will be more efficient and cheaper.

3. Distancing Strategies

This refers to the increased use of other firms that undertake non-core activities such as catering, cleaning and transport. Such a strategy will be cheaper.

4. Financial

This refers to achievement of flexibility through the pay and reward structure. With numerical flexibility, companies can easily increase or decrease the total number of employees in the short term in order to achieve an exact number of the workforce they require. Organizations using numerical flexibility tend to predict the requirements for workers to balance the demand of supply (Atkinson, 1984).

 

British Telecom

British Telecom is one of the greatest telecommunications and information technology organization in the United Kingdom. Privatised in 1984, the organization has been through significant rebuilding and has adapted to operate in a highly competitive environment.

The organisation has its core workers, subcontractors and temporary staff recruited as and when needed to make up any shortfall or meet demand as the case may be. This way, the labour force headcount can be almost readily increased or decreased with any given short term changes in the level of demand for labour. There is a looser contractual relationship between manager and worker. This has resulted in a balanced match between the employed or working and the numbers needed.

2.2 Types of flexibility which may be developed by an organisation

Introduction

There are various forms of workplace flexibility. These include functional, numerical,  temporal,locational, and financial (Reilly, 2001).

Functional; permits firms to allocate labour across traditional functional boundaries, multi-skilling, cross-functional working, and task flexibility.

Numerical; permits variation in the number of employees or workers used, temporary, seasonal, casual, agency, fixed-term workers, outsourcing.

Temporal; represents variability of working hours, either in a regular or irregular pattern, part-time, annual hours, shift, overtime, voluntary reduced hours, flexitime, zero hours arrangements.

Locational; involves using employees outside the normal workplace, including transfer of work to back offices, home, mobile, tele/outworkers.

Financial; permits pay bills to rise and fall in line with corporate performance, gainsharing, profit sharing, variable executive pay schemes, wage cutting deals.

 

Tesco

Implementation of the types of flexibilities enumerated above by Tesco would provide a conducive flexible working environment for its employees and automatically increase their appetite for work (Parker, 2016). The types of flexibilities that can be developed in Tesco are,

  • older workers recruited for less working hours,
  • facilitating working from home in pressing exceptional circumstances,
  • identifying  the employee needs,  making flexibility decision for him/her which is commensurate with the objectives of the company,
  • provision of creche for working mothers,
  • a general review of rigid company policy focusing on the needs of employees to identify the areas where new flexible solutions can be formulated through constructive engagement.

2.3 Use of flexible working practices from the employee and the employer perspective

Advantages for employers and employees exist when the employer allows employees to work flexible schedules. Whether the flexible work schedule involves compressing work days, flexible daily hours, or telecommuting, challenges exist for the employer and the employee.

Employee

With flexible work schedules, employees experience these benefits:flexibility to meet family needs, personal obligations, and life responsibilities conveniently; Reduced consumption of employee commuting time; increased feeling of personal control over schedule and work environment; reduction employee burnout due to overload; allows people to work when they accomplish most, feel freshest, and enjoy working; depending on the flexible work schedule chosen, may decrease external childcare hours and costs.

The drawbacks for this approach include employees who thrive in an office environment  find it difficult to work when colleagues do not hold the same schedule. This is usually why many employers require core days and core hours during which everyone is in the office; no clear delineation between work and home meaning use of flexible schedules could mean working all of the time.

Employer

With flexible work schedules, employers experience these benefits: increased employee morale, engagement, and commitment to the organization; reduced absenteeism and tardiness; increased ability to recruit outstanding employees; reduced turnover of valued staff; allows people to work when they accomplish most, feel freshest, and enjoy working; extended hours of operation for departments such as customer service; develops image as an employer of choice with family-friendly flexible work schedules.

There are key organizational challenges that need to addressed to make flexible work schedules support the needs of the business. These include, some people taking advantage of the flexibility and use that as an invitation to work from home which really means doing something else instead; in team-oriented departments, teams still need to meet, which requires some set guidelines; some managers knowing when people leave for home, have trouble adjusting to the new management style which requires trust; office-oriented people sometimes view their work-at-home colleagues as slackers because they cannot physically see their productivity; compressed work weeks can make client handovers complicated; jobs that require customer-facing responsibilities only allow certain types of flexitime.

Overall, the advantages generally outweigh the disadvantages and a good manager can handle the disadvantages. Flexible scheduling has become part of what employees are looking for in their comprehensive employee benefits packages.

British Telecom

The organisation needed to respond to the increasing demands for flexibility from its customers who want around-the-clock service. To meet such demands and achieve the desired productivity requires a flexible workforce that can deliver this service.

BT has adapted the way it manages people and the way they work to stay competitive and responsive. The company has what is believed to be one of the largest flexible working projects in Europe – the BT Workstyle project. Flexible working is available to almost everyone in BT, and BT now has over 70,000 flexible workers, from senior managers to contact centre staff.

Seven out of 10 people work flexibly and nearly 10% are homebased. It has saved the company millions in terms of increased productivity and cut costs. This has also motivated staff and released more potential.

For workers on the move, access is provided via Wi-Fi, dial-up and other networks. Such deployed tools allow all employees to work more productively, wherever they are, as well as eliminating as much bureaucracy and unnecessary control as possible.

2.4 Impact changes in the labour market have had on flexible working practices

Introduction

In the post-war period, the UK labour market has seen many changes due to changing economy. In particular, we have seen a decline in manufacturing jobs since the early 1980s, and a growth in the service sector. We have also seen greater labour market flexibility with a growth in self-employment, part-time jobs, zero hour contracts, growth of female labour market participation, increasing numbers of older people generally, and net migration.

Growth in the service sector

As the manufacturing sector has declined, there has been an increase in the service sector and more jobs created in this area. This has caused the following effects: increase in part time and flexible working hours which are needed for the service sector; increase in proportion of women in the labour force because they tend to prefer service sector jobs to manufacturing.

Self-employment

We have seen a growth in self-employment levels for over a decade attributable to low real wage growth, encouraging people to try their own business; changing technology, facilitating internet business and therefore the opportunity to work for one’s self; the growth in firms using self-employment status to avoid certain taxes and labour market regulations.

Zero hour contracts

More people are working on zero hour contracts, therefore there is less guarantee of a fixed weekly pay. This means firms are not constrained to give a minimum number of paid hours. This phenomenon increases flexibility as well as uncertainty.

Growth in female labour market participation

In the post war period, there has been a marked rise in female participation rates in the labour market. We have seen a growth in female labour market participation and decline in male participation. This is due to factors, such as growth in part-time service sector jobs, changing social expectations, and women having children later or not at all.

Increase in % of old people

The UK, like many western economies, has seen a growth in the percentage of people over 65. This has meant the average age of the workforce has increased. The retirement age has also been increased, leading to more workers working longer and some taking semi-retirement.

Net migration

The UK has consistently seen net migration, with workers from the EU and beyond entering the UK labour market and as a result making the labour markets more flexible. Migrants have often filled job vacancies in low paid areas such as cleaners and jobs with skills shortages such as plumbers.

.

Tesco

Tesco has benefitted from the positive impact changes in the labour market have had on the organisation. Availability of workers enables the company hire the best individuals.

The number of young workers is increasing which is also beneficial for the company as  the opportunity to hire young talented individuals who can easily adopt to changing technology  has never been greater.

These changes in the labour market allow for easier implementation of flexible working practices and attainment of higher productivity and overall growth for the organisation.

Conclusion

Following on from the irreversible nature the impact of the labour market is having on flexible working, it can be inferred that employees are benefiting from this flexibility and employers are happy to continue to offer it, mindful of the business benefits that this can bring.

Task 3

3.1 Forms of discrimination that can take place in the workplace

For discrimination to be deemed to have taken place in the workplace, an  employee must feel that he/she has been unfairly treated on the grounds of age, education, gender, disability, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, and that  remedial action has been taken by the employer.

Age discrimination. Older or more mature workers are sometimes perceived to lack strength or stamina, under perform, and are less likely to adapt fully to educational changes.

Race Discrimination.  This can be racial slurs, preferential or negative treatment, being passed up for a promotion, or being paid at a different rate under some pretext which could be attributable to race or ethnicity.

Gender issues regarding women. Some of the most obvious forms are unwanted sexual advances, propositions or crude remarks toward female employees. Others could be preferential or negative treatment. Both men and women can be victims of sex-based workplace discrimination.

Sexual Orientation. This comprises gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, heterosexuals, transgenders, and people whose gender identity does not necessarily conform to the sex they were assigned at birth. Some of the main forms of discrimination are victimisation, or harassment attributable to the culture or behavioural norms prevalent in the workplace.

Education diversity. Academic success is not normally reflected in employment outcomes for ethnic minorities. The UK’s  ethnic minorities still face significant barriers to social mobility despite many having better qualifications and outperforming their white counterparts. This notion is corroborated by The Social Mobility Commission Report of  28 December 2016.

Disabled people. Negative attitudes from employers, recruitment agencies, inaccessible workplaces, perceived poor skill levels, and accident-proneness are some of the many barriers that prevent disabled people from finding work and progressing in employment.

Ethnic minorities. Ethnic minority discrimination can occur where there is a general workplace rule which applies to all workers but disadvantages people of a particular race. Staff from ethnic backgrounds for whom English is not their first language may feel intimidated or humiliated from attitudes related to race such as unacceptable terminology or racial stereotyping.

Religion or Belief. This occurs when an employee is treated differently and not as well as others because of his/her religion or belief.

The exception to this is circumstances where indirect discrimination may be justified so as not to hinder an organisation from working smoothly. An example is where religious observance conflicts with an employer’s busiest time which may lead to the employer refusing to employ someone with such a background.

3.2 Implications of equal opportunities legislation for an organisation

Introduction

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. A job role or promotion must be earned ideally on merit based on qualifications, experience as well as knowledge in the workplace. Equal opportunities in the workplace means equal treatment of all individuals who should not be disadvantaged by prejudice or bias based on their background, sex, race, disability or age.

Sainsbury Supermarket

Sainsbury has ensured that equal opportunity principles have been applied in all its HR policies and in particular to the procedures relating to the recruitment, training, development and promotion of employees.

Through pledges, Sainsbury’s aim to make sure that all staff can work without fear of discrimination. Job applicants, customers and suppliers are to be treated fairly regardless of their race, colour, nationality, sexual orientation, disability or age.

The organisation also has a policy indicating that where appropriate and where permissible under the relevant legislation and codes of practice, employees of under-represented groups will be given positive training and encouragement to achieve equal opportunity.

There is also a policy of training managers in how to conduct interviews using the best practice to ensure phraseology and questions are appropriate and applicants are treated equally.

The HR department monitors recruitment and selection to ensure fair treatment of applicants and also ensures existing employees are given equal opportunities to be trained and developed.

3.3 Comparison of the approaches to managing equal opportunities and managing diversity

Since the 1990’s, the language of ‘equal opportunities’ has been replaced in some ways by that of ‘managing diversity’. The differences between these two terms, according to Kandola and Fullerton (1994) are clear as the table illustrates.

 

Key differences

    Equal Opportunities                          Managing Diversity

Concentrates on removing              Focus on maximising employee potential

discrimination

Seen as an issue for disadvantaged               Seen as relevant to all employees

groups

Seen as an issue to do with P&D                    An issue which involves all managers

practitioners

Relies on positive action                                Does not rely on positive action

(Source: Kandola & Fullerton, 1994)

 

Equal opportunities approaches

Everyone employed by an organisation should have an equal chance to apply and be selected for posts, and to be trained and promoted equally and fairly.

Monitoring initiatives is a critical aspect of equal opportunities (Kandola & Fullerton, 1995). Under the Equality Act (2010) people are protected from discrimination on the following grounds:

  • gender and transgender
  • ethnic origin
  • disability
  • sexual orientation
  • age
  • religion and belief

Managing diversity

Valuing people with different backgrounds to contribute and realise their potential,  promoting aninclusive culture, ensuring equal opportunities to enable employees to fully participate in the learning process, are some of the aims managing diversity sets out to achieve .

Tesco

Tesco’s “framework for talent” is the organization’s diversity strategy for approaching recruitment, training and development and this is reflected in its objectives.

Tesco has established a number of networks to ensure that it engages with all employees. These include Out at Tesco, Women in Business, Tesco Asian Network, ABC Network, Stonewall, Employers Forum on Disability, and Opportunity now.

Tesco’s diversity and inclusion strategy ensures that ‘everyone is welcome’ and that the systems developed to help individuals are fit for purpose. This strategy enables Tesco find, train and employ the best talent from all parts of society, particularly groups that may otherwise be under-represented such as young wheelchair users.

These strategies help create a workforce for the organization that reflects the same diversity as is found in the society it operates in and better reflects its customer base.

Task 4

4.1 Comparison of the different methods of performance management

Performance management involves developing the tools and procedures necessary to measure performance as well as defining what effective performance looks like (Kaplan and Norton, 2000). The methods used include management objectives, psychological appraisals, assessment centres, and 360 degree feedback.

  MANAGEMENT

 

BY

OBJECTIVES

PSYCHOLOGICAL

 

APPRAISALS

ASSESSMENT

 

CENTRES

360 DEGREE

 

FEEDBACK

Description Performance rated against the achievement of objectives stated by the management.  Assessment of employees potential for future performance rather than the past one.

 

More focused on employees emotional, intellectual, and motivational and other personal characteristics.

 assessees are requested to participate in work groups, computer simulations, role playing and other similar activities which require same attributes for successful performance in actual job.  Systematic collection of performance data on an individual group, derived from a number of stakeholders.
Advantages More useful for managerial positions. May be useful for bright members who may have considerable potential.  Well-conducted assessment centre can achieve better forecasts of future performance and progress than other methods.  Highly useful in terms of broader perspective, and multi-source feedback.
Disadvantages Not applicable to all jobs, allocation of merit pay may result in setting short-term goals rather than important and long-term goals. Slow and costly.

 

Quality of  appraisals largely dependent upon  skills of psychologists.

Costs,

 

ratings strongly influenced by assessee’s inter-personal skills,

solid performers may feel suffocated in simulated situations. Those not selected may get affected.

Receiving feedback from multiple sources can be intimidating. Multiple raters may be less adept at providing balanced and objective feedback.

(Source: Darwish, 2013)

Sainsbury Supermarket

Sainsbury’s use of performance management systems is to assist management in the determination of pay rise and promotions along with monitoring employee behaviour. These include frequent appraisals, 360 degree feedback and year-end performance review. These systems are scalable to meet the organisation’s future needs.

At beginning of the performance year, managers sit down with their colleagues and set targets. These are usually specific, measurable and achievable targets so that colleagues can get them appropriately. The whole store’s target is broken into departments level first and then further broken down into colleague’s level. The notion is that if every colleague can achieve their targets then obviously the store will achieve its business target. Managers keep observing whether colleagues are doing what they are supposed to do and give them the feedback in a daily or weekly meeting. At the end of the six months, managers do the Colleague Performance Reviews (CPR) where they rate the colleagues according to the set categories.

There are four categories used to assess the colleagues’ performance; Top, Strong, Achieved and Under-achieved. These rating definitions are attached in appendices. Mystery customer measure (MCM) is also used to assess colleague performance along with managers’ review.

Conclusion

According to management, performance management system plays an important role to constitute the psychological contract between managers and colleagues. It gives them an opportunity to derive the colleague’s performance and behaviour toward organizational goal in terms of developing colleagues while keeping a good relationship with them.

4.2 Assessment of the approaches to the practice of managing employee welfare in a selected organisation

Introduction

Creating a satisfactory work environment includes dealing with how people are treated at work, managing stress, managing issues regarding work/life balance, counselling, employee assistance programmes, and placement of people in jobs that are within their capabilities.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson Sustainability report contains eight detailed descriptions of health-related interventions provided employees. These are Mental Well-Being (employee assistance program), Healthy People (health improvement), Healthy Working Environment (occupational health), HIV/AIDS Initiatives, Workplace Safety, Ergonomics, Fleet Safety and CEO Cancer Gold Standard (cancer prevention).

In addition to the above goals, the organisation seeks to improve its ability to measure and improve employee engagement, mental health and stress trends, diabetes risk, health literacy and absenteeism.

The organisation continually gathers data over an extended period for in-depth perspective on the influence of health risk changes on employee satisfaction, medical care costs and company profitability.

Many of the organisation’s employee programs are extended to family members as well. In addition to aligning with the credo commitment to help “employees fulfil their family responsibilities”, it aims to turn healthy living into a household-wide activity, enabling employees to use family members as partners in their efforts to improve health and maximise the likelihood of success.

The organisation has a very ambitious programme of  seeking to improve its ability to measure and improve employee performance and engagement  by continuing to gather data over time for a lengthy perspective on the influence of health risk changes on employee satisfaction, medical care costs and company profitability.

Conclusion

The goal of any organisation should be to have ideally the healthiest, most engaged workforce, allowing for full and productive lives which translate to company profitability.

4.3 Implications of health and safety legislation on human resources practices

Introduction

Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) regulates the standards of workplace health and safety and outlines the consequences of breaching these standards. The aim is to prevent workplace accidents, injuries and diseases.

The directives include employers providing appropriate training for handling potentially dangerous equipment and/or material, employers informing employees of potential dangers in the workplace and setting up safe work practices, employers do everything they reasonably can such as going beyond standard requirements to protect the health and safety of their employees in the workplace as well as guests, employees have the right to refuse to perform work that is unsafe.

Employers, supervisors and employees are responsible for taking steps towards complying with all these regulations. Some organisations may have to go beyond these requirements to suit their own unique circumstances.

There has been an emphasis on a ‘compensation’ culture instead of appreciating safer work environments and looking to what more can be done to reduce the current levels of work-related illnesses and accidents. The financial costs resulting from poorly trained staff, and the accidents that can follow, are far greater than the costs involved in investing in properly trained staff.

Sainsbury Supermarket

Sainsbury’s HR like all other businesses has a safety policy. This is a legal requirement, stating the aims of the organisation with regard to health and safety of employees. It also includes key members of staff and actions for carrying out the policy. The policy will include arrangements covering training and instruction, and company rules and emergency arrangements. This will be signed by the senior manager and revised regularly and kept up to date.

Sainsbury’s HR have their own code of practise which is unique to the organisation just like all different organisations have their own. This states what employees should do in an event of an emergency, such as fire, bomb scare etc. It states how to contact a first-aider, where a medical room is, how to call a doctor and so on. Sainsbury’s HR has a health and safety office in all their stores and have the responsibility for all health and safety policies and training. They advise store managers about their responsibilities for health and safety to make sure that all employees working in stores are well informed and responsibility is placed on both the store managers and employees. Human resources record all accidents in an accident book which all employees have. They also record ‘near misses’ so they can see where improvements need to be made. Human resources also train new staff for health and safety jobs.

Customers are also factored into the health and safety acts for Sainsbury’s HR, these include; shelves- all stacked to the lowest level possible,  Warning signs- always can be visible and heard, Smoking, drinking, eating- banned in all stores, substances and solvents- all kept in unreachable areas for children’s safety (3rd or 4th level shelves),  and Toilets- checked every half an hour for staff and custom.

4.4 E-learning

Introduction

E-Learning covers a wide-set of applications and processes, such as web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual class room, and digital collaboration. It includes the delivery of content via Internet, intranet/extranet (LAN/WAN), audio and videotape, satellite broadcast, interactive TV, CD – Rom, and more (Marler and Fisher 2016).

When training materials, course interactions and course delivery are enabled through technology, organisations are engaging in e-learning.

The characteristics of E-Learning include, a rich learning interface, personalised training programmes, training from work place through virtual classroom.

The business drivers behind e-learning include, reducing training costs, increasing employee flexibility and control over learning and better tracking and management of employee training. Human Resource Management is therefore investing in e-learning for workplace education and promotion as it continually looks for new and better ways to train employees to enable them provide outstanding service in order to win customers.

Outcomes

The outcomes of the e-HRM activities has helped reduce costs by restructuring HRM operations, advancing efficiency, improving the quality of HRM services and transforming HRM functions into a strategic business partner (Marler and Fisher 2016).

E-HRM’s influence on the efficiency and effectiveness of HRM activities can be seen through paper reduction, data precision increase and also the reduction of excess HRM while preserving the quality of HRM’s data. Additionally, because e-HRM provides easy access to HR data and facilitates the classifying and reclassifying of data, thus effectively creating a more transparent system and  enabling the decentralisation of  HR tasks.

Conclusion

The author has attempted to describe models of HRM, their applications and implications for organisations.

The direct impact of forms of discrimination is discussed. The beneficial aspects of equal opportunities for organisations are highlighted.

The direct impact HRM has on organisational effectiveness and goal attainment has been described and evaluated.

Analysis of the use of flexible working practices, management of employee welfare, e-learning and performance management  have been touched upon and analysed.

From the foregoing evaluation and analysis, the author concurs HR management in organisations can be deemed as crucial to those organisations’ effectiveness, productivity, and competitiveness in the marketplace.

References

 

Books

Darwish, T., K., (2013). Strategic HRM and Performance: Theory and Practice. Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Derek, T., Laura H., Stephen, T., and Carol, A. (2014). (9th Ed), HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT. Pearson

Kandola. R.S., Fullerton, J. (1994). Managing the Mosaic: Diversity in Action (Developing strategies).  Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development

Kaplan, R., S., Norton, D., P. (1996). The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action. Harvard Business School Press

Marler, J., H., Fisher, S., L. (2016). Making HR Technology Decisions: A Strategic Perspective. Business Expert Press

Parker, G. (2016). (1st Ed), UK Supermarket Wars 2014-2020: How it started, who’s winning, and why. Plain Press Limited

Peters, T., Waterman, R. (1982) In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best Run Companies. New York: Harper and Row.

Rao, V., S., P., (2010), Human Resource Management. Excel Books

Storey, J., (1992). MANAGEMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES. Wiley

Articles

Atkinson, J. (1984). Manpower Strategies for Flexible Organizations, Personnel Management, (pp28-31)

Guest, D,E. (1997). HRM and Performance. The International Journal of HRM, 8(3), (pp263-76)

Isaac, F. and Flynn, P. (2001). Johnson & Johnson. LIVE FOR LIFE PROGRAMME. American Journal of Health Promotion (pp15, 366)

Internet

Department for Work and Pensions (statements of fitness for work) . Accessed 21st April, 2017

Disability Discrimination Act < www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1995/50/contents>. Accessed 20th April, 2017

Equality Act < www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents>. Accessed 20th April, 2017

Ethnic Advisory Group < discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C11689482>. Accessed 20th April, 2017

Human Resources < www.investopedia.com/terms/h/humanresources.asp>. Accessed 18th April, 2017

Human Resources < sainsburys.jobs/role/store-support-centre/human-resources>. Accessed 18th April, 2017

Occupational Health Practices and policies < https://www.bristol.gov.uk/business-support…/bristol-workplace-wellbeing-charter>. Accessed 21st April, 2017

Sexual Discrimination Orientation . Accessed 20th April, 2017

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