“…While extraordinary products and unique services still afford a competitive advantage, the one advantage that stands the test of time…is people.”Mark Salsbury(2014). The term Human resource management which has evolved from personal management has been through many controversial debates about its definition. One proposed definition of Human Resource management by William R. Tracey, in “The Human Resources Glossary, is: “The people that staff and operate an organization.” Human resources management have core functions such as recruitment and selection, Managing employee relationships, development and trainings, compensation and salary and performance management. While performing these key activities Human Resources managers must take into account the different policies which apply to the employee wellbeing and the organisation in general. For proper functioning of the business a Human resource planning must be done in order for the business to be successful and to meet their goals. In addition, employee voice is a crucial aspect for proper relationships between the employee and the employer.
In this regards, this assignment will provide an in-depth analysis of the key activities of Human resource management and how they help to achieve business goals. The consultant will also analyze policies about employee wellbeing at work. She will also focus on Human resource planning and finally develop on employee voice at work.
Key Activities involved in HRM
As an experienced Human resource consultant, I will discuss the key activities involved with human resource management and explain how these support the business goals of Canal + contact. I will then use theories and examples to support my answer.
Firstly, Canal + contact have five major key activities namely:
• Recruitment and selection
• Managing Employer and labor’s relationship
• Development and training
• Compensation and salary
• Performance Management
Each one of the key activities helps in achieving business goals. Business goals are objectives that the business wants to achieve in a specific period. Business goals can vary according to size and objectives of a business. For example, the business goals of Canal + contact are:
• To become the leader of tv channels and internet services in its overseas market
• To recruit good and experienced people and make them loyal to the organization
• To develop new sales strategies
• To have customer loyalty
• High Productivity
I will now explain how these key activities help in achieving business goals.
Recruitment and selection
Recruitment and selection is the action of looking for potential candidates who can add value to the business and includes different stages such as screening, interview and making offers.
This helps in achieving business goals by hiring good and experienced people. These people can make the business gain in reputation and thus attract more qualified and skilled potential candidates. According to Guest’s HRM model (1989), “it is essential to consider the employees as a valuable asset for the company which must be suitably utilized for obtaining desirable organizational outcomes such as improved employee performances, low employee turnover and high problem solving skills.” It focuses on the on high commitment. This is important as it can help to decrease employee turnover and increase performance. He also showed that good recruitment results in high quality employees and higher reputation. One example can be that at Canal + contact we must focus on candidates having a background in customer service. Good recruitment will tend to focus on experienced candidates who can add value to the organization by bringing experienced and skilled people. This will lead to a better productivity.
Figure 1: Recruitment and selection
Managing Employer’s and labor’s relationship
According to Brian Beal (2006), “The Human Resource Department is to be a business partner for the rest of the firm, which will help other workers to achieve their business goals.” They have to maintain an equilibrium balance between employee and employers and act as defender of the employee rights working in collaboration with unions.
This has a crucial impact on productivity and organizational effectiveness. According to Storey (1984), Soft HRM highlights the interest in people satisfaction at work. He emphasizes that the business can achieve competitive advantages by “winning the hearts and the minds of employees, building trust, employee involvement and engaging leadership.” When the employee feels worthy he tends to have engagement toward the employer. Robinson et al (2004) argues that “Engagement is based on different concepts and each one contributes to the employee feeling valued.” Concepts like involvement in decision-making and freedom to voice out leads to better engagement from the employee to its organization and thus they tend to be more productive. At Canal + Contact, when there is general meeting, employee feels at ease to speak. They feel valued when their opinions are taken into consideration. This can be seen as a good example of how human resource plays a role in managing employer and labor relationships.
Figure 2: Storey: SOFT HRM
Development and training
This refers to training sessions for new and existing employees who need to upgrade their skills. It helps to keep employee up to date with new technologies. Human resource department has to provide adequate resource for development.
The Harvard model (Beer et al 1984) argues that the human resource management helps to support the business goals by competence that is to attract skilled workers and make them committed to the business by constant training and development. They also argue that the employee gains in flexibility. Thus, the business becomes more responsive to treats and opportunities and with problem solving. When an employee gets training, he can become multi-tasking thus achieving high productivity and can develop new strategies. At Canal + Contact trainings are given on a systematic way to improve services standard. This result to better service and employee become more flexible and up to date.
Compensation and salary
Appropriate salary and compensation needs to be given to employees based on task, legislation and performance. Usually salary is set using benchmarking. The Human resource department needs to maintain competitive salary to retain their employees.
The expectancy theory developed by Vroom (1964) argues that there is a link between rewards and behaviours. Rewards can bring motivation, which in return brings high productivity. He argues, “Compensation systems differ according to their impact on the motivational components.” (Vroom 1964). For example, good remuneration can help to achieve high reputation the market. At Canal + contact rewards are given based on presence and performance. This motivates employees to be regular at work. This also motivates them to be more productive. The more productive they are the more they ear in terms of rewards.
Figure 3: Vroom Theory
Performance management is an ongoing process between employer and employees to help in evaluating employee performance at work. It is a guide for employers to know whether there are problems and they can also develop new ways to achieve high productivity. We use the performance appraisal for the evaluation. Mc Gregor (1996) advocates that “a performance appraisal system must address itself not only to the organizational needs but also to the needs of the individual.”
This helps in motivation employees, for development and communication. “Appraisal is now seen by some commentators as being the more significant in maintaining employee loyalty and commitment in directly managing performance.” (Bowles and Coates ,1993). The behavioural management theory suggests that managers who take a special interest in employees make them feel special and motivates them; Elton Mayo uses the illustration of the hawthorn effect to show employee behaviour. One example is that while using performance appraisal the managers can look for new strategies to increase productivity. At Canal + Contact performance appraisal are done every year to see what percentage of salary rise each employee must have based on the overall performance of the employee. This is a good way of motivating them.
HR Policy for Employee Wellbeing at Work
As an experienced Human resource consultant I will propose a policy which addresses employee wellbeing at work. I will then evaluate how Hr. activities in this policy area align to the values promoted by Canal + Contact and how it supports delivery of strategic outcomes.
One policy that addresses employee wellbeing at work is No discrimination. According to the equal Opportunity Act, “Discrimination is where an employer treats an employee or a prospective employee less favourably than another one in similar circumstances on the basis of his/her status.” Discrimination at work is unethical and can have negative effects for the organization. Antidiscrimination legislation has numerous laws in every country and is constantly increasing every year. Robert Post (2000), argues that “Antidiscrimination law presupposes different concepts of law and, as it enforces antidiscrimination rules, it sets forth the notion of what people are and aren’t.”
Hr activities usually take into account the policy on discrimination in order to align to the values of Canal + contact which are Customer focused, Excellence, open minded, daring, simplicity and teamwork. This policy also supports delivery of strategic outcomes. Strategic outcomes refer to the objectives of a business. It is the desirable outcome. As for canal + contact the strategic outcomes are motivated workforce, Customer Value, Financial performance, and attracting skilled workforce.
Recruitment and selection
Recruitment is very important for the employee wellbeing as it is the first contact of the employer to the prospective employees. Discrimination is not permitted in the recruitment process but special provisions apply to rehabilitated criminals and disabled person. Organization with more than 20 employees must under the disabled persons (employment ACT of 1958 ensure that 3 % of their workforce are disables persons. When the recruitment is done following the legal procedures this creates employee wellbeing and also aligns to the value that Canal + contact of being open minded. For example, Canal + contact recruits disable people and do no discrimination on sex. As per result for its strategic outcome, Canal + contact attract more skilled people as it is known as an ethical organization.
Trainings are given to new employee as well as established ones. It is usually done to improve performance and to give new directions for more demanding jobs. Training helps a lot in employee wellbeing as this helps to retain them and decrease the level of employee turnover. This also helps to produce a motivated workforce. While offering training session employers must ensure no discrimination is being done. For example, there must be no assumptions that an older worker will not want to get any trainings. Discrimination laws in training align to the values excellence as the people will be more productive. This will help to achieve motivated workforce and financial performance as strategic outcome. In Canal + contact trainings are given to different groups of people basically on the work they are doing and how they perform their tasks regardless of their age, religion, caste or any other aspect that may be considered as discrimination.
As Fombrun and Laud (1983) indicated, “The primary functions of the performance appraisal process include providing a basis for equitable allocation of rewards and facilitation of employee development. ‘This must be done following legal procedures on discrimination. Appraisal must be done for everyone and based on the same criteria’s according to the task being performed by the employee. While doing the interview for appraisal manager must be objective. According to the equal opportunity act, merit itself is made up of the following 3 inextricably linked elements: (i) the talent, (ii) the competence and (iii) the willingness and desire to work of the employee or prospective employee. Discrimination law on performance appraisal aligns with the values of excellence and daring. Performance appraisal can be a good motivator which creates excellent productivity. Motivated workforce would be more daring to propose new ideas. The result will be an increase in the financial performance.
Managing employer and employee relationships
Like all the Hr activities managing employer and employee relationship using the discrimination policy will help to support organizational strategies. Good Communication between employee and employee creates employee wellbeing. Managers must be objective while dealing with an employee and always follows legal procedures on the way of treating their employees without any discrimination. Discrimination at work causes harm to the employee but also to the organization. It can result to high level of turnover, absenteeism and low performance. The equal opportunity act clearly mentions that is the duty of each employer to make sure that employees/prospective employees are not discriminated against and that every employee/prospective employee is given a fair go at each and every stage of the employment process. This helps to align with the value of teamwork as if employee is treated in the right way they will be more willing to work in team and thus achieving a motivated workforce and financial performance.
Compensation and salary
Compensation and salary is very important in order to create employee well-being at work. Being rewarded correctly created a motivated workforce and makes people more productive. According to Murlis (1996), “Rewards strategy will be characterized by diversity and conditioned both by legacy of the past and the realities of the future.” Salary must be established in regards of the tasks, experience, and level of education etc and not on gender, race or religion. All employees working for a minimum of 1 year are entitled to a bonus. Being fair in the process of remuneration following legal policy on discrimination is a must and this helps to align with the value of Canal + contact of being open minded. As strategic outcome the people become more motivated and productive. This increases the financial performance of the organization.
Human Resource Planning
As an experienced Human resources consultant I will analyze the current HR planning process of Canal + Contact and its impact on forecasting the organization’s human resource needs. I will consider how well the process delivers the human resource requirements that Canal + Contact needs to achieve its business strategies. I will then use theories and examples to support the analysis.
According to Mondy et al (1996), “Human Resource Planning is a systematic analysis of HR needs in order to ensure that correct number of employees with the necessary skills is available when they are required.” HRP which is an ongoing process helps to identify the Human resource support needed to meet the demand of the organization. HRP can be influenced by internal and external sources. An example of internal factors is retirement level, or employee moving to another task and external factors can be regulations and economic factors.
Canal + Contact have about 225 employees with a financial year stating as from 1 January to 31 December. As for 2018 The HRP is as follows:
Department Current Workers Forecast (need to recruit) Title Deadline Current recruitment
Department 5 1 Administrative assistant June 1
Financial department 7 1 Financial Manager August 1
Sales Department 50 13 Sales representatives April 10
Technical department 40 10 Technical Officer March 10
Development Department 52 5 Development officer March 5
Training department 30 2 Quality officer June 2
Customer care department 39 1 Customer care officer February 1
Figure 4 : HRP CANAL + CONTACT
If we analyse the table, we can see that the number of people that needed to be recruited for the sales department could not be achieved. The other department forecast has had the supply of people which was need. As a result of there were 3 people missing in the sales department. This has created a decrease in the productivity as the sales officer had more tasks to perform due to missing of labor power. As a result, they were unmotivated and could not respond to the amount of work they were asked to do. New Schedules had to be done in order to cover the gap of the three missing employee. Many employees decided to resign as the amount of work became too bulky. The management had to take other measures such as increasing the salary and paying other benefits to retain them. On the overall due to the lack of employee in the sales department, canal + contact had to invest more for employee retention and it resulted as a loss for them.
According to Byers and Rue, (1984) human resource planning involves “applying the basic planning process to human resource needs of the organization.” As for Canal + contact the business objectives are:
2) Employee retention
3) Customer service
4) Competitive advantage.
Human resource planning helps to get an evaluation of the actual employee and a forecast of what they might be. While getting this information, the Human resource manager can identify the position need, creates detailed job description for every position in the organisation and determine their rank. The process of Human resource planning helps to identify employees who are not efficient in their work and assign other task to them or give them the necessary training in order for them to be more productive. As a result, while productivity increase Canal + Contact gains in profitability. Gould (1984) mentioned in a study that “evaluating HR issues help company gain useful insights about which human abilities are required to implement strategies for successful accomplishment of objectives.” An example of this is that by Using an effective HRP at Canal + contact, the manager is able to identify the employee who are not keen to do sales and he is able to move them to other department in order to be more profitable.
HRP helps in decreasing turnover. When an employee resign form their job, their colleagues often have to do more task than usual while waiting for a new recruit. While doing an effective HRP the human resource can hire, train and manage employees effectively. The creation of job description can help in identifying better candidates who are more likely to succeed in the job. According to Craft (1980), ”Human resource planning owns a significant role in deciding and specifying the characteristics of applicants, in order to select the best fit that organization.” A good HRP helps in employee retention by forecasting the future needs in terms of labor and recruit the appropriate candidate. In canal + contact the forecast of resigning employees in the development department was 3. While doing a good HRP the management could recruit 5 new candidates as replacement.
One very crucial business objective of Canal + contact is to have higher level of customer service and to gain in competitiveness. While doing an effective HRP better candidates can be recruited and this can help to get better customer satisfaction. Employee who has difficulties at work can also be identified and trained. Ahmadi (2009) emphasized that “performance improvement does not result only from good performance of system; rather motivated and committed human resource also plays its part which is possible by successful implementation of human resource strategies.” For example, Better Customer service are achieved by giving training to appropriate staffs which are identified using the HRP at Canal + contact.
Butler et al (1991) explain that “there is an important role of human resource management to create competitive advantage for the organization against the competitors present in the industry.” A comprehensive analysis of the activities of the competition is an ongoing business objective. While Using effective HRP the manager can decide what type of employee will be needed in the future. Human Resource Planning should be suitable with the trend of technology. Ulrich (1987) added,” HR planning is recognized as a source of development of organizational functions based on missions and objectives of the business.” With the help of planning, areas that need better functioning are identified to make them grow and succeed. For example, canal + contact will gain in competiveness while recruiting skilled workers at the right time.
Employee Voice at Work
As an experienced Human Resource Consultant I will discuss the role of employee voice in Canal + Contact, in supporting effective employee relationships and I will also provide example to support my view.
Employee voice can be seen as “the ability of employees to influence the actions of the employer.” ( Millward , Bryson and Forth ,2000) . Employee voice is important for Canal + Contact as it helps the organization to achieve its goals. There are two types of employee voice:
1) When employee voice out negative aspect of work rather than leaving the organization
2) Input in decision making process.
Employee Voice supports effective employee relationship in many ways:
Employee Voice protects against negative emotions
Perlow and Williams (2003) suggest that when employees feel unable to speak out, negative emotions like resentment and anger bubble up, which can “shut down creativity” and chip away at motivation, productivity and performance. This may be driven by feelings of in authenticity, which is psychologically damaging.
While facing negative emotions at work employees feel unmotivated and it results in employee leaving their work place and thus this is a loss for canal + contact. For example, if many people in the sale department are angry because the manager always shouts at them, they can raise their voice and thus the management will know that the problem is the manager himself rather than the sales representatives.
Employee voice improves organizational agility
Collins (2001) says that ”A climate where employees feel able to speak the truth is essential if organizations are to adapt quickly to changing market conditions.”
Employees must feel at ease to express their opinions on changes in the organization as the results will depend on their feelings. For example if they cannot adapt to a new way of working ( a new program for work ) they will feel unmotivated and thus the company will lose its employees and this will also be a lost financially. Both the employer and employee will be able to cope with the changing environment more effectively.
Employee voice helps to prevent knowledge and skill loss
Replacing Knowledge and skills can be very costing for an organization. While promoting employee voice in Canal + contact, they are likely to promote employee retention as the employees has the rights to speak about what they like or dislike and what can help them to achieve their goals at work. Retaining existing employee is very important. Mobley’s, (1977) models of the process of employee’s decisions on turnover in attempts to better understand those cognitive and behavioural processes that mediates the relationship between job satisfaction and turnover consistently weak empirical relationships are skill found.
Employee voice improves employer branding and customer acquisition.
When employees do not have the right to voice out they can be frustrated and they can tarnish the company’s reputation. This can be negative for canal + contact to recruit skilled talents as candidates will seek for feedback before submitting applications or accepting interview. NitaClarks,(2012) argues, ” If you have effective employee voice you will know what is going on in your organization.” So for instance the management will know what is good and that are the problems the employees are facing. The employer addresses to grievance internally this will reduce negative committing in public. As for Canal + Contact one example is that they tend to dismiss employees who are considered as too demanding. Thus it created a bad image for the organization and it had to review its process and propose more benefits in order to attract skilled workers.
Employee Voice leads to higher Collective learning and better decision making
Bishop et al (2006) hypothesized the belief that “Once employees are empowered, they will use that increased autonomy in a responsible way, could be an important part of a learning-supportive culture.” Collective learning is the process of learning in teams and organization. When employees feel safe to voice out honestly this can optimize decision making. Higher Collective learning can also help the organization to cope with changes more efficiently and become more agile. For example, trainings can be provided in groups and if employee feels secure to talk they can focus giving better options to achieve higher efficiency levels.
Employee voice improves job design
When employee voice is valued the employee are able to be honest about the job they are doing and in what ways they can improve the task in order to suit the market. Better job design has an impact on the employee but also on the relationships with the colleagues. Improving Job design can lead to job satisfaction and wellbeing and employee can become more productive. It also leads to a higher engagement for the employees. One example in canal + contact is that transport was done on excel and one employee voiced out that it was complicated to maintain all records and that some information could be lost. So the IT department decided to build up a program to do transport planning. The result was that the employee was more efficient and productive. He had job satisfaction and engagement towards the organization.
Through our analysis of Human resource management, we can say that the views and theories are quite controversial on this subject. Although it has changed over the years, the changes have confronted managers with many opportunities and challenges, and nowhere are these opportunities and challenges more pronounced than in the area of HRM. To conclude “it would be inaccurate to suggest that one approach has taken over from the other, just as it would be wrong to suggest that one is modern, and the other old fashioned, and that one is right and the other wrong.” (Torrington, D. and Hall, L., 1995, p12). Human Resource isn’t a thing we do. It’s the thing that runs our business.” – Steve Wynn, Wynn Las Vegas