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Workforce planning, its importance, advantages and difficulties

Workforce planning is challenging and complex process for any company in current business world. To plan about the future need of human resource is a bit tricky and hard: due to the continuous turbulences in business environment, social and technological ever changing demands may lay off some of the skills at job places and may creates new horizons and skills that urgently should match by the company’s employees. Exactly the required number of staff is very difficult to predict. However, workforce planning is a vitally important process and about 70% of companies finance is used up on employment costs and so the efficacy of its employees in large part decides the success of the companies. Workforce planning is the key means for any company operating its business in current business climate to recognize and foresee the effects of demographic, technological and policy trends on future service requirements. To predict future staff requirements is also very essential and critical for betterment of overall performance of the company. In short, changing and improving the workforce depends on effective workforce planning.

Many companies do not implement their strategic workforce planning systematically even though they consider this management tool a main factor in sustainable business success. 81 percent of companies rate the importance of strategic workforce planning as high; however only 35 percent are satisfied with their workforce planning results. These are the findings of the “Strategic Workforce Planning” study conducted by the HR consulting company Hewitt Associates and the Institute for Executive and Human Resource Management at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

The demand for new talent is so high that most of companies are forced to modify their corporate strategies. Because of this, companies already attribute a high degree of importance to strategic workforce planning and expecting its significance to rise considerably in the coming three to five years.

Today although more than 70 percent of businesses implement strategic workforce planning as a management tool to save the company from shortage of skills or talent at every level, they tend to do so in a rather unstructured manner, in part isolating the process from other HR activities. This leaves them only partially content: Around two thirds are satisfied with short-term workforce adjustments and operational workforce planning on an annual basis; however with workforce planning for key positions and for the company overall, the satisfaction rate is only 35%. “Companies have considerable backlog demand in implementing their strategic workforce planning.  Only when this planning is implemented systematically can businesses profit from the advantages of this management tool,” said Ursula Knorr, head of Human Resource Management at the University of St. Gallen.

Sometimes company cannot properly plan due to the non systematic market and its trends. Today’s the factors such as continuous changing business environment and recession are where the motives to plan the workforce these are also big hurdles in workforce planning. Customer attitude toward business (company’s product), company policy & image and nature of business also have deep impact on workforce planning.

Question No. 2

Recruitment Process & its requirements

BBC Recruitment Process

BBC has its own recruitment website, where candidates are able to see what the BBC can offer for them and search the latest vacancies to see if the company has a role that would suit the candidates’ skills and needs.

Before deciding to apply, it is very important that you read through the job details to ensure that candidate meets all of the minimum criteria as outlined in the skills and experience section and within any job advert. If candidate does not meet these requirements, then chances are he/she would not be invited for an interview.

If the candidate likes the sound of working with BBC and feels that he/she meets the minimum requirements of the role, he/she can then apply online for jobs at the BBC and also register to be notified of any future jobs by email.

Next candidate is needed to complete an online application form for the chosen job. For hints on completing the application full guideline is also provided on the website.

Once a candidate has submitted his/her application form it will be assessed against the essential criteria of the job. If the skills and experience closely meet the job requirements, then he/she will be invited to attend an interview and possibly an assessment. The assessment techniques that BBC uses are designed specifically for each individual job, with the aim of objectively and fairly measuring the core requirements of that particular job. The company will explain what the assessment is measuring when it invites candidate to attend. If the candidate skills and experience do not match the requirements of the job BBC will inform candidate also. Candidate will not be invited in to attend an interview or assessment, but the company would encourage candidate to re visit the current jobs section on website to see if there are any more suitable jobs.

If candidate is short listed for interview or assessment for a management role at the BBC, he/she will be required to complete an online leadership questionnaire. He/she can complete this from a work or home computer and it will last approximately 45 minutes.

If he/she is successful at interview/ assessment then the company will contact him/her to offer a job with the BBC. If this is the case then the candidate may want to find out more about the benefits of working with BBC. 

If the candidate is not successful at interview/ assessment, he/she may ask the BBC for feedback. BBC is always happy to provide feedback and can also talk to candidate about other opportunities at the BBC which may be more suited to his/her skills and experience. 

Question No. 3

Training and Development Program

BBC Academy of Training

The training academy which BBC is operating one of the key tools to develop its staff in the field of media. BBC training academy sets education and development at the heart of the broadcast industry by providing firms and service providers with the required skills they require to posses and for their life span of job careers in the continuous changing media industry. As well as training BBC’s own staff, the BBC's Charter Agreement confirms the responsibility to train the industry and BBC Academy do this in a number of ways:

Academy works with Skill-set, the Government-licensed, UK-wide Sector Skills Council for the audiovisual industries to offer subsidised training to the UK Freelance community

Academy offers complete portfolio of courses and development solutions to individuals and organisations worldwide for not only BBC employees but anyone interested in relevant programs can register and get training.

Academy acts as development consultants to work with you and your organisation offering a complete service from training needs analysis to evaluation.

This website and the services BBC Academy offers are separate but complementary to the BBC's licence fee funded activities.

For individuals

BBC Academy offers practical, expert advice on the right training for individuals and details of funding packages available to help them with the cost. 

For broadcast organisations

BBC Academy provides an account management service which gives the candidates day-to-day support alongside any or all of the following:

Design and carrying out of training needs assessments

Working with candidates to create an effective training strategy to meet their needs

Advice on the best training delivery options

Our extensive range of scheduled courses available to candidates

Designing and delivering bespoke training packages

Implementing a rigorous evaluation process so that a candidate can clearly demonstrate the value received by his/her organisation

Combining all the above elements to help the candidates to maximise their training budget.

So BBC has established a separate academy to train its staff at all level. This independent academy runs its own business to train the entire employees of BBC and other individuals interested into similar field by offering different courses, online programs and workshops. These programs related to news, radio, television, journalism, broadcasting and several other categories. So this is a good way to develop the employees by sending them into the same kind of culture which they face at their job places as the BBC academy provides them the same kind of environment where candidates can learn more easily and productively. A list of courses is given below offered by BBC Academy for its candidates:

Camera Skills

Core Learning Craft Editing

Core Learning Desktop Editing

Design

Directing

Drama

Editing, Post-production HYPERLINK "http://www.bbctraining.com/searchResults.asp?cat=2781&subcat=2791"&HYPERLINK "http://www.bbctraining.com/searchResults.asp?cat=2781&subcat=2791" Vision Mixing

Editorial

Graphics

Interactive Television

Introductory Courses

Lighting Skills

Master classes

Production Skills

Sound Skills

Technical Overviews

Web Design

Writing and Storytelling

Question No. 4

Examine Human relations school of management in relation to motivating staff?

The human relations school of management has broad acceptance among the business circles. Even in the current dynamic business climate most of the companies and managers are practicing this model the doubt is still there about this model whether it changes the entire management practices for betterment.

Often consigned to as motivational theory, human relations management theory sights the employees in a different way than the more dictatorial management theory of the old age. Based on Douglas McGregor's X and Y Theories, HR management theory (Theory Y), defines that employees from this category want to perform their jobs with dignity, full involvement, at their own by understanding it their own responsibility, and they are self motivated towards their jobs and want to retain and even make better their position in company. This theory Y is strictly reverse to Theory X, which explains that employees from this category are indolent and unenthusiastic, that they look for nothing more from their normal routine job tasks and only require job security and that they need regulation from without. In short, according to this human relations theory, management should fall the employees into these two categorise and then deal them accordingly for improving the performance of both employees and overall company performance. According to human relations management theory, some of the positive management deeds that guide staff towards high motivation and develop their performances are as followed:

Treating employees as if work is as natural as play or rest, just as motivational theory states. If the company does not provide them the best working conditions and proper breaks employees might lose their attentions and motivation towards their jobs

Sharing the big-picture objectives toward which their work is aimed. Without communicating the goals which company wants to achieve through workforce a company cannot prosper. These goals should be measureable, achievable and realistic. It is also management’s responsibility that not only to communicate these goals properly but also show the big picture to the employees how their contributions will increase the productivity of the company and how company will be rewarding them against this.

Empowering employees to innovate and make as many independent decisions as they can handle which will provide them satisfaction and motivate them towards their job tasks.

Training and developing them, increasing freedom and responsibility as their capabilities grow and they can perform more productively by feeling the free at their job places.

Providing appropriate recognition and rewards when they achieve company goals which are very strong motivation factors.

Using any other helpful theories of human relations that will keep them motivated toward excellence.

Question No. 5

Explain Motivational factors that influence the Organization and employees’ performance?

Before a manager can effectively rouse motivation within his workforce, the manager must know of the issues that can influence on employees’ motivation. Employees get involved in organizations in order to fulfil certain opinions, ethics, comforts, or desires; such as credit, approval, job security issues, recognition, seeking new experiences from new horizons and opportunities, growth and development, meeting new people, or constructing their self-respect, etc. If management does not allow its workers to tackle their desires then the motivation level among employees’ would not remain maintained and may drop which affect on the overall organization performance.

Why workers lose their attentions at their jobs:

Little or no chance for personal progression and growth

Indistinct collective goals for groups and teams or inconsistency between employees’ prospects in business and the reality of the circumstances

No or less admiration, benefits or gratitude for the employees’ participation towards their job performances

Belief of insufficiency or those employees’ are feeble to place a difference in the business. Consequently it may become reason of lack of direction, communication or no inspiration from management

Routine Job tasks with no change, variety and charm

No or less colleagues support and conflict between managers and employees

No or less status connected to the job tasks

No or less chances to show initiative and ingenuity.

The factors that affect both personal and group motives within the organization and what are the expectation that management has from its manager to motivate individual, teams and groups working into the organization. What type of leadership presence should managers maintain? The factors of motivation are:

Expect a great deal from organizational members. They will either live up or live down to the management’s expectations.

Explain exactly what the management expect from organization members/workers, especially if the organization is in the early stages of group development.

Communicate frequently with the groups, individuals and teams.

Emphasize the importance of good work habits and time management.

Lead by example. Be a role model and practice what the managers preach.

Manager should look to himself first if trouble occurs. Don't blame others or get angry with its staff directly.

Managers should show appreciation both publicly and privately for employees’ good work. Praise even the smallest accomplishments when appropriate.

Keep the organization members/workers aware of the opportunities that exist for them within the organization (i.e., leadership positions).

Let the workers/members have a good time while the work gets done; and don’t forget to join them.

Question No. 6

Compare and contrast classical and scientific schools of management?

The classical or traditional approach to management was generally concerned with the structure and the activities of formal organization. The utmost importance in the achievement of an effective organization was seen to be the issues such as the establishment of a hierarchy of authority, the division of work, and the span of control. The classical management focuses on the efficiency and includes scientific, bureaucratic and administrative management. 

Henry Fayol’s Classical Organisational theory attempted to identify principles of management that would apply to all organisations. He defined management as having five functions; “planning (examining the future and drawing up plans of actions), organising (building up the structure of the undertaking), commanding (maintaining activity among the personnel), co-ordinating (unifying and harmonizing activities and efforts) and controlling (seeing that everything occurs in conformity with policies and practices)”. His study showed the idea that the principles of organisational and administrative effectiveness depended on the positional power held and discouraged any ideas of rigidity.

The scientific approach required several major principles in its application to management: firstly develops a science for each operation to replace opinion and rule-of-thumb. Secondly it suggests that workers should be scientifically selected based on their qualifications and trained to perform their jobs in the most optimal manner. Thirdly it advocates genuine cooperation between workers and management based on mutual self-interest. Fourthly it suggests that management should take total responsibility for planning the work and that worker’s primary responsibility should be achieving management's plans.

Scientific management is a series of approaches aimed at improving the performance of individual workers through the use of analytical procedures to lift workplace efficiency”. The system was developed by Fredrick Taylor (1856-1915), in hope of providing the workplace with greater productivity and efficiency, which in turn gave individuals a greater understanding of management. Fredrick Taylor defined his theory as “the one best way for a job to be done”. Scientific management brought many improvements to productivity, which was much needed and impressive. Highly repetitive jobs were re-designed, with remarkable increases in output, which contributed to the workplace greatly.

In spite of focusing only on the internal structure of the organization scientific schools of management is majorly focused on the aligning processes, selecting the right employees with right skills at right time for the right jobs, analytical techniques to improve the job places further better, workforce planning, guiding employees by developing their job plans (through job targets), and focusing on both employees and the processes of the company. Both classical and scientific schools of management help to bring high productivity within the company.

Question No. 7

Explain Maslow’s theory and today’s relevance?

The foundation of Maslow's theory is that the every human being is stimulated by unfulfilled needs, and that definite lower needs of human must be fulfilled first before the higher level of needs can be concentrated on. There are some universal needs (physiological, safety, love, and esteem) which are real important to be met before this a person act selflessly. These human needs were known "deficiency needs." While human being also stimulated to complete these needs, they carry on moving toward enlargement, and ultimately self-actualization. The contentment of such desires is fairly vigorous. While preventing their enjoyment makes us ill or act evilly.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Chart

Source: http://www.abraham-maslow.com

In result, for sufficient workplace enthusiasm, it is significant that managers recognize which desires are lively for the employees’ motivation. In this concern, Abraham Maslow's model points out those essential, low-level desires such as physiological requirements and safety must be satisfied before higher-level needs such as self-fulfilment are pursued. As depicted in this hierarchical diagram, sometimes called 'Maslow's Needs Pyramid' or 'Maslow's Needs Triangle', when a need is satisfied it no longer motivates and the next higher need takes its place.

Physiological Needs

These include the most basic needs that are vital to survival, such as the need for water, air, food and sleep. Maslow believed that these needs are the most basic and instinctive needs in the hierarchy because all needs become secondary until these physiological needs are met which is applicable today.

Security Needs

These include needs for safety and security. Security needs are important for survival, but they are not as demanding as the physiological needs but can be demanding up to some extent. Examples of security needs include a desire for steady employment, health insurance, safe neighbourhoods and shelter from the environment which is also compulsory for any human in today’s world.

Social Needs

These include needs for belonging, love and affection. Maslow considered these needs to be less basic than physiological and security needs but is important in business context though. Relationships such as friendship with colleagues and management fulfils this need for companionship and acceptance, as does involvement in social, community or religious groups.

Esteem Needs

After the first three needs have been satisfied, esteem needs becomes increasingly important. These include the need for things that reflect on self-esteem, personal worth, social recognition and accomplishment. When above needs fulfilled at this stage of need workers perform their jobs with self-motivation and show their best at their own by feeling own responsibility.

Self-actualizing Needs

This is the highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Self-actualizing people are self-aware, concerned with personal growth, less concerned with the opinions of others and interested fulfilling their potential.

Question No. 8

Explain Change implementation through autocratic and democratic ways?

In Autocratic management style, management gives instruction to staff to perform certain job tasks without getting opinion or making consultation. If the management likes to control an office situation, then it tends to use this autocratic style. As the autocratic style means employees has to follow management and the guideline provided by the management. Change is necessary into every business now the implementation of change is equally important. Since autocratic style is imposition of decision from the management and no freedom for employees to work according to their wish and no participation in decision making which may produce little dissatisfaction among employees. As it is human nature mostly they resist against change and if the change is implemented without involving them into decision of making change regarding their work places it becomes more severe and the consequences may be not in favour of the company. Although decisions taken by the management by using the autocratic approach may be time efficient as no other insolvent is considered but because of this job is normally fulfilled on time. However this style of management may build such a work environment where employees’ are less satisfied and de motivated and create the situation such as “wait for boss instruction”. In long run, autocratic style of management tries to compel the employees’ away from business decision hence increase employees turnover and new working conditions which can be bringing by management may face the high resistance.

On the other hand the management approach known as Democratic Management style supports the idea that management should empower its employees towards their job tasks. This style of management encourages the employees to perform job tasks at their own and take initiatives to come up with new ideas. Democratic management style always comes along with accountability and it work more successfully when power to carry out the job tasks is settled at the mean time.  Normally involving staff into change implementation process brings positive results. Another very essential trait of this management style is the employees’ who are assigned with particular job targets must be handed over with proper authority be expert enough to perform those tasks otherwise consequences may be very unfavourable for company. When the company practices the democratic style of management it informs the whole workforce which may affect by the new change then involve them into this decision by communicating the new benefits which the entire workforce would get after implementation and then start implementation of that certain change into the company. So this participation and pre-information involve the entire workforce into change implementation process which shows the positive results for the company and also maintain the satisfaction level among the workforce which motivates them to perform their best by accepting the new changing conditions of their jobs.

Question No. 9

Relationship between management style and motivational programs

Participative management can be defined as communicating information with the workforce and creating their involvements in the process of decision making. Employees of the company are persuaded to operate their own jobs, their own departments, and take decision regarding their job responsibilities and work places. This style of management is best solution to overcome the problems like de motivation, dissatisfaction and poor productivity of the employees. But still not each and every organization has the capacity and capability to adopt this style of management.

Management by Objectives (MBO) is a management method by using this approach, employees’ of the company vigorously contribute in defining objectives that are concrete demonstrable and quantifiable. Participation of employees makes them feel that they are important and targets set by their own motivate them to perform in a better way on their job places.

Employees’ empowerment is another technique of management that assign role to the managers such as coach, counsellor, supporter or facilitator for the employees. In this technique of management employees at each level do have the right to make decisions regarding their job duties and job tasks. How the work would be structured and how the set targets would be achieved all depends on the employee to decide and work. Management only check and monitor the output of the employee. Empowerment technique includes passing on the right of decisions concerning the actions that would have to be very essential to both management and workforce. The key reason and situation to implement the empowerment strategy is; it provides swift solutions for the problems at bottom level, to offer employees development and progression opportunities, and more importantly low down the cost of business by engaging the employees and managers at more than one projects.

Employees’ empowerment leads the departments towards expansion of self-arranged working teams. This management approach assigns the power to take decisions such as what job task is to do first, how to do, how the problems regarding job would be solved. Self-arranged working teams are effective if the number of employees’ in each team is between 10 to 15 and this requires negligible supervision. Most of the world renowned organization such as General Motors, Pepsi, and HP are just a few companies that have successfully applied the self-arranged working teams to support the departments working.

Management by Walking Around (MBWA) is another technique of managing staff to motivate them. A classical management method utilized by the top managers who are positive listeners. By using this technique managers try to get feedback of employees from each level and keep themselves up to date with the working conditions so that all these information help them to maintain the supportive culture within the organization and avoid the employees to face any problem at their job places. Managers not only listens the problems of the employees but also use proactive approach to know the solutions for those problems by retaining the motivation level of the staff. MBWA advantages the management by giving the immediate information about processes and strategies that is frequently missed to share through formal communication sources. So all above management styles explain how workforce can be motivated to bring the efficiency into organizational processes and satisfying the entire workforce.


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