Human resource management has always been a topic of discussion. Companies over many decades have tried to understand the complexities of human resource management and many researchers, analyst and great managers have come up with various theories to deal with this issue. (John B.P, 2009). Moreover it is extremely essential for Mitchell and co to do research on the customer feedback and various aspects of human resource and then he should develop a system in which prevailing issues or shortcoming could be addressed and handled. Swiss Bank Corporation (SBC) can reach much higher productivity and success levels if it ensures a human resource department.
In this case analysis, problems that might be faced by Mitchell or things that might create problems are identified and explained and some ways how Mitchell can avoid these uncomfortable circumstances. Since this case study is all about aligning HR with the business at the bank this analysis tries to evaluate and consider whether the two can work well together and not have any sort of clashes or conflicts. (Storey, 2007)
1. Who were the customers of Mitchell and his HR staff?
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An HR department in any company or corporate organization deals with issues of its company's employees with regard to safety, compensation, labor relations etc. as well as human resource planning, modeling career paths and forecasting (Legge, 2004). The HR department plays a very important role in making the organization a success and a fundamental part of that success is taking care of your customers and their needs. Customers are the most important stakeholders of the company and it is their satisfaction that matters the most. If your customers are not satisfied then this can be seen as a symptom to a very major problem because it can affect the profitability and success of the company. In this case study, Mitchell and his HR staff's customers are the line managers, who in any company or institution, are responsible mainly for carrying out functions like policy and decision making, targeting setting etc in order to achieve the goals of the organization or institution. (Armstrong, 2006)
Looking at the role that the line managers play in an organization it is quite clear that Mitchell and his HR staff's customers are a very important part of the business and keeping them happy and satisfied is very essential for the organization's success. Since it is the HR department's task to deal with all the issues and problems, the problems of the line managers must be of top priority to Mitchell and his staff because if in any case the line managers are not satisfied with either their salaries or compensations, or the safety and security of their job, or any other thing then it might cause their performance to fall. Not only that but it might also lead to absenteeism and a high turnover rate. This can be a major problem not only for Mitchell and the HR department but also for the bank itself.
If the bank faces such a problem where even after the efforts and changes that Mitchell and his staff are making the line managers are not satisfied or have some sort of issue then the HR department should try to figure out the reasons for the dissatisfaction and the causes of such a problem and then they should try to re-think their strategies and plans. Furthermore, they should carry out surveys from the line managers through which identifying problems would be easier and it would be more specific. The line managers being the customers of Mitchell and the HR staff have full rights to be expressive about their issues and problems because it is the job of the HR department to look after them. The line managers performances and feedback would be the only thing that would prove whether the efforts and plans and strategies of the HR department and successful or not or whether there are any shortcoming or weaknesses in the new system that they plan to create.
2. What did Mitchell have to do so that his staff could do the things necessary to reposition and customerize?
In order to make it easier for his staff to be able to reposition and customerize Mitchell had to go through four major steps. First and foremost he went on gathering information. This information was that of the current environment for which Mitchell asked the line managers questions, he analyzed and evaluated the environment and also discussed things with the HR department itself. Talking to the customers and making enquiries from them made Mitchell aware of what the line managers wanted and what they expected from the HR department. It made him identify the problems by comparing what the department was doing for them and what they really wanted. Furthermore, he observed the competitors and saw how they responded to their customers and whether he could adopt their ideas. By talking to the department itself Mitchell realized the staffs desire to change and improvise their plans and strategies and became aware of what they thought the line managers wanted.
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Secondly, Mitchell then had to develop agendas. Agendas are basically plans that are made for matters that need to be attended to. Since Mitchell already had all the information gathered that would be needed to assess the need for change, he made the HR staff analyze this information so that they could too realize themselves their shortcomings in the sense that what they were providing the customers and what the customer really wanted from them. By doing this the department realized quite a few things among which the need to reorganize themselves and bring about some improvements was apparent. By examining the information that was gathered the department started developing agendas. However there could be a major problem with this in the future. Since Mitchell is a new employee and his career has mostly been that of an entrepreneur it might be that in gathering the information and analyzing the environment he missed a few key points about the company and because he is a new employee it is possible that he is not aware with the way things work at the bank. Considering such a possibility it might be possible that the gathered information is not complete or maybe even not quite accurate as needed to make the HR department more successful. In this case developing agendas on such information might be a bit risky. To overcome this problem Mitchell can consult with a few major heads so that he get to know the more basic factors about the bank and then he can re-analyze his findings and add or edit things in his findings accordingly.
Thirdly, after making the agendas the next step that Mitchell had to go through was to implement these agendas. Since bringing change and implementing new ideas and plans is a very massive step it definitely needs the approval of the top management. In this case the approval of the line managers was also very necessary so Mitchell had to gain approval in order to implement these agendas. And in order to gain the approval of the line managers the new agendas had to be discussed with them and they had to be convinced about how successful the agendas would be and how they would bring about a positive change. Similarly, the agendas also had to be presented to the top management so as to get their permission for the implementation.
Lastly what Mitchell had to do was to evaluate and revise those agendas that were developed. For this he had given the line managers contract that made it clear to them what was supposed to be provided and it was this contract that they could appraise. Through this feedback Mitchell and his HR staff can evaluate whether their strategies are being accepted positively or whether they are turning out to be a success or not and on these basis they can revise their plans and strategies.
3. Do you think the line managers would cooperate with Mitchell and his staff? What would it take to get their cooperation? Why might they resist a partnership with the HR department?
Since the line managers are the customers of Mitchell and his staff it is very important and essential for them to not only be satisfied with that the HR department is doing for them but also for them to cooperate with the department. In this situation the line managers might and might not cooperate with them. There is a possibility of both things happening. For the cooperation of the line managers Mitchell and his staff as mentioned before as well would need to convince them that the new plans and agendas would be good for them and they would bring a positive change not only in the working environment but their performance levels as well because the efforts that Mitchell and his staff are making to reorganize and provide better working conditions for the line managers will make them more satisfied with their jobs making it easier for them to feel committed towards their work. Along with that Mitchell and his staff should be able to make the line managers realize that they care about them and are doing this for their good so that the line managers have confidence in them and do not resist whatever they are trying to do. If Mitchell and his staff are successful in doing this and convincing the line managers then there would be no problem for them and most definitely even the line managers would not create any sort of problem or hindrance in Mitchells plans and efforts.
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However as has been mentioned before, there is a huge possibility that the line managers do not cooperate with Mitchell and his staff and are not so keen to accept the new agendas and plans. There could be quite a few reasons for such a resistance but one of those reasons could be that the line managers could be feeling that all this talk about new agendas and change is useless and that in reality there would be no change or improvements in the way that the HR department works (Paauwe, 2009). If this is the case then the line managers would be thinking this as a waste of their time and energy and they would not be at all interested in cooperating and helping the HR department or in appraising the contracts that would be provided to them.
According to a few Human Resource Director, any company be it a multinational corporation, a small company or a bank or any other financial institution, needs a very effective and efficient HR management system to run the company and make it successful not only in the current years but in the long term running as well (Golding, 2010). Without a good and strong human resource management, there is no possibility for a company or institution to be able to stand in the market. Human resource management are the activities that involve coordination and organization among employees in an enterprise in accordance to reach certain objectives (business dictionary, 2010).Developing an HR management plan and putting this plan into place is a difficult process. It takes a great deal of research and investigation to complete, it is time consuming, and it can be a frustrating process. However, it is also the most effective means of assuring that the employees working in the company are satisfied and giving in their best work.
Human Resource directors put a lot of emphasis on human resource management and working on the activities of this department because HR management plays a great role in the operations as well as the working of employees. And as seen in the case study, the HR department is not much in accordance with the employees finding it difficult to work with the management and with their morale decreasing. It is due to problems related to human resource management that the quality staff of companies or banks is either quit their jobs or performs very poorly as compared to their work performance levels. So, according to the Human Resource Directors the first and foremost step that the bank should take is to work on its human management in order to make it more effective and efficient and that is exactly what Mitchell did but the major problem is that Mitchell is known more to be a business man then a human resource manager and due to this the line managers might have a certain mindset that Mitchell is not well aware of the activities and requirements of a human resource department and that his agendas and strategies might not be as effective and accurate. This is probably the biggest reason why the line managers would not cooperate with Mitchell and his staff and this is the major challenge for Mitchell to make them realize that HR can be aligned with business. (David,2007)
4. Develop a matrix with projects, dates, milestones, and people involved (i.e., HR, line managers, and employees) for Mitchell and his staff.
Making bonus and wage incremental schedule
1ST February to 12th February
Achieve mission in less than a week
Ongoing training and development sessions
From 15th February
Gathering the best trainees for better results.
HR department, line managers and employees
HR and line managers
Separate section for dealing with issues and problems of customers
From 1st February
Create department with best problem dealing HR staff
HR and line managers
After doing a complete and thorough case analysis of the case study we can conclude that Mitchell might face a few problems in implementing his new agendas and in bringing the desired change in the HR department. However, by a adopting a certain attitude and by making a good repo with the line managers he can achieve his objectives.