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Mobilink is Pakistan largest voice and data provider since its presence in the region. It is and Orascom Telecom Holding Company which is among word's top ten telecom groups. In 2009 company decided to further expand its business by addition a broadband and data unit in its portfolio, this unit was aimed to provide next generation broadband services to the nation completing the vision of becoming a first total telecom solution provider in the country. To understand the business philosophy of the organization, it important to know the vision and values, so that human resource management plan can be aligning to that.
Company Vision - Company's vision is to remain its position as a leading telecommunication and data service provider of the country. They are focused to provide the innovative solutions to the customers for communication and at the same time the organization is focused on increasing the value of shareholders and treating the employees as assets. This customer driven attitude of the company makes them the number one telecommunication company of Pakistan.
A Review of Literature
Strategic Human Resource Management is a modern management concept that is not being accepted by many organizations yet, it is a step further in managing human resources and aligning the role and philosophy of human resource department with the overall business objectives of the organization. This concept seeks to gain the sustainable competitive advantage by applying the philosophy of strategically handling all the HR functions and then strategically placing human resources (Appleby & Mavin, 2000).
Management gurus started working on Strategic Human Resource Management 2 decades ago. The emphasis was to streamline HRM with the business at the early of business strategy formulation; purpose of this management adjustment was to change to role of HRM from a support department, to a strategically important department (Van Donk & Esser, 1992)
Strategic Human Resource Management takes proactive approach in contrast to reactive approach; effective decision making is applied by the deployment of right people, enabling the organization to rectify the problem before its occurrence (McMahan, Bell & Virick, 1998).
Evaluation of Current HRM Practices in Organization
After closely monitoring the current human resource management practices in Mobilink we see that in broadband unit, human resource practices cannot be tagged as strategic, strategic thinking and practices are absent in many areas of HR, some process also need to be modified in a way that they are aligned to the overall objectives of the firm. Below are some of the areas that need to be improved.
There is no involvement of HR department in strategic decision making.
Recruitment & selection process is old fashioned, current recruitment criteria do not match with organization business philosophy, for example if someone is to be hired in commercial unit then there is not set pattern of selection criteria that defines the most suitable person in commercial role, or if someone is to be hired in technical department then same in absent there. Only generalized set of guidelines are present that are applied to all recruitment and selection needs.
The compensation & benefit function needs great improvement, this function is not in line with business objectives. Annual appraisal criteria are different from the annual business objectives, for example there is no distinction between high performing individuals and non-performing individuals, strategically important department and support functions are treated on the same lines, that creates de-motivation and discourage high performance.
Training & development function is week, employees are not trained for their future job related need, there is no mechanism to check and develop the core competencies with respect to business's current and future needs, and more over succession planning is also not there. Training on soft skills that indirectly help in achieving job objective is also absent.
Strategic Human Resource Management Plan
TASK 1 - Resource Based Strategy
Referring to the above evaluation of current practices, let's start with development of core competencies and strategic capabilities in human resources, keeping in mind the nature of business, organizational vision and objectives, and current competitive environment in which Mobilink is working we can say that below mentioned capabilities and competencies are crucial and essential in each and every employee to possess and practice (Alen Price, 2007). Having their human resource these competencies and making them regularly practice them will give provide the organization with not only competitive advantage but also make this advantage sustainable.
Teamwork - Working co-operatively, efficiently and effectively with others to achieve results through active participation in a team, involving other team members, encouraging others and building a coherent team (Michael Armstrong, 2006). Team word is very important in today's modern business world as each team member might have unique skill and by combining the skills of the whole team members the productivity of the organization is increased.
Decision Making/Problem Solving - Ability to assess options and implications, in order to identify a solution on any given business scenario.
Initiative and Drive - Independently takes action to influence events. Proactively does things. Offers own ideas for improvement and to promote the goals of the organization and seek feedback from appropriate persons on effects of actions.
Flexibility & Adaptability - Ability to modify owns and others behavior according to changing circumstances; go above and beyond in unique situations; resourcefulness.
Planning & Organizing - Planning and organizing is an act of formulating a program or a process for a definite course of action, identifying such problems which are possible to occur in the future and also analyzing and measuring their negative or positive impact, setting the goals in detail and evaluating the alternative strategies and selecting appropriate strategies to achieve the set objectives (Michael Armstrong, 2006).
Effective Communication - This refers to communicate and convey all the concepts, goals, strategies and targets in verbal or nonverbal or written format to all the stakeholders.
Customer Focus - Understanding and meeting client needs and striving to exceed clients' expectations. The entity or party who is using the products and services of an organization internally or externally is called Clients.
Fiscal Responsibility - It is a combination of planning, management and prudent forecasting (Alen Price, 2007). This means the person should possesses a sound understanding and appreciation for the dynamics involved in utilizing financial resources for the implementation of different projects, initiatives and services. But definitely with the highest, most accurate level of management, control and accountability in accordance with company and local laws, rules, regulations and guidelines.
Strategic Thinking - The analysis and interpretation of the company's own environment and identifying and evaluating the consequences form the possible occurrences and making decisions that leads towards the fulfillment of organizational objectives come under strategic thinking.
Leadership - It is said that leaders are born and not made, but in modern concept of leadership this is not the case, leaders can be built through effective strategies and policies of the organization. HR strategy allows the managers to become leaders and provide the organization a role model, coach and guide (Michael Armstrong, 2006).
Above mentioned are a combination of capabilities that are required not only to individually perform above average but also help in performing and getting team performed as a manager, these are the combination of both core capabilities as well as strategic competencies, if developed in human resources can be a source of distinctive advantage that will last long and out pass the competition.
TASK 2 - Linkage of HR Strategy with Business Goals
In the process of linking HR strategy with business objectives all the HR functions will be streamlined with over all organization's vision and then narrowing down to individual business unit objectives, since Mobilink is a market leader, and their business strategy is also to sustain this position, that is also going to reflect is HR strategy, a bird's eye view of this linkage is give below:
Recruitment and Selection - This Process will be changed, it will be modified according the business need of every unit, sets of capabilities and competencies will defined that will vary from department to department, and selection will be made accordingly. Being a marketing leader and customer oriented service industry company, Mobilink needs people that have set of above mentioned core competencies that will be help the organization their business objective and sustain their position as market leader, so while recruiting people for various roles, it will be made sure that such set of capabilities are there or at least flexibility to adapt is available.
Compensation and Reward System - Compensation, benefits, and remuneration and appraisal system are needed to be in line with business strategy, as market leader and growing company, we need to have best in industry that will be requiring salary systems to be competitive and attractive to attain and retain the best minds. Appraisal system will be performance based, annual, bi-annual and quarterly business objectives will be set at each department level, these objectives will be liked and derived from organizational objectives, and appraisal system will directly be liked to achievement of these goals. A clear distinction will be made between top performers and low performers; so that high performance culture with continuous improvement will be maintained.
Training and Development - Training & development component will be rejuvenated, hard along with soft skill will be polished in employees, every department in collaboration with HR will have a distinct training need analysis mechanism, through which training needs will be identified, training calendar will be maintained, and the employee who are short on the hard skill or soft skill will trained on above mentioned and other soft skill regularly. After training evaluation system will also be placed to see the effects of training and also to encourage continuous improvement in performance. Keeping in mind the growth objectives in mind, employees will also be trained on future job needs so that whenever there is a need the trained employee is there to perform without any delay. Along with this, training and development also helps to increase the motivation level of the employees as every person welcomes such activity which increase in his/her worth and gives possible benefit in the future. The awarding of certifications after the training programs increases the loyalty and motivation level of the employees and hence the overall performance of the organization is increase.
Career Development - Employee career building and planning will also take into consideration along with succession planning. These processes will be made in a way that every high performer employee would have a clear and well defined career path, more over every key position would have a succession planned. These two steps will improve the way people perform, high performance will be encouraged and the key position will not be vulnerable to head hunting, and even if someone leaves, business processes will not be disturbed and organization will be keep on doing business without any delay.
A decentralized culture will be established with more empowered employees and devolution of power and decision making. Since organization is operating fast passed and rapidly changing environment, decentralization of day to day business decision making is required to make effective, efficient and just in time decisions.
TASK 3 - Organizational Design
In below lines proposed organizational design is presented, keeping in mind the kind of external environment and competitive scenario we have proposed and decentralized, hybrid of functional and geographic structure so that greater flexibility and quick decision making can be achieved (Alen Price, 2007). Focus will be of the performance of individual function that will be working on the common goals. Each departmental head will be responsible for the performance of its team and goal of each department will be derived from the overall business goal of the organization for the year or certain period of time, this structure will be able to give more flexibility as well as the control and check on the performance of the each department.
Figure 1 Organizational Chart of Mobilink - BCD
Role of Each Department
Below is the bird's eye view of the role of each department in the organization, on the above mentioned structure we have presented only a basic structure, however further sub-division is also need to be done, above is for general understanding or organizational design.
Commercial - Commercial department will be responsible for new product development, marketing research, marketing operations, sales, and product delivery. This department will also be responsible for setting commercial goal, and achievement of business goal. They will also communicate their growth forecast to other department so that the proper planning can be done accordingly.
Human Resource - HR department will be responsible for managing the human resource of the broadband unit, training and development, recruitment and selection for current needs as well as for future needs, HR department's role is very dynamic and crucial for the whole organization, one the component is keeping the employees motivated at their workplace and also hiring the right people for the right job.
Technical - Since broadband unit is into business of highly technical product, the technical department will be playing a very crucial role, they will be responsible for keeping the network working so that customers get the Internet services without any delay or problem, they will also be responsible for quick maintenance of network incase or any issue with that. This department will also be responsible for providing the support to the customer in case of and network damage. Technical department will also get the expansion and growth requirements from commercial departments and will be responsible for the timely expansion and network role out before the commercial launch of the product, in this way they have the key role to play in term of the successful launch of the product, and before the launch they will also be responsible for the testing of the network in the concerned areas.
Administration - Administration will play a support department's role, providing workplace with required facilities; keep an eye on safety of the employees and keeping the working conditions up to the standards. This department will also provide its support to all core departments in achieving their goals, will handle all legal matters, and provide the required logistics and facilitation.
TASK 4 - Process of HR Planning
Below is the nutshell view of HR planning process in the organization:
Forecasting Demand - After consulting all the departments and getting their expansion needs, human resource department will forecast the demand upcoming year, for new hires, for replacements, and for succession planning. Then HR department will take the necessary actions to meet the forecasted demand on time and without any delay.
Channelizing the Supply - After forecasting the human resource needs, HR department will channelize the human resource supply, for this purpose below mentioned steps will be taken:
HR dept. will make its own recruiting arrangements as well as it will also go for talent hunt programs so that best of the fresh minds can be inducted.
For experienced candidate needs HR will also make synergy with various recruitment agencies for recruitment of best of experienced candidates, head hunting will be a good option for getting the best of industry
For operational and less critical resources, like call centers and direct sales team, a third party hiring solution will be taken into consideration. Since these resources are less critical and their turnover rate is high, it is better to save time and resource in hiring and management of such resources and get the third party in a contract and let them manage them.
Analyzing HR Gaps
A continuous HR gap analysis will be performed so that human resource profiles can be matched to required capabilities and then to required performance measures, for this purpose evaluation process will be divided into two bi-annual sessions in which objectives and performance will be matched and analyzed. Where the gap will found then training need analysis will be performed and after that a series of training session will be performed so that all the employee are able to meet their performance objective and contribute to over the organizational goals.
Above is a small and sample plan for implementing the strategic human resource management concepts for a business unit of a large telecom company. However a lot more can be done and a detailed plan can be made, surely the above mentioned changes, if applied, can help in improving the overall performance of the organization. By filling the HR planning gaps the case company will be able to sustain in the market for a long run and can gain a strong sustainable competitive advantage over the competitors.