Role of Human Resources (HR) in Organisational Effectiveness
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XXX is a leading International Healthcare Group with the purpose to help people lead longer, healthier and happier lives. The organisation does that by providing a broad range of healthcare services, support and advice to people throughout their lives. With no shareholders and its global presence in 190 countires, the organisation is said to be a industry leader. XXX is a 60 years old organisation providing services like Health insurance and Wellbeing, Healthcare provision, Healthcare Analytics and Care Services.
The organisation's vision to be world leader in the health care sector has been supported by the following objectives:
Listen to its customers, act quickly and professionally.
Living and Breathing organisation's values monitored by HR on regular basis.
Make a difference in people's lives by offering all high quality and value added healthcare
Creating diverse and mix work force of highly skilled and knowledgeable employees and invest in their development within the company via organised HR function.
This report has been commissioned by the CEO of XXX.
Forces shaping the HR agenda
"Our purpose is to help people live longer, healthier, happier lives and the 52,000 people we employ are at the heart of making this a reality".
It is essential to have a strong and distinctive identity that clearly separates XXX from others in the field. Everyone has a part to play in this and hence that's where the HR plays a important role.
Examples of External Forces that have shaped the HR agenda are Competition, Markets, Economic trends and the changing face of the Health Industry. Increasing expectations of the customers and more competitors offering similar services at lower rates, made XXX to look more further into its products and services, which resulted in hiring more talented people skilled in their sector to provide the best service to the customers and partners. To make sure that the right number of people are available and are able to effectively deliver the required results, HR department works in partnership with the management.
HR provided the right environment for the people to learn, grow and develop them through Innovative Learning Approach and by recognising people for their contribution to the organisation's success. By investing in its human capital, XXX's objective was to provide the best customer service through all channels to its members. HR proposed to offer its employees both an open environment and an informal culture, encouraging fresh ideas and helping employees realise their true potential.
3.2 HR's contribution to Organisational Effectiveness
'Creating competitive advantage through people.'
Group HR Management works in partnership with the Management. To reflect their different business needs, all the business units work exclusively to provide a direct, informed and tailored service to meet its unique needs. All business units individual HR heads reports to the HR Director. This is done so all the departments on its own are delivering higher levels of performance to the benefit of our customers and the bottom line. Individual HR in all these units perform common bundle of processes which impacts on organisational performance.
Recruitment of talent that matches XXX's values.
Leadership and management practices/ competencies
Organisational climate and workplace environment
Facilitating effective change management
Management development and training
360 feedback tools
3.3 HR's roles and functions in management structures
XXX HR Map
Administration & Training Departments are in each business units and have individual Change Management Teams
HR UK Membership
Information Systems HR
Training & Development
Group HR Functions
Reward & Recognition
Business Technology Training
IS Resource Management
Group Resource Management
Pensions & Benefits
XXX One Life
HR within XXX works as a strategic partner, hence plays a very important role in finance, operations and other business departments within the organisation. The main objective is to provide high returns on the business's investment in its people. XXX does not follow any set models of HR but do closely relate with the Harvard model. It sees employees as resources. It emphasises on issues like involving people in decision making and developing an organisational culture based on trust and teamwork. It has shared goals for coordination and control and a flat structure to minimise status culture. It employs the multiple stakeholder model in which employees are seen as having interests along with other stakeholders, management, unions and government.
The HR outlines four main policy areas which are
Human Resource flows: HR manages the flow of people within XXX's individual business units through recruitment and selection, through the organisation by placement, appraisal and promotion and lastly through out of the organisation by termination. It also makes sure at right number of people are available at all the times according to the business needs.
Reward Systems: Even though each business unit has separate Reward System in place, it serves a common purpose to attract, motivate and keep employees happy within the organisation.
Employee Influence: People being the heart of the organisation, their views and concerns are given equal importance as of stakeholders and customers.
Work Systems: With the ever changing business needs and the medical climate, XXX makes sure that the information and technology used within the organisation provides the best outcomes.
The individual HR function currently concentrates on achieving the 'four C's' of the model i.e. Commitment, Congruence, Competence, Cost Effectiveness.
The XXX's hr structure also somehow resembles the Ulrich's hr model as all the business units do individually have their own separate departments to deal with change, strategies and administration.
3.4 Business Ethics and Accountability
XXX follows a code of professional ethics which are based on the principles that determine the way employees behave and Brand personality that describes the way employees are suppose to perceive.
Brand Values : Caring, Respectful, Ethical, Enabling, Dedicated and Accountable
Brand Personality :
Health & Care Expert
Individual Business units do have their own code of conducts in line with the group values. For example, the training and development department in all units have professional code of conduct from the Institute of Management Consultants which covers ethics as Integrity, Independence, Objectivity and Responsbility to the profession. All the core values and ethics are explained on the XXX's intranet which is available for all the employees across the organisation. It clearly mentions how employees are expected to act in relation to the various policies like Treating Customers Fairly, Health and Safety at work, Data Matters, Security Matters Policy and Data Protection Policy
"As a global healthcare company, XXX deals with the personal details, medical data and financial records of millions of people around the world. Protecting that information is essential & is a key responsibility for all of us. "
- XXX Chief Executive
XXX as a major healthcare services provider, plays a very important role in designing and delivering medical procedures and policies. It works closely with NHS and makes sure that all the treatments offered to the members in their centres are within the medical guidelines applied by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence). XXX has it's media policy, Risk Management and Fraud Protection policies.
XXX has its own Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Policy under which healthcare expertise is used in the way that is good for business and communities. It covers many areas including employee giving support and volunteering, community health and wellness partnerships, addressing and minimising our impact on environment and affiliations with like-minded businesses and organisations (e.g Nuffield Health Centres, Life Education, etc.). The Group HR provides support, encouragement and motivation to its employees to participate in various activities conducted to fulfil its corporate responsibility.
4.1 HR's role in strategy formulation and interpretation
All organisations will at some point need to focus on the activities and actions that it will undertake to meet its long term aims and objectives. XXX's vision 'taking care of the lives in our hands' is at the heart of all strategies that are planned and practiced within the organisation. The two main objectives helping HR to form strategies within the organisation are
Management capability : Through validated processes and development, this objective is met by XXX recruiting, retaining and developing managers to meet the business challenges of today and future. It involves different strategies designed around Recruitment, Core competencies, Performance Management, Succession Planning, XXX One Life, Climate Surveys, Change Management, Management Development, Career Development, 360 feedback tools and Customisable Questionnaire.
Enabling systems and processes : This objective is met by developing and maintaining a performance-oriented culture. It includes Induction and Measures of Success.
Business priorities are cascaded through the different levels of the organisation through a process whereby they become increasingly more detailed and focused. They trigger departmental objectives which are translated into team objectives and in turn provide the foundation for personal objectives which are based on SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound) targets that are to be met on consistent basis. These objectives are discussed, set and measured as part of the performance management plan of all employees depending on their roles and business units.
XXX does not fit into any particular model of relationship between the HRM and the Business Strategies but it does work on the theories based within these models.
In the best fit model (Schuler and Jackson example), employees are seen as key in the implementation of the declared organisational strategy and the HR strategy is designed to fit with this. XXX's individual departments propose strategies to be implemented via management surrounding functions, systems and processes within the department which enable the functional strategy to be achieved. This is then responded by the HR by defining the strategy to meet organisational needs.
In the Resource based approach, the focus is to sustain competitive advantage through development of human capital rather than aligning human resources to current strategic goals. XXX invests in regular development of its employees within the organisation to make sure that they are updated with all the knowledge required to perform their job well and so to add value to the company.
4.2 Business and HR Strategies
Each business within XXX evaluates its current position, its market and competitor environment and identifies its key strategies and plans in its annual 3 Strategic Year Plan (explained in 5.3). They work together in order to achieve common objectives of the organisation. Two of these most important objectives to be achieved in XXX are
Cost - Control :
To utilise the resources in the most productive and effective way.
To recruit and retain effective and skilled staff
More training and development options to the existing employees to perform various roles
Flexible working patterns according to the business needs
Authorising treatments that are medically appropriate and within clinical guidelines only, leaving a small room for exceptional cases
to regularly update the products and services offered within the health and care sector.
To provide best customer service on levels of the business
To design and offer most flexible and tailored policies to the members.
HR's role in meeting these objectives has been analysed through SWOT which looks at the internal strengths and weaknesses and the external oppurtunities and threats.
No Shareholders : this enables all the profits to be utilised to provide better customer service and products to the members.
People : highly skilled and mix work force which knowledge of various sectors and products. Team of qualified health care consultants and providers. Customer-focus work culture
Technology : Most advanced technology in the health care sector relating to the processes and procedures for medical treatments. Guidance on health issues online and on the phone.
Operations : Working with various organisations and health groups to provide the best health care to everyone.
No Shareholders : If profits margins not gained, not enough money to invest back into the business
People : mix work force and long-serving staff who are resistant to change. People lacking knowledge of all the departments as specialising in one specific area.
Operations : because of the high turn-over of the staff, no standard operating procedures. Regular changes to keep up with the changing demands of the business.
Cost-control : Staff redundancies in many business units resulting in low moral within the organisation and heavy work load on the rest of the workforce.
Partnership with various organisations within the healthcare sector.
As a lead health care service provider, had access to higher numbers of consultants and medically trained people
Works closely with NHS, hence very influential when it comes to decisions relating medical treatments and funding for certain experimental treatments
International presence to make sure private healthcare is available and provided to people around the world.
Competition from other insurance providers who offer private health insurances on lower rates.
Outsourcing of many business units which lacks communication and information transformation in a quick and appropriate manner.
Higher medical costs which makes the premiums of the policies go higher every year.
Increased customer demands to cover more experimental treatments and drugs because of globalisation.
4.3 Vertical and Horizontal Integration
XXX works with NHS and other health-care providers to provide better health care services. The Vertical Integration is practiced within XXX as many of the services are offered via other providers who specialises in Travel, Home Care and Conservative treatment. This does serves the purpose to achieve the organisation to provide more treatment options to its customers which results in more appropriate and affordable policies been given to its customers. The option of been treated via NHS or Privately is always available for the customers leaving room for them to choose the most appropriate and time-saving option.
The horizontal integration is defined within XXX as all the HR functions are inter-related and inter-connected to each-other. This is achieved by a business units specially looking for skilled employees in customer service, information technology, nursing and administration sector which leads to internal recruitment or resourcing, further leading to development, performance management, rewards and recognition and employee relations.
5.1 HR's role in Business Planning
The Global expansion of XXX has resulted in fine-tuning of the policies and functions throughout the organisation to ensure that required support is provided to drive XXX forward. This has created a demanding and fast changing environment to work in. XXX expect high standards from every one of its team members and in return offer the opportunity to enhance their career with one of the biggest and most successful brands in private healthcare.
HR being the part of the Organisation Development team within the Group functions, has a very wide role to play to achieve the organisation's one common goal. It works to make sure that all business units within XXX had right level of people with right level of skills are available to effectively deliver results to its customers at all times. Introduction to flexible working hours, change in employment contracts, inter-departmental transfers to suit the business needs, more systems and procedures to work with resulted in introduction to the change management team within HR of all business units. The things that caused XXX to go through change are
- Challenges of growth within global market i.e increasing cost of medical treatments and more experimental treatments introduced within UK market
- Technological changes i.e different technologies to work with to make sure that all processes and procedures are up to date according to the changing demands of the business
- Customer Pressure i.e. customers looking for more options and better services at lower costs
- The HR's involvement in various aspects of change was identified as
- Restructuring the recruitment and resourcing policies
- Advising team managers in skills available within the organisation, career development and transfer opportunities.
- Assessing the impact of change in one department on another part of the organisation.
- Making sure that the communication is clear and consistent within all departments of all business units within the organisations.
- Helping its to cope with change , performance management and motivation.
5.2 Environmental Planning
It is very important for XXX to scan through the environment and consider all the present and future forces affecting the direction and goals of the organisation. Environment Planning involves external factors like trends and markets and internal factors like infrastructure and personnel. The STEEPLE analysis for XXX shows all the forces affecting organisational change
Lifestyle changes of the customers involved with the company
Energy costs and usage
Regulations related to private healthcare
Living conditions of its employees and customers related to the business
Changes in IT - new systems and processes
Consumer confidence within the company's products and services
Strong Environmental policy
Income distribution within the community
New inventions and software developments
Trade policies/ globalisation
5.3 Measures of Effectiveness
" What gets measured, gets attention and gets done." - Tom Peters
XXX has its own business priorities. To keep them accountable and focused on their key objectives, all businesses in XXX go through an annual process of setting their major priorities for the coming year. These are agreed in annual meetings, together with the key financial targets and from the basis of what the business will be measured on the following year. This is a similar process as Performance Management in employees.
The organisation has 'The 3 year Strategic Plan ' which describes the direction the Group as a whole and the individual business units will take over the next 3 years. This plan is completed every year and is an important part of XXX's strategy processes. The context of each business is then evaluated on the basis of three important management tools.
The Annual Operating Plan : It sets the detailed financial targets for the year for each individual department including HR. (sets targets for sales, costs, profits, etc)
The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each individual in each business units. These are set of key operational, customer, strategic and people performance metrics.
The Business priorities: The change acceptance rate of all individuals within the organisation.
Performances of the employees are measured with the Brand values and behaviours been achieved, delivered and maintained. These are maintained within the organisation as Performance Review, which along with the Development Plans are sent to HR's administration department.They work closely with the training and development team to provide immediate attention to key issues. This process of measuring the human capital and oraganisation's data provides a clearer picture within the working culture of the organisation. So, in this way, management, training and development team and HR administration works together to manage people and policies to achieve set business objectives.
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