Human Resources Planning and Development

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Human Resources Planning and Development

Identify three key Human Resource management activities ,Justify how the objectives of each of the activities were achieved by effective management of human resource  reference to atleast two HRM models.

I have selected the Motorola Company because they are recognized as one of the best providers of training to its employees in the world. Motorola began training its employees' right in 1928, the year of its inception, on the factory floor as purely technical product training.

Training, at that time, just meant teaching new recruits how to handle the manufacturing equipment to perform various predetermined tasks assigned to them. But by the 1980s, Motorola had emerged as a model organization in the corporate world for employee education, training and development.

The innovative training programs of Motorola turned training into a continuous learning process. In the 1980s, the training initiatives of the company culminated in the setting up of the Motorola Education and Training Center, an exclusive institute to look after the training and development requirements of Motorola's employees.

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The institute was later elevated to the status of a university - Motorola University - in 1989. These training experiments became such a resounding success that employee productivity improved year after year and quality-wise Motorola's products became synonymous with perfection.

Leading companies all over the world visited Motorola's headquarters to study the high-performance work practices of the company. They discovered that Motorola's success was built on the strong foundations of corporate-wide learning practices and that Motorola University was the cornerstone of corporate learning In recognition of its excellent training and development practices, the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) named Motorola the 'Top Training Company' and conferred on Robert Galvin (Galvin), the former CEO of the company, its 'Champion of Workplace Learning and Performance Award' for the year 1999. Speaking on Motorola's training initiatives and Galvin's contribution, Tina Sung, President and CEO of ASTD, said, "Galvin is a true champion of employees being an integral part of the organizational success. He set the corporate standard for investing in education and has demonstrated that training and development pay off in productivity, performance and quality."

  www.qualitydigest.com, November 2000

Virtually all companies have some formal or informal means of appraising their employees' performance. Performance Appraisal according to Dessler 2005 is the means or evaluating an employee's performance relative to his or her performance standards. There is, says Dulewicz 1989, "... a basic human tendency to make judgements about those one is working with, as well as about oneself." Appraisal, it seems, is both inevitable and universal. In the absence of a carefully structured system of appraisal, people will tend to judge the work performance of others, including subordinates, naturally, informally and arbitrarily.

The human inclination to judge can create serious motivational, ethical and legal problems in the workplace. Without a structured appraisal system, there is little chance of ensuring that the judgements made will be lawful, fair, defensible and accurate. This assignment is geared towards looking at the positives and negatives of the appraisal system as a whole and also briefly exploring various performance appraisal methods. This will then allow us to make a concretized decision on whether as a group we are for the appraisal system or against. As outlined earlier, there exist several strengths of the performance appraisal system. Of these are promotion of employees, incentives (monetary, employee of the quarter etc.), motivation, selection and lay-offs to list a few.

There exist different types of performance appraisal methods some of which are, encourage discussion type, constructive intention and set performance goals. Research studies show that employees are likely to feel more satisfied with their appraisal result if they have the chance to talk freely and discuss their performance. It is also more likely that such employees will be better able to meet future performance goals. (Nemeroff and Wexley 1979). Constructive intention is very important as employees recognize that negative appraisal feedback is provided with a constructive intention, i.e., to help them overcome present difficulties and to improve their future performance. Employees will be less anxious about criticism, and more likely to find it useful, when they believe that the appraiser's intentions are helpful and constructive. (Fedor et al. 1989). It has been shown in numerous studies that goal-setting is an important element in employee motivation. Goals can stimulate employee effort, focus attention, increase persistence, and encourage employees to find new and better ways to work. (Locke et al. 1981).

Task 6.2,a,b

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select at least three HR planning and development methods and critically evaluate its effectiveness in achieving organisational objectives.

In Motorola company, performance appraisal systems (PAS) began as simple methods for deciding whether or not the salary of an employee was justified. Later on, empirical studies (Oberg, 1972) showed that pay rates were not the only element that had an impact on employee performance. Oberg lists goals of performance appraisal programmes, which are: help for supervisors to do a better coaching job; motivate employees by providing feedback on how they are doing; provide data for management decisions such as salary increases or decreases, transfers or dismissals; improve organization development by identifying people with promotion potential; and establish a research and reference base for personnel decisions (Oberg 1972). If employees are guaranteed certain benefits such as monetary or recognition incentive they will be motivated to produce optimum work and nothing less and the decision to be made with regards to who is producing optimum work can only be done by assessing the performance of individual employees; an example of this is IC inc. they offer employee gift card incentive. Motivation is often based on emotions, specifically, on the search for positive emotional experiences and the avoidance of negative ones, where positive and negative are defined by the individual's brain state, not by social norms. Motivation is important because it is involved in the performance of all learned responses. If however the work environment is not one that recognizes the good effort of its employees then there will only be the natural execution of human behavior which is one of de-motivation and so work produced would be less than favorable.

Secondly assessing the performance of employees is very necessary more so if the company is not doing very well and because of this, the company would need to make certain decisions that would entail it (the company) cutting down on certain costs. An example of a another company that was in severe problems was Delphi Corp., the big auto-parts supplier that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2005, plans to shut down or sell off a substantial part of its U.S. operations (McCracken and Stoll, 2005). This would then mean that if the company survives the labor force would need to be reduced as that is extra expense that the company would be unable to afford. In the decision making process the last thing in the interest of the company would be to release those employees that produce favorably in the work environment and to retain those that generate less than favorable work output. In the present crisis situation that the company is faced with, those weaker employees would put the company in jeopardy if they remain on the work force while the strongest of the lot is gone. To avoid such possible loss the chairman would then need to start assessing each employee from the top to the bottom as some of the top managers who fail to perform would be the first ones to leave as their salary and benefits are more costly to the company. Formal performance appraisals are generally conducted annually for all staff in the organization. Each staff member is appraised by their line manager. (Directors are appraised by the CEO, who is appraised by the chairman or company owners, depending on the size and structure of the organization). Annual performance appraisals enable management and monitoring of standards, agreeing expectations and objectives, and the delegation of responsibilities and tasks (Chapman 2006).

Thirdly performance appraisal is needed for the purpose of training and development (benefiting both the employees and the business). Any organisation, whether, private or public, small or big, is measured depending on its successful workforce, but how do they get to the right stage of recruiting,  selecting and following development of the existing personnel, this is where the selection and development issue plays an important role for the success of any business (Recruitment and selection model, 2006). Performance appraisal offers an excellent opportunity - perhaps the best that will ever occur - for a supervisor and subordinate to recognize and agree upon individual training and development needs. During the discussion of an employee's work performance, the presence or absence of work skills can become very obvious - even to those who habitually reject the idea of training. Performance appraisal can make the need for training more pressing and relevant by linking it clearly to performance outcomes and future career aspirations. From the point of view of the organization as a whole, consolidated appraisal data can form a picture of the overall demand for training. This data may be analyzed by variables such as sex, department, etc. In this respect, performance appraisal can provide regular and efficient training needs audit for the entire organization (Benefits of performance appraisal, 2006). In The Tropical Metabolism Research Unit (TMRU) in Jamaica employees are trained upon entrance to the workplace. They are trained on how to administer specific questionnaires (food frequency, 24-hour recalls etc.), taking blood pressures, phlebotomy etc. In this way the employees are effective when they see patients and so the institution receives good scientific results and so increased publications. As a result of the excellent results the company receives large grants from external companies. Another example of this is the HSBC the Bank consists of a workforce of totally committed individuals, each exhibiting a passion for company success and loyalty to its policies. This situation has arisen because the Bank has competent staff - most learning takes place internally, partly as a means of avoiding the "stop-go" approach implicit in using outside consultants (High Performance Work Research Project, 2006)

Task 6.3.a,b

Critically review how HR performance in the identified organisatin  is currently indicated and monitored and suggest ways to improve it.

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Formal and written Human Resource (HR) Policies provide the framework used by Motorola Company and other firms in the governance of its employee/employer relationships. Written HR Policies comprise the procedures and protocols that both managers and employees use to prevent misunderstandings and inequitable treatments. The fact that these polices are communicated in a written and clear format assists in the clarification where situations of doubts arise and are more likely to be consistently applied (HR policies 6.11.4, 2006). Before stating a unique position in favor or against formal and written HR Policies one has to explore their strengths and weaknesses and in an objective way coming to a conclusion based on which (strengths or weaknesses) in our opinion out ways the other.

Managing the labor or workforce is not an easy task; therefore formal and written HR Policies can assist the managers in achieving stability, time management and simultaneously reduces possible uncertainties (Nankervis et al. 1999). In today's business world the bad actions of one employee can affect other employees, employers and clients within the organization. Having a clear set of behavioral expectations is essential in guiding both employer and employee when possible consequences might arise when they are not adhered to (Cole, 1998; Green, 1999). For example, the managers are often disappointed in an employee's performance when he or she does not meet the specific  expectations such as, no smoking, punctuality to list a few. If management fails to establish these expectations, the consequences they administer to an employees' failure to meet these expectations is rather unjust which can lead to the employee who is feeling unfairly treated can possibly filing a law suit against the company.

In terms of flows of information, during the recent years a variety of models have been provided to identify the relationship between the business purposes and the human resources of the business. In this sense, the generation and diffusion of information is done through personal contact, therefore business need processes to facilitate personal contact, trainings and development programmes; as quoted by Dowling et al. (1998): "The less one knows about how a structure came to develop in a distinctive way, the less likely one is to understand it". At this stage, Dowling et al.1998 generated a scheme of Control and Coordination Mechanisms in which the flows of cooperation, commitment and communications are facilitated between the personnel and the units.

The free and easy access and diffusion of the information represents the achievement of competitiveness and success of the business, from the starting point of causes and consequences (Alversson, 1995). According to Beer et al.1984 the combination of HR Policies would provide the business with commitment, competence, congruence and cost effectiveness in the short term; and as long-term consequences, individual welfare, organizational effectiveness and societal image or good-will.

As another advantage, written HR Policies act as preventive measures in situations related to conflicts, misunderstandings, confusions and arguments as they help to find out the root of the problem and they can help to resolve it in a faster way in comparison to other possible options. Sarvadi, 2005 argued that HR Policies define the guideline to content diversity at workplace, since different types of people work in an organization and it is obvious that they will react differently in different situations. However successful HR Policies do more than just draw boundaries, they also recognize and address peoples' needs and in this way organizational HR manages can increase the productivity and achieve higher levels of competitive advantages. It is important for an organization to establish policies and procedures in a written way that is acceptable and consistently applied within the organization. Accordingly, there will be a change in attitude towards work and family when there are HR Policies, in a formal and written format to provide employees with more 'family-friendly' options to improve coordination, team work and overall organizational performance. This would have been of vital importance to the strike that took place a couples years ago where some of the British Airways employees went on strike because of the implementation of a new log in system. The written policies of the company would be able to calm such a strike down.

In a long-term basis, the HR Policies represent advantages in order to structure and develop a commercial image, Know-How and a strategic focus; those aspects are the outcome derived of mission, structure, culture, workforce characteristics and HR Policies (Kramer et al. 1998). HR policies are important to empower the business image, since they provide a coordinated group of actions and performances towards a distinctive goal and purpose, which respond in the good image of the business. However, the image is just a fraction of the whole set of strategies towards competitiveness and success; as suggested by Walker 1992, the effective implementation of strategies require the combination of some aspects as expectations to the product or service offered by the business, organization design, staffing and development capabilities, availability of resources (e.g. workforce skills, use and access to technology, information systems, etc) and performance management.

Supplementary to the aspects mentioned above, written HR Policies have a tendency to increase the competitiveness in the market place since they state protocols and processes of behavior; for example when an organizational manager, especially line managers deal with performance improvement, it is really about the process of setting expectations and meeting the procedures to achieving goals. The focus in business is not about meeting a specific goal but also about how an organization will achieve them. Albrecht, 2001 defines that without clear HR Policies of role and responsibilities for each individual in the organization, work will not be done. Goals tell an employee what needs to be done and how much effort will need to be expended. It is then clear that specific goals increase the general performance of the organization. The key to develop effective written HR Policies is producing a linkage between all the above mentioned factors to create a bridge between the managers, the staff and vice versa and to link line managers with operational procedures towards achieving the goals of the organization.

On the other hand, formal HR policies of an organization might be affected negatively by the organizations success. Although HR policies are designed to facilitate both managers and their employees in the working environment to achieving the pre-set objectives, it might affect the organization in the following negative ways. Firstly, restricting to create an innovative and creative environment throughout the organization; at present, the business environment is getting continuously dynamic and organizations compete with a set of similar competitiveness. This specific situation is applicable to Microsoft, a company that continually needs new and innovative ideas to remain and continue to do well in this rather competitive market. To become a successful organization among these competitive organizations and through a dynamic market environment, Motorola and other organizations have to be exhibit signs of uniqueness. This requires innovative and creative approaches in every department within the organization. Formal and written HR policies of an organization can reduce discretion of both its managers and employees and restrict to create both an error friendly culture and the innovative and creative approaches within the organization. However the obstacles to knowledge and information flows integration (e.g. bureaucracy) throughout the business occur as a result of bad HR Policies and practices and it is up to the business board of directors to improve it in order to progress the structure of the business.

Secondly, using formal and written HR policies causes a reduction in both the flexibility and the speed of decision the making process at each level of management; the ability to make and execute decisions when necessary, ability to catch external opportunities (eg. Head hunting) and the ability to face strong external and internal challenges (eg. employee strikes) might be restricted with formal HR policies. Thirdly, formal and written HR policies might be caused to increase the level of bureaucracy between the manager and subordinates at each level of management layers. This results in the gap between the manager and employees being increased. Joint decision making, flow of information from bottom to top and motivation of employees might be restricted. As a result of that the overall effectiveness of the organization can be reduced. This specific situation is applicable to motor vehicle industries that need to produce at a fast rate example Toyota.

In reference to written HR Policies in international contexts, there is evidence that HR may possibly limit the effective implementation of international business strategies as a consequence of the disparity between the host and the multinational organizations country. More recently, it has been argued (Tregaskis et al. 2005) that the internationalization and globalization leads to a more strategic role for HR Management, but its proper implementation depends excessively on other departments restricting the flexibility of the written HR Policies. One final point of the weaknesses of the HR Polices is the policies are written for general sceneries instead of specific cases.

In the conculsion, once an organization develops its HR strategy, the management department should write formal 'HR Polices and Procedures guidebook' detailing the organization values, principles, disciplinary procedures, compensation and benefits, regulation for both, employees and managers. For those businesses that are able to administer their HR policies in an intelligent and consistent manner, benefits can accrue in several areas. These include reflection of the values and principles of the organization, response to the demands within a diverse workforce, provision of assistance to the managers and enhance employees' performance (Green, 1999). Formal, written HR policies transmit the managers' expectations to the employees, setting clear and specific HR policies in the form of rules and regulations establishes a framework for addressing what is, and what is not acceptable behavior within the company. If policies are not documented properly, then the employees' behaviors will become subjective, and open to interpretation.

References

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Damandeep Singh