Business Essays - Management Employees Dalton

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Management Employees Dalton

The approach which any firm chooses to follow should be based on where they place HRM in their business strategy. It has to be kept in mind that businesses are not formed to create good HR practice (Redman and Wilkinson, 2006), rather they exist to generate profits or broadly saying to add value to their stakeholders including employees.

Storey (1989) has distinguished between hard and soft forms of HRM which are represented by Michigan and Harvard models respectively. Hard HRM considers employees in a cost perspective and argues the point of controlling them. On contrast Soft HRM is derived on the human aspects of HRM. Soft HRM talks more about leadership, motivation and communication in attaining strategic goals.

For a firm like Dalton which operates in highly competitive management and IT consulting, sustainable competitive advantage and thereby value creation can be derived only by having resources which are limited and can be renewed and expanded within the firm (Hamel and Prahalad, 1990). Miller (1987) in his definition of Strategic HRM (SHRM) suggests that it is the management of employees at all levels of business which helps in creating and sustaining competitive advantage. So it is obvious that for Dalton management of employees has to be done with an emphasis on staff as a resource rather than a cost (Guest, 2001).

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The terms and conditions of employment for the workforce should include the following aspects.

All the relevant aspects from this will be analysed in-depth during the course of this assignment.

Newell and Shackleton (2001) define recruitment and selection as a process of selecting the correct jigsaw piece (the right individual) to fit into a particular hole in a jigsaw puzzle. Recruitment and selection process should be able to make good predictions about the likely ‘fit’ between particular individuals and the organisation and the job requirements (Taylor, 1911).

Newell and Shackleton (2001) have classified the two different approaches in the recruitment and selection process as psychometric and exchange approaches. Psychometric approach is based on job descriptions and person specifications. Job description is defining the job based on the tasks involved while person specification is identifying the characteristics of a person who will be able to carry out these tasks.

While psychometric approach remains the most widely followed process the authors identifies certain pitfalls associated with it. They argue that job analysis may be inappropriate as the jobs will change over time. Traditional approach does not consider the creativity of candidates and thereby misses out the future scope of innovation. They also argue that job analysis is backward looking and does not account for managing diversity. They also state that these methods fail to measure the commitment to the organisation.

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So it is ideal for Dalton to choose an exchange approach which will help them to make rational decisions on recruitment and selection. This is built on normative research on how decisions should be made (Brunson, 1982). Dalton is planning to implement an ethnocentric approach to staffing (Holden, 2001) in the beginning of their operations where the top and most of middle level management will be German expatriates. Over time they expect UK nationals to take up most of these positions. This can be considered as shifting to polycentric approach. They also plan to adopt an ‘up and out’ career model in which there will be a constant turnover of new graduates and only a small minority staying within the irm in the longer term.

Dalton should outsource the administrative and Support roles to concentrate on their core competencies which are providing consultation on IT and management. This will help the HQ to concentrate on the core activities of the green field site. It will be apt for Dalton to employ all the core staff on open ended contracts. This will help them to nurture identified resources to avert future leadership crises (Newell, 2006).

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Different approaches has to be followed for recruiting expatriates for top and middle management and UK nationals for core of the workforce. Recruitment of expatriates can be mostly internal as it reduces information uncertainty as the candidates have been already observed in the workplace over an extended period. Stafsurd (2003) has observed that internal recruitment contributes to firm specific knowledge of the overall workforce.

The core of workforce which is comprised by UK nationals will have to be recruited externally. The key aspects that are to be considered while going for an external recruitment are cost (Merrick, 1997) and quality of the candidates (Fish and Mackim, 2004).

The following diagram illustrates recruitment (both external and internal) and selection from rational decision making perspective.

The initial stage is to understand and identify the need for recruitment. Job analysis has to be done to identify key tasks and the associated knowledge, skills and abilities keeping in mind that jobs change over time (Hough and Oswald, 2000). Competencies are behavioural indicators for this according to Roberts (1997).

The next stage is deciding on how to recruit. The methods will be direct and cost effective for internal recruitments but the external recruitments require more attention than that. Targeting of candidates can be done primarily through advertising. Mathews and Redman (1998) advocate that targeting should be done on the basis of market research to what a potential applicant is looking for in a recruitment advertisement. But this has time and cost constraints.

Newspapers, various websites, internal newsletters are different mediums where Dalton can post advertisements about recruitment. One day seminars in universities and colleges are also advisable as Dalton has plans of recruiting graduates and MBAs.

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The next stage involves selection from the pool of attracted recruits. Interviews, assessment centers and psychometric tests are the most popular methods for selection. There are serious cost implications for most of these methods. So it is ideal to use different selection methods for different job roles. Face-to-face interviews and assessment centers are useful in selection to top level jobs as the number of people required is less. Psychometric tests, telephone or interactive voice response (IVR) interviews shall be employed for job roles requiring a large number of people (Bauer et al. 2003).

The next stage is the decision making stage to select the best candidates who will ‘fit’ into the organisation and job requirements. Candidates with all the specified essential characteristics and most of the desirable characteristics should be selected for the job (Newell, 2006).Ratings of employee potential estimated during selection can be compared with subsequent progress on the job (Newell, 2006).

This validation is required to assess how successful the recruitment has been and helps to modify the future processes.Training and development can equip workers to carry out tasks, monitor quality and manage complex products and services (Grugulis, 2006). It also supports and safeguards productivity by preparing employees for future jobs. Keep (1989) has argued that training and development is the litmus test against which other aspects of management practice should be gauged.

Dalton is keen to invest heavily in training to develop firm specific competencies. They are planning to put new graduates in large teams working on the job for clients under the supervision of experienced professionals. They are also planning to develop expert systems to transfer knowledge and make it easier to develop staff.

Though UK has a voluntarist approach towards vocational education and training (VET) governments have always exhorted employers to train (Grugulis, 2006). Since Dalton aims to serve customers from the public sector it is advisable for them to invest in official structures to encourage VET, viz. ‘Investors in People’ and ‘National Vocational Qualifications’. This will be relatively easy for Dalton as they have experience in operating from Germany which has got a regulated approach towards training and development. ‘Dalton Germany’ can be assumed as a high performance work organisation which utilizes continuing development of employee’ skills as major source of their competitive advantage.

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So this legacy can be expected to be passed on to the UK subsidiary as well. The success of the training and development will depend not only on the use of high performance practices but also on commitment of senior management (Ashton and Felstead, 2001). Another important aspect that Dalton should concentrate on is the training given to expatriate staff. They have to be prepared to work from a different environment where the work culture might be different from what they have experience so far in their career. Spouses/partners of the expatriates also have to be trained so that their transition to the new environment will be smooth.

Randell (1994) states that nature of an organisation’s appraisal scheme will be based largely on its managerial beliefs.

Dalton plans to introduce a reward based system that includes a combination of financial and non financial incentives. Financial incentives will be performance based payments and non financial on other ‘cafeteria’ style benefits. They are also planning to identify high performing graduates early on so as to retain and promote them.

The importance of context in which performance appraisal is implemented is required for clarity in designing and implementing a performance management system (Bach, 2000). For the appraisal system to be accepted and valued by the workforce Dalton has to sustain trust by promoting trust and procedural fairness. A good performance appraisal system will help in maintaining employee loyalty and commitment (Bowles and Coates, 1993).

Dalton can adopt more recent appraisal practices along with the traditional appraisal methods. These include upward appraisal, 360-degree feedback appraisal, customer appraisal, team based appraisal and competency-based appraisal. There are a lot of practical difficulties that has to be considered while implementing a full fledge appraisal system. Lack of resources might affect success of the process.

Time constraints along with lack of training about the system will result in poor results. Also lot it might be difficult to measure some of the appraisal parameters (Wright, 1991). It is ideal to use different systems for different occupational groups.Employees expect more than pay for their efforts. So the rewards have to include non-pay benefits like recognition and pension along with wages and salaries (Lewis, 2006).

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All the rewards should be in accordance with the philosophies, strategies, policies, plans and processes used by the organisation (Armstrong, 2002). Non- financial rewards may be more motivational for some employees. This forms the basis of total rewards. The modern trend for rewards is to distribute rewards for individual, team and organizational performance separately. This will help in developing and sustaining an adherence to organisation’s culture and policies.

Individual Performance Related Pay (IPRP) and Competence-related pay are two methods that Dalton can implement in rewarding individual performance. Role of managers are very crucial in the implementation of IPRP. They have to define the required standards and expectations; explain them to team members; take decisions about assessments and convey them appropriately (Storey and Sisson, 1993). Competence-related pay is highly contextual and has strong links to organizational strategy.

Team based rewards are based on some pre-determined criteria and helps to reinforce the behaviour that leads to and sustains effective team performance (Armstrong, 2002). For Dalton this will stress the importance of autonomy in work and will help to identify future leaders from the performing graduates. Employee share-ownership schemes help to develop a sense of belonging for the employees. Hyman (2000) has identified three rationales behind implementation of employee share schemes.

They are offering property rights to employees, uniting employee and employer interests and control over employment relationship. Share Incentive Plans (SIP) and Savings-Related share option schemes are the two popular employee share schemes. Dalton should keep in mind the following concerns while implementing a reward system. It should not pose a threat to employee well-being by putting a part of their income at risk and that the pay system has to be just (Heery, 1996).

For Dalton UK, there has to be a separate reward system for expatriates. Taxes, consumptions and savings are to be considered while designing a reward system for expatriates to ensure that they will be able to enjoy an equivalent of benefits and coverage if they remained in their home country (Mooreland and Griffin, 2004).Employee Involvement and Participation

‘Employee relations’ is the area of employment relationship in which managers deal with representatives of employees rather than managing them as individuals (Edwards, 1995). As Storey and Sisson (1993) puts it the main issue of employee relationship agenda will be combining individual and collective approaches in a complementary

Dalton anticipates that the workforce in UK will not be unionized. But they are planning to initiate some kind of employee involvement strategy to be consistent with the practice in Germany. US multinational IBM is a good example for Dalton to base its employee relationships. IBM which has got a non-union workplace has combined corporate success, a positive employee relationship climate with low conflict, low labour turnover and long service, with good pay and conditions (Foulkes 1980, Kochan et al. 1986).

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Along with this IBM has provided their employees almost all benefits that would have got from unions, including no-redundancy policy, single status, equal opportunities policies, merit pay, strong emphasis on internal communications and a grievance system. In UK governments also promote collective industrial relations. The employment relations act 1999 encourages union recruitment and organising efforts as it provides statutory recognition procedure.

The recently adopted European Directive on Employee Information and Consultation sets out the requirements for a permanent and statutory for employee information and consultation (Dundon, 2006). So having a reputed employee relationship will help Dalton for being considered by government agencies for their consulting services. The success of the employee involvement will depend on extend of participation that employees might get in relation to other organizational practices and how much say they have in the matters that affect them.

Work-Life Balance

Family- friendly policies and work-life balance has emerged as a central issue in the last decade reflecting the increase of women in the workforce, lengthening work hours and stress, and EU policies designed to support family unit as a source and agent of social stability (Ackers, 2006). There are also growing concerns on child care, aging population, elder care and care in the community.

The EU doesn’t have authority to shape family policy. One of the reasons might be the variation in relationship between work and family life across the Europe (Hantrais, 2004). In the UK, 2003 Employment Act has developed a statutory framework for family friendly policies. It guarantees employee rights and state support in the areas of maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, parental leave for employees with children under 6 or disabled children.

Dalton might find it difficult in deploying a family-friendly policy as the regulations in UK are stringent than in Germany. The concerns will be in relation to costs and productivity. But there is no doubt that managing diversity will bring benefits as various groups bring their own particular contribution to the organisation. It is assumed that happier employees will be more committed to the organisation (Ackers and El-Sawad, 2006).

For Dalton managing the work-life balance for expatriates will be another important area of concern. One of the major reasons of high failure rates of expatriates is family pressures (Bratton and Gold, 2003). This poses major problems while relocating. Also most of the expatriates are expected to be replaced by UK nationals in a longer run. This poses the issues with repatriation of expatriates. There has to be a planned preparation phase, relocation and assistance after relocation.

As Scullion (2001) observed returning individuals may feel that their international experience is undervalued and/or their career direction, status has been negatively affected. Another difficulty will be dealing with reverse culture shock (Dowling at al. 2004). A tailored work-life balance approach will have to be designed for returning expatriates.

Dalton UK with its HRM administration outsourced and strategic control at German Headquarters will require the line managers to take up most of the implementation of HR practices. The general trend in the industry also follows the same suite with the HR specialists involving in more strategic and complex parts of HR work (Renwick, 2006). The logic behind this approach is the fact that it is the line manager who is closest to employees and customers.

There a lot of distinct advantages in having line managers implementing HR as a part of their job responsibilities for Dalton (Larsen and Brewster, 2003). First it allows cutting down on firm’s cost as less staff will be required for the pure HR function. Next customer management will be more effective. Time