The specific problems on human resource planning

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The kind of dilemma that the Regent Bakery Company Ltd finds itself hinges on the lack of human resource management in the company. Human Resource Management could be defined as the total of the inherent abilities, acquired knowledge and skills as exemplifies in the talents and aptitudes of employees - Leon C. Megginson.

It may be considered as human capital comprising of intellectual, social and emotional capital. Intellectual capital is a specialized knowledge and skills, cognitive complexity and learning capacity whereas social capital is a network of relationships, sociability and trustworthiness. Emotional capital on the other hand is about having self confidence, ambition and courage, the ability to bear risk and being able to resist pressures coming from any quarter.

Generally human resource management is a process of making efficient and effective use of human efforts so that the goals set by the organization could be achieved through the deployment of the human resource available.

Every organization is made up of people with different level of skills and orientation. Some of the skills are acquired and others are inherent. It is incumbent on any serious organization to help develop the skills of its people and give them the necessary encouragement and motivation to boost their morals so that they can maintain their commitment to the organization. It is in this light that Armstrong, one of the best writers in human resource management sees people as the most valued assets of an organization. He observes that a strategic and coherent approach to the management of people ensures the stability and the growth of every organization. Anything short of this will threaten the going concern concept of the organization.

Lack of human resource management unit in Regent Bakery Ltd has led to no planning of their human resource issues in the organization which has culminated in the downturn of the company's sales and its attendant high labour turnover.

Human resource planning is a process by which an organization ensures that it has the right number of people at the right places and at the right times who are capable of effectively and efficiently execute the tasks that are assigned to them to help achieve the overall objectives of the organization. When an organization's human resource is planned very well employees with the right skills, expertise and competences shall be properly recruited to fill the right positions at the right time. The presence of a planning unit will also help develop and train the workforce to adapt to the uncertainties in the work environment. Again through proper human resource planning, management is able to determine the people who are going on retirement and leaving the organization and replace them with new employees to prevent shortages.

For Regent Bakery Ltd because there is lack of human resource planning the marketing and promotion of its products is left in the hands of untrained salesmen who lack the skills to perform that duty. This to a large extent has affected the sales of bread and other products that the company deals in. It is my recommendation that a marketing unit be established to handle the marketing and selling of the company's products. The people constituting this unit must be trained, prepared and motivated to market the products of the company. They need to visit the company's customers, find out what their needs are and cater for them. It is learnt that most of their customers turn to other suppliers for confectionery and other products. The marketing unit when put in place could advice the bakery to customize their production to satisfy their customer needs.

Again it is observed that there is lack of internal controls in the company. This is because nobody checks the returns of the salesmen against the unsold stock that they bring back to the company. This has resulted in the fact that the sharper ones has become dishonest and has enhanced their earnings by various fiddles at the expense of their employer and the company's customers. I suggest that any value of goods received by the salesmen should be recorded by the sales manager and all sales must be receipted. The unsold stock must be checked against quantity received and any shortfall must be accounted for by the salesman.

The Regent Bakery has paid so much attention on the production and sale of bread whose demand has decreased considerably and had affected sales badly. I recommend that the company diversify its operations by producing confectionery and other pastry products so that their customers shall have a wide range of products to choose from to prevent them from turning to their competitors for their needs.

The next issue which is seriously hampering the operations of the company is recruitment. Recruitment is an essential aspect of human resource development. The situation where recruitment is left in the hands of sales manager is bad and will not help the company in anyway. The sales men do not have the training, techniques and the requisite skills to recruit salesmen for the company. Again the mode of the recruitment; that is the usage of local recruitment campaigns will also not help to get the best employees to help promote and sell the company's products.

To deal with this problem I am of the view that a recruitment unit consisting of people with specialized human resource management background be established to handle all matters relating to recruitment. I also suggest that recruitment is to be done on merit so that people who are more qualified could be employed to work for the company to turn its fortunes around. To make this effective all recruitments must be published in the dailies. This will help the process to be very competitive for the best caliber of persons to be employed and work for RBC Ltd. Any senior sales supervisor and sales manager who has not been trained should not have anything to do with interviews or any portion of the recruitment process.

I again recommend that in advertising for employees to be recruited into RBC Ltd the company should not only look for people who could drive but must also seek for professionals who has the expertise to sell and market the company's products. To make this possible the newly recruited salesmen should be trained and nurtured so that they can help market the company and its products in a more professional way.

My observation once again is that salesmen perform their duties on individual basis. This means of sales to a large extent resulted in fatigue and boredom on the part of the salesmen and that negatively affected sales volumes and its downward profit margins. I recommend the team work approach to sales. The salesmen should be grouped in smaller sizes so that as they move along they can encourage one another to achieve their targets. Incentive schemes like bonuses and commission must also be introduced to motivate them to give off their best.

One of the challenges that has also plagued the fortunes of the company is high labour turnover. Labour turnover is the relationship that exist between the rate at which people join an organization an leave the organization. There could be several reasons why people leave organizations but with particular reference to the Regent Bakery Ltd, employees are leaving the company because they complain that the work is tedious and that they are not getting job satisfaction. Others see the job as very boring and too routine and repetitive.

To curb this problem I suggest that the employees must be made to sell during the week days and take rest during the weekends. If circumstances permit that they are to sell on Saturdays and Sundays they must be paid overtime as a form of motivation. Again, I suggest that the task of selling must be redesigned to include sales promotion to generate salesmen interest so that they could enjoy the work. I also believe that if group sales is introduced it will promote team work which has the tendency of increasing productivity in the company. The company must also organize refresher courses for the staff so that apart from increased pay pocket they can broaden their scope and get promotions which will encourage them to stay in the company. I observe that there is suspicion between salesmen and their supervisors with regards to earnings by various 'fiddles'. This gives room for job insecurity on the part of the salesmen and may not be happy to work in such an atmosphere. This must be cleared as soon as possible for the salesmen to feel secured and work with free conscience.

The Regent Bakery Limited has a very bright future especially when their customers still patronize their products and has also expressed interest in other products like confectioneries and cakes which they are capable of producing. If they are able to organize themselves very well and implement the recommendations that has been put forward the fortunes of the company shall be turned around.