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Human resource management functions in organisations in New Zealand has changed and is changing, any definition of human resource management is going to be arguable. The term HRM is taken to refer to all the process and activities aimed at utilising all employees to achieve organizational end. The fundamental purpose of HRM is to ensure that firm has the right number of people with required knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies at the affordable cost, Macky (2008).
HR has been seen strategic rather than functional focus. This is further explained by Rudman (2002). HR management is mainly directed by long term focus and development of whole organisation. Its greater emphasis is on team work, value and mission. Personnel management is more functional and is short term. Its focus is on maintenance of policies and procedure, rules and procedure and conflict institutionalised. The concept of strategic management was developed alongside of HRM, Rudman (2002). SHRM focus on the ways in which HRM is critical to an organisation's survival and the ways in which it may underpin sustained competitive advantage. Macky (2008)
The history of employment relation in New Zealand is characterized by change, conflict and conciliation, and has been shaped by prevailing economics, social and political ideologies and policies. Employment relation in New Zealand has been influenced by over seas trends and events, particularly by UK and Australia, Macky (2008).
In New Zealand, health and disability services are delivered by number of District Health Boards (DHBs) and health care providers, New Zealand has 21 DHB. Auckland District Health Board like other DHBs plans manages purchases and provides health services to people. Auckland DHB's key goals are to lift the health of the people living in Auckland city and, to lead performance improvement which is aligned with government's overall vision for the health in New Zealand (ADHB, 2008).
ADHB has total revenue of approximately $1.3 billion per year and receives a funding of about $754 million from the government for Auckland population. Hospital and related services owned by ADHB receive approximately seventy six percent of the budget and major portion of this funding; about sixty percent is associated with staff costs ADHB (2008). With such a high level of funding going towards employees coupled with pressures from government funders, monitoring these human resources becomes important. As there is huge funding involves from government, so it plays a huge part in monitoring employee, employer relation.
DHB is government formed organisation and act under New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000, The statutory objectives of DHBs is improving, promoting and protecting the health of communities, promoting the integration of health services, especially primary and secondary care services and promoting effective care or support of those in need of personal health services or disability support, MOH (2010). A wide range health care providers and health professional groups make significant contributions to the health sector, as do many non-government and voluntary groups. The government organisation in this sector is ADHB, the ADHB in New Zealand is a largest public health care provider working with the Ministry of Health. The NZPHD Act outlines the responsibilities of the Minister of Health and the role and functions of ADHB. Being a good employer is one of them. ADHB are required to follow their objectives in accordance with their District Strategic Plans, District Annual Plans and Statements of Intent. ADHB also have to follow with any formal directions given to them by the Minister of Health. ADHB also have to follow 'whole of government' directions issued by the Minister for State Services and the Minister of Finance. ADHB is accountable, both to the Government and the House of Representatives, through a framework set out in statute and in Cabinet decisions. MOH (2010)
Even though governments appoint member of board but ADHB elect a CEO
to act under different laws, New Zealand Health and Disability Service (Safety) Act 2001 where DHB has to focus on patient service and outcomes, continuously improving quality of service, complying with the standards and meting all other requirement for health and safety. It's a public health sector ADHB as employer and partly government operated have to make sure all employees are not exposed to hazard, it has to develop emergency procedure under Occupational health and safety legalisation in Employment act 1992. Macky (2008)
A policy for human resource management is a link between organisation's vision and its day-to-day operations, a company always need to have it policies cleared. A well written policy allows employees to understand their role and responsibilities within predefined limits. Policies identify the key activities and provide a strategy to decision making on how to handle issues as they arise, Ameinfo (2005). For District Health Board, it needs to have set policies for HR/ ER in place because they are not just dealing directly with their employees but with customer as well. With DHB as an example of a sector and for company I'll be looking at policies and giving reference to West Coast and Auckland District Health board as there 21 DHB in New Zealand and most of their policies are related.
While delivering the goals for ADHB, HR policies needed to be checked for their cost effectiveness, their alignment with ADHB strategy and for the quality while they are delivering those goals. It is very important for ADHB to make sure that employee efforts are capable of delivering as per New Zealand government's health agenda. In 1988 ADHB introduce its first Professional development Reorganization Programme (PDRP) which was an innovative solution to support and recognize the contribution staff nurses make to patient care delivery and encourage them to remain in a staff nurse role. "THE PDRP is a framework which provides structured support, learning and feedback to assist nurses develop the knowledge and skills necessary to provide safe and effective patient care, alsoÂ enables the development of a range of transferable clinical, professional and personal skills which can be used in care delivery, team work and leadership throughout their career, ADHB (2008).
As per HR policies in ADHB, performance management in recent years has become a key value-adding process. It is a set of well defined process that enables organizations to sharpen focus on performance of their employees. This in turn leads to the overall improvement in the DHB performance and accomplishment of their mission and goals.
Organisational performance and outcomes are relatively difficult to measure in the healthcare sector. As indicated by recent studies, improved internal HR performance management practices are directly linked with better organisational performance and outcomes, Macky (2008). The measurement of performance in the healthcare sector is of debatable nature and most of the international studies try to link HRM practices to patient mortality in hospitals (Bartram, Stanton, Leggat, Casimir, & Fraser, 2007).
At Auckland DHB all employees are entitled to an Annual Performance Review. Furthermore managers are well advised to brief the employee that the review done would be for the actual performance and mangers will in length discuss both the positive and negative aspects of the performance. These are some critical guidelines to get the performance measurement review in motion. 'By doing so the management is making sure that these practises help add value to the employee and to the organization. After all the measurement review is not done to the employee but rather with the employee' (Cattell, 2005).
ADHB, the mode of evaluating the performance is done subjectively rather than objectively. As DHB is a more of a service based organization it does make sense for them to use model. Measuring performance subjectively means measuring and appraising are more or less done at the same time and such is the case at ADHB. The model that is used by ADHB to measure performances subjectively is the Rating Scales model.
Job sharing policies is increasing becoming popular and common as employer devise working arrangement that will help to retain the staff. From employer prospective it helps increase staff retention. When two people come together pooling their experience always helps the organisation. There is greater continuity at the work place, when two people share jobs they often are available to cover each other sick leave or annual leave. Staffs improve higher productivity through higher moral and huge stress, EEOtrust (2007). In Hudson 2007 survey it was found that 79% of the participants had positive impact on the attraction and retention of the staff as a result of job sharing. According to Hudson (2007) survey, job share options are most widespread in the healthcare, not for profit, and education sectors. Large and medium size organisations are more likely to offer job share arrangements than small businesses. New Zealand evidence confirms that when a job sharing programme is properly implemented and integrated into an organisation, it significantly contributes to an organisation's ability to attract and retain staff. Hudson (2007)
Under its HR policy at ADHB Prevention of Harassment is taken very seriously, anything which is offensive, insensitive and unasked for behaviour. It includes abuse or improper use of power or authority. Harassment can be based on gender, race or ethnicity, age or physical disabilities. This policy is followed through out DHB staff In case situation arises management of ADHB will pursue, on behalf of its staff members the protections offered against harassment it help victim to file complaint assist for personal grievance Procedures, follow the actions prescribed by the Human Rights Act (1993) and take actions prescribed by the Employment Relations Act (2000)
The running of ADHB will ensure that all staff members are made aware of their obligations and rights with regards to harassment. This will be achieved through the staff orientation programme, incorporation of harassment education into staff professional development education programmes and promotion of staff member obligations and rights with regard to harassment through the displaying of information on notice boards throughout organisation.
As ADHB are closely monitored by government body and have multicultural work place, strong ER policies set in place. DHB continuous to work under 'good faith' where they allow good employment relations and good faith behavior, which includes mutual obligations of trust and confidence between employers, employees and unions. Under ER DHB follow holiday act 2003 providing its employee annual holiday, public holiday, sick leave and parental leave.
ADHB aims to follow Health and safety under Employment Act 1992 not just to prevent harm to employees while they are working but also raise excellence in systematic management of health and safety, Macky (2008). DHB takes the full responsibility of identifying and controlling all hazards at the work place, training and supervising all employees and visitor in the organisation. Their one of the priority is not taking care of their patients but also to monitor all employees' health and keeping all employees and visitor about the company's emergency plan.
.According to Macky (2008) Human RD becomes strategic when an organisation's HRD activities move beyond short term needs to focus on the long term strategic goals. Management and leadership development is major SHRD concern. An organisation heavily depends upon their future managers for building a strategic management. Development of managers at the top levels and middle level manager who supply them needs to be carefully planned for, Boxall, P & Purcell, J (2003). Organisation development is an SHRD approach which helps for a wide change in a work place. Both individual and organisation development happens when Organisation development network with a SHRD perspective Macky (2008). ADHB could have follow strong organisation development by having professional development unit, a coordination of all nurses and mid wifery education (with collaboration with tertiary education institute) and to have clinical effective unit for the development and support of research and clinically based unit There are many techniques for management and leadership development, ADHB could also adopt one-one coaching or mentoring, like other DHB in New Zealand
ADHB's performance is the sum of individual, team, department and service performance across ADHB and hence individual performance plans are cascaded from service, department and team. ADHB could measure their success in terms of quality of their service, cost effectiveness and the level at which they satisfy government's health agenda,
ADHB could also makes use of the 360-degree feedback model whereby feedbacks are taken from other employees, mangers, internal customers and self-report. 'The use of this model can be attributed to the fact that at ADHB more emphasis is given on training and development of the employee as it provides balanced views of the employee's strengths and weaknesses' (Taylor, 2004). This is important as the HR manager is required to devise an Individual Development Plan (Appendix 1) for the employee and such feedback will help in preparing the plan.
ADHB belongs to the service industry they have rightly linked their measurement review to training and development of their employees. "However with increased consumer expectations of better treatment, coupled with the pressure from government funders to ensure high quality safe healthcare with financial sustainability, healthcare organisations are increasingly required to identify more extensive performance measures. The strong positive link between monitoring performance and improving organisational performance has been well documented" (Bartram, Stanton, Leggat, Casimir, & Fraser, 2007).