Investigating Human Resources Planning And Development Purpose Commerce Essay


It emphasizes the interrelatedness and coherence of HRM activities. It explains how the selection, appraisal, development and rewards aim to increase the organizational performance. It expresses the coherence of internal HR policies and the importance of matching them to external business strategy.

Its disadvantage is that it ignores the stakeholder interests, situational factors and notion of strategic choice.

The Birmingham City council make use of this model in its attempt to bring the changes in its HR. As the council is considering to adopt a strategic approach towards the HR practices, that is why by having interrelatedness in the various departments of HR can produce results which council is expecting to see. On the other hand council can not afford to over look the stake holder's interest in any of its undertakings. The HR department will certainly face problems in using a approach which is not very difficult to adopt in the private sector but for a public sector office like the BCC, it is difficult to implement the core HR practices regarding the performance and rewards.



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According to the model the employees are the resources although they are considered fundamentally different from other resources as they can not be treated like the other resources. The stress hare is on people as human resources. The Harvard model emphasizes that human resources are not like any other resources as the former can be motivated or de-motivated, they can cop-operate with the management or resist it, they can think, create, imagine, plan, learn, feel emotions and perform huge number of tasks.

The model postulates that HR emphasizes that employees are critical to achieving sustainable competitive advantage that HR practices need to be integrated with the corporate strategy and that the specialist help organizational controllers to meet both efficiency and equity objectives.

The Harvard model outlines four human resource policy outcomes to be attained:

human resource flows

Reward system like policy system and motivation

Employee influence like delegated levels of authority, responsibility and power.

Work system


As for limitations, Harvard model is designed as perceptive but regarded as such, also the nature of its casual links are unclear. Another of its disadvantage is that there is absence of a coherent theoretical basis for measuring the relationship between HR inputs, outputs and performance.

(Beer et al 1984)


The Harvard model is the closest of all models which can be used in the situation of BCC as it takes into consideration all stake holder's expectations, the city council is also emphasizing building of Human Resources by keeping the situational factors in consideration. The council also wants the strategic or long term solution of problems to become efficient and cost effective. The council is determined to adhere to all those areas which are identified as important by Harvard model, but in the scenario of BCC it is not easier to inter-relate the input, outcomes and performance.

The two most widely accepted models of HRM and frequently cited are those that adopt the 'hard' and 'soft' approaches. These two models are viewed as being opposing and incompatible and 'capable of signalling diametrically opposite sets of assumptions' (Storey, 1992, p. 26.) This reason for this view is that the set of assumptions on which they are based seemingly differ with the soft model placing its emphasis on the 'human' whilst the hard model places its emphasis on the 'resource'. The aim of this essay will be to compare and contrast these two seemingly opposing approaches to HRM in order to ascertain if it would be possible to incorporate both these approaches into one single model of human resource management or whether it is the case that both need to be kept separate as the rhetoric may differ from reality and what may be the right method for one company may not be the right one for another.

The 'soft-hard' dichotomy arose mainly from the work of American academics Beer et al (1985) who developed the Harvard model that reflected the softer human relations and the matching model of Fomburn et al (1984) which reflected a harder strategic management influence (Morris et al. 2000). It was in the work of Guest (1987) and Storey (1992) were the terminology of 'hard' and 'soft' was first used. Even though they both acknowledged the division between the two models they incorporated both the hard and soft versions within their own models or theories of HRM (Truss et al. 1997)


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It is about developing an organization which caters for all that activities required and to group activities together to encourage integration and co-operation.

The council will change the top down approach and will make the workers dealing with the specific task more empowered and competent to deal with the issues so as to expedite the matter which can become pending due to the reason of adopting a bureaucratic approach.

The HR director is determined to give the council a new shape where the service delivery will be more efficient, quick and cost effective.


In order to improve the efficiency of the work force the council has to adopt the proper method of measuring and appraising the performance of the workers.

Performance management is a process which leads to the effective management of individuals and teams in order to achieve high level of organizational performance. It is meant to develop proper understanding and about what is to be achieved and an approach to leading and developing people which will ensure it will be achieved. In simple words performance management teach the workers and improve performance. Appraisal is an assessment of employee's performance, potential and development needs.

As stated in the case, under the new structure, staff will manage their own personal records while manager take on more responsibility for employee training and absence levels. The council easily adopt the paired comparison method and critical incident method by asking the employee to maintain a diary of the activities of the work they do and by comparing the productivity of employers in the same department.


It is about simulating, planning and implementing programs designs to improve the effectiveness with the organization functions and to cope with change. As stated in the case "we are skilling up managers who will be supported where necessary by much more highly skilled HR functions".

HR has business partners in all service areas, as opposed to departmental staffing officers previously and the HR functions, which has about 520 people will be made up mainly of specialist in areas such as recruitment, workforce planning and remunerations.

The council can emphasize on the training and development of the workforce and it can be of three types:

Induction training

On job training

Off job training

The manager should be made responsible to carry the induction training so as to explain the job requirements clearly to the new employees.

Regular training sessions can be organized by the council and employees should be encouraged to participate in them. Off job training can be offered to those who have long term prospect with organization and show commitment and determination.



There are seven steps in every organization's human resource cycle:

business needs

job competencies

the hiring processs

learning and development

performance assessments

continued learning and training

total rewards

The three most important HR planning and developments methods which can be used by the managers in the organization which I have selected, are as follows:


The recruitment and selection process comprises of the following steps,

Identify requirements ( job description, person specification, terms and conditions)

Attract applicants ( adverts, search targets, candidate briefing, literature)

Shortlist (screening criteria)

Apply selection process ( process design selection criteria, basis of management)

Offer (offer letter, terms and conditions, benefits, codes of conduct)

(Reference: Pg 62 Human Resource Management, Paul Banfield ,Rebecca Kay)

As the new recruits are for the administrative support customer services departments

, the job specification will first has to be made so as to make clear that the requirements of the job. For that a proper job analysis has to be done on the basis of which the job description will be made as the positions are at the bottom level that's why external recruitment is better specially when the council wants to hire people which will work with a different mindset. As Birmingham City Council is equal opportunity employer that is why all people will be encouraged to apply. But the job specification should make the role clear as these positions required good management skills and ability to communicate effectively with the people. Applicants are encouraged to mention their previous experiences if they have with the charity organizations or any type of work which will indicate the social responsibility of applicant. We will try to see the qualities like initiative and management skills to manage and relevant qualifications and experience would be of added value.


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The six E's of training ___ why organizations train employees

Engage: Effective training provides the opportunity for employees to connect with the organization.

Educate: Training can help to educate or increase the knowledge and awareness of individual and teams.

Enhance: Training can help to enhance or improve the skills and competence of individuals and teams within an organization.

Empower: By properly training employees, an organization can increase the accountability of teams.

Energize: Participation in training can help to energize, motivate and improve employees.

Enlighten: Training can also be an effective means of helping individuals to see things in a different way.

((Reference: Pg 244 Human Resource Management, Paul Banfield ,Rebecca Kay)


induction training

SOP_ Specific operational procedures

Technology training

Mandatory training

Improvement training

Attitudinal training

By providing training to its employees BCC can be in a better to position to achieve its targets of making its functions more effective. The council is ready to invest people in the human resource development will having far reaching impacts on the working of the council. It will change attitude and style of work of the employees,

this effects the culture of the organization in the long run.

The downside is that it is always costly to train and develop workforce in terms of time and money and it is difficult to comment on that the train workers will be with organization in the long-term.


Reward systems can be classified into two; intrinsic and extrinsic rewards.

Intrinsic rewards concern work design, aiming for a job that is both fulfilling and contributing to an individual's self esteem. This has had major attention from theorists, particularly Herzberg, with a belief that through job design, work can be "enriched", evolving into the concept of a "high performance work system". Herzberg claims that pay, working conditions and supervisory style are but "hygiene factors" (potential demotivators if lacking). To actually motivate, the job content needs to contribute to the individual's feelings of achievement, advancement and growth though recognition and responsibility. This can be achieved only if the job content itself supports achievement of the above (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2007, pp.258).

Extrinsic rewards are what is classically thought of as the reward policy of a company. These can be classified into monetary and non-monetary. Whilst financial rewards are a hygiene factor, increasingly there is recognition that non-financial rewards may play an important part in attracting, and more particularly retaining employees.(Armstrong 2002). Non financial rewards can lead to the opportunity for personal growth higher than financial rewards (Redman, Wilkinson, in Bach, 2006). Generally it is non-financial rewards that are used to motivate the employees and develop positive attitudes amongst them. Increasingly the trend in monetary rewards is "linking reward to performance, skills or profit; these include merit pay, team performance incentives or profit related pay (Thorpe, Horman, 2000). Performance-related pay recognises employees individual contributions and rewards them as such.

The council can make use of all the above methods of performance assessment as there is no concept of performance measurement in place so all the methods will prove beneficial for the BCC.



Performance Management:

Armstrong and Baron (1998) define performance management as a "process which contributes to the effective management of individuals and teams in order to achieve high levels of organizational performance. As such, it established shared understanding about what is to be achieved and an approach to leading and developing people which will ensure it is achieved"(Armstrong, M. and Baron, A. 1998). They further emphasize the fact that it is "a strategy which relates to every activity of the organization set in the context of its human resource policies, culture, style and communication systems. The nature of the strategy depends on the organizational context and can very from organization to organization" (Armstrong, M. and Baron, A. 1998).

A simple illustration of performance management would be that it is a source of action which is taken by an organization to teach their employees and improve performance.

Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal is a way of giving employees feedback about their performance at work. According to ACAS (2003) "Performance appraisal is an assessment of employee's performance, potential and development needs. Performance appraisal is an opportunity to take an overall view of work content, loads and volumes, to look back on what has been achieved during the reporting period and agree objectives for the next"( ACAS, 2003).

A comparison between Performance Management and Performance Appraisal can be described as follows. Performance Management as of its definition is a process which contributes to the effective management of individuals and teams in order to achieve high levels of organizational performance. Performance Management has a broad organizational focus, it is used to identify performance weaknesses and helps to improve along with provided measures whereas Performance appraisal is the process used to evaluate how the employees perform their jobs and indicates the level of accomplishment. A better way of describing the comparison is that Performance management is the course of action taken by companies to teach their employees to improve performance and performance appraisal contributes in decision making to performance management.

Three Methodology of Performance Appraisal

There are several different methodologies used by corporations world wide for Performance Appraisal, we will only discuss three common methodologies used globally.

360-Degree Feedback

An appraisal method in which the employee's performance feedback comes from such sources "as self assessment, peers, team members, managers in the organizational hierarchy, and also from external sources such as customers, suppliers and other interested stakeholders has become very popular in contemporary organizations" (Decenzo, D and Robbins, S. 2001)

360-Degree appraisal is a very useful tool, the data for appraisal is collected from a wide range of resources and it provides a very through picture of how an individual's performance is viewed and can be an extremely powerful tool in analyzing performance. According to Foot and Hook. (2005) they state. "To have any genuine value or meaningful impact, 360â-‹ feedback must be far more than a standalone activity. It should involve managing the individual's expectations, aligning questionnaires to competency frameworks, setting goals to integrate the exercise into personal development plans and providing feedback from trained facilitators. The process surrounding the 360â-‹ process itself is complex, and how well HR and learning managers plan that process will determine what impact it will have" this shows that while 360â-‹ feedback is not an easy process to introduce into an organization, 'it does nevertheless provides a powerful tool that fits well with the performance management and performance appraisal approach' (Foot, M. and Hook, C. 2005)

Paired Comparison

A performance appraisal method that "ranks individuals performance by counting the number of times any one individual is the preferred member when compared with all other employees in an organization" (Decenzo, D and Robbins, S. 2001)

According to Rue and Byars (2003) they illustrate the Paired Comparison Method using an example "Suppose a manager is to evaluate six employees. The manager firstly compares the first employee with the second employee on a chosen performance criterion, such as quantity of work. If the manager thinks the first employee has produced more work then the second employee, he or she gets a higher rating. The first employee is then compared to the third, fourth, fifth and sixth employee on the same performance criterion. A better rating is given to the employee who produced the most work in each of these paired comparisons. The process is repeated until each employee has been compared to every other employee on all the chosen performance criteria. The employee with the best rating is considered to be the best performer. Likewise, the employee with the lowest rating is the lowest performer". The main drawback of this method is that it can be used only in small organizations, with small numbers of employees, but in large organizations with large number of employees, it is difficult to compare each employee with every other employee in the organization.

Critical Incident Method

Critical Incident appraisal method can be defined by Decenzo and Robbins (2001) "managers have to keep a written record of the facts that focuses on those critical or key behaviors that make the difference between doing a job effectively and doing it ineffectively". They further illustrate Critical Incident Method using an example "a police sergeant might write the following critical incident about one of her officers: Brought order to a volatile situation by calmly discussing options with an armed suspect during hostage situation which resulted in all hostages being released, and the suspect being apprehended without injury to any individual. The main strength of critical incident method is that it looks at behaviors. A behavior report such as critical incident is more job related and it judges performances rather then personalities" (Decenzo, D and Robbins, S. 2001).

The main drawbacks of such method is that managers are required to note down incidents as they occur which can be a burdensome and time consuming task.

As there was no concept of performance assessment in the council as mentioned in the case, it will be effective and beneficial to make the criteria clear to the new recruits. It will be effective to develop such standards and criteria of performance measurement and should be made in the induction training so that the new workers will know what to do from day one. It will also depicts the cultures of organization and serve as developing positive attitude towards work and will also put a better image of the organization on the new workers. A system of performance management not only improves the image of the organization but will also affect the motivation level of the workforce and helps to build the desired culture in the future.

But on the other hand if proper use of the appraisal system in place will not be made it may become a source of de-motivation and will be considered as negative. The line managers should be fully aware of the way to asses and record the performance of the worker especially in the service sector like the BCC it is difficult to measure the productivity of the employees.