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Like any other form of planning, Human Resource Planning (HRP) is a rationale approach to the effective recruitment, retention and deployment of people with in an organisation, including, where necessary arrangement for dismissing staff, (G.A. Cole, 2004). HRP is therefore concerned with the flow of people through and sometimes out of the organisation.
Normally it is a requirement for every organisation to plan ahead and make some assessment of their present employee situation, so as to ensure that an appropriate range of skills is available for the entire department within the organisation.
Human Resource Planning is essentially concerned with analysing the existing human resource situation, assessing the external labour market and forecasting the supply situation, forecasting future demands for people and establishing and implementing human resource plan, (G.A. Cole, 2004).
The organisation's goals for securing the workforce whether for short or long-term includes recruitment and selection, training and development, promotion, redeployment and career planning, pay and productivity, motivation and appraisal, retirements and redundancy, all depends on a sound human resource planning process.
Considering all the above organisation's goals, Human Resource Planning has contributed a lot in helping Care UK to achieve its goals.
Care UK is the leading independent provider of health and social care in UK. Its deals in Residential care services, Homecare services, Mental health services, Learning disability services, GP practices, NHS walk-in centres NHS CATS and NHS treatment centres. It has its head office at Connaught House, 850 The Crescent Colchester Business Park, Colchester Essex, CO4 9QB.
In consideration to the Care UK recruitment and selection planning, the organisation has adapted both the internal and external recruitment and selection planning process for the managers and health care workers respectively. To maximise its internal capability and run its current 59 nursing or care homes, the organisation want to recruit more managers internally by offering a clear career path that will attract excellent candidates and keep these who have already joined us, "said Carol Cunningham Care UK project manager". Candidates applying for home managers have to go through a rigorous selection process that involves recommendation by a senior manager or regional directors, aptitude and personality test and a structured interview with the project manager and operational manager to be selected.
The Care UK recruitment policy is structured to ensure that all staff will be fairly employed, while meeting the criteria and standards set by Care UK and in accordance with appropriate legislation, (www. Care uk.com). As a recruitment process, Care UK do advertise their vacancies in the organisation's website, national and local newspapers, job centre and internet. The organisation does strive to ensure that applicants are kept informed of their progress through the recruitment procedure and candidates are selected on the basis of their ability to perform the job required. Care UK operates an equal opportunity during its recruitment process where applicants are given equal opportunity regardless of their race, sex, religion and age. Basing on the sector of which the organisation operates, much emphasis has been put on the recruitment and selection process as it is a requirement that the right candidates are given jobs. As a result a sound recruitment and selection planning is needed to attract the right candidates for the jobs. As a legal requirement, all the applicants who are applying for positions of healthcare or domiciliary care assistants are subjected to a number of checks before they are selected. These checks includes, enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) disclosure, right to work, occupational health check and verifiable reference check including full employment history. Only the candidates with a satisfactory outcome of the above checks are selected interviewed and offered the opportunity to trained and work with the organisation. As a form of legal requirement, employees that are selected and offered job by the organisation are provided with a written particulars for employment which stipulate clearly the title of the job the employee is employed, scale or rate of remuneration or the method of calculating remuneration, intervals at which remuneration is paid, holiday pay, sick pay pensions arrangement, grieverance procedures applicable and length of notice to be given on either side. A written employment contract is then handed to the successful candidates that have been employed by the organisation.
Having followed the Care UK recruitment and selection planning, the organisation has strict and tough policies when conducting its recruitment and selection process due to the nature of the sector in which it operates. The organisation does follow the right procedures by engaging in both internal and external recruitment process when vacancies do arise within the organisation and advertising the vacancies through all the avenues which makes it not discriminatory to the people interested for the available jobs within the organisation. Only the right candidates are offered the jobs merits while considering the legal requirements. The organisation through its recruitment and selection process puts all the legal requirements of employment like Criminal Record Checks, equal opportunity, Health and safety at work Act, 1974, Human Right Act, 1996, National Minimum wage Act, 1998, Human Right Act, 1998 and Employment Right Act, 1998 to mention but a few.
Care UK has a sound training and development policy do to the nature of the sector in which the organisation is in. The organisation spends a lot of resource in the provision of training and development of staffs to ensure not only a regular supply of skills to employees but also as a way of improving on the employees' standard of work. As an organisation, Care UK also sees an important role for training and development in the provision of skills and improvement of employee motivation. Since the organisation policy is based not only with the recruitment of people with experience but also individuals who willing and capable of working, it is paramount that the training and development of staffs is strongly looked at and also because the sector is too much regulated with new equipments brought in so frequently couple with new regulations, employees need to have thorough training and development policy well put in place. At Care UK, new employees for the post of healthcare assistants undergo a three days intensive induction training to introduce them to the field of healthcare and the challenges they will faced ahead during the course of their working with the organisation, (www.care uk.org). After the induction training, specialised trainings are brought in and this is done through identifying training needs required by the employees and annual training updates are compulsory for all staff. Healthcare assistants are encouraged to undertake further qualifications and whenever possible, are provided with the opportunities to extend their studies through National Vocational Qualification, i.e. (NVQ2 and NVQ3). Those who are aspiring for the post of managers are carefully selected against rigorous selection framework and are subject to induction processes and are expected to continue to develop professionally, supported by the organisation's performance and personal development planning processes.
Having looked at the training and development policy of Care UK, it is of a high interest to develop a plan for professional development and training of the employees of the organisation. Before doing this, a clear distinction should be made between development and training. Development is a course of action designed to enable the individual to realise his or her potential for growth in the organisation while Training is concerned with the acquisition of a body of knowledge and skills which can be applied directly to work of a particular type, (Penny Hackett, 1994). As a well known fact, a well-trained employee will have the confidence and the competence to produce better quality service and now turning to Care UK as an organisation, the first step to develop a plan for development and training for employees is to identify the individual training needs. Healthcare assistances are faced with a challenge of working with some complicated equipments and treating of patients which requires proper training. By analysing the training needs, this will help to assess the employees' competence and identify what is required to perform the tasks. The second step would be to design a training programme for the organisation. For Care UK, training programmes should be both on-job training and off-job training as demonstrations on how to use equipments and coaching of trainee requires on-job training while presentations, interactive video, lectures and computer base training is more a off-job training. The third step is to identify the training courses that will help the employees to gain confidence and have the competence to perform the tasks. This will includes both the in-house training courses (tailor-made courses to suit the objective of the trainees like moving and handling techniques), external courses like shadowing of new healthcare trainees, and qualification courses like National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), (Penny Hackett, 1994). So turning to Care UK, employees trainings should be structured to meet the objective of the organisation which focus on developing the employees to meet their potentials of facing challenging situations at work and giving them the opportunity to extend their studies through National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs).
Care UK as an organisation has a sound way of motivating the employees. This is done through training and promotion of employees. By training and promoting the staffs they feel they are part of the organisation. This can be evidenced through training of home manager's scheme adapted by Care UK. After their training they are always promoted to senior management positions and also healthcare assistants are trained before they are allowed to start work. This also improves on their confidence and creates in them that the organisation rely want them and they are part of the organisation. Staffs are also encouraged to take external courses like National Vocational Qualifications payable by the organisation. All these makes the employees feel motivated to work for the organisation. This feeling of belonging to the organisation makes employees motivated as Abraham Maslow explained in his motivation theory. Employees are also rewarded for their hard work and this is done through pay and reorganisation where each month the organisation announce an employee of the month and gifts and present are then given to the nominated employee. By recognising the good work done by the employee like this make them motivated to work hard and also encouraged other employee to work harder as they do also want to be nominated for the employee of the month. The organisation's do strive hard to mach the pay of the employees to other employees in different organisation in the industry and all the employees are paid over the national minimum wage. This as well makes the employees not seek employment elsewhere as they feel better of at the organisation. At Care UK employees are supervised and given proper guidance as to how to do their work. Through proper supervision, employees feel more confidants when performing their tasks and motivated to work for the organisation. These things like good pay, high quality supervision, fringe benefits like gifts and presents are the hygiene factors to motivation as Herzberg pointed out in his motivation theory. Through high level of team building at Care UK where employee are trained to work in a team through double up calls, healthcare staffs are fully motivated as they feel safe when carrying out their duties. By encouraging team work within the organisation the employees feel they are part of the group hence working towards fulfilling the goals of the organisation. Team work plays a bigger role in motivating employees as they tend to learn more from each other. AS most employees at Care UK have a different value goals that they all want to achieve, as some want to be home managers, employees are rewarded differently basing on their individual needs. Employees are properly selected and trained basing on their value goals and as they see achieving their goals as is with the organisation, they will be motivated to increase their effort in achieving goals. Like employees who want to be home care managers will work hard with the expectation that they will one day be home care managers in the organisation as trainings are always provided to them. This feeling of expecting some reward in the future do motivate employees to work hard as mention by Vroom in 1964 in his Expectancy theory of motivation. Care UK also do organise end of year party for their staffs which brings a sense of togetherness at the organisation as employees do get to know their fellow workers. This kind of togetherness at the organisation helps to motivate employees to work towards the goal of the organisation. At Care UK appraisal of staffs are done after every six month where employees are asked individually by their line managers what they feel about the organisation, any area of concern that they feel should be improved, how they feel about their working conditions, any concern with other staff member. Through this appraisal exercise, employees are free to hear all their concern and where necessary proper steps are taken to improve the organisation and facilitate the employees in performing their duties.
At Care UK, the organisation is structured from top to bottom i.e. hierarchical arrangement where one level of jobs is subject to control by the next higher level. This kind of management is bureaucratic in nature and more authoritative in nature. The employees at the bottom of the hierarchy do not influence the decision making in the organisation a lot. Decisions are made from top to bottom. Because of the bureaucratic nature, the organisation enables the authority of officials to be subject to published rules and principles. Thus authority is legitimate, not arbitrary, (G.A Cole, 2004). In the organisation, information is passed from the top management to the healthcare staffs at the bottom. Little do the bottom healthcare staffs at the bottom influence the decision being made at the organisation. The top managers formulate all the rules and regulations to be followed by the bottom staffs, there is a clear separation of officials from the ownership of the organisation though the appointment to offices are made on the grounds of technical competence. This management style can be identified by Max Weber and the idea of Bureaucracy. Max Weber in his management school of thought do try to explain the kind of management style that Care UK has adapted. The management style is would recommend for Care UK would be more of a democratic nature where employees are given a bigger say in making decisions as it is through their hard work and commitments that has made the organisation where it is today. The employees work on the ground interacting with the clients and they are the eye of the organisation. If the are given a quit proportion to make decisions on haw to run the organisation it would improve on the image of the organisation and they would feel more part of the organisation.
Since human resource planning is concern with the flow of people though and some times out of the organisation, Care UK has adapted a strong policy towards its human resource planning. This can be seen through the organisation recruitment and selection planning policy, training and development of its employees, promotion of the staff to new and top levels, redeployment and career planning processes, pay and motivation policy, appraisal of staffs. All these depend on a sound commitment of the organisation towards human resource planning. Care UK also has an effective recruitment and selection planning policy which comply with the national care standards and national laws of the country like criminal record checks, right to work in the country, equal opportunity, health and safety at work Act, national minimum wage Act to mention but a few. All this is done by the organisation throw its strong human resource planning.