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Tawam Hospital is a JCIA accredited hospital and considered to be a training and research hospital linked with UAE University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science. Tawam Hospital was opened officially on 17, December 1979 under the directions of the late H.H Sheikh Zayed who had chosen its location. The hospital is owned by Abu Dhabi Health Services (SEHA) and it is complied with the Health Authority ââ‚¬" Abu Dhabi (HAAD).
Tawam Hospital is a Middle East Center of Excellence for oncology care, Neonatal Intensive Care, and general ICU services in addition to outstanding patient care delivery programs in other specialties such as the home care services for elderly in addition to the baby friendly services that is recognized internationally (Docstoc, 2010). Tawam works to provide a quality health care services that meets the expectations of their patients because they promise to treat patients as part of their families as stated in their mission and vision (Tawam Hospital, 2010).
The managerial practices
At Tawam, the CEO office hold a weekly meeting for the A-Team members to negotiate the overall performance and issues related to all the hospital departments. Medical issues and concerns are discussed to seek a solution and guidance. Administrative issues are also negotiated like promotions, policies transfers and re-structuring. The hospital overall strategy is presented to allow all the departments to do the necessary actions to comply with it. In the past 2 years, the main objective of the A-Team meetings was to negotiate the plans and objectives on the construction of the new hospital building and the alternatives till the project finish.
Current problems and difficulties
The major difficulty that faces Tawam Hospital is the integration of the new Hospital Information System (HIS) with the lack of technology of our professional doctors. A comprehensive and planned training program for IT and computer basics was given to all the doctors prior to the implementation of the HIS that led to the success of the initial implantation of the project. Another major problem at Tawam is the conflict with SEHA regarding the internal policies at Tawam that prevent Tawam from taking independent decisions regarding the health care systems or the IT infrastructure.
The new evolving role of HRM is the strategic management that is aligned with the corporate mission and goals in addition to performing the basic functionality of HRM. In other words, decisions related to employees should be analyzed to consider their effect on the organization's mission and goal accomplishment (U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1999).
What is manpower planning?
According to BusinessDictionary.com, manpower planning is defined as estimating the required skilled personnel to accomplish work tasks overtime and specifying how and when they should be acquired. People are considered the most valuable assets for any organization, therefore; financial and technological assets can't give organizations a competitive edge without human capital.
For our case, Tawam Hospital which is a healthcare organization, planning the human resource is classified according to the job context where there are different classifications like physicians or health care specialists, laboratory technicians and administrative staff. Mainly, for healthcare organizations, the manpower market is similar to other organizations' labor market which is based on demand and supply.
Healthcare organization demands for workforce are based upon the population demand for health care. Careful considerations of the population size and structure in addition to patients' expectation of healthcare services and the society income and living standards should be considered while planning the workforce for any hospital (Bloor & Maynard, 2003).
Many factors affect the labor supply in healthcare organizations. Most healthcare professionals expect high incomes and have a special perceived social status in the society. Also the relation among healthcare professionals can be controlled by the skill mix they adhere and their usage of complements and substitutes in their work; and this can affect the supply of healthcare professionals based on the current available professionals in the field hospital (Bloor & Maynard, 2003). Other factors may affect the supply in UAE like the labor law and the government regulations.
At Tawam Hospital, the manpower planning is affected by the rules and regulations of SEHA where the all the departments needs to submit their business plan to HR and then HR sends them to SEHA for analysis, approval and budget estimations. When SEHA approves the business plans and the future positions, it sends them back to Tawam Finance to allocate the budgets for each new positions then the HR Director approves the plan, the manpower planning maintain the new positions in the database of the HRIS for each department.
The hiring process can't be processed unless there is a vacant position for that requesting department. Sometimes the need for the position forces the manpower planning to find a way to create the position even if the department doesn't have a vacant position in the database. Sometimes they split/merge available positions to create the required position. For the medical departments, manpower planning used to suggest borrowing positions from department to department under the approval of both parties and the HR Director to cover the need for the new position.
Manpower planning gives organizations a value in managing workforce diversity; and also adds an important effect in recruitment, employee retentions and development. Moreover, proper planning for workforce increases the quality of the corporate staff and hence improves the output services or products accomplishment (U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1999).
At Tawam Hospital, the manpower planning provides a monthly study that identifies the number of filled/vacant positions within each section and department in the organization. Also the monthly report analysis the workforce diversity based on the number of national and non-national employees in each department. This report is sent to SEHA monthly to prepare the plan for the workforce yearly or help to made adjustment to the current plan.
HR department is the only department in any organizations that affect all employees in all the different levels, therefore, Human resource planning is considered to be important because it can help organizations be more productive and cost-efficient. Human resource planning can help organizations to forecast their future needs of employees and also the expenses; where tactical plans are set based on long term forecasting that is aligned with corporate strategy to determine the required skills at the right time with the expected costs. Planning workforce helps also to minimize the corporate expenses to cut unnecessary jobs that can be accomplished by the available employees. The hiring process can be improved if HR plans well the recruitment process based on the forecasting and needs analysis, also the communication between HR department and line managers can help a lot in developing a good plan for what skills are required to accomplish the corporate goals (Schwartz, nd). HR planning helps organizations to estimate the types of KSA (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities) with their employees and how to utilize them efficiently. Also, good workforce planning helps organization to keep their employees by providing the good career development paths (Vareta, nd).
At Tawam Hospital, the manpower planning performs many activities that serve the organization. One of those activities is called "Reporting Structure Hierarchy" which aims to identify who reports to whom using the HRIS database to assist in transferring or promotions activities. Another activity is called the "Position Master Change - PMC" where requests for changing the position titles goes under the approval of HR to be reflected in the organization hierarchy in the HRIS. Promotions at Tawam should be identified initially by the manpower planning where they check if there is a vacant position for the department requesting the promotion and if there is a position, the manpower planning approves the promotion to enter the promotions committee; otherwise, the promotion is rejected. When the promotion is rejected, the merging/splitting positions may be a solution if the requesting department has other vacant positions or they can borrow positions from other department within the same division under their approval.
Approaches for manpower planning
Organization Strategy & Targets
Organization Practices & Methods
Manpower Review and Analysis
Adjust to Balance
Chart 1: The Rationalized Approach to Manpower PlanningPlanning is defined as the outcome of series of processes to find a solution to a problem. Rationalizing HR planning is done to provide easy methods to be followed to take decisions about choices of available alternatives before the implementation. Rational considerations of the issues surrounding the organization are the base for the rational model of manpower planning. In this approach, the organization strategy along with the implemented practices and methods to achieve the goals are considered when analyzing the manpower supply and demand based on the internal and external factors that affect the organization performance. SWOT analysis to determine the corporate strength and weakness and the surrounding market opportunities and threats helps in this approach to forecast future needs. Based on that analysis, decisions related to future recruitment, retention or even reducing the manpower can be taken easily to adjust the balance of the skills available(Bratton & Gold, 2007).
Chart 2: The Diagnostic Approach to Manpower Planning
Manpower plans and policies
Qualitative & Quantitative techniques
Understanding of causes
Plan of action to control
The diagnostic approach for manpower planning is based on the rationalized approach that aims to identify problems related to workforce using quantitative and qualitative techniques and also identify the causes for those problems. The ideal situation of manpower demands and supply doesn't exist in the real life where continuous imbalance between what skills needed and the market supply faces the organizations. Diagnostic approach of manpower planning can identify such problems with their causes. As illustrated in chart 2, identifying manpower problems is done through monitoring the operations using qualitative and quantitative techniques to understand their causes and prepare action plan to solve those problems (Bratton & Gold, 2007).
As mentioned earlier, the manpower planning receives the approved planned positions after the approval of SEHA, Finance department and HR director to open the positions in the HRIS only without producing a clear plan on the demanded manpower for the hospital. SEHA prepares the manpower plans based on the business plan developed by all departments of Tawam and after the analysis, they send their approval to the finance department of Tawam for budget allocation and process.
Stages for human resource planning
The planning for an organizational workforce requires a systematic procedure to be implemented that will assure getting the objectives of the manpower planning which is at the end helping the organization to achieve its goals using efficient human capital and resources. According to Bratton & Gold (2007), the planning process for human resources involves four stages.
Evaluation of existing manpower resources
Estimation of the proportion of currently employed manpower resources that were likely to be within the firm by the forecast date
Assessment of labor requirements
Measures to ensure the needed resources are available when required
The process defined by Bratton & Gold, 2007 involves the process of forecasting the supply in the first two stages, and forecasting the demand in the third stage and then developing the plan to utilize the human capital when needed in the past stage. Priyadarshini (2009) had proposed another manpower planning process that has four different stages:
Analyzing the current manpower inventory
Making future manpower forecasts
Developing employment programs
Design training programs
According to Priyadarshini (2009), the demand forecasting for new skills of workforce should be done after analyzing the overall organization business nature, its department and employees' skills and quantities within each department. After analyzing the available human resources and future forecasts, procedures for employment programs can be settled through the prober selection and placement plans. Training programs will be designed and planned according to the new market trends in technology and also based on the available skills that need to be enhanced or developed according to the analysis result of the first stage.
At Tawam, the manpower planning produces monthly reports that help SEHA to analyze the business plan of the hospital to plan the required workforce for the next year. At 2008 a complete analysis of the manpower planning was developed by one staff of the manpower section as an assignment for the probation period evaluation. The plan was on the medical departments to examine the number of patients in each clinic and how many consultants or physicians available and needed in the upcoming year. Indeed, that was an individual effort that doesn't reflect the actual practice because the manpower forecasting and planning is controlled by SEHA not the hospital.
Internal & external factors affecting healthcare human resource planning
Healthcare supply and demand processes for human resources are influences by two factors: the first factor is its narrow approach in its focus that leads to focus only on medical practitioners ignoring the fact of the inter-relations or the substitutions possibilities of other medical fields like the nursing. The second factor is that it had a mechanistic approach with supply side driven (Bloor & Maynard, 2003).
Healthcare resource planners estimate the supply of medical practitioners graduated from medical schools or migrated to the country ignoring the behavioral changes of their career paths.
Chart 3: Healthcare practitioners supply factors
Tawam hospital manpower planning is affected externally by the labor low that enforces the approval of the private sector medical center of the new hires to work at Tawam. Also the planning at Tawam is affected internally by the departmental business plans which determine what is requires and by the available allocated budget from SEHA that forces the hospital to freeze the recruitment for a while.
Since the manpower planning is controlled by SEHA based on the budget and departmental business plan, Tawam manpower planning can analyze the departmental business plans and provide the complete plan for the required workforce with their budget estimation instead of wasting the time waiting for the approval from SEHA.
The monthly report or study should be linked to the HR theory to be more valid and also it should include suggestions on how to re-plan the workforce not just figures and numbers.
Schwartz, Rick, nd. Importance of Human Resource Planning. Retrieved on: 10/April/2010 from: http://www.ehow.com/about_6130541_importance-human-resource-planning.html
U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Office of Merit Systems Oversight and Effectiveness, 1999. Strategic Human Resources Management: Aligning with the Mission.
Bloor, Karen & Maynar, Aland, 2003. Planning human resources in health care: Towards an economic approach, An international comparative review. University of York.
Vareta, Nyamupachari, nd. Importance of Human Resources Planning in Organizations. Retrieved on: 11/4/2010 from: www.coursework.info
Bratton, John and Gold, Jeff, 2007. Human Resource Management, Theory and Practice, 4th edition.
M Priyadarshini, 2009. Manpower planning in organizations. Retrieved on 24/4/2010 from: http://www.articlesbase.com/human-resources-articles/manpower-planning-in-organisation-1399674.html#axzz0lxChq8Mf
Karen Bloor, Alan Maynard, 2003. Planning human resources in health care: Towards an economic approach- An international comparative review. University of York.
Tawam Hospital, 2010. Retrieved from: www.tawamhospital.ae, on1/May, 2010.
http://www.docstoc.com/docs/DownloadDoc.aspx?doc_id=29675768, on1/May, 2010.