Due to impacts of the international financial crisis and the notable slowdown of the economy, Bank co has encountered more challenges. Accordingly, Bank co is transforming from an operational company to a sales-oriented one, in a bid to enhance their competitiveness. As the customer services centers are established and original branch institutes are shut down, the structure change influences 7 percent of the workforce. The board doesn't think a young management can handle the shift and further reforms; therefore, a great emphasis is put on staff learning approaches.
As the staff capabilities are core resource to an organizations' competitive advantage, all the management focuses on the planning and implementing of strategies. This essay not only elaborates Bank co's successful integration its HRM strategy with the overall business strategy, but also discusses the problems in the policy implementation. Some coherent solutions for these problems are also discussed in this essay.
2.0 Bank co's Objective as a Learning Organization
2.1 Definition of Learning Organization
Peter (1990) proposed that any organizational thought a learning organization can be conducted by teams led by managers that facilitate a communication that values reflective thought, new patterns of thinking and a suspension of assumptions. In generally speaking, a learning organization has the following characteristics. First, the staff has a shared vision as their daily guideline and considers all organizational processes, functions, activities, and interactions with the overall environment as a member of the system. Second, each staff can air their own opinions to each other without fear of criticism or punishment. Third, staff sacrifices their personal self-interest and integrates department interest to cooperate to achieve the organization's shared vision.
2.2 Advantages of Learning Organization
Brandt (2003) proposed that a learning organization is just like a school, a flexible and responsive organization should change in accord with changing circumstances. A learning organization has the following advantages. First, learning organization can promote continuous improvement. Whether project outcomes satisfy customers' needs or not relies on how managers assess and narrow the gap between the two. Levine (2001) found that improve managers' concentration span to organizational learning is a great potential to establish cooperation and continuous improvement that promote organizational performance. Second, learning organization can promote innovation. Although this statement is obviously true, but there is no quantitative study based on parallels between the characteristics of learning organization and the statement in literature that supports innovation and employee creativity can improve the performance of learning organization (Ramous and Steger, 2000). Third, learning organization can foster community building. As learning community can break through stereotype routines and cultivate effective learning environment. Digenetic (1998) claimed that a learning community should be a mechanism for creating the learning organization.
2.3 Evaluation of Bank co's Objective
With the financial crisis wreaking havoc on nations across all continents, the sense of living in a globalized age has become more acute. To cope with profound changes, Bank co made a strategic shift which focuses on four main units.
First, human resource planning is long-term programs of Bank co. Due to the resignation of skilled and veteran managers, Bank co supports staff development by offering investment of ï¿¡17 million. It allocates about 25,000 training days for the staff each year. The training and development (T&D) department has finished the training programs for more than 5,600 managers until nowadays. And the training programs coherently focus on five units, such as, resourcing and development, HR quality, training design and delivery, equal opportunities and residential training.
Second, training and development should be implemented to management staffs at all levels. Since a survey indicates that 60% employees considered that the training programs are just attending courses, the T&D department decided to implement a wider range of flexible training methods, such as, self-directed learning, coaching, job rotation, secondments, etc. As a result, staff at all levels start to self-study in learning resource center without the reliance on training courses. Their hobbies and interests have been explored by a large margin. That's to say, Bank co cultivates a learning atmosphere within the company, and ushers staff to take the responsibility of self-development.
Third, employee relations are another focus of Bankco. The employee relations are cooperative instead of competitive, because staff at all levels share the same goal of the organization. It coincides with the policy of a harmonious society. It is an opportunity for staff to realize themselves, while it is a challenge for the managers who provide opportunities within which the staff can learn and develop. According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, self-actualization is the highest need on the pyramid of needs, self-actualization must produce an attraction and stimulant for staff to find themselves (Maslow, 2008).
Fourth, personnel operation is important. As HR department had considerable power, Bank co established a belief that a learning organization would remain competitive and successful. The shift causes an unprecedented series of efforts and initiatives intended to learn from diverse source, because the line managers are responsible for ensuring that proper action will be good for individuals who keep a partnership with their mangers. During the establishment of learning organization, Bankco has achieved good financial performance as a reward.
2.4 The Achievement of Learning Shift
The shift from being operational to becoming sales oriented has brought significant changes in the performance of Bank co. First, as a learning organization, Bankco retains knowledge workers. Bank co's shift causes some of middle-aged managers to leave, when the company is in desperate need of talent to rebuild itself. Therefore, the management had to give top priority to learning programs to cultivate talent as fast as possible. Second, the learning center collects public recording which is unobtrusive and useful in the execution of decision-making and work process. The data on management and information about staff behaviors to certain jobs are useful for researches to analyze Bank co's operation and set down the appropriate management policies. As learning is applied to innovate or modify individual dispositions, processes, policies, and procedures, the staff can further develop their interests and hobbies, Bankco can improve its management experience as well.
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