This paper is a proposal intended for adoption by the board that focuses on policies and recommendations for new standards of practice, and a program of strategic initiatives to enhance human resource management throughout the business, that is to be implemented within the first six months and later in the next twelve months, to curb the existing failures of human resources policy.
Of particular interest to me as the human resource director in drafting the proposal, was the review of ways in which human resource management was being conducted across the entire business by line managers as well as by the human resource specialists. Secondly, there was the consideration of best practices that are currently being employed by leading-edge human resource practitioners in other organizations and which would be relevant to our situation as a leading telecommunication company.
In this era, where the business environment is characterized by the presence of strong competition, tightened high standards and processes of doing business as well as the advent of technological innovations that are almost exhaustively solving most of the business problems, there has been lots of deliberation on how to involve all the functions of management, and notable among them the human resources management, to create efficient methods and practices that will optimize the performance of the organization.
The challenge for a long time has been on how to cultivate a meticulous balance that will satisfy not only the most important asset of any organization, the people who work for it but also at the same time live up to meet the objectives of the organization such as maximizing profits, maintaining high-quality products to stay abreast and ahead of competitors, fulfilling the social responsibility among many others.
However, the answer has since been seen to come from strategic human resources management that best exploits the advantages of a workforce and further aligns it to the overall vision and desired outcome of the organization, resulting in tremendously great benefits in terms of efficient and effective business processes as well as very high performance (Armstrong 2008).
The choice of this company is relevant considering that it dealt with human resource issues whereby there is a lot of concern for workers and human resource issues emanating from its product’s nature. Therefore if not well-thought projects in this kind of company can elicit unimaginable controversy both with the law and the trade unions.
In this proposal, several important factors that need to be considered by the board are highlighted and discussed in-depth and among them are the following which will be implemented within the first six months:
Foster a Culture of Cooperation and Participation Among the Workers
The goal of strategic human resources is to bring about a more productive, profitable, and competitive firm through the optimum engagement of all the aspects that regard the people already employed in the organization. To achieve this, fostering a culture of cooperation and participation of the employees will go a long way in convincing the employees that their input of ideas and commitment is needed and highly valued.
To realize this, all the union representatives of members shall be allowed to hold meetings every month to facilitate their concerns being addressed by the management. This measure follows the collapse of the existing model of involving certain employees in decision making, which fell apart partly due to the two unions that are linked up with the welfare of our employees.
Regarding reservations held by several senior managers, who felt that the scheme had not been properly thought and that it was too radical a development, I propose that in the first month, revised terms of engagement and involvement of the union members be deliberated afresh by the senior management to come up with clear guidelines that will ensure that they are contented with the extent of involvement of union representatives in decision making. The new terms should provide directions on consultations that may arise from time to time due to organizational changes that may come about, acquisitions and merger methods, redundancies, and employee disciplinary measures that should be taken.
Disputes between organizations and workers unions have been detrimental to many organizations’ progress, wherein in certain situations, there has been an endless long battle in courts of laws and this has hugely impaired the brand image of those organizations. Hence, this is a sensitive matter that needs the keenest attention of the top management so that in particular, long-term settlement of union issues can be realized.
The top management should table the findings that made them believe that the participation of union representatives in decision-making was barely rushed through and quickly put into effect without much thought so that an atmosphere of honesty and openness can be created. In the interest of all, if the scheme was truly not established in the right manner then it can be re-established as we have the opportunity to do so in the first six months of implementing this proposal.
Put Into Perspective a Reward and Remuneration Scheme
As much as employees are interested in the career they are building within our organization, I believe that the other thing that motivates them to a great extent is the material benefit that they can reap from their involvement in the operations of this organization. It is unfortunate though that the previous scheme of performance management, which had been put in place was seen as a way of blaming the line managers when things went wrong while the subordinates felt sidelined from the expertise of the human resource function. Due to the performance implication of this proposed measure, the proposal should be put into effect in the next six months as the next phase of twelve months is too late a period.
A new survey shall be conducted to draft a mechanism that will be the basis of a long-term blueprint to reward those who are outstanding in their work-related performances including extra time worked. An exercise to educate and inform all the employees about this scheme will be conducted to mitigate if not eliminate the resistance that has previously been faced by the line managers and the subordinates.
The line managers shall not be the only staff to face the consequences of this scheme but all individuals including the subordinates shall share in the benefits as well as carry the cross when things go wrong. This is done to ensure that all persons are responsible for seeing the realization of our vision and plan to outstand even amid increasing competition, and as such, we cannot afford to have things go wrong.
It calls therefore for the establishment of monitoring tools capable of portraying the performance and the achievements of the individual at the bottom of the hierarchy, and this information can be available to the human resource department so that they can evaluate the revenue generated by an individual and in so doing, do away with those that are not productive as per the expectation.
Once this scheme is put into effect to align our human resources management endeavors with the overall business plan, then it is only creative and expected of us to engineer a system that rewards and draws in the perfect and correct combination of individuals, who then can be motivated to operate in the most possible desirable manner, while supported by the working environment and terms of employment (Lawler 1984).
As much as the scheme was met with resistance earlier, pushing ahead with this course of action and observing the minor changes suggested above, will do the organization more good and favor. Employees must learn how to be accountable and take responsibility when the unexpected happens because only through this culture can we be on the path to achieving the best performance.
Without this measure, the most likely thing to happen is increased cases of neglect of duty by the line managers or subordinates as they know that their consequences may not be imposed to affect their duties or financial benefits. This proposed idea will see the excelling staff receive promotions and silently will be building a workforce that can flexibly consent with the management objectives and therefore little control will be deserved from the management team.
Investors in People Award
The grounds for the rejection of the case of investors in people award allegedly for the reason that what was practiced did not match the policy statement ought to be analyzed again because investors in people award, is a powerful tool that has been known to improve on the performance of organizations.
Hence disregarding it in this manner may be opting to forego great business opportunity that we may benefit from and the follow-up on the tool will help us to match the said objectives and what is executed. By including this measure to rate the performance of our employees will help the organization go a long way in attracting even other professions instead of losing them to our competitors.
Based on this qualitative tool, which is an initiative of the United Kingdom government that establishes the standard of a workforce in three categories; bronze, silver, and gold through thorough surveys, the organization can adopt policies on recruiting and improve their best chances in selecting new personnel as well as retaining employees.
This will act as a form of branding for our organization thereby enticing all those individuals whose competencies can be related to our telecommunication activities to think of us as the number one potential best employer at the expense of our competitors, which means that we can attract the best professionals for this industry.
In human resource management theory, several factors are very significant because of their financial implications, namely; a prevailing set of circumstances that affect the market, unions, business plans, and current technological changes, all of which determine the level of productivity that can be realized through human capital (Schuller and Jackson 2007, p. 25).
Therefore, this association with investors in people awards is a critical factor that determines the kind of people that we can be able to attract and retain which consequently is directly linked to the performance of the organization. Performance, therefore, is a complex phenomenon that carries an array of management and analytic processes which are highly adaptive to technology and enable HR managers to establish achieved strategic goals in comparison with the expected targets.
In this strategic plan proposal for imperial tobacco, the main performance management will take into consideration financial and operational planning, business modeling, consolidation and reporting, analysis and monitoring of key performance indicators that are linked to strategy and this will also carry consolidation of data from various departments within the company to apply the results in the real situation.
Engage Senior Managers in Leadership Seminars
The top managers are the vision bearers of any organization and besides the skills to handle and solve issues that day to day face the organization; they are charged with the responsibility of bringing the people together and stirring them to fulfill the objectives of the organization.
To equip them with this prowess, our top managers deserve to have experiences from top leadership seminars that will help them appreciate and execute ideas that will motivate the employees, and consequently, a more inspired workforce will yield better results for the organization. The differences between managers and leaders exist although both the attributes of a manager and a leader should be exhibited by the top directors of an organization. The manager is more concerned with maintaining order and status quo and letting people adapt to the culture.
However, if the culture of the organization is not founded upon acceptable principles and ethics then this quietly predicts a disaster that is waiting. The management can fail the test of being a custodian or steward of the organizational goals as well as the test of leadership that requires them to be visionary and act out of the norm to steer the company out of disasters that are gaining root if they are not adequately equipped.
Instead of the management abiding by the mission of the company, which is to drive the company toward becoming the most profitable telecommunications provider, they can drive it to bankruptcy for lack of strategy and planning. Predpall (1994) suggests that leaders must let vision, strategies, goals, and values be the guide-post for action and behavior rather than attempting to control others (p 30-31).
I have also learned that the top management in this organization has in previous times assigned the human resource staff to seek out methods and ways to improve on strategic human resources management, yet their analysis and suggestions have fallen on deaf ears. The organization needs to be flexible and ready itself for changes from the top management to the subordinates and this will be achieved through consultative meetings between the human capital departments in liaison with the top managers.
Any reason or ground to reject any of their proposals should be explained thoroughly to avoid demoralizing, as has been already witnessed to occur among the concerned members of the human resource who work very hard to survey and suggest the best we can adopt to give us an edge, only for their concerns to be ignored.
This is partly the reason why I am proposing that the senior management be vigorously engaged in leadership summits to help this organization have inspiring and charismatic top managers instead of individuals who take away the energy from their subordinates by ignoring their verdicts without any explanation.
In the next twelve months the following suggestions can be executed:
Cut on Costs of Labour by Restructuring to Reduce Redundancy
Over the past few years, our company has been faced with an outburst of new employees who have been recruited without adhering to any mission or observing the goals of the organization. Due to this, the organization has many redundant staff, which has created huge costs that are incurred annually to pay the huge salaries at the expense of profit-making and cost reduction.
To cut on costs and retain our objective as a profit-making entity, then in the next twelve months, this company should plan and engage the employees on plans to restructure departments and retire some of the workers, where redundancy may be seen to exhibit itself. Not only shall our focus be on laying off the excessive workforce that we are having, but also on establishing solid cooperation and mutual coexistence of the different departments and divisions.
A healthy positive corporate culture is directly proportionally linked to the overall high performance of organizations. For example, the Hewlett Packard Company has been known to double its income without actually having to come up with innovations, but through fostering cooperation among the different departments, which has created a unique flow of information.
Those who are responsible for manufacturing personal computers freely interact with those who make printers or copiers as well as digital cameras and other electronic products. This model has demonstrated that even in a world that is technologically changing, that to achieve increased business performance is not limited to product technology but rather is also dependent upon the general internal structure and organization of a firm.
Borrowing from this model, our organization also needs to appreciate that through harmonization of the different segments of the business, only then shall we be able to nurture a strong corporate culture that connects well all the employees irrespective of their departments. In effect, our research, marketing, network management, information technology, and GSM (global systems for mobile) departments among others shall be able to share vital information.
Hiring outside expertise to gauge the extent of restructuring as well as carry out an internal audit of the performance of the current workforce will be necessary before implementing this procedure. Sharing this information and the active involvement of all individuals as well as partnering with the workers union will prove useful for this transition to occur without mishaps that may emerge from those who may want to oppose this significant change.
Sometimes, others have thought outsourcing for services from outside of the organization is a portray of the fragile spots of the organization but in essence, it is actually a demonstration of the great levels of maturity of the organization as it seeks out that extra point of view, diversity as well as innovative ideas.
Besides the above considerations, the top-down or the vertical and the horizontal structure of the organization, which are factors that determine bureaucracy and dictate the number of employees that are supervised by a senior individual, may be reviewed within the next twelve months to encourage the holistic performance of the organization (Wright, Dunford and Snell 2001).
There may be fewer top managers that report to the chief executive officer and therefore channels of reporting, may be adjusted to ease the burden of some mangers so that they can concentrate on the core values and objectives of the business. So what should be the purposes of such effective human resource policy?
When these policies are established they can enable imperial company to demonstrate both internally and externally its ability to meet requirements for diversity, ethics, training and its commitments as concerns to regulation and corporate governance. The human resource policy will provide a conflict resolution tool and justice in the work place so that all employees are satisfied and do not feel that their credibility is being lost.
Train Staff to Enhance Professionalism and Competency
For any telecommunication company to stay abreast of the ever becoming stiff competition in the industry, it requires constant retraining of its specialized staff such as engineers, especially given the goal of our company to roll out the long term evolution technology infrastructure in the next two years. Among the desired trainings that will guarantee professionalism and high levels of competency with the key benefits being increased optimization of company operations, are certifications in various vendor products such as Cisco, Siebel, Tibco and Juniper.
These vendor products are the most utilized in our organization and form part of our servers, networking equipments as well as future technology acquisitions. Further, in line with our adoption of a new technology to manage business processes called the enterprise resource planning, it is necessary that within the next twelve months, all the staff be trained in the fundamental aspects of this technology that will increase the efficiency of business processes.
This process may see some of our staff travel to other countries to learn and acquire the useful skills that are desired in this organisation and as such appropriate planning for this proposed measure is deemed best to start immediately. Furthermore, it is also worthwhile for the company also to involve the union member representatives in some form of training that will help them be relevant as regards to excellent practices in business relations, legal aspects on employment, values, philosophy and culture of our telecommunication organization.
Besides, all the staff can improve on their personal skills to communicate and present themselves in a better manner, which in overall will give this organization a new outlook and effectiveness. It could also be a viable option for this organization to include outsourcing of hiring services from the more specialized recruitment firms, for high profile technical and management vacancies to maximize all the chances of having the right experienced and qualified individuals.
Moreover, diversifying our workforce in terms of age, sex and geographical locations is important to generate more integrated culture and ideas that can be input into the organization. Having young professional means that they can learn by apprenticeship from the more experienced, older employees and the future of the organization is certain.
Therefore, I recommend that in the next twelve months we begin a yearly program to recruit the best of the fresh graduates from the universities across the country even though they may not have the experience. Our recruitment procedures should also be reviewed to make sure that they meet the standards of the modern times, where organizations are looking for much more than academic qualifications and professional competencies but also into the personality being of individuals.
To realize this, I propose this model of hiring individuals: first, a personality test shall be conducted online by all the interested individuals, followed by a first interview to access technical abilities which shall involve the human resources department and the department where the individual intends to work. A group interview shall then be conducted for the successful candidates to determine how well the individual integrates and works with other team players.
Finally, before the offer is made, we shall allow the senior managers of the company to have a chance also to interview the individual to make sure that we have the right individuals who will actually contribute to excel the performance of the company and strictly adhere to its mission. The Pricewaterhousecoopers international has been known to adopt this procedure of hiring its staff and the benefits can be witnessed in the performance achievements of many of their legally independent entities all over the world.
Corporate Social Responsibility
In many instances, it is important to incorporate people in social activities that will foster friendships and healthy relations in work places. The resulting advantages from this devised measure cannot be overemphasised since there will be a more united workforce that is easily managed as well as few interpersonal conflicts that can well and quickly be solved.
To fulfil this as well as align this human oriented measure with other objective of the company, it will be quite in order to actively and frequently engage our employees in activities such as tree planting, visiting the less fortunate members of the society and volunteering in other important activities in the society. Our organization shall by this way match up to its objectives of giving back to the society which is an ethical requirement while on the other hand creating those vital bonds within our organization workforce network.
While the company is an active participant in issues that concern the society, not only shall we be fulfilling our ethical mandate, but also the company will be advertising itself and its products to the people directly or indirectly and this will see a decreased cost of advertisement yet meeting the desired level of awareness of the organization products.
Moreover it is one of the ways that will greatly assist to secure and tap into consumer loyalty when the people have the perception that our interests are not just profits but nevertheless we pay attention to contribute to the development of the affairs of our society.
Fostering an Environment Where There is Free Flow of Information
The human resource can have a customized enterprise resource planning tool to assist in managing the employees as well as other organization processes and administration. One of the characteristics of organizations like ours is the increased scope of management with the advent expansion to new entities as well as employees.
Consequently, with traditional methods of collecting and processing data and information, bureaucracy and delays are inevitable. Externally, there are customers who need support from our customer care on mobile phone services. Internally, there are employees who need their performances be evaluated as others need their leave periods affirmed.
This information can be used to support business processes since every time the company is often faced with the challenge of new employees who need to be inducted into the way the company runs its affairs. This can be extended to our new service providers who maintain and implement telecommunication infrastructures. Thus to accommodate them smoothly, the management information systems provides them with adequate and relevant information on the processes that they should adhere to.
On business process information, this involves information relating to procedures that are to be followed in implementation of organization activities. For instance, in fulfilling the social responsibility, the organization needs to follow some predetermined rules and regulations while for anything that an employee does in the organization there are standards to adhere to.
Besides, decision making and planning at the top management involves surveying alternative plans and settling at the one that gives maximum desired output. This calls for researched information to be available and on time to facilitate comparisons. Without comparison, it is highly likely that the chosen course of action will be a poor and weak decision.
Planning needs a foresight and prediction of how the future may look like and thus by asking ourselves the question of where we want to be in those prevailing circumstances, we position ourselves to tackle them. In situations where the appropriate data and information is unavailable or inaccurate, this may spell doom for the organization. However, without properly managed database and hardware infrastructure that facilitate fetching and retrieval of data and information, then effective planning is almost impossible (Dyer, Davies and Giagu 1990).
For human resource information, the employee trends need to be available that can help to gauge the performance of individuals and thus be able to draw remuneration schemes accurately. Also, the human resource manager may want to know how long staff stays in the organization before they leave (Jeffrey and Millet 1999). This is to establish how well the organization retains employees and address the probable factors that cause employee turnover.
The employee ages may be another important aspect to the human resource for them to plan in regard to retirement. The human resource department uses information systems to advertise for new job openings considerably reducing costs associated with advertising through other Medias. Staff should be allowed to have confidential means of airing their grievances that is evaluated on a monthly basis so that all discontentments of the employees can be known by the human resource managers then by other top management and at the right time.
In such an organization where there is care to have the right information at the right time to the right persons, conflicts and problems can be detected at the initial stages and be solved without any delay and this will enhance the smooth running of the organization and consequently this will have its effect in the overall organization performance.
It is the responsibility of the company to guarantee the safety of its entire workforce so that they can feel secure and give their best with no worries of any risk or hazard that may befall them.
The work place should not be the breeding ground for health complications for any worker and in the context of our organization, where there are cold rooms that harbour our servers as well as structural engineering works to construct base station transceivers; the organization should in the twelve months revise the policies that govern protective and safety gear to modernise it and meet international safety standards.
All the contracted firms that are issued with the tasks of installation and maintenance of equipments should be monitored so that they can strictly adhere to the human resource practices and safety policy of this organization. The main objective to be realized from such a measure is the assurance of the well being of all those who work for our company, and the promise of a less hazardous working environment.
Financial Resources Consideration
Economic theories suggest that, because of the costs associated with many aspects of human resources management, acceptable economies of scale must be reached before sophisticated human resource systems can be implemented (Schuller and Jackson 2007, p. 29). With our telecommunication organization that depends more on permanent, sophisticated employees and also given the fact that we have a big size of work force, we stand advantaged on financing the proposed human resource processes.
The proposed changes and policies for adoption will definitely be a taxing endeavour for the organization especially given the short period of implementation that is; the first six months and the other twelve months. However, care has been exercised in choosing the policies that should be prioritized in the first six months and in overall the importance of the holistic implementation of this proposal will in the long term give this company a competitive economic edge.
Of course contracting the services of external firms to help in auditing and restructuring process of the organization as well as seeking the award from investors in people will cost the organization considerable financial fortune but the opportunity cost involved is worth the investment (Colbert 2004).
The other factors that are bound to raise the stake of expenditure or financial commitment are the training of expertise and management teams as well as the needed technology that will facilitate information flow within the organization.
The suggested enterprise resources planning technology will be a costly venture but necessary as Lawler, Boudreau and Mohrman (2006) argue, that based on the business case of a need to respond to an external threat from increasing competition and thus it is a philosophy that appeals to managements who are striving to increase competitive advantage and appreciate that to do this they must invest in human resources as well as new technology.
If we are to attain the proposed strategic measures of human resources management, then the implementation of this document is mandatory despite the financial resources that are required. Human resource development is usually given impetus by the fact that giving employees knowledge and required skills can completely change organisations and improve lives.
When skills are well deployed they provide support for national and organisational competitiveness which enables companies to perform better. Therefore handling human resource in the best way can help to develop and safeguard productivity and therefore the company will be able to handle issues in the best way. This strategy will achieve all these useful goals and aim at impacting change within imperial company.
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