Management is rather challenging and complex art that calls for absolute skills and expertise to achieve optimal efficiency and effectiveness. Ideally, management concerns achieving desired organizational results (goals and objectives) through others. Consequently, managers must be in a position to mobilize each and every individual in an organization towards realizing common goals and objectives. Individualism in organization cannot prevail and has been replaced by team work. In this case a team is a group of individuals in an organization joined together by a desire to achieve common goals and objectives in line with set policies, mission and vision of the organization (Smith &Martin, 2006:7). While teamwork remain a very challenging aspect of management, it is becoming extremely essential since it is a leeway to gaining sustainable competitive advantage. As a result, team workmanship has gained a lot of popularity among many organizations of late.
According to Legge & Karen (2004:116), a team is not just a group of employees working together. For a team to effectively achieve the reasons for its establishment, it is important that each and every member devotes himself or herself towards the achievement of the common group’s goals and objectives. Research reveals that in management team, most of the member’s time is used in the standardization of routine & process, identifying and practicing roles and responsibilities by each party, improving communication efficiency and effectiveness beefing up the groups and aligning the jobs to be performed. As a result, a great extent of efficiency and effectiveness in the performance of tasks is achieved.
Team work efficiency and effectiveness in the organization begins with the involvement of all members from the initial stages of decision making to the eventual achievement of the organizational goals and objectives, through collaborative implementation of plans and strategies. It is important to note that when decisions are made and executed by teams rather than individuals, all the human resources in the organization are mobilized towards the achievement of common goals and objectives thus making it more efficient and effective. In groups decision making however, such elements as communication and conflicts resolutions efficiencies, establishment of resolutions and guidelines, maintaining the highest level of accountability, fostering optimal trust among members, group leaders and managers, establishment of common goals and aligning them with the overall organizational mission and vision system thinking, adopting internal leadership within the groups distinction, accepting members differences and coming up with effective strategies to manage the diversity is extremely essential for its success (Legge &Karen, 2004).
While groups decision making is the best strategy to enhance employees’ participation in collaborative decision making and their implementation, Smith &Martin (2006:7) believes that it still act as a motivating factor and a means to win employees loyalty and dedication towards the achievement of organizational goals. Irrespective of the facts that it is not certain that organization will succeed in achieving its objectives via use of teams and work groups, evidence indicates that workgroups and teams on organization have had impressive trend in their success. This paper gives a close analysis of team work and collaborative decision making in organization, a turn around strategy plan to Custom Food And Feed Corporation. After thorough review of the current human resources management and decision making models, the paper recommends human resources strategies to the managers in the company.
The Statement of the Problem/ Internal Analysis
In the last one decade, the reputation of the once vibrant company; Custom Food And Feed Corporation (the CF&F) has been put at stake having alleged to have been flouted the federal and states regulatory regulations safety (relating to environment and quality, the labor laws and equal employment opportunity requirements). This sensitized the board of director to appoint a new Chief Executive Officer who delegate the work of carrying out investigations and coming up with recommendations to change the company management and resources management to the president with an objective of mending the negative publicity and maintaining the formally impressive market share. In return, the president delegates the work of investigating and coming up with appropriate recommendations to the vice president of human resources (while stressing the CEO’s need for change). The assignment to the latter involves carrying out comprehensive analyses of the company’s culture and make appropriate recommendations for change. The human resources vice president then decides to use the tech division for corporate. From the corporate analysis result, major and serious problems in the company’s culture are unearthed.
First, the analysis reveals that there is no actual concern for safety, environmental and/or quality control in the production process. In addition it is found out that tech managers have been using authoritarian approach to human resources management: a factor that has continued to widen the gap between the hourly workers and management. Furthermore, the study revealed that production manager makes virtually all the daily production decisions and leave it to the production supervisor in charge of the production process and reports to him for directives. Although there is evidence of some frontline managers having been promoted from within the company, the promotions at CF&C are highly uncoordinated in that there is no apparent consideration to who would be promoted and absolutely no guidance or prior training is given to them. Amazingly enough, the corporate analysis of the tech division revealed evidence of nepotism that runs throughout the culture of the tech division. From the analysis the vice president is left convinced that the major problem with the tech division is in the human resources management. As such, the vice president to the HR identifies a need for an urgent HR strategy as an initial strategy for a turn around.
Consequently, he recommends that the company initial realignment is to introduce a human resource management docket in tech Division and appoint a HR manager to the position to champion change in the organizational human resources and overall management culture. Having been appointed to the position of HR, this paper presents the strategies that the company is going to undertake to bring effectiveness in the techs’ Division human resource management as well as the overall organization to bring about a total turn around while being strategic enough to overcome the imminent challenges and resistance by the rigid company management to change the established culture in the organization. The paper is on assumption that I have been holding the human resources manager position in the company on the last half decade and the company has undergone recent turnover in the upper management. Irrespective of the poor working environment, the company employees have declined to come clear on the matter due to fear of losing their job while there have been claim that managers are forcing employees to adhere to the company policies when they themselves do not follow them. Based on all these facts and allegations this paper presents an eventual human resources strategy for CF&F turn around.
Approach to the Formulation of the Human Resources Strategy
In the realization that the company culture has not recognized the important role played by teamwork in enhancing efficiency, the strategy will embrace team work and work groups right from the point of strategy designing to the implementation. To achieve this, the hourly employees were combined with managers and frontline supervisors; their positions not withstanding. Then, the unit was divided into three groups each with a leader. The groups were then assigned with a responsibility of coming up with the best ideas via which Human Resources Management in the organization could be streamlined and make presentation in a specified day. The objective of this assignment was to use the brain resources across the organization to come up with the best human resources strategy, while encouraging collaborative decision making at CF&F. After the presentation, the committee comprising of employees selected representatives and graced by the top management was engaged to choose the best ideas. It is the selected ideas that formed the basis of this strategy. Ideally strategy is based in the foundation of teamwork and collaborative decision making a factor that was missing in the organization.
The strategy itself
Since the diagnoses reveal that the biggest problem at CF&C results is in the poor human resources strategy, this paper presents the company with an ideal HR strategy to bring about efficiency and effectiveness in its operations while encouraging the highest level of team workmanship and collaborative decision making. As such, the HR strategy is based on the cornerstones of strategic human resources management namely, recruitment and selection, rewards, motivation, training & development, and managing the organizational diversity (Smith &Martin, 2006), for optimal employees efficiency, effectiveness and productivity while ensuring employees turnover is at the lowest.
In the strategy, the company is to shift from the previous approach of authoritarian approach to a more liberalized approach of Human Resources Management; in which a free atmosphere and increased cooperation between the managers and the hourly employees is to be established. In this case the human resource department, both in the Tech department and overall company management is to establish viable channels through which employees are to forward their views on changes and improvements they want made in the whole system. Increased contacts and communication between the managers and employees will not only enhance consistent communication of the organizational policies and objective of the but will create an environment through which parties in the organization can deliberate on the best was to effectively and efficiently achieve the goals and company’s vision: not forgetting the enhanced good relations between the two parties.
To root the culture of collaborative decision making and groups working in handling the organizational challenges and tasks, the groups are to be retained through which such tasks will be delegated and performed, with the managers taking active supervisory roles. All decisions concerning the operations of the organization shall be made through groups’ deliberations and approved by the top management. In this case, the employees will design their own objectives and come up with the best plans to achieve them. In this case, the managers and the frontline supervisors’ responsibility will be to effect control measure to follow the progress in the achievement of the objectives. The organization continues to recognize that employee development and training is a crucial ingredient to efficient and effectiveness. As a result, the HR strategy that is to be adopted and which is represented in this paper, incorporate a strategic tool for bringing about change in the company’s approach to employees development and training. Consequently, an appropriate employees developments plan must be adopted, in which all the employees, whether newly employed or existing and in all levels of management will be taken through regular and organized training programs. Under this strategy, all new employees, both the hourly employees and the frontline supervisors will be taken through rigorous training program (for two months) before they can be taken in as companies’ employees.
The importance of the existing employees training and development cannot be overlooked, as it is equally important for their optimal efficiency and effectiveness. Similarly therefore, development and training programs are to be designed by the employees teams themselves and handed in to the Human Resources Managers for approval. In this case, the employees are to be involved in designing the training schedule, venue and model that suits them most; a move that is particularly consistent with the objective of the HR strategy review. In the strategy, formal training for the existing employees will be undertaken twice per year coupled with numerous other impromptu seminars, symposiums and conferences aimed at improving the workers efficiency, effectiveness and confidence in undertaking their responsibility. This aims at maintaining the highest quality of product and employees satisfaction while ensuring the best industrial environment in the company thus offering the best solution for employees’ turnover problem. Also, the HR strategy adopted is still committed to regaining the CF&C reputation as an equal opportunity employer. As such the adoption of the new HR policy will mean that all ensuing positions and vacancies in the company will either be advertised internally via the company notice board or publicly via the mass media to give all employees (or the public) equal chances of taking up positions. Recruitment in this case will be fair to all and that it will be based on an individual’s qualification experience and track of accomplishments and achievements.
The strategy is also based on recognition of promotion and job rotation as means of fostering employees’ productivity and motivation. As such, clear guidelines of employees’ promotion have been incorporated in the company’s new HR strategy. The decisions on the criteria of promotion i.e. means of identifying who is to be promoted and when are to be made by the work groups themselves. In addition, those who will have worked in the same position for more than three years and do not fit anywhere in the promotion schedule will be moved to other position either in the same department or to other departments. In order to create vacancies for promotion, management and frontline supervisors positions will be advertised internally and filed by promoted hourly employees instead of employing from outside. The basic model of control for the new human resources strategy will be a measure of its consistency and achievement in enhancing team work collaborative decision making and the overall effectiveness and efficiency in helping the company meet its objectives. In this case the three teams rather than individual employee will be appraised and rewarded accordingly.
List of References
Legge, A. & Karen, J. (2004). Human Resource Management: Rhetoric’s and Realities (1st ed). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Nadler, R.S. (1998). Teamwork in management, Harvard Business School Press Vol. 10 No.6.
Smith, P. & Martin, E. (2006). HR strategy: presenting an exploratory model that can measure if HR adds value. Web.