The Den Art Center Human Resources Management

Introduction

One very important aspect that will dictate success of any organization in this competitive world of business is how its human resource is managed. A situation where the workforce is handled in a less satisfactory manner will in most cases translate to a workforce that is not fully working towards achieving a common goal. According to professors Phillips & Connell, 2003 the work of human resource department usually starts from advertising for the position, carrying out interviews, selections as well as recruitment process.

This does not end here as the department is also responsible in ensuring that the new workers together with the ones who have been working for an organization get along well. Additionally, continual development of workers through various activities is indeed the work of this department. All other sectors of an organization will only be seen to be working towards attaining desired and preset goals only if each sector has well motivated, satisfied workers provided with all that they need to successfully execute their duties tasks and responsibilities.

This paper is a report with regards to a caser study of an organization ‘The Den Art Center’. Just like any other normal organization, the center has found itself in a number of crossroads especially with its employees as well as funders and donors. The centre is funded by education department of the county council however a large portion of money that helps run the organization comes from income earned by the center through various avenues.

The center is home to projects such as station which involves about 150 youths plus those with physical disability, future which is made up of individual exhibiting learning disabilities among others which entails using art to express their feeling. The center also houses some special events such as West African experience, the common ground among others. The resident artists include Funtastic Dance Company and Dadrum community music.

Although the center carried out a survey to establish the quality of their services and products, the results were encouraging but there were serious issues that come to light. Among these issues include employees feeling undervalued, the recruitment process is wanting, funding for the running cost is also an issue, employees also are calling for a flexible working environment and lastly the infrastructure of the center needs to be refurbished.

My observation based particularly on the case study regarding customer survey revealed that the center is really concerned with its customers. This is exemplified by the fact that when one of the customers claimed that the only problem was smoking, the center responded swiftly on this issue. This is not a bad idea but it should also do the same for issues raised by the workers. The paper will thus critically evaluate my overall strategic approach to human resource management, recruitment and development of employees, volunteers and management, legal and ethical dimensions surrounding diversity at work and provide a set of recommendations on the same.

Overall strategic approach to HRM

According to Reddington, Williamson & Withers, 2005 who are scholars in human resource management strategic human resource management has been thought of as a concept which is proactive in nature aimed at helping organizations to be in a better position in meeting the needs as well as aspirations of workers while at the same time promoting the goals and objectives of the company. Generally speaking, the concept of SHRM in the hospitality industry such as Den Center is aimed at ensuring that the human capital department is always a head of time in trying to help the business entity meet its objectives and goals.

Having already defined SHRM, it is no doubt that if it is well thought-out during its application, ideally all sectors in the center will be positively impacted. For instance, during the process of bringing in new employees, better strategies will be used during recruitment and hiring process (Leopold, Harris & Watson, 1999). On the same note education programs as well as training programs will be developed. Similarly, SHRM will play a major role in ensuring that workers are motivated and highly satisfied with their jobs. All these will translate to lower levels of employee turnover as well as availability of skilled and talented workforce very vital for an organization to meet the needs, demands and aspirations of its customers (Kahnweiler & Burlington, 2005).

There are two components of strategic management; strategy formulation and strategy implementation. The former entails mechanisms of arriving at a decision on the direction to be taken by the organization in terms of mission, goals, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (Rosen, 1995). The later refers to the processes of coming up with structures as well as allocation of resources in order to achieve the best chosen strategy. Last but not least, SHRM has the potential of ensuring that a workplace environment in which diverse workforce is appreciated, employees are motivated and satisfied leading to increased productivity of the industry in terms of provision of high quality services (Leopold, Harris & Watson, 2005).

With regard to this case, a well thought out plan should be in place to ensure that workers who feel that the recent development in town is interfering with their reporting to work are addressed. A strategic human resource action here would be to bring all those affected to a round table so that an agreeable decision is made. Coming up with a flexible working environment where some of the workers will report earlier than usual and leave earlier will be important. At the same time, to ensure that not all workers leave, there is need to come up with a plan where those who will be staying longer get pay for overtime. If this is not the case, then some workers will be talked to so that they report to work later in the day and leave later in the evening (Boxall & Purcell, 2003).

Another serious issue that is of concern and threatens the existence of the center is poor infrastructure maintenance. Indeed if the center does not have a department or sector within itself that deals with issues regarding repairs and maintenance, there will be need to either outsource this services when need arise or craft such a sector and back it up with appropriate personnel. As suggested by HR scholars Sparrow & Cooper, 2003 when this will be in place, and the sector provided with all the necessary tools, equipment and a budget allocated to them, the issue with regards to collapsing ceiling will be an issue of the past.

The reason being that once slight problems are established, they are addressed there and then. This will be one of the ways to ensure not only the safety of its workers but also that of the customers and the artists. Professors Johnson, & Scholes, 2002 were of the view that in the long run; this will save the organization from legal battles that may result to it losing billion of dollars in terms of compensating as well as repairing or rebuilding its infrastructure.

Since workers are deemed to be the most important resource an organization can have, developing programs where they will feel highly appreciated is of paramount significance. Strategic human resource approach will ensure that events such as rewards, healthcare benefits, proper treatment of employees, creation of a safe working environment as well as a democratic environment where employees are free to air their concern is created.

Additionally, the human resource department through a strategic approach will have to set up a sub-committee to over see issues relating to salary increment. More importantly it is apparent that the center is facing problems concerning funding. It should indeed come up with strategies where they write proposal seeking funds from non governmental organization, individuals who are passionate about art or even come up with plans where the general public will be shareholders hence contributing money that will help the center comfortably meet it daily running costs. On the same note, it is apparent that change is on the way. In order for the organization to fully prepare itself for change, it will be rational for a committee to be instituted so that issues pertaining to change are amicably handled. This is guided by the fact that change is inevitable and those organizations that do not fully prepare for change may fail to be competitive (Paton & McCalman, 2000).

Recruitment and development of employees, volunteers and management

As previously noted, one of the responsibilities of a human resource development is to bring in fresh blood, develop them and maintain them; this has been noted to be a very difficult task in the current environment where demand for sharp, knowledgeable workforce is constantly rising (Campbell, Stonehouse & Houston, 2002). This will call for a well thought out approach. It has been noted with concern that new employees are brought in courtesy of their friends who are working in the center. In my view this is not a bad concept but the big question I have is whether the process followed laid down rules, procedures and regulations. My approach for recruitment and development of employees, volunteers and management of the same will start by a critical analysis or examination of the need of such individuals as thought out by Lindgren& Bandhold, 2002 who are HR experts.

This will help the organization not to hire individual for the sake of hiring but bring in individuals who will bring value hence help in cutting costs. Once the need has been established, together with the human resource department, I will craft the requirements in terms of academics, knowledge, skills and experience. On top of this, a clear job definition and description will be developed for the respective positions all this are views of HR consultant Golding, 2010.

This is an important concept as it will help address problems that may a rise due to duties, tasks and responsibilities overlapping hence solving any issue that may relate to work conflicts. The next step will entail adverting for the position in the most open and rational manner to ensure that the target respondent are reached. A grace period should be given to allow for applications to be received and thoroughly screened (Burnes, 2004).

Based on the minimum requirements, those individuals who meet them are called for an interview as suggested by professor Kearns, 2003. The same should be carried in a very competitive manner where a panel of interviewees is used. Marks are awarded to each candidate who will then be used to decide who to be employed. This process will indeed ensure that even though friends of friend are employed, they will have shown that they deserve to be working in the center.

I understand this process is not an end in itself. Thus through the department of HR will set in place a comprehensive plan that ensures each and every employee is given a fair chance to develop their jobs into full careers. According to professors Dubinsky& Skinner, 2004 once a new employee is hired he or she, would sit down with the human resources manager for an interview where he or she is encouraged to bring forth their goals and ambitions with regards to their careers. During this interview the current skills of the employee are identified and compared against the skills that would be required for the career they seek. Once this is done skills gap is established. The human resource departments together with the individual employees seek to narrow the skills gap through regular reviews and interventions as opportunities for upward movement on the career ladder arise.

Additionally performance appraisal program will be put in place. Based on the results of the performance appraisals the human resource department looks at ways of improving the performance of individual employees, the options available to the department include initiating a training and development program for staff, or increasing performance incentives such as bonuses. Another option could be sending some of the employees to educational institutions to receive additional skills; promotion can be used or even increasing salaries (Leopold, Harris & Watson, 1999).

With the understanding that volunteers contribute to the attainment of the center’s goals and objectives, there is need to have in place a mechanism that will help the organization only absorb volunteers who are geared towards propelling the organization to greater height. There is need to take them through a series of steps such as interviews and have training as well as education program for them. This will help in ensuring that they align their skills and knowledge with those of the entire workforce.

Despite the fact that they are volunteers meaning they do not receive any salaries or wages, it would be rational to encourage them through such ways as offering them free transport or reimbursing them fair, provide them with tea break and lunch. This will indeed motivate them and make them feel part of the team hence work towards attainment of the organization common goal. More importantly, I will develop new code of conduct or ethics that will be used to guide the workforce, both those employed as well as volunteers. Code of conduct will include the manner of dressing, time of reporting and leaving the center, absenteeism, corruption, discrimination, kickback issue among others. To ensure that issue relating to discrimination when employing new worker is addressed, the law of the land will be strictly adhered to and when placing advertisement, the same should be clearly spelt out at the bottom of the advert (Becker & Huselid, 2001).

Legal and ethical dimensions surrounding diversity at work

It is no doubt that legal as well as ethical issues and dimension with regards to diversity at workplace opt to be handled in the most sober way. Contrary to do that definitely results to serious negative issues that will face an organization that will bring it down to its knees. Due to globalization, the world has turned into a global village mainly characterized with increased interconnectedness. For this reason, at one time or the other an organization will indeed have employees from different background not only in terms of gender but also education, race, age, religion, sexual orientation among others (Foot & Hook, 2008).

I understand that the center deals with all group of people, those who are physically disabled, mentally disabled, female and males, those from different cultural and religious back ground, different races. For this reason, based on the fact that the government of England have well spelt out provision with regards to all these aspects, there is need to have in place a mechanism that will ensure non of the Acts are violated.

The organization whose case study is being analyzed is tainted by a number of legal and ethical issues. Through the memo from the Finance Manager Bill Agnew, it is evident that there are cases of sexual harassment and abuse of office. Five of the employees in the kitchen have been accused of stealing cash from the front of house cash register. In my view, this is very unethical and indeed illegal. I believe that one of the factors that might have contributed to such an action is lack of proper financial benefits to employees. They thus resorted to supplement their mere earning through stolen cash. On the same note I doubt if the procedure followed to send the accused was right.

In my view, it would have been rational if those accused are called upon to explain themselves and a decision arrived on the best appropriate way to punish them. It might be possible that there are no clear steps to be taken and punishment to be given to employees who engage in theft of cash or financial misappropriation. I tend to believe that since the accused are female employees, they were quickly dismissed because of their gender. On the other hand, the manager responsible in managing kitchen employees is accused of sexually harassing five members of staff in the same department. The constitution of England is very clear regarding sexual harassment at workplace. At no time should any employee be subjected to sexual acts that will degrade them (Haidment, 2007).

I understand that all the mentioned issues can be addressed when a committee responsible for tackling issues relating to ethics as well as sexually harassment and other acts of discrimination is formulated. The committee will take the responsibility of setting up procedures, principles, laws, rules and guidelines that will help workers uphold high standards of ethics and morals (Storey, 2007). On the same note, the committee will also take the task of educating all employees about respecting one another, importance of diversity as well as tackling ethical issues that arise within the organization.

I my view, when the center will fully handle these issues employees will feel appreciated and the diverse workforce can bring in competitive advantage to the organization. Lastly, I would advice the organization to have in place a more effective way of how communication is channeled (Beardwell & Claydon, 2010). On the same note, it should be reasonable for the organization to have in place mechanism on how individuals who go wrong or act against the center’s guidelines should be warned before being dismissed. The manner with which employee diversity is handled usually dictates how the future of an organization will be. If handled poorly, Bratton & Gold, 2007 experts in HR issues say that there will be legal cases against employees and the organization which may lead to endless court battles that ultimately tarnishes the name of the organization.

Conclusion

The paper has critically looked into human resource issue in the case study ‘Den Arts Centre’. The human resource department is responsible for handling all things pertaining to employees. The centre is funded by education department of the county council however a large portion of money that helps run the organization comes from income earned by the center through various avenues. The center is home to projects such as station which involves about 150 youths plus those with physical disability, future which is made up of individual exhibiting learning disabilities among others which entails using art to express their feeling. The center also houses some special events such as West African experience, the common ground among others. The resident artists include Funtastic Dance Company and Dadrum community music.

From the review of the case study, it was established that there were a number of human resource issues facing the organization. Among them included recruitment and management of employees as well as volunteers, salary issues, employees safety which prompted them threatened the management with a walk out after the collapse of a ceiling and lack of employees appreciation. On the same note, the organization was faced with ethical as well as legal issues which were central to workplace diversity. Some of the employees were accused of stealing cash from the front office registry while one of the managers was accused of sexually harassing kitchen staffs. I have brought forth my strategic human resource management approach that would help curb the problems face by the organization (Boella & Goss-Turner, 2005). Despite there being a number of problem, the organization services and products are satisfactory to the customers.

Recommendations

Based on the issues raised I recommend the following; a committee should be formulated to oversee issues relating to change. Additionally, a committee responsible to address all legal and ethical issues will help curb ethical, moral as well as legal aspects pertaining to diversity in the work place. More importantly, the human resource department opts to devise ways to recruit new employees as well as volunteers in a transparent manner. Similarly, there is need for the human resource department to call upon employees so that they agree on a flexible working environment, employees are rewarded and appreciated.

Concerning infrastructural maintenance within the centre, crafting a committee that will be allocated the necessary budget and equipped with the necessary manpower or outsourcing repair and maintenance services is called for. This will help ensure that all building is maintained in a manner that workers’ as well as customers’ safety is not compromised. There is also need for the organization to swiftly act on concerns raised by employees and resort to solicit for more funding from other potential sources such as Non Governmental Organization.

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