5HRF Managing and Co-ordinating the Human Resources Function
Your CEO is considering outsourcing the HR function in your organisation. You have been tasked with highlighting the value of the HR function to the business. You are required to provide written answers to the questions below.
Analyse how the HR function varies between organisations. Include a comparison of HR delivery in different sectors and organisations of different sizes.
- a) Provide three examples of organisational objectives that the HR function is responsible for delivering and briefly explain how these have evolved over time.
- b) HR objectives can be delivered in many ways. Explain two significant methods.
Evaluate the business case for managing HR in a professional, ethical and just manner.
Provide a short description of at least two major theories of change management. Briefly describe an example of change in the organisation and apply one of the theories, including some evaluation of the process, outcome and impact.
You are planning to produce an evidential report highlighting the HR function’s contribution to organisation success and development. Provide a brief summary of the criteria and organisational data that could be included and how it would be analysed.
- a) Read the article provided: It identifies and evaluates research evidence linking HR practices with positive organisational outcomes. Briefly summarise the findings and evaluate its validity, reliability and persuasiveness.
- b) Explain how high-performance working and investment in human capital can impact on organisational success and performance. Does the article support this?
2.2 How the HR function varies between organisations
The HR function varies between organisations because the organisations are unique and their natures of operations are also different. Although all organisations aim at enhancing improvements in their performance and the workforce, the differences result to the uniqueness of the HR functions. The HR function for instance is unique in promoting the staffing role within different organisations. This is as a result of the contingency variables within organisations, which influence the practices within the organisations (Taylor and Woodhams, 2013). In some organisations therefore, the HR identifies with the combination of the employee roles and responsibilities, but in some organisations, the HR identifies with the differentiation of the staff based on their unique responsibilities that enhance productivity and performance. Thus, the HR takes on the responsibility of creating different departments within the organisations, with different roles and responsibilities for specialists.
Instead of using a similar HR function for every organization, the HR is taking on the role of developing a HR function that is unique to the needs of the organization, and this has enhanced the nature of success for the organization. Taking into consideration the different sectors where the organisations operate on, the companies in the retail sector seeks to have a different HR function from the companies in the service or even manufacturing sectors. This is due to the different reasons why the companies are formed, as well as the differences in the company operations. Thus when considering companies that focus on the developing a product for it to promote the company brand, the management may develop a HR function that focuses on involving the employees on the production of the product. On the other hand when a company operates in the retail sector, the HR function may be developed towards promoting high levels of interactions between the staff and the customers in order to promote success of the company.
The varying of the HR function on basis of the organizational size has been identified to be one of the main issues that enhance the uniqueness of the HR functions. In this regard, the HR function is developed from the perspectives of how large or how small the business or the organization is. In the large organisations, the HR function structures the staff using the hierarchy, where HR manager takes the senior role of overseeing the line managers, who have to answer to their seniors in the hierarchy. The staff members in the large organisations carry out their roles and thus the HR professionals only engage in the HR tasks. In small organisations as well, the HR function is developed to accommodate the few staff members in the organization, an aspect that results to the few personnel in the organization getting involved in the different HR roles such as recruitment, training, and also policy development. This means that in the small businesses, the HR may also be involved in other tasks apart from the daily HR operations.
1.1 Examples of organizational objectives that the HR function is responsible for delivering
Recruitment and selection
One of the objectives of the HR function is the recruitment of the right candidate for the job. The hiring process has evolved more significantly because of the technological advancements. Organisations in getting the right candidates for the job have identified platforms where they can advertise their job positions, and this has been made possible more especially because of the wide use of the internet. As opposed to the traditional ways that the employees got to identify job positions on the magazines and newspapers, today the job postings are made available through the internet, making it possible for the organisation to have a wide reach of employees (DeCenzo, Robbins, and Verhulst, 2016). There are various platforms used to identify a candidate for the job, and the most one used is the LinkedIn. Other social networking sites are also used and this has been found to be significant especially because of the current generation of employees who are always using the internet (Villeda and McCamey, 2019) Thus, finding the ideal candidate has become the norm because the HR can identify the candidates from the pool of expansive persons willing to work for the organisation. As a result of the technology advancements, the HR takes get to identify and place the right candidate for the job, because they identify the candidates from the pool of the many candidates who made themselves available. This is also made possible because of the improved technologies used in interviewing the candidates, making the process simpler and less expensive. For instance according to Blacksmith, Willford, and Behrend (2016), large organisations are currently using video interviewing where the interviewer and the interviewee can see and hear each other, and as a result, make the process easier.
Learning and development
The second objective that the HR function seeks to deliver is the learning and development of the employees within the organisation. The HR function has evolved from delivering training to the employees, to promoting and facilitating learning in nurture the employees and also create major contributions to the organisation. In promoting learning, the HR has identified means through which they can interact with the employees using the online platforms. According to Lancaster and Di Milia (2014), the learning process relates with development of programmes that are interactive and allows the learners become sophisticated and they work together with their peers for purposes of securing the best alternatives meant at developing better means of doing work for the organisation. Through effective learning, the HR identifies with the developmental needs of the employees, and this enhances identification of the means through which the HR supports the employees in growing their careers. The HR as the learning and development professionals engage in the development of the right content that enhance learning, as the employees get to gain more skills, knowledge, and different behaviours that influence their natures of work (Lancaster and Di Milia, 2015). The HR has to therefore engage in the research and development process to identify the means through which they can promote engagements between them and the employees.
Employee benefits and compensation
Employee compensation is the third HR objective, and this has become a very sensitive issue. This is an objective that identifies with the work-quality theory, which identifies with the relationships between the working environments and the employees working in the organisation. As a result of globalisation, the amount of compensation given to the employees and the benefits that they receive determine their involvement in carrying out organisational tasks and responsibilities to promote organisational success. These are issues that contribute significantly to the nature of employee satisfaction and morale to working in the organisation (Ali, 2019). The HR in preparing the payroll has to therefore consider some of the most significant aspects of employee needs, and determine the means through which they can create a balance between the work that they do, and the kind of life that the employees live. Some of the most significant aspects that should be considered when determining the employee benefits include the medical insurance covers, retirement benefits, life insurance among others. The HR should also identify with the benefit incentives related to the flexibility of the working hours for the employees, the maternity and paternity leave, and even the on-site child care (Gupta and Shaw, 2014).
2.1 Methods of delivering HR objectives
Outsourcing is one method that can be used to deliver HR objectives within an organisation. The HR may consider outsourcing the HR work, whereby they delegate some of the responsibilities to the outside service providers. The HR instead of delivering the objectives by their own selves may opt to outsource for different reasons, some of which involve minimum use of time and money. The HR outsources when facing complex situations, and the external providers help them in making decisions in the tough situations in the organisations. For instance, an organisation may consider recruiting to be a complex task and in the process identify outsourcing to be the best strategy to getting the right candidates for the jobs. For instance, Google has been working with outsourced staff to help complete some of the major projects that the company engages in, and this has created success for the company as the staff focus on the core business for the company. According to Barrett (2019), outsourcing enhances proper management of the organisation, and the HR may identify with increased efficiency for the implementation of the HR objectives. Nevertheless, there is need to note that there are potential challenges associated with the outsourcing of the HR objectives, especially because the objectives are transferred to a third party.
The second method of delivering HR objectives is the shared services, where the HR gets involved in creating a shared model where all the organisational HR activities are centralised and used as a shared function. This is a method identified to be part of the Ulrich’s three-legged model, where the administrative activities and the strategic activities are used to evaluate the success of the HR system in the organisation (Harrop, 2017).
1.3 Managing HR in a professional, ethical and just manner
The operations of the organisations should be managed ethically to avoid some of the workplace challenges that may affect the employees, as well as their relationships with the management. The HR in managing the workforce should work towards ensuring that the decisions made are principled, and positively influence the daily operations by the employees. Thus, HR professionals should be keen on ensuring that the right things are done and the right actions taken to eliminate practices of employee harassment and other negative behaviours. Managing in an ethical professional and just manner promotes integrity among the HR leaders, and also raises the standards of operations within an organisation. This makes it possible for the HR professionals to engage in the process of developing cultures of transparency and trust in the organisations, thus making it better for the HR objectives to be delivered through the best and effective HR practices. Ethical practices create good values for the organisation, and this improves the lives of the people and the experiences that they relate with at their places of work (Grant, Arjoon, and McGhee, 2017).
Starbucks is a good example of the case that relates to the ethical practices by the HR. in 2018, there were demonstrations on concerns that Starbucks was racially discriminating. Two black men were arrested for not purchasing drinks at the Starbucks while waiting for another person, and this resulted to then being handcuffed. From the analysis of the case, the management at Starbucks had failed in creating an environment that accommodated all kinds of people independent of their race, and this was the reason why the public had raised concerns. Nevertheless, the leaders took the initiative to address the issue and identify ways through which the company would change the public image and ensure that all people independent of their race felt a sense of belonging and warmth at the Starbucks Company (Danziger, 2018).
1.2 Theories of change management
Lewin’s change management model
This is a change management model developed by Kurt Lewin, and it identifies with the three steps of change that include unfreezing, changing, and refreezing. The theorist argues that in order for a change to occur, the management has to effectively understand the reasons why the changes have to take place. The first step in using the model is the unfreezing step that identifies with the preparation to change, where the organisation gets into acceptance that change is necessary and things cannot continue operating in the ways that they currently operate in. as a result, the management in the organisation has to identify with the challenges that affect the norm, and thus examine how the organisational beliefs and values can be changed to help address the challenges and support the new ways of doing things (Cummings, Bridgman, and Brown, 2016).
After the unfreezing step, the second step is changing, where the management identifies with the new ways of doing things in order to resolve the challenges and develop new beliefs that support the new ways of doing things. Transitioning from the first step to the second step may take time, and the management has to be prepared especially because people take time to identify with changes and they rarely want to take a new direction. In this regard, the management identifies with the changing of the working environment for the workers, and they therefore have to take responsibility in preparing the workers for change. The management also has to acknowledge the different responses that come from the different people in the organisation, and in order to make the changing process a success, the management has to ensure that they promote the knowledge needed in explaining the benefits that the change would bring to the people and to the organisation (Cummings, Bridgman, and Brown, 2016).
Refreezing is the third and final step in the model, and this identifies with the development of a stable organisational structure that associate with the internationalisation of the changes. Internalising changes means that the workers in the organisation embrace change and are ready to work with the new ways that are developed. As a result, the changes made have to be considered all the time in order to ensure that the everyday business is done in accordance to the new ways of work, and this promotes high levels of business stability. Refreezing is important because it allows the employees to confirm to the changes and implement them for purposes of creating organisational success (Cummings, Bridgman, and Brown, 2016).
The process according to Hussain (2018) creates an environment where the desired state of the organization is identified. The HR has to take on the leadership role in enhancing change, and at the same time work on ensuring that the employees get involved. This prevents instances of change failure and increases knowledge among the people working in a particular organization.
Kotter’s change model
This is a model that relates with the execution of change strategies using eight steps, which are considered to be the success factors in change implementation. The first step identifies with the creating a sense of urgency, where the change agents relate with the importance of immediately engaging in the change process. The second step involves building a guiding coalition where the leaders take the responsibilities of supporting their followers and subordinates by creating coalitions of people with the same purpose. The third step involves creating a vision for change, where ideas and solutions are developed. The vision has to differentiate the future from what was happening in the past, and the leaders should take the initiative to ensure that the changes are in accordance to the vision developed. The fourth step involves communicating the vision by developing a strong message that is communicated to the organization. The message has to be powerful and has to identify with the process of decision making, which enhances solving of the main problems that may have resulted to the creation of the need for change. The fifth step involves enabling change actions to be taken by eliminating the barriers and the obstacles. This is an aspect that contributes to new levels of freedom, and thus creates significant impacts to the change needed within the organization. The sixth step identifies with the generation of short term wins, which is followed by the seventh step that involves building on change so as to identify issues that need to be improved. The final step is the anchoring the changes in the culture of the organization and making sure that the changes stick (Hee and Shanmugam, 2019).
Facebook change strategy
The changes experienced by Facebook from being a ‘secret society’ where the people who joined were only the university students to opening to the public may be explained from the view of the Kotter’s model of change. Creating change as a sense of urgency meant that the found of the company Mark Zuckerberg realized the need to include a wide range of consumers for the company. As a result, he definitely created coalitions with other professionals and thus developed a vision where Facebook would be made available for use by all people over the age of 13 years. In doing so, a message was developed to attract the public consumers, and this was the basis for change in the organization. In eliminating the obstacles, Facebook changes the requirements to joining the site and instead of having a.edu email address, every person having a valid email address was allowed to join as long as he/she was above the age of 13 years. There were short term wins as the number of consumers increased and Facebook expanded to other countries becoming a multinational company. The founder build on change and a culture was formed at Facebook where people would engage in social networking despite their education levels as it was the case in the beginning.
3.1 How HR function contribute to organizational success and development
The criteria for identifying the significance of the HR in promoting organisational success are to determine the extent to which the HR objectives contribute to organisational value for the organisation. In this regard, issues associated with the development of activities and initiatives, which are significant in determining how the HR objectives are met. There is need to identify with the aspects of data effectiveness in determining how the HR effectively enhances organisational success. Thus, there is need to identify with the development of strategic approaches that need to develop new ways of meeting the HR objectives. These associates with the development of activities that focus on adding value to the organisation, and these may include improved natures of developing payrolls, resources, as well as employee relations. The HR collects data relating to a number of HR objectives. The primary data collected by the HR relates with the personal information of the employees working in the organisation. This is created in a database and is often used to help address employee issues in the organisation. Data relating to HR objectives is related to the HR practices such as the reward and compensation data, training and development data, performance data, talent management data, health and safety data among others. The data is used to support the HR in attaining organisational success and development.
From this perspective, the data can be analysed to enhance organisational effectiveness. First, there is need to balance the trend data in order to connect the future goals of the organisation with the current organisation operations, with the aim of ensuring that the HR effectively plans for the means to add value to the organisation. In addition, the HR may use data to impact the business instead of the processes of operation, and this has significant impacts on the management of performance within the organisation. Finally, instead of using data to get information, the data should be used to create an insight, where the HR identifies with the dedication of the employees to the generation of value for their organisations (Chattopadhyay, Debanjana, and Mukherjee, 2017). This identifies with the use of data in making sure that the organisation relates with high levels of productivity and knowledge development to enhance efficiency in business operations.
4.1 Summary of the findings
Kim and Sung-Choon (2013) focused on determining the impacts of integrating the HR functions towards improving the performance of the firms. The authors sought to determine the impacts of involving the employees in the organisational work practices, and in doing so, the different variables were evaluated and their contribution to improved firm performances. When taking into consideration the issue of union participation, the authors sought to determine whether strategic participation will have an effect on the performance of the firm. The authors also evaluated the aspects of career development and training programs as they affect the strategic HR function, and their impacts on the firm performances. The issue of pay-for-performance was also evaluated to find out whether it would have a positive effect on the strategic HR function in promoting the firm performance. The other issue that was to be examined in the study is the aspect of worker management, and the effect that it has on the strategic HR function. Using respondents from firms registered under the Korea Labour Institute, a survey research was conducted among 203 firms. The results showed that with committed employees the strategic HR function has a weak impact on the firm performance, and the high involvement of the employees on the work practices highly influences the relationships between the HR function and the performance of the firm. The strategic HR function become effective when the pay-for-performance programs are effectively implemented, when the management in the firm focus on developing programs that relate to career development, when the labour unions are supported to getting involved in the development activities for the employees, and when the cooperation of the workers is reinforced to enhance development of programs effective in promoting the performance of the firm.
The validity of the article is determined from the perspective of content analysis where the authors measured the strategic HR function from the analysis of related literature. Survey items in the research were compared to the other items by different scholars, and this analysed the aspects of strategic planning, addressing the HR issues, meeting with the management to discuss the role of the HR in supporting the long term strategies, and identifying with the future of HR. alternative measures were used to determine the validity of the HR function value in relation to maximising the loyalty of the employer and the employees’ commitment and devotion to the organisation. In doing so, aspects of evaluation the role of the HR function in nurturing people, promoting teamwork, and putting the focus on the growth and development of the workers were analysed. This brought about the issue of using the professional skills and competences to enhance success of the strategic HR function. The reliability of the research was based on the evaluation and use of the trained interviewers in respondents from the pool of the HR, IR, and workers responsible in enhancing management of the HR within the firm.
4.2 How high-performing working and investment in human capital impacts organisational success
High performance and involvement of the workers enhance organisational success especially within companies that seek to attain competitive advantage over their competitors. Getting the employees involved results to the HR getting into the position of empowering their employees. This then results to high levels of involvement in decision making as well as employee growth and development. Investment in capital influences the nature of organisational success. This means that when the HR takes responsibility in investing in programs that enhance human capital development, the employees become more satisfied because their needs and expectations are met. This then results to them becoming more committed to their work, which then results to high firm performances. For instance investing in programs that enhance learning and development, the HR takes into consideration the needs of the employees, and this then enhances development of opportunities for the employees to advance in their careers. Career growth and development enhances improved employee competency and standards of work, and this then enhances development of a better working environment, which associates with better performance by the employees. The article by Kim and Sung-Choon (2013), support the claim that high involvement of the workers and high performance highly impacts the performance of the firm. In addition, organisations with supportive HR functions that invest in human capital contribute significantly to the development of the firms and enhance high performance of the firms.
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