Sunday, September 15, 2019
Human Resources Management in Business Essay
Human resources department is a part of business that deals with its staff. The department is seen as part of strategic management, in the effort to achieve the goals of the business, and is crucial to the businessÃ¢â¬â¢s success. Some of the human resources departmentÃ¢â¬â¢s responsibilities include recruitment, retention, selection, job enlargement/enrichment, motivation and leadership, job role allocations, training, and payroll appraisals. The departmentÃ¢â¬â¢s decisions are influenced by, however, internal issues for workforce planning. One of the issues could be the cost of its operations. The business would want to minimize cost, so any decisions made by Human resources should be cost-effective. Another issue could be the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s business strategy, for example when the company want to expand, the Human resources department would have to recruit more employees; if the company wants to cut costs and increase profit, the department would have to consider reducing the number of staff. It is also responsible for training current employees for any new equipments. There are also external factors that affect how workforce planning is carried out. These external factors include government actions that affect the business environment. For example, the government can impose new minimum wages that would increase the Human resources departmentÃ¢â¬â¢s spending on wages payment. The education situation of the country can also affect Human resources, as education is the means that workers gain their skills; without proper education, Human resources wouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t be able to recruit highly skilled workers without paying large salaries or recruit foreign nationals. An important external factor is the economic situation of the economy. If unemployment rates are high, Human resources would be able to recruit new employees much easier and cheaper than when the economy is in boom, which makes labour more expensive. The age ranges of the labour force can affect Human resources decisions, since they donÃ¢â¬â¢t want to recruit too old of employees who are going to retire soon. The business often want more young employees who can potentially contribute to the company for a long period of time, and can also be more innovative. Another external factor is technology advancements, as this may result in the introduction of new equipments into the company. The Human resources department would then have to organise training for their current staff to enable them to work with the newly acquired machineries. There are many benefits to Human Resources planning. One of the most important purpose of the Human Resources department is to motivate staff. This can be done by means of promotions, training, and rewards. Another benefit is that Human Resources help import important skills into the business through the process of recruitment. Human Resources would compose a recruitment process that selects the right people for the business. Without a Human Resources department, a firm cannot efficiently recruit employees that they need. Also, the department helps the business plan the right number of workers. They make sure that there are no redundancy or shortages of labour in the company, and if there is any, Human Resources would fix this either by cutting or recruiting staff. Human Resources department also ensures smooth operations in regards to labour management. This means they make sure that employees arrive when they are needed, and are allocated to the right tasks, and that each workers know their role within the business. In addition, they resolve whatever arguments that may arise between the workers and company management, making sure that the employees are clear of company regulations, and that management are clear of their workersÃ¢â¬â¢ conditions. Finally, the Human Resources department ensures that no laws are broken in regards to labour employment. For example, the recruitment process must not violate discrimination laws. All necessary laws are briefed to staff to ensure no illegal activities are conducted within the company. Before selecting staff for any position, key skills needed for that particular job need to be identified, creating a list of criteria for candidate selection. British Sugar is one of the largest provider of sugar products in the UK. Their Human Resources department has been directed to recruit three new production managers, as part of the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s expansion project in China. The Human Resources department has identified the key skills for a potential production manager: Confidence: the manager needs to be confident in handling large responsibilities, whether it be meeting production deadlines, ensuring worker safety etc. They need confidence to be able to make decisive actions, taking the initiative without too much dependence on higher directives. As they direct the production process, confidence is also needed for negotiating with suppliers, making the best deals for the factory. Technical skills: a production manager has to be sufficiently knowledgeable about the production technology of their factory, to be able to understand and resolve technical problems should they arise. Technical knowledge of a manager does not have to be detailed, but must be sufficient to issue correct directives to the factoryÃ¢â¬â¢s engineer force. High technical skills is preferred, as the manager will be more likely to be innovative in improving production methods of the firm. Communication skills: a good production manager is able to communicate to all different divisions of the company. They are quick to absorb information from different levels of the company, whether it be top management or floor workers, and then provide quick and effective feedback. Communication skills are crucial in a manager, as it helps him ensure the coordination between different elements of the company. Problem-solving skills: the production manager should be able to independently deal with problems within their factory. They will be extremely resourceful in coordinating factory or company-level efforts to solve problems. This requires an intelligent person that can improvise upon their resources to damage-control and reverse the problem and put the factory back onto its original course. Motivating staff is an important part of company operation, as it ensure the employees do their best and be productive while working for the company. There is a variety of reasons why employees would want to work harder in their working environment. Such reasons could be money, bonuses, power, working with friends, social aspects of work, the need to provide for family, promotion, team work, and promotion. Frederick TaylorÃ¢â¬â¢s theory of motivation simply stated that all workers are worked by money. This means that in order to better motivate employees, the employer simply just has to raise their pay, and this would make them work harder. Taylor introduced the Theory of Scientific Management, which said that workers are naturally lazy and need close supervisions and control. The theory also says that managers should break down work to the simplest tasks to their employees. Workers also need adequate training and equipment to perform their simple tasks as efficiently as possible, then they would be paid according to the amount of products they had produced. The theory is often applied in mass production lines which involves repetitive tasks. Elton Mayo later introduced a new theory of motivation of his own. He believed that money is only part of the workerÃ¢â¬â¢s concern, and social needs are more important in motivating workers at their work place. Mayo published the Human Relation school of thought, which encourage managers to focus more on social interactions between workers. Mayo went further in his studies and conducted his own experiment at the Hawthorne factory in Chicago. From these series of experiments, he concluded that although physical conditions worsened, they do not affect the productivity of the Hawthorne workers. Instead, social factors such as better communication between workers and managers, better involvement in employeesÃ¢â¬â¢ lives from their manager, and team work was what improved productivity levels. In the 1950s, Abraham Maslow introduced the Neo-Human Relation school of thought. This new theory focus on the employeeÃ¢â¬â¢s psychological needs, which are structured into five different levels of needs. The theory says that once a lower level of needs is satisfied, would then the worker could be motivated by an upper level of needs. These levels of needs in lower to higher order are physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs, and self-actualisation respectively. Managers also need to realise that each worker moves up this ladder at a different pace, and therefore might need different sets of incentives from worker to worker. In financial-related type of motivations, the most common motivation is salaries and wages. Salaries are what permanent employees are paid monthly or annually. Wages, on the other hand, is what is paid to workers per hour they have worked. These can motivate the employees, for the harder they work, the more they would earn. A piece rate system is when an employee is paid a fixed rate for each unit of production; In other words, they are paid by results, which motivate them to achieve better results. Commission and fees are similarly dependent on the results of the workers. Commission is a percentage of the sale revenue, and fees are fixed amounts that are earned after sale. The more the employee sells, the more commission or fees they get, motivating them to sell more. Fringe benefits are any non-wage payment or benefit such as pension plans, profit-sharing programs, vacation pay, and company-paid life, health, and unemployment insurance. Having these extra benefit with their jobs can make the employees feel more secure and work harder. Performance-related pay or pay by performance is money paid relating to how well the employee works. This would motivate them by giving them knowledge that the better they perform in their field, the better their assessment would be and the more they would be paid. Profit sharing is another way of motivating staff, it consists of a plan that gives employees a share in the profit of the company. Each employee receives a percentage of those profit based on the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s earnings. This makes staff work harder, knowing the more their company earns, the more they would get in shared profit. Share ownership is when employees who have worked in the company for a long time are given part of the business as shares. These shares would give the employees power, and they get to take part deciding how the company is run. Other than financial motivations, there are non-financial ones that could boost motivation while costing minimal for the business. Job redesign involves restructuring the elements including tasks, duties and responsibilities of a specific job in order to make it more encouraging and inspiring for the employees. Job enlargement is basically increasing the employeesÃ¢â¬â¢ work load, so that they feel more responsible and work harder. Job rotation is when employees are moved between two or more jobs in a planned manner. The purpose of this is to expose the employees to different experiences and wider variety of skills to enhance job satisfaction and to cross-train them. Job enrichment is a variation of job enlargement. Job enrichment adds new sources of job satisfaction by giving the employee additional authority, autonomy, and control over the way the job is accomplished. Team work is a Cooperative effort by the members of a group or team to achieve a common goal. Working in a team may motivate employees to do better to fulfill their part on the team. External link for employees motivating can be found here: http://www. forbes. com/sites/glennllopis/2012/06/04/top-9-things-that-ultimately-motivate-employees-to-achieve/ The fundamental method which British Sugar would use to motivate their staff is to make them feel safe. Feeling safe would clear the employeesÃ¢â¬â¢ minds from external worries, helping them to focus more on their tasks and try harder to achieve. This method would include providing their employees with adequate facilities to work in. This means that British SugarÃ¢â¬â¢s factories and offices would to the most basic safety regulations such as fire safety, electrical safety, and protection from hazardous conditions inside their factories. British Sugar would also make sure that their facilities have appropriate security measures to protect employees and their possessions safe. This method of motivation is one of the most basic levels of MaslowÃ¢â¬â¢s hierarchy of needs. Another method that British Sugar uses is providing extra employee benefits beside their regular salaries and wages. They would give company cars for manager and directors, along with free O2 mobile phones. British Sugar also looks after their employees by providing them with free healthcare in the form of free check-ups with company nurse, eyesight tests and glasses, and subsidised scheme with AXA. Families of employees can also enjoy company benefits with provided child vouchers and team meals for spouses. British SugarÃ¢â¬â¢s factory workers are also provided with free safety work wear. There are numerous other benefits that employees can enjoy working for British Sugar, which includes sports clubs, gym facilities, free parkingÃ¢â¬ ¦etc. A popular method of motivation from TaylorÃ¢â¬â¢s school of thought is recognition. British Sugar would give out tokens of appreciation and to recognise employees/teams that have made a significant contribution over and above that reasonably expected. Company managers would award their employees with vouchers, meals, bouquet of flowers, or bottles of wine to boost their work morale. Long Service Awards are given to employees with significant length of service. Annual bonuses of ? 400, ? 600, ? 800, and ? 900 are given to employees who have served 20, 30, 40, or 45 years in the company respectively. British Sugar also use chances of promotion to encourage their employees. This is a process known as internal recruitment. When a position is open, employees are often promoted to fill the position instead of recruiting new people externally. This keeps the employees motivated to work harder, knowing there are chances of future promotion. Another method of motivation used by British Sugar is performance management. Performance management is a proactive and continuous process of communicating and clarifying role responsibilities, performance expectations and priorities in order to ensure mutual understanding between managers and employees. To ensure the proper functioning of the business, British Sugar would have to maintain a high level of cooperation and satisfaction in its employees. Making employees cooperate would increase productivity, reduce labour turnover, and make sure that they can maintain the quantity and quality of work they are capable of. One of the methods of doing this is by communication. This method involves staying in touch with the staff to make sure they are updated with company information. When staff have the information that they need for their job, they will be more likely to be oriented towards their tasks, and be able to do it correctly and more efficiently. Communication with employees can be done by many means. It includes emails, which are quick, efficient, and reliable. Face-to-face communication is an important form of communication, often in the form of meetings; however it has time and distance limitations , for example a manager might not have the time to see all of his employees to talk about new policies, while he could just send them all an email. There are other methods such as telephone calls, which can be made easily over long distance or face-time technology that allows employees to communicate despite the long distance. Another way of improving employeesÃ¢â¬â¢ cooperation and commitment in the business is making them more involved in it. In British sugar, this is know as the Ã¢â¬Å"quality circleÃ¢â¬ . British Sugar would engage its employees group discussions, where groups of workers meet and discuss the good and bad side of the issues that they face. The employees would try to resolve their problems together, and discuss ways to improve how they work and how the company works. This method generates a feeling of involvement, employees would feel that they are a contributing part of a team, and therefore view their work more positively and become more inclined to cooperate with other employees as well as the company managers. Clear employment contracts also help boost staff cooperation and commitment. A clear contract would have to explicitly explain the details of the job, such as explaining the roles and duties that the employee is expected to carry out, along with the hours of work required. The business would also need clearly identified procedures such as disciplinary policies or grievance policies. A clear pay structure that explains basic time as well as overtime is essential. All of these will reduce arguments in the company, enabling more efficiency and cooperation within the business. Motivational methods are a way of getting more cooperation from staff. Motivated employees would perform better while feeling better about their prospects than demotivated ones, therefore cooperating more in their work. Similarly, training and charity links should also be used to boost the morale of workers. Training would increase the employees motivation and performance, as well as charitable activities such as helping out the local community. A well-motivated workforce with high morale is more likely to cooperate with the company and to each other. The culture of the business itself will also affect how its employees cooperate. If the company has a culture of cooperation and an atmosphere of teamwork, then the employees are more likely to have more cooperation in their work. Training in a large organisation such as British Sugar is carried out extensively. An example of British SugarÃ¢â¬â¢s training operation is their Graduate scheme, a scheme in which British Sugar finds apprentice in universities. The company would offer university graduates a period of vocational training, with the assurance of a job at the end of their training, in addition to have year-long job placements for engineering students. British Sugar also organises over 1000 training courses every year involves all levels from senior managers to new apprentices and our seasonal workers. The company encourages its sites to play an active role in local communities through media visits, schools activities, agricultural and environmental events. British Sugar have regular dialogues with leading and local non-government organisations. They also organise sponsorships and charitable funds, allocated to their employee fundraising activities through a Ã¢â¬Å"Supporting YOU to support othersÃ¢â¬ programme. Measuring the workforce can be done by a number of ways. This is generally looking at the key indicators in the businessÃ¢â¬â¢ workforce such as labour productivity, health and safety, labour turnover and absenteeism. Labour productivity is how much the workers produce in terms of goods and services per hour worked. In the business, it can be measured by looking at the efficiency of individual or teams. However, this method should be used with cation, because there are factors that could affect labour productivity such as the age of machinery, type of sector that the business is in or whether production is automated or labour-intensive. If machineries are old, they wouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t be able to produce as much, therefore being the cause of low labour productivity. A business in the secondary sector would be more productive than one in the tertiary sector since manufacturing makes more products than service. Similarly, a business that has automated production will be much more productive than one with labour-intensive production, since machines are able to mass produce more products than individual workers. A business can try to improve labour productivity by using motivational tools such as bonuses. Training can also be used to add productivity to workers, and business plans help staff work more efficiently. The business can also buy new equipments to improve productivity of their workers. Another measurement is health and safety. As it is one of the motivational factor, the quality of health and safety at the workplace can affect the staff. The better the health and safety standard, the better the staff will perform. The business must consider the possible causes of poor health and safety, such as poor equipment, dangerous environment and also the poor training in the matter. Labour turnover can also be used to measure a companyÃ¢â¬â¢s workforce. Labour turnover is the proportion of staff leaving the business over a period of time, usually each year. A company can lose their staff due to de-motivation, retirement, social factors, better opportunity elsewhere ,or that the employee wants to start their won business. Staff leaving can also be involuntarily as their positions become redundant or they are fired due to performance. A high labour turnover is generally not good because it spawns many problems such as the loss of productive capacity, the costs and the time taken to recruit new staff, and the extra training and induction programmes to new employees. However, new staff can bring benefits such as introduction of new ideas to the business, or more efficient workers. Absenteeism is another measurement to the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s workforce, as it tells managers how much their staff go on break from work. This can be a substantial problem for the business, because production output will suffer if employees are absent, projects will run into delays, and the quality of products affected due to the lack of staff. There are many other costs associated with absent staff, such as sick pay, and temporary staff pay, which is often expensive. Absenteeism also cause de-motivation in the business, as other employees will have to take the work load of the absent employees. To lower the level of absenteeism, the business can issue fines to absent staff, improve the safety of the work environment so staff would want to be at work, and improve their motivational methods. British Sugar uses a range of performance indicators to evaluate and improve their performance. SMART targets are a set of criteria that are based on the specific words: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-specific. These criteria are applied in the process of making goals and objectives, to maximise the business chances of obtaining them. Punctuality is the characteristic of being able to complete a required task or fulfill an obligation before or at a previously designated time. Attendance is the frequency with which a person is present. An appraisal system, or performance management, is a proactive and continuous process of communicating and clarifying role responsibilities, performance expectations and priorities in order to ensure mutual understanding between managers and employees. It is very useful as it is both a motivational strategy and a review system where mangers can assess their employees. The appraisal system would fulfill the employeesÃ¢â¬â¢ social and recognition needs according MaslowÃ¢â¬â¢ theories, motivating to work harder to achieve more and be more recognised. The system is not without flaws, however. The appraisal system can be very costly, requiring a lot of administrative work, and is time-consuming. It is also exposed to favouritism. Managers can tend to trust and praise some employees more than others, causing distrust discontentment among team members.