The Human Resources Department (HR) developed a strategic plan that tackles strategies to support the overall goals and objectives of The ABC Services Agency (ABC). In this report, the strategic HR planning process along with the mission, vision and goals of ABC will be discussed. The proposed HR strategy, which is named Diversity Program, will be explored by looking into elements including costs, benefits and outcomes. The main focus of this report is on attracting and retaining qualified direct care staff.
ABC, founded in 1961, is a volunteer parent support group that provides support services to children and adults with disabilities. Furthermore, it provides them and their families with assistance and support from birth to senior years.
ABC is committed to support people with disabilities through job placements, residential support, respite care, social activities and vocational training. ABC also tries to incorporate disabled people into the community through education and by working with many volunteers and donors.
ABC’s 20-year vision is full acceptance and inclusion by the community. In addition, ABC aims to improve its services, support systems and technology. The mission is all about “achieving full community life for children and adults with disability, one person at the time.” The goals are divided into two dimensions—achieving and full community life. “Achieving” refers to ensuring individuals are given opportunities to experience their own potential. “Full community life” focuses on families, friends, colleagues and other valued relationships to create a joyful and fulfilled life.
To accomplish this mission, ABC operates according to essential values that complete the heart of the organisation. Some of these values include a caring attitude, responsiveness, respectfulness, partnership, financial sustainability and diversity. ABC also has a strong belief that all people have equal rights, strengths and assets. Other beliefs include positive difference, the same opportunities for people with disability, the difference that valuable member and motivated staff could make and the importance of family role.
In the next five years, ABC will approach a leadership role in working with a broader array of community resources. It will also explore the feasibility of actively engaging volunteers. Moreover, ABC has set up goals that are based on important issues found by the previous strategic planning process. These goals are relevant to work week opportunities (e.g. employment and day supports), recreation and leisure activities, residential support (e.g. community living and participation) and family support and education.
Strategic Human Resources Planning
To convey ABC’s mission, HR developed the following main objectives:
ABC improves its capacity to attract and retain qualified direct care staff; All staff thoroughly understands the meaning of the mission and how their job contributes to achieving it; A professional development program is implemented to strengthen and expand the supervisory and management capacity and opportunities among mid-level managers; and A professional development program is implemented to strengthen and expand the capacity of direct support staff to be community liaisons and successfully integrate the consumer they support into the community (Managance Consulting, 2015).
This report focuses on the first objective, which is to attract and retain qualified direct care staff. Through a strategic planning process, HR was able to set three sub-objectives to achieve the four main objectives relative to the organisation’s mission. Firstly, HR aims to increase the organisation’s visibility in the community by updating the communication plan and utilising strategic communication to attract potential employees and volunteers and facilitate their recruitment. Secondly, HR intends to increase the number of volunteers by 50% through volunteer programs, training, leadership development and recognition. Lastly, HR plans to increase the amount of contributions that support the operating budget even more. This will be done through fundraising, which is ultimately essential for any non-profit organisation (Managance Consulting, 2015).
Strategic Human Resources Planning Process
HR aims to develop a stable, highly qualified and motivated workforce that actively advocates ABC’s mission. While it remains positive about the outcomes of the plan, HR is aware of the gaps that lie between ABC’s current and future state. These gaps include significant growth that led to challenges to human resources, difficulty with supervision, lack of structure for coordination among departments and inconsistent administrative and clerical support as shown in the image below.
Figure 1. Gaps between ABC’s current and future state.
To address these current issues for a better future, HR is going to implement new practices. A diversity program in the forms of interest groups will be established. These interest groups include the following:
Singing & Dancing Club
Figure 2. Diversity program’s interest groups.
Each of these interest groups will be discussed in the latter part of the report.
To develop a well-informed, strategic plan, the external environment that ABC operates in was analysed. With this PESTEL analysis, various external environmental factors that can impact ABC were identified and understood. Hence, HR is equipped to monitor any changes that may influence ABC’s
ABC’s day-to-day operations and future decisions can be affected by different government policies such as taxation policy and delivering community service policy. In that regard, ABC, like all other organisations, must comply with certain rules and regulations to ensure survival.
While strict compliance with the law is required, government initiatives and political infrastructures also need to be taken into consideration. Government initiatives may have an effect on ABC’s performance relative to employment and unemployment rates. Some of the political ambitions of the government may provide ABC with employment opportunities, while others may lead to retrenchment or attrition. This is something that ABC needs to be fully prepared for. The same concept applies to existing and forthcoming political infrastructures in the forms of transportation systems and skyscrapers. All these political factors must be taken into account to avoid negative publicity and potential fines (Business Case Studies LLP, 2015).
Like other organisations, ABC aims for profit maximisation. To strive toward this particular goal, economic elements such as economic growth, banking, employment, income, general price level, interest rate, inflation and recession need to be analysed.
Among all these elements, economic growth, which leads to development, is the most important one as it dictates the volume of finances that the society as a whole is earning and investing. To keep up with the demands of a diverse economy, ABC must be as proactive as possible (K, 2013).
Being proactive extends toward being aware of the other economic factors. Banking, which is interconnected with money, can affect ABC in terms of borrowing capacity and purchasing power. Banking policies and facilities can influence the borrowing capacity of both ABC and the people. Furthermore, money and its circulation can dictate the purchasing power of the customers (K, 2013).
Employment density and income rate can also impact ABC’s operations. During an economic surge, the number of employment opportunities, which generate income, increases. This upturn provides people with a stronger purchasing power. On the other hand, as the economy goes downward, the purchasing power of the people also shrinks (K, 2013).
General Price level is another economic factor that can influence the growth of ABC. Cost of resources, cost of production, cost of labour and cost of transportation are some of the components that dictate the general price level. An increase in the cost of any of these components will reduce the total amount of money ABC generates for products sold or services provided. Similar to general price level, the rate of interest can impact the development of ABC. Interest rates can have a direct effect on the loans that ABC takes to drive its performance improvement strategies forward (K, 2013).
The Agency needs to establish strategies and contingencies to cope with the above-mentioned economic elements, along with inflation and recession.
As the society evolves, there is a need for organisations like ABC to adapt to stay ahead of the game. By being aware of the societal and cultural changes, ABC will continue to operate smoothly toward success.
Changing customer preferences is a socio-cultural factor that can impact ABC’s operations, especially its business decisions. In that regard, it is of utmost importance that ABC examines the lifestyles, attitudes, styles and priorities of its customers. Relative to the changes in preferences is the changes in demographics. Changes in demographics can significantly affect ABC’s operations because population rates increase, people age and gender roles change. As the morals, values and tastes of people change, ABC needs to keep up especially in terms of advertising techniques (Richards & Media, 2015).
Other socio-cultural factors that need to be considered include population health, education, social mobility, employment patterns, press attitude, public opinion and social taboos (Public Health Action Support Team, 2011).
The constant evolution of technology impacts organisations as it provides them with opportunities to improve. ABC must be aware of the emerging technologies to be a frontrunner in the market. Monitoring the advances in technological processes is vital to sustain any organisation. These technological innovations can be used to improve productivity, quality and efficiency. Some of the technological advances that can help improve ABC’s daily operations include online databases, shared drives, e-mails, blogs and mobile applications (Education Portal, 2015).
The development of the internet can also affect ABC’s marketing strategies and activities in a positive way. By utilising the internet, ABC can reach a wider audience as youngsters nowadays are much more eager and confident to experiment with advanced technologies. Additionally, ABC can also utilise today’s technology to enhance the way it communicates with its internal and external customers. Aside from e-mails and smart phones, online meetings, web conferencing and videoconferencing can also be used for effective and efficient communication (Business Case Studies LLP, 2015).
Technological advances offer a variety of advantages. However, it can also transform an organisation into a failure when it is abused or used improperly. In that regard, ABC needs to take note of its responsibilities when posting something online.
ABC, like other organisations, must abide by certain environmental rules and regulations in all developmental stages. ABC’s equipment, procedures and even building expansions must conform to environmental regulations and meet regulatory requirements (Jeanty & Media, 2015).
ABC also needs to be aware of its local competition. Market research can be used to create awareness relative to the day-to-day operations of the competitors. The information gathered can be used for process improvements. Other environmental factors that need to be considered include geographical location, climate and weather (Blurtit Ltd., 2015).
Legal changes that can impact ABC are tied up with some political changes. The key to survival is to not only anticipate but also prepare to come across future legal changes. ABC needs to ensure all the legal requirements are met. Some of the legislations that ABC needs to comply with include Equal Opportunity Act 1984, Anti-Discrimination Law, Anti-Bullying Law and Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (Business Case Studies LLP, 2015).
Conducting a SWOT analysis to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organisation is important to achieve success. In this report, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of HR’s proposed diversity program was analysed.
The diversity program will be an ongoing program. This will give all participants a sense of belongingness for a long period of time. Although the program is innovative, it does not require a large amount of money for it to be implemented. Its implementation will be supported by different fundraising activities like garage sales. The program will advocate workplace diversity inside and outside the organisation. The diversity advocacy will emphasise not only age and culture but also sexual orientation and physical ability. Furthermore, this diversity program will provide future participants with a variety of interest group options that will enable them to express themselves through food or music.
The greatest weakness of the diversity program is the ageing employees. The program will depend on the existing staff to facilitate the interest groups efficiently. As some of the existing younger staff can perform the tasks well, the old staff can become a liability. This weakness leads to another weakness which has something to do with technology. The program will be facilitated by old people and this people are not technology savvy. This unfamiliarity with advanced technologies can impact the implementation of the program. Because ABC is a non-profit organisation, it has limited function rooms. This room insufficiency can create conflicts among the different interest groups in terms of meeting or activity schedules.
This diversity program offers various opportunities such as motivated workforce, wider audience, awareness, visibility, recognition and more volunteers. The sense of belongingness that the staff will get out of the program will motivate them to deliver a high performance. HR plans to update ABC’s official website by adding a page that talks about workplace diversity in general. The proposed diversity program as well as the interest groups will also be posted. This update will give ABC an opportunity to reach a wider audience. In addition, it will create awareness on workplace diversity. This will provide ABC with an opportunity to expand its visibility in the community, which may also lead to several recognitions. An increase in the number of volunteers is another great opportunity.
Since the program will be open to people with different backgrounds and even to those whose first language is not English, a communication gap due to language barrier is a possible threat. There is also a possibility of the workforce not willing to work extra hours. This is a threat because if there is an issue with the number of facilitators, the program will be unsuccessful. In relation to that, potential volunteers may only be involved in the program for a short period of time. Lastly, ABC’s team managers who will be the facilitators of the interest groups may get overwhelmed with all the duties and responsibilities that will be given to them.
Selected Human Resources Strategy
Every organisation consists of individuals and each of these individuals is unique. This individuality calls for workplace diversity. Workplace diversity refers to the differences among people in an organisation. These differences can include age, gender, race, sexual orientation, family status, religion, physical ability and experience. In totality, diversity encircles acceptance, understanding and respect (Commonwealth Bank of Australia, 2015).
Workplace diversity is important as it is increasingly being considered an asset to organisations. Establishing a positive, diverse work environment will lead to motivated workforce and improved services for the customers. Moreover, research states that the most engaged employees are those working in a diverse environment (Commonwealth Bank of Australia, 2015).
This diversity program aims to attract and retain qualified direct care staff by providing them with a welcoming, inclusive and supportive workplace. The program consists of different interest groups namely the cooking club, the singing and dancing club, the moms club and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender employees and straight Friends (LGBTF) club. Basically, these interest groups will be formed to support identified groups such as people with disability, indigenous Australians, aged people, people with caring, family or relationship responsibilities, people from other countries and cultures and people whose first language is not English (Australian Public Service Commission, 2012).
This diversity program was inspired by the Australian Federal Police (AFP). The AFP is an organisation that provides its employees with equal opportunities while complying with relevant government legislations. It acknowledges that workplace diversity does not only encompass language and culture but also age, gender, sexual orientation and attitude (Commonwealth of Australia, 2015).
The AFP advocates diversity in the workplace through the following ways:
the Employee Assistance Program which provides external support for members and their families the Malunggang Indigenous Officers Network which supports the recruitment and career development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people support for community events and celebrations such as Harmony Day, Disability Day and NAIDOC Week Gay and Lesbian Officer Network which provides support to its members and advises management on strategies and initiatives relevant to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (GLBTI) communities the Women’s Network which aims to support, encourage and network by providing leadership to women in the organisation and developing and implementing strategies to meet a wide range of interests and needs the internal network of Harassment Contact Officers and Confidantes which provides support to anyone who may need it the Workforce Diversity Plan, which aims to encourage managers and employees to value diversity the Employee Management Plan through which managers are accountable for work/home/life balance strategies for themselves and their team the appointment of staff with key roles in building relationships within the AFP and the broader community, including GLBTI and Indigenous community officers (Commonwealth of Australia, 2015)
Human Resources Plan
The cooking club will be open for food enthusiasts. While people who love to cook will be highly encouraged to join the club, people who do not cook but want to learn how to cook will also be welcomed as cooking classes will be provided once in a while. The singing and dancing club will be open for music aficionados. People who are interested to join this club will be given an option to become a member of either a choir or a dance group or both. The moms club will be open for all the mothers who like to mingle with other mothers. This club will be beneficial for the new mothers as they will learn a lot of things relative to being both a good mother and a good wife.
Gender and sexual preference impact not only organisations but also laws and attitudes in different ways. The treatment of people toward this issue varies from country to country and culture to culture. The positive thing about the modernised societies all over the world is they now provide the LGBTF community with a favourable treatment (University of Michigan, 2015).
Because of the acceptance, understanding and respect the society is currently demonstrating, HR intends to form the LGBTF club not only to celebrate diversity but also to create a workplace culture that is welcoming and accommodating (Australian Public Service Commission, 2012).
Through this club, HR aims to achieve the following:
Treat all employees and volunteers with dignity and respect
Take advantage of diverse backgrounds, ideas, beliefs, circumstances and needs relative to operational methods, work systems and leadership styles Include all employees and volunteers in business decisions
Utilise available resources in making reasonable, objective decisions (Australian Public Service Commission, 2012)
Aside from the AFP, Thomson Reuters, a multinational organisation that provides businesses and professionals with intelligent information, also supports the LGBTF community. As a matter of fact, Jan-Coos Geesink, the Managing Director of Thomson Reuters UK and a straight guy, is backing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights in the workplace. He believes in these people and their power to create a better place to work. “But one global aspiration that Pride At Work has is for people to be able to celebrate who they are at work, regardless of their sexuality or gender-alignment, and for them to be accepted,” he added (Geesink, 2015).
Other places around the globe that support the LGBTF community include Africa, the United States of America, Asia, Europe and Middle East (University of Michigan, 2015).
The diversity program will be backed up by different fundraising activities such as food selling, clothes selling and garage sales. The proceeds together with the 25% increase in the amount of money acquired from donations will be used to support the interest groups. The fundraising activities will be conducted by ABC’s volunteers along with the existing staff and those people with disability.
The interested individuals will be asked to bake cookies, cupcakes and the likes and produce crocheted clothes and accessories. The goods will be sold inside and outside the organisation. This initiative will be implemented once or twice a month. The volunteers will not only be able to frequent any of the interest group activities but also get a chance to be part of the organisation.
Figure 3. Fund raising methodology.
The existing official website of ABC will be updated by adding a new page that tackles workplace diversity. The update will also include information about the proposed diversity program as well as a detailed description of each interest group. Procedures on how to join the clubs will also be posted. In addition, the page will allow visitors to post testimonials about people with disability from all over the world. The write-up can be based on their own experience or someone else’s. There will also be a section on the page for announcements or updates regarding the interest groups. The update will be done by the previous web designer for free. This project will be completed within a month. However, the website will have to be updated regularly.
Figure 4. Updated website methodology.
Mothers as Volunteers
With the help of the updated website, HR anticipates to attract volunteers, potentially the mothers of children with disability, to help facilitate the diversity program. A series of training sessions every Saturday morning in a span of two months will be given to the volunteers. The volunteers will be encouraged to take their kids to ABC to participate in any of the activities. One of the existing team managers will conduct the training sessions. While available resources will be utilised, the cost of additional resources will come from the budget provided by the government.
Figure 5. ‘Mothers as volunteers’ methodology.
The expected main outcome of this entire program is ABC’s improved capacity that leads to attracting and retaining qualified direct care staff. Other expected outcomes include motivated workforce and patients, wider audience, diversity awareness, greater visibility in the community, more volunteers, recreation and leisure activities and family support.
Through this diversity program and all the social activities that come along with it, ABC’s staff will be motivated to perform their responsibilities. The interest groups will allow them to do the things they are passionate about. It will also give them an opportunity to express who and what they are through food, music and so many other things. Not only that, even the people with disability will also be motivated to do the things they are good at despite their physical condition. Because of the sense of belongingness they will get out of the interest groups, these people will be more willing and enthusiastic to participate in the fundraising activities.
One of the expected outcomes of the updated website is awareness on workplace diversity. This awareness is expected to reach a wider audience which can possibly lead to more volunteers and donations. An increased visibility in and a full acceptance by the community are also expected to happen after updating the official website and implementing the program.
The other positive outcomes of this diversity program are new recreation and leisure activities and family support for both the ABC’s direct care staff and patients with disability.
There are several issues that may hinder the success of HR’s strategy, which is the diversity program. These barriers include insufficient function rooms, insufficient funds and work overload. Since the program will offer four interest groups, ABC needs more rooms to facilitate every activity that will be conducted. Furthermore, additional budget to sustain all the interest groups will be necessary. Another important issue that may exist is work overload. The staff may get overwhelmed with the extra tasks that they will need to perform to implement the program.
To avoid the above-mentioned potential barriers, HR came up with several action plans. A systematic way of reserving meeting or function rooms will be implemented to address the issue about insufficient rooms. To ensure the budget is enough to sustain the interest groups, a selection of fundraising activities will be conducted. To prevent the staff from getting overwhelmed with additional tasks, more volunteers will be acquired.
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