Human resource planning has a major role to meet the company objectives in professional and efficient comportment. In this case study planning process is to meet the short term, by having the right people and the right skills of workforce to supply demands of the new contract at the same time to adjust staffing change for long term objectives. As an HR manager main role is to meet business needs through workforce planning. Part of the planning is to investigate and gather information where the company stands now where we want to take it and how to do that. I can employ the Manpower requirement approach for Human resource planning, to analyse the current situation and estimate future needs and implement the new strategy.
The manpower requirement approach enables the HR to investigate the quality and the quantity of the existing workforce and analyse the company situation, forecast an adequate number of skilled manpower to satisfy future needs and achieve targets. 1- Analyse the current workforce: to learn about employees profile, expertise, age education, roles and gather information about staff rotation, this data base permit the company to evaluate the core competences and the power of it is human capital, identify surplus or shortage for short term and long term targets and measure it up with the company objectives and capabilities to appraise the current productivity, Moreover to evaluate the corporate strategy alignment with the vision and mission. 2- Forecast future manpower: identify supply and demand.
Expect the quantity and characteristics of the manpower in demand for future needs based on projecting employer past trends. Using previous trends of employment of a specific qualifications and expertise employed earlier in the past years by the company to ensure productivity. “In this approach an attempt is made to forecast future requirements of educated manpower to fulfil a future target of Gross National Product (GNP) or specified targets of industrial production”. (According to Mahapatro, et al. 2010) Predict directions and development in each size of individual sectors of the economy. Use series of data and historical trends to acquire the ratio between the growth of the skills of the workforce and output growth.
This method allow to associate experienced manpower and their productivity influencing the economic growth in a specific sector. According to Mahapatro, et al. 2010, “the fundamental axioms of manpower requirements approach is that there is a definite link between the education and the economic growth and the lack of skilled manpower in required number impedes growth”. Analyse and estimate the requirements of educated manpower to develop and advance, by assessing different factors engagement level, wastage and recession rate. Estimate the level of labour force participants by comparing the participant’s rates and the number of graduates for a specific occupation.
The main strengths of this method are estimating and comparing the demand and supply over a period of time in a specific economy and correlate this with the total population level of employment and production. Moreover this approach helps the company to identify future needs for development and training allowing them to categorise. According to Mahapatro, et al. 2010,” this approach assess the skill requirements to achieve any predetermined economic growth, and to gear the expansion of educational system to provide the needed education and training” However there are some flaws in the Manpower Requirements approaches. The first limitation:
The Manpower requirement approach, link skilled manpower to a specific occupation task, however it’s limited to be valid since it is not including the price and the cost of formal training and education to produce such educated level required, and it can only be relevant to developing countries, where high proportion of manpower have obtained these skills through informal learning and job experience. According to Mahapatro, et al. 2010, “in the Indian context, it has been observed that over 30 percent of the manpower do not have the basic minimum qualification. They have reached these levels through on-the-job training and such other informal training in the requisite skills.”
The second limitation: This method confirms that there are no replacements for the required skilled manpower; however we cannot expect to find in one country all jobs requiring a specific skill to be executed by manpower having the same category of education. According to Mahapatro, et al. 2010, “the educated manpower of different types are used in fixed proportions and that there no substitutions possibilities among the various categories of educated manpower”.
The future is uncertain, technological and economical factors constantly changing affect the patterns of demands predicted in an earlier stage, since estimated skilled or unskilled labour force is derived from the patterns of services or goods in demand, this approach is relatively unreliable for future for long turn estimates and can produce large errors. According to Mahapatro, et al. 2010, “Any error in judgment, in this regard, will seriously affect manpower balances at a later date resulting in either excess supply or excess demand”. Flexibility
For example the Audit Commission, they have developed different type of employment to meet their business needs. “”These different contracts help the Audit Commission to cope with all of its changing needs. They also help it to be flexible.” (The Times 100, 2013) The Audit Commission is constantly faced with peaks and troughs in the workload that cannot be met simply by having its employees on full-time contracts. There are situations where they need either more staff or fewer staff. By increasing or reducing staff in these situations the Audit Commission has developed numerical flexibility. (The Times 100, 2013)
As we know the organisation had some success stories and some unstable situation, HR planning at this phase after winning a new contract is extremely crucial. We can learn from the Audit Commission and apply flexibility to be able to meet future business needs without raising employment cost and by avoiding downsizing. I can suggest developing and applying flexible working patterns by introducing different type of employment contracts.
The internal labour market 350 employees 95% of them have permanent contract consisting the core group of the organization having the skills and knowledge to work in many roles, the abovementioned manpower enable the organisation to run the daily operation having the expertise the knowhow of the company production standards and quality, and they can meet the enquiries in an efficient ways. However the company has recently won a new contract that might implicate needs for recruitment. The existing 95% will remain on permanent contracts and will consist the 75% of the company new structure, as for the new workforce joining the company we can introduce different type of contract to hire them in order to maintain the flexibility of the organisation.
They consists the first peripheral and the second peripheral. In the company situation we are examining to hire the first peripheral group that is numerically flexible and the second peripheral group that include employees on short-terms or contractors from agencies, where the organisation needs more staff, that will not by necessary after the production demands of the new contracts are met. As for a construction company that have just signed a new hotel construction project that will end in 5 years, they cannot afford to hire employees on permanent contracts for the new project, as they will have surplus after the hotel is build.
In this situation by applying the new working patterns the manufacturing company can meet the new contract needs and ensure that we will not have a manpower surplus after the project is done, it is always easy to increases the number of the workforce but not simple to reduce it. Since the company have liabilities toward their workforce. The cost is extremely high to offer all its employees benefits, health insurance, schooling, bonuses and end of service indemnities. Question 2:
As we have discussed before temporary workers play a significant role in current fast pace evolving industries, no matter how skilled or unskilled they are, a certain amount of training is required to make sure they can perform well the assigned tasks. We have to plan the training process and identify the gaps.
According to Gomez-Mejia et al, 2012 “The trainng process consists of three phases: (1) needs assessment, (2) development and conduct of training, and (3) evaluation.” 2.1 Assessment Needs: The type of training should be linked to the organisation goals, in our organisation situation the company needs to meet the new project production needs on time efficiently without compromising the quality.
By hiring the new temporary workforce, the company is not looking to develop them or invest in them, as they are only hired to assure the production for a certain period. However we need their contribution to achieve company goals and meet business demand, the required training should enable them to acquire the skills and the knowledge, by identifying a certain type of training that will ensure they are prepared to do the assigned tasks and have the complete knowledge of the company procedures and safety related issue. 2.2 Development and conduct of training
We can refer to Aldi’s company case study that was experiencing a rapid expansion and needed to recruit more than 4,000 employees. It is not so easy to involve a large number of employees and engage them to the company objectives, we can examine below how Aldi’s planned to train the new workforce and make them committed to their new roles. They have chosen to provide the on-the-job-training.
“On-the-job training is training that takes place while employees are actually working. It means that skills can be gained while trainees are carrying out their jobs. This benefits both employees and the business. Employees learn in the real work environment and gain experience dealing with the tasks and challenges that they will meet during a normal working day. The business benefits by ensuring that the training is specific to the job. It also does not have to meet the additional costs of providing off-the-job training or losing working time”. (The Times 100, 2013) we can use the same training approach to apply it to our organisation, as we have to be careful about the cost.
At the beginning we have to introduce them to the work place they are joining, an induction training should be provided to familiarize the new group joining to the company and colleagues, this orientation ensure their understanding to the company structure and the corporate culture and we can gain their involvement from day one to the organisation objectives and goals. We are examining here the instrumental learning type.
On job training approach is applicable in this case study as it is considered cost effective and does not require an expert trainer to be hired from outside the company to teach them specific skills or to provide a certain knowledge. “OJT also spares the organisation the expense of taking employees out of the work environment for training and usually the cost of hiring outside trainer, because employees generally are capable of doing the training” ”. (Gomez-Mejia et al, 2012)
At the same it can deliver a clear message about the company expectation while saving time, as senior skilled staff can train new employees divided in groups depending on job requirement and the group can actually learn the required skill while conducting day-to-day activities, it allow them to observe and try. One of benefits for the company will be having skilled employees that will need less supervision to perform tasks in the future, furthermore that will increase the loyalty to the employer and employees relationships, since they will be interacting closely with the senior staff for the training period. In addition they can get guidance and learn new technologies practically rather than theorist, where most of the times theories are not so clear to be applicable.
“The guided on the-job training approach helps build relationships”. (Gomez-Mejia et al, 2012). The informal training or the OJT can enhance relationships between the workforce interacting together to acquire skills and learn better about our organisation, it can be also considered as socializing activity since they can be more open and communicate easily with no barrier, this process will make effective the on-boarding new employees. “Socialization is not a single event. Rather, socialisation is the iterative process between the new employee and the organisation as the individual develop skills, knowledge, role behaviour, and adjustment to norms and values in response to needs and expectations of organisation. (Jolton et al, 2010). For the employees it helps them to be more motivated and self confident about the job, where they can gain more skills in a practical way.
They can get guidance and learn new technologies practically rather than theorist, where most of the times theories are not so clear to be applicable. We have to plan carefully the On-the-Job-Training, to allow immediate benefits and reduce the unproductive breaking-in period of the new joiners. If we leave them to learn through unplanned methods employees may feel anxious unmotivated as they are not confident about their job roles and performance. Since we are aiming for temporary manpower and flexible working patterns this method is considered efficient to make them productive as quickly as possible. In addition the OJT permit to examine at early stage employees basic skills problems, for this scenario we can plan for further training for a certain group, simply it can eliminate skills deficiency. Question 3:
3.1 Benefits of Diversity at the workplace.
a. Internal advantages.
Emerging economy, constantly changes in lifestyle and social demands stimulate people to move from their native countries to a better place, society are becoming more diverse. One car type cannot fit to one population; diversity in choice can make a difference and appeal to everyone. By recruiting a diverse workforce we won’t be only addressing legislation or avoiding discrimination lawsuits, but we ensure engaging our stakeholders’ demands. Avoiding the stereotype in recruitment is the key success for the company to become an employer of choice. Diversity at the workplace can bring a pool of creativity and new ideas; contribution from people coming from different background can advance work and give the ability to the company to comprehend better our stakeholders’ needs and demands.
People having different cultural perspectives and lifestyle can give different ideas about the same subject and convey wider exposure for the company. According to Gomez-Mejia et al, 2012, “to survive and prosper in an increasingly heterogeneous society, organisations must capitalize on employee diversity as a source of competitive advantage”. Regardless that managing employee diversity is politically correct, diverse workforce enhance better problem solving, in our manufacturing company people tend to work in groups, interacting together can solve occurring problems easier as their life experience is dissimilar and they will approach the arising problems differently. Demographic and Cultural diversity can draw more flexibility to the company culture; sharing different experiences can make the work smoother and enjoyable, since learning is wider and more open. b. External advantages
A team of different people sharing life experiences and values can improve our corporate culture to become a multicultural organisation having the experience to understand better international market, this advantage can aid the company to generate more profits and widen our market. Talented people are not limited to one culture, certain age or religion, our aim is to match the right people to the right job, so why to slim our choices since we can recruit from a pool of talents.
By offering equal opportunity and overlooking differences we can focus better on having the right skills, Cultural diversity at the workplace can promote competitive advantage over rivals, Moreover respecting individual diversities in recruitment can increase productivity and promote the business image. Diversity at the workplace is the key to stay competitive and to be able to cope to the fast changing economy. “Given the global nature of business today, organisations have to create very specific and effective recruitment efforts to build a deep reservoir of global as well local talent to staff all their organisational levels. (Jolton et al, 2010)
As example we can spot the light to Tesco operating in UK where people from different culture and background lives. “Tesco recognises that every person is different and will bring unique talents and experiences to a role”. (The Times 100, 2013).
According to Tesco; “Difference can be our strength because talent and diversity are two sides of the same coin. To focus on one while ignoring the other is like trying to run a store with no customers – it just won’t work’”. (The Times 100, 2013).
3.2 Employee Diversity Challenges.
However some challenges can draw, if diversity is not correctly managed in our organisation, as we can face negative outcomes in communication and productivity
Resistance to change from majority and cultural clashes may occur, people tend not to accept each other easily especially if they consider minority inferior, or not as qualified to compete for a promotion or a career development. Cultural diversity may create a barrier between majority and minorities what can affect teamwork and participation. Communication flow might be distracted; people tend to be more involved in relationships with colleagues having the same culture and background, as they share same point of view and lifestyle, minorities can be left out of the company mainstream. Minorities will start to be unmotivated and not satisfied in the work environment and significant turnover and absenteeism can face the company.
Diversity can enhance creativity, however minorities being ignored and less valued, will affect their enthusiasm and involvement in the company goals and achievement, and they won’t be able to perform efficiently and effectively due to the low morale. “Conversely, the proponents of relativity argue that failure to adapt HR practices to the needs of a diverse population may alienate much of the workforce and reduce their potential contributions”. (Gomez-Mejia et al, 2012)
1- Mahapatro,. Bhussan,B., 2010. Human Resource Management. New Delhi: New Age International Limited. Available from: http://web.ebscohost.com [Accessed 30 June 2013]. 2- The Times 100 Business Case Studies, 2013. Flexible working patterns An Audit Commission Case Study. The Times 100. Available from: http://businesscasestudies.co.uk/audit-commission/flexible-working-patterns/conclusion.html#axzz2Z2peExn1 [Accessed 3 July 2013]. 3- Gomez-Mejia,L., Balkin,D., and Cardy,R,. 2012. Managing Human Resources. Seventh Edition. United States of America. Pearson Education, Inc. 4- Jolton,J,. Lundby, K,. 2010. Going Global: Practical Applications and Recommendations for HR and OD Professionals in the Global Workplace. United States of America: Jossey-Bass. Available from: http://web.ebscohost.com [Accessed 16 June 2013].
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