HRM Consultancy Report – BancRoyale Amsterdam
HRM Consultancy Report – BancRoyale Amsterdam
In a survey undertaken by PWC of customers and outsourcing service providers cut across different advanced countries, over 80% customers noted that outsourcing activities delivered targeted gains provided for in the original business case. By implication therefore, it can be said that outsourcing and offshoring in the case of Bancroyale is a basic part of organizational strategy in a bid to maintain competitive advantage and staying ahead of other organizations. The need to outsource certain business processes by organizations over the years have been attributed to the recession that hit hard on world economies and businesses, it is also borne out of the need to reduce and contain costs while maximizing benefits and increased efficiency. As we speak and in coming years, process enhancement and productivity as well as governance, risk and security are other needs to be met by business process outsourcing.
It is a trend that continues to emerge over time. Business processes such as IT and payroll management is of the essence to be outsourced due to their dynamic nature for the former and better efficiency in management by 3rd parties for the latter. Studies have shown that about 50% of clients are discouraged from outsourcing due to a lack of experience by service providers and their inability to justify the costs against benefits and therefore provided a justification for preference for in-house employees over 3rd parties while some companies do not have the skills to manage outsourcing activities and the service providers.
Some are of the opinion that they require to put their house in order before outsourcing certain business processes. Banc Royale Amsterdam known and popular for superior and friendly customer service has taken steps to outsource its online customer service unit to a small South American company to handle due to increasing costs of maintaining this department. It is pertinent to take note of issues that may arise due to this change and its effect on the bank and also its customers.
Majority of organizational change management systems fails as proven by research because employees who are at the core of these programs are not carried along and feel left out, this leads to low morale which results in demotivation and its consequences. Dawson and Jones (n.d), said that it is the people/employees that are subject to change and must adapt to change as against the organization adapting to change therefore human capital is the most important and critical element when instituting any form of change. People/employee and customer issues would arise and worthy of note is the language barriers already raised by the firm saddled with the responsibility of handling this unit.
It is expected that most customers of Banroyale would speak Dutch or French and this should have been put into consideration while contracting this unit out to a South American firm. From the onset, management ought to have determined if this firm has Dutch speaking customer service consultants that would be able to communicate with their customers and also keep up with the standard of superior customer service set by the bank. The entire reason to outsource this unit is completed defeated if the bank cannot maximize benefits from this exercise as customers that are not pleased with services via the online customer service window are either completely lost or aggrieved thereby making the bank lose more money than it planned to save.
The decision to outsource a key unit of the bank by the management is also likely to cause collective distrust amongst employees in spite of the fact that the decision is a strategic performance management decision that is expected to make the bank cut down on its increasing costs. According to Shawn 2008, the decision to outsource creates uncertainty for existing employees and it could make them to look elsewhere for employment, in cases where they do not leave, they most times do not cooperate with the new service providers to provide them with adequate information that would make the task easier to handle thereby causing also decreased efficiency in service delivery and bring in operational risk. Another major people management issue of outsourcing of this unit has to do with the customers to be attended to.
In most cases, the service provider, that is the South American firm even though based on recommendation are highly professional most often than not would not be able to provide 100% banking services customers have always enjoyed because they have limited access to the bank’s customer database and hence, all they would be able to do while trying to serve the bank customers is to only take down messages and tell the customers someone would get back to them, these are customers that probably want to know their bank balance, ask questions regarding interest rates, cancel standing orders immediately etc.
Only staff of the bank that has access to specific customer data base would be able to provide services to these customers. There is a very high likelihood that there would be a wide gap between management goals and eventual performance. One of the bank’s strategic capabilities and strengths is embedded in this unit that is customer service which is a major selling point for the organization; therefore it ought not be toyed or experimented with.
In its quest to maintain a competitive advantage other areas should be looked at to reduce costs and expenses. HRM should seek to look at better ways to maximize the performance of this unit by determining unnecessary overheads are proposing to bank management to reduce, it could also develop more work challenges and deliverables to the managers of this unit in order to justify the increasing costs. Increasing costs accruable from this unit should provide increasing bottom lines for the entire bank, therefore performance management systems should be adopted to determine if these increasing expenses are justifiable and are actually increasing the bank’s bottom line.
HRM could also propose to the service provider to hire some of the laid off bank customer service consultants and have them on their payroll on their own terms, this would ensure that these people are not so aggrieved for being laid off but also be able to still provide their services to the bank indirectly through the service provider. Lastly, if it is of great necessity that management outsource this unit then it is advised that it be done gradually and strategically in order to integrate the service providers into the system instead of a sudden transfer of this function thereby causing avoidable people management issues.
SECTION 2- Organisational Solutions
OB-HR Matrix Relationships
The study of organizational behavior covers basically how knowledge about people, individuals, and groups are applied within an organization; and covers topics bordering on leadership behavior and power & politics, communication, group structure and process, learning & attitude development and perception, change process, conflict, negotiation and resolution, job design and motivation etc. Organizational behavior (OB) is a field of study devoted to understanding, explaining and ultimately improving the attitudes and behaviors of individual and groups in organizations. Therefore, the findings of this report are meant to be applied by managers to see how relevant they are to real world practical organizational challenges. The managers or HR professionals apply these organizational behavior theories and principles in solving problems that relate to human capital.
For instance, while OB would explore the relationship between social recognition or employee motivation and job performance, human resource management would be examining the best ways to structure a perfect rewards system and performance management. In other words, the study of organizational behavior provides significant insights to human resource management when the principle and theories are effectively applied by HR professionals. Motivation and Diversity being very key and relevant organizational behavior concepts relevant to the change process being embarked upon by the organization would be the subject of analysis in this section.
MOTIVATION – By making reference to the book ‘’Good to Great’’ by Jim Collins where he analyzed how Fortune 500 companies such as Wells Fargo, Walgreens etc transformed from just good companies to great companies.
These companies were reported to have transformed into great companies basically by their commitment to hire the right people with emphasis on character, work ethics, intelligence, values and commitment and refusing to hire when such people were unavailable. This model was also adopted by Apple when they embarked on opening retail stores to serve their customers, they focused on hiring only very highly passionate individuals for their products i.e. highly enthusiastic about Apple products and this would only mean that, employees are first hand self motivated because they are passionate about what they are doing and so whether they are rewarded using the traditional reward systems or not, they are still happy doing what they are doing.
However, Apple did not just stop at hiring passionate people, they created very unusual reward systems worthy of note is by not placing sales people on commission so as to ensure tension is completely eroded and employees maintain a very calm mien in dealing with customers. These hired sales people also go through rigorous trainings to acquaint them with the skills and knowledge to succeed in the Retail stores. Career growth opportunities for these sets of employees to grow through different opportunities are provided within the organization. Motivation in this context is therefore defined as an employee’s willingness to put in his maximum effort into his job to achieve organizational objectives while also being able to meet his personal needs and objectives.
Motivation was defined by Baron, 1983 as a set of processes concerned with the force that energizes behavior and directs it towards attaining some goals. Simply put, motivation is the reasons why individuals behave the way they behave or do what they do, which implies in a workplace that an employee is said to be motivated on the job when he enjoys doing what he is doing and totally involved in it as against doing it for the sake of only remuneration to be received.
A self-motivated employee implies that personal goals align with organizational goals most often than not therefore, employee satisfaction & retention, customer satisfaction & retention and accomplishment of organizational goals are guaranteed even in the long run. Human behavior is goal directed and it is motivation that drives an individual to behave in a particular way he does.
Motivated employees are more self driven and autonomy-oriented than those who are less motivated ( Ryan and Deci, 2000), they also show interest in colleagues work more than less motivated employees which makes them more open to challenges and developmental opportunities. Motivation and HRM approaches for BancRoyale.
Research and studies have shown and proven that motivation is positively related to employee performance and therefore HRM has a major role in this regard by implementing the concept of performance and reward management. Gungor, 2011 conducted a research on the relationship between reward management systems and employee performance with a major focus on motivation as a critical and intervening factor, he concluded that reward management systems application is significantly and positively related to motivation and employee performance which implies that financial rewards have great impact on employee performance and motivation (be it intrinsic and extrinsic).
HRM has the duty to identify employee needs and goals through employee audit and other means that target employees’ individuality. The implementation of performance management systems by BancRoyale would make it benefit greatly from all its positive outcomes such as customer and employee satisfaction and retention and other additional benefits.
Individuals have different needs as analyzed by Abraham Maslow in his ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ and theory of motivation where he stated that individual needs are arranged in a hierarchy of importance, he also added that all these needs are insatiable, however as one level of need is satisfied it no longer motivates behavior and therefore the next level is activated. HRM must be able to determine the level on which each employee is on to be able to strategically position the organization to meet such needs. It is important that HRM understands that unmet needs and expectations of employees over time leads to certain behavioral patterns that manifest in absenteeism, frustration, work stress and conflicts with its attendant effect on performance. DIVERSITY – Meanings
According to the US Department of Interior, diversity refers to many demographic variables including but not limited to race, religion, color, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, age, education, geographic origin and skill characteristics. The Law Society of Scotland says that diversity is about recognizing that everyone is different in a variety of visible and non visible ways; and about creating a culture that respects and value uniqueness and difference in people in order to harness their potential in creating a more productive working environment. Diversity encompasses acceptance and respect of individual uniqueness and differences, exploration of these differences in a safe, positive and nurturing work environment, moving beyond mere tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity within each individual (University of Oregon, www.gladstone.uoregon.edu/) Diversity and HRM approaches for BancRoyale
HRM is saddled with the responsibility of managing diversity, ensuring the organization conforms to the legal requirements related to equal opportunity. This process is managed with HR functions ranging from recruitment, selection,evaluation, job design, training, people management to workforce management in terms of placing the right people in the right location and position. Due to seeming economic and business realities in addition to demographic changes taking place within the organization, diversity management is an all-new challenge for HR and the entire bank. If HR performs its functions related in this context, it would save the organization from avoidable litigation, reduced employee costs and better bottomlines.
In order to make diversity a strong point of the bank, the following HR processes should be considered: Recruitment and selection: HR must look to assembling teams of diverse backgrounds that would stimulate creativity and innovation with skill sets that complement each other. Technology: diverse workforce often includes virtual teams therefore the need for technological support. HR policy: need to take into cognizance cultural and ethical aspects in addressing equality standards prevalent in each location they are present. Training: Managers and employees need to be trained on leadership and teamwork as it applies in a diverse workplace.
KEY HRM ISSUES WITH GREAT IMPACT ON THE TRANSITION FROM IN-HOUSE ONLINE CUSTOMER SERVICE TO 3RD PARTY SERVICE MANAGEMENT IN BANCROYALE Diversity Management
Diversity Management – “Diversity management is the ability of an organization to maximize the advantages of organizational employee diversity and minimize the inherent problems. I.e maximize the benefits and minimize the costs of implementing diversity policy in the workplace” Benefits to Banc Royale
Creating a competitive advantage (the business case for diversity) Better understanding of diverse customers.
Increased productivity on complex tasks.
Better problem solving as a result of inputs of diverse members. Increased innovation
Potential issues that may arise in diversity management (Knouse 2008) Diversity members may show loyalty to background groups rather than the team. Potential for increased conflicts amongst employees with diverse background. Potential for exclusion of people different and more cohesion amongst similar groups within networks. Potential for non-cooperation when group members have different values. High potential for miscommunication among diverse organizations Proposed solutions
HRM practices must be fair and equitable and take responsibility for the effective delivery of the policy Work groups and teams must be allowed to grow and develop in stages and be given time to fully develop Diversity plan must be well thought out and communicated to be effectively implemented. Change focus from social cohesion to task cohesion
Reinforce a culture of diversity through continued management commitment Institute mentoring systems with bias for the diversity cause. Employing the right people to deliver best quality service based on equality of opportunity. Ensuring employees are able to contribute a diverse range of skills and experience. Ensuring Banc Royale harnesses and realises full potentials and performance of employees. Building and encouraging a culture of intolerance to discrimination. Eliminating barriers leading to discrimination and prejudice. Building a culture that fosters cooperation and respect amongst employees. Board of Directors is overall lead.
All directors and line managers are responsible for full implementation of the policy. Employees are responsible for adhering and complying with the policies. Trainings, sensitization seminars and workshops are conducted and organized by HRM for employees to learn about the policy. Emergence of virtual teams
Virtual teams came to the fore as evolving organizations saw the increasing need to go global and this was characterized by technological advancement. Organizations whose goals are to maintain a competitive advantage believe that creating effective virtual teams are necessary to achieve this goal. Global brands such as Coca cola, Microsoft, Citigroup, Ford, Toyota and even non-profit organizations have been able to lead the pack of their various industries as they have seen ahead that they require to be present across all parts of the world using people as their major resource.
Symons et al (2007) have this to say about virtual teams being teams where its members are geographically dispersed and unified by one project. Which invariably means that there are 2 teams: physical teams and virtual teams unified by one organizational goal. While the physical team adopt face to face communication, the virtual team communicate using technology such as telephones, emails, conference calls, or other computer-mediated communication. The foregoing pre-supposes that in building or creating virtual/global teams, there would be a large involvement of a diverse workforce scattered all over the globe which comes with its attendant challenges and even more benefits if systematically harnessed.
MIT Sloan School conducted a study in 2009 and concluded that virtual teams could outperform physical teams and provided a justification for their creation which amongst others include: Productivity day in day out due to time zone differences, Sharing of best practices, Reducing costs, Innovation and increased creativity as a result of highly diversed workforce. Bergiel et al (2008) said that such teams as virtual teams allow organizations to attract and retain top talents because workplace flexibility is seen as a crucial aspect of job satisfaction for many employees; for many companies, the use of virtual teams reduces costs and time of employee travel. However, inspite of all the benefits accruable from virtual teams, without proper structures and strategic planning, these benefits may not be harnessed.
Trust is a crucial component required in building a cohesive and effective team and it even becomes more complicated when this trust needs to be built where distance is a barrier. In building trust, it is important for team members to have face to face interactions, this allows them to develop rapport, build friendship and relationships and also have a better understanding of the team goals. Frequent communication electronically between members also has a way of fostering relationships. Team training from time to time on technology that has to do with team interaction would also go a long way to promoting the understanding of team goals and objectives Virtual teams are very much likely to fail when organizations do not make appropriate investment in technology and training of team members.
Team leaders must be taught how to provide leadership and direction with giving feedbacks effectively through unconventional methods while members should be trained and given guidelines on how to communicate with other team members to encourage team building. At the helm of all of these is the support and trust of company CEO and other management staff in promoting and deepening the activities of the virtual team without which it is bound to fail. The decision to create virtual teams is usually the idea of management and therefore they must be seen to support it by building the appropriate structures that would ensure goals are achieved.
Symons et al (2008) concluded and postulated some key points that should be followed by virtual managers which is hereby recommended to the Customer Service Departmental Head in alliance with the South American company that is in charge of it and they are as follows: Communication is a critical component of virtual teams enhanced by the support and the introduction of technology, therefore virtual teams succeed when value are placed on the people than the technology. It implies that the manager must create a definite purpose in cooperation with his team members and effectively communicate it to them.
Leadership style advised for virtual teams is democratic in order to get the best out people and promote creativity and innovation. This is the benefit obtainable from having a diverse workforce and it must be adequately harnessed by the leadership approach used. In this kind of work environment, each team member is able to voice his opinion irrespective of his background, language, status etc.
The virtual manager is able to create a very high level of trust when conscious efforts are made from the outset to address trust issues and conflicts that might arise as a result of diversity. He therefore should employ essentially face to face interactions in conflict resolutions and better still create an environment of friendship where conflicts are minimal. In addition to these key points, virtual teams are disadvantaged by problems or challenges characterized by difficulties in communication caused by the absence of face to face interactions, lack of employee engagement to get the best out of team members, major trust and integrity issues etc all caused by inability to go through physical interactions.
This is responsible for the slow pace of trust building in virtual teams however all of these disadvantages and more can be mitigated to have our dream ideal virtual team or better put, the ideal Customer Service Department by employing tested strategies. The Banc Royale virtual manager is hereby advised to adopt the following strategies in building a cohesive and effective team: Communication
All team members must be kept closely via communication. Effective communication is essential from top to bottom and bottom to top ensuring free flow of information. Communication must also be frequent and the manager’s responsiveness to communication or information is also key to effective communication. Communication does not start or end with passing information, listening and being very attentive is also critical. He must be able to create awareness from time to time so that the team can achieve expected outcomes and results.
His ability to make use of the technology resource provided also enhance communication and also train team members on how to optimize the benefits available in the resource. The team leader must seek to understand his members through and through including their cultures and background, this would help him in deepening his relationship and develop trust.
The virtual manager must be able to create a collaborative mindset in the entire team which harmonises the best of competition and fostering trust and respect amongst team members. Collaboration can only be achieved when divergent views are welcome are analysed to take decisions that would allow for goals to be achieved and eventually create a win-win situation. Defined team objectives
The virtual manager must be able to make his team members know the reason for their existence. This reason must be well clarified and communicated, team members must understand the role and contribution of their team to the entire bank, what is expected from each team member, results that are expected from the team etc. This clarity of purpose ensures that employees are properly engaged. Success celebration
Milestones and successes must be celebrated to motivate star performers and encourage other team members to do better. Finally, the Customer Service department head could also adopt an account/customer classification approach to structuring the new online customer service just outsourced. The Team lead is advised to divide his team across the types of clients that patronize the unit such as new customers, existing customers broken down into retail, commercial, borrowing and non-borrowing customers. It is also necessary to ensure multi-lingual Customer Service Consultants are hired to avoid complaints as a result of language barriers. Influence of Power and Politics
Power is the capacity or ability to influence another and it is drawn from various sources such as formal authority, control of scarce resources, control of decision processes, control of knowledge and information etc Politics is the tactical use of power or practical exercise of power to retain or obtain control of real or symbolic resources” according to Bacharach et al (1980 p. 1). Politics in the workplace or organization is usually driven by personal interests and therefore tantamount to the achievement of organizational goals and objectives. This determines productivity within the organization.
The influence of power and politics on Banc Royale Amsterdam as a result of the changes being made can be both positive and negative. Scholars such as Eisendhart et al (1988) believes that politics is linked with poor organizational performance creating inflexibilities, communication barrier, restricting information flow etc. while some scholars are of the opinion that politics is necessary for innovation, creativity and organizational change that are brought about by disagreements and conflicts.
This decision as taken by the management has some political undertones to it due to the fact that this unit is a very key unit in the organization, it can be noted that other units also exist within the organization that could also have been outsourced to cut down on expenses. This decision definitely would have caused collective distrust amongst employees not affected by this decision and could lead them to seek for employment in other organizations.
According to Shawn 2008, the decision to outsource creates uncertainty for existing employees and it could make them to look elsewhere for employment, in cases where they do not leave, they most times do not cooperate with the new service providers to provide them with adequate information that would make the task easier to handle thereby causing also decreased efficiency in service delivery and bring in operational risk.
It would also bring about a situation whereby other existing employees of the entire department would lose confidence in the Manager of the department for allowing such a decision to be taken. They would lose confidence in his ability to provide leadership and therefore bring about a decline the department’s productivity and his ability to be in control. If an individual is perceived by others to have influence then such person holds power and such is arrogated to him. When his employees believe in his ability to control the distribution of rewards valued by others such as promotion, money or even his ability to influence management to retain the “online customer service unit”, then they believe he has power and influence and would respect his leadership.
Power requires one person’s perception of dependence on another person and in this situation, existing employees of this department are beginning to think otherwise. In order to minimize power and politics which is not bad entirely except it is engendering an unethical culture within the organization, it is of necessity that HRM takes a very strong stand to tackle it and I would recommend that they look at HR processes that include Recruitment and Performance Management. In whatever HR process we want to look at, the sole aim is to ensure that negative power and politics is downplayed and HR plays a major role in ensuring that. It is important that structures are built that do align with the objectives of the organization based solely on Corporate Governance policies in order to have management buy in.
Section 3: Conclusion
‘Human capital represents one of the last and the best sources of competitive advantage’ (Kaufman, 2010: 292). The strategic objective of Banc Royale is to provide “helpful banking” to its numerous customers who are mostly retail customers, therefore cannot afford to get customer service wrong so that customers would not lose confidence in the brand.
Quick steps need be taken immediately to first address the language barrier issues that are existent between both customers-service providers-bank employees. It is recommended and advised that management should change the focus of this exercise from cost reduction alone to enhanced and improved productivity with greater emphasis on collaboration between the bank officials and the service providers to ensure seamless integration. We all know change is difficult, however, if we consider what we stand to gain as an organization we would be glad to embrace change.
Globalization, the need to maintain competitive advantage and churn out good bottom lines at minimal expenses, economic downturn are amongst other justifications for the creation of virtual teams and the need to outsource certain units of an organization. Banc Royale intends to be at the forefront of this, therefore all employees are enjoined to understand the workings and the concept of virtual teams in order to give support as required. Virtual managers have the responsibility to acquaint themselves with the roles required of them which include and are not limited to: Providing strategic direction in alignment with corporate goals Motivating and empowering team members to achieve team goals Identifying and providing required resources to achieve team goals Developing and communicating a clear vision to team members
Giving effective employee feedbacks etc.
Performance management as it affects human resources is to ensure organizational goals are met by training, motivating and rewarding employees by adopting best practices to achieve competitive advantage. As it applies to Banc Royale at this point in time, there is a need for management to have meetings and round table discussions with existing employees that the organization require to retain and get them to understand the reasons for the decision taken and make them see reason, in addition to this, appraisal could be done for the existing employees so that promotion exercise can be undertaken or probably an increase in compensation so as to win their hearts.
The human resource management department of any organization is charged with the responsibility of managing employees, employee welfare and employee performance in alignment to the organizational goals and objectives, it is however in the purview of HRM to direct and guide employees and management to behave in such a manner that would ensure both personal and organizational goals are aligned and delivered. This describes the link between organizational behavior and human resource approaches and concept all described in this report. Human resource management can be used as a tool by management for shaping organizational behavior.
The relationship between organizational behavior and human resource management stems from the fact that human resource management can be used as a tool for shaping organizational behavior. The practice of performance management also helps in the integration of other HR practices such as talent management, training and development, reward system management that have been discussed in this report to ensure they are all interrelated and be able to complement each other to achieving overall organizational health goals and objectives. Performance management systems aid the integration and enmeshment of HR policies with overall business organizational goals.
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INDICATORS TO MEASURE THE COSTS EFFECTIVENESS OF DIVERSITY POLICIES IN ENTREPRISES- FINAL REPORT
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