This report written on the 16th of October 2002 is to give a detailed report about the Human Resource department of a company. For this purpose, Thorpe Park has been selected as the study company.
Task 1-Human Resource function:
‘Human Resource means using people as an asset to achieve the company’s goals and objectives.’
The main concerns of the human resource department are:
> Planning a successful campaign
> Equal opportunities to all
> The contract terms and conditions
> Training and investing in training
> Personal records and its protection
> Grievance and disciplinary procedures
> Management of the employees
> Rewards for work
> Welfare of the employees
1.1 The Human Resource department
The human resources department at Thorpe Park has three different managers. Their structure and main functions are as follows:
1. Recruitment manager
The recruitment manager at Thorpe Park is responsible for recruiting permanent and seasonal staff. The manager has to advertise the jobs on the local press and other appropriate places.
The manager at Thorpe Park is also responsible for deciding work experience positions and other recruiting responsibilities.
2. Training manager
The training manager at Thorpe Park is responsible for employees and their training. The major activities of the training manager at Thorpe Park are as follows:
> Park structure – this is helpful for the staff as it gets them to know each other and their responsibilities.
> Health and safety – to make sure that all employees know what to do and how to handle things in an emergency
> Rules and regulations – all employees must know the company rules and regulations as it is required by law and helps the business achieve the objectives.
> Role-play situation – helps employees to be able to do team work and support their team mates
> Fire safety – show fire exits and fire extinguishers and where to meet and who to call if a fire alarm sounds
> Emergency procedures – shows the employees what to do in case of emergency
3. Human resource manager
H.R. manager at Thorpe Park is responsible for:
> Employee relations – involves everything regarding relation and communication between the employees
> Disciplinary procedures – if employees do not behave H.R. manager will provide them with a verbal warning and if repeated that will be followed by the written and then the final warning.
> Contracts of employment – making sure all the employees are provided with this legal document
> Pensions – paying pension to people that are entitle to it
> Other sections this manager is responsible for are: administration, cast welfare, benefits incentives.
The above stated managers are very essential to the management of Thorpe Park in the following ways:
Recruitment responsibility at Thorpe Park is important because if there is not enough staff recruited then the business may have to some of its rides and that will lint to unhappy customers and less profit for the business.
As we know staffs is the most expensive asset for all businesses, at Thorpe Park the recruitment managers have to make sure that the staff that they employ are well qualified and fit to the requirements that are necessary for the particular job.
Because of the nature of the business at Thorpe Park, training is a part and parcel of the new employed staff. The business has to make sure that the employees do know as to what they are doing and what are the necessary precautions to be taken while performing that job. Apart from this, they also have to take care of the health and safety of the people who come to enjoy there. The training manager therefore has to make sure that the money spent on the training of the staff is worth it.
3. Human resources
Human resources planning used to be called manpower planning. However recently it has been defined as ‘the activity of management which is aimed at co-ordinating the requirements for the availability of different types of employees’.
The reasons for human resource planning are as follows:
* To encourage employers to develop clear links between their business plans and their HR plans so that they can integrate the two more effectively, for all concerned.
* Organisations can control staff costs and numbers employed far more effectively.
* Employers can build up a skill profile for each of their employees. This makes it easier to give them work where they are most value to the organisation.
* It creates a profile of staff, which is necessary for the operation of an equal opportunities policy.
The process of human resource planning:
* Stocktaking: This could be job analysis or skills audit. That is like a survey of the skills of employees. Performance reviews as if a 6 months review which tells employees about the progress in their work area.
* Forecasting supply: This is as if estimating how many employees to have in the future. Many organizations use a technique called labour turnover. There are three ways to calculate this
1. Annual labour turnover index,
2. Stability index
3. Bowey’s stability index.
* Forecasting the demand for labour: This is usually determined by predicating factors like, demand for products, product diversification and capital investment plans.
* Implementation and review: This is as if accessing the situation e.g. they have the new recruitment plan been successful.
2.1.1. Employment Trends:
Employment trends depend on the supply and demand of labour. The supply of labour depends on statistics like the population of the country. The total population of the UK depends on factors such as birth and death rates and the ease of migration. In addition, the size of the working population affects employment trends. The size of the working population is contributed by the birth and death rates and the age structure. The supply of labour also depends on the working populations preferences for leisure. As people become wealthy, they prefer leisure for work.
The demand for labour levels can change with differences in demand for goods and services. An example of this is the leisure and cleaning industry has gone up but the service and manufacturing demand has gone down. Here is an example of this in the economic market. In a boom we spend more on goods and services, although our interest is a lot lower and therefore demand increases and unemployment is low, but in an economic slump interest rates rise therefore people have less income to spend and wages go down. In addition, the cost of borrowing is higher this all contributes to demand falling and high unemployment. Total wage bills rise in a boom and fall in a slump.
Another factor that affects employment trends is women’s participation rate in employment. The rise of the tertiary sector has meant a change in employment and employment patterns. The tertiary sector is now more important than the secondary sector which traditionally employed man in say manufacturing. These industries are now being replaced and their place has been taken by the service industries, for example banking, insurance and retailing. The service industries are now major employers of women.
What are the employment trends at Thorpe Park?
Most employees are recruited from the local area but also from colleges and universities around the country these are student placements and some seasonal; cast come from aboard.
What have been the trends in the local area of Thorpe Park over the last 5 years in terms of employment trends?
There has been low unemployment Thorpe Park has tackled this by increasing hourly rates.
What factors will affect Thorpe Park in the future?
Most probably, national trends an example of this there might be a recession and unemployment might increase.
Statistics on employment trends external To Thorpe Park
Length of service of employees:
* Since 1986 the length of service of people at a particular place for 2 years – 20 years was 62%. This figure kept decreasing and in the year 2001 it reached to 56%.
* On the other hand people working in a particular place for more than 20 years in 1986 was 9%. Surprisingly this figure increased to 11% in the year 2001.
On observing the above stated figure it shows that the latest unemployment numbers for November 2002 to January 2003 continue to suggest that, having been rising for around a year, unemployment is now falling. The unemployment rate at 5.0 per cent is down 0.2 percentage points on the quarter. The latest figure for the level of unemployment is down 73,000 on the quarter to stand at 1.459 million
Similarly, on observing the above figure it can be seen that the employment rate continues on an upward trend. Having been rising marginally over the past year, there are low signs that unemployment may be falling, though the decline in the numbers claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance appears to be levelling off. The rate of earnings growth remains subdued. Generally, data are consistent with the output growth shown in gross domestic product (GDP) data in 2002. Overall, the labour market remains largely flat.
The rate of GDP growth picked up in the second quarter of 2002 after a weak first quarter, and this stronger growth appears to have continued into the third. The fourth quarter experienced slower growth but was still healthy. The number of people in employment continued to grow steadily throughout the period. Nevertheless, while employment continued to grow, through most of last year the rate of increase was no more than in line with population growth, leaving the trend in employment largely flat from May-July 2001 until recent months. However, the stronger GDP growth seen in the second and third quarters does now appear to be showing up in the employment data. Underlying this is the fact that the labour market tends to lag output: output slows or accelerates first; employment levels adjust later. The latest employment figures for November to January show the working-age employment rate up 0.1-percentage point on the quarter at 74.6 per cent. The 16 and over employment level is up 57,000 on the quarter (compared with a 271,000 increase on the year). As a result, the latest trend in the employment rate appears to be upward.
2.1.2 Skills shortages
Skills shortage at Thorpe Park:
* It seems to be that the entire United Kingdom has a shortage of specialist engineers.
* This type of shortage has hit Thorpe Park very hard.
* Electrical and mechanical engineers are in short supply and Thorpe Park is looking out by various means to find some.
* Thorpe Park reckons that this problem could be resolved because large companies like the airlines make their employees redundant quickly.
* Thorpe Park always keeps an eye on the national statistics at a monthly basis to see the latest local labour trends.
* They cannot afford to miss out ant potential engineers because engineers are the heart and soul of the company. As they are the ones who form the rides and maintain them for our safety.
* But they do find it difficult to recruit staff and at times they have to recruit unsuitable staff and train them.
* The company gets highly affected by this, as it has to face many cost implications such as advertising and re-advertising of vacancies.
* They then have to train them or send them on apprenticeships to become better and much efficient engineers.
* At times they even have to increase their pays to attract them and retain them.
2.1.3 Statistics on Competition for employees external To Thorpe Park
Unemployment rates for males and females in the UK
Here are some statistics on the unemployment rate for females and males in the UK from the period of 1992 to 2001
A higher proportion of young people than older people are unemployed, and a higher proportion of men are employed than women. 16-17 year olds men who were economically active were 13% unemployed. If you look at a male and female unemployment graph, you can see that 16 – 17 year old males are more out of work than the males. Education has a big factor in this because most people of that age are in colleges. The unemployment rate is again lower for females in the 18-24-age bracket. Still the unemployment rate is lower for females than men in the 25-44-age bracket. Overall the graph shows a lower unemployment rate for females. This is probably due to most females still stay at home.
So what would be the level of competition for various types of employment within Thorpe Park? Thorpe Park fined it easiest to fill rides, attractions and shop vacancies then they do catering.
2.1.4 availability of labour (internal and external to the business)
What is the availability of labour externally to Thorpe Park?
There are restrictions of skills and abilities. If there is a particular skill required for an occupation then the worker will be rewarded with high wages as, for example an engineer. Qualifications and training is required some occupations require people to have specific academic qualifications which can only be achieved over along period of time. The strength of trade unions to negotiate wage levels will depend upon their ability to recruit members. Some occupations are difficult to organize as, for instance, the catering industry. In this industry trade unions have little influence compared with those unions operating in the energy supply industry. Mobility of labour if the labour is immobile it means that in those occupations where there is a skill shortage workers are able to command high wages because the supply of labour is limited.
Dirty or dangerous jobs – the supply of labour in some jobs is restricted because of the nature of the job; it might be dirty or dangerous such as coal mining. On the other hand some jobs have very good working conditions and attract labour which keep down wages.
What is the availability of labour within the local area and also internally within Thorpe Park for various types of employment?
The local area has a 0.6% unemployment level. The workforce is flexible – permanent and seasonal.
The labour force by gender and age:
* There was a considerable rise in the number of women in the labour force over the last 30 years from 10 million in 1971 to 13.2 million in 2001 i.e. by nearly 24.2%.
* Women in the age group of 16years to 24 years started concentrating more on education because of which females in this age group had a low labour force particularly between 1991 and 2001.
* On the other hand, females in the age group of 25-44 years had a remarkable increased labour force between 1971 and 2001. However, later the figures remained more or less constant.
* Females in the age group of 45-54 years had an increase in labour force between 1991 and 2001.
* The females 55 years and over had the figures more or less constant throughout.
* The number of men in the labour force has increased much slowly from 16.0 million in 1971 to 16.3 million in 2001.
* Men aged over 55 years formed only 13% of the male labour force in 2001 compared to 21% in 1971.
* However, the labour force of males between the age group of 25-44 years has increased drastically.
* Males in the age group of 45-54 years have increased their force in the labour market between 1991 and 2001.
2.2 Collect internal staffing information about Thorpe Park
2.2.1 Labour turnover
The labour turnover is not available the end of November 2001 because the termination of seasonal contracts will be complete at this time.
2.2.2 Labour Turnover (wastage Rate)
Dismissals 26/1000 correct at 31.08.01.
2.2.3 Sickness Rates
For 2000 2394 seasonal sickness absence
Months over 100 April, May, September, October
Months over 150 June, July, August
Days over 100 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Days over 150 Sunday, Saturday
2.2.4 Accidents Rates
Unfortunately Thorpe Park would not give us any statistics on accidents rates.
2.2.5 Age demographics
The general age rates for various jobs are 89% are 16-24 years of age.
2.2.6 Skills acquired and skills needed
The skills and training that are required are:
Training: Induction training for all staff and departmental training.
Skills: First Aiders only need specific skills.
2.2.7 Training undertaken and training required
What is the rate of progression within Thorpe Park?
From seasonal cast 14 have been made permanent.
What does Thorpe Park hope to accomplish in the future?.
They want to increase their sales through good guest care; this will need high-level training of staff to achieve this. Thorpe Park wants to change their profile of Park from thrill to family bias and they want a high level of guest satisfaction.
If you look at the length of service of the employees in the UK in 1986,91,96 and 2001 and you look at the dismissals, which Thorpe Park have, you will see that 26/1000 dismals in a year is 2.6% which is lower than the statistics of the length of service of people in employment. For the year 2001 the UK length of service in a year is 13%, which is a lot higher than Thorpe Parks 2.6% of people who leave after one year. The number of people in employment in Thorpe Park is 1000 ad for the year 2000 there were 2394 absences. In the UK the number of employment at about the end was little under 27500. So as you can see there is a very high number of absences at Thorpe Park. They need to improve on these figures I accept most of these absences are from people who are not really ill. It is probably young people from the age group 16 – 24 who have been out the night before and don’t want to come in. In this case Thorpe Park need to be harder on their disciplinary rules to cut absences figures.
Thorpe Park does not have enough engineers. This is national problem; They could deal with this situation by having more apprenticeships in engineering.
The local area around Thorpe Park, which is Staines, has a 0.6% unemployment level. This is good because nationally the unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds is very high. The 16 – 24 age group is the main age group for seasonal staff so nationally the unemployment rate for females aged 16-17 is 16.8% in 2000 and 18-24 is 8.2%. The male’s 16-17 year olds is 20% and the 18-24 year group is 11.8%. So you can see that the area of Staines has very low unemployment compared to the rest of the UK. By having low unemployment it is harder to recruit more staff. The staff they do recruit might not be the sort person they want but because of the low competition of applicants, they might have to train a person up to the necessary standard.
89% of Thorpe Parks employees are 16 – 24 year olds. Due to the rising interest of this age group going to school, college and university I think this has contributed to a decline in the number of people in employment at that age. Thorpe Park do seem to have a good number of employees at this age though . In 2000 nationally in the UK male 16 – 24 year olds there was only 2.7 million of them in employment with a decrease and the same with females with only 2.3 million in employment. So Thorpe Park is doing well to have 89% of 16 – 24 year olds working for them.
I recommend that Thorpe Park:
* Have harder disciplinary rules to stop so much sickness through absences, the rule should be people who are sick can stay at home, but the people who are sick through hangovers must be told to come in or face harsh circumstances.
* There should be more apprenticeships for electrical engineers this will help train people and eventually there will be more qualified electrical engineers working at the Park.
* They need to increase their customer service training so customers can feel a good degree of guest care.
* Finally if Thorpe Park want their Theme Park more family based, then I suggest a new ride for the family
Engineers electrical and mechanical engineers are in very short supply. Nationally this is the case. What needs to happen is more apprenticeships and training so we can breed more engineers. Also because of the external influence of terrorism on the airlines a lot of engineers are being made redundant or will be made redundant. This won’t help airlines but other companies will then be able to recruit more engineers. Competition for employees is very tight. The labour market remained robust in 2001 with ongoing employment growth. Traditionally the UK has always had high employment. Low unemployment is meaning that employees are increasing wages by over 4%. Currently unemployment is very low about 4.5% nationally that is about 4 people out of 100 is unemployed and the local unemployment is 0.4% which is 4 people out of 1000. Employment is at an all time of 73% and this is an all time high for women. So this makes it more difficult to recruit staff and employers will find it more expensive because of the amount of advertising and training.
The Availability of labour can often cause problems; there are usually restrictions of skills and abilities. There might be a particular skill required for an occupation like an engineer. Qualifications and training is required for some jobs and some time gaining the qualification can take a long time to do. Trade unions need a high level of labour to negotiate wages with its members. Mobility of labour if the labour force is immobile then the labour force that is there can try and demand higher wages because the supply of labour is limited. Dirty or dangerous jobs can sometimes alter the supply of labour because of then nature of the job. On the other hand some jobs have very good working conditions and attract labour which keep down wages.
Thorpe Park has apprenticeships and external courses to train engineers. By doing this they will increase the number of engineers, which at the moment is in short, supply. Due to the low unemployment in the UK Thorpe Park have started to recruit people from abroad to increases their amount of staff, which they will need to do due the Park expanding in size. Thorpe Park is situated in Staines, which is the South East of England, which has the lowest unemployment in the UK. So Thorpe Park are finding tit hard to recruit in the local area that’s why they are expanding recruit aboard. Also I think that Thorpe Park are maybe hoping to bring a different culture to Thorpe Park like Disney World have in America there have kept there Theme Park American but adding some different cultures to the mix.
Thorpe Park has offered training schemes through NVQ’S and apprenticeships and other external training courses. Due to the immobile labour of engineers, engineers at Thorpe Park can demand higher wages due to they are in demand and they are very important to the business. Also fixing Theme Park rides does have the possibility of being quite dangerous like possible the loss of a finger etc. On the other hand labour might be attracted to Thorpe Park due to the their good working conditions. They must have good working conditions due to their nature of the business and because the health and safety act states it should, so it is a legal requirement any way.
Over the past 50 years the UK has seen migration rocket. Thorpe Park is also trying to develop this by encouraging people to migrate and work at Thorpe Park. As people become wealthier they want more leisure time this relates to when youngsters go out the night before and then don’t come to work in the morning because perhaps they are too tired or probably got a hangover one of the two. Labour market trends show that most 16 -21 year olds that studied at school, college or university often get a weekend job or an evening job and student placements from say universities. This is who a lot of the seasonal Thorpe Park staff are usually. Due to the low unemployment Thorpe Park has increased its hourly wage.
If you analysis national figures on the length of service of employees in the UK you will see that in 2001 people who have been in work for over a year 13% of them leave, compare this Thorpe Parks 2.6% dismals record and you will see that employees at Thorpe Park do tend to stay on for much longer. If you look at the number of people in the employment graph you will see that there is 27500 and Thorpe Park only have 1000 so I suggest that due to Thorpe Parks ambitions to expand the Park in size they will need to expand their employment figures in size. If you look at the unemployment rates nationally you will see that for females aged 16-17 is 16.8% in 2000 and 18-24 is 8.2%. The male’s 16-17 year olds is 20% and the 18-24 year group is 11.8%. All those percentages are lot a higher than the Staines local area unemployment rate which is 0.6%. This proves that there are less people to employ in Staines than the national average. In 2000 nationally in the UK male 16 – 24 year olds there was only 2.7 million of them in employment with a decrease and the same with females with only 2.3 million in employment. So Thorpe Park is doing well to have 89% of 16 – 24 year olds working at Thorpe Park.
Task 2- Conclusion
I think Thorpe Park do have a successfully human resource plan in relation to the format given in my textbook. Why because the staffs is properly qualified to do the job allotted to them. Also Thorpe Park does use the process of human resources very effectively. Then do this by carry our the 4 main stages which are:
Stock taking an example of this is job analysis
Forecasting the supply of labour an example of this is annual labour turnover index
Forecasting demand for employees
Implementation and review
Task 3: Recruitment and selection.
One of the most important jobs for the human resources manager is recruiting and selecting new employees. Without the right employees, the organisation will be unable to operate efficiently, serve its customers properly, or make any profits. With the proper recruitment and selection techniques, organisations can make as sure as possible that they can achieve these objectives.
In the recruitment and selection procedure generally the following procedures:
> Giving a job description
> Preparing an advertisement for the job
> Application forms
> Short listing candidates
> Person specification
> Psychometric/diagnostic tests
> Interviews and cross checking the candidates
> Offer and rejection of the candidates
> Contract of employment
> Staff handbook
> Person specification:
A person specification sets out the qualities of an ideal candidate whereas a job description defines the duties and responsibilities of the job. The best-known method of drawing up person specifications is the ‘SEVEN POINT PLAN’ originally devised by Alec Rodger. Following is an example of the seven-point plan:
Physical (this includes grooming looks, voice tone etc)
Attainments (this includes the educational qualifications and experience)
General intelligence (the results from the IQ tests)
Special aptitude (the special skills of the person)
Interests (their hobbies and their social life)
Disposition (the stability of the person)
Circumstances (the personal life of the person)
Rodger’s seven-point plan usually requires managers to distinguish between essential and desirable qualities under each of the seven headings.
> Job description:
Before an organisation goes in the recruitment process, it needs to examine the job description for the post. A job description lists the main tasks required in a job.
In drawing up a job, description the personnel department has a number of alternatives. These are:
1. The line manager can draw up a description of what the job entails.
2. The existing jobholder can do it.
3. The human resource manager can interview the jobholder and the line manager to find out what the job involves.
The aim of the exercise is to itemise all the tasks involved in a job and to try to allocate a proportion of the working week to each task. This is important for several reasons:
1. In carrying out appraisals of the employees.
2. When analysing the job for training needs the manager must be able to see what tasks a job involves so that they can determine what training may be required.
3. For pay determination.
4. In planning the size of the work force for the future, it will be necessary to know exactly what tasks each job involves in case the re-allocation of tasks between jobs is requires.
Clearly, none of this is possible without good quality and detailed job descriptions.
The main features of a job description are:
a) The job title
b) The location of the job
c) A brief outline of what the organisation does
d) The main purpose of the job
e) A detailed list of the main tasks required in the job
f) The standards that the job holder will be required to achieve
g) Pay and other benefits
h) Promotion prospects
i) The person to whom the job holder reports
j) The person who reports the job holder
> Application form:
This is a far more commonly used mode of selection. Consultants devote hours to designing new and better forms that will extract even more accurate information from people. A typical form will require details on addresses, next of kin, education, training, qualifications, work experience, non-work interests (hobbies and social life) and the name of referees from whom the organisation can collect personal recommendations.
The personal staff will have identified specific requirements from the job and person specification. They can compare these with the information on the forms. They only need to shortlist the applicants who have met those requirements.
The forms can act as a framework for the interviewer to use should the applicant be short-listed. The organisation can keep all the forms for the short listed candidates for the vacancy and draw on them again if another vacancy arises.
The form from the successful applicant will become a very useful part of their initial personal records.
> Prepared advertisement:
Unless an organisation pays a recruitment consultancy or an executive search consultant to find potential recruits, it will have to design its own advertisements to attract people. Specialist consultancies have sophisticated advertising departments that place large and expensive adverts in quality press. Most businesses, however, will not have such facilities and they will have to draw up their own advertisements.
Before writing the advertisement, the employer must determine exactly what is wanted from the job being advertised. When drafting the advertisement the key points to consider are:
i. Describe the job that is being advertised
ii. Describe the type of person that is required for the job but have to be careful because it is illegal to state the sex, ethnic origin of the person required.
iii. The pay and the terms and conditions
iv. Place of work
v. Procedure as to how the candidate can apply for the job
vi. Be honest about the job being advertised, it is no use to give an over attractive picture.
vii. Find the right place to advertise the job.
> Psychometric/diagnostic tests:
Now days it is common for employers to expect job applicants to carry out tests to give a fuller picture of their ability to do the job applied for. These are usually referred to as aptitude tests. They are appropriate for manual work where there is some skill involved and in office work where applicants be required to take a short typing or word processing test. For professional posts, these tests are less usual because it is felt that the candidate’s qualifications, references and experience are sufficient evidence. Psychometric tests assess the intelligence and personality of applicants. They are much more sophisticated than aptitude tests and the employer must have properly trained staff to analyse the test results properly. Such tests are particularly valuable when assessing intelligence, interest in the job applied for, motivation and personality. The producers of such tests argue that they are completely unbiased and extremely accurate. They are supposed to be particularly good at assessment of personality.
> Interview format/techniques:
This is the final stage of the recruitment and selection and is increasingly common these days. Interviews are arranged for almost every kind of job. The process of shifting through forms or letters and examination of references is now over and that only a few of the applicants for the job will be interviewed. This is because interviews take up the time of senior managers who have to carry them out and this will be costly for them.
Interviewing is sometimes done in a poorly thought out and badly structured manner that gives the organisation a bad image. To avoid this situation only requires the observation of a few simple rules:
1. Plan the interview properly.
2. Decide if there is a need for any tests for the applicant.
3. As a rule, the ‘talking split’ in the job interview should be around 20% for the interviewer and 80% for the interviewee.
4. The interview should always begin with friendly questions to put the candidate at ease.
5. Finally, there should be a question asking the candidates if they have any questions.
> Offer and rejection letters:
These are the crucial moments in the life of a job applicant. His fate for the particular is decided in these letters. It is very easy for the interviewer to say yes but in order to send a rejection letter they have to be polite and gentle as it should not let down the applicants desire for another job. Usually it is common to wish good luck to a candidate for his future jobs in a rejection letter.
> Contract of employment:
Terms and conditions of employment which apply generally or to groups of employees need to be defined in the contract of employment as described below:
1. Individual contracts of employment must satisfy the provisions of contracts of employment legislation. They include a statement of capacity in which the person is employed and the name or job title of the individual to whom he or she is responsible. They also include details of pay, allowances, hours, holidays, leave and pension arrangements and refer to relevant company policies, procedures and rules. Increasing use is being made of fixed-term contracts.
2. The basic information that should be included in a written contract of employment varies according to the level of job, but the following checklist sets out the typical headings:
* Job title
* Duties to be performed
* The date when the employment starts
* Hours of break including lunch break and overtime and shift arrangements
* Holiday arrangements
* Sickness leave
* Length of notice due to and from employee
* Grievance procedure
* Disciplinary procedures
* Work rules
* Arrangements for terminating contract
As mentioned before Thorpe Park has seasonal staffs and permanent staffs. Therefore, for different staffs different procedures and documents are crucial. Lets have a look at these in detail:
1. Seasonal staffs:
Thorpe Park has a seasonal staff of over 1000. Such a large number of seasonal staff is very difficult to select and handle. Therefore, in order to make the right decision in selecting the desired seasonal staff they would need to have a proper and well-prepared advertisement. After the advertisement, they would need to have an application form that is very essential because it helps to have a general/detailed outlook of the applicant. As Thorpe park has a large number of seasonal staff they need to have an interview checklist so that they can grade/rate the candidates on the basis of the same questions asked to everyone and that there is no kind of discrimination made during the interview. After all this a contract of employment is very essential for everyone who is employed as it proves that the person is legally employed and that he/she is aware of their duties etc.
2. Permanent staffs:
As stated before Thorpe Park has permanent staff of nearly 350 members strong. Permanent staffs do have more authorities and responsibilities than the seasonal staffs. Therefore, the recruitment manager has to be even more careful in advertising and hiring these staffs. Therefore in the initial part a job description; person specification, prepared advertisement and an application form are very crucial and essential because they help in attracting the required candidate. After this, the interview and the psychometric/ diagnostic tests are essential because they help the recruitment manager to know the candidates more carefully. Finally the staff handbook and the contract of employment are helpful to the selected candidate in knowing something more about his job, benefits etc.
For seasonal staffs:
> The advertisement for seasonal staffs is very good and impressive. It can really work towards attracting applicants. However, apart from stating the pay rate if they could also state the words “plus extra benefits” that could make the advertisement even more exciting.
> The application form could also be improved. For instance, on page 2 the applicant is asked about the previous employment history. In this section is a question on the position of the applicant’s job but there is no question about the duties performed by the applicant in the previous job.
> The questions asked in the interview checklist are good and can really make the candidate think before they can answer. However, as the number of applicants is going to be very large there would not be sufficient time to ask all the questions to all candidates. Therefore, it is recommended that there should be less questions but straight to the point.
> The contract of employment does not state as to how the payments are going to be made – by cash, by cheque or it is going to be deposited into the respective account.
For permanent staffs:
> The advertisement for the permanent staff is very good and impressive as well. It can really work towards attracting applicants. Again, apart from stating the pay rate if they could also state the words “plus extra benefits” that could make the advertisement even more exciting.
> On the application, form where it is asked to state the employment history there is very little or rather no place to state the responsibilities that the applicant had carried. This could be very crucial information for the company is selecting the desired candidate.
3.4 Analysis of the documents:
> Job role: The job role prepared by the company is fantastic and much organised. They have the desired pre planned in their minds and are just waiting for its arrival. The desired qualification of the person is deeply planned and thought through.
> Advertisement: The advertisement is good but not up to the mark. After having a look at the job role a person would expect an even impressive advertisement. Though the desired details are placed in the advert there are still a few things missing that make it more attractive as if the payroll could also include extra benefits and more facilities etc.
> Application form: Again it is well organised and planned but the place for the crucial information is not provided for e.g. the employment history does not have any place for responsibilities held etc.
Task 4 – Training and Development:
A general definition of training is: ‘the acquisition of a body of knowledge and skills which can be applied to a particular job’. Traditionally, young people left school and found a job that provided them with sufficient initial training to enable them to continue to do the same job indefinitely. Today there are very few ‘traditional’ apprenticeships and people can no longer assume that any job will be a job for life. Even people who do keep the same job for a long time are required to update their skills regularly, or face redundancy because their old skills are rapidly made useless by the advance of new technology.
The significance of this is that training is much more central to peoples lives as an ongoing process rather than just something they do at the start of their careers.
> Induction training: Induction is the process of introducing new employees to the organisation and its way of life and culture. A successful job applicant should be provided with induction training of some kind. As might be expected the larger, well-resourced organisations do this more thoroughly than poorly resourced, smaller organisations.
Most of the induction programme will include:
* A tour of the buildings to show the newcomer all the important areas – the sick room, the canteen, the pay office, toilets etc
* An introduction to their new workplace – the specific office or factory areas or shop department – where they will be working
* Some background details about the organisation – the easiest and best way to do this is to show them a video.
> Mentoring: This a type of training where an experienced senior manager is allocated to a young employee in order to help them to structure their career development within the organisation. The mentor passes on the benefits of their experience, insight and wisdom. They will advice the young employee how to deal with a wide variety of managerial problems but they are not there to help them to improve specific skills.
> Coaching: This is rather similar to mentoring but the key difference is that coaching involves helping the young employee to acquire high quality skills in a number of specific management areas. Such skills include communication with staff, budgeting, how to appraise staff and how to carry out disciplinary procedures.
> Apprenticeships: The main principles of apprenticeships are:
1. Qualifications are workplace based, reflecting real workplace needs.
2. Workplace requirements are now a far bigger influence on what is taught in further education colleges.
3. The single European market means that these new qualifications will eventually become part of a common system of the Euro-qualifications.
Apprenticeships usually include NVQ’s, GNVQ’s, Vocational A levels etc. Usually the company pays for such type of education for its budding employees.
> In-house training: This is where the employers run courses inside their own organisation. Courses might be held in an ordinary office room or in a smart training centre owned by the organisation itself.
The main benefits of using in-house courses are:
1. They are cheap – there is usually no need to employ outside trainers and lecturers.
2. Course content is tailor made for your organisation.
3. References and examples to highlight points can be related to your own organisation.
4. Everybody knows one another, so there is no time wasted in having to get to know other people.
> External training: Sometimes it is necessary to send staff to do courses elsewhere. This may be with another employer, at a specialist-training centre, or at a factory of an equipment supplier.
The benefits of using external courses are:
1. They bring together specialist trainers/tutors who would never be available to an ‘in-house’ course chiefly because of the high cost.
2. Course members get together from several organisations, and this enables them to learn more about each other and how their respective organisations operate.
3. Trainers place great value on the benefits of being away from the workplace – the course members are in a comfortable and peaceful environment away from any distractions.
At Thorpe Park, there is a separate training sub-department within the Human Resource department. In fact, they also have a special training manager for this purpose.
To begin with, let us have a look at the induction programme which is also known as ‘ice-breaker’.
> Thorpe Park has two days of induction programme. The day one covers the introduction to the Tussads group, the park structure – the who’s who and where’s where, the parks health and safety issues, the uniforms and appearance of the staff, explanations of the rules and regulations, the role play situations, fire safety, emergency procedures and other general information about the park.
> The day two covers the department specific training. This means that the staffs is taken to their respective departments and are given the general overall outlook of their duties and the department.
After the induction, there is the personal development programme. This is not actually a training programme but is a process where the applicants are given an opportunity towards their plans in education and with the company. In this programme, the members of staff complete a PDP form, which will enable them to access their areas for improvement/development and look at ways to move forward.
Other methods of training in Thorpe Park like the mentoring help the members of staff towards personal development.
Besides these, Thorpe Park also offers apprenticeships like the NVQ’s for the members of staff. Across the park, they have people studying for NVQ’s in business administration, landscaping and engineering.
Most of the trainings are provided to the permanent staff only. The external courses are used for legislation and development training only.
Thorpe Park is known as investors in people. They have got this recognition not by spending money on the entertainment of people but by spending money on improving the quality of their staff by training them, sending them for apprenticeships and by helping them in their personal development. Training is important for the company to improve the competence of the cast and ensure the delivery of a high quality service.
> Training is a very important part for a new candidate. Besides providing training to the permanent staff, if the company provides training to the seasonal staff as well then this may help to make the seasonal staff into permanent staff. Hence, the company will be able to save its money on advertising for the permanent staff.
> If training sessions are provided to the seasonal staff, this may motivate them and the effect will show on the profit charts.
Task 6 – Performance Management
Frederick W. Taylor:
Frederick W. Taylor wanted to find out how people could work best, who was suited to what and to show them how to work more productively with less effort and danger. After all, he was working in a steel plant.
Taylor set out four principles of scientific management. They were as follows:
> Development of science to replace thumb methods
> Scientific selection and progressive development of workmen
> Bringing together of science and scientifically selected workmen through the inspiration of an individual
> The dividing off of management away from the workers
There are many managers today who would find nothing exceptional about Taylor’s words that also include a reference to leadership, something he sees as beyond scientific management. His results were incredible.
Until Abraham Maslow’s work, researches looked for what motivated people. Maslow’s answer is that it depends upon the situation of the individual. He therefore prepared a table of hierarchy.
This hierarchy theory can be of help also in understanding cultural issues in motivation. Multi-nationals need to learn that what motivates someone in Bangkok may well be different from what motivates people in San Francisco.
According to McGregor, there are two alternative views of the nature of man:
Theory X – Used to illustrate what he considered being the “traditional view of direction and control”
1. The average human being has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if he can
2. Because of the human characteristic of dislike of work, most people are coerced, controlled, directed, threatened with punishment to get them to put forth adequate effort towards the achievement of organisational objectives.
3. The average human being prefers to be directed, wishes to avoid responsibility, has relatively little ambition, and wants security above all.
He also felt that these assumptions were used in most industrial organisations, but that they were in adequate for the full utilisation of each worker’s potential.
McGregor’s other view of the nature of man i.e. Theory Y contains assumptions, which he believes could lead to greater motivation and increased fulfilment of both individual needs and organisational goals.
1. The expenditure of physical and mental effort in work is as natural as play or rest.
2. External control and the threat of punishment are not the only means for bringing about effort toward organisational objectives.
3. Commitment to objectives is a function of the rewards associated with their achievement.
4. The average human being learns under proper conditions, not only to accept but also to seek responsibility.
5. The capacity to exercise a relatively high degree of imagination, ingenuity and creativity in the solution of organisational problems is widely, not narrowly distributed in the population.
6. Under the conditions of modern industrial lie, the intellectual potentialities of the average human being are only partially utilised.
Frederick Herzberg distinguishes between hygiene factors – those that will not increase motivation as such but will certainly decrease it if standards are not right and motivating factors.
Hygiene factors include working conditions, salary, job security and company policies. Get these wrong and motivation will decline but add to them over a certain standard and there will be no more effect on motivation.
Herzberg says that motivation derives from people having a sense of achievement, recognition, responsibility and opportunities for personal growth. He criticises management for ignoring the motivational factors and trying to motivate through things like money and benefits – expensive and not successful. He is also famous for his acronym “KITA”, which has been potentially translated as a kick in the pants. He says that KITA does not produce motivation but only movement.
6.1.1 Performance reviews including appraisals:
Thorpe Park carries out regular appraisals with its company staff. The company to usually carries this out so that the management can evaluate as to how effective the staff are in fulfilling the objectives of the company.
6.1.2 Self evaluation:
Besides the appraisal system the staff, members also have the opportunity to see and say as to how they think they are progressing and what places they need improvement. They can also recommend the areas where they would need some training or extra guidance.
6.1.3 Peer evaluation:
Peer evaluation is not a formal method of performance evaluation but it can really help in the improvement of the staff if their work mates tell them what is required and when.
The management at Thorpe Park believe that it is very essential to motivate its staff so that they have a high morale and that they completely enjoy the work that they do for the company. They recommend the staff the areas where they think they could improve and send them for training. They do so only for the deserving staff members so that they can make them feel that they are important for the company. This is a very effective way of motivating the staff.
Besides these, they have other methods of motivating staff like bonus schemes and other incentive schemes. Throughout the year, the company runs competitions like “magic moments” and “magic minds” that help the staff for not only performing good in their work but also motivate them to use their brains to help the company improve and progress ahead. There are grand prises for people who give good ideas to the company to improve their outlook.
Besides the financial incentives, the company also has many non financial methods of motivating the staff for e.g. giving the staff member a public acknowledgement, sending them for further education, praising them for the job well done etc. all these do play an important role in motivating the staff. The human resource department does all this because they believe that the staff are the backbone of the business and hence want to use them as an asset to obtain their goals and objectives.
6.3 On taking a closer look at the way the management at Thorpe Park functions it can be stated that they use a little of every motivational theory in trying to motivate their staff. The reason behind this could be that different things motivate different people.