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The Human Resources Function in the Wycombe District Council Essay

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I have elected to use the Wycombe District Council as a large organization to base my analytical report on its Human Resources function. The council is apart of the public sector.

A Human Resources or a Personnel Department is vital to a business in order for it to keep track of its employees and help employees resolve any problems that may occur while working.

There are four main reasons for having a HR department:

* It encourages employers to develop clear links between their business plans and their HR plans so that they can integrate the two more effectively

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* Organisations can control staff costs and the number of employees more effectively.

* Employers can build up a skill profile for each of their employees. This makes it easier for employers to give work where its can be most valued for its organisation. Also plans for training and updating skills can be applied.

* It creates a profile of staff (relating gender, race, disability), which is necessary for the operation of Equal Opportunities (which my chosen firm incorporates)

Having a HR department has shown the following contemporary changes to businesses:

* A decline in the proportion of employees that reside by trade unions.

* A decline in the proportion of employees whose pay is set by unionised collective bargaining

* A rise in the range of employment issues that are lacking in originality, from a managerial outline

* A corresponding rise in the amount of part time, short term, contracted out employment

Human Resources (Personnel) is responsible for many of the ins and outs of the business, as you may know in this particular business, Personnel and Human Resources is integrated. This adds a greater pressure for the Council to act diligently, but simultaneously, it can give more flexibility. Personnel keeps, information on all of the councils employee’s i.e. address, telephone and history of that certain individual. With the integration of Human Resources staff turnover can be forecasted and relevant actions can be taken to evade losses.

Although there is an element of integration the usual HR officers are still deployed.

The officers typically analyse the output of the employees within certain departments and takes notes on how to improve performance output.

There is another method used in this particular business, in the way of monitoring how much work, is done by each individual, this method is deployed by joint effort of Human Resources and ISD (computer section of council).

The council has a special operating system called QSP, now in order to use the computers a login procedure is upheld.

First in the Windows Networking interface, you have to logon, at this point the HR department/officer can now tell who is using which PC, in which department. At this point only Microsoft Word documents can be monitored as most official council documents are scripted in Word.

Next the computer user has to login within QSP, once he/she is logged on the monitoring is present.

With this type of technology present the HR officer can tell who is the hard worker and who is being complacent. This is very effective as the council is very computer based. Although manual work it self e.g. handwritten letters, have to be manually monitored.

With theses resources at their exploitation the council can use these very efficiently to improve and strengthen its taskforce.

The ways that have been stated are ways that human resources are active within the business.

Human Resources although integrated with Personnel play a very crucial role towards the running of the council on a daily basis.

Although work can be monitored, ethical issues are a concern but this issue has no foundation, as most of the employees know that it’s apart of the Contract of Employment.

Human Resources/Personnel department is regarded highly within the branches of the council due to that all employee records are shown at this particular department.

There are 4 main branches within the council:

* Property and Housing

* Planning Transport & Development

* Leisure Health & Community

* Corporate Services

Human Resources is found in the Corporate Services branch, it is placed highly, overall within the Corporate Services branch, managed under Personnel department.

The Human Resources department is sub divided within the Personnel department. All functions (applicable) of Human Resources are integrated within Personal.

Personnel has four other departments within:

1. Recruitment

2. Training and Development

3. Staff Welfare

4. Terms and Conditions

The recruitment function in personnel employs recruitment officers and managers to analyse recruitment processes within the council. They are responsible for recruiting and interviewing job applicants and trainees. Other tasks include working with certain departments when vacancies appear to, to draw up a job description. Usually in certain businesses these are fabricated beforehand. But materialising such documents is time consuming and an expense.

The council has a very thorough and well thought of Training and Development programme. Each year the Training & Development programme is analysed and then revised to coincide with the existing technology of today.

The current Training and Development Programme is starts at April 2001 and expires March 2002. The current instalment has six main areas of which training/development is given:

* Management and Development

* Customer Care

* Personnel Development

* Communication Skills

* Health and Safety

* Computer Skills

I will now give training titles for the courses under each title:

Management Development training incorporates:

1. Leadership Coaching

2. Recruitment and Selection

3. Managing Performance

4. Project Management

5. Introduction to Supervision

Customer Care training incorporates:

1. Customer Service Workshop

2. Disability Awareness

3. Transactional Analysis

4. Serving a Cultural diverse community

Personnel Development training entails:

1. Assertiveness

2. Creativity & Innovation

3. Preparing for Retirement

4. Planning your future

5. Time management

6. Induction

7. Managing meetings

8. Negotiation Skills

9. Dealing with Violence and Aggression

10. Coping Positively with Pressure

11. Minute taking

Communication Skills training

1. Presentation skills

2. Effective report writing

3. Writing Plain English

4. Media Skills

5. Communicating with Deaf & Hard of hearing people

Health and Safety training

1. Health and Safety induction

2. Workstation safety

3. Manual Handling

4. Fire Safety

5. Basics of Risk management

6. Personal Safety

Computer Skills training

1. Word 97 Introduction

2. Word 97 Intermediate

3. Word 97 Advanced

4. Excel 97 Introduction

5. Excel 97 Intermediate

6. Excel 97 Advanced

7. Lotus Notes 4.6

The Staff Welfare department looks at whether the employees, are in environments that comply with Health and Safety laws. The day-to-day happenings, in the work area are also monitored. For example if discrimination of any kind happens they are reported to this department and then investigated further. Relevant action is then taken according to what was committed. The Equal Opportunities policy is also, along with the rest of the HR department fabricated from this department. This department is mainly there to help resolve problems that occur in the workplace and make improvements for staff when working. Possible improvements of the workplace, food and drink are also put forward in this area.

The Equal Opportunities Policy is the council’s way of saying that they have a complete policy for people of an ethnic background and discrimination will not be tolerated of any kind.

Below is the Equal Opportunities Policy; along with the Training and Development Programme, the Policy is updated yearly.

The last department in Personnel is Terms & Conditions this department looks at various contracts, set by the council to each individual. If any concerns are expressed over certain contracts, this department has a look at possible changes that could be made, to accommodate needs. Other Terms and Conditions that are monitored include dismissal conditions, promotion conditions, contract of employment.

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