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Human Resource Management Essay Example

Personnel management and human resource management

The ASDA Company is part of the largest retailer in the world by the name Wal-Mart. The organization boasts of operating approximately 500 stores with an average of 170,000 employees working in the stores. This human resource serves around 18 million people in a single week. The organization has for years worked with the marketing strategy of having a lower price and excellent services to customers. This means that the management has really invested in creating a brand and adding value to the organization as a way of creating customer loyalty (Armstrong 2012, p. 11).

The human resource management department is always at the center of all operations involving employee input and organization’s output. This is because achieving organization’s output targets and excellence starts from the recruitment of suitable employees in every position. Furthermore, the HR department plays a critical role in the induction of the employees. This includes motivating the employees to give their best at work. Proper evaluation of performance for purposes of remuneration and reward also fall under the human resource department.

Personnel Management refers to the function of management that focuses on the relationship between people and organizations. The fundamental objective of Personnel Management is maintenance or maximization of the output of the employee with a reward system for the employee (Armstrong 2012, p. 7).

Bach (2009) argued that “human resource management on the other hand is a modification of the tenets of Personnel Management” (p. 9). This is because it seeks to effectively use the human resource by way of managing human related activities.

Differences between Personnel Management and human resource management

Personnel and human resource management display difference in their management functions. Their differences indicate the use of different approaches including scientific ones in order to motivate the employees for a greater output and satisfaction (Bartram & De Cieri 2013, p. 5).

  • First, the design of job organization forms one of the major differences between the two management functions. Personnel Management focuses on the taylorist and fordist designs while human resource emphasizes on team-based approach (Armstrong 2012, p. 7).
  • Secondly, Human resource encourages employees to use self-control in achieving discipline while the Personnel Management focused on the scientific principles that demanded compliance to the imposed directions in its psychological contract (Armstrong 2012, p. 6).
  • Third, the strategic nature of Personnel Management relates to attention to issues affecting employees on a day to day scale, a more reactive nature with short term strategies. Human resource management on the other hand is proactive in nature and enjoys integration with other management functions in its dealing with day to day issues.
  • In addition, the human resource department plans its undertakings on a long term basis. Fourth, human resource management issues its remuneration based on individual or team performance instead of position while in Personnel Management the remuneration of employees is determined by position and it is by collective base rates. Fifth, the employee relations in Personnel

Management are pluralist and collective. In addition, the employees lack trust for one another. The employee relations in human resource management is unitarist and individualistic. Furthermore, the employees have a general trust for one another. The seventh difference concerns the welfare role of Personnel Management, which has residual expectations. Human resource management on the other hand has no explicit welfare role (Armstrong 2012, p. 7).

The organizational structure of Personnel Management is hierarchical while that of human resource management is flexible and displays a high degree of outsourcing. The recruitment drive in personnel management is quite sophisticated for senior staff but not for junior staff positions while human resource management embraces sophistication in recruitments for all levels. Finally, the training and development of employees in Personnel Management is often limited to the top management and fast track candidates while human resource management insists on consistent development initiative of employees which mostly focus on job related issues (Bartram & De Cieri 2013, p. 5).

Line managers often have the responsibility of making things happen in the organization. This involves the planning and organization of the work schedules. As a line manager, one therefore has to set medium and long-term goals and objectives for the employees on a yearly basis (Bach 2009, P. 13). Line managers further manage the finances and resources of the organization, which includes human resource (Bartram & De Cieri 2013, p. 8).

The mandate to promote equality and diversity in the workplace begins with line managers. They therefore have to display knowledge of legislations that promote such practices. They should further display creativity and talent in promoting activities and environment for an all-inclusive culture. Line managers have the responsibility of leading and developing people, which requires management skills (Armstrong 2012, p. 8). This means that they have the responsibility of ensuring proper channels that promote a healthy working environment such as effective communication, proper planning and coordination, motivation through workshops and team building activities, reward system and induction of new employees (Paauwe 2009, P. 12).

Internal and external environments

Internal environment refers to the environment that has direct implications on the welfare of a business. They are things such as events, entities and conditions that influence the activities and behaviors of a business or organization. The internal environment is influenced by such factors as corporate culture, structures and legal framework. Other influencing factors include the human resource, the shareholders, board of directors and the organizational structures. These factors have a direct impact on the nature, structure and work plan of the human resource department in any organization. (Bartram & De Cieri 2013, p. 7).

External environment on the other hand refers to the factors that shape the face of a business or organization from an external perspective. These include the economic environment, labor market conditions, increasing work force conditions and state of labor unions. These conditions affect the ability of the human resource management of a company to effect its duties including hiring, firing and the compensation of employees (Armstrong 2012, p. 11).

The internal and external environments of the ASDA Company both contribute to it being one of the best in the region. Its excellent working conditions and corporate culture help in attracting workers to the organization. The market base of the company makes it one of the most competent in the UK retail market. This is because of the excellence of the human resource department that makes the working environment favorable for the employees to give out their best. In addition, the low shelf prices of the company has enabled it become one of the pace setters of the economic factors of the retail industry. This has also helped it in building customer loyalty.

As the custodian of the welfare of all ASDA UK employees’, the human resource management is further guided by the legal framework that protects the welfare and rights of all employees in UK.  These legislations include the Sex Discrimination Act (1975) which together with its subsequent amendments protects employees against discriminating an employee based on their gender and sexual orientation. It is for example illegal to turn down a person with transgender condition even though they have the required qualifications. The ASDA Company has supporting policies that helps in protecting people against direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimization by the management and other employees. The company during their recruitment drive focuses on candidates with the ASDA culture. Furthermore, the knowledge of the necessity of having a balanced workforce as far as gender is concerned helps in observing the sex discrimination act.

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The Disability Discrimination Act (1995) protects the interests of people with a disability in relation to employment and provision of goods and services. ASDA’s human resource department has made sure that every warehouse and retail shop accommodates even the physically disabled employees. This includes the physical landscape of the buildings.

The Equal Pay Act 1970 cushions employees against any unfavorable treatment in terms of employment conditions and pay between men and women. In addition, the act elaborates that in the case of a difference in pay when the employees have the same job description, the management has to give a comprehensive explanation. The ASDA Company has always ensured that every worker earns according to their work without favor of any gender. The terms and conditions for employment in ASDA also display equality between men and women.

The Race Relations Act 1976 sanctions discrimination of individuals against their race, color or ethnic background. The ASDA Company has made sure to always employ a diverse workforce. This has helped in making racial equality at the workplace a reality. These legal frameworks regulate and inform the operations of the human resource management department in the entire process of selection, recruitment, payment and promotion of employees.

The role of human resource planning in ASDA is to help the organization realize its prime goal, which is provision of the best services. The HR department, which operates under the name “the people team”, helps the employees carry out their duties well. This includes motivating them to have the right attitude, providing them with top quality training tools to equip them for the services and ensuring a smooth working environment through proper and excellent communication channels. The planning responsibility is delegated to the five departments in the human resource department.

The ASDA “house people team” has the responsibility of managing the HR policy and strategy in the whole workforce. This further includes the develoPersonnel Managementent, communication and implementation of the policy and strategy. The department tackles the planning for day to day activities and issues such as recruitment and new initiatives. This also includes the develoPersonnel Managementent and management of projects such as relocations. Prior planning of such projects helps in having smooth transitions with minimal hiccups.

The “colleague relations and engagement” department plays the role of keeping the employees informed and inspired through effective communication. The department plans for the effective management of change within the organization. They also ensure that every policy is in tandem with the law and has the mandate of interpreting it to the employees for better understanding. The department also works towards creating an employee friendly environment. This helps in improving the output of the employees therefore building a desired brand through the employees.

The “reward department” works towards giving value and appreciation for the work done by the employees. This starts with planning for the remuneration of each employee to make sure that the organization remains the retail employer of choice in the region. The planning in this department is critical because of the large number of employees. Furthermore the employees perform their duties in different capacities and seasons which range from part time to the board room. The reward department also plans the other rewards such as employee benefits. Furthermore, the reward for individual or team excellence also falls as part of the plans.

Fourth is the “resourcing department” that plans for the recruitment of new employees into the organization. The department is known for some of the best resourcing practices in the region which includes looking after the candidates throughout the application process. Their planning is critical in finding the right people to work in the organization and help in realizing its objective. The last department is the “learning and develoPersonnel Managementent department” which focuses on the planning and execution of the develoPersonnel Managementent of the employees. This helps in sustaining develoPersonnel Managementent and success of the business. The department also works on developing the leadership techniques of its employees through workshops and other platforms such as team building events.

The recruitment and selection process of ASDA UK is conducted in A competitive and transparent way. This is because the HR staffs involved in the process are driven with the need to find the right people for each vacant position in the organization. They believe that management and working environment of any organization improves first with the presence of the right people in place. The organization advertises the vacant positions to the public via the media and internet. This includes the use of their user-friendly website and a thorough campaign in the social media for applications. After receiving the applications, the recruitment staff does the short-listing of the candidates who would find invitation for interviews.

The interviews and recruitment process in the ASDA company focuses much on the abilities and talent of the prospective employees. The HR uses sophisticated psychometric techniques in their approach to interview the candidates Armstrong 2012, p. 13). This helps in finding the right people with the right aptitude and attitude to fill vacant positions. The recruitment team also comprises people who live the “ASDA culture”. Therefore, they have the ability to pick and compose a workforce that displays diversity, focus and dedication to deliver quality and satisfactory services to the customer.

As the deputy HR manager, assisting the manager in the preparation of the hiring plan is critical. This also calls for the assistance in manpower planning as far as the recruitment is concerned, which includes the sourcing of the candidates and helping in the short-listing of resumes. It also calls for the preparation for better hiring strategies that will narrow down on the right candidates. Included in the roles are the identification and management of the consultants and the identification of new recruitment channels. Furthermore, the duty to manage the database of applications and candidates lies in the docket. The management also entails the scheduling and assisting in conducting of the interviews. Finally, it includes offering professional advice in the process of selecting the preferred candidates (Chuang & Liao 2010, p. 13).

The management in ASDA applies motivational theories its engagement and relationship with the employees and to inspire them for better performance and output. The different researches conducted by psychologists indicate that different factors such as employee needs affect their motivation. The needs range from physiological to self-actualization (Armstrong 2012, p. 21). Understanding of this psychological condition helps the organization to satisfy the needs of the employees. A safe work environment and a satisfying remuneration form some of the basic provisions in the organization. The organization also cultivates a positive environment where every person feels appreciated and worth their contribution. This is done through the implementation of the diversity culture that is even evident among the employees (Zhang & Bartol 2010, p. 7).

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Reward plays a very significant role in the accomplishment of motivation as a goal. This is because, to employees, it serves as the tangible expression of appreciation to employees to keep them motivated. Reward comes in different types such as promotion, monetary benefits, upgrading of work equiPersonnel Managementent and working conditions and environment. These actions always serve as indicators of the recognition of the efforts made by the employees. It subsequently motivates them and other employees to work towards better achievements. Therefore, according to Zhang AND Bartol (2010) “reward serves as the catalyzing factor behind motivation of employees”(p. 14).

Job evaluation process should focus on the abilities of the employees, their potentialities and effectiveness in accomplishing their mandates. Furthermore, the evaluation should focus on the methods used and cost of accomplishing the task. Evaluation of customer feedback on teams and individual employees should also form a major informing factor in the evaluation process. The amount of task given should be used in determining the pay to be issued. This means that senior positions such as supervisors and managers ought to earn better than the people under them. The reward system should address individuals and groups to avoid rewarding those who do not deserve the reward. The reward system and process should also be organized in such a way that it does not become the sole driving factor in the accomplishment of tasks (Zhang & Bartol 2010, p. 19).

The effectiveness of the reward system occurs when coupled with evaluation of the employee behavior. One of the objectives of the reward system is to ensure that the employees are attracted and retained in equal measure. The evaluation should look into the issues such as turnover rates in the organization. This can provide direct indication of the effectiveness of the reward system. Organizations that have high turnover rates automatically have poor employee reward systems while those with effective reward systems register high employee retention rates. Therefore, the effectiveness of ASDA’s reward system will reflect on the turnover rates (Paauwe 2009, P. 15).

The attractiveness of the rewards can be used in the assessment for its effectiveness (Paauwe 2009, P. 9). This is because employees have different informing factors in considering the attractiveness of a reward such as promotion. Therefore, the more attractive a reward is the more effective it becomes. This is because such a reward attracts more employees, which means that it gets more employees motivated (Zhang & Bartol 2010, p. 15). Besides, effective reward systems will always attractive best employees in the sector and thus help ASDA to maintain high profile employees for prolonged duration. This will be important especially a competitive global business environment.

Reward systems must also aim at enhancing employee satisfaction. In as much as some rewards look great, they have little or no effect if the employees do not derive satisfaction by achieving them. This means that the reward must have the ability to attract satisfaction of the employee. Paauwe (2009) in a study of employee satisfaction reported that “ employees with high levels of satisfaction with the reward received for desired performance often stick with an organization longer that those who are less satisfied” (P. 114)

Employee performance is monitored through many entities such as the management, self-evaluation and customer feedbacks. Such positions as line management have mechanisms of evaluating the performance of employees under their supervision. One of the main indicators of effectiveness in performance concerns the achievement of the laid down goals and objectives. When a department or individual fails to achieve their goals, it is taken for failure. Customer satisfaction index also plays a significant role in the evaluation of employee performance. The feedbacks range from the ones collected in the social platforms and in the retail stores (Zhang & Bartol 2010, p. 17).

The termination of employment is one of the issues that organizations and employees sometimes experience. The causes of the termination can take the shape of voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary termination of employment refers to the situation where the employee willingly relinquishes their employment without any negative pressurizing factor. The different forms of voluntary termination of employment include retirement and voluntary resignation, which also included student employees. The involuntary termination of employment refers to a situation where the management dismisses an employee from his job. The causes of such actions might include disciplinary issues, scandals, incompetence or redundancy among others.

The process of termination of employment must take a very cautious path. This is because the failure to follow the right procedures might land the organization into problems with the authorities. Employees can decide to sue the company if they feel that the dismissal procedure did not favor them in any way. Therefore, the management must always follow the right procedure laid down in the legal framework (Purdy 2011, p. 4).

The procedure for termination of employment in ASDA bears resemblance with the British food retailer company called Iceland. Employees terminating their employment voluntarily have the obligation of submitting their resignation letter. Through a letter, the employee must also give at least two weeks’ notice before leaving the organization. Furthermore, the employee should address the immediate supervisor or manager as the recipient of the letter. Employees wishing to retire should also announce it through the use of a letter. The intention of retirement can come as early as three months before the desired date of retirement. This helps in facilitating the retirement benefits and other issues and procedures surrounding formal termination of employment. The employees also have the privilege of filling the termination clearance form and submitting it preferably to the human resource representative in the department. Purdy (2011) noted that “an exit interview might also prove important at the discretion of the hiring authorities” (p. 7).

The procedure is quite the opposite for involuntary termination processes. However, the management always carries it out in the most accurate way. The management always fields valid reasons for the dismissal of the employees such as conduct, capability and redundancy. Furthermore, the management gives the employee ample time to consider the terms of disengagement before relieving them of their duties. The dismissals also come after the official issuing of warnings, mostly three times. The employee also has to understand their shortcoming before dismissal (Purdy 2011, p. 5).

Legal frameworks play a significant role in the arrangement of employment termination in ASDA Company. This is because the termination can land the organization into legal issues when not well handled. The employees have the right to lay claim for wrongful dismissal and press for compensation. Therefore the organization is keen on meeting every requirement during the termination of employment to avoid confrontation from employees. The management further has the privilege of estimating the cost involved in the dismissal of the employees. The law has therefore helped in laying the guidelines that the organization must observe in conducting a successful dismissal or termination.

The Employment Rights Act (ERA) 1996 is the framework that has guided many organizations including ASDA while making termination decisions.  This legal framework guards against unjust dismissal, falsified redundancy claims, violation of employee rights during employment cessation, security of wages, secured disclosure, pregnancy and termination issues. Thus termination of employment especially involuntary termination must adhere to the legal frameworks that govern such relationships between the employer and the employee. At ASDA, the termination procedures are followed to the latter to ensure that the dismissals are not discriminative by any means. Potential claims of discrimination such as discrimination on the basis of sex, nationality, disability religion and pregnancy among others are thus guarded through these laid down procedures.

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