1.1 The purpose of this report is to identify people management and development policies and practices in place in Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council which make a substantial contribution to the organisation’s success. To analyse these policies in terms of their vertical and horizontal integration, their cost-effectiveness and their contribution to quality of service provided and to make any recommendation to these policies to enhance the success of the organisation.
2. Introduction 2.1 Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council is a local authority which employs approximately 8,000 staff and is the largest employer in the County Borough. It comprises of six Directorates, one headed by the Chief Executive and the other five by a Corporate Director. An illustrative example in shown in Appendix A. 2.2 The Personnel Services function at Neath Port Talbot comprises a small central team – the Strategic Personnel Unit and a Personnel Services section within each of the six Directorates. The Personnel Services function encompasses all aspects of Personnel, Training and Occupational Health and Safety.
2.3 The Strategic Personnel Unit researches and develops the Authority’s People Management and Development policies and procedures, these are then considered by the Personnel Services Strategy Group, the Corporate Directors Group, the Trade Unions via Staff Council and the Personnel Committee, once all these stakeholders are satisfied that the policies are in line with the Council’s Corporate Aims and Objectives, legal considerations, non-discriminatory, cost effective and promote fairness and equity to all employees, they are then adopted by Council.
2.4 The Authority’s Corporate Aims and Objectives are attached as Appendix B to this report. 3. Strategic Human Resource Management 3.1 Strategic Human Resource Management (HRM) is based on HRM principles but incorporates the concept of strategy. A definition of strategy is that provided by Quinn (1990): 3.2 “A strategy is a pattern or plan that integrates an organisation’s major goals, policies and action sequences into a cohesive whole. A well-formulated strategy helps marshal and allocate an organisation’s resources into a unique and viable posture based on its relative internal competencies and shortcomings, anticipated changes in the environment and contingent moves by intelligent opponents.”
3.3 Strategic HRM has been defined by Wright PM and McMahan G C (1992) Theoretical Perspectives for SHRM, Journal of Management, Vol 18, No 2, pp 295 – 320 as: “The pattern of planned human resource deployments and activities intended to enable the firm to achieve its goals.” 3.4 The aims of strategic HRM is to provide the organisation with employees that have the necessary skills, are committed to the organisation and are motivated in order that the organisation maintains competitive advantage. It also provides a sense of direction to the organisation in a constantly changing environment and provides a framework of policies and procedures which meets the needs of its employees both individually and collectively.
3.5 Dyer L and Holder GW (1998) Strategic Human Resource Management and Planning . In L Dyer (ed.) Human Resource Management: Evolving roles and responsibilities. Washington DC, Bureau of National Affairs state that strategic HRM should provide: “unifying frameworks which are at once broad, contingency based and integrative.” 4. Vertical Integration 4.1 Strategy is designed to ensure that the organisation can achieve its aims. A HRM strategy is designed to ensure that an organisation can achieve its aims through its HR policies and practices.
“Vertical integration occurs when HR strategies are congruent with business strategies, match the firm’s stage of development, take account of organisational dynamics, and are in line with the characteristics of the organisation.” Marchington and Wilkinson (1996) Core Personnel and Development, London, Institute of Personnel and Development 5. Horizonal Integration 5.1 Strategy should ensure that an organisation’s activities are relevant and consistent with the strategic plan. HRM strategy should also ensure that all HR policies and practices are relevant and consistent with the strategic plan and complement, support and facilitate one another.
“Horizontal integration refers to the ‘fit’ between different HR policies and practices and the degree to which they support or contradict one another” Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council is committed to the creation of a workforce which reflects the diversity of our local communities and makes equality of opportunity for all employees and potential employees a reality by being mainstreamed into all people management and development practices. The Welsh Language is of particular relevance to the County Borough. The Authority recognises that people from different backgrounds can bring fresh ideas and perceptions to the workplace and that this will lead to improved service delivery and customer care, and a better understanding of the needs of everyone within our communities, some of whom may feel excluded at present.