I have been asked to read the provided case study “Bleak House: People Are Our Most Easily Disposable Cost” (Source: Charted Institute of Personal & Development, 2000). The scenario provided is that I am on a work placement at “Bleak House” and have just met one of the owners of the business, who is interested to hear I am studying Human Resource Management. While agreeing that good Human Resource practises may be nice in theory, he has doubts whether it would be practical in Bleak House.
However, he gives you the opportunity of reviewing the present practises within the company and coming up with suggestions, which might benefit the business. So my first objective will be to understand the current policies at “Bleak House” and then evaluate them with “text book” human resource practises and apply them to the business. Some may not be practical where as some may be this is the objective of my report. Problems that the company faces “Successful corporate leaders recognise that their competitive edge in today’s market place is in their people.
They also acknowledge that few organisations know how to manage human resources effectively, primarily because traditional management models are inappropriate in our dynamic work environment. ” (Quotation: Human Resource Management, John Bratton and Jeffrey Gold, Second Edition) The business was due to need changing right from the first day. It is clear to notice that although the way of managing employees was very successful in the early years it had to be modernised as times changed. Socio-culturally the world around us as people is changing every day, new products and innovations are changing our live and attitudes.
It is always important that businesses need to change with their workplace and environment. The first set of employees has been selected from the same organisation that the two owners moved from. This has a plus point as well as a negative. Employees will change workplace for the same reasons as the owners, which creates an initial willingness to achieve goals and tasks. The fact that the employees appear to be friends and go for a drink after orders shows a great team spirit. The social aspects of life can affect the “team spirit” such as new families and henceforth time available to spend with the team.
This can distance friendships. All this means is that over years the “team spirit” can lessen and lessen until it is non-excitant. This was my first impression of the situation as I studied the background of the business. As the business grew larger and it was expected of the owners to run the business in a more responsible way I could imagine that the bosses didn’t have time beyond work hours to socialise with the employees. This can only cause problems in communication between the two levels of the organisation. This breakdown in communications has lead to de-motivation in the workplace.
This created a snowball effect upon the employees and could only lead one way, which was to un-satisfaction and poor performance. The owners who have to take action for less productivity with redundancies can only notice the poor performance. It is clear that Bleak House got caught in a cycle that many businesses fall upon. The only way to achieve greater productivity within the business is to evaluate and conduct change. Unfortunately this has yet to be done. Unfortunatly for the owners of Bleak House, the environmental factors affecting the business have changed for the worse.
This on top of the drop in morale and productivity has spelt disaster for the business. To change these problems it is important to understand all aspects of human resourcing and evaluate Bleak Houses current policies. The following areas should be evaluated: * Communication * Motivation & rewards * Recruitment * Health and Safety in the Workplace Human Resource Management “Human Resource Management or HRM can be defined as a strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organisations most valued assets” (Quotation: A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practise, M. Armstrong, and 8th Edition)
The people who work in a business who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of its objectives. Aims of having HRM The overall purpose of HRM is to ensure that the business is able to achieve success through its people. It is important to create a climate in which productive and friendly relationships between management and employees are maintained. Can these problems be changed? Communication “Communication takes place when a message or idea is transmitted by one person and received and understood by another, without loss of integrity. ” (Quotation: Personnel in Practise, D.Currie, Blackwell Business)
Good communication between managers and employees sounds easy on paper but it is difficult to do consistently in the workplace. This is key for managers to understand how to communicate effectively with the employees. How to change I noticed that work and effort has been declining with the managers being absent through other work commitments. This could work hand in hand with motivation, as the managers need to give the responsibility to an individual to communicate while they are absent. I feel it is important to create an “Employment Relationship Policy”.
This policy is significant to personnel or managers because it can govern much of what the business needs to be aware of developing and applying any new HRM processes, policies and procedures. These need to be considered in terms of what they will or will not contribute to furthering a productive and rewarding relationship with employees. Benefits to change The creation of an “Employment Relationship Policy” would ensure that Bleak House has effective and productive communication between managers and the employees. If communication becomes efficient then production will be able to operate to full potential.
It is very important for Bleak House to Communicate and Motivate the workforce to ensure maximum productivity. Motivation & Rewards “What is Motivation? A motive is a reason for doing something. Motivation is concerned with the factors that influence people to behave in certain ways. The three components of motivation are: * Direction – What a person is trying to do * Effort – How hard a person is trying? * Persistence – How long a person keeps on trying? ” (Quotation: A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practise, M. Armstrong, and 8th Edition) Types of Motivation
* Intrinsic – These factors include responsibility, freedom to act, a chance to use individual skills and abilities, interesting and challenging work and opportunities for advancement. * Extrinsic – Extrinsic factors include, rewards, such as increased pay, praise, or promotion, as well as punishments, such as disciplinary action, withholding pay, or criticism. How to change Bleak house could introduce a new pay structure that gives extrinsic rewards when the work is done to increase the level of motivation. These extrinsic factors would benefit the business greatly if where added to a new intrinsic work strategy.
Benefits to change First and for-most is important to create intrinsic rewards in the work place other wise extrinsic factors will not work effectively in the long term. If employees feel they are key to the operation it gives them a sense of purpose and responsibility. This sense of responsibility motivates the workforce to achieve extrinsic rewards, which means the business will become a productive workplace. Recruitment “Recruitment is a process which aims to attract appropriate qualified candidates for a particular position from which it is possible and practical to select appoint a competent person or persons.
” (Quotation: Employment Resourcing, M. Corbridge and S. Pilbeam, Prentice Hall) To have good recruitment and selection is important because well thought out; communicated policies, procedures and practises can contribute positively to the businesses performance. Ineffective recruitment and selection will lead to poor work performance, unacceptable conduct, internal conflict, low morale and job satisfaction in the long term. These are all evident in Bleak House.