Human resource management in action

Human resource management has many definitions in today’s modern era, one of the brief definition that encapsulated the general idea is “Human Resource Management involves all management decisions and actions that affect the relationship between the organization and employees- Its human resources” (Beer et. Al. , 1984 cited by Price, A. 2007). This assignment showcases the importance of Human resource management in the functioning of an organization.

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The task is to correct a situation in a DIY supermarket chain, where the managing director has summoned a HR manager to submit a report to solve the problem of 80% staff turn-over also ensuring the cost involved is satisfactory enough to invest in. The assignment has been written in an ‘Active voice’. Introduction As a Human resource manager for our chain of supermarket it is the part of my responsibility to observe, analyse, identify and provide solution to the issues that are causing a decrease in efficiency of our work force, in turn causing monetary damage to our company.

On receiving the results of the work force report on our current situation suggesting 80% staff turnover. This clearly has put our company in dire situations. As expected of me I have gathered all the information required for us to amend this problem and bring our staff efficiency to our company standards. This proposition has been carefully designed to make changes in the current workforce management, work culture and training programmes which are essential to get the required results.

Who? Working in conjunction with our Human resource team, we decided to choose our ‘central store’ identifying it as our key business unit and get the most accurate results. It was found that we have a total of 100 staff members who are responsible for the shop – floor work; they are supervised by 12 supervisors. Out of the 100 shop-floor workers, 80 are part-time older females between the age group of 45-65 years.

The 12 supervisors, working full-time have 9 male employees who are between the age group of 25-35 years. What is the problem? Following the best practices of the Human Resource Management sector, we implemented extensive staff surveys (Edwards, 2004 cited by McKenna and Beech, 2008). The results reveal a startling discovery that one of the issues lies with the morale of the shop-floor workers.

The surveys were done at two levels, Firstly at the shop-floor level where we found that there were a few factors which were highlighted; communication gap between the floor supervisors and the workers, the emotional hygiene between the two levels, no transparency about the future of the employees at this level, work load pressure, difficulty in understanding new technology and also they feel they are not respected enough.

Alternatively, surveys from the supervisors showed an equally valid issue, it was seen that the supervisors being young have trouble explaining the goals to the older workforce which is effecting their time efficiency, they also feel they are understaffed and are stressed with the high supervisor to worker ratio which is close to 1:8, each supervisor is responsible for 8 shop-floor workers which in essence multiplies as they are full- time workers and have to manage different batches of the shop- floor workers working under the part time format.

This increases their responsibilities by the number of batches they handle. The supervisors are entitled to participate for their appraisal which happens once after the supervisor has completed 2 years of service, after which they can appear for the managing training course, this according to the supervisors is a unrealistic target. Further, investigation led us to find that consequences of this has been in an upward fashion and has led to huge financial losses.

Highlighting these we gathered that the costs involved when a single person exits the company, we lose a total of 1500 GBP at an average, which includes the cost of training, uniforms, and costs involved in advertising for a replacement. What this means is with a workforce of 100 at the ‘Central- Store’ alone we have invested 150,000 GBP in retaining our employees. With the staff turnover rate of 80 % we are faced with an outflow of 120,000 GBP, this will be the pattern if nothing is done.

I would also like to bring to your notice that if we do not go ahead and implement the required changes there could be legal repercussions, if any of the employees reached a stage of not able to cope with the pressure and is not provided support from us a company based on his requirements of the working conditions then the employee can take refuge under the below mentioned clause in the councils directive “Council Directive 2000/78 establishes a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation.

It prohibits both direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of age. It covers ‘conditions for access to employment ‘, including ‘selection criteria and recruitment conditions’, as well as ’employment and working conditions, including dismissals and pay’ (Article 3(1)). However, it ‘does not apply to payments made by state schemes or similar, including state social security or social protection schemes’ (Article 3(3)). “