Importance of Effective People Management in Improving Organizational Performance and Staff Wellbeing at Winchester Homes
Read the accompanying case study and produce a memo report in which you:
- Introduce and discuss the importance of effective people management in improving organisational performance and staff wellbeing at Winchester Homes.
- Examine and evaluate the factors affecting staff performance and well being at Winchester Homes.
- Identify and explain the appropriate development methods and techniques that Winchester Homes should be using to train and develop all its staff.
- Recommend specific actions to improve staff performance and well-being at Winchester Homes.
Winchester Homes, is a company which runs residential homes for the elderly, including those with dementia. Residents have very different and complex needs. Therefore recruiting, developing and retaining staff who are able to provide a professional service, high quality care and meet individual needs is crucial.
As people in the UK are living longer the need for residential care will only increase.
Each home has 1 Manager and 1 Assistant Manager as well as many carers who work on a shift pattern. Managers are often recruited from within the industry and often have a care qualification which they completed many years ago.
Managers have received little management training since they started working at Homes for Life. There is also little opportunity for managers from different homes to meet to discuss the business including sharing ideas on best practice or to go on external training.
The main formal training that takes place tends to be relating to meeting legal requirements. External trainers are brought in for short sessions. Staff are expected to attend the training once their shift has ended and are not paid.
Most on-site training is the responsibility of managers, however most have not undertaken specific training in coaching.
Communication and targets in the company tends to be top down from head office with little opportunity for managers in each home to be more flexible in the way they run the homes and manage and reward their staff. Managers in the homes would like more input in the target setting process for their homes and greater flexibility in operating their budgets. Managers also often lack skills in developing themselves and their staff.
The current performance appraisal scheme is an ‘off-the-shelf’ format with one form completed at the end of the appraisal meeting. This takes place once a year. Staff are just given a date at short notice and meetings tend to be short. Some managers review actions whilst other wait until the following year
Feedback from recent leavers had highlighted the lack of management support/commitment to staff. Staff have also highlighted the fact that only those working the night shift get a free meal. Other issues include the cost of travel, having to stay for training sessions, pay, the lack of development and career opportunities and increased workplace stress.
Salaries are relatively low and only slightly more than working at Sainsbury’s or Tesco which is closer to home for most of them. The pay increase awarded in April 2018 was 1.5% to those not on the minimum wage.
The company has seen an increase in turnover of carers/staff from 25 to 38% over the past 3 years. There has also been a gradual increase in staff sickness over this period.
In fact some staff that leave often go and then work in the local supermarket which may be closer to where they live. A number of the staff are also from the EU.
Brexit has led to these staff raising concerns about being able to remain in the UK.
3 have recently left to go home. One mentioned to their manager that they felt less welcome in the UK since the vote to leave the EU.
A new Director of the company has recently been appointed, headhunted from a senior position in BUPA. They want to make some major changes in the operation of the business and realise that changes need to be supported by suitable human resource management to improve performance and the quality of care. They want the company to be seen as one of the leaders in the industry both from the perspective of current and potential clients and from current and potential staff.
Importance of Effective People Management in Improving Organizational Performance and Staff Wellbeing at Winchester Homes
The purpose of this Memo is to address human resource management issues at Winchester Homes, which include; the importance of effective people management in improving organizational performance and staff wellbeing at Winchester homes. Secondly, an evaluation of the factors that affect staff wellbeing and performance at Winchester homes. Thirdly, suitable development techniques that should be adopted by Winchester Homes in training and developing its staff. Fourth, recommendation of specific actions to improve staff wellbeing and performance at Winchester Homes.
Importance of Effective People Management in Improving Organizational Performance and Staff Wellbeing at Winchester Homes.
Effective people management refers to the concept of managing staff in an organization in a way that optimizes the efficient use of the talents that they possess. This helps in improving the performance of the individual staff, workgroups, and the organization in general (Armstrong, 2014). Despite how good organization’s goals, objectives, and strategies are, they all depend on the organization’s staff to ensure their effective realization. Therefore, organizational performance is highly dependent upon the efficient management people (Foot and Hook, 2011). Some of the importance of effective people management in promoting organizational performance and staff wellbeing at Winchester Homes include the following;
Equipping staff with the needed skills: According to Currie (2010), the level and quality of skills that the staff possess highly influences their effectiveness in executing their duties. The main human resource function that focuses on enhancing the skills of the workers in an organization is training and development. Therefore, at Winchester Homes, the quality of services that the staff deliver to the aged is dependent upon the level of training they receive in the organization. Effective training and development will highly promote the performance of the workers and consequently lead to an improvement in the performance of Winchester Homes.
Increases staff morale: According to Kehoe and Wright (2013), staff morale can be defined as the attitude, satisfaction, and confidence that the staff have towards their job and the organization in general. Staff morale highly influences the way the staff execute their duties. Staff who are well trained but not motivated will definitely perform poorly since they have a negative attitude towards their job. At Winchester homes, staff morale is very essential because the company is a service offering organization. Thus employees’ positive attitude towards their jobs will influence their mode of service delivery and impact customers’ satisfaction. This will improve the performance of the organization and highly boost the reputation of Winchester Homes.
Promotes quality decision making: effective management of human resource empowers them to make decision which are in the best interest of the organization. This is mainly as a result of the loyalty that the staff gain towards an organization due to how well they are managed (Buller and McEvoy, 2012). At Winchester Homes, proper management of human resource would see the head office delegating decision making to Home managers who would in turn delegate part of it to the staff. This would improve organizational performance since employees would be in a position to solve minor issues in the best way possible without having to consult their seniors.
Factors Affecting Performance and Staff Wellbeing at Winchester Homes
Ineffective appraisal system: Winchester Homes uses an “off-the-shelf” appraisal system which is characterized with inefficiencies such as; the appraisal is conducted once a year. Secondly, some managers review actions whilst others wait until the following year. According to Leatherbarrow et al., (2014) an ineffective performance, appraisal system does not clearly identify the challenges of employees which would constitute the focus of the training and development program. This results to failure to address key skill gaps during training, which consequently leads to continued poor performance.
Ineffective training and development: the effectiveness of a training program can be measured on how suitable the training is to the employees in terms of time, cost of training, and skill gap coverage, and impact on work performance (Bratton and Gold, 2012). At Winchester Homes, the external training program is done only to those staff who are not on duty thus all staff members do not receive the training. Secondly, the managers lack the skills to develop themselves and the staff thus they cannot deliver on-the-job training in the best way possible.
Low salaries and remuneration: a good remuneration system should be one that pays staff according to the value they deliver to the organization (People Management, 2018). At Winchester Homes, the staff salaries are relatively low a situation which forces many of them to quit the job and opt to work in supermarkets near their homes. Secondly, the remuneration does not capture their cost of traveling which is high thus leaving staff with little disposable income to sustain their lifestyle in the United Kingdom.
Lack of staff motivation: Staff motivation enhances job satisfaction and wellbeing of staff in an organization (Crumpton, 2013). At Winchester Homes, the managers offer little support to staff thus the staff find the job to be difficult to perform. Secondly, the structure of the organization does not involve staff who are working in the homes in decision making. Also, the communication system is top-down only, thus resulting to decisions which do not capture the interest of the staff.
Poor workplace health and safety measures: in Winchester Homes, there has been a gradual increase in staff sickness. This shows that the environment in which the staff are working in does not uphold their health needs. Also, Winchester Homes has not provided its staff with health insurance covers to cater for their medical bills whenever they get sick. Poor workplace health and safety results to less productive employees, lack of job satisfaction and increased medical cost. This consequently leads to poor performance of the employees (Hymel et al., 2011).
Appropriate Development Methods and Techniques that Winchester Homes Should be using to Train and Develop all its Staff
Creation of individual development plans: According to Olenski (2018) this will involve having discussion sessions with employees to identify their career interest and career goals. The goals should be measurable and have a realistic time frame. It will help the human resource manager to understand the employees in a better manner and align their career goals to the objectives of the organizations. Thus, the training will focus on equipping the employees with the skills they need to achieve their career goals within the specified time frame (Olenski, 2018).
Suitable Development Techniques for Training and Developing Staff at Winchester Homes
In-depth and regular performance appraisal: Winchester Homes should shift from the current “off-the-shelf” appraisal system. It should adopt an appraisal system which employs multiple techniques of appraising employees such as formal and informal interviews, questionnaires, and suggestion boxes, among others. This will help identify employees’ personal weaknesses that inhibit them from achieving their career goals so that the training program can be focused on developing those weaknesses (Leatherbarrow et al., 2014). Also, performance appraisal should be conducted regularly in order to measure staffs’ progress.
Adopt a mix of training methods: According to Wilton (2010) different employees learn and develop in different ways. Therefore, Winchester Homes can incorporate multiple training methods in its training programs in order to cover the learning and development needs of each staff. This may include a mixture of on-the-job training, coaching, benchmarking, group discussions, and classroom learning (Bratton and Gold, 2012). Each training session should at least combine two or more of the above training and development methods in order to enhance its effectiveness to all employees at Winchester Homes.
Use interactive training sessions: these are training sessions in which the trainer and the trainee engage in dialog (Salas et al., 2012). The method is suitable for employee development at Winchester Homes because it will enable the employees to raise concerns on the areas of personal development that they would like the trainer to lay more emphasis on. It will also help in reducing boredom during the training session since the trainees are actively participating in the session thus promoting the effectiveness of the training and development program (Salas et al., 2012).
Task rotations: This involves swapping employees between the various tasks which relate to their career at Winchester Homes and providing them with the relevant on-the-job training. The main aim of this is to expose the employees to new challenges that demand a different approach from their previous job positions (Silberman and Biech, 2015). This will help the employees to grow and develop in their career since they will have a wide scope of career exposure and a pool of skills.
Adopt a suitable remuneration system: remuneration plays a major role in motivating staff and influencing their performance. A more satisfying remuneration leads to higher performance (Boeri et al., 2013). Therefore. Winchester Homes should adopt a remuneration system which matches the staff’s pay with the value they deliver to the organization. Provides a realistic and fair rate of annual salaries increase in order to cope with inflation. Provides staff with allowances such as transport and housing allowance which will enable them to reduce their cost of living.
Acknowledging and rewarding employees’ performance: this refers to where a manager appreciates the effort that the employees have exerted towards achieving their assigned goals and objectives (Presslee et al., 2013). There are several ways of rewarding employees that Winchester Homes can employ. According to Presslee et al., (2013), the rewards can either be monetary rewards or non-monetary rewards. They include; promoting exemplarily performers, offering fully paid holiday trips, offering academic scholarships, and salary increments, among others. Such rewards will motivate the employees and improve their performance and wellbeing.
Recommendations for Improving Staff Wellbeing and Performance at Winchester Homes
Adoption of participative leadership style: This refers to a style of leadership in which managers involve the subordinates in decision making (Foot and Hook, 2011). If adopted at Winchester Homes, it will enable the staff to communicate their interest during decision making. It will also enable them to understand the importance of certain decisions and work towards implementing them. A participative style of leadership will promote job satisfaction and enhance problem-solving thus leading to improved staff performance and wellbeing (Foot and Hook, 2011).
Improvement of workplace health and safety: According to (Hymel et al., 2011), healthy employees are more productive than unhealthy employees. Therefore, Winchester homes should enhance the health of the staff in the workplace through measures such as; offering protective clothing to employees who are nursing clients who require special care. Secondly, providing the staff with a clean working environment. Thirdly, taking sick clients to hospitals to prevent them from transmitting the disease to the staff and other clients. Fourth, providing the staff with medical insurance covers so that they can access quality medical services whenever they get sick (Hymel et al., 2011).
There various problems which are effecting staff currently at Winchester Homes. Many of them are as a result of poor human resource management practices. Those Problems can be solved using the techniques discussed in this document. The effectiveness of the staff improvement strategies will require a collaboration between the management and the staff of Winchester Homes.
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