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Strategic human resource management

Strategic human resource management can be defined as the practice that is being used by an organization that will help an organization to attract the employees, train them and retain them in the organization so that it will be beneficial for both the employees and the organization (Wood and Kispál-Vitai 2014). As explained by Storey (2014), personnel management can be defined as the planning and organizing the people by looking after their compensation and integration so that they are able to contribute for the fulfillment of the organizational goals. Purce (2014) pointed out the main difference between human resource management and personnel management is that the former mainly looks at the work that needs to be done by the employees and the later looks after the development of the employees as a whole. Personnel management is mainly for the doing a particular job and human resource management is mainly aimed at employee training and development so that they are able to help in development of the organization as a whole.

Guardian Media Limited is a Trinidad based company and headquartered at Port of Spain. They have subsidiaries in television, press and radio. The subsidiary in television is named CNC3. The press that works under Guardian Media Limited is named Trinidad Publishing Company and the radio network of Guardian Media Limited is named as TBC Radio Network.

The main purpose of the study is to analyze the HRM practices like resourcing, performance, employee relations, learning, and development that are prevalent in the Guardian Media Limited.

While making use of strategic human resource management, the managers will have to work in close contact with other departments in the organization. According to Kramar (2014), the human resource manager cannot work independently as they have to develop strategies after consulting with other departments. As opined by Marler and Fisher (2013), when the human resource management department as per the goals and objectives of the business, it is called strategic human resource management.

Most of the organizations mainly give special attention to the finance and information technology department (Lengnick-Hall, Lengnick-Hall and Rigsbee 2013). The organization feels that technology should be updated so that they are able to help the organization stay ahead in the competition. They always search for new types of technologies that have been introduced so that they can use those technologies to enhance their business. In addition to the technology, the organizations also look into the financial department (Budhwar and Debrah 2013). As the financial resources help an organization to decide the amount of expenditure that the organization should make, hence, the financial expenditure is at times given more importance. The organizations at times forget that the employees are the main people who will be controlling the technological aspects of an organization (Mitchell, Obeidat and Bray 2013).  It is important that the organization should give the maximum importance to the human resources

To scrutinize the performance of the employees in the organization, 360o appraisal talks the fact that the work of the employees should be done based on the things that people say about the employee (Aggarwal and Thakur 2013). The employee should be given an appraisal form and the colleagues of the employees will be given another appraisal form. The people who are working with the person will know about the actual works done by the employee (Espinilla et al. 2013). The feedback given by the employee will be tallied with the feedback given by the colleagues who are working  the person. Whether the employee is saying the correct things about him or herself would have been known from the colleagues (Sparrow, Brewster and Chung 2016). Not only the colleagues but also other people who are involved with the employee like the clients. As they are working with the employees in close contact, they will also be a good source to tell about the performance of the employees (Chelladurai and Kerwin 2017). However, the main setback of the theory is that if the employees have any grudge against each other, that will affect the appraisal as the employee might be performing but the grudge from other employees will put a barrier on the appraisal.


Performance Management Theory

Evidence in Guardian Media Limited

Specific Criteria in Performance Assessment

No- Lack of proper performance management criteria in Guardian Media Limited results in biased performance appraisal

Accurate collection of Feedback

No- Biased information from the peers, colleagues, superiors and subordinates often results in biased performance assessment

Table 2: Performance Management Corporate Strategy

(Source: Pulakos et al. 2015)

Performance management is an important process for identifying the gaps between the standard of organizational performance and actual performance. According to Buckingham and Goodall (2015), performance management is the process, where the managers and employees work together for planning, monitoring and reviewing employees’ work objectives and their overall contribution in organizational success. The theory of 360 degree appraisal suggests assessing an employee based on certain criteria through taking the feedback from their subordinates, peers and superiors. Moreover, there must have certain specific criteria based on which the employees should be assessed. Guardian Media Limited takes the views from the subordinates, superiors and peers for assessing the employees. However, the criteria of the performance appraisal are not clear, which can often lead to biased appraisal of the employees. Therefore, it can be said performance management process of the organization is not linked with the corporate strategy of performance management.

According to Pulakos et al. (2015), 360 degree performance appraisal is designed for gathering authentic information regarding a specific employee from his immediate supervisors, superiors and peers. However, in the 360 degree appraisal of this organization, often, the peers, superiors and supervisors provides wrong and biased information about the specific employees based on their personal relation. Therefore, the performance appraisal strategy of Guardian Media Limited is not actually linked with the performance appraisal theory and corporate performance appraisal strategy.

The motivational factors in Herzberg’s two-factor theory determine the relationship of the employees with the organizations (Alshmemri, Shahwan-Akl and Maude 2017). Herzberg has talked about the hygiene factors and the motivational factors. Once an organization will to eliminate the hygiene factors, the employees would be satisfied as the hygiene factors mainly contribute for the dissatisfaction of the employees (Lukwago, Basheka and Odubuker 2014). If the organization removes the hygiene factors then it will result in dissatisfaction of the employees. The employees will stay longer in the organization. They will feel good that the organization is looking after their well-being. According to Martín Alcázar, Miguel Romero Fernández and Sánchez Gardey (2013) the motivational factors will also further help the employees to stay connected with the objectives and the goals of the company. The hygiene factors that might lead to the dissatisfaction of the employees are improper company policy, lack of proper supervisions from the senior employees, unhealthy relationship between the senior managers and the junior employees, unhealthy working conditions, improper pay scale and the association among the employees in the organization (Alfes et al. 2013). On the other hand, Wood and Kispál-Vitai (2014) has stated that the employees in the organization can be retained with the help of the motivational factors and help the employees to achieve something in their career. in addition to this, the other factors are proper recognition to the employees, giving relevant work to the employees, putting the employees in positions of responsibility, advancement in the career and the growth of the employees as a whole.

Employee Relation Theory

Evidence in Guardian Media Limited

Proper Value to Employees

No- Not capable of properly recognizing employee contribution in organization success, which results in bad employee relation

Concern for Employee Issues

No- Less concern is given to the employee issue, which results in employee conflicts

Link between Performance Management Corporate Strategy and Organization’s Specific Activities

Table 3: Employee Relation Corporate Strategy

(Source: Nica 2016)

Employee relation defines the relationship between the employees and employers of an organization. Clashes in employee relation are more likely to occur, when employees do not get appropriate benefits, privileges and priorities. According to Schumacher et al. (2016), employees are more likely to be under kind supervision for getting control on their task. The leaders of Guardian Media Limited have taken the strategy of kind supervision, which can lead to fewer clashes in the employee relation of the organization. Herzberg theory of employee motivation suggests proper recognition of the employees for smooth employee relation and enhanced motivation. However, Guardian Media Limited is not capable of providing accurate recognition to the employees, which can lead to increased clashes in employee relation.

On the other hand, Nica (2016) opined that employees always want to be the part of developmental team, where they can get growth in their career. Career growth actually meets the achievement needs of the employees, which can prevent employee dissatisfaction and awful employee relation. However, Guardian Media Limited is quite capable of providing proper salary and security, but they are not incapable of providing growth opportunities to the employees. Therefore, the employee relation activities of the organization are not linked with the corporate strategy.

Conventional approach of recruitment talks about the fact that while recruiting new employees in the organization, the job description should be mentioned to the candidates so that they are able to understand the job well (Kramar 2014). The conventional approach is the best way to recruit the employees as they help the employees to learn about the job properly. The conventional approach can be broken down into two parts:

Producing Job description- The job components are been broken down into parts so that the employees are able to understand the jobs properly and able to understand the jobs properly (Marler and Fisher 2013). If a bigger responsibility is being broken down then it will be easier for the employees to get a good grip of the situation.

As rightly pointed out by Storey (2014), the conventional approach also helps in making the employees understand the main objectives of the job role. In this way, they will be able to understand their main role in the organizations and other roles that will help them to achieve the main roles that have been assigned to them.

Producing personnel specification- The key features that are required to fulfill the job will also be clear to the candidates if conventional approaches are taken into consideration (Purce 2014). The candidates will be able to develop those skills that are required for the person to carry out the job by dividing the jobs into components will be helpful both for the company as well as for the employees who are working in the company.

Resourcing Theory

Evidence in Guardian Media Limited

Effective Job Description

No- Guardian Media Limited is incapable of preparing effective job description

Proper Source of Recruitment

No- Guardian Media Limited avoid external source of candidates, which can miss out the talented employees from outside sources

Table 1: Resourcing Corporate Strategy

(Source: Abraham et al. 2015)

Organizational resourcing is concerned with matching human resource capabilities with the operational and strategic needs of the organization. According to Hunter et al. (2017), proper resourcing of the employees is largely dependent on effective assessment of the vacant position for identifying the required skills needed. The conventional approach of resourcing suggests producing proper job description before hiring the employees. However, HR manager of Guardian Media Limited is incapable of properly breaking the job down for identifying the job component parts and its chief objectives of the jobs. Therefore, there is lack of link between the corporate strategy and organization’s specific activities.

Employee Relations

On the other hand, Abraham et al. (2015) opined that recruitment sources play an important role for the success of an organization. Based on the component and competency factors of the job, an organization should select the recruitment sources for hiring best talent through matching the job components. Moreover, the organization should assess both internal as well as external sources for hiring the best employees by matching the job requirements. However, Guardian Media Limited is mostly dependent on internal recruitment process for saving the cost of the company. In this way, avoidance of external source is actually ignoring the best talents from the external sources. This HRM strategy of the organization does not link with the corporate strategy. It can ultimately hamper the organizational effectiveness having lack of proper employee talent.

Social learning theory throws light on the fact that learning and working amongst each other is a part of the job (Storey 2016). The employees will be able to learn in the real environment along with other employees. As opined by Lengnick-Hall, Lengnick-Hall and Rigsbee (2013), social learning theory can be incorporated in the organization so that the junior employees will be able learn from the senior employees about the work and the latest development in the organization. Different training sessions may be arranged for the employees who are entering in the organization. However, Budhwar and Debrah (2013) argued that there are chances that those training sessions might become bit theoretical for the employees. They might lose interested in their jobs and might not get the opportunity to learn from the real situations. Storey (2016) suggested that the organization can form small teams and support from the senior employees who will able to train the new employees regarding the changes in the organization. The new employees would not have to give any extra time from their work schedule to learn new things. They can work as per their duty hours and learn while they are working in the organization. The employees will learn as per their needs. Mitchell, Obeidat and Bray (2013) has put forward that the social learning theory may not be applied when there is need for training for the senior members. The senior members will not have any other senior employees who will be able to train them on any new topic. They will have to take training from any external source or other than the duty hours to teach them about any new development. Another disadvantage of social learning theory is that the individual who needs specific kind of training might be overlooked in the prices (Sparrow, Brewster and Chung 2016).

Learning and Development Theory

Evidence in Guardian Media Limited

Frequent Training Session

No- Less frequent training session actually hinder proper development of employee skills

Team Collaboration

No- Lack of team collaboration hinders ineffective social learning of the employees

Table 4: Learning and Development Corporate Strategy

(Source: Lozano 2014)

Organizational learning and development promotes and support employee development and organizational effectiveness through providing high quality training, leadership development programs and career advice. According to Lozano (2014), success of an organization is highly dependent on the frequent assessment of employees’ performance and provides them training for their skill development as the organizational needs. However, the organization adheres to the training session for the skills development of the employees. However, the training sessions are less frequent in this organization, which is ineffective for the ultimate development of the employees. In this way, the learning and development strategy is not linked with the corporate learning and development strategy.

Link between Employee Relation Corporate Strategy and Organization’s Specific Activities

On the other hand, the theory of social learning theory suggests learning and development of the employees through observing and imitating others. However, such strategy needs proper team collaboration within the organization. Moreover, due to lack of team collaboration, the organization is incapable of providing proper learning and development session. Therefore, there is no proper link between the corporate strategy of learning and development and actual activities of the organization.


After going through the corporate strategies of Guardian Media Limited, it can be concluded that the HR department cannot look after the employees in the proper manner. they are not able to break down the job properly as per the employees. The company is mainly concentrating on the internal talents and not giving proper attention to the external talents.

They may be taking a conventional approach to recruitment but they should also take into consideration the recruitment process where they will be taking into consideration the recruitment from the external sources. In this way, they will be able to get a greater pool of talent to choose from for the organization.

Guardian Media Limited is taking into consideration 360-degree appraisal but the appraisal criterion is not clear. They do not have a proper explanation to give to the employees while talking about the appraisal. In addition to this, biasness can also be seen.

It is recommended that the people who are responsible for the appraisal should review the feedbacks of the co-employees. It might happen that any co-employee holds some grudge for any employee and might give any negative feedback in spite the employee is performing well. Thus, review of the feedback is necessary in this case as well.

Guardian Media Limited is not being able to get proper recognition to the employees. They are following Herzberg’s two-factor theory to motivate the employees. However, they are not being able to keep a check on the employees and they are not being able to motivate the employees in the proper manner, as they are not being able to give them proper recognition.

As they are not getting proper recognition from the organization, they are not able to develop proper relation with the organization. The recognition for the employees may not have to be in monetary terms but proper recognition for their work like employee of the month or employee of the work can be given to the employees to up their spirit.

Guardian Media Limited has its functions in radio, television and press. They can give the best performer from the three fields proper recognition so that they will perform better in their respective fields.

Guardian Media Limited is looking after the training of the employees but the training sessions are not frequent. Proper training should be imparted to the employees and on a timely manner so that they are able to get proper knowledge. Good amount of time should be given to the employees so that they are able to learn properly, even if they are not given proper time for training and asked to learn from the seniors, that training should also be frequent for the employees.

They need to arrange separate training for the employees but the session with the senior employees should be scheduled and made mandatory. The schedule of the training get postponed as they will be working normally but until, the training is not scheduled properly, it will affect the learning process for the new employees as a whole.


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