Q1a. The emerging issues in Human Resource Management
Human resource (HR) professionals often come cross challenges in running the functions of their human resource departments. Even so, formulating the human resource strategic direction calls for forward-thinking and progressive principles which are also aligned with the philosophy of the organization (Brewster, Gollan & Wright 2013). There are a number of emerging issues in Human Resource Management (HRM) that challenge human resource departments. These include: legal compliance with various evolving laws including those pertaining to medical privacy, sexual harassment, and discrimination (Coates 2012); globalization issues such as recruiting and sourcing visionary people who possess cultural fluency essential for companies that are looking to build multinational business ties (Gherman, Brad & Dincu 2016); the ageing workforce; diversity; employee retention; and dissimilar work patterns (Sehgal 2015; Sanders & Yang 2016).
In the Buckingham County Council scenario, the main HRM issues and challenges include the following. First is attracting high-quality employees. With a workforce of about 14,000 employees, Buckingham County Council considers attracting and retaining high-quality employees as key to its corporate strategy. Secondly is improving the performance of its staff members. In order to improve the performance of its employees across the organization, Buckingham County Council uses the resourcing strategy. This strategy serves to complement and reinforce the people strategy, which comprises 5 crucial targets: transforming the organization, developing existing strategy, being the best employer, championing diversity, and developing the existing talent. Buckingham County Council created a people-strategy for the purpose of ensuring that employees in the organization are actually managed in a more effective way. This extends the targets of people strategy and is utilized in monitoring the progress in attaining them.
The third HRM issue at Buckingham County Council is improving recruitment and selection of new staff members. This involved several measures including creating a talent bank for ensuring that vacancies were filled faster; developing a competency framework utilized for competency-based selection; development of a better recruitment website; streamlining processes in order to decrease the time for filling vacancies; and strengthening the employer brand. The fourth issue is retaining talent or employees. Buckingham County Council has adopted a holistic approach that it uses to retain its staff members. This holistic approach entails watching all aspects of the employment relationship and setting a best-employer target. To measure employee engagement, Buckingham County Council uses a staff survey. The fifth issue is total reward strategy. Buckingham County Council has adopted a total reward approach that includes the utilization of total reward statements. The sixth issue pertains to talent management. Buckingham County Council uses a talent management toolkit for the purpose of identifying and developing potential high performing people at each level of the organization.
Q1b. Two of the challenges in the scenario
Two challenges in the Buckingham County Council scenario are as follows: first is improving recruitment and selection. Recruitment and selection of new people are crucial functions of the HR department at Buckingham County Council. Hiring the right people for the organization could affect the organization’s productivity, organization culture, rate of employee turnover, and even the organization’s bottom-line (Almutawa, Muenjohn & Jiaying 2016). The quality of people that an organization hires is dependent upon an effective recruitment and selection strategy. Even so, the recruitment and selection process is not always easy. There are various obstacles like improving communication between recruiters and the hiring managers, and the cost of advertising job vacancies (Stari?eca 2015). Azam and Kumar (2016) reported that if recruitment and retention of new talent were a simple task, then organizations would not be hiring recruiters and HR departments.
Just like many other organizations, Buckingham County Council’s human resource department often encounters challenges in the recruitment and selection of new people. The ability of an organization to overcome those challenges depends upon a number of factors such as the organization’s attractiveness to new workers, the commitment and competence of the recruiter, and even the economy (Marie & Derous 2016). In order to improve its recruitment and selection process, Buckingham County Council sought to do the following: develop a better recruitment website, strengthen the employer brand, and develop a talent bank for ensuring that job vacancies at the organization were filled speedily. In addition, the organization sought to develop a competency framework utilized for competency-based selection, and Buckingham County Council has also streamlined processes in order to decrease the time required to fill vacancies.
The second challenge is retaining talent. Finding talented workers is one thing, and retaining them at the organization is another (Rose & Raja 2016). An organization such as Buckingham County Council cannot survive if its talented employees quit their jobs. The organization needs workers who are not just loyal to the organization, but who also work hard with full commitment to attain the goals and objectives of the organization (Michael, Prince & Chacko 2016). It is necessary for it to retain its top performers who actually contribute their level best and think positively about the organization. At Buckingham County Council, the organization uses a holistic approach to retain its talent. The holistic approach entails paying attention to all aspects of employee relationship and setting a best-employer target. The organization carries out surveys to gauge the engagement of employees. Employee engagement is key to the success of talent management given that fulfilled and happy employees would, theoretically, be more productive than those who are not fulfilled and contented (Koedel & Xiang 2017).
The HR team at Buckingham County Council plays a vital role in retaining workers. Every time a staff member resigns from his or her duties or quits job, it is the responsibility of the organization’s human resource manager to immediately intervene and establish the reasons that caused that worker to quit or resign from his/her assignments (Dobrian 2015). No employee quits or resigns without any reason. The reason could be negative ambience, lack of growth, conflict with the superiors, lesser wages among other reasons. Also, the human resource manager at Buckingham County Council should ensure that she always recruits the right people that really fit into their roles. Every worker should be given responsibilities in accordance with his or her interest and specialization. A right employee assigned the wrong roles would not find that job interesting to him or her and may surely try to look for change (Almutawa, Muenjohn & Jiaying 2016).
Moreover, the human resource department at Buckingham County Council should carry out incentive schemes for its employees in order to motivate them. The HR department should also carry out motivational activities at the place of work, and the compensation packages for the workers should be enhanced. A recognition program must also be in place since employees who feel unappreciated are likely to search for acknowledgment in another organization (Michael, Prince & Chacko 2016).
Q2a. Finance Manager job description, person specification and performance appraisal methods
Job Description for a Finance Manager
The Principal Accountabilities of a Finance Manager at Buckingham County Council fall into various categories including management, funds management, budgeting, and financial analysis (Knortz 2009).
- Oversee all the operations of the organization’s finance department, which include the design of an organization structure that is adequate for the achievement of the objectives and goals of the finance department.
- Manage functions that are outsourced
- Maintain a documented system of accounting procedures and policies (Fondas 2010).
- Aid the top management of the organization in formulating the organization’s overall strategic direction;
- Prepare the budget of the organization;
- Report to the top management of the organization on any variances from the established budget, and why the variances arose (Knortz 2009).
- Maintain banking relationships;
- Make sure that Buckingham County Council has adequate amount of money to satisfy its ongoing operational requirements;
- Invest funds;
- Predict cash flow positions;
- Help in establishing the proper capital structure of the organization;
- Arrange for financing (Fondas 2010).
- Compile important business metrics and report on them to the top management of the organization;
- Interpret the fiscal results of the organization to the top management and suggest improvement activities (Fondas 2010);
- Engage in ongoing cost reduction analysis in every area of the organization;
- Review organization bottlenecks and suggest changes to improve the level of the organization’s throughput;
- Develop more financial reports and analysis as demanded by the organization’s top management (Knortz 2009).
· Experience of monitoring and reporting to right deadlines
· Experience of fiscal reporting to the local government
· Experience of managing a large finance team, which include the training and development of staffs in the finance department
· At least 3 years of experience working in a county council finance department
Essential knowledge and skills
· Knowledge of finance procedures and finance systems
· Outstanding organizational skills with the capability of coordinating activities
· Proven capacity to develop, motivate, manage and lead a team
· Effective fiscal management skills
· Excellent IT, numeracy and literacy skills
· Proven management, leadership and administrative capacity in areas of organizational development and strategic planning
· Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills
· Flexible, self-motivated and enthusiastic approach to work
· Committed and dedicated to high-quality standards
· Capacity to be proactive, demonstrate initiative, and provide a solution-oriented approach
· Capacity to build effective working relationships at every level both externally and internally
· Capacity to work calmly under pressure, to meet deadlines, and prioritize work.
· Professional accounting qualification such as ACCA, CIMA or ACA.
Performance Appraisal Methods
Performance appraisal is understood as a methodical evaluation of a person regarding performance on the job as well as the person’s potential for development (Cappelli & Tavis 2016). There are quite a few performance appraisal methods that can be used to evaluate the performance of a Finance Manager at Buckingham County Council. These include Graphic Rating Scales and Management by Objectives (MBO).
Graphic Rating Scale
This performance appraisal method is among the oldest and the most extensively utilized methods. As per this approach, the performance of the Finance Manager at Buckingham County Council would be appraised basing upon a number of job performance criteria, such that every criteria is categorically divided into excellent, good, somewhat good, somewhat poor and poor (Farndale & Kelliher 2013). In addition, the criteria carry a particular score weight. The person who appraises the manager would tick the category that best describes this Finance Manager and in the end the score would be totaled (Farndale & Kelliher 2013). This performance appraisal approach is advantageous given that it is a simple and straightforward performance appraisal method and does not actually necessitate the rater to have any writing skills (Pratt 2011).
Management by Objectives (MBO)
This is a methodical and modern performance appraisal method. It was founded jointly by three management science experts: Odiorne, McGregor and Drucker. According to Daley (2011), today’s managers understand that the results of traditional performance appraisal methods were for the most part based upon the opinions or perspectives of the raters. They have come to the realization that it is important to know what accomplishment is from the viewpoint of the employees; in this case the Finance Manager of Buckingham County Council (Sudarsan 2009). Management by Objectives is an employer-employee driven performance appraisal method that involves subordinates and superiors in goal setting (Daley 2011). The workers work on attaining their defined goals and the employer keeps a record of how close the employees are to attaining those goals. In this way, the employee becomes clear with regard to the path to walk on in order to attain the set goals, consequently improving and increasing her level of performance (Yun et al. 2010).
The process of performance appraisal under the MBO approach is as follows: create goals and the desired outcomes for every employee; set the standards for performance; compare the established goals with the actual goals that the subordinate has attained; and create new goals for the employee as well as new strategies for the goals which the employees failed to attain in the preceding year (McConkie 2009). The Management by Objectives performance appraisal method is more practical for managerial positions such as the position of a Finance Manager at Buckingham County Council.
Q2b. Designs for the performance appraisal methods
The designs of the performance appraisal methods are illustrated.
Graphic Rating Scale performance appraisal for evaluating the Finance Manager
Management by Objectives performance appraisal for evaluating the Finance Manager
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