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Gaining of Familiarity

Discuss about the Human Resource Management Best Practices And Firm Performance.

The HR problems in the particular case study identified with the help of ADAP approach to case preparation (Berkes, Folke and Colding 2000). The approach consists of six steps however, the HR problems of the case study company is done using the first five steps.

Adelaide based HS Furniture Co. remained an industry leader in the local market with its innovative design and offered compact, self-assembled and fair priced furniture. The company however had a constant demand for its products. CM, the owner of the company did not find it important in introducing the formal HR practices and policies since he believed that it would seize the company of its opportunities of growth thereby making it more inflexible. This prevented the company from having a separate HR department. However, the owner in coordination with the trusted line managers made most of the HR decision. In the year, 2015, the company took advantage of its position and opened a sales office in Darwin, NT. In spite of the lack of necessary skills or any awareness of Darwin’s labor market, the manager for the concerned office would be from the already existing Adelaide staffs. CM put forward that an individual with the right kind of personality and attitude would suit the role. A sales representative named Jane was offered the role. She was ambitious and loyal but did not possess any management experience besides her role. However, CM trusted her with the responsibilities of not only marketing and sales but also accounting and human resource (HR) since the subjects were a part of her business degree.

In absence of a formal HR department, CM carried out the HR activities of the company along with the line managers. This resulted in contradictory and unfair decisions although the CM had the impression that it ensured speed and flexibility to the company. In addition, the CM also micro managed the operational activities that also included the maintenance of relationships with the primary customers. Further, in the new sales office located in Darwin, the responsibility of the selection and the recruitment of the new employees were appointed to Jane, a formal sales staff of the Adelaide branch, who had no formal in human resource management.

HS Furniture Co did not have formal performance or appraisal management system due its small size. However, CM and his managers believed in achieving the goal by providing constant guidance to the employees that ruled out the need for a separate HR department. They believed that they actually carried out the functions of HR through employee’s motivation by ensuring them to work harder through creation of the expectations of the stress performance. The new division also aimed at performing HR activities without a formal HR department and a professional. Jane, the new manager, who had no formal training, carried the HR activities by introducing and molding the employees.

Recognition of the Symptoms

In the Adelaide branch of the furniture company, the absence of human resource department led to contradictory and unfair decisions. The company also lacked a formal performance management and appraisal system. The company also did not provide job descriptions in a written form. In the newer division, although Jane blamed the labor market of Darwin but it was also lack of her training and expertise that led to only the recruitment of the graduates for all the positions. The absence of a formal HR department and a professional HR also led to the arousal of tensions amongst the employees of Darwin due to the setting of unrealistic targets. There were also a persistent problems related to payroll. The constant pressure of performance improvement and the lack of professional mannerism made Jane more demanding and aggressive. This led her to direct unreasonable and repeated comments towards the workers. This withdrew the workers, as they felt more sullen and passive. Under Jane, the employees did not even posses the necessary freedom of using initiatives and making decisions. The explosion of her when she caught her clerks internet shopping forced them in quitting their jobs. The company also received legal notice from one of the clerks for wrongful dismissal. The intertwining of several instances landed the company in a financial crisis where the employees also had low morale.

To diagnose the problems faced by the employees, CM intervened through process of discussion and tried to provide a remedial measure. He also analyzed whether the situation could be improved through career development and by providing the employees with necessary formal training. To improve the situation he acted paternalistic and not only treated everyone as family but also emphasized on the loyalty factor. He also initiated company sponsored social gatherings for all the members. The ongoing problem in the Darwin division made CM realize the incapability of Jane in managing the division that finally had a close down.

This role of HR as strategic partner /contributor involves working with the business leaders for putting a strategy in place, ensure its implementation and make use of the people to the best of their abilities (Bratton and Gold 2017). For instance, this involves analysis of the human resources and skills available for the projects that each of the business units undertakes in the next five years. The HR role as strategic partner also evolves into the input for decision-making (Mitchell, Obeidat and Bray 2013). This particular role sees the contribution of the HR in the form of providing recruitment by molding the employees in fitting the roles meant for performance and leadership and also managing and organizing them for supporting the organizational performance (Ananthram and Nankervis 2013).

Identification of the Goals

CM and his managers in providing constant guidance under took this particular role of HR to the employees for working hard and improving their performance. They also ensured career development or formal training as a means for personal development for improvement of the employee productivity.

In this role, the HR manager act as consultant to the senior management. This role demands the HR in fulfilling leadership and administrative qualities (Hunter, Saunders and Constance 2016). The role of the administrative expert allows the HR in complying with confidentiality and labor regulations, safety, restrictions and requirements thereby minimizing the risk of the fines, lawsuits and penalties. This role also charges the HR managers with rethinking on how they would question and work with procedures and policies related to the people that needs improvement (Thill et al. 2014). The administrative role also motivates the employees in introducing human resource information system for revamping the service provided to the employees. The administrative role also allows the HR in providing the appropriate number of people with the necessary skills, experience and knowledge for profitable functioning of the organization (Maier et al. 2013).

CM and the managers of the HS Furniture Co took to the administrative role of the HR by appointing Jane as the manager of the new division of the office in Darwin. She carried out the role of an HR through appropriate staff selection and recruitment in the new office. She also took up the administrative role of the HR in deciding that eleven employees were required for effectively penetrating into the competitive market of Darwin. Out of the eleven employees, seven represented the sales representatives, one personal assistant and receptionist, one sales and one account clerk. Moreover, she also sought applicants based on the personality and attitude and who were ambitious and over enthusiastic with a preferable marketing background. As an administrative HR, she also insisted the administration of payroll from the head office.

The HR professional as an employee advocate act as the employee’s voice through performance of an employee advocacy role within organization (Sheehan et al. 2014). Thus, the HR in this particular role helps in creation of a link between management needs and the employee needs.

CM plays the employee advocacy role of an HR when he intervenes into a problem after its occurrence either by taking the side of the employees in discussing the issue or by providing remedial measures on the job training. The problems are often related to poor customer service o might be related to the product quality and design.

Analysis

As a change agent, the HR plays the role of transforming the organization by focusing on improvement, development and organizational effectiveness (Benn, Edwards and Williams 2014). In this role, the HR primarily focuses primarily on the people and their interactions within the organization.

CM of HS Furniture Co plays the role of the change agent by deciding on opening a new sales office in Darwin despite the lack of the skill inventory and knowledge of the labor market. He brought in a change on deciding to recruit a manager for the newer division who would further undertake selection and employee recruitment.

Adelaide based HS Furniture Co follows the recruitment approach of review resumes and the selection procedure of personality profiling (Wright and Chin 2014). Reviewing resumes involves the recognition of a keener eye for the talent on the paper. This involves over viewing of the combination between experience and education by the managers. On the other hand, personality profiling, also referred as personality testing or behavioral profiling that involves every aspect from the technical to the clinical and the business-oriented tools (Flekova and Gurevych 2015). In this regard, CM of Adelaide based HS Furniture Co looks for an individual who has the right personality and attitude for being hired as candidate. The manager of the Darwin division of HS Furniture Co also recruits applicants based on personality and attitude along with having a good marketing experience.

This refers to the making and breaking of the experience of the new employees that helps in solidifying the relationship of the employees with the organization (Cascio 2018). The orientation process helps in fueling enthusiasm and guiding them towards a positive relationship.

In this respect, the CM of HS Furniture Co follows an orientation process that provides constant guidance to the employees through career development and formal training. He also provided orientation that motivated the employees in working hard. Moreover, he emphasized loyalty and ensured greater emphasis on the loyalty aspect. The employees hired in the Darwin division underwent orientation by the new manager who not only introduced one another but also motivated them to get along the job.

Performance appraisal refers to the periodic, general and systematic process that helps in accessing the productivity and job performance of the individual employee based on pre set organizational criteria and objectives (Beh and Loo 2013).

The Adelaide based HS Furniture Co did not have a formal performance management or appraisal system due to its smaller size. However, CM and his managers for delivering improved performances provided informal performance boost up through constant guidance.

Diagnosis

Employee contract refers to the type of the contract in the labor law for attributing the responsibilities and rights bargained between two parties (De Cuyper and Isaksson 2017). This type of contract is between the employee and the employer.

There existed no written job specifications since CM of HS Furniture Co considered it as bureaucratic nonsense. Although there existed no such written employment contract but CM verbally made a promise to Jane that allowed her to stay in the job for minimum two years that would also help in justifying her move to the company’s new division at Darwin. The terms and conditions of the employment were verbally discussed with employees during the interview process.

References: 

Ananthram, S. and Nankervis, A., 2013. Strategic agility and the role of HR as a strategic business partner: an Indian perspective. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 51(4), pp.454-470.

Beh, L.S. and Loo, L.H., 2013. Human resource management best practices and firm performance: A universalistic perspective approach. Serbian Journal of Management, 8(2), pp.155-167.

Benn, S., Edwards, M. and Williams, T., 2014. Organizational change for corporate sustainability. Routledge.

Berkes, F., Folke, C. and Colding, J. eds., 2000. Linking social and ecological systems: management practices and social mechanisms for building resilience. Cambridge University Press.

Bratton, J. and Gold, J., 2017. Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave.

Cascio, W., 2018. Managing human resources. McGraw-Hill Education.

De Cuyper, N. and Isaksson, K., 2017. Employment contracts and well-being among European workers. Routledge.

Flekova, L. and Gurevych, I., 2015. Personality profiling of fictional characters using sense-level links between lexical resources. In Proceedings of the 2015 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (pp. 1805-1816).

Hunter, I., Saunders, J. and Constance, S., 2016. HR business partners. Routledge.

Maier, C., Laumer, S., Eckhardt, A. and Weitzel, T., 2013. Analyzing the impact of HRIS implementations on HR personnel’s job satisfaction and turnover intention. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 22(3), pp.193-207.

Mitchell, R., Obeidat, S. and Bray, M., 2013. The Effect of Strategic Human Resource Management on Organizational Performance: The Mediating Role of High?Performance Human Resource Practices. Human Resource Management, 52(6), pp.899-921.

Sheehan, C., De Cieri, H., Greenwood, M. and Van Buren, H.J., 2014. HR professional role tensions: Perceptions and responses of the top management team. Human Resource Management, 53(1), pp.115-130.

Thill, K., Venegas, B.C. and Groblschegg, S., 2014. HR roles and activities. Empirical results from the DACH region and implications for a future development of the HR profession. International Journal of Business and Management, 2(4), pp.97-109.

Wright, W.R. and Chin, D.N., 2014, July. Personality profiling from text: introducing part-of-speech N-grams. In International Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation, and Personalization (pp. 243-253). Springer, Cham.

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