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HRM Issue Identification

The Eastern Garden is a high-end busy restaurant, that is located and operating in Melbourne. Although the restaurant is quite famous and had a good business flow, the pandemic Covid-19 created havoc in the normal business process. The success of the organization is largely dependent on its ability to effectively manage the HRM activities. The workplace management process is attributed to the effective management of the employees and their requirements. This is the reason why the employee turnover rate is low. However, at the end of March 2020, Level 3 restrictions were introduced by the Victorian government, which critically impacted the normal operations of the restaurant. However, the impact was most severe on the employees as the drop in sales resulted in a drastic change in the staffing.

In the following section of the report, a detailed discussion on the human resource issues, faced in Eastern Garden is presented along with an analysis of the alternative options that Eastern Garden needs to consider.

The pandemic Covid-19 and its associated restrictions have severely impacted normal business operations, especially the problems and issues related to staffing and their future (Carnevale and Hatak 2020). The organization is known for their effective human resource management process and high-level staffs’ satisfaction. It is very unfortunate that the company has to change its staffing plan due to the pandemic (Hamouche 2021). The impact on the overall staffing process of the organization is because of certain operational and strategic issues, which are necessary to be addressed. In this section of the report, the operational and strategic issues that directly impacted the human resource of the organization is discussed.

First of all, the complete absence of restrictions in dining in facilities of the restaurant has significantly reduced the staffs' load and their requirement as well. The lack of customers visiting the restaurant and/ or availing of their services has impacted the overall profit margins. The response of the takeaway service implemented within the organization was not that good as in this pandemic, people stopped eating foods that are not homemade. On basis of the same, the following issues were faced in Eastern Garden-

  • Employee well-being is impacted as a decrease in the organizational profit and lack of work not only hampered their income but also their mental health, well-being and their morale. The uncertainty with their job is a major HRM problem that was identified.
  • The sudden drop in sales and reduction in the number of customers not only impacted the profit margin of Eastern Garden but also impacted their competitive advantage. Eastern Garden had a competitive advantage of good sales and efficient staffing. Both seem to drop drastically at this moment. Therefore, maintaining their competitive advantage in the situation of a pandemic proved to be a major issue that is required to be addressed (Collings et al. 2021). The risk is high as if the loyal employees have to leave their service in Eastern Garden, it might be very difficult for them to regain their competitive advantage.
  • Eastern Garden is known for its effective reward policies for the employees. The staffs' satisfaction rate is high in this organization because of the initiatives they take to appropriately pay their staff and also reward them. However, a payment hike or rewarding system cannot be considered at this moment as the profit from the sales is negligible (Gigauri 2020). This is an issue that Eastern Garden is currently facing and lack of reward management process for a long time and substantially decrease the motivation level of the staff.
  • Another major issue that the organization is facing right now is a decrease in productivity as there is a sharp decline in the requirement. If this becomes a routine, Eastern Garden might have to lay off a number of employees.
  • Currently, there is no HR planning in the organization as the productivity has declined and the organization do not need to recruit further at this moment (Wunderlich and Løkke 2020).
  • Due to the pandemic, several operational changes are brought about in the organization, however, no proper training is provided to the staff regarding the same (Gonçalves et al. 2021). This is a major issue and can be a significant reason behind the sharp decline in sales due to the pandemic.

The above points provide a list of issues that Eastern Garden is currently facing. Management of these issues is necessary.

In the previous section, a detailed list of the HRM issues that the company is facing right now is presented. On analysis of the current situation, it can be said that the majority of the issues are being faced in the organization mainly because of the pandemic and a sharp decline in production and sales. The pandemic Covid-19 has severely impacted almost all the industries among which the hospitality and food and beverage industry has been impacted the most (Adikaram et al. 2021). The decline in the sales and profits of Eastern Garden has shifted the organizational focus to “thriving” in the bad time than to look after the employee well-being. The majority of the organizations that have faced a sharp decline in sales has urged their employees to support them in the bad times (De Leon 2020). Eastern Garden also expects the same. This is the reason why issues related to employee well-being, training and employee planning are identified. At this point in time, the organization is planning to maintain their competitive advantage and they have shifted its focus towards the same.

Discussion of the HRM Issues

However, the issues listed in the previous section are major issues that are necessary to be addressed or else these issues can result in a severe decline in the employees’ satisfaction level. The company Eastern Garden has been successful largely because of its employees and hence, effective employee management is needed to be prioritized (Ichsan et al. 2020). In the following section of the report, a discussion on how the identified issues can be efficiently addressed is presented.

As indicated earlier, the HRM issues identified in this report are some major issues and hence, Eastern Garden is required to take necessary measures in addressing and eliminating the issues (Vnou?ková 2020). The lack of employee support can significantly impact the organizational reputation and its profit margin and hence, alternative responses towards the problems are necessary to be identified and addressed.

The primary issue that is identified is related to employee well-being. It is necessary for Eastern Garden to address this issue on high priority as employee well-being drives business profits. Eastern Garden need to support their employee in these tough times. Instead of laying off the employees, the organization can change their roles for the time being to keep them engaged and give them an opportunity to earn even in tough times (Sulaiman et al. 2020). For example, the waiters can be assigned for home delivery work. Furthermore, Eastern Garden needs to have good employee medical emergency planning and needs to assure all the employees that the company will take responsibility for all their medical expenses in this difficult time. This will contribute to improving the employee's well-being. Even if their salaries cannot be increased at this moment, this step will help Eastern Garden to manage the employees' well-being.

The second major issue is related to a drop in sales and the possibility of losing the competitive advantage. This issue can be addressed through passive advertisements. Eastern Garden, at this time, can support the covid victims, which will provide them with good exposure, and can help in increasing the competitive advantage.

Furthermore, the problem of lack of employee planning can be solved through the earlier discussed option of providing health insurance to all their current employees. Apart from that, providing necessary training to the employees for their change in roles is suggested as well.

All the mentioned options can significantly contribute to easier management of the operational and strategic HRM issues that are currently faced within the organization. Following these alternative options can contribute to easier management of the current issues (He et al. 2020). The employees’ concerns are needed to be prioritized at this moment and hence, these alternative options are suggested.

Evaluation of Alternative Responses


The report presents a detailed analysis of the current scenario of Eastern Garden and the HRM issues that are faced within the organization because of the pandemic. The issues faced in the pandemic shows the organizational inefficiencies in HR planning and management. However, Eastern Garden is known for its good HR policies and employee retention. Hence, based on the analysis of the current situation, certain alternative responses are suggested, which if followed can contribute to the management of the problems.

Based on the findings of this report, the following recommendations are made-

  • Mandatory health insurance is recommended to be provided to all the employees.
  • Regular communication with the employees is suggested to manage their requirements and expectations.
  • Regular health checkup for the employees is suggested to manage employee health and well-being.

The above recommendations can help in better management of this situation and can contribute to effective HR planning as well. These recommendations are suggested on basis of the findings from the report.


Adikaram, A.S., Naotunna, N.P.G.S.I. and Priyankara, H.P.R., 2021. Battling COVID-19 with human resource management bundling. Employee Relations: The International Journal.

Carnevale, J.B. and Hatak, I., 2020. Employee adjustment and well-being in the era of COVID-19: Implications for human resource management. Journal of Business Research, 116, pp.183-187.

Collings, D.G., Nyberg, A.J., Wright, P.M. and McMackin, J., 2021. Leading through paradox in a COVID?19 world: Human resources comes of age. Human Resource Management Journal, 31(4), pp.819-833.

De Leon, V., 2020. Human resource management during the Covid-19 pandemic (Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Northridge).

Gigauri, I., 2020. Influence of Covid-19 crisis on human resource management and companies’ response: the expert study. International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration, 6(6), pp.15-24.

Gonçalves, S.P., Santos, J.V.D., Silva, I.S., Veloso, A., Brandão, C. and Moura, R., 2021. COVID-19 and people management: the view of human resource managers. Administrative Sciences, 11(3), p.69.

Hamouche, S., 2021. Human resource management and the COVID-19 crisis: implications, challenges, opportunities, and future organizational directions. Journal of Management & Organization, 1, p.16.

He, J., Mao, Y., Morrison, A.M. and Coca-Stefaniak, J.A., 2020. On being warm and friendly: the effect of socially responsible human resource management on employee fears of the threats of COVID-19. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.

Ichsan, R.N., Santosa, S., Shara, Y. and Liriwati, F.Y., 2020. Investigation Of Strategic Human Resource Management Practices In Business After Covid-19 Disruption. PalArch's Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology, 17(7), pp.13098-13110.

Sulaiman, M.A.B.A., Ahmed, M.N. and Shabbir, M.S., 2020. Covid-19 challenges and human resource management in organized retail operations. Utopia y Praxis Latinoamericana, 25(Esp. 12), pp.81-92.

Vnou?ková, L., 2020. Impact of COVID-19 on human resource management. Revista Latinoamericana de Investigación Social, 3(1), pp.18-21.

Wunderlich, M.F. and Løkke, A.K., 2020. Human Resource Management Practices in Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Denmark: AARHUS University.

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