Discuss about the Role of HR in Creating Sustainable Organizations.
The case study deals with a hospital in Australia, which has approximately 400 staff members in different units which are located across the country. The case study discusses how poor HR practices in the organization have led to staff turnover, absenteeism, grievances and lack of staff members. This in turn has led to some serious incidents with the patients and decreased the quality of services in terms of medical care and facilities.
Another hospital is highlighted in case study in order to give a contrasting view of HR practices. The hospital has a proper HR department which facilitates employee engagement and other HR activities which has led to staff retention, morale and overall quality of the patient care and safety.
The report would try to evaluate the ways that the first hospital should adopt in order to improve its quality of patient care and the ways of building a sustainable HR framework through HRM theories and models.
The case study has shown the contrasting view of two hospitals, where first hospital lacks a proper HR department due to which it is facing problems high attrition rate, grievances issues and decreased quality of patient care, the second hospital has an effective HR department which makes it a leading healthcare organization.
The CEO of the first hospital has given all the HR roles and responsibilities to the Line Managers of the hospital and has hired an HR consultant who overviews the HR policies on a weekly basis. The CEO has overlooked the consequences of lack of an HR department which has led to work conflicts, staff turnover and shortage of staff. This has an impact on overall quality of patient care and safety and led to severe patient accidents.
The CEO is required to review the performance of the hospital and needs to reconsider the requirement of an HR department. He needs to understand that the safety and care of a patient is the first and topmost priority of a hospital, which has been endangered due to a lack of a proper HR department in the hospital. Transferring the roles and responsibilities of an HR to the Line Managers is not going to support the hospital sustainable framework for a long period and thus, CEO needs to take an action which aligns with the goals and objectives of the hospital (Colbert & Kurucz 2007). The goal of a hospital is to consider the patient care and safety on topmost priority, which requires an effective HR department in place.
As of present there is no HR department in the hospital and the roles and responsibilities of an HR are carried out by the middle managers of the hospital. The middle managers are not even aware that these functions are not a part of their domain. They have been overburdened which is affecting employee competence and thus, leading to absenteeism. The overloaded managers are not able to deal with the situation, getting frustrated and then leaving the job causing staff turnover and shortage. The situation has affected the quality of the services of hospital in terms of service delivery, patient care and has led to severe patient accidents. This harms the reputation of the hospital and would affect it in long term.
CEO of the hospital needs to understand the significance of an HR department, which can be considered by reviewing the performance of the other leading hospitals which have a sustainable HR framework (Shi, 2007). He needs to understand that current framework is affecting employee competence which is a major issue for an organization. Overburdening of work and employee absenteeism are spoiling employee relations and effective communication in the hospital. There is no criterion for performance management in the hospital. A sustainable HR framework would thus, help the hospital in achieving its long term goals and objectives (Colbert & Kurucz 2007).
In order to understand the importance of an HR department, the report would discuss the following roles and responsibilities of an HR department (Shi, 2007):
Staffing and Placement
Employees are the asset of a healthcare organization and an HR ensures that the hospital is staffed with suitable personnel. The responsibility of an HR manager is to source the right candidate for the position in the hospital through different channels. Once the employee has been appointed it is the duty of the HR to guide him through the induction and training program and advises the management on benefits and compensation for the employees (current and potential). The HR ensures that the employee has all the requisite documents including their respective degrees, id proofs and work permit and fulfils the criteria of the hospital (Hernandez, 22 June 2009).
Legal Research on Health Care
An HR manager is responsible to make sure that the hospital complies with the government rules and regulations in relation to its staff members and employees which may require working with the hospital lawyers as well. Then there are certain medical care laws with which a hospital should be well-versed. Recruitment contracts with the medical practitioners are created and maintained by an HR manager. The legal contracts must be well documented to avoid any disputes from employee contracts and other violations (Hernandez, 22 June 2009).
Management of Employees
An HR manager controls and monitors the performance of the employees of an organization which ensures effective delivery of services, minimize patient complains and prevent sanctions from the authorities. The HR ensures that employee performance is at par through employee engagement activities, resolving work conflict, grievance handling, benefits and compensation etc. Thus, an HR ensures a positive work environment in an organization (Hernandez, 22 June 2009).
The HR department is also involved in planning and decision making processes which may include building strategies to develop a sustainable framework and ensure a better organized health care system. The involvement of HR department in the planning process helps to address employee issues and concerns, which further helps in devising the solution for the concerns raised (Power, 8 February 2012).
Training and Development
Well trained employees are the assets of a healthcare organization. Regular training and development of the employees is essential in order to update them with the latest trends and practices. Technical staff needs to be equipped with the latest and current technologies, which is handled by an HR manager. The HR manager identifies the need of training in the organization and finds out the best training sources for the employees. The training can include Safety policy, Disaster management, Patient care, Handling critical cases, Health hygiene, Cleanliness and Hygiene, Technical equipments and machine, public dealing such as politeness and courtesy etc. Training, thus, ensures effective service delivery to the patients and maintains the quality of the patient care and safety (Power, 8 February 2012).
Apart from the above function, an HR is also liable for a proper administration in a healthcare organization. General administration may include vendor management, safety and security measures, database management etc. It is the duty of an HR to assign duties and responsibilities to the staff (Power, 8 February 2012).
Thus, an HR plays a very crucial role in a hospital and ensures organizational commitment, effective service delivery and patient care.
The report would further study the ways to develop a sustainable HR framework in a healthcare organization.
There are six components of a sustainable HR framework which are as follows (Brinkerhoff & Goldsmith, March 1992):
- HR Management System
HR management systems are responsible for integrated use of data, manpower planning, recruitment and selection and providing support to new employees. The process requires an integrated system that is available to the HR department and ensures that the data available for planning, training and appraising is accurate and on time. Performance appraisal, work productivity, hiring and deployment form the key component of the management system (Brinkerhoff & Goldsmith, March 1992).
Leadership is required to guide and align employees as per the goals and objectives of the organization. It includes planning, budgeting, organizing, mobilizing resources and giving direction to the workforce. In order to ensure effective leadership in an organization, an organization must have HRH champions, effective management system and capacity to lead multi-sector and sector wide collaboration. An organization must have involvement of the stakeholders in the decision making process of the organization (Brinkerhoff & Goldsmith, March 1992).
Partnership is a formal linkage that aligns key stakeholders. It allows optimum utilization of resources.
Finance allows receiving, allocating and transferring the required funds for the human resources. There should be levels of salaries and allowances for the employees. Then the process of budgeting and projecting helps to design the salary packages of the employees which includes salary, allowance, education, incentives etc (Brinkerhoff & Goldsmith, March 1992).
Education takes care of a skilled workforce through its training and development programs for the employees.
Policy is required to maintain the rules and regulations in a healthcare organization. It acts as a guidance and instruction manual for the employees by setting the work standards for them (Brinkerhoff & Goldsmith, March 1992).
There are many factors that are linked to building a sustainable framework for an organization.
- Results-focused planning and practices
- System-linked alignment
- Knowledge-based decision-making
- Learning-oriented perspectives
- Innovative solutions
- Comprehensive and integrated approaches
Developing a Comprehensive Plan
The plan consists of four action phases as follows:
- Situational Analysis
- Monitoring & Evaluation
There are some preparatory steps to be taken before analyzing a situation:
- Gaining agreement at the highest level of decision-makers
- Identifying key stakeholders and members of a leadership group
- Orienting the local members of the technical working group to the HAF process
Identify the need of a sustainable HR framework in the organization first through inputs from the stakeholders and carefully examining the HR documents and reports. For example, the need here is to manage the current workforce and deliver effective services to the patients (Colbert & Kurucz 2007).
- Conduct a stakeholder meeting
- Review existing HR documents, strategies, and reports
- Gather information
- Identify root causes
The purpose of this phase is to take the inputs from the previous phase and prioritize the actions agreed to by the leadership groups.
- Develop a set of short- and long-term recommendations
- Calculate the cost to implement the recommendations
- Review the recommendations with the leadership group
The purpose of this phase is to implement the plan as proposed in the previous phase. This is most critical phase because most of the plans fail in implementation process. Proper implementation requires effective implementation planning and assigning the responsibility to the individuals or teams. It is recommended to write terms of reference and scope of work for these teams and individuals (Colbert & Kurucz 2007).
- Develop an implementation plan
- Advocate for funding
- Clarify roles and responsibilities
- Establish a budget and mechanisms for distribution of the funding
The purpose of this phase is to monitor the plan that has been implemented to evaluate the ongoing process of each key component as prescribed in the strategic plan. The plan would include process, outputs and outcome indicators. These indicators help to evaluate and monitor the progress on these four phases, monitor the recommendations and measure the impact of the plan that has been implemented (Colbert & Kurucz 2007).
- Identifying relevant stakeholders to be involved in finalizing indicators for each component of the M&E plan
- Identifying output and outcome indicators and gain agreement from the leadership group on their definitions
- Identifying the sources of data
- Clarify the roles and responsibilities of individuals for monitoring the plan
Consequences of the Framework
Building a sustainable HR department would thus, result in delivering effective services and patient care by establishing the following:
HR manager would regularly monitor and evaluate the performances of employees through an effective appraisal system, regular coaching and mentoring, assessing his contribution towards the organization and providing relevant feedback. This would motivate employees and boost their performance which would improve the overall performance of the organization (Hernandez, 2009).
HR manager would ensure that proper policies are in place that defines the different pay levels, standards and norms for the employees and other rules and regulations that are requisite by the employees and would help to build a trust between an employee and the organization (Hernandez, 2009).
Employees need to be continuously informed about the activities of the organization and their role in them. Employees having issues with their job role, pay scale etc. needs to be handled effectively. HR manager would make sure that these grievances are handled effectively and the employees are satisfied. This would again provide employee competence to the organization (Hernandez, 2009).
From the report it can be evaluated that a sustainable HR framework is essential for a healthcare organization in order to achieve its goals and objectives. Following are the recommendations to the CEO of the hospital in the first case:
- Understanding the importance of an HR department in a healthcare organization by reviewing the roles and responsibilities of an HR manager.
- Building a sustainable framework for the hospital by using the four phases and six components of the framework in order to provide effective service delivery and patient care.
The report has thus, discussed the importance of an HR department in a healthcare organization through its roles and responsibilities which includes staffing and placement, legal research, employee management, training and development, general administration and decision making process. This suggests that in order to build a sustainable framework for an organization one must build a HR department to meet the goals and objectives of the organization.
Further, the report has discussed the method of building sustainable HR framework which has six components that are leadership, partnership, education, finance, policy and HR management systems. The four phases further helps to develop a plan layout to build the framework.
Thus, the CEO of the hospital must ensure to develop a sustainable framework in the hospital.
List of References
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