Analysis of Older Workers in Silver Tail Airlines
Discuss about the Study Of Employment Discrimination Against Older Australians.
The population structure of the world is changing constantly. These transformations affect different areas of professional life. It has been analyzed that the older generations are healthier and have more experience than the younger ones. Although researches show that the older generations are willing to work for a longer time but the younger ones are treated differentially at the workplace because of their age. The old workforce can contribute substantial value to the company with respect to expertise, experience and knowledge but sometimes the aging workforce can present certain issues to the company from the aspect of human resource. There are some practical and legal issues associated with it such as the employment laws and the anti-aging discrimination procedures (Ciutiene and Railaite ,2014).
The productivity of the older workers is declined due to lack of skills. So as result, they might require additional training to keep them updated hence it becomes an extra expense for the company. So the organization may not be willing to appropriately place the older workers where the learning curve can decrease the productivity of the individuals in the shorter terms and where extensive training is essential for them. So, in this essay, the situation regarding the appointment of older workers in the ground and cabin would be analyzed in Silver tail Airlines and different downsizing tactics shall be evaluated. Furthermore, the appreciative theory shall be applied and various recommendations shall be provided for addressing the alternatives for downsizing. The HR plan shall be formulated to address the future needs of the organization regarding the building of brand for employers, their training and career management etc.
According to the given situation, the recruitment manager and the director of the cabin crew of Silver tail airlines are planning to replace the senior employees with the younger ones in order to make the organization competitive and successful in the airline industry of Singapore. They want to remove the senior staff by making the working conditions tougher for them by allotting those flights of longer duration so that they can be away from home, thereby disturbing their work life balance. They are also planning to impose a new criteria of acquiring certain qualifications and degrees which are compulsory to get in 5 years , if the employees want to get promoted to the next level.
Furthermore they are also planning to relocate them to be a part of the ground crew and promoting the youngsters instead of the senior employees which would hurt their self-respect. They would also make the task challenging for them so that they are not able to perform their professional obligations in an efficient manner. They are planning to redesign the job profiles and descriptions of all the employees thus making the internal competencies tougher for them to qualify. They also want to make life tougher for them at the workplace by giving them fewer facilities such as proving them three star hotels instead of five star for accommodation during their journey. They should be provided travel concessions so that they can take longer leaves for spending them with their families and going out for family vacations and spend less time at their workplaces (Mehta, 2016).
Implications of Dismissing Senior Employees at the Workplace
Dismissal of the older employees may have mixed implications at the workplace. The senior employees if employed can benefit the employers and other younger employees from the experience and knowledge acquired by them. It has been observed that as the employee ages , the chances of disability also increases. Such situations related to aging may prevent them from working efficiently thereby encouraging the organizations to create more challenging job profiles for them so that they are compelled to leave the job on their own (Neumark, Burn and Button ,2017) .
However, if discrimination is found, the employee may be eligible for compensation against the loss of dignity, self-respect and discrimination. It would also destroy the reputation of the company since terminating an employee can have a direct impact on his personal life. As a result, the senior employees can damage its public image by secretly disclosing the confidential information to its competitors thereby giving a chance to the opponents to win a competitive advantage over the company (William Fry Employment Report, 2016).
If the employees are not terminated in a proper manner, the company is at a risk of losing its important property and files. Since they are the senior employees of the company, they have the access to all the confidential information and important property of the company. If they do not return the assets such as credit card, computer, cell phones, keys and passwords, then the company would be at risk of losing its crucial assets (Minnesota Board on Aging with Hennepin County, 2017).
The company is also at a risk of being sued by the terminating employees. It can be a costly affair for the company since it has to pay huge amount of legal fees as a punishment and compensation for the terminated employee. It may also send a wrong message for the other employees of the company and may lower its goodwill amongst them. They may feel threatened about their job security and feel as the next victim. In worst cases, some of them may feel emotionally affected while some of the talented employees may resign willingly as they cannot manage the pressure. So, firing the senior employees may cause a feeling of revenge and unwillingness to perform the duties efficiently amongst them (Boockmann and Brändle, 2015).
However, retaining older employees may have certain benefits for the company. They are far more dedicated and experienced than the younger ones. They produce high quality of work which can result in significant cost savings to the firm. They are highly committed towards their professional responsibilities and prove to be valuable asset for the company. They are far more honest and punctual than the younger employees and can train the younger ones on issues regarding the increase in the productivity and how to be detail oriented, attentive and focused (Ramely, Ahmad and Harith, 2016).
There are certain downsizing tactics adopted by the company to get rid of their older employees .Job elimination is one of them .The company changes the title of the job and puts a younger employee at the position. Layouts can pertain to attaching a layout notice and including some employees, job positions and departments to remove the older ones from the job. They may also threaten the employees to retire in a right way else they shall not allow them to withdraw their pension (Das and Baruah, 2013).
Benefits of Retaining Older Employees
The employer can also impose a retirement age to get rid from the older employees. Although the mandatory retirement age is 65 years but there are some exceptions to the firefighters and law enforcement agencies. Some of the companies cunningly adopt the strategies of performance reviews and thus terminate the older employees with an excuse that they are not performing their duties in an efficient manner while other may offer packages which may include incentives to encourage the older employees to avail the facility of early retirement (International Labor Office, 2011) .
Another technique is to cut down the job responsibilities, restrict the authority and power and degrading the self-respect and dignity of the employees by allotting responsibilities which are below the level of their cadre. They may also be put to isolation by their employers. They might be cut out of meetings , be excluded from the social gatherings ,may not be allotted important projects or made to work under the leadership of younger employees (Research Office Legislative Council Secretariat,2016).
They might be denied the opportunities of promotion and chances of advancements. The company may restrict the opportunities for promoting the senior employees and may make them work for longer hours so that they are forced to quit the jobs by themselves. The company also adopts the policy of harassment in which they are constantly exposed to conditions of severe provocation by asking them that when are they going to retire or addressing them as old lady or man.
The impact of the downsizing techniques on Silver tail Airlines can be loss of productivity and commitment in the organization. Since the older employees are highly committed towards performing their job responsibilities and satisfied with their job profiles, they create a positive and enthusiastic environment in the company . This motivates the younger employees to work with excellence. The employees who are engaged in their work use lesser facilities of health care , take fewer sick days , have longer tenure and are more productive thereby creating stronger consumer relationships (Kicheva,2017).
The older employees are more result driven, idealistic, optimistic, competitive, and ambitious and people oriented as compared to the younger ones. Termination of the older employees may result in brain drain and loss of important information about consumers or practices which may deteriorate the progress of the company. There can be a severe loss to the company in case of termination of senior employees. So the older workers are experienced, knowledgeable, committed to loyalty, punctuality and have the respect of authority .On the other hand , there are some negative observations about the retention of old people in the company . They are often inflexible to adapt themselves to the newly introduced changes. They are often incapable to assimilate new technology in their working styles and resist changing. Moreover, they lack aggression and their presence of physical limitations increase the cost of health insurance for the companies( Institution of Employment Research ,2017).
The companies become reluctant to retain the older workers as they have to pay higher compensation in the form of wages and health insurance. They also have to train them in new technologies and the older employees take more time in adapting themselves as compared to younger ones. They also seem to be less productive and lack the required skills to perform the jobs. They are not connected to social media so it makes the company difficult to reach them. They are less mobile than the younger ones as they have established their roots in the society and have the responsibilities to manage their families as well. So, there are mixed implications of applying downsizing tactics and terminating the older employees on Silver tail airlines (Fasbender and Wang, 2017).
Downsizing Tactics adopted by Companies
In this context, the model of appreciative inquiry can be used to recommend various alternative solutions to the downsizing tactics for terminating the older employees. It is a model which is used to engage the stakeholders in self-determined transformations. It is a movement of change which focuses on recognizing what went well and evaluating the reasons why it went well and then encouraging doing more of it in the organization. The basic ideology behind this principle is a company shall develop in the direction towards which the employees will focus their energies to meet its objectives ( Society for Human Resource Management ,2016) .
So, if all the attention is being focused on problems by the employees, then recognizing them and finding their solutions will be the best action for the organization to perform. Likewise, if all the attention is targeted towards strengthens of the company, then recognizing the strengths and working on them for enhancing the capabilities of the employees will be the tactics the organization will be best at (Taylor, Rolland and Zhou,2017).
The procedure for Appreciative inquiry requires a definite way of asking questions that would enhance the positive thinking and interaction amongst the employees of the company. The questions are targeted towards four key areas viz. discover, imagine, design and deliver (DIDD). Discovering the questions shall assist in recognizing the procedures which were executed successfully in the company .Imaging the questions shall evaluate the reasons behind the success of a particular process and assist in applying the information in other aspects of the company. Designing questions shall help in creation of an action plan which will help in designing the processes and assisting people to act accordingly so that the company can meet its objectives. Delivering questions pertain to the formulation of criteria for success and ways to evaluate the success of the action plan (Hasselhorn and Apt, n.d.).
In other words, appreciative inquiry is about the search for the best in the human resources of the organization and about the strengths and opportunities revolving around them. It is a shift in the overall ideology adopted throughout the change process to perceive the completeness of the human system and to evaluate the strengths, probabilities and success of the company (Knight, 2014).
The concept of appreciative inquiry can be recommended for developing various alternatives to downsizing. The organization should identify the skills needed in its employees to meet its objectives, vision and mission. So, in order to develop those skills in the employees, it should train and equip them with adequate knowledge so that they can work accordingly to meet its goals. It assures the organization that it is equipped with appropriate and reliable resources to meet the challenges posed by its competitors (Taneva, Arnold and Nicolson,2016).
Through comprehending the skills and capabilities of the staff in the present scenario and associating them to required skills in the future, the company can allow the senior employees to evaluate what they need to inculcate in themselves in order to remain employed. It also allows the human resource department a clear indication regarding the type of skills and expertise required by the employees which would assist them in designing appropriate training programs for the staff (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2016).
Thus the business should identify its core competencies and formulate strategies which are based on the building blocks. It helps in providing basis for the organization and its employees to develop their career and its alignment with the objectives of the organization. The company also needs to recognize the type of managerial and technical skills which it requires to inculcate in its senior employees. The human resource department needs to identify the older employees so that they can initiate the processes for preparing them for the concerned positions (Kelly, 2015).
Another strategy which can be used as an alternative to downsizing is redeployment of the individuals within the organization. It provides a career management process so that the managers and senior employees are aware of the available positions. It also requires career development and assessment activities which allow the people to get ready of the opportunities. Thus, Silver tail airlines can associate the individual career planning to its corporate objectives so that the senior employees can determine how the plans fit into the overall corporate strategies of the firm. So, it allows the senior employees to remain in the company so that they can proceed for their career development which enhances their chances of success (Beck and Williams ,2016).
The company can create value additions and revenue enhancing opportunities for the employees. The employees can evaluate various plans to meet the requirements as stated by the company. It can also set the policies related to flexible working arrangements and create a pool of volunteers for a particular department. The objective is to decrease the number of working hours for each senior employee. Job sharing is a type of flextime opportunity provided by the company in which the employees divide their job with each other and in return get proportionate benefits (North and Hershfield , 2014) .
Lastly, Silver tail airlines can make arrangements with similar companies or suppliers for the placement of its senior employees. They can be offered a leave of absence with full benefits for a specific period of time. Though after their return, the same job with same pay may not be offered to them (Gringart, 2015) .
As per the given case study, it is clear that there is a need for formulation of HR plan to address the future needs of the human resource department comprising of building employer brand for Silver tail , training , career management of the cabin crew. The HR manager can formulate development plans for employees as it will determine clear directions associated to the development and modification of the skills with the intention to bring advancement in their careers and to align their goals with that of the business (Drydakis et al., 2017).
The HR department should consider the skills and expertise needed by the employees of the cabin crew and formulate the action plan regarding the same. The HR manager should evaluate the current skills, capabilities and expertise of the existing employees of the crew. They need to determine the strengths and the qualifications of the employees and on the basis of these the requirement for additional training and certifications would be evaluated by it (Karpi?skax and Haag, 2013).
The existing skills and talent of the employees should also be considered in this behalf. Through this, the exiting skills and expertise can easily be determined of the current employees. Additionally, the performance review will help the HR manager to evaluate when the employees are willing and capable to take extra responsibilities so that the management can allot challenging tasks to them accordingly. Furthermore, in order to rearrange the departments or introduce a shift in the executive team, the manager is required to evaluate a succession plan. It will assist in reducing the issues by recognizing the crucial roles of the employees of the cabin crew (Aaltio, Salminen and Koponen, 2014).
Under this policy, the personnel shall directly be involved at the time of creation of the succession plan. The objective is to formulate a communication channel with all the employees of the cabin crew so that their professional goals can be determined and the developments required to attain those aims can be evaluated. It may also help in assessing where the employees aspire to perceive themselves in future and what all skills and expertise they require to accomplish the future position. The manager shall consider the current job descriptions, information related to employee handbook, health benefits and offers related to training programs which are presented to the cabin crew employees by the management .It will help in evaluating the performance gap of the existing staff members along with the need to formulate and design a new and effective plan for the future (Figurska, 2015).
Lastly, the profiles of the employees of the cabin crew shall be redesigned so that the organization can remove all the unnecessary tasks from the workplace and the employees can concentrate on performing their main duties and meeting the goals of the organization. As a result, the vacant positions created out of elimination can be redesigned. The job descriptions and job specifications can be redesigned so that the young and newly appointed employees can be appointed on those positions. It will help in transferring the experienced and skilled senior personnel of the cabin crew to the management and other job profiles and accountabilities (Department of Work and Pension, 2017).
Work force redesign can help in developing and maintaining coordination amongst the young and senior employees. It helps in placing the appropriate employees at the suitable positions which leads to increase in the overall productivity of the business. So, Silver tail airlines can hire young and innovative staff on the cabin crew as they do not have any problems in taking long flights.
The concept of mind map has been applied to depict the above mentioned strategies for workforce designing so that better coordination can be maintained amongst senior and young employees. It is a diagrammatic representation which is used to organize information and data related to the strategies adopted by Silver tail airlines to retain the senior workforce as well as to appoint the youth in the customer interface section of the company .It also comprises of downsizing techniques adopted by the company to cut down the number of senior personnel and involving the youth in the employee engagement programs adopted by the company (Hung , Hwang and Wang, 2014).
An action plan shall be designed on the basis of mind map which will act as a guide to the human resource management for formulating strategies to meet the objectives of Silver Tail airlines. The duration for its implementation would be 12 months. It would start from June 2018 and will be implemented till May 2019 (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014).
Customer demand will be evaluated to identify their needs and demands.
Applicability of the technique pertaining to appreciative inquiry for analyzing the need of organization so that its objectives can be achieved.
The HR department shall apply the discover, imagine, design and deliver (DIDD) techniques for job redesigning and appointing seniors and younger employees according to their suitability to the job.
Applying the downsizing techniques to replace the senior employees with the younger ones.
The HR department shall apply the downsizing techniques such as appointing younger people in the cabin crew , making qualifying conditions tougher for promotion of senior people , disturbing their work life balance etc.
The company will redesign the job profiles of the employees according to their experience and suitability for the company.
The employees shall be trained to keep them updated so that they can help the company in accomplishing their goals.
Appointing them to the job positions and involving them in succession planning
The employees shall be appointed at the suitable positions and they would also be involved in succession planning.
Involving the employees in the engagement activities of the company
The company shall involve the employees into the engagement activities such as creating knowledge management systems and motivating them and providing opportunities for learning etc.
Their performance would be reviewed by HR department and analyzed on the basis of reports collected by the heads of department.
As it is described above, the action plan would be implemented for a period of 12 months in which the first 2 months would be for analyzing the airlines market and its various aspects. The next 1 month would be spent in evaluating the needs and demands of the consumers. The next 1 month would be spent in applying the DIDD principles on the case study and assessing the needs of the company so that it can meet its objectives ( Kerzner and Kerzner, 2017).
The next 2 months shall be dedicated for applying downsizing techniques by HR department so that the senior employees shall be replaced by the younger employees such as giving them less opportunities to grow in the company , disturbing their work life balance , making the qualifying conditions tougher for them so that they cannot be promoted to the senior posts, replacing them with the younger employees on the cabin crew and redesigning the job so that the younger employees get more opportunities to grow and making the senior ones work under them. The next 1 month would be redesigning the job positions for the employees according to their experiences and suitability for the job. The next 1 month would be spent in training the employees so that their knowledge and skills are upgraded. 1 month would be required for appointing them at the positions and involving them in succession planning. The next 1 month would be spent in involving the employees in the engagement activities of the company. They should be involved in the planning process of the company and allowed to grow and learn from the experienced employees of the firm. The usual methods of learning shall be performed with fun and creativity and they should be encouraged to perform their daily tasks in a different and creative manner. The last 2 months would be required to review their performances based on the progress reports retrieved from their department heads (Ferreira et al., 2013).
Lastly, gnat chart would be prepared for assisting the company for analyzing the start and end timelines so that it can assess the time taken to complete the whole project (Schwalbe, 2015).
Hence to conclude, it can be said that human resource management have an important place in the organization. In order to enable it to meet its goals and to enhance its brand value in its industry and amongst its competitors, it should plan and formulate career development plans for its employees. It should design the job positions so that the employees of the suitable age groups and expertise can be accommodated on those positions .Therefore, by adopting the alternative tactics to downsizing, the requirements of both employee and employer can be addressed.
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