Organisational Capability Development BA(Hons)
Strategic Human Resource Management Report – Course Work
Read the case study on the fictional charity ‘Eyes Front’ included at the end of this assignment brief.
You are asked to take on the role of an external human resource management consultant who has been brought in to advise the charity on the way forward. Your report will be split into two parts the first will:
• Identify the main human resource problems facing the company and how they should be addressed. Your analysis and recommendations should include academic referencing.
• Finally, you need write a draft HR policy that achieves a long-term solution to the current problems and ensures the charity maintains competitive advantage.
A recommended structure for the assignment is as follows:
• Table of contents
• Findings – theoretical ideas and models relevant to the topic, benchmark examples, and the situation in the case study organization. Remember to use the theory and benchmarks as tools to analyse and evaluate the organization.
• The draft HR policy that is forwarded for consideration.
• Conclusion – drawing the key points together with reference to good practice and how it links to HR activities. No new material to be introduced at this stage of the report.
• Reference List
• 3,000 words +/- 10%
• The table of contents, the abstract, the references and the appendices are not included in the word count.
• Tables and figures are not included in the word count providing they only contain information and not analysis, evaluation or conclusions. If they contain these, they will be included in the word count. • Any parts of the main analysis should be in the main text and not in appendices or tables within the document.
This assignment has been designed to provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate your achievement of the following module learning outcomes:
1. Evaluate a range of strategic organisational HRM interventions aiming to create employee engagement and competitive advantage;
2. Critically review and analyse the application of strategic HRM models, theories and approaches in practice;
3. Critically evaluate a range of research methods and apply appropriate research techniques for the collection and analysis of data;
4. Critically analyse findings in relation to theories and concepts to arrive at a set of evaluative conclusions and/or recommendations.
• Your report should be written in the 3rd person.
Case Study – Eyes Front
Based in the West of England, ‘Eyes Front’ is a charity that was established in 1985 by Paul George, a former British Army Serviceman who spent his career in engineering and working with contractors.
The charity, which acts as a non-profit business, produces items that help the military and the veteran community. Paul’s idea grew when he found that personnel in the military did not have enough of the right personal equipment to carry out their duties.
From the very start the concept was about providing good equipment at a discount price. All profits are put back into expanding the company or donated to Armed Forces charities. The charity has grown steadily over the years and had a very good start as the development of products improved and expanded.
Initially the charity was limited to England and then expanded into Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Lately it has been selling its products in the US and some parts of Europe. Initially the charity started with ten volunteers and operated with home working. However, after two years a base was located and the charity employed its first paid employees. The number of paid employees grew as the turnover increased there were about 120 by the mid-1990s. The nineties were an ‘up and down’ period for the charity and there were redundancies in the late nineties.
Another wave of redundancies took place following the financial crisis in 2008 and the subsequent economic downturn. Currently, the charity employs 125 staff. These consist of 25 managers and support staff, 40 technical and design staff and 60 production workers. There is a ‘personnel officer’, with one assistant/secretary, who deals mainly with resourcing, pay, and health and safety issues in the company.
The 2020-22 Pandemic has not had a major effect on the output of the charity but the employees are not happy having to come into work and the sickness rate has increased substantially. Also, there are several people who are leaving, something that has not happened in the past. The company’s products In recent years, with its experienced, well-qualified workforce, an excellent technical sales team and an expanding market, ‘Eyes Front’ has become a world leader in their field. They provide military clothing, boots, equipment, replacement medals and veteran memorabilia. In addition, they also run a digital media site called ‘At Ease’ that helps with mental health of the veteran community and works to pull together those from older campaigns. It gives useful advice on the various agencies that support veterans and works as a place for old comrades.
The online sites have been so successful that there are now 20 “At Ease’ hubs located throughout the UK that act as drop-in centres and are run by volunteers, the finance for the hubs has been provided by the charity. 8 HR issues Being ex-military Paul George has recruited mainly from the British Armed Forces, therefore the workforce is mainly white and middle aged, who work from 0830 – 1630 Monday to Friday.
The culture of the organisation is one that does not fit in with modern society and this can cause problems when dealing with customers and trade suppliers. HR issues have never been a major interest or focus for Paul George and his management team. The products, financial and marketing aspects of the business have been the charities strong points. HR has been based on short-term goals and ‘muddling through’. For example, all staff are on annual salaries. However, the salary structure is distorted, some staff are doing identical jobs but with pay differences between them amounting to some £2,000-£3,000 per year. An incentive bonus scheme exists for the company’s management team, with in lieu payments for other staff. But recent targets have not been met and therefore no bonuses have been paid. Two years ago, the company sought Investors in People status but it was unsuccessful in achieving this. No trade union is recognised by the company but some production staff have recently joined ‘Unite – the union’.
There is a minimalist approach to learning and development at all levels within the company. There are no formal consultative or information arrangements in the company, Managers tend to be friendly and helpful to their staff but do not generally act consistently, or always fairly, in HR matters. This causes tensions between management and the workforce at times. HR issues have come to a head, it would not be an exaggeration to say that employee morale has plummeted. Some staff are still feeling very vulnerable and fearing that their jobs are likely to disappear in the wake of the current situation.
On the positive side, the orders are still coming in and there are expansions being discussed. What is bringing HR issues to a head is the recent appointment of a new, dynamic and young, MBA qualified chief executive, Dave Jones, now that Paul George has retired. Dave realises that something needs to be done if the company is to be turned around soon. He is very anxious to carry the remaining staff with the management team and to secure the firm’s future. He sees the design and development of appropriate HR strategies and practices as the key for doing this. In his view, there are some immediate, short-term strategic HR issues to be addressed and some longer-term ones too. HR strategy in the short term Having worked in Japan on earlier assignments, Dave has been strongly influenced by Japanese management thinking and is personally receptive to it. He believes it to be based on several underlying HR principles, which, if sensitively introduced, are transferable to the charity. He has identified these principles as: People are a company’s greatest asset. Competent, motivated people who are treated with respect will demonstrate commitment to the company’s goals and objectives.
People should be provided with opportunities for personal growth and stable employment. Effective teamworking and communication contribute to the bottom line. The above are best achieved by securing the long-term prosperity of the firm. Dave realises that developing this strategy is not within the competence of the present personnel officer. He has therefore appointed an external human resource management consultant to undertake this activity.
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