HRM department of British airways

The following paper seeks to identify the human resource management department of the British Air ways. It shows the key HR activities of the British airways with reference to the two models of human resource. Moreover, it also evaluates and analyses the various HR planning and development programs implemented by the British airways. Finally the paper concludes by highlighting how the human resource is indicated and monitored. The report based on a case study and the majority of the information is taken from the case study.

SUMMARY

In 19th century British Airways is the world’s largest international airline and one of the most successful organizations in the airline business. British Airways (BA) was created by the merger between BOAC and BEA in 1974. BA was not always been quite much successful. The company was going in loss and BA had serious difficulties retaining customers in a competitive international airline industry. In 1980 BA recorded significant losses and there was not much profit to meet the running expenses of the organization. As a matter of fact British Airways delayered their bureaucratic management staffs that were mostly Air force retired officers and replaced them by managers having experience in the service industry. For the achievement of success BA launched many programmes to come out of the organisation’s loss which changes the culture and environment of the company. These programmes were successful and many customers were attracted towards the airline, which resulted British Airways one of the world’s leading airline.

HRM ACTIVITIES

Although the British airways are seen to have implemented numerous strategies to allow human resource development the following are the three key areas where development is most significantly seen.

Training and development

Reward management

Performance appraisal

TRAINIG AND DEVELOPMENT

British Airways has decided a significant investment in training and development that would improve the organization image of “Helpfulness”. On the basis of research BA found out that customer are satisfied and dissatisfied with friendly and unfriendly, caring and uncaring behavior of staff. As a result of these research findings, BA faced the task of designing and facilitating a training programme that would enable a total change in values and attitudes across the organization, particularly for staff that were exposed to customer contact. BA arranges several training and development programme for both new and old staff. These programme made much change in the behavior of the staff and due to which many customers were attracted towards this airline. British Airline recruited more staff, provide training to the new and developed the old staff for their excellent customer service. it can be clearly identifies that implementing these training programs prove to be highly essential for the organization to attain this objective of increasing the goodwill that the British airways had from the side of the customers. These programs also prove important to improve the revenue and sought to reduce the overall cost that the organization had. (Dessler, 2008)

However, at the same time it is also important to note the fact that the success that British airline was not only and solely due to an increasing employee training but there were several other factors which were also important and contributed to the increasing revenue levels. One of the factors included improved legal and government conditions along with technological changes.BA has encouraged individual learning by providing wide employee access to two major learning programs.

The first program is based upon principles of open learning; it can finally lead to an MBA and provides a number of progressive stages and qualifications. The completion of each stage gives access to the next qualification. The MBA awarded by the University of Bath.

The second program ‘Top Flight’ provides a series of ‘Academies’ which are a number of development steps, designed to allow an individual to progress to an executive position.

REWARD MANAGEMENT

British Airline was motivating people with good remuneration package and rewards. They moving towards individually determined remuneration as well as both intrinsic and extrinsic benefits. They were giving standardized pay and also individual performance pay. The main proportion of salaried staff earnings is based upon pay rates which are governed by a job evaluation grading system.

There is also a company -wide performance related bonus scheme paid to all employees and there have been offers of free and discounted shares. BA has also introduced an opportunity for all employees to purchase tax free shares through a trust using their company performance bonus. BA pays standardized salary as well as individual performance pay. They know that if employees are satisfied they will give the best effort for the company success; employees are start thinking that they are the part of company.

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So, it is clear that through the training & Development programme and good remuneration packages staffs provide the high quality customer services and would be more committed to the company. Employees are more committed toward company for their remuneration package and rewards. And they go ahead to achieve the organization goal.

PERFORMANCE APPARASIAL

Performance appraisal measures the qualitative and quantitative aspects of job performance. An appraisal evaluates not only the employee’s performance but also his potential for development. The primary objectives of an appraisal are – to assess past performance, to identify training needs, to set and agree on future objectives and standards, and to facilitate the achievement of these goals.

Individual employee development is a part of a broader concern that BA has developed for the individual employee .As a part of the overall concern with organization culture, BA’s philosophy has focused much more attention upon individual performance and this has led to the induction of a companywide -appraisal scheme. The main purpose of this scheme was to improve the relationship between reward and performance and this has reflected in a linked element of performance related pay.

British airway has introduced performance related payments. Thus the more efficiently each of the employees works, the more likely it is for the organization to pay the individual worker a certain amount of payments. Moreover, there have been numerous and increasing companywide appraisal schemes introduced by the organization. Thus the harder and more the employee works, the more likely is it for the employee to earn a greater reward in the organization. Moreover, the amount of employees receiving remunerations on an individual basis is increasing at a radical rate at the organization. For instance the administrative staff at the British airways has also started being paid on the basis of their performance. (Armstrong, 2007)

HRM MODELS

MACTHING MODEL

HARVARD MODEL

MATCHING MODEL

This model states that the HR systems and the organisation structure should be managed in such a way that is similar with the organisational strategy. This is the hard HRM which is interested only in making money or profit. It focussed on individual and organisational performance and concentrates on managing human assets to achieve strategic goals. It explained that there is human resource cycle that consists of generic processes like organisational structure, mission and strategy, human resource management, selection, performance, appraisal, rewards and development. It is based upon strategic control, organisational structure systems for managing people. It requires that human resource strategies have a tight fit to overall of the business.

Mission and strategy

Economic forces

Cultural forces

Organizational structure

Human resource management

MISSION AND STRATEGY:

Mission means the specific target that the company wants to reach and strategy is the way through the company can reach their target. The mission of British Airways is ”to be the best and most successful airline in the world” and the strategy is by providing high quality of customer service through resource planning which could not be easily duplicated.

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE:

This means all the required things that needed to achieve the target. BA launched some programmes for their staff like putting people first, customer first campaign, managing people first, etc. They gave more powers to the line managers to take quick decisions and also break down bureaucracy. They also provide some learning programmes like MBA and series of academies for their staff.

HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM:

This is related to the recruitment of new staff. BA replaced some managers which were Air Force retired persons with the staff with analytical skills or the intellectual capacity rather than management experience in the service industries.

HARVARD MODEL

This model was developed by Beer et al in 1984. This is the soft model which aims at enhancing the commitment, quality and flexibility of employees. Soft model is also known as high commitment management. Here more responsibilities are given to the line managers for ensuring the alignment of competitive strategy and HR policies. This model is based upon individual influence, work systems, rewards and human resource flow; and concentrate upon outcomes for people. Its main components are work system, human resources flow, rewards, stakeholder interests, situational factors, HRM policies choices, HR outcomes, long term consequences.

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Stakeholder interests

Shareholders

Management

Employee groups

Government community unions

HRM policy choices

Employee influence

Human resource flow

Reward system

Work system

HR outcomes

Commitment

Competence cost-effectiveness

Long-term consequences

Individual well-being

Organizational effectiveness

Societal well-being

Situational factors

Workforce characteristics

Business strategy and conditions

Management philosophy

Labor market

Unions

Task technology laws and societal values

In Harvard model, extra powers and authorities are given to the line managers to fulfill organisation’s objective. This incorporate recruitment, selection, development and redundancy for the people in the organisation. Managers have to ensure putting right employee at right place and in right time. To motivate productivity, Harvard Model suggested some rewards system to the employees, which include pay, bonus, free and discounted share, holidays, health insurance, empowerment, etc. This model includes long term consequences which refer to individual well beings. These incorporate individual interest, organisational competencies, and the need of the society and community as a whole. In this model, stakeholders are those persons who have interest or shares in the organisation. Situational factor includes workforce, labour markets, union representation, laws, business environment, technology and work system; these issues lead to the HRM policy choices of employee influence. Work system refers to the efficiency and productivity of work force to meet the organisational goal. For work to be done effectively, efficient communication channels and correct technology are needed. For this purpose, British Airways gave more powers and authorities to the line managers, so that there should not be any kind of delay and they can take quick decisions.

HR Planning and Development Methods

Firstly British Airline tends to recruit on the basis of analytical skill and intellectual capacity rather than management experience in a service industry. They are always tried to ensure that staff would provide a consistent high quality service to customers an achieving efficient flight operations.

Many managers had also joined the company from Royal Air Force. They recruit the perfect person and place them on exact position.

Secondly, British Airline setup several training programs for both new and old staff. Such as

“Customer First Campaign” to meet the customer needs.

“Putting People First” which was two day programme aimed at almost 20000 staff that had significant customer contact. This program was designed to persuade participants to examine their own existing values towards their passengers and where necessary to replace them with more helpful and supportive ones.

“Managing People first” a one week residential training course. The programme was specifically designed to breakdown the bureaucracy. The bureaucracy had developed underlying values of order, rationality, dependability and system control.

Finally British Airline pays good remuneration to employees and also gives both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. They plan to motivate people as well as make their assets. BA offers free and discounted shares. BA has also introduced a novel scheme which gives an opportunity for all employees to purchase tax-free shares through a trust using their company performance bonus.

BA has encouraged individual learning by providing wide employee access to two major learning programs.

The first program is based upon principles of open learning; it can finally lead to an MBA and provides a number of progressive stages and qualifications. The completion of each stage gives access to the next qualification. The MBA awarded by the University of Bath.

The second program ‘Top Flight’ provides a series of ‘Academies’ which are a number of development steps, designed to allow an individual to progress to an executive position.

Evaluation:

British Airline’s corporative objective is “To be the best and most successful airline in the world”. So to achieve this objective it makes huge investment on human resources. It recruits highly skill and intellectual people. BA replaces them with more helpful and supportive ones. It provides training on the basis of different skills. It developed employees as more customer friendly, knowledgeable and efficient. They form trade union for welfare or participation of line staff on strategic plan of the company.

BA pays standardized salary as well as individual performance pay. They know that if employees are satisfied they will give the best effort for the company success; employees are start thinking that they are the part of company.

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So, it is clear that through the training & Development programme and good remuneration packages staffs provide the high quality customer services and would be more committed to the company. And they go ahead to achieve the organization goal.

HR Performances of British Airways

In seventies BA performances were disappointing, When BA had serious difficulties retaining customer in competitive international airline industry.

In 1980 BA recorded significant losses. Before 1990 BA found negative attitude from passengers in a research. Customers were dissatisfied with customer BA’s customer services. For this reason BA redesign and restructure its Human Resources.

BA makes huge investment on HR planning and HR performances. It setup many training and development program for line staffs and managers.

It is hard to say how much impact the programme has had; it is commonly understood in training circles it is difficult to measure the value of training. However, British Airline believes that this programme has been successful, that a significant cultural change has been achieved at all levels of the organization, and that this cultural change has made a significant contribution to the steady improvement in the business performance.

An extensive market research shown that customer have developed more positive attitudes towards service that they now receive as compared with the predominance of negative attitudes that were recorded in similar surveys conducted earlier in the 1990’s.

These satisfied customers must have an important factor in supporting BA’s performance improve improvement.

So it’s easily identified that with this HR planning and development, BA increases their HR performance that lead to the improvement of the organization’s performance.

On the other hand BA employees now more happy with remuneration and rewards. They are getting opportunities to learn through different training and qualification of MBA degree awarded by the University of Bath after competition of management training. They are getting basic pay as well as individual performance pay and scheme that benefited them more than the before.

Through the trade union employees can participate on organization strategic decision. They can raise their voice against any critical issue of the company. That makes the employees happier.

Employee turnover are less now than before .Employees are satisfied with their job description, responsibilities and working environment. Employee’s absenteeism is reduced significantly. They are now highly committed to the company success.

Ways to improve HR performances

It is very difficult to suggest BA. Because they are the world’s largest passenger airlines company in the world and they have many intellectual people for hunting innovation idea and planning every moment.

In spite of this practical situation some ways of improvement are described below:

British airline’s significant development is that they made a small HR strategy and planning department with some specialist people in the UK. It can be suggesting that if they integrated more people with this department and also spread not only in Europe, but also other continents where they are earning more. As a result same cultural people will provide customer service to their own customers. They can easily share their feeling and fulfill the needs of customer. Employee would be happy to serve same people as like they are.

British airline can run different talent hunt programme for recruit their best fitted people. They can go to the college and university and pick up the best student; those are very keen to learn and have creative ideas for the future excellent service both customer service and flight operation. BA can launch more training and development programme after certain time to compete with the competitors and updated technological knowledge. They have to push their employee towards extrinsic rewards to see happier.

CONCLUSION

Thus as highlighted by this paper, the British airways successfully manages the human resources department by an increasing amount of planning and organization. They also launched some learning programmes for the employees to do MBA and to reach at executive position. They mainly concentrated upon the improvement of delivering good customer service so that they can attract more customers and gain more profit; with this they want to become the world’s most successful airline.

At the end, I can say that it is crucial to use both soft and hard HRM in order to meet the organisational business requirement and to remain world’s most successful airline.

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