Maintaining a smooth working atmosphere of an institution
The relevance of the Human Resource Management (HRM) has been exceptionally important and pivotal in maintaining a smooth working atmosphere of an institution. In large organisation with thousands of employees, there are hierarchy of power and work distribution. As the number of employees increase, the importance of managing them efficiently and maintaining their morale becomes more crucial to maximise the productivity. All organisations have their own work culture, rules and regulations, formal and informal approaches in dealings with situations. The Human Resource (HR) policies define the flexibility of the functioning of its personnel in each of these issues. The scope and success of these depends largely on the line manager, as he acts as an intermediary point between the HRM and the normal employees.
For Mintzberg and Quinn (1998), a manager’s general work involves performing regular duties like ritual and ceremony, negotiations, and the processing of soft information (Mintzberg and Quinn, 1998). In the current working scenario, the role of the line manager is much more than just oversee and delegate staffs; they have to take provocative measure on coaching, team building and achieving targets both social and financial.
According to Fred Luthans and his associates (1988) there is a great difference between an effective manager and successful manager. They had researched on 450 managers around the world. The managers who had a good network were considered as more effective in Australia whereas in US the managers who seek information from colleagues and employees- even if it’s negative – and who explains their decisions are considered the most effective (F. Luthans, R. M. Hodgetts and S. A. Rosenkrantz, 1988).
Formerly we will try to indentify the work pattern in the emirates organisation and the employee’s working atmosphere. Then we will try to analyse the pattern to find the areas of improvement, the organisation might be able to adopt. Finally we will try to analyse the effectiveness and changes that might happen by implementing the proposal.
Formulation of HR Strategy (2400 words/50%)
How do we implement effective line management in organisation?
Effective people management
Who is a line manager (LM)? What is the relevance of such a position in an organisation? LM are not normally given this title in any of the organisations that employ them. In fact, depending on the business sector, they can be known by a variety of different titles. According to ‘Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)’ the more common descriptions for line managers are team leader, team manager or supervisor (Business Link, 2010). In general we can say that the role of a LM is a more of a mediator in between the management and employees and helps in maintaining a proper work flow in organisations.
Managing the work force of an organisation is the core essence of the smooth running of the business. As the organisation grows in strength of the employees the need for hierarchy and power distribution is vital. Supervisory training and development continues to be a major concern in organisations of all types and sizes. The changes of all kinds necessitate continuous updating of knowledge and skills, as well as changes in attitude (Donald L. Kirkpatrick, 2001). In order to assess the standards and performance of the employees the line manager plays a major role. The HR department conveys the strategic plans to the line manager to get implemented.
Emirates group with an employee strength of more than 40,000 and mainly being in the field of aviation and related services have to be diversified into different departments. Each department have been further sub-divided into Managers and normal employees. The managers consist of line managers who are personally responsible for the employees under him/her. Employing more than 100 nationalities they have a huge diversity in work force like the gender, skills, and of more personal traits.
Trends of devolution in recent years
As per Tyson and Fell, the role of personnel management has evolved from a clerk of work in 1960, 1970s as contract manager and 1980s more like a business manager in 1980s. In the first two years the authority vested in line managers with the branch manager control through personnel and line managers moving to widespread integration. They also said that personnel managers facilitate enabling other management work to occur, whose “principal skills” lay in their timing of applying techniques, and their ability “to sell their services to client line managers/top executives” (Renwick. D, 2000)
The integration of HRM activities into the Business and corporate strategy is a key element in the business, the integration being the degree to which HRM issues are considered as part of the formulation of the business strategy and development as, ‘the degree to which HRM practices involve and give responsibility to the line manager rather than personnel specialists (Budhwar. P. S., 1998).
With the growing trend it can be suggested that a more likely outcome of giving line managers more personnel responsibilities is that the role of the HR specialist will change from that of “watchdog of corporate policy and procedures to one of adviser to service managers” (Harris. L. et al., 2002).
What HR activities get devaluated?
The middle level managers are expected to know and perform in perfect co with liaison with the high level management and lower level employees. This naturally results in expecting them to do more than they might be have normally done. For example for a divisional sale manager who is handing a section in an organisation like ‘the Emirate Group’, he will be responsible to maintain the sales targets as set his superior manager and maintain the relation with the international clients. These job can be terms us the regular jobs.
Apart from these regular job, they will be expected to do several work related to the workforce under him like the maintenance of workforce planning, like to arrange cover for employee who are ill or on holiday, sort the grievances in the work places like the difference in opinions, update the management or the work progress, responsible for safety of the sub-ordinates and help with recruitment process of the HR division. The work force planning includes jobs like the attendance, roaster preparation, leave management, overtime sheet preparation, and timesheet preparation. The jobs like training the sub ordinates and their exit procedures are mostly handled by the line managers. They will also be partly responsible to get the quality surveys from the employees and remind them to do it during delays.
The growing demand on the performance of the managers is to do personal training at the time needed. They will have to individually monitor their subordinates on their performances and grade them on the basis of performance and productivity taking into consideration their customer relations skills, analytical skills and risk assessment skills. In finding a need for professional training, they will try to educate them during the regular work hours or send them to more specific training in the training centre offered by the organisation. In the event of an employee not successfully completing an external training, he will be expected to explain and reassign them to a re-training.
The benefits and the increments of the subordinates will be assigned to them on the basis of his recommendations after the evaluations. The welfare and safety of the sub-ordinates are mostly considered as the responsibility of the immediate managers in the organisation. With the increased pressure of maintaining a low expenditure for the organisations at times, the managers are devaluated for the incredible amount of jobs they handle and recently we can say that it has become one of the industry norms to ‘go the extra mile’.
The centrally developed personnel procedures are considered to be a key means of ensuring managerial consistency in minimising litigation risk while devolving operational HR responsibilities. This system has been considered as one among the most suitable practice in audit of HR professional activity in the public sector. The LM being enforced to take decisions has to be after give adequate training to them to handle such situations. By giving the proper training and raising their awareness the managers will become more aware of legal and organisational impacts of different actions (Harris. L et al., 2002). This will prevent them from acting unethically and also help in maintain a healthy work culture.
The increased pressure for line managers tends to make them devaluate some of their responsibilities to supervisors. This creates a pressure and the notion for them that they are doing more than they are supposes to do. According to Brewster and Larsen (2000) there are five main reasons for the devolution of HRM to the line managers. The elements are to reduce costs; to provide a comprehensive approach to HRM; to make the managers more accountable; to speed up the decision making process; and it is an alternative to outsourcing the HM activities. Budhwar recognises the effectiveness of the decisions by the quick implementation due to its complexities and preparing future manager as some additional features of the devolution of HRM. (Budhwar. P. S., 1998).
The priorities and motives of the organisations and the approach towards these have evolved through the past decade. Maintaining a low operation cost has become a key element in the agenda. It has become one of the deciding factors of the efficiency of the organisations. The increasingly sophisticated consumers demand higher quality for both commercial and public sector organisations. The success of the long term success should focus more to operate on product and service quality rather than on cost or price alone (CIPD report, 2006).
In a study Cleyman, he found that a high rate of grievances were filled in departments characterised by repetitious work, low skilled employees, work that demanded constant attention, generally unpleasant working conditions (Cleyman. K. L, et al. 1995). Implementing the disciplinary and grievance procedures provides a clearer and transparent framework to deal with difficulties which may arise as part of the working relationship from either the employer’s or employee’s perspective. It will act as a corrective measure to lead the employees in alignment with the organisational values and help in taking the corrective measures at the earliest (CIPD, 2010).
Problems and issues
Balance of work and personal time.
The work and non-work time of the managers have been blurred creating a sense of over pressure for their profession. The line managers are expected to draw out the responsibilities and over perform more than their contract. The definite line of work timing has become vague over past couple of years. With the introduction of latest technology, like the Blackberry and laptops, having access to company information they are expected to work beyond the normal working hours.
In a huge organisation like the Emirates Group, the company never sleeps and the employees work around the clock for the normal functioning of the airport. This again is an inherent nature of the business. Being equipped by the latest gadgets the managers who might be remotely controlling different regions will be contacted round-the- clock by the employees if they have any queries in operations. Thus their effective working hours are extended much more than the actual working hours. This encroaches the personal time of the employees and will cause distress.
The practical solution to minimize the effect of this is by empowering the employees with decision making power. They are allowed a degree of flexibility and encouraged to make logical decisions. To support this there can be regular training, seminars and support to improve and update the technical knowledge and ethical behaviour. Today’s managers needs to create an ethical healthy climate for his or her employees, where they can do their work productively and confront a minimum degree of ambiguity regarding what constitutes right and wrong behaviours (Stephen P Robbins, Timothy A Judge, 2007).
Implementation (400 words/10%)
The Organisational Vision
‘It is our people that make the difference in terms of results’, says the Chairman of the Emirates Group, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum (The Emirates Group, 2010). Gary Chapman, President Group Services and Dnata, states ‘Employees are the key to success of any organisation and we here in the Emirates Group know this well. That is why we put such great emphasis on vocational training and development to ensure our people are equipped to do the job well.
The recognition of the value of employees and taking steps in insuring their welfare would be a key element in maintaining a optimum and impressive corporate culture. After-all all machines and technology bough by the organisations are brought to life by its employees.
Human Resource Business Support teams ensure effective employee relations through professional compliance with policies and procedures, while the Remuneration and Planning team ensures the Group has practices that will enable us to attract and retain a high calibre workforce, across all locations (Emirates Group Careers, 2010). The company equips the staffs with latest technology and manages the recruitment process by consulting with the concerned managers over their short and long term staff requirements. The department also provides expert guidance to manager in the use of assessment tools and in the recruitment decision making process, to ensure alignment with the HR policies and practices and the values and competencies required in all those recruited globally into the group.
The line managers should have a clear picture of the organisation’s vision.
The recruitment process
We achieve what we do because of our people. We choose them very carefully, and just as important they choose us very carefully (Maurice Flanagan, 2010). In the expansion of the institution, the need for more human resource becomes prominent. The recruitment process begins by finding role and function of the extra personnel. After the acceptance of the application and the primary selection process and categorising the person to the section according to their talent, the line managers of the prospective sections should be involved in selection of the candidate. By adoption of this step it would make the line manager comfortable in analysing the person for how capable he is and how well they will integrate with their team.
Evaluation of HR (400words/10%)
Effectiveness of devolution strategy