Human Resource Management

Employees are a very crucial part of any organization. They are the ones who execute company strategies and interact with or design the platform for interaction with consumers. Therefore, if employees are not at their best then the organization is crippled operationally hence decreasing its chances for success. As a result of this, the human resource department has become a fundamental part of the modern day organization since it is responsible for employee motivation, recruitment and monitoring (Francis and Keegan 2006, p. 9). In this study, we analyse the human resource management strategies employed by the SNOW Hotel HR department, their effectiveness and alternative strategies that can be pursued.
Business partner and shared service centres
Business partner can be explained in basic terms as the teaming up of Human Resource department and management during decision making and strategy implementation. The main role of the business partner is to ensure that the right mix is attained with regard to employees and tasks around the organization. It ensures that every task is handled by the right employees by taking part in employee training, recruitment and further development (Ulrich 1997, p. 59). Another organization segment that can be channelled towards improving employee status and performance in the organization is the shared human resource management service centres. Human resource management experts are stationed in these centres and receive reports from line managers in respective subsidiaries on the progress of employees and human resource management issues (Zeidner and Roberts 2004, p. 21). The figure below shows the base operation areas for the HR business model, its interactions and its capabilities. Human resource experts should act as brokers between the management and employees. Understanding the needs and demands of both side and coming up with relevant solutions through their service centres and centres of excellence (Ulrich 1997, p. 59).
(Delloitte 2013, p. 11)
Human resource business partner model
In this business model, the human resource department takes a far much larger role in the organization. The human resource management is involved in strategic planning and shaping the future of the organization other than just focusing on employee management and recruitment. The department is deeply involved in making sure that the company attains its goals by availing an established workforce through placement, training and advance of current and newly recruited employees. They mould such employees in line with organization goals in order to ensure that they are effective enough to successfully handle the tasks that are put before them (Cavanaugh and Velasquez 1981, p. 11). This model aims at having a positive impact on the company at all levels. The Human Resource department is involved in choosing employees who are going to handle specific tasks during recruitment. Therefore, those working in the human resource department have to fully understand the organization goals inside out. The department has to ensure that the right tasks are handled by the right people to ensure a positive outcome (Goetsch and Davis 2009, p. 9).
Internal and external environment
Internally, SNOW is at a good position to become an employer of choice but for the high level of labour turnover. Furthermore, the decision to pull out HR professionals on-site is likely to affect the company to a great extent. Therefore, the company should consider leaving them right where they are. Externally, the environment is perfect apart from the fact that there is very much fluctuation in the number of consumers due to weather changes. This aside, SNOW hotel operates in a perfect political and legal environment with little changes in legislation that govern their business operation, this gives SNOW an opportunity to keep pursuing more goals. Finally, the company will have to keep up with the current pace with regard to technology given its dynamic nature. Consumers would like to be involved with the latest and best technology given the convenience it assures them (Lawler 2005, p. 16).
Benefits of the human resource business partner model
This model reduces the tasks handled by managers in the organization. Without this model in place, managers will have to establish the right employees for a particular task. The managers will also have to make sure that all talent management and employee advancement activities are properly conducted. This increases the pressure handled by managers in their day to day activities. However, thanks to the human resource business partner model the managers just have to wait for the right employees to be handpicked by the human resource management experts (Backhaus and Tikoo 2004, p. 16). On the other hand, this model makes it easy to establish employee strengths, weaknesses, motivational needs and punish any employee for misconduct when necessary (Cavanaugh and Velasquez 1981, p. 11). People in the human resource management division understand specific employee traits and also have access to their records which makes it easy to make the right decision about an employee when the need arises (Mainelli 2005, p. 7).
Disadvantages of the human resource business partner model
In organizations that the Human Resource management department is busy with employee relation activities, it will be difficult to find time and resources to dedicate towards partnering with the strategists to handle the extra responsibilities (Joann 2009, p. 6). In this model, the human resource management is supposed to be involved in almost every aspect of business (Robert 2007, p. 9). When the department is busy handling staff relation issues, it will be difficult for them to effectively fit in the new business model (Cavanaugh and Velasquez 1981, p. 11). On the other hand, the fact that the human resource management department is involved in each aspect of the organization may make the overall management uncomfortable (Zeidner and Roberts 2004, p. 21).
Use of service centres and removal of on-site human resource professionals
Having shared service centres is a good strategy for the company since it ensures cost reduction and uniformity in human resource management. Removal of on-site human resource professionals ensures that the company does not incur extra costs in terms of employee remuneration since the tasks handled by on site human resource specialists are now being handled by line managers and the shared service centre (Hope and Truss 2005, p. 16). Though this reduces costs and ensures uniformity in human resource management, it reduces efficiency and local responsiveness in the respective company branches. It is the responsibility of line managers to ensure that there is smooth operation and work on profit making strategies (Lussier 2008, p. 4).
Giving them the responsibility to handle employee recruitment and management reduces their capability to handle their primary tasks effectively due to a decrease in specialization. This puts a company at a disadvantage due to lack of employees who have the edge to perform a specific task (Francis and Keegan 2006, p. 11). Having Human Resource management professionals on-site to handle employee related issues ensures expert running of the department at branch level this largely contributes to effective employee management (Snell 1992, p. 9). Furthermore, ensuring line managers carry out their primary tasks alone in coordination with respective departments in the branches ensure that they do their job effectively and have enough time to ensure that the company is at a good overall position (Ashridge 2008, p. 58).
Lack of specialization on-site reduces the agency at which the company can handle employee and consumer concerns. This is because line managers will be stuck with a number of responsibilities which require attention and priority (CBSR 2003, p. 1). Take for example, a line manager who is carrying out a recruitment procedure that involves going through applications, carrying out interviews and carrying out a background check on the applicants. Such a manager cannot be able to handle an immediate operation concern such as availing certain resources to consumers or delegating duties to employees. Therefore, at times the hotel might find itself operationally crippled due to lack of proper specialization procedures (Suchman 1995, p. 22).
Furthermore, the SNOW mountain hotel hopes to become and employer of choice in the entire area. This cannot be achieved with such less focus on direct human resource management and lack of expertise (Lawler 2005, p. 5). Human resource issues should be handled by qualified professionals who understand employee behaviour, can address employee concerns and can enhance employee morale (Caldwell 2003, p. 7). This cannot be accomplished by line managers who are at the same time busy handling their primary duties. Therefore, have a shared service centre at the expense of on-site human resource management professionals is not a good idea at the moment for SNOW Hotel. Instead, they should focus more on decentralizing human resource management (Skinner 2002, p. 6).
Devolving human resource responsibilities to line managers
Devolving human resource management activities makes SNOW Hotel far much effective and gives it the edge required to be an employment of choice. According to the stakeholder theory, an organization is surrounded by a number of stakeholders who have needs and expectations (Dean and Lepak 1996, p. 21). It is the responsibility of company management to look at stakeholder needs and ensure that they are always satisfied. One crucial stakeholder group is the one that constitutes employees. Employees have needs and expectations that the company has to fulfil in order to ensure smooth running of the organization (Cascio 1991, p. 4). Devolving human resource management plays a pivotal role in enhancing employee satisfaction and motivation. First, having human resource management experts on site ensure that employee needs are addressed with the urgency and attention they deserve (Grant 2008, p. 88).
This is because the experts are close to employees and they understand their position. However, this is not the case when the specialists are driven far from the people they are supposed to be interacting with (Elcock 2006, p. 47). Devolving human resource management also ensures that employees have that chance to approach management whenever they have ideas hence increasing innovation and employee morale because they know their position is respected at the organization. However, Snow will not be able to enjoy these incentives if they centralize human resource management and leave HR issues to be handled by line managers. This means that devolving HR responsibilities to line managers is not a practical decision (Michael 2010, p. 13).
Secondly, line managers do not have the expertise required to handle human resource management issues. Centralizing human resource management tasks mean that respective branches will be left without the expertise and professionalism required to handle employee related issues (White 2005, p. 13). However, devolving human resource management assures the organization of proper employee management and interaction between the organization and employees (Ulrich and Younger 2007, p. 18). When such an interaction is lacking, the organization will fail to understand the reason for high employee turnover or lack of motivation within the staff. Devolving human resource management ensures that the management is not in the dart when it comes to such issues. For example, one issue that contributes to a high employee turnover at the SNOW Hotel is the high cost of housing around the work premises (Lawler and Mohrman 2006, p. 3).
It is hard to establish this when the human resource experts do not interact with employees and are stationed at a central position. Apart from making sure that such problems are established, devolving human resource management ensures that they work on coming up with the right solutions for these problems in coordination with employees. This ensures employee satisfaction and attracts more employees towards the organization (Tamkin and Dench 1997, p. 8). Therefore, not removing on-site HR professionals and devolving human resource management tasks to them is one of the ingredients that SNOW Hotel needs in its quest to becoming an employer of choice. However, the outcome will be different if the hotel chooses to use line managers due to lack of expertise and specialization (Lawler and Mohrman 2003, p. 5).
Conclusion
The business partner model is a good strategy when it comes to ensuring that SNOW hotel has the man power it needs to attain its long term and short term goals. On the other hand, removing on-site Human Resource experts is totally ill advised. Such a move reduces the level of interaction between the HR department and company employees. It also reduces the quality of service delivered to employees through the department. Though line managers are expected to handle the tasks handled by on site HR experts, they do not have quality to handle this responsibility. Furthermore, it reduces specialization and quality of service within the organization since line managers will be required to handle a number of tasks that are supposed to be handled by different departments in the organizations.
Recommendation
Given the advantages of the business partner model and importance of devolving Human Resource management activities to on-sire HR experts, it is recommended that SNOW Hotel should embrace the business partner model and maintain the on-site HR professionals. With on-site HR experts the company is assured of attaining the employer of choice status due to the ease and professionalism of which they will be able to address employee concerns. On the other hand, it will be beneficial to deploy the business partner model alongside having on-site HR experts in order to ensure close monitoring and development of employees. This does not only ensure that SNOW Hotel attains its goal of becoming the employer of choice within its area of operation but also attains its goals with much ease. The business partner model ensures that the right employees are hired and given responsibilities that they can handle best increasing effectiveness in the organization. On the other hand, having on-site HR experts increases the urgency at which the company handles employee concerns hence boosting motivation and morale within the workforce leading to increased productivity.
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