Human Resource Management (HRM) is an organization based approach used to maximize the performance of the workers by incorporating the strategic objectives of the firm. The approach manages the people in the firm by focusing on systems and policies that make the firm stand. There are a number of functions that the HR department performs to ensure the best out of the employees is realized. The activities of HRM may include recruitment, development, rewarding, performance appraisal, and training the employees. Industrial relations is another aspect that HRM considers do as to ensure there is a balance between the governmental laws and those of the organization (Johnason, 2009).
The different efforts by human rights activists and labor unions resulted in the need for the HRM function within the firms to ensure the human needs within the firm are catered. In small firms, the function may be performed by trained human resource professionals. As the firm grows the function becomes complicated and it becomes a responsibility of a group of administrators with different HRM departments. Firms are evolving in this function where they take the responsibility to train their HRM personnel so as to streamline the practice in accordance to the firm’s requirements (Katou & Budhwar, 2006).
The model by Guest shows how activities of the HRM of firm relate to the strategy adopted by the firm. Guest advocates that the HRM practitioners of firm should ensure that the HRM function is driven towards maximizing the employee performance. Further, Guest points out the HRM should aim at achieving flexibility with the firm so as the employees can perform their duties with flexibility. The achievement of employee commitment to the job is the main goal that the model puts pressure on. Things such as corporation, behavior modification, and increased employee participation are all important according to Guest because they form the basis of business success. According to guest, HRM is distinctly different from the traditional PM (Personnel Management) (Paauwe & Boon, 2009).
Innocent Drinks adopts an HRM function that equals the description given by Guest. Innocent uses the soft HRM approach as it focuses on supporting employees to get the best outcome. The HRM focuses of employees so as to boost the employee performance by creating an enabling environment. The support offered by management to the employees of Innocent is adequate to boost the performance of the employees. The two graduates advocate for growth in employee performance, behavior adjustment, teamwork, and citizenship that aim at increasing employee commitment. Innocent has grown from using the PM approach to adapting the HRM approach which Guest say that it is employee focused. The HRM model adopted by Innocent is different from the traditional PM model because it is beyond record keeping. It incorporates the needs of the employees such as development and training. Innocent has reached an advance level of HRM because the HRM model incorporates the strategy of the firm. There is employee training and development within Innocent that equips the employees with the expertise to produce the best smoothies for the customers. Production of the best smoothies that minds the help of the customers is a milestone in retaining customers and boosting the performance of the firm (Paauwe & Boon, 2009).
According to Storey, there as significant differences in the definitions of HRM, PM, and IR. HRM is the drafting of strategies that are people oriented and incorporating them within the strategy of the firm. HRM ensures that the values, culture, and organizational structure and the motivation, commitment and quality of the people within the firm drive towards achieving the business goal. Personnel management is an operational level of management concerned with keeping the record of employees. It also focus on implementing the terms of employment and overseeing the personnel activities within the firm. Industrial Relations is a study of the relationship between the employer and the employee. It is function that ensures that the employer meets the employment obligation they have for the employees. The industrial relations act outlines the rules that the employers need to follow in dealing with the employees. It is an agglomerate of the efforts of the labor unions and the protective responsibility the government has for the citizens (Katou & Budhwar, 2006).
The HRM approach by Innocent Drinks is different form the HR approach because it considers the needs of the employee other than the employment obligations. There are employee training and development activities within Innocent Drinks that help employees perform their duties effectively. Further, Innocent Drinks focuses on maintaining a good industrial relation by considering the needs of the labor unions and the government. The management of Innocent Drinks follows the rules of employment to the later to ensure that the picture that is read by the outsiders is favorable to the firm. It seeks to create a good impression from the stakeholders which calls for complete adherence of the government requirements. At Innocent Drinks, there is a conducive working environment for the employees. It led to the recognition of innocent as the employer of the year by the National Business. Such a recognition comes after a firm satisfactorily meets the industrial relation requirements (Katou & Budhwar, 2006).
The stage of HRMthat Innocent Drinks has reached is the 21st century HR stage. The HR staff at Innocent is actively involved in the management activities in the firm. They determine when to outsource, recruit, and the cost management that relates to the employees. Such activities by HR at Innocent is helping the firm trace its direction by building capacities through employee development forums. The following are the HRM strategies that can further help Innocent Drinks near realizing its goals.
Efforts to manage knowledge
It involves creating, sharing, capturing, and acquiring knowledge so as to promote learning, performance, and productivity within Innocent Drinks. The passing of knowledge to the employees within Innocent Drinks should be continuous process so as to ensure the gap between work knowledge and individual is reduced. The management need to identify the skills and knowledge specific to the firm and pass it to the employees so as to boost performance. Further, the opening of the world economy calls for continuous exposure to new ideas and concepts that are helpful of the employees (Johnason, 2009).
Managing the reward system
The motivation that the employees have has a direct relationship to the reward system within the firm. The management of Innocent Drinks should focus on policies that aim at boosting the commitment of employees by rewarding and valuing the employees. There is need to recognize the performance of employees and awarding appropriately through job appraisal approaches. The impact of a good reward system is increasing the commitment of employees and boosting the output.
Boosting employee relations
Innocent Drinks should further boost the productive relationship that exists in the firm. It can achieve this by creating a partnership between the employees and the management using the platform offered by the labor unions in the different countries it operates. The impact of a good industrial relationship is boosting the image of the firm and reducing number of frictions between the firm and the government (Johnason, 2009).
Task two: Ways of developing flexibility in the work-place.
2.1 explaining how the model of flexibility can be applied in practice
Using the approach provided by Atkinson Innocent Drinks can easy apply flexibility within its operations. Innocent Drinks has grown rapidly overtime meaning that the HR function has become more complicated. The achievement of flexibility within a large company is a complicated process. When Innocent was smaller it was easy for the management to achieve flexibility than in the current status. However, the growth of Innocent has the benefit of increasing the profits that the firm makes. On the other hand, flexibility is key in ensuring that the employee commitment on the job is increased. The two situations offers two worlds for Innocent Drinks from where the management can take advantage. Innocent Drinks can enjoy from both worlds by placing the localized HR autonomy within a larger framework using the model’s guidance. The model incorporates flexibility within large organizations increasing their performance (Katou & Budhwar, 2006).
According to Atkinson’s model, to achieve flexibility within the Innocent Drinks, the management should divide the workforce into two distinct groups. The core and the peripheral workers. The core workers are the permanently employed employees with high level skills and an internal career path. They form the major focus of the management of Innocent in incorporating flexibility. These employees should be trained by Innocent to ensure they have skills to perform different functional responsibilities. The peripheral employees are the ones that can assist the firm achieve numerical flexibility. They undertake the daily activities of the firm which are not very vital to the firm. By having functional and numerical flexibility within Innocent Drinks, the management can enjoy from being a large company that if flexible in its operations. However, it comes at a cost of having a personnel department to oversee these flexibilities. The Innocent management should not worry about the department becomes the benefits that come with the department are more than the shortcoming such as complexity that the management will face (Boxall & Purcell, 2009).
2.2 types of flexibility that Innocent Drinks can develop.
Using the guide provided by Atkinson, the following are the possible flexibilities that Innocent Drinks can develop.
It is flexibility in terms of the employees can perform different functions within the firm. The employees can be able to work in different department within Innocent. To attain this form of flexibility, Innocent drink management need to put in place policies that aim at extensive training of the employees (Johnason, 2009).
It is the ability of Innocent Drinks to adjust to different numbers of workers within the firm. Innocent can achieve this flexibility by employing employees on a temporal basis to adjust to different needs. In case of need for increase in production, innocent can hire more workers but on daily basis. Where there is a high cost relating to labor, Innocent can easy reduce the number of employees by stopping hiring on daily basis (Johnason, 2009).
Achieving this flexibility can help Innocent reduce on high labor so as to protect the profits. It requires a combination of cost saving approaches such as casual employment and the adjustment of employee wages (Johnason, 2009).
Innocent can shift the work hours of different employees within the firm to achieve the production demands. To increase the production of smoothies, Innocent can ask employee to work overtime. Also, by appreciating the part-time working approach, Innocent can still achieve the same needs (Johnason, 2009).
2.3 The use of flexible working practices from both the employee and the employer perspective
The use of flexible work practices are useful to the employer as well as the employee. Innocent can take advantage of the benefits that come with the adoption of this approach. Innocent can be able to improve its competitiveness by adjusting and responding better to different market demands. A flexible work plan allows a firm to use its staff in a more effective manner because the employees work when they are more comfortable.
Another benefit is the opportunity to extend the working hours using the flexible approach. With employees working more hours, Innocent can increase the profits through increased production. Also, the program boosts the morale of employees because they have greater satisfaction from the job at Innocent. With flexibility, there is a chance to reduce the sickness on job which helps reduce the associated costs.
Innocent can increase its efficiency through the flexible approach by having less down-time through ensuring that the machinery can work 24 hours. Flexibility can also help Innocent attract more skilled employees and reduce the costs of recruitment. There is another benefit of reducing staff turnover because staff are encouraged to work when convenient. The firm can therefore, enjoy from retaining experienced employees who give better service.
To ensure Innocent benefits from the above, the following is plan to expand on the policy for flexibility. Innocent need to put in place the following flexible work arrangements. Flex time that aims at achieving the total work hours without considering the start and end time. Job sharing where employees share job hours equally. Flex place where employees can work from home. Shift working where the employees as per time requirements (Johnason, 2009).
2.4 The impact of changes in the labor market on flexible working practices
In the UK, the government has introduced several alterations in the employment market that have impacted on flexible working practices. The efforts by the UK government are aimed at achieving a more flexible, fair and efficient labor market. The policy to phase out of the retirement age in 2010 has led to increased flexibility where there is encouragement of off-office work. The removal of the 6 months retirement notice has made firm within the UK to look for other flexible ways of engaging the employees.
Another element now present in the labor market is the introduction of paternity leave for the fathers who take up to 26 weeks. To fill in this gap when an employee leaves, the firm has to hire someone on a more flexible basis. Therefore, the labor market changes have the effect of increasing flexibility within the firm so as to cope with the accompanying adjustments.
3.1 forms of discriminations that take place in the work-place.
The equity act of 2010 is an antidiscrimination law in the UK that prohibits against, sex, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, and disability, discrimination. The law requires equal treatment at the place of work regardless of any protected features. It calls for adjustments to meet the needs of the disabled people. Therefore, the main role of the 2010 Act is offering guidance to the employers to avoid falling victims of propagating discrimination. Next is a discussion of types of discrimination.
It occurs when the employees suffer in the hands of the employer due to their color, age, se, and race. They continuously fare unfair treatment from the employer in comparison to other employees even in the same situations. It can be little pay, refusing to employ, or segregation from others (Paauwe & Boon, 2009).
It occurs in firms when the management has put in place policies that discriminate against a given group of persons. For example, setting the age limit for a given job discriminates against those who fall outside the age limit (Paauwe & Boon, 2009).
It arises as a result of certain work-place policies that discriminate people of a given characteristic. Policies that do not incorporate the needs of the disabled in the organization my result to disability discrimination due to lack of facilities for the disabled. The management for Innocent should look out for such loopholes and put in place policies that help in sealing the loopholes (Paauwe & Boon, 2009).
3.2 The practical implications of equal opportunity legislation for an organization.
Equal opportunity outlines that Innocent should treat its workers similarly under same situations. To become an Equal Opportunity Employer, the management of innocent need to incorporate the concept into management. The law calls for commitment towards ensuring that acts of discriminations are avoided. In case the act is committed, the law calls for offering the necessary remedy to the victims. Innocent has in place some strategies that help reduce discrimination (Paauwe & Boon, 2009).
They include equal pay and promotions, implemented Equal Employment Opportunity effectively, creating a comfortable environment for all, and adjusting opportunities for the disabled to fit.
3.3 approaches to managing equal opportunities and managing diversity.
Innocent has managed the diversity and equal opportunity issue in its work-force using different approaches. For Innocent to manage Equal Opportunities, discrimination is eliminated. The management of OP is driven by factors exterior to Innocent. The society beliefs such as justice, human rights, fairness, and group parity. Innocent aims at achieving social justice and protection of human rights that drives this managerial goal.
To manage diversity, Innocent management accept the fact that it deals with employees from a diverse population. The diversity has visible and invisible differences that can be a form of discrimination. The process of managing diversity at Innocent is internal that are included in the business objectives. Innocent is focusing on achieving effectiveness by utilizing the different skills and potential of a diverse workforce. The recognition of this differences gives Innocent a competitive advantage (Paauwe & Boon, 2009).
4.1 different methods of performance management
It is done at the operational level by the interaction of the line managers and employees. It comprises the assessment of the perfomance of an employee and discussing the details with the HR manager. The methods used are as follows.
Management by objectives
The employee is encouraged to identify the goal which the manager uses to assess the performance of the employee. The management then provides the resources that are need by the employee to meet the goal. At time scale for realizing the goal is then drawn that guides the employee when the goal is to be attained. After the time period has elapsed, the manager then assesses the employee on the number of goals attained and the time frame (Kay, 2007).
Graphic rating scale.
In a setting like that of Innocent which is product oriented, the use of this method is highly recommended. It involves setting job duties and standards on a measuring scale. The scale can range from 1-5. The perfomance of the employee can then be rated as according to the score on the scale. 1 is taken as a low score while 5 is take as the best score.
It is an effective method which includes the employee, HR manager, peers, and supervisors. The HR manager interviews this people on the perfomance of a given employee and analyzes the report given by these people. The rating of the employee depends on the comments received from these parties.
4.2 approaches of managing employee welfare at Innocent
The welfare of an employee is anything that improves the comfort of an employee in the work place. It is a motivational element that can be used to retain employees. Innocent has in place the statutory and non-statutory welfare scheme for its employees (Paauwe & Boon, 2009).
Innocent complies with the laws concerning the welfare of its employees there is creation of a conducive environment at Innocent, ensuring that the environment is safe. The winning of the award of the employer of the year is a confirmation of the efforts by Innocent in creating an enabling environment. Innocent has in place procedure that aim at reducing environment pollution from its production efforts. The HRM ensure the compliance with industrial laws such as the factories act 1948 ensuring that all the workers are safe and in a healthy environment.
There is an internal welfare management kit for the employees of Innocent, the kit includes benefits such personal health insurance, flexible working, maternity leave, adoption leave, and employee assistance program. All employees at Innocent have access to these benefits.
4.3 The implications of health and safety legislation on human resources practices
The health and safety act outline the principles that managers need to follow in ensuring the safety and health of workers. The rules in the act are the protection of the people in the organization. At Innocent the HR manager has the responsibility of ensuring compliance with this rules. There are activities within Innocent Drinks that are aimed at ensuring compliance with the law. There is an employee training program that teaches the employees on different ways of dealing with fire and other accidents at Innocent. There are fire extinguishers fitted in offices in at Innocent so as to be used during minor fire outbreaks. The firm has gone a long way in indicating the routes to use during a catastrophe. Also, all offices have notices on the commitment of Innocent in ensuring that the employees, customers, and visitors are safe while at Innocent (Paauwe & Boon, 2009).
The impact of this efforts is a safe environment for all people. It further boosts employee concentration because of the surety that comes with adequate preparation to handle a problem. Basing on the above facts and the comparison with the statutory requirements, I can be concluded that Innocent is a safe company. Also, it has fully complied with the safety and health regulations.
4.4 impact of one topical issue on human resources practices at Innocent.
Policies for reward
The HRM at Innocent prioritizes the employee needs. The policy of the firm is built on the assumption that with the effective reward of the employees, perfomance of the employees can be significantly increased. Innocent has attractive reward packages for its employees. To avoid discrimination, the award system promotes equal salaries and salary increments for the employees (Johnason, 2009).
The overall human resource strategy focuses on achieving a positive, committed and motivated workforce to assist the firm make more profits. Given that Innocent is continuously growing, the management of the employee requirements become complicated. Without an effective HRM in place, the firm can have high employee turnover. The reward system is a motivation as well as an employee retention strategy the management of Innocent have put in place. Therefore, the firm has retains the experienced employees contributing to the increase in quality service. Also, the good reward system has saved Innocent the costs associated with recruitment as a result few recruitment activities at Innocent (Johnason, 2009).
Human Resource Management (HRM) at Innocent is based on the approach of maximizing the performance of the workers by incorporating the strategic objectives of the firm. The approach manages the people at Innocent by focusing on systems and policies that make the firm stand. There are a number of functions that the HR department at Innocent performs to ensure the best out of the employees is realized. The activities of HRM may include recruitment, development, rewarding, performance appraisal, and training the employees. All this is under the guide of the organizational goals and the statutory requirements. The HRM at Innocent is affected by different legislative requirements. They include, labor acts and laws such as Equal Employment Opportunity requirements. Therefore, the resultant HRM strategy at Innocent is a component all legislative and organizational needs (Katou & Budhwar, 2006).
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