An interview with Debbie Curtis, Officer Manager for Central Pump Company in Center, Colorado revealed several flaws into the HR issues of the company which has about 20 employees. Though she handles almost all the issues such as training and development, succession of employees, the retention of quality employees, managing employee performance, resolving conflictions, correcting performances and disciplining performances, there are no formalities and policy documents to support the same. The strategic contribution of the current HR deliverables is basic and it cannot support the attainment of sustainable growth and development. At a personal level Debbie is contributing towards the wellness of the company but her contribution and efforts are limited by the reluctance of the company’s owner to formalize HR operations. There is a need for formal documents and policies detailing clear goals and objectives, a formal employee handbook which should also be updated regularly, a formal and fair employee performance system, as well as formal systems for handling employees (hiring, firing and disciplining) ought to be put in place. In all, the company needs an audit of its HR issues in order to lay proper groundwork for addressing the inadequacies therein in a sustainable and effective manner.
The human resource function at Central Pump Company is not fully supportive of the company’s. However, the company’s HR function contributes to the essential and basic aspects to the attainment of the company’s mission and vision for growth and attainment of larger marker shares within the Colorado. For instance, the company’s HR function is fully responsible of all the aspects that affect employees including their hiring, training, succession, conflict resolution, disciplining, payments and benefits. As it seems the HR function of Central Pump Company is haphazardly performing the critical functions in regard to ensuring that employees do their work but it is not organized into a clear futuristic department that is supportive of corporate strategies.
In order for the HR function for the company to be aligned to the strategic goals they need to be organized into five broad categories; manpower training, Recruitment, performance management, training and development and lastly staff relations (Bohlander and Scott, 12). Once these broad categories are in place, they help to shed light on all the critical functions of the HR. For instance, manpower planning involves development of a database of employees which is updated regularly, succession planning, matching manpower to stock flow and checking the turnover (ensuring that employees the frequency with which employees join and leave the company is kept at a minimum) (Holbeche, 23). When manpower planning is done in such as manner it ensures that company secrets and talents are not released to competitors and that at any one moment the company has optimum labor to support its operations.
The presence of an employee handbook which contains information on payroll, employee performance expectations, benefits, promotions, sharing of bonuses, disciplinary issues among other aspects shows some appreciable level of organization in the HR department. The presence of such as tool shows that one can obtain plentiful information about the HR function at a glance and this can help auditors to carry out their work (Truss, 17). It can also help strategic partners to the company such as financial institutions, partners and clients to gain some level of confidence in the company as it grows and expands in line with its goals (Truss, 17). However, the handbook should be updated regularly in order to re-align the HR function to the organization’s goals and objectives.
On the downside, the interviewee, Debbie Curtis complained that her current workload is overwhelming since the other manager does not take proper responsibility of their work. As such, there is need for the replacement of the other manger and redrafting of their responsibilities and internal laws of that function to ensure that each manager handles a small workforce in an efficient manner. Since the company is relatively small, the two managers should be able to handle the 20 or so employees in a fairly efficient manner and thereby help the company to achieve its goals and objectives.
The HR function at Central Pump Company seems to be undermining the attainment of strategic goals of the company such as acquisition of larger market shares and ultimately more profitability. The company lacks a formal system of handling employee grievances and complaints. It also lacks a formal policy in the hiring and firing of employees. The company seems reluctant to act on errant and undisciplined staff who could damage the reputation of the company, cause the company losses in legal cases among other risks. This is so because the HR function in liaison seems incapacitated to act on employees who abuse drugs at work.
In all the HR function is undermining the achievement of strategic goals at Central Pump Company because it lacks formalizations and seems to act barely to maintain employees working and accountable for their pay.
The credibility of the persons mandated to run the human resource department at Central Pump Company is curtailed by lack of formality and proper organization of the department. The active office manager Debbie Curtis lacks the rightful qualifications since she holds a Business Accounting degree while the other manger lacks the commitment that is demanded of his position. In addition, the business owner seems reluctant to act on streamlining the HR function to match the strategic goals for the growth of his company.
The interviewee carries the credibility for maintaining the critical aspects of the HR such as managing employee performance, handling payroll and benefits, disciplining poor performance, addressing training needs among others. It is important that she maintains all these functions going on since they are the bare minimum without which the organization would collapse (Gabčanová, 2). The manager is aware of the need to develop clear written objectives and goals for the organization which should then be shared with the staff but the business owner is reluctant to implement such moves. As such, the manger is aware of the pivotal role of the HR in bringing together the other business functionalities such as finance, Information Technology, supplies, sales and marketing among others. Moreover, the manager is in favor of formalization of HR operations and relates the lack of such formalizations to the company’s dwindling profit margins and the overall business seems misguided.
It is appreciable that the manager updates the employee handbook because doing so ensures that the HR function is in line with other business functionalities. However she needs to update the employee performance system. Doing so will help to establish proper and fair appraisal mechanisms which are a key motivation for employees to produce more and align themselves with the organizational strategies (Gabčanová, 3).
The interviewee was the central pillar upon which Central Pump Company’s human resources department stands. She showed dedication to the company by pursuing state recommendations on labor such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which stipulates the minimum overtime pay, minimum wages record keeping and the youth employment standards in the public and private sectors (Rothwell, Prescott and Taylor, 16). She also took precaution to align the company’s HR department with the Family and Medical leave Act (FMLA) which stipulates that the employees covered by the employer to take unpaid but job-protected leave for specified job and medical reasons.
HR Delivery Metrics
The current HR functionality at Central Pump Company is in jeopardy and it needs to be restructured and formalized in order for it to support the attainment of the company’s goals. The centralization of the functions should be followed by the division of HR duties between the two managers. For instance, one manger can handle preparation of payrolls while the other handles training and development (Rothwell, Prescott and Taylor, 16). When each manager has their own set of functions, they take more responsibility and competence at their work. They should also work as a team and each should be competent to handle almost all the HR issues but specialization and division of duties brings about professionalism and eases the workload that could go the more dedicated and competent manager (Holbeche, 24). Moreover, the division of responsibilities enables the two to respond fast to demands on HR such as hiring needs to meet production or sales demands.
The corporate goals of the organization are:-
Increase employee satisfaction
Increase the profitability
Increase customer satisfaction
Focus more on the pumps industry and acquire more market shares as the company seeks more service jobs in the industry.
Deliver a highly differentiated and motivating brand proposition
Optimize the HR function by ensuring that the company maintains the right number of employees to meet its needs
The company seeks to gain footing and shape the regulatory framework in order to allow for more innovation and gain the ability to build its brands.
Ultimately the company plans to beat the competition in the industry and become the trendsetter in the region and nationally.
Key Performance Measurements (KPM)
The Key Performance Measurements (KPM) in HR includes the following:
Human capital output- This is a measure of the volume and quality of the work completed by individuals. It provides a basic level of the information about the health of business and it also helps in realignment of corporate goals. In this regard, the performance indicators are: % error rates, salary rate/sales turnover, widgets per man hour, sales conversion rates, and the sales turnover per employee (Holbeche, 26).
Human Capital Capability & Health- in this case the HR function considers competency over time, retention rates and absenteeism rates. These issues inform the management about the capability and health of the human capital. The performance indicators include: average time or months to competency, the % of employees that are competent in their roles, lost time injury frequency ratio, health and safety prevention ration per month, and the % of employees who have received adequate training in safety and health issues.
Culture and attitudes- culture dictates the environment within which people work and it influences the capacity and their output. Some of the aspects considered in this case are: control systems, stories & myths, power structures, organizational culture, symbols and rituals. The performance indicators of this aspect consider: % of the total hours lost to absenteeism, % of employees who perceive promotion as being based on merit, % of employees who believe that they are properly aligned to the organization’s mission and vision, % of employees who understand the objectives of the organization and the % of employees who believe that they have received adequate support to help them achieve organizational goals.
Employee lifecycle:- this aspect considers the lifecycle of employees as they move from the job application stage to the retirement stage. The management of the performance indicators in this regard checks to ensure that the organization continually motivates and challenges employees throughout their lifetime with the company. This is crucial in building an effective set of indicators that can propel the business forward and see the attainment of strategic goals and objectives. The indicators include: - % of key positions that have adequate succession plans, % of employees that receive positive appraisals after their first assessment, the satisfaction index of employees with corporate trainings offered to them. (Holbeche, 27)
Action Plan for each functional area
The following are the functional areas and their actions plans:
Recruitment and Selection-
The first step should be an audit of the current employees at Central Pump Company in order to distinguish the areas that need injection of fresh labor. The second step is to try and address the labor inadequacies using the employees that are already with the company. Next the company can advertise for the inadequacies through the right medium such as newspapers. The selection process should be through and tailored to select individuals from not only their competencies but also the candidate’s capability to work with other employees in the realization of strategic goals.
In this regard, the first step should be to set performance objectives by developing a plan and defining expectations. The second step is to set objectives and gaining agreements with the employees who are to carry out the jobs. The third step is to appraise the performance. The fourth step is to obtain a review of the performance and give feedback. Once the recommendations in the suggested feedback are given, the performance should be rated and a subsequent plan for improvement ought to be drawn (Bohlander, George and Scott, 18). Lastly, after a given period say six months it is right to document the performance results and the action plans.
Training and development
The training and development needs should be preceded by an audit to establish inadequacies on the same. Once established, the company should establish the resources (time, money and trainers) as well as any other materials to be used in the training and development of employees. A curriculum should be drawn to detail the groups to be trained and on what issues as well as the time and the venues where the training shall take place. There should be a formalization of the training and development manual or structure which should among other things state the periods after which the trainings shall take place.
Compensation & benefits
Again this aspect should be preceded by an audit to reveal the inadequacies in compensation and benefits schemes. The aim of this area should be harmonize the salaries and benefits in light of the prevailing economic conditions and issues such as inflation and cost of living that the employees are supposed to address in their daily personal lives. Comparisons should be made with employees from other related industries and slight improvements made in order to retain the best talents within the company. Moreover, the company should consider formalized plan for compensation and benefits rather than haphazard scheme of the same.
Employee/ labor relations
The company should check at the employee and labor relations with issues such as a workers union and their representation in the regional and national unions being looked into. The employees may also be encouraged to form a welfare group which cater for their needs and fosters unity and cohesion among them. The necessary legal requirements in light of labor relations ought also to be looked into in order to ensure that the company reduces its exposure to legal suits emanating from employee and labor relations. It is critical that the company considers a policy document detailing the obligations of the employer and the employees which should also be made understood to all the interested parties (Bohlander, George and Scott, 18).
Health, Safety and security
Health, safety and security are critical since they are largely the foundation of the majority of legal suits against companies especially those dealing with technical issue such as engineering. An audit of the current scenario should precede the preparation of a health, safety and security policy. Familiarization with the legal statutes on occupational, Safety and Health and security should be mandatory. Central Pump Company ought to prepare a policy document which outlines the responsibilities of each party in light of health, safety and security. The company shoulders the burden of ensuring that the company premises are safe to work in by checking the floors, lighting, and ventilations among others. The provision of protective gear should also be included. The trainings on health, safety and security should ne planned to take place periodically.
HR mission statement
HR vision statement and objectives
Corporate vision: To become a globally competitive company this sets standards in all its areas of operation.
The following are the goals of the HR function in order for it to align properly with the company’s strategies.
Create centralized and formalized HR function at the main officer of the company
Minimize the inconsistencies that currently exist in HR practices at Central Pump Company and ensure that there is an environment that is receptive and able to apply best practices in Human Resources management. For instance getting the business owner to train in the importance and roles of HR for is company will endear him to support HR formalizations and avail funding for the same.
Elimination of the duplication of processes in the HR department
Ensure that the HR department gets competent and committed individuals to run it while ensuring that they relate well for the overall benefit of the company.
Ensure that employees and their manger receive the training they need to perform their roles better and as a team working towards the same corporate objectives.
An interview with an office manager who doubles up as the Human Resources manager for Central Pump Company revealed some serious shortcomings that could curtail the company’s achievement of strategic objectives. The company lacks formalizations of its HR issues in many areas such as lack of clear, well-written goals. Thought is has a handbook for HR issues, there is need for higher level of formality and updating of the same. In addition, the company needs a formal employee performance system, and a formal handling of complaints and grievances, as well as one to stipulate the procedures for firing and hiring of employees. Ultimately Central Pump Company needs to take three critical steps in order to cultivate more committed employees and streamline its HR to suit its strategic goals. The first of these is to have the right HR managers as well as managers for all other departments such as IT, finance as well as sales and marketing in place. The business owner ought to look at the qualities that make people effective bosses such as ability to take criticism, maturity and critical thinking skills. The business owners should consider these and other related qualities over good performances at work because effective leadership is more about qualities on leadership rather than high productivity at work as an employee. The second step is to know the strengths and weaknesses of your organization. Once the right managers are in place, the organization should uses some diagnostic tools to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses in order to concentrate on its strengths and work on its weaknesses. Employees can provide a reliable base upon which the company can begin this process. For instance when an organization establishes that the employees understand their roles in line with the corporate goals and strategies, this is a big strength which the managers should use to propel the employees towards sustainable achievement of corporate goals. The third step is investment in development. A company must be willing to spend on the skill-set of their employees in order to improve their competence and confidence on the job.
Bohlander, George W, and Scott Snell. Managing Human Resources. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.
Holbeche, Linda. Aligning Human Resources and Business Strategy. Routledge. 2012. Print
Rothwell, William, Prescott, Robert and Taylor Maria. Human resource transformation : demonstrating strategic leadership in the face of future trends. Mountain View, Calif. :Davies-Black Pub. 2008. Print.
Truss, Catherine, David Mankin, and Clare Kelliher. Strategic Human Resource Management. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.
Gabčanová Iveta, Human Resources Key Performance Indicators. Web 27 January 2016 http://cjournal.cz/files/89.pdf