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Managing and Co-ordinating the Human Resources Function

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Draw up a short mission statement for the HR function in an identified organisation you are familiar with consisting of five clear and distinct statements. Each should reflect your view of current and future priorities. Go on to justify your choice, making reference to major developments in the organisation’s business environment.

Mission statement to complement the ethos and values of the school To inspire lifelong learning through engagement and an insatiable curiosity. There are no ceilings or boundaries to holistic learning; we aspire to create a community that we are all proud to be a member of, through the support of each other. Every young person is cared for unconditionally and valued equally and engender mutual respect for each other. We value commitment, generosity of spirit and integrity and promoting resilience, resourcefulness and courage. We recognise the power of commitment, collaboration and mutual achievement.

A mission statement should aim to be 15 words or less. Should a mission statement be any longer, ‘Top non profits’ (2015) recommend a tag line.

Tag line: To inspire lifelong learning through engagement and an insatiable curiosity.

The organisation in which I work is the Public Sector. It is a Secondary School with one thousand one hundred students eleven to sixteen. There are approximately one hundred and twenty staff of which eighty percent are teaching staff and twenty percent administrative staff. The school is undergoing redevelopment and an expansion project. At the same time, the Government has introduced a new Programme of Study, new grading systems and OFSTED is continually changing their criteria that they grade a school. The school has, in addition promoted the two Deputy Head Teachers to hold the position as joint Headteacher.

With this is mind, the mission statement of the school requires to be flexible and work with the ethos of ‘Two heads are better than one’ and reflect the values of the school. One may ask themselves at this point “Why does a school need a mission statement? We know what it does!” Each school has its own ethos and values and at a time of Government cuts ‘bums on seats’ is where a school generates its funding. As there are two Secondary schools in the area, this organisation needs to ensure it draws in the students and hence the funding.

The goals of the school are to create a positive and happy family community. It promotes the philosophy of growth mind-set by constantly challenging staff and students to aspire to the best they can. Every young person should be cared for unconditionally and valued equally. The school values commitment, generosity of spirit and integrity through promoting resilience, resourcefulness and courage.

The ethos of the school is to holistically educate young people and prepare them for their whole life. It promotes an environment in which all students are encouraged to contribute to the community and the world in which they live in. It does not only focus on academic endeavour but educating the mind, body and spirit. Students are guided to aspire for academic excellence and inspire them to be the best that they can, no educational ceilings or boundaries are created. Students are educated to also inspire others in their approach and attitude to learning. Learning opportunities and experiences of the students should:

Enable them to achieve their highest academic standards
Stimulate engagement and integrity
Develop a love for learning and insatiable curiosity
Promote confidence, happiness and well being
Engender a generous nature, mutual respect and kindness
Nurture an understanding of wisdom and patience
Recognise the power of commitment, collaboration and mutual achievement.

The role of HR
HR now has the role of ensuring that the work ethic of staff is in line with the mission statement and the ethos of the organisation, and both the staff and pupils are collaborating towards this. To ensure that this is possible a SWOT and PEST analysis can be completed (see appendix 1).

To ensure that the staff are working with the mission statement, three main areas need to addressed: 1. Pastoral support to ensure ‘Every young person is cared for unconditionally and valued equally and engender mutual respect for each other. We value commitment, generosity of spirit and integrity and promoting resilience, resourcefulness and courage. We recognise the power of commitment, collaboration and mutual achievement.’ Where there are four Heads of House and three Pastoral assistance, as the school expands there will be a need for a fifth Head of House to enable all HOH to spend more time coaching and supporting students. 2. Academic support ‘To inspire lifelong learning through engagement and an insatiable curiosity. There are no ceilings or boundaries to holistic learning;’ Unqualified teachers must be given the support of a mentor and sufficient time to plan exciting lessons, as new teachers have the enthusiasm to inspire and in this time of teacher shortage the school should endeavour to keep staff.

This will affect the budget as more teachers will need to be employed to ensure that more planning time is available, however, unqualified teachers are cheaper than qualified teachers and the school’s reputation for support of staff will ensure that staff apply for the school rather than apply to the competition school. A further strategy that I would recommend is asking staff to volunteer for reduced pay but more planning time as this will provide a better work-life balance; the most common reason for teachers leaving the profession is not the salary but the work-life balance. This would then leave more funding for more staff.

3. Academic and Pastoral staff need to collaborate together so ‘we aspire to create a community that we are all proud to be a member of, through the support of each other’. Academic and Pastoral strategies need to be more in collaboration of each other to ensure that staff are working together towards the mission statement. Time needs to be given to Heads of Departments and Heads of House to work on joint strategies that this encompass both academic success and respectful students. This time could be allocated yearly once GCSE students have left, and hence no extra funding would be required.

Once these three areas are addressed, the school will be in stronger position to tackle current issues of staffing but look to the future of an inspiring school with inspiring teachers who work to support students and each other for the benefit of the school.

Appendix i Swot analysis

Collaboration amongst staff
All core subjects have subject specialists at KS4
Mutual respect between staff and students
Positive school community
Well structure INSET training for staff that are relevant to the values of the school Core subjects competing for subject time rather than working collaboratively and sharing time. Insufficient subject specialists at KS3 leading to weakness in knowledge as students move to KS4 Hard to reach Parents do not always support the school policies and students therefore have little respect for school Insufficient time to embed INSET training into teaching strategies Insufficient time given to embed the ethos and values of the school into new Schemes of Work (SOW) Opportunities

New Program of Study has been introduced by the Government so new SOW can reflect the teaching and learning ethos of the school School expansion project will provide a fresh and modern feel to the school and a positive community feel to the school Community involvement with the school expansion will alleviate concerns and have a more positive impact from the community All students applying will be offered a place, this will include students who did not buy into education from surrounding schools 4 in 10 trainee teachers do not take up teaching

The average turnover rate for teachers is 3-4 years
Competition between the two secondary schools for staff
Cuts in Government funding will not allow the school to provide up-to-date ICT and subject specialist resources The school expansion project worries parents that the school will be too big and there will be more competition for parents sending their children to the smaller school in the area

Appendix ii Pestle analysis
External factors
Impact on the organisation
Organisation strategies
HR strategies
Teaching salaries are not increasing with inflation and housing is expensive in the area

Funding is based on ‘bums on seats’

Funding for schools has been cut

Insufficient teachers looking to move into the area

All students will be offered a place in school

Insufficient resources and support staff

Support new staff to the area by building a network of shared accommodation

Ensure Pastoral strategies and support for students is tightened

Work closely with the local Sixth Form other local secondary school and set up projects where we can share resources and talented students/support staff

Work with the community build a data base of families looking to rent rooms/shared accommodation

Identification of the policies and strategies that are not watertight and delegate pastoral managers who can action the necessary changes

Identify the talent short fall and work with stakeholders, schools and Sixth Forms to identify where we can share resources Economic
House prices are increasing in the area

Insufficient teachers looking to move into the area

Support new staff to the area by building a network of shared accommodation

Work with the community build a data base of families looking to rent rooms/shared accommodation Social
Increase in affordable housing

Increase in Pupil Premium (PP) students whose trend is underachievement but brining extra funding into the school

Designate a PP manager to ensure funding is used appropriately and hence reduce underachievement

Prepare a job description for the PP manager, advertise, interview and training for this new position Technological
Government cuts means less funding available to spend on resources especially ICT

Reduced resources and negative perception from the community

Identify strengths in the community and the Stakeholders to help provide affordable funding/resources

Work with the Stakeholders to identify their regions of expertise and how collaboration can strengthen the resources of the school Legislative Employment law with regards to teachers from abroad

Paying Agency fee’s for teachers from abroad, length of their employment contract and need for a working visa

Invest in staff that will not be leaving after a year. Investment in extending the working visa

Identification of strengths and weaknesses and the balance between the investment and the outgoings Environmental
The expansion projects is ensuring a positive community environment with aesthetically pleasing learning environments which needs to be maintained

Decrease in funding for maintaining building work is reduced so it will cost the school more to maintain the positive feel

Ensure students and staff ‘buy into’ the positive building work and promote pride and care in the school environment

Invest in visual environmental care like recycling – contact local companies, how can they support the new school build You are asked to brief a newly appointed manager on the role HR managers should play in order to maximise the likelihood that a forthcoming organisation restructuring exercise is judged to have been successful after it is complete. This new manager is particularly concerned to ensure that staff turnover rates do not increase as a result of the proposed reorganisation. What key points would you want to make. Justify your answer.

It is in human nature to resist change because this inevitably means a change to routine and moving out of or comfort zone into a field of uncertainty. If one doesn’t understand the need for change, the benefits it will have to the person and the circumstance in which the change is occurring, be it our work life or home life then one will become resistant to change. It is our job (HR) within the organisation to ensure that there is a smooth transition and the change shows value added to the company. In order of this to happen employees need to be on board with the change, not fear it, and ultimately understand the necessity and benefits behind it.

How to implement change
The first thing HR needs to decide is which change model would best suit the organisation. There are four models and the success of implementing the change relies of the choice of model as this will suite the working environment of the organisation. The following models have been identified by Armstrong with Taylor (2014, Armstrong’s handbook of human resource management practice pg633-635): Lewin (1951). This involves unfreezing the structure to be ready to implement the change, changing the structure to where we want it to be and finally refreezing the structure and look at Performance Management and how we can introduce rewards for success which will inevitably be due to embracing the new structure. A force field analysis will indicate where the most resistance will come from and enable us to plan how to manage this resistance and which strategies we will need to put in place to alleviate this resistance.

Thurley (1979). This model ensures that change occurs quickly. It is a directive approach which dictates what is going to happen and when. My concern, should we chose this model, is that we are not considering any of the staff concerns and resistance to this change, and if they are not on board then we will see an increase in staff turnover. Bandura (1986). Here we would be identifying our expectancy of staff and the organisational change, indicate our outcomes and manage the new behaviours that we want in place to ensure success. We can use a force field analysis here to identify areas of resistance and place strategies and training to ensure that new behaviours are understood and in place. Beer et al (1990). Staff are very much involved in this model, where everyone works together to ensure the successful implementation of the new structure and everyone is ready and there has been very little resistance. To do this we must gain the commitment of staff by sharing the vision, encourage and promote the consensus amongst staff, enhance competence through staff training and finally embedding and monitoring the success.

The model that we choose must complement the ethos of the organisation and work for our employees. If we implement the wrong model then the impact will be resistance, increase in staff turnover and hence a period of stagnation as the company will not be able to move forward until recruitment replaces staff. Resistance to change is a normal response; it is how we deal with the resistance that will determine the success of the change.

How to overcome resistance to change
Kubler-Ross described five stages of grief in her 1969 book “On Death And Dying” (Change-Management-Coach, online by Mark Connelly) that are just as relevant to staff resistance when they are dealing with change in the workplace. We can use the Kubler-Ross model to provide support for staff, help them adapt to the change and move forward so that we can start to show value to the company. The stages of resistance and the strategies that we can put in place to support our employees are as follows: Shock, denial and anger – Information needs to be communicated to employees in a clear fashion and we must listen to their views Frustration, fear and depression – Although staff may accept the change, we will need to provide extra support and coaching to help them deal with the change Acceptance, understanding and exploration – Communication of information is still vital at this stage.

Employees will need support and guidance as to how they can become more involved in the change and how they can benefit from it. Commitment and moving on – Further training and support for employees is important at this point so they can help put the changes into practice and help them assess how this change has benefited them, in improving their skills and performance. By identifying employee champions, as explained by the Ulrich model, they can ensure that communication to employees is disseminated and they can help implement the change.

The role of HR as the change agent
HR will have a multi-faceted role through this process. As a function, HR understands the nature of the business and the employees and will be the driving force to ensure collaboration, communication, training and support for staff.

In the first instance HR will need to collaborate with the stakeholders to outline a working strategy. We will need to agree on communication timings, when we inform staff of changes, training that will be required to ensure that staff can adopt to the change and that they are flexible enough to ensure a successful change. We must take into account how the employees will react to this change, as individuals, but also as a group. By identifying employee champions the group dynamics will become more positive as the champion communicates to the group at each stage, but also the champion can support and guide individuals who are working against the change and having an impact on the dynamics. We will need to provide support for the champions and ensure that they have up to date policy advice, and we provide them with a framework that they can work with that incorporates flexibility and adaptability to change.

The champions can then work with HR to provide information on the how the change is going. Finally HR Capital needs to be evaluated throughout the organisation to ensure positive engagement, skills and knowledge are in placed in the best positions to ensure the success of the change. This should ensure a positive change, engaged employees, and evidence of value to the company early on. 6.Read the article entitled ‘Front-line managers as agents in the HRM-performance causal chain: theory, analysis and evidence’ by John Purcell and Sue Hutchinson. You should then write a brief summary setting out the main conclusions that the authors reach in the article and state how convincing you find these to be and why.

The success a company in meeting its aims relies on the staff that it employs, as it is the staff that will produce the ‘goods’, be it on shop floor level or from the office. The policies may be in place however, if the staff are not working in line with them, then HR practices will be seen to be failing. We therefore need to understand the link between employees perception of the HR practices and their commitment to the organisation and job satisfaction. As it is Front-line managers (FLM) who deliver the requirements of the policies we need to ask the question “What are Front-line manager (FLM) doing or are not doing to promote delivery of the policies and hence show evidence of the organisations success?”. There seems to be a gap between what is required by the HR policy and what the FLMs deliver (Purcell and Hutchinson, 2007). The aim of the FLM is to demonstrate positive leadership behaviours which will have the impact of influencing the attitude and behaviour of the employees and give them direction; a good manager should draw out positive behaviours from employees irrespective of the quality of the HR policies.

The main objective of the article is to explore the relationship between the leadership behaviours and the HR practices used – is there a link or are they independent? The data was taken from surveys from twelve ‘excellent’ organisations and the effect that the leadership behaviour has on the attitude of the employees towards their job and organisation, and how their perceptions of HR practices influences their attitudes.

The role of FLM is an ongoing debate as the expectation is that they take a more proactive role in appraisals, interviews and incentive pay. The unsuccessful delivery of the policies by FLMs has been identified in an number of cases as lack of training, over work and lack of interest in this additional field, as summarised by Purcell and Hutchinson, 2007. Hutchinson and Purcell, 2003, found that only 35% of employees perceived the performance of FLMs as good or very good in their study involving communication of changes.

What therefore motivates an FLM? Purcell and Hutchinson refer to the study by McGovern et al, 1997, which identified the main motivator to be ‘personal motivation’ meaning it relies on the manager and what drives them rather than what drives the employees. A number of case studies are identified by Purcell and Hutchinson, for instance Applebaum et al 2000, that recognises the need for there to be a distinction between commitment and job satisfaction. Evidence shows that it is the behaviour of the employees that influence the effectiveness of the organisation, as this will have a direct impact on behaviours like attendance and task behaviour. Uhl-Bien et al (200:138) went on further to focus directly on the leadership relationship and used the term ‘leader member exchange (LMX)’. The findings were that effective and positive relationships between FLMs and employees result in a positive working unit and performance overall. Guest and Conway’s (2004: 19-32) study involved one thousand workers, a good sample size, and they identified that supervisory leadership produced greater work satisfaction, loyalty to customers and commitment to the company.

These studies show us that overall FLMs can influence the relationship that an employee has with the organisation, and this is because a strong influential relationship between the manager and the employee ensures the HR practices are being delivered in productive manner and the employee feels valued by the organisation.

Three points are therefore identified in a number of studies: 1. Employees’ commitment to the organisation and job perception is reliant on the FLMs leadership. 2. Employee satisfaction with HR practices will influence their job satisfaction and commitment to the organisation. 3. Employee job satisfaction and commitment relies on satisfactions of both the practices and FLM leadership.

Purcell and Hutchinson’s study involved a three year running program where employees from twelve organisations were interviewed at corporate level, senior managers and employees. The results indicate that there is a significant and positive correlation between perceptions of leadership behaviour and perception of HR practices. Interestingly enough though, perceptions of leadership behaviours are strongly negative in longer serving or older employees. In addition, commitment, job satisfaction, challenge and achievement are influence by the perceptions of leadership behaviour.

Purcell and Hutchinson rightly pointed out that a ‘major limitation’ is that as the study is cross-sectional it is not possible confirm any trends or causality. However, Selfridges, one of the twelve companies, considered the findings important enough to make changes to the culture of the organisation. The initial survey indicated high levels of employee commitment to the organisation and a further study showed a positive correlation between satisfaction and various HR practices. On the negative side, only 58% of employees were satisfied with the performance appraisal system and the dissatisfaction stemming mainly from the FLMs behaviours. Selfridges then focused on improving the practices; all team leaders had to reapply for their position through different system that focused on behaviours and skill sets. The successful candidates then had further training/improvements to their role, to include undertaking staff appraisals.

A year later the results showed an improvement in employee attitude with regards to job satisfaction and commitment, sales increase by 23%, payroll costs down by 5%, and sales versus pay roll costs up by 31.% with employee turnover falling substantially below the average for retail. Further training in people management activities were then put in place and the process in which team leaders are managed was looked at and concentrated on four main areas – coaching and guidance, involvement, career opportunities and management support. Senior managers considered the process extremely beneficial and FLMs less reactive and more disciplined.

The overall effect that this study shows is that the gap needs to close between FLMs behaviours and the HR practices they deliver, in order for productivity, job satisfaction and commitment to the organisation by employees; HR practices must be effective for the employee to respond in a positive manner with regards to their work ethic. FLMs have the role of promoting a positive impression of the commitment of the organisation towards the employee, and the employee will gain more job satisfaction and a sense of achievement. Although Purcell and Hutchinson identified the fact that the number of employees in this study was not large, it is apparent from the data that the effect is significant enough to draw the conclusion that there is a link between FLMs behaviours and success of delivery of HR practices. The HRM policies must therefore become intuitive and take the multi-faceted role that FLMs have into consideration. The job description of the FLM must be clear and flexibility and organisation must be a behaviour that is to be expected.


ACACIA (2015). Managing and Co-ordinating the Human resource Function. 5MHR module. [Online] Available from: https://sites.google.com/site/acacialearningcipdl3l5/l5-intermediate/5mhr [Accessed on 14/4/2015]

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