Case Study 3: Wealth Management Solutions
Abby has recently been recruited as the new HR Director for Wealth Management Solutions (WMS). This is a financial services business offering accounting and financial planning services to clients in the New England and north west area of NSW. There is a head office in Armidale employing approximately 60 staff. There are also another 25 staff employed across the region in various offices in Moree, Inverell and Tamworth. WMS has a problem of attracting and retaining younger employees. Often what happens is that they obtain a new employee (usually straight out of university), who only stays long enough to complete their Professional Year (accounting accreditation), before going off to find a job in Sydney or Brisbane.
With reference to topic 7, how could Abby improve employee attraction and retention at WMS? (10 marks)
Abby is considering implementing a pay for performance remuneration system at WMS as a means of retaining staff. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of a pay for performance system in a financial services business like WMS? (10 marks)
With reference to topic 12, what methods could Abby use to measure the effectiveness of the HR policies she implements at WMS? (5 marks)
Topic 7 –
Training and Development
The strategic function of HRM is to secure an adequate supply of people with appropriate skills so that the organisation can meet its goals. Clearly, training and development will be closely related to this. The functions of recruitment and selection of staff represent the initial stages of developing an effective workforce. All employees require training and continual development if the objective of an effective workforce is to be achieved. The training of human resources should be viewed as beginning with their induction and continuing throughout their employment with the organisation.
There are three major phases of any training and development program:
the assessment phase;
the implementation phase; and
The evaluation phase.
Attention needs to be directed to all three phases. Too often, training programs are developed in an ad hoc fashion, without sufficient attention being paid to the needs of the organisation or employees. As well, evaluation, if done at all, is done so at a very superficial level.
Effective training will require those developing the training programs to attend to the basic psychological principles of learning. Importantly, too, they need to recognise that within training groups there may well be a variety of learning styles. Some participants may respond better to written materials while others may find group discussion more enlightening. Think of which way you prefer to learn. Are you someone that prefers to sit back and listen (i.e. in a lecture); or do you learn best when you can get hands on or interact with others in group based activities? HRprofessionals need to consider the same questions when designing workplace training & development initiatives.
Earlier we mentioned how recruitment should also pay heed to the applicants’ needs. This perspective reflects a greater recognition of the two-way nature of the employment relationship. Since the mid-1970s, there has been increasing attention paid to the need for employees to have satisfying careers – and the longer term benefits to organisations of addressing their needs.
Ultimately employees are responsible for their own career development, accessing appropriate information and making informed occupational choices. However, the employee’s manager should provide constructive performance feedback and participate in career development functions. Organisations can also help in employee career choices, by workshops and the provision of training and development activities.
For those of you, who have been in the workforce for a number of years, think about your own career development and the factors that have influenced it? Has the organisation played a role in enhancing or constraining your own career development?
Topic 12 –
Within the HR profession, increasing emphasis has been placed on being able to demonstrate how the HR role contributes to the bottom line. In this context, a range of measures have been developed to evaluate the impact of HR programs. A variety of measures, from the application of traditional accounting approaches and the identification and analysis of HR trends, such as absenteeism, wastage and turnover, to comprehensive HR audits, are available to HR managers.
Both quantitative and qualitative methods are useful in ensuring that SHRM meets the dynamic requirements of changing organisations. In addition, adherence to good corporate governance principles has become increasingly important. Employee attitude surveys and internal and external client research can supplement more quantitative data analyses. The fundamental purpose of these techniques is to ensure that the HR department carries out its activities in a financially and socially responsible and innovative manner, towards the achievement of broad organisational objectives.
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