Strategic Human Resource Management Free Essay Example

Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) is big business; it promises a great deal; and these promises are seductive. SHRM places great emphasis on the capacity – indeed the possibility – of organizational learning: learning about an organization’s environment, about its performance, its objectives, its capability, and in the light of this, its capacity to learn from the change. Capability in SHRM is not simply capability to achieve a given strategy, important as this is; it is also, and primarily, capability to develop, and re-develop, strategy in the first place, and thus to design and oversee the necessary systemic change. But there may be a paradox here. This was spotted a long time ago by Argyris: ‘One might say that participants in organizations are encourages to learn to perform as long as the learning does not question the fundamental design; goals and activities of their organization.Now, following two case studies from Australian agencies shown below will further describe in short form that how implementation of Strategic Human Resource Management benefits the organizations.

These agencies are providing business and strategic support to their client in their respective field in Australia and some other European countries. Their alliances mainly focus how strategically move forward the direction of production line, service sector, sales and marketing and customer support into the innovative and technological way.Case Study 1Description of the agencyBusiness Solutions (WA) is a Licensed Employment Agency and Labour Hire Company that is ideally situated in the Peel region, Western Australia’s fastest growing area. As a Recruitment Company, they offer innovative Human Resource solutions that meet customer’s flexible staffing requirements, whilst as a Business consultancy they provide coaching and mentoring services to most industry sectors. This is a small agency providing business development assistance to the investors in Western Australia with around 150 employees and an operating budget of approximately $15m.

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All activities are based in one location in the city. The HR Manager reports to the Director of Corporate Services.The Business IssuesOver the next 1-2 years, this agency will be making major changes to the way it delivers its current services. The agency will be streamlining all processing and technical operations using new systems and technology and possibly outsourcing some activities. The business focus will be on responsiveness to customers and efficiency.

The agency is also considering introducing new products and services.What the agency wanted to achieve using the frameworkThe HR Manager wanted to use to framework to determine the critical HR management strategies required to support the business direction. This was to involve both managers and HR staff to achieve an organizational position.The HR Manager believed the current HR management agenda (based on the HR management initiatives in the agency’s strategic direction) did not adequately reflect the real business issues. There was a long list of HR projects which were not prioritized.The HR Manager also want to use the external consultant to obtain the views of the Chief Executive Officer, directors and managers on what HR issues they saw as important.

This exercise was timely as the agency was about to review its strategic direction and the Chief Executive Officer had just been appointed.MethodologyPlanning meetingAn initial planning meeting was held with the HR Manager and the consultant to agree on the methodology, to brief the external consultant on the agency and its approach to the management of human resources. The methodology was deliberately low key and designed to build alliances and a partnership between human resources and managers, resulting in a joint commitment to tackle the most important people issues.AssessmentThe consultant met with the HR staff to assess the current situation, using the framework as the basis. Relevant documentation was also provided to the consultant such as business plans, HR policies, and the recent Organization Diagnostic Survey.

The consultant interviewed the Chief Executive Officer and each director to obtain their views on the key business issues facing the agency and the degree of alignment between the HR and these issues. Again the framework provided the basis for discussion. The consultant also held two focus groups with third level managers.AnalysisA written report was prepared by the consultant for the HR Manager. The report summarized the business issues and highlighted the gaps in alignment, using the framework as a basis.

Action planningA half-day workshop was held with two directors and the two senior HR staff, facilitated by the consultant.During this workshop the group considered the report and reviewed the current approach to HR management. The group then agreed on the critical business issues and the HR implications. There was agreement that the way people issues were managed could “make or break” the success of the business strategy. The HR Manager met with the Chief Executive Officer to discuss the action plan. A meeting was held with the Executive Team and the HR strategies were agreed in principle.

These strategies are at present being considered in a review of the agency’s strategic direction.CommentsThe timing of this exercise was important. The business issues were clear and there was recognition of the need for major organizational change. The HR Manager now has a capable team ready to work on the HR strategy. The framework was a useful assessment tool and a way of communicating a broader role for HRs and how HRs can contribute to the success of the agency.

Case Study 2Description of the AgencyPermnanser Pty Ltd. Permanser is the leading provider of recruitment services to the Textile, Clothing and Footwear industries in Australia and New Zealand. In addition they have an interest in Bangkok, Thailand through Promanser Pty Ltd and their International Division is active in the Hong Kong and mainland China market.The organization is a medium sized agency with approximately 700 employees and an operating budget of approximately $70 million. Its services are located in a metropolitan regional center and there is a presence in the Asian region. The agency prides itself in its progressive approach to customer service and commitment to training.

The HR Manager reports to the Director Corporate Services.The Business IssuesThe agency is undergoing significant changes in legislation, technology and structure through its shift to the funder, purchaser, provider model and an output based management approach. These changes are necessary for it to remain competitive in an industry where high standards are expected by customers and there is potential competition through external providers.What the Agency wanted to achieve using the FrameworkThe agency prides itself in adopting best practice in its operations, and was keen to trial the framework to ensure its HR practices are aligned to organizational strategy. Additionally, the organization has a relatively new HR Manager who is keen to ensure the HR function is strategically positioned within the agency. It was the HR Manager’s intention to use this analysis as the basis for developing a Divisional Human Resource Plan.

MethodologyPlanning MeetingAn initial meeting was held with the HR Manager to identify how the project would be approached and who should be interviewed. The organization has a medium sized HR Branch with highly experienced staff, and it was deemed essential to gain their support and commitment from the beginning. They were subsequently briefed on the project, its rationale and the process that would occur.AssessmentThe consultant conducted an individual interview with the Chief Executive Officer to ascertain the strategic and business issues facing the organization, the critical HR issues facing the organization and his assessment of the HR function. All of this was done using the Strategic HR Framework.

The HR Manager was interviewed to obtain an assessment of the HR function.AnalysisA written report was prepared by the consultant for the HR Manager. The report summarized the business issues, highlighted the gaps in alignment and made recommendations of suggested actions that could occur to address these gaps.Some of the major findings were:There are no strategic or operational plans in place;Performance and productivity indicators need to be more aligned throughout the agency;The organization needs a more diverse, outward looking approach to recruitment;There is an immediate need for workforce and succession planning to ensure the necessary skills to meet the needs of the future;Performance management processes need to be established to reflect an output based team approach.Action PlanningA three hour workshop was held with a mix of directors, middle managers and HR staff.

The aims of the workshop were to:Agree on the critical business related issues facing the organization;Agree upon the critical HR priorities;Agree upon a model for HR and business managers to work together.This workshop agreed upon the priority areas to be addressed by the HR group (on behalf of the organization) over the next twelve months. The priorities included:Establishing a HR vision;The need for more strategic information;Recruitment and diversity issues;Establishing service agreements with HR;Identifying overhead costs of HR;Developing a performance management system that reflects output based management and team requirements;Working with the Executive to manage the change and communication processes;Dealing with the potential loss of intellectual capital and knowledge.CommentsThis agency is regarded as leading edge in many of its people management practices and this exercise has helped refine many of its processes for strategic purpose. One of the critical issues to emerge was the need to link HR strategy and information to the organization’s strategy and information requirements.