Assessment Brief: The Task
With reference to the given facts of the case study you are expected to present a report to the Board of Directors of the company covering the following questions.
1. Recognise and discuss most suitable HR model for the TE Electricals. (You may align one of the HR models learnt and justify the same in relation to the given organization context
The Harvard Model
The Warwick’s Model
Need to discuss all three model and recommend one model to TE Electricals.
2. With sufficient facts and justification critically evaluate two of the given key result area of HRM below and address the issues confronting with TE Electricals in relation to effective management. You are required to validate your discussion with industry best practices.
Need to discuss below highlighted areas.
The Organization and the HR Department
Address the following issues
1. What should be done in light of low sales numbers?
2. What should be done, if anything, about the fraudulent sales data?
3. What can be done to improve employee communication methods?
Address the following issues
1. Discuss unfair labor practices. Are there incidences of unfair labor practices at TE? If so, how should they be addressed?
2. How can TE discourage unionization of employees without incurring issues of unfair labor practices?
3. How should employee involvement teams be managed? Would you recommend they be disbanded? Why or why not?
Address the following issues
1. How can TE reduce labor costs and still save as many jobs as possible?
2. Discuss the short-term and long-term implications of downsizing. What does the research say?
3. What are your recommendations for implementing a 10 percent reduction in force? Discuss possible discrimination issues that may occur in downsizing.
Human Resource Development
Address the following issues
1. Identify the goals of TE’s training programs. Are they meeting these goals? What could be improved?
2. Discuss TE’s efforts to retain and transfer knowledge. Are these efforts effective? What could be done to improve the process?
3. How can HRD demonstrate return on investment to prevent cuts in the training budget? What is the business case for training?
Compensation and Benefits
Address the following issues
1. Discuss broad banding. Is this a viable program for TE, or should it be terminated?
2. Discuss the bonus system at TE. How could it be improved, or should it be terminated?
3. What makes a reward system motivating?
Address the following issues
1. What are the issues in TE in relation to managing the performance of teams and individuals?
2. Recommend a performance management system for TE
You should underpin your analysis and recommendations with reference to the appropriate literature (cited using the Harvard Style of Referencing); this is an essential requirement of postgraduate learning.
You may put some of your analysis in tables or diagrams if appropriate; this will not contribute towards the word count. If you choose to do this, the tables and diagrams should appear as part of your answer: i.e. in the text. If you choose to use appendices, they should be for supporting material only; please note that they will not be marked.
Triton Electricals Ltd.: A Case Study in HR Practices
Triton Electricals (TE) is a small manufacturing company. TE manufactures high-quality specialty components for the computer industry. The company was founded in 1994 by current CEO, Nimal Cooray. Nimal was a talented young engineer. When the industry hit the skids in the early 1990s, he found himself out the door with little more than an entrepreneurial spirit and a small severance package. Nimal left California, moved back to his home state and used his severance package to finance TE, starting the company in small rented quarters in a nearly vacant strip mall. He brought in Clive Perera early on as chief financial officer. Nimal was smart enough to know that he had no head for figures, but Clive did. Clive was an old college buddy, an accountant, and somebody Nimal could trust to squeeze as much mileage as possible out of his severance money. It was a good match. Clive managed the business, and Nimal was the idea man and designer of the specialty components, patents of which were the backbone of TE’s success.
Today, the low-rent strip mall is a part of company history, and TE employs 850 full-time workers in its own contemporary facility built in 2002. So far, TE has not been significantly affected by the latest downturn in the industry. Its market niche continues to be high-quality, specialized equipment. The company is proud of its ISO quality certification granted by the International Organization for Standardization. Nimal believes this is what has kept his company in business while others in the industry went by the wayside.
TE sells its own products and has a small customer base scattered throughout the United States and Asia, but this generates only a small percentage of TE’s revenue. Eighty-five percent of TE’s sales come from building original specialty components for one manufacturer. This has been a steady income source for TE, but heavy reliance on one customer is a significant source of worry for TE’s management team, especially because sales of finished products are down for this customer and cutbacks are expected. Consequently, the push is on for belt-tightening in the organization. TE instituted a hiring freeze, and marketing and sales budgets were directed to increasing the company customer base. Canadian and European markets are being explored, and while there is some interest, there are no solid contracts.
TE employees are understandably jittery. Though TE remains non-union, three years ago the organization went through a difficult period of employee unrest. There were complaints of poor management, inconsistently enforced policies and unfair practices regarding job changes and movement of employees within the organization. Because of the company’s standing as a respected employer in the community, it was a significant public relations black eye when an anonymous employee wrote a scathing letter to the editor of the local paper. This brought in union organizers who distributed leaflets and circulated authorization cards. To address employee concerns, TE responded with management training and reorganization of lower-level supervisory positions. A companywide “Talk-to-the-Boss” program was implemented, allowing employees to bring issues to any level of management without fear of reprisal. It seemed to help. Unrest, though, never goes away entirely. Employees became cynical about “Talk-to-the-Boss,” and “the union buzzards”, as Nimal calls them, never completely went away. Things have certainly changed for TE from the old days of the store-front location and a handful of employees. Nimal remains the CEO, but he no longer manages the day-to-day operations, spending his time instead at his family’s summer retreat or in the Caribbean.
Decision-making is primarily in the hands of Clive, who is now the organization’s senior vice president, and another vice president, Steve. Steve came to TE eight years ago with an honors degree in human resources and a successful military career. With a history that has known only growth and strong revenue, it will be a major culture change for TE to respond to the eroding economy and a possible decline in sales. In addition to the hiring freeze, Clive directed managers to cut waste and improve productivity across the board. Employees were reminded that every department would be affected and that nothing was sacred.
The Human Resources Department
Asha Perera was HR director at TE for eight years before her departure three months ago. The official word was that she had taken early retirement to spend more time with her family, but what everyone believed was that Steve finally got fed up and gave her the boot. Of course, there was the official retirement party where everyone said how much they would miss her, but really, most employees in the department raised a toast to her departure and gave a collective sigh of relief. Her management style—when she managed at all—was divisive. She had her favorites, especially Amala Soysa, TE’s benefits coordinator, for whom no perks were ever too many. Consequently, the compensation and benefits staff fared well under Asha because it was Amala’s area. Others in the HR department found Asha to be unfair and abrasive even on the best of days.
With approval from Clive and Steve, Asha and compensation manager, Jagath Silva, had established a merit bonus plan early in Asha’s tenure at TE. Though Asha continued to champion the bonus plan as a success in accomplishing objectives and controlling costs, it has been a bone of contention across the organization, particularly in the HR department. The bonus plan required everyone to have annual performance goals. Asha allowed Jagath’s compensation and benefits staff to set their own goals, but for everyone else in the department, Asha alone set the goals with no input from those expected to carry out the activities. The result was hard feelings and perceived inequity that continues today.
Human Resources Development
The HRD division is managed by training director Loretta Senadeera, who supervises two other employees: a trainer and an administrative assistant, who coordinate the logistics of TE’s training programs. Recognizing the continuous dynamics of the high-tech industry, TE has been a strong supporter of employee development. With approval of the immediate supervisor, TE encourages employees to attend training seminars, and tuition reimbursement is available for college-level courses that are related to the employee’s job. In-house training is conducted regularly to ensure all employees are up-to-date on sexual harassment and safety procedures. Other training is made available as the need arises. Whenever possible, training programs are developed and facilitated by in-house staff members. When that is not practical, a request for proposal is generated and TE hires outside facilitators.
Since the labor problem a few years back, Loretta aggressively trained management employees with emphasis on skills for first-line supervisors. She wants to see improvement in people skills and consistent implementation of TE policies across department lines. Unfortunately, her efforts are not universally well received. Some managers grumble that HR just gets in the way and ties their hands when dealing with difficult employees. All too often Loretta hears managers say that there is the “classroom way” and the “shop floor way.” She sees training for TE managers as an ongoing process.
Last year’s strategic planning process identified knowledge management as an area for organization wide improvement. TE has a history of employees working in silos, with little communication across functions. Hoping to bridge the gap and encourage collaborative exchange, Loretta established “communities of practice,” where individuals could meet to problem solve and exchange ideas. Her first community-of practice group consisted of individuals from research and development, engineering and production. Several other communities have since been established. More informally, Loretta encourages “snack and chat” meetings on Friday afternoons, where employees can drop by for a snack and talk about their work.
To increase information exchange with employees working off-site, an idea blog was added to the company’s intranet, where staff could share information about their successes and failures on various projects. At first, people were reluctant to comment, and it took some time before they were willing to share their knowledge and ideas. Loretta had not anticipated how proprietary some individuals would be about their work methods. Progress has been made; with increasing postings, the blog is becoming a source of ideas and information sharing. To manage the volume of information generated by the blog and to make it easier for more employees to use the system, Loretta submitted in a budget request to add enhanced knowledge software to the intranet. To capture knowledge that might be leaving the organization, Loretta worked with Nalin to improve the exit interview process. Departing employees are encouraged to talk informally about their career at TE and to pass on information other employees need to know. There has been some success here, but as expected, not all exit interviews generate a positive exchange.
As part of the recent directives to “tighten up” for increased results, HRD was asked to update and improve the company’s performance management system. In addition, the organization is looking closely at all training expenses, and Loretta was asked to identify the return on investment for all programs.
Henry Chang has managed staffing at TE since the early years when the company had less than 100 employees. Chang runs a tight ship and manages the department with only one other recruiter and an administrative assistant, who maintains all job postings, including a telephone employment hotline and the company’s job line web site. Chang is well-respected across the organization for his strict adherence to ensuring equity in hiring and job placement that goes well beyond equal opportunity requirements.
Chang recently completed an aggressive hiring drive at major universities, hiring several new engineers and CAD specialists. These new hires barely squeaked in before the hiring freeze, but with the downturn in sales, the atmosphere has changed dramatically. The staffing department has known only hiring; they never had to plan for a layoff. Chang worries that a layoff of newly hired employees will seriously harm the company’s reputation in the community and make recruiting difficult when the economy gets better.
Chang received a confidential memo from Steve and Asha requiring a 10 percent reduction in labor costs by the end of the fiscal year. He wonders if there is some way to cut labor expenses while saving as many jobs as possible. He also worries about the loss of talent and retaining the knowledge of long-time employees. He’s got some cost-saving ideas, but it certainly won’t add up to 10 percent. Chang feels certain there will be a reduction in force. A few managers will be delighted; they all have some bad apples they want to get rid of. Chang wonders how he is going to ensure that the layoffs are equitable and non-discriminatory. This is not going to be good for morale, and he dreads the backlash when word gets out.
Compensation and benefits
TE pays at market rate and conducts a salary survey every three years to ensure the company remains competitive. Both practices served TE well over the years, even with the growth in the number of full-time employees and an increasingly complex compensation system. Two years ago, Jagath restructured the compensation system by broad banding 14 salary grade levels into a far simpler system of five levels. Jagath expected some resistance because there are always people who hate change, but he hadn’t anticipated the outcry from some employees who claimed it was nothing but the loss of promotion levels and a manipulation of the system. He has spent a lot of time since then educating staff on the system, and in the two years that have passed, the outcry quieted a bit, but there are still claims of salary compression. Jagath knows there are managers who have abused the system, using the higher salary ranges to reward their favored few regardless of performance or longevity. He concedes the new system isn’t perfect, though it is simpler to administer. Now, however, he spends more time worrying about results than he ever did in the past.
The merit bonus plan had been Asha’s baby. She thought it was a good way to link compensation to actual results, and it was a key compensation element in the early years, when Nimal wanted to encourage innovation and creativity. It may have been effective early on, but Jagath now sees it as an expensive giveaway that creates employee anxiety. He has complained to Steve that it’s not working and ought to be scrapped. “Whatever they get,” he says, “it’s never enough. They’re always dissatisfied. I don’t know why we bother.”
Employee benefits are another issue. Benefits became increasingly expensive over time, and every piece of the TE is under scrutiny for cost effectiveness. TE offered fully paid health coverage to all full-time employees from the outset until 2016, when double-digit premium increases necessitated a change. Laying its cards on the table, TE conducted information sessions with employees to ensure they understood the costs of insurance and the financial health of the organization. Cost-cutting was a given; the question was what to cut. An employee survey was conducted to determine what cuts would be most acceptable to employees. The focus was to determine if employees would accept less health coverage but continue with insurance fully paid by TE or if they preferred to pay a portion of their premium and maintain the same benefit coverage as in the past. It was a contentious discussion before the decision was made to maintain coverage with employees paying a part of the premium. The employee-paid share has risen every year since, with complaints that it is nothing but a pay cut.
Despite some grumbling, Jagath thinks employees do well with TE’s benefits package. TE supports retirement savings by matching 50 percent of the employee contributions up to a maximum contribution of 5 percent of the employee’s annual salary. Paid time off is available as paid vacation time and sick leave. After one year of full-time employment or the equivalent, employees receive 10 days of paid vacation, and sick leave benefits accrue at the rate of 12 hours (1½ days) per month worked.
Both unused vacation time and sick leave time can be carried over from year to year. Vacation time carryover is limited to a maximum of 10 days while accrued sick leave can be carried over from year to year with no ceiling. Those are just the major benefits. There are some other nice perks as well. Loretta lobbied hard to get Clive and Nimal to agree to tuition reimbursement for work-related college courses. Despite having few employees using the program, Jagath thinks the benefit sends a positive message to employees that TE supports educational development. Some employees work flexible schedules, and some telecommute a few days a week if it is appropriate to the job. There are employee wellness activities and an employee assistance program in place. Overall, Jagath thinks it is a good benefits package, but knows that change is coming. The memo from Steve said that all compensation practices are on the table for discussion and that some significant changes would be forthcoming. With the bonus system in place, annual base salary adjustments have been kept low, generally at a 4 to 5 percent increase.
Jagath suspects a salary freeze is in the offing, and he braces for the repercussions of disgruntled employees and the loss of some of TE’s best employees as their skills are lured away by higher-paying competition. He wonders if Nimal and Steve understand how important it is to stay competitive in this industry.
Nalin has his hands full managing employee relations. There is always the union issue, and Nalin’s belief that “once employee dissent sets in, it never goes away” seems to be well founded. He knows there is still an undercurrent for unionization, and he fears any cost-cutting will turn the undercurrent into a land slide.
Nalin continues to send out the message that TE wants to remain non-union and is willing to listen to employees and address their concerns. A comprehensive employee survey was conducted by an outside firm shortly after the unionization attempt. It asked employees to comment on a variety of issues, including their perception of management, TE’s compensation policies, career opportunities and equity, and, of course, overall job satisfaction. Some changes were made because of the survey, mostly enhanced communication efforts and not actual policy changes. Since compensation was an issue, more information was made available to employees regarding the compensation system. Specifically, employees received a comprehensive chart identifying salary grades and corresponding job titles. The compensation staff answered questions, the idea being that if people understood the compensable factors and the logic behind the system, they would perceive less inequity. Things quieted down a bit, but Steve knows compensation equity is always a bone of contention.
A second issue that emerged from the employee survey was the use of skip-level interviews where employees could raise issues to mangers two levels up. In other words, employees can discuss things with their boss’s boss. Most managers did not fully support the idea, and Nalin suspects some feel threatened by the thought of their subordinates going around them to talk to the boss. He has heard some grumbling, but he doesn’t think it is of too much concern because few employees take the initiative to talk with management.
The survey also pointed out some specific criticism of the HR department for lack of communication with employees. Employees said that when they brought problems to HR, HR did not listen and did not respond. It hit close to home when HR was called on the carpet. One employee response was particularly troubling to Nalin because the employee said she reported sexual harassment to HR twice; the first-time HR didn’t respond at all, and the second-time HR’s response was that the employee should “focus on work and stop complaining.” Nalin couldn’t imagine anyone in HR responding with such a statement, but he could not ignore the allegation. He felt they had dodged a bullet because there had been no other harassment complaints. He knew he had to do something. He started a hotline to HR that was available 24/7 either online or by phone for employees to ask questions and report anything of concern, not just harassment. He called it “HR Answers” and subscribed to a call center in India to answer and track the calls so the service could be available to employees always.
Nalin recently developed employee involvement teams. It was a hard sell because Steve was against the process, claiming it gave employees too much latitude. The teams worked well for a while. Employees had a forum to be heard, and some good suggestions were generated for productivity improvements. Nalin monitors the teams closely. He knows it’s a precarious situation between management and staff, and he thinks he’ll never be comfortable enough to let them run on their own. Nalin worked with Loretta to plan and facilitate training programs for all managers. They concentrated on discrimination and harassment. He hopes the training will forge a closer link between line management practices and HR. All too often he finds himself untangling a mess created by a manager who inappropriately disciplines an employee without regard to policy and with no input from HR. He wants supervisory employees to understand the complex responsibility imposed by their position between management and staff, and he wants to see consistent implementation of policies across departments.
So far, understanding and consistency are a long way off. Sometimes he thinks managers are just not paying attention. Nalin knows things are about to change, and he is worried about the end outcome. He’s been told to work closely with Chang to develop a plan for a reduction in force, and he wants to ensure that all decisions are appropriate and non-discriminatory. He knows some managers are looking for any excuse to get rid of their union agitators. He is meeting tomorrow morning with team leaders. He’s received word from Steve that all actions arising from the employee involvement teams must be passed by Steve for approval.
Three months ago, Asha Perera, director of HR, resigned unexpectedly because a family emergency. Despite the hiring freeze, a quick but thorough selection process was conducted, and you were hired as the new director of HR. You’ve come to TE with an HR degree from a respected university and with several years of experience as an HR generalist in a large organization. This is an outstanding career opportunity for you. You will be a member of the management team, and this is a chance for you to make a real difference in the organization.
It's your first day on the job and you notice a bulging folder on Asha’s table. The folder had emails printed by Asha before she left.
To: Steve Schubert, vice president
Asha Perera, director, human resources
From: Clive Perera, senior vice president
It has come to my attention that our sales numbers were misrepresented for the last two quarters. Several unconfirmed sales anticipated for January were prebooked into our accounting system between September and December of last year.
These sales have been entered without signed purchase orders or confirmed contracts. Most of them did not come to completion, and this significantly inflated our sales totals for the last fiscal year. As you know, pre-booking of sales without confirmation is a violation of company policy.
First, I want an immediate accounting of all bonuses paid to the sales staff. Any bonuses paid on fictitious orders must be returned to the company, and disciplinary action will follow for those involved.
Second, because our staffing forecast is based on sales numbers, this indicates that TE has a surplus of labor. The hiring freeze may not be sufficient.
To: Asha Perera, director, human resources
From: Jagath Silva, compensation and benefits manager
I’m sending this on to you because I don’t know what to tell her. Do we have a policy on this?
To: Jagath Silva, compensation and benefits manager
From: Amala Soysa, benefits coordinator
Hey Jagath –
I just got back from vacation today, and I wish I could say I had a great time and was well-rested and ready to hit the ground running, but unfortunately I was sick for 10 days of my two-week vacation. What a lousy way to burn up all my vacation time! Since I have unused sick time available, can I change the 10 days of vacation to 10 days of sick leave so I can take a vacation when I’m not sick? Thanks for doing the paperwork for me!
To: All staff
From: Clive Perera, senior vice president
Like all of you, I have watched the downward turn in our national economy, and I worry about reports of declining sales in our industry. The business news is greeted with increasing concern each time we hear of yet another company that moves jobs off-shore and shuts down its U.S. facilities. Throughout it all, TE remains steadfast in our policy of American-made products, and it is the quality of our workforce that has garnered our success. Each of you is to be commended for the good work that you do.
However, we must recognize that business cannot be sustained today with policies of the past. We must be proactive and anticipate change. Though the company remains healthy, our revenue has been flat for the last two quarters, and sales projections indicate a downturn going into next year. This necessitates cost-saving measures throughout our organization. Steve and I will be meeting with all department managers to determine specific goals and plans for the future. All departments will be involved.
With falling sales, there will be significant cuts in staffing expenses because our hiring freeze did not sufficiently reduce labor costs. We cannot continue to build and stockpile inventory without sales. Effective immediately, all areas of the organization must plan for a 10 percent reduction in costs. I know this will be a difficult time for all of you, but know that this is for the health of the organization and not a reflection of the quality of your work. As in the past, we will work together, and the good work that you do will sustain us during these difficult times.
To: Asha, director, human resources
From: Nalin, employee relations manager
Hey, sorry to bring all these problems to you when I know you have your hands full with the pending staff reduction, but we had another issue with Lalith Peiris on the production floor this week. You know he’s hot under the collar most of the time. He gets production out of his staff, but he certainly has issues as a supervisor.
I don’t think he’s learned even one thing from all the management training Loretta’s group has provided. He had a run-in with Sarath Perera yesterday. I guess he and Sarath really got into it—a real shouting match. In front of the whole shop, Lalith fired Sarath, marched him right over to his locker, dragged out all his personal stuff and hauled it out the front door. Granted, Lalith’s kind of a bad apple and having him gone might be for the best, but I had a call this morning from some junior lawyer who was representing Lalith in his employment lawsuit. I thought you’d want a heads up.
Hey, look at the bright side—one less person to downsize!
To: Nalin, employee relations manager
From: Piyal, production foreman
Hey Nalin – I don’t know what the matter with people is these days. The rumor is crazy, and I know everybody’s nervous about possible layoffs, but we’ve got some real problem employees down here on the production floor. Pasan and his gang are stirring things up with the unions again. He’s getting quite a following, and there’s a group that meets in the cafeteria at lunch and the talk is they are calling the union to get out here again with the authorization cards. Attitudes are terrible, product damage is up, and production’s hitting the skids. I’m trying to put a stop to it—I changed everybody’s lunch schedule to break up the group, and I transferred Pasan to a different shift. Frankly, I’m looking forward to some good layoffs. You’d think they’d listen up and think about what’s good for them.
To: Nalin, employee relations manager
From: Piyal, production foreman
Hey Piyal – Some guy in a suit was here today, said he’s legal counsel for the union. Gave me a bunch of lip service about switching around employee lunches. Said it was an unfair labor practice. I told him to get outta here. I’m the boss; I can make lunch schedules any way I want, and besides, we aren’t even a union shop. Can you believe the nerve of those guys?? He also said something about your employee involvement teams, but I don’t know what he was talking about. He said he’d be around to see you later. I just thought I’d give you a heads up. When do we start the layoffs?
To: Loretta, human resource development manager
From: Asha, director, human resources
Loretta – As you know, upper management is looking for areas to cut costs. In light of Steve’s memo regarding the termination of Sarath, it looks like the supervisors aren’t getting much benefit from your management training program. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Clive has management training on the chopping block. If you want to save your training programs, you need to get a report to Clive that demonstrates a clear ROI for training expenditures. Better get to it ASAP before your whole department disappears
3. Write a brief reflection report on what management and leadership competencies you have/ should develop as the new HR Director of the company to drive results while maintaining good industrial relation (Minimum 750 words)
Triton Electricals (TE) is found to be manufacturing high-quality electrical components specifically for the computer industry. In this context, the aim of this report is to significantly discuss three major areas. These will include a discussion on most suitable HR model for the TE Electricals out of three models that is The Harvard Model, The Warwick’s Model and Ulrich’s Model. This report will also include an area for evaluating two major areas of HRM. These will include areas such as the HRD (Human Resource Development) and Compensation and Benefits. Further, this report will also include a segment for a brief reflection report that will focus on management and leadership competencies in order to improve the industry relations of the organisation. TE’s human resource management and development is found to be conventional in nature due to which the importance of introducing a core competent model becomes sufficiently essential for the organisation. Hence, this report will profoundly justify all the areas and significantly provide relevant information for the organisation.
Triton Electricals (TE) is found to be manufacturing high-quality electrical components specifically for the computer industry. Founded by Nimal Cooray in 1994, the organisation is found to be established and regulating with plenty of numbers of employees. Triton Electricals is thus considered to be a small manufacturing company that focuses on high-quality speciality components for the computer industry. With that said, from the case study it has been found that the organisation is profoundly exploring the Canadian and European markets to enhance their scope of solid contracts with the labours and suppliers (Case Study). Previously the organisation was not union in nature but over the last couple of period, the TE Electricals started remaining union due to which the complaints have also decreased but not eliminated. With that said, the HRM division is found to be managed and monitored by Loretta Senadeera, the training director for TE electricals whose core focus is on the dynamics of the high-tech industry (Case Study). TE’s human resource management and development is found to be conventional in nature as Loretta often regulates the entire system as a ‘classroom’ and not ‘office’. This report aims at discussing three HR models, namely the Harvard Model, Warwick's model, and Ulrich's Model (Aithal, Shailashree and Kumar, 2015). It will also critically evaluate the two key result areas of Human Resource Management that is HRD (Human Resource Development) and compensations and benefits. And lastly, it will also provide the management and leadership competencies that I as the new HR Director of TE Electricals would drive in order to maintain good industrial relationships.
Human Resource Models
For making any workplace sustain longer than the usual expectations, the key role is found to be played by the aspects of employee relations and the current HR model at Triton electricals is found to be weak in developing relationships with their employees. The human resource models are found to be helping the areas of human resource management so that many purposes could be served more significantly. These models help in providing an analytical framework for learning and knowing about the aspects of HRM (Lapina, Maurane and Starineca, 2014). Such models also help in establishing a foundation for the characteristics of human resource management that profoundly helps in learning about the variables of an employee relationship. Below are the three HR models that will be overviewed as per the relevancy of the case study. These include the Harvard Model, the Warwick’s Model, and Ulrich’s Model.
The Harvard Model
This model is found to be taking a holistic approach towards the division of HRM that also includes different outcomes. The Harvard Framework for HRM is considered to be one of the best HR models that are based on the work and findings of Paauwe and Richardson (Brunetto, Wharton and Shacklock, 2011). This model helps in creating a vision on the fact that how HR operates. This includes factors and components such as the stakeholder’s interest, situational factors, HRM policies, HRM outcomes, and long-term consequences which all together as a pro for TE Electricals. Hence, it could be possibly echoed loud that this model widely focuses on the methods and ways through which an organisation will achieve growth in terms of performances of the respective employees through reward systems and effective compensations. This model is perhaps considered as the most influential model of HRM as it includes many areas that interest the organisations more comprehensively.
This model of HRM was constructed by Chris Hendry and Andrew Pettigrew in around 1990s. Warwick's Model was found to be acknowledging the potential of representing an analytical approach towards Human Resource Management. This model is found to be having five basic elements. These include the outer context, the inner context, business strategy context, HRM context, and HRM content. While the outer context is found to be including the factors such as political, technical, and competitors, the inner context is found to be concerning more about the structure, leadership, culture, and technology of the organisations which could be counted as a pro (Agyepong, Fugar and Tuuli, 2010). In contrast, while the business strategy content includes representing the objectives, product market, and general strategy of the organisation, the HRM context includes the role, definition, organisation, and HR outputs respectively which could possibly be a con for TE Electricals. Lastly, the HRM content is found to be including the HR flows, reward systems, employee relations, and work systems as well.
This model was introduced by Dave Ulrich in 1995 and published in 1997 in his book, Human Resource Champions. The main focus of this model was about organising the HR functions into four major roles. These included central roles such as a strategic partner, change agent, administrative expert, and employee champion (Bratton and Gold, 2017). The Ulrich’s Model is found to be focusing less on the processes and functions of the Human Resource Management and more on the people and their respective roles in the organisation which could be counted as a negative factor because processes and the people both cumulatively plays an essential role in an organisational context.
Analysis of Models
Concerning the respective overview of all these HR models and frameworks, choosing one between all was a difficult task. All models were found to be focusing on employees rather than the processes involved in HRM practices. While Warwick's Model is found to be focusing on employee relations, Ulrich’s model found to be emphasizing more on the people of the organisation. With that said, from the case study it has been found that TE electricals significantly requires to modify and redevelop their mode and method of employee relationships as Loretta Senadeera has never cared about this segment of HRM (Case Study). Thus, for this purpose, Harvard model of Human Resource Management will be the right fit and most suitable HR model for the TE Electricals (Tiwari, Srivastava and Kumar, 2019). The HRM processes and evaluations of Harvard Model is found to be also including focuses on areas such as HR processes, reward systems, and employee relationships which is perhaps the key loophole associated with TE Electricals.
Human Resource Development and Compensation and Benefits of TE Electricals
The HRD division of TE has found to be strong support for employee development but lacks employee relationship (Case Study). For this purpose, effective in-house training sessions are conducted on a regular basis so that the HRD division could be developed more crucially. Similarly, regarding the compensation and benefits, TE Electricals is found to be conducting salary surveys every third year so that the organisation could remain as a competitor in the marketplace (Case Study). At the same time, employee benefits and compensations are still found to be a major issue with TE Electricals. In this regard, both the key areas will be discussed separately so that effective evaluation could be carried forward.
Human Resource Development
The training programs are found to be developed and facilitated on a regular basis by the in-house and outside facilitators. The goals of TE’s training programs were referred to as ‘communities of practice’ by Loretta and were aimed towards establishing a community where individuals and employees could meet the problem-solving processes more effectively (Case Study). It has been found that employees started exchanging problem-solving processes with the help of Knowledge Management as an area of the organisation. But at the same time, knowledge management is replicated as one of the major areas which perhaps require improvement (Schiuma, Andeeva and Kianto, 2012). Other than the area of KM, TE Electricals is also suggested to improve the organisation’s performance management systems more essentially.
Efforts to retain and transfer knowledge
Further, to increase the amount and variety of information exchange with the employees working off-sites, the idea of establishing blog systems was added and put forward by the HRM. Through this way, the organisation believed that the staff and employees will get access to share information about their successes and failures all at the same time with respect to various undergoing and completed projects (Gong, Kim, Lee and Zhu, 2013). It has been further found that in order to make these efforts effective, Loretta submitted a budget request to the upper management to enhance software knowledge in the organisation so that more people could post their blogs on a daily basis. While meeting between Loretta and Nalin has echoed loud that not all exit interviews generate a positive exchange, there is something that might help the process improvement that is anonymous blogs.
ROI and prevention of Training Budget
The HRD can demonstrate the ROIs to prevent cuts in the training budget by approaching the conventional way of investment. For this purpose, Asha Perera, the ex-HR Director of TE Electricals suggested to champion the bonus plan as a success in accomplishing objectives and controlling costs (Case Study). The investments in this regard required everyone to get their bonuses as per their respective performances and cuts on the same. Through this way, the ROI could help to prevent the cuts in the training budget as the investment will be allocated from the lower performances (Phillips, 2012). For this purpose, the business case for training will include everyone to have annual performance goals along with allowing setting employee-friendly compensations and benefits.
Compensation and Benefits
Broad banding is considered as an approach or method of evaluating and constructing the job grading systems. Higher the grades, higher will be the pay scale (Gerhardt, 2020). This method is given more appreciation than general job promotions as it significantly helps in career development more sustainably. TE Electricals is found to be rapidly changing their modes and methods of HRM so that effective output could be achieved at one place. While the organisation is found to be thinking that its broad banding is a good benefits package, they also know that change is coming. Perhaps it could be echoed that TE should not terminate this system as it might increase the areas of costs and expenditures.
Bonus System at TE
The bonus system at TE Electricals is found to be traditional in nature. It follows a traditional approach of getting a bonus as per the performances (Case Study). Moreover, the benefit of receiving perks lies around that fact that the organisation provides health insurance and life coverage up to a certain margin for each of their employees when they become permanent. It has been also found that after one year of full-time employment, employees at TE Electricals receives and granted 10 days of paid vacation, and sick leave benefits accrue at the rate of 12 hours (1½ days) per month worked (Case Study). It definitely should not be terminated in any of the ways because both unused vacations and sick leaves can be carried over from year to year which is a plus point for the employees of the organisation.
It has been found that reward systems include both the combination of cash and non-cash rewards. TE Electricals is also found to be emphasising more on the non-monetary side of rewards systems by equivalently providing respective educational support and healthcare benefits. These systems and approaches are considered to be motivational in nature because it creates a stronger impact on the employees of an organisation to work more in order to get and receive more (Stewart and Brown, 2019). Hence, the reward systems are found to be motivating for the employees as it helps in demonstrating both the respect and appreciation for the efforts of the employees.
The concept of industrial relations can be described as the process of interaction taking place between the labour and the management of an organisation. The industrial relations are also a by-product of the amount of both the attitudes and gestures of the parties (Guest, 2014). The relationship is either stem directly or indirectly from the concept of relationships between the union and the employers. For this purpose, I will first give a brief overview of the company from industrial relationships points of considerations and will later provide some effective and potential recommendations for the organisation. The process of industrial relation is considered and found to be continuous in nature that perhaps drives profits for both the parties involved and thus, is extremely essential to be considered in the first place (Poole, 2013).
Management and Leadership Competencies to maintain Industrial Relations
As the new HR Director of TE Electricals, it becomes essential to consider the amount of trust that is developed currently with the labours and suppliers of the organisation. For this purpose, industrial relationships become widely essential to consider and enhance more rapidly. For this purpose, the management competencies are required to be enhanced and replicated so that the relationship could get a foundation of building scopes for each other (Sisson and Adams, 2013). Hence, the core management competencies in this regard will include promoting the communication between both the parties, focusing more on adding values to each other, focusing more on the values and missions of the organisation, helping the industry individuals feel valued and respected, inspiring and recognizing the suppliers and labour unions, and offering permanent contracts as well. TE Electricals should also acknowledge the potential of promoting communication more effectively along with focusing more on adding values to each other. Through this way, all the groups and individuals who are associated with TE can be benefited and hence a long term collaborative approach could be refurbished (Sarker, Ahuja, Sarker and Kirkeby, 2011). For this purpose, TE Electricals is also suggested to start focusing on the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibilities) so that an effective image could help them build more relationships in the marketplace.
With the rapid advancement in the technological era, I will also try implementing some aspects and competencies that are indeed associated with the tech-relationships. These will include focusing more on social media platforms, engaging the suppliers to build sustainable relationships, and hence, using software to reduce or minimise the risks and issues founded (Antonioli, Mazzanti and Pini, 2010). With the rapid advancement in the technological era, TE Electricals should acknowledge the potential of social media for developing and maintaining industrial relationships (McCann and Barlow, 2015). The organisation should start engaging with the suppliers and other associations to build sustainable relationships for the long term. Also, TE Electricals should start focusing more on the compensations that they can offer to their collaborators. Since these are not the individual decision, the organisation and moreover the management of TE Electrical will require considering some recommendations that might help the organisation build a sustainable industrial relationship with all the associations out there.
The core concept of leadership competencies are found to be a process of three alphabets, namely K, S, and A. These can be echoed as knowledge, skills, and abilities to lead the potential resources of an organisation effectively. Over the last few decades, relationships and communication has been given the most preferable values and compared to all other strategies (Das, Kumar and Kumar, 2011). Concerning this statement, as the new HR Director of TE Electricals it becomes significantly essential to focus on some leadership competencies that are required to maintain the industrial relationships of the organisation. For this purpose, I will follow the Self-Determination Theory of leadership that include three broad leadership competencies, namely the autonomy, competence, and relatedness (Eyal and Roth, 2011). While the autonomy is based on the foundation of understanding between the leader and the industrial associations of an organisation, the competence as a component is found to be originating from the idea of controlling and regulating and maintaining all the aspects of relationships between both the parties. Similarly, the concept of relatedness could be echoed as a process of interacting with people who are perhaps from a similar industry and also help them with possible interventions (Eyal and Roth, 2011). The organisation should start recognizing the associations and individuals available in the respective industry from a more comprehensive point of view. This could possibly be including a bottom-up approach so that the union could not be ignored (Paauwe and Farndale, 2017). The labour groups and their leaders are found to be playing more designated and profound roles in the manufacturing industry and thus, TE Electricals is also suggested to start engaging with them directly and build a sustainable relationship to improve the industry relations. Thus, this type of leadership and its core competencies will significantly help TE Electricals maintain a sustainable relationship with industrial associations and individuals.
Discussion and Conclusion
To conclude, the aim of this report was to recognize and discuss the most suitable HR model for the TE Electricals. The study focused on three primary models, namely the Harvard Model, Warwick's Model, and Ulrich's Model. While the Harvard Model is found to be focusing more on the fact that how HR operates, Warwick’s and Ulrich’s models were found to focusing more on the employees of an organisation. Thus, choosing one between all the Warwick, Harvard and Ulrich was a difficult task but as per the relevancy and requirement of TE Electricals, the Harvard Model is recommended as the most suitable HR model for the organisation. The Harvard Model was found to be acknowledging the potential of representing an analytical approach towards Human Resource Management for which the relevancy and relation to the given organisational context have significantly increased. The HRM content in Harvard model is found to be including focuses on areas such as HR flows, reward systems, and employee relations which is perhaps the key loophole associated with TE Electricals. The HRD section has overviewed and identified the goals and aims of TE’s training programs along with a discussion on the analytics of the organisation. It has also discussed the efforts to retain and transfer the knowledge in the organisation and what all could be done to improve the processes. Similarly, the compensation and benefits have addressed areas such as the discussion on broad banding and the bonus system of TE Electricals. Lastly, while the management competencies included factors such as promoting the communication between both the parties and focusing more on adding values to each other, the leadership competencies followed the Self-Determination Theory of leadership. Lastly, three recommendations were also echoed that might help TE Electricals in maintaining and developing industrial relations.