Reflective Paper – Effective Human Resources Management Theresa Tapley BUS 303 Dr. Kevin Righter March 13, 2010 Reflective Paper – Effective Human Resources Management Effective Human Resources Management (HRM) plays a major role in ensuring that an organization will survive and prosper. The HRM facilitates the most effective use of people or employees to achieve organizational and individual goals.
The HRM consists of numerous activities which include, equal employment opportunity (EEO) compliance, job analysis, human resource planning, the recruitment, selection, motivation, and orientation of employees, performance evaluation and compensation, the training and development of employees, labor relations, and the safety, health, and wellness of the workforce. Effective human resources management plays a vital role in the success of an organization and is an active participant in charting the strategic course of competitiveness, productiveness, and efficiency.
An effective HRM focuses on action rather than on record-keeping, written procedure, or rules. Although the use of rules, records, and policies are incorporated, “action” is the focus. The HRM emphasizes the solution of employment problems to help achieve organizational objectives and facilitate employees’ development and satisfaction. An effective HRM is, also, people-oriented. Whenever possible, the HRM treats each employee as an individual and offers services and program to meet the individual’s needs.
An effective HRM program is concerned with helping an organization achieve its objectives in the future by providing for competent, well-motivated employees. Human resources are incorporated into an organization’s long-term strategic plans to assist with ensuring that future growth needs will be adequately staffed with qualified, trained employees (Ivancewich, 2010, pg 5). EEO and Affirmative Action One external factor that has a powerful influence on my company’s HRM unction is the equal employment opportunity and human rights legislation, which has a profound effect on our policies and procedures concerning recruiting, selection, evaluation, and promotion. The U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is an independent federal agency that enforces laws against workplace discrimination. The EEOC investigates discrimination complaints based on an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability and retaliation for reporting and/or opposing a discriminatory practice.
This commission is empowered to file discrimination suits against employers on behalf of alleged victims and to adjudicate claims of discrimination brought against federal agencies. No other regulatory area has as thoroughly affected HRM as the EEO programs have. It has implications for almost every activity in HRM and sets standards for hiring, recruiting, training, terminating, compensating, evaluating, planning, disciplining, and collective bargaining. Employers, to prevent employment discrimination in the workplace or to take remedial action to offset employment discrimination implement EEO programs, (Ivancevich, 2010, pg 65).
According to the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) website, the EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. The laws also apply to all type of work situations, including hiring, firing, promotions, demotions, harassment, training, wages, and benefits.
During the employment selection process, each candidate should be evaluated on their qualification of the job requirements, based on their experience, education, and skill set. Many corporations use testing as an important tool. Rae T. Vann, general counsel of the Equal Employment Advisory Council, a national association of large federal contractors, observed, “When done properly, testing can be a very important tool in the employment selection process, and we commend the Commission on its efforts to improve the quality and fairness of tests and other job screening methods” (Title VII: Affirmative Action, 2006).
I encourage my Clinical Managers to become familiar with the provisions of the EEO standards and guidelines. It is essential that they make every effort to seek counsel from our HR dept when initiating the interview and hiring process, dealing with poor performance, disabilities, demotions, appearance of harassment, and training and re-training. Throughout my five years of administrative management, I have unfortunately had to learn HRM and EEOC laws the hard way, through trial and error.
With each mistake that I have made, such as not consulting the HR department before decreasing a dual role employee’s hours so that she could focus on one role due to extremely poor performance, I have learned the proper steps to come to the same conclusion. The decrease in hours caused her to lose her benefits and subsequently she filed an EEOC claim of discrimination and retaliation. Fortunately, due to proper documentation of the corrective actions, developmental action plan and the documented counseling, our HRM has adequate information to refute the claim.
Now, I consult my HRM representative with any concerns, questions, or updates related to employee situations. Planning, Recruitment, and Selection Human resources planning are the processes by which management ensures that it has the right personnel, who are capable of completing those tasks that help the organization, reach its objectives. It involves forecasting of human resources needs and the projected matching of individuals with expected vacancies (International Labour Organization, 2010).
An effective HR plan, also, provides mechanisms to eliminate any gaps that may exist between supply and demand. HR planning determines the numbers and types of employees to be recruited into the organization or phased out of it (Ivancevich, 2010). The Human Resource Planning Process incorporates strategic planning which will have a direct effect on the organization’s profitability. The strategic plan must adapt to environmental circumstances. It must forecast how many and what employees are required for the organizations staffing requirements.
Next, it must determine how many and what kind of employees are currently employed with the skills and training necessary for the future needs. Finally, after the HR system has analyzed the supply of and the demand or future workers, these two forecasts are compared to determine what action should be taken. Effective workforce planning is a critical element of effective strategic and operational planning. Workforce planning provides managers with a strategic basis for making human resource decisions. It allows managers to anticipate change ather than being surprised by events, as well as providing strategic methods for addressing present and anticipated workforce issues. The US Department of Health and Human Services states, “Organizational success depends on having the right employees with the right competencies at the right time. Workforce planning provides managers the means of identifying the competencies needed in the workforce not only in the present but in the future and then selecting and developing that workforce” (US Dept. Health and Human Services, 2010).
The HR department for my company has implemented a staffing model tool that projects future, potential, or expected growth versus the actual census, the current staffing and skill set of that staff, and calculates the hiring needs of specific positions within the direct and indirect patient care. Once the future needs are determined, then the hiring process begins. Human Resources Development Training and development are processes that attempt to provide an employee with information, skills, and an understanding of the organization and its goals.
Training and development are designed to help a person continue to make positive contributions in the form of good performance and advancement within the organization. A solid orientation program is the first step in developing an employee. It reduces anxiety and fears, reduces start-up costs of a new employee, reduces turnover, saves time for supervisors and co-workers, and develops realistic expectations, positive attitudes toward the employer and job satisfaction. Once will established in a specific position, then the manager and employee must set goals for development and advancement.
Management and professional development is designed to reduce obsolescence and to increase employees’ satisfaction and productivity. An important part of development is the evaluation process. Performance management is the process by which executives, managers, and supervisors work to align employee performance with the firm’s goals. An effective performance management process determines and evaluates performance, provides feedback to the employees about their performance, and measures and monitors skill-set (Ivancevich, 2010, pg 251).
The company that I work for has an excellent formal performance evaluation process that is very effective in the development the employee and the motivation to succeed. Appraising and managing performance at my workplace starts form the day of hire. Each newly hired direct or indirect patient care must attend a through and intensive training program. After 90 days, from date of hire, the new staff member is evaluated for suitability for the position. The manager will present a written 90-day evaluation to the staff member.
This evaluation will result in a successful completion of the introductory period, determine a need for an extension of 30 days to improve and meet expectations, or termination due to being unsuitable for the position (this usually occurs when the staff member continually fails to follow policies and procedures and/or causing patient endangerment). Every manager must complete an annual evaluation for staff members under their direct supervision. The score on the evaluation determine the merit increase and caps set forth by the company.
When a staff member is failing to follow policy and procedure, putting patient’s safety in jeopardy, tardiness or excessive absenteeism, insubordination, breaking confidentiality and HIPPA regulations, and etc. the manager will conduct corrective action in the form of documented counseling, written corrective action, final corrective action, 3 day suspension, and/or termination. To make this process more effective and ensure compliance with EEOC and federal and state regulations, both next level supervisor and the HR dept representative must approve all final corrective actions, 3-day suspensions, and terminations.
Compensation and Benefits There are several reasons that an employer or corporation will offer benefits and services to their employees. One reason is to keep the organization competitive in recruit and retaining employees. Another reason is to keep a union out or because the union has won this during negotiations. Finally, is the fact that providing benefits and service contributed to increased employee performance and job satisfaction (Ivancevich, 2010, pg358). Federal and state governments mandate three benefits programs offered by private and not-for-profit employers.
The three mandated programs are unemployment insurance, social security, and workers’ compensation. In addition to the benefits required by law, many employers provide other kinds of benefits voluntarily, such as, compensation for time not worked, insurance protection, retirement plans, FMLA or medical FMLA, life insurance, short and long-term disability, and various retirement programs and stock ownership plans. Some organizations offer tuition reimbursement and flexible benefits plans.
Whenever I am interviewing a candidate for a position, I always spend a portion of the interview discussing and explaining our benefit package. Sometimes our hourly rate is not quite as high as our competitor, but our benefits and employee services usually out ways the difference in compensation. Safety and Health The Human Resource Management team of the dialysis company of which I am employed, works very closely with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to ensure that the most acceptable and innovative concepts in employee safety and health are used.
The NIOSH is the primary federal agency that conducts research on the safety and health of the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) of 1970, to provide research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health established it in 1971 (Bradley, 2002). The NIOSH develops and promotes the use of national and state-based surveillance systems to identify, quantify, and track injuries and illnesses. Epidemiological analysis of these databases helps identify unsafe and unhealthy workplace conditions.
NIOSH also supports laboratory and field research to further identify, assess, and control occupational hazards and exposures and the diseases and injuries they cause. In addition to identifying risks, the NIOSH develops and evaluates prevention measures such as control technology, personal protective equipment, and work practices. Through research internally within our company and the NIOSH, many improvements and standards have been put into place for water treatment safety and personal protective equipment.
We have strong policies and procedures that protect both the employee and the patient from exposure to health or safety hazards. There are several reasons for establishing good occupational safety and health standards. First, on a moral note, an employee should not have to risk injury or death at work, nor should others associated with the work environment. The second is economical in nature. Many governments realize that poor occupational safety and health performance results in cost to the State, through social security payments to the incapacitated, costs for medical treatment, and the loss of the employability of the worker.
The employing organizations also sustain costs in the event of an incident at work, such as legal fees, fines, compensatory damages, investigation time, and lost production, lost goodwill from the workforce, customers, and community. Lastly, from a legal standpoint, the occupational safety and health requirements may be reinforced in civil law and/or criminal law. It is a known fact, that without the extra “encouragement” of potential regulatory action or litigation, many organizations would not act upon their implied moral obligations.
During a Frontline interview with assistant secretary of labor for occupational health and safety, John Henshaw, the question was asked, “How successful do you think OSHA has been at protecting workers in the United States? ” Mr. Henshaw replied, “In the last 30 years, OSHA has made some tremendous strides in reducing injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. In the last six to eight years, injuries have gone steadily down and fatalities have gone down to the point where they are the lowest ever (Frontline, 2002).
The dialysis industry is carefully scrutinized to uphold acceptable OSHA safety and health standards. We, also, have internal auditors that simulate inspections to ensure compliance and safe practices. Employee and Labor Relations Labor relations can refer broadly to any dealings between management and workers about employment conditions. Most commonly, however, labor relations refer to dealings between management and a workforce that is already unionized, or has the potential to become unionized. Labor relations are thus crucial to industries like autos and airlines with heavily unionized workforces.
In the United States, labor relations were profoundly affected by the National Labor Relations Act passed during the 1930’s, which gave workers the right to form unions and bargain collectively. Labor relations have been drastically affected by the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act, which prohibited the “closed shop”, as well as, the introduction of right-to-work laws in more than 20 states (Ivancevich, 2010, pgs 477). By the early 21st century, labor relations were less affected by labor unions, to which only 8 percent of private sector workers belonged in 2004, about half of the rate in 1983.
The decline reflects the increase in labor relations consultants, who have helped managements avoid unionization (Anonymous, 2010). The presence of a union directly affects most aspects of Human Resources Management, including recruiting, selection, performance evaluation, promotion, compensation, and benefits, among others (Ivancevich, 2010, pg. 34). Unions were once thought of a being for blue-collar factory workers, but now even engineers, nurses, teachers, secretaries, salespersons, college professors, professional football players and even physicians belong to unions.
Within my workplace, we have an ongoing informational and educational campaign against the unethical practices of recruitment and enticement for our employees. We offer seminars and counseling in regards to the unionization tactics. While facing declining membership, union officials have turned to highly questionable practice of organizing new members through a process called “card check”. With card checks, paid union organizers try to persuade workers to sign cards saying that they favor union representation. This persuasion comes in the form of deception, coercion, and harassing visits to worker’s homes.
John Ivancevich describes this practice as the “authorization card” (Ivancevich, 2010, pg. 480). Under current laws, as soon as more than 50 percent of the workers sign a union authorization card, all employees within that organization will be required to participate in the union and pay union dues, even though not a single employee has actually been able to cast a personal, private vote. Often times, individual will sign the cards under intentional or unintentional misunderstandings or to get the organizer to stop harassing them, even though the employee may have no desire to join a union (Anonymous, 2010).
Conclusion Human Resources Management is the heart of every organization. It serves as an advocate for each employee, while also protecting the organization from legal repercussions. Whether it is ensuring equal employment opportunity (EEO) compliance, providing job analysis, planning for the future staffing needs and subsequent recruitment and selection of qualified candidates, each of these areas are vital to a well-organized corporation. The HRM is paramount in the motivation, training, and development of employees.
Ensuring a positive orientation experience, and concise performance evaluation and compensation will aid in retention and job satisfaction. Finally, the HRM has an extremely important role in labor relations and ensuring the safety, health, and wellness of the workforce. References Anonymous. (2010). When voting isn’t Private. Retrieved on February 26, 2010 from website: http://www. unionfacts. com/articles/cardCheck. cfm Bradley, J. (2002). National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Retrieved on 3/1/2010 from website: http://www. cdc. gov/niosh EEOC Office of Legal Counsel staff members (2006). Title VII: Affirmative Action.
Retrieved on February 12, 2010 from website: http://www. eeoc. gov/eeoc/foia/letters/2006/vii_affimative_action. html Frontline. (2002). A Dangerous Business. Frontline Interview with John Henshaw. September 30, 2002. Retrieved on 3/2/2010 from website: http://osha. gov International Labour Organization. Retrieved on February 11, 2010 from website: http://wwwilo. org Ivancevich. J. (2010). Human resource management (11th ed. ). Boston: McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 9780073381466. US Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved on February 10, 2010 from website: http://www. hhs. gov/ohr/workforce/wfpguide. html