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Sample Essay on HRM
Human resource as defined by Armstrong P and Dawson C (1996) is the strategy for acquiring, using, improving and preserving the organisations human resource.
It could be well agued that in most cases the human aspect is forgotten in relation to how they manage people, leaving most staff unsatisfied creating a high staff turn over which affects organisational performance.
It is therefore an utmost importance that people as opposed to just employees-need to be managed in away that consistent with broad organisational requirement such as quality or efficiency. As in most cases organisational effectiveness depends on they’re being a tight ‘fit’ between human resource and business strategies.
Human resource as could be said is all about making business strategies work. It is therefore important that emphasis is placed on how to best match and develop ”appropraite” human resource management (HRM) approach/system of managing people in the tourism hospitality and leisure industry (THL).
This easy would therefore be looking at some of the HRM approaches used such as the Harvard model; hard and soft approach in conjunction with the real world of the THL industry and to determine wither the hard approach is more appropriate.
Human resource management (HRM) as described by Gratton L. (1999) has a concept with two distinct forms; soft and hard approach, where the soft approach of HRM is associated with human relation and the hard on the other hand sees people as human resource.
The Soft HRM is the notion that workers respond better when an organisation recognises their individual needs and addresses them as well as focusing on the overall business objectives.
The work of Maslow in stating that humans have a ‘hierarchy’ of needs, which they will exert considerable energy towards achieving, claims that organisations that recognises and addresses these needs will have a happier, more fulfilled, more loyal and productive workforce.
As agued by Jackson T. (2002) the way to success is through deep empathy of other people either by observing how to best ‘connect’ with others in the workplace, and motivate and inspire them as a result.
As illustrated by Goldsmith A. (1997) all of these soft HRM can of course be balanced by hard HRM; the notion that successful organisations are those that best deploy their human resource in the way that they would deploy any other resource.
The Hard HRM on the other hand therefore sees people as human resources. Holding that employees are a resource in the same way as any other business resource and they must therefore be; obtained as cheaply as possible, used sparingly, developed and exploited as much as possible.
As indicated by Gratton L. (1999) under this model of HRM control is more concerned with performance system, performance management and tight control over individual activities with the ultimate goal being to secure the competitive advantage of the organisation.
The hard HRM therefore is primarily concern to promote human resource strategy and align with business strategy. It may also include out sourcing, flexibility, performance management, hence downsizing or work intensification, sees workers as another resource to be exploited and can operate against the interest of workers.
The Harvard model on the other hand as indicated by Beer et al (1984) sees employees as resource, but human where the managers are responsible to make decisions about the organisation and employee relation.
The employment relation is seen as a blending of business and societal expectations and because it recognises the role societal outcomes it could be agued that the Harvard model provides a useful basis for comparative analysis.
The Harvard model also cover the four HRM policy areas which are human resource flows, reward system, employee influence, work system, which leads to the four Cs; competence of employees, commitment of employees, congruence of organisation/employees goals and cost effectiveness of HRM. As could be agued striving to enhance all four Cs could lead favourable consequences for individual well- being, societal well-being and organisational effectiveness either long- term consequences.
Looking at these three HRM models mentioned in conjunction with the real world of THL industry where the industry is a growing employer in Britain but a labour intensive industry with low wages it is an utmost importance that the appropriate model of HRM is used to decrease staff turnover in other to retain skilled staff and increase organisational performance.
As indicated by Verginis S. (1999) ”the industry was ‘haemorrhaging’ talented staff- whilst paradoxically at the same time suffering chronic skill shortage in specific areas.
This reflects the fact that the THL industry continues to be seen and indeed, experienced by many staff as offering an unsatisfactory employment experience.
As stated by Verginis S. (1999) In the year 1997 the labour turn over survey of the institute of personnel and development (IPD) found that the THL industry has the highest turnover rate (34.56 percent of over 20 industrial sectors).
As well known to all the THL industry in general, suffers from a high staff turn over which could be said to be due to its labour intensiveness, low income and or recent issues in the industry that include the foot and mouth epidemic and the September 11 2000.
Due to the high skill shortage in the industry which is due to low skilled employees used in specific areas of the industry and its high staff turn over the idea of using the harder approach of HRM where staff are seen as a resource may seem more appropriate as this group of employees could be classified in the labour market as belonging to the secondary market where the need for an autocratic style of management is more appropriate as this group tend to have a limited education, limited skills, and therefore resulting to limited access to commitment.
However if this model is used frequently in the industry it could be agued that the rhetoric of hotel employers that people are the industries most important asset may remain unconcern and whilst this prevail the industry will continue to loss their human aspect which may gradually affect organisational performance.
As indicated by wood (1997) clearly then, organisations and managers in the THL industry face real challenges in recruiting, selecting, developing and maintaining a committed, competent, Well-managed and well-motivated workforce, which is focused on offering a high quality service to increasingly demanding and discerning customer
It could well be therefore argued that the dead-end nature of many semi-skilled and unskilled positions in the industry calls for the soft approach/ Harvard model of approach where the soft is the notion that employees respond better when an organisation recognises their individual needs and addresses them as well as focusing on the business objectives (motivation and training development) and the Harvard on the other hand sees employers as resource but human where managers are responsible to make decisions about the organisation and employee relations to be used in the industry
As agued by Terence J (2002) the way to success is through deep empathy of others in the workplace and motivates and inspires them as a result.
Increasingly though there may be recognition of recruitment difficulties, shortage of skilled an unqualified staff, relatively low pay, high staff turn over and unattractive image as an employing sector an understanding of Riley’s concept of the secondary labour sector suggest that the very characteristics which creates a low paid, low skilled environment also provides considerable opportunity for rapid, meritocratic promotion in within the industry.
More over the industry’s anti-social working hours has also increased its staff turn over resulting to consistent skill shortage one may say the Harvard model of HRM is more appropriate for the THL industry as this model covers the four policies of HRM and would help to retain and attract a skilled and motivated workforce in the industry.
It could also be agued that using one HRM model in the hospitality industry will tend not to work due to the different labour sectors in the industry.
It is therefore arguably that the best and appropriate HRM to be used in the industry to return its well-motivated workforce is by balancing both hard, soft and Harvard model of HRM approach.
To increase staff satisfaction, decrease labour turnover and increase organisational performance.
This easy has illustrated the importance of HRM in the hospitality industry and has made it clear that it is appropriate that all of these soft approaches as illustrated by Goldsmith A (1997) is balanced by the hard approach of HRM: the notion that successful organisations are those that best deploy their human resource in the way that they would deploy any other resource.
The easy also illustrated the knowledge that using the harder approach of HRM in the hospitality industry would suggest that by no stretch of the imagination do the industry universally address these issues that people are the key to organisational susses.