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A resource is a source or supply from which benefit is produced. Typically resources are
materials, money, services, staff, or other assets that are transformed to produce benefit and in the
process may be consumed or made unavailable. Benefits of resource utilization may include
increased wealth, meeting needs or wants, proper functioning of a system, or enhanced wellbeing.
The concept of resources has been applied in diverse realms, including with respect
to economics, biology, computer science, land management, and human resources, and is linked
to the concepts of competition, sustainability, conservation, and stewardship. In application
within human society, commercial or non-commercial factors require resource allocation through
resource management.
resources are
the workforce of
an organization, business sector or an economy. The term Human resources can also be defined
as the skills, energies, talents, abilities and knowledge that are used for the production of goods or
the rendering of services. Human beings, through the labor they provide and the organizations
they staff, are considered to be resources.
"Human capital" is sometimes used synonymously with human resources, although human
capital typically refers to a more narrow view; i.e., the knowledge the individuals embody and
can contribute to an organization.
From the national point of view, human resources may be defined as the knowledge, skills,
creative abilities, talents and aptitudes obtained in the population; whereas from the viewpoint of
the individual enterprise, they represent the total of the inherent abilities, acquired knowledge and
skills as exemplified in the talents and aptitudes of its employees.
From a broader perspective, Human resources may be defined as the total knowledge, skills,
creative abilities, talents and aptitudes of an organization's workforce, as well as the values,
attitudes, approaches and beliefs of the individuals involved in the affairs of the organization. It is
the sum total or aggregate of inherent abilities, acquired knowledge and skills represented by the
talents and aptitudes of the persons employed in the organization.
Human Resource Management is an inherent part of management, which is concerned with the
human resources of an organization. Its objective is the maintenance of better human relations in
the organization by the development, application and evaluation of policies, procedures and
programs relating to human resources to optimize their contribution towards the realization of
organizational objectives.
In other words, HRM is concerned with getting better results with the collaboration of people. It
is an integral but distinctive part of management, concerned with people at work and their
relationships within the enterprise. HRM helps in attaining maximum individual development,
desirable working relationship between employees and employers, employees and employees,
and effective modeling of human resources as contrasted with physical resources. It is the
recruitment, selection, development, utilization, compensation and motivation of human
resources by the organization.
Human Resource management has undergone a great deal of evolution. The early part of the
century was concerned with improved efficiency through careful design of work. The Middle of
the century emphasized on a shift to the employee's productivity. Recent decades have focused
on increased concern for the quality of working life, total quality management and worker's
participation in management. These three phases may be termed as welfare, development and
As discussed earlier in the chapter, Human Resource Management is a process of bringing people
and organizations together so that the goals of each are met. The various features of HRM
 It is pervasive in nature as it is present in all enterprises.
 Its focus is on results rather than on rules.
 It tries to help employees develop their potential fully.
 It encourages employees to give their best to the organization.
 It is all about people at work, both as individuals and groups.
 It tries to put people on assigned jobs in order to produce good results.
 It helps an organization meet its goals in the future by providing for competent and wellmotivated employees.
 It tries to build and maintain cordial relations between people working at various levels in
the organization.
 It is a multidisciplinary activity, utilizing knowledge and inputs drawn from psychology,
economics, etc.
The scope of Human Resource Management refers to all the activities that come under the banner
of Human Resource Management.
Human resources planning: - Human resource planning or Human Resource Planning refers to
a process by which the company identifies the number of jobs vacant, whether the company has
excess staff or shortage of staff and deal with this excess or shortage. It is a process that identifies
current and future human resources needs for an organization to achieve its goals. Human
resources planning should serves as a link between human resources management and the overall
strategic plan of an organization.
Job analysis and design: - Another important area of Human Resource Management is job
analysis. The human resource officer carries out a process of identifying the content of a job in
terms of activities involved and attributes needed to perform the work and identifies major job
requirements thus giving a detailed explanation about each and every job in the
company. Essentially, job analyses provide information to organizations which helps to
determine which employees are best fit for specific jobs. The process of job analysis involves the
analyst describing the duties of the incumbent, then the nature and conditions of work, and finally
some basic qualifications. After this, the job analyst has completed a form called a job
psychograph, which displays the mental requirements of the job. This list contains the functional
or duty areas of a position, the related tasks, and the basic training recommendations.
There are six steps carried out during the analysis and these include:
1. Decide how to use the information since this will determine the data to collect and how to
collect it.
Review appropriate background information like organization charts, process charts, and job
 Organization charts show the organization-wide work division, how the job in question
relates to other jobs, and where the job fits in the overall organization as well as show the
title of each position and show reports to whom and with whom the job incumbent
 A process chart provides a more detailed picture of the work flow. It shows the flow of
inputs to and outputs from the job being analyzed.
Select representative positions. This is because there may be too many similar jobs to
analyze. For example, it is usually unnecessary to analyze jobs of 200 waiters when a sample
of 10 jobs will be sufficient. This is also called the simulation method.
4. Actually analyze the job by collecting data on job activities, necessary employee behaviors
and actions, working conditions, and human traits and abilities required to perform the job.
For this step, one or more than one methods of job analysis may be needed
5. Verify the job analysis information with the worker performing the job and with his or her
immediate supervisor. This will help confirm that the information is factually correct and
complete. This review can also help gain the employee's acceptance of the job analysis data
and conclusions by giving that person a chance to review and modify descriptions of the job
Develop a job description and job specification.
 The job description is a written statement that describes the activities and responsibilities
of the job as well as its important features such as working conditions and safety hazards.
 The job specification summarizes the personal qualities, traits, skills, and background
required for completing a certain job.
On the other hand job design deals with the Job putting together various elements to form a job,
bearing in mind organizational and individual worker requirements, as well as considerations of
health, safety, and ergonomics. Job Design typically refers to the way that a set of tasks, or an
entire position, is organized. This takes into consideration aspects such as;
 what tasks are done
 when and how the tasks are done
 how many tasks are done
 in what order the tasks are done
 factors which affect the work
 organization of the content and tasks
Recruitment and selection: - Based on information collected from job analysis the company
prepares advertisements and publishes them in the newspapers. This is recruitment. A number of
applications are received after the advertisement is published, interviews are conducted and the
right employee is selected thus recruitment and selection are yet another important area of
Human Resource Management. There are basically two types of recruitment i.e. internal
recruitment and external recruitment.
Orientation and induction: - Once the employees have been selected an induction or orientation
program is conducted. The employees are informed about the background of the company,
explain about the organizational culture and values and work ethics and introduced to the other
Training and development: - Every employee goes under training program which helps him to
put up a better performance on the job. Training program is also conducted for existing staff that
have a lot of experience. This is called refresher training. Training and development is one area
where the company spends a huge amount.
Performance appraisal: - Once the employee has put in a certain number of years of service,
usually 1 year, performance appraisal is conducted that is the Human Resource department
checks the performance of the employee. Based on these appraisal future promotions, incentives,
increments in salary are decided.
- There
regarding compensation and other benefits. It is the job of the Human Resource department to
look into remuneration and compensation planning.
Motivation, welfare, health and safety: - Motivation is a very important factor in sustaining the
number of employees in the company as well as getting them to produce better results. It is the
job of the Human Resource department to look into the different methods of motivation. Apart
from this certain health and safety regulations have to be followed for the benefits of the
Industrial relations: - Another important area of Human Resource Management is maintaining
co-ordinal relations with the union members. This will help the organization to
prevent strikes lockouts and ensure smooth working in the company.
Human resource principles are a set of basic assumptions or ethical standards that govern the
management of human resources. Human resources management is guided by very important
aspects. These aspects are essential for any business to succeed. Essentially human resource
principles can be summarized into 10Cs and these include;
Job security acknowledges the intrinsic need that employees have to demonstrate their
commitment to the business and their job duties and it is also true that every organization has
objectives which they intend to meet both for themselves and for their clients. Therefore, To meet
these goals, HR management fulfills that need through ensuring staffing levels are consistent with
the business needs and that employees can reasonably expect they can be long-term employees.
Further, every firm need committed staff therefore it is the firm’s responsibility to keep their
employees motivated so as to ensure they are committed to the organizations course. The
organization illustrates its commitment to workers and invests in their success by providing
training opportunities, performance evaluations and goal-setting activities. Society or the
surrounding community benefits from an employer's commitment to providing employment
opportunities that sustain the economy.
Competence is a principle that supports business development. It is also a factor in employees'
job satisfaction and how the organization affects society. The success of every organization is
relied on competent workers who understand their employers' performance expectations. HR
management sustains workforce competency through providing training and orientation to
upgrade and improve employees' skills and job knowledge. The impact that competence has on
society is the production of safe and reliable products and services. Without sufficiently high
competence, the organization exposes itself to potential legal claims against the product it sells or
the service it renders as well as terrible loss of valuable clients. Therefore, It is an organizations
responsibility to ensure that their employees are skilled to do their duties. Because the
competence of a firm depends on that of its employees, firms should do everything to increase
employee capabilities for example, by training them. Thus the importance of an effective training
Cost Effectiveness
Budgets for HR departments often are insufficient to support all the necessary HR activities,
especially in areas such as recruiting, training and development and employee relations. HR is
not a revenue-generating department, which is one reason budgets for HR departments might be
the first cut. HR typically is held to a higher standard for illustrating Return on Investment in its
activities. For example, the expense of outsourcing administrative tasks may be a cost-effective
solution for small businesses that don't have the capital or resources to support a full-time HR
staff. The return on investment includes efficient, high-quality services for employees, such as
benefits administration, payroll processing and retirement savings programs. Therefore In order
to remain cost effective, Companies should ensure that they remunerate their employees
accordingly. The employees reward system should be able to sustain the organization.
Comprehensiveness: This involves the proper management of all aspects of the people you
are working with bearing in mind that human resources is the most valuable resource your firm
has. This means that the financial, health, transportation, tools and anything employees need to
Control: Firms should be able to take charge of their employees and ensure that productivity and
quality is achieved and maintained. Control should be exercised carefully so that it does not seem
like tyranny. This is achieved by developing effective Human resource control systems that are
easily understood by the people implementing them.
Coherence: All the steps taken by a firm in the management of human resources must be in line
with the mission and vision of the firm. Human Resources managers should direct their focus on
what the company needs and employee abilities. Attainable workforce management goals must
be congruent with the overall goals of the business. Goals such as becoming an industry leader
require an HR focus on recruiting talented workers capable of innovative research and
development of company products. This part of the "Congruence" principle addresses the
individual employee and the organization.
Communication: is very important in every organization. Through communication, firms can
ensure there is flow of information that is necessary for efficiency. An effective communication
system in an organization results into efficiency operations. You can tell how organized an
organization is in the way the communication system is. Clear communication procedures and
Creativity: Creativity is key if a firm is to be efficient in human resources management. Only
organizations with creative human resources make it big in their business. Human resources that
will wait to be told on what to do next always aid the firm to see its exit from competition. Firms
should adopt new ways of human resources management as long as it fits their companies and is
Credibility: Firms must ensure that they remain the best brand to most of their clients by
maintaining their credibility. They should put in place strategies that ensure all employees have a
Change is inevitable for businesses. Business environments are dynamic and fast changing. The
only way a business can survive is to adapt to the fast changing technologies in the business
environment. The fastest business to embrace change in management of their human resources is
better placed to produce better results. Human resource systems should be design to easily and
quickly adapt to change.
The Importance of HRM
Whatever the choice of terminology or decisions on organization, effective HRM and successful
implementation of personnel activities are essential ingredients for improved organizational
For example, Lynch refers to the importance of people as a vital resource for sustainable
competitive advantage. The smooth – running man or woman is an essential feature of any
company and for some industries people are not just an important but the key factor for
successful performance. HR policies and practices have an important role to play in facilitating
the effective implementation of management processes, such as, for example, total quality
Companies today face five critical business challenges: globalization; profitability through
growth; technology; intellectual capital; and change, change and more change. These challenges
provide HR with an opportunity to play a leadership role in the development of new capabilities
to meet the challenges. The five challenges present a new mandate for human resource
management in order to help deliver organizational excellence in the following four ways. It
should become:
A partner with senior and line managers in strategy execution;
An expert in the way work is organized and executed to ensure costs are reduced and
quality maintained;
A champion for employees, vigorously representing their concerns to senior management
and working to increase employee contribution and commitment; and
An agent of continuous transformation, shaping processes and a culture to improve an
organization’s capacity for change.
Discuss in detail, The nature and the scope of Human Resources Management
A personnel specification also known as a person specification is a document written by the firm
which outlines the type of person the firm wants. It is used to match the right person for the right
job at the right time of business needs. It describes the desirable personal attributes of the job
holder. It might contain the educational qualifications, previous experience, general intelligence,
specialized skills, interests, personality and physical requirements.
Essentially, it specifies a person’s;
 skills on the job
 knowledge of and for the job
 length of experience for the job
 attitude for the job
Below is a sample of a Fairview hotel Personnel specification for the position of an executive
Position: Executive chef
Key Competencies
Educated to Diploma standard Food Production or Food and
beverage related diploma
Understanding of the basic Experience of working in a
Experience & Knowledge
elements of Food production
production services
press office or PR role
food An experienced chef in a busy
skills, Experience of preparing a
Abilities & Skills
to wide range of recipes
unique Recipes.
manage more than chefs.
Ability to work flexibly, on
own initiative and as part of a
First class ability to prioritize
and manage own workload
relationships with tact and
Highly computer literate
Experience of basic computer
Willingness to undertake staff
training and development as
Note that a personnel specification does not need to be a complicated or detailed document, but
should include:
skills (what the person can do)
knowledge (what they know)
experience (where and how they have used their knowledge and skills)
any other special qualities they need
You need to make it clear which of these criteria are essential and which desirable.
There is never human resource if no one is brought on board to join faculty of a given
organization. The process of acquiring human resource is known as the recruitment process.
Recruitment refers to the process of attracting, screening, selecting, and on boarding a qualified
person for a job. At the strategic level it may involve the development of an employer
brand which includes an 'employee offering'. Recruitment is a major function of the human
resource department. It is the first step towards creating the competitive strength and the strategic
advantage for the organizations. Recruitment process involves a systematic procedure from
sourcing the candidates to arranging and conducting the interviews and requires many resources
and time.
Database Search: Database search is usually the first step in acquiring the relevant human
resource for a particular posting. This is a procedure where the human resource management
team checks through their records to see whether there is anyone in their records qualified enough
or has the talent needed to take up the position. Once this is done depending on the outcome of
the search the organization moves on to the next step in the recruitment process.
Advertising for the jobs: In advertising for a job posting, there two group target candidates the
organization may have in mind. These are the active candidates or the non active candidates.
Because active candidates are proactively seeking out job openings, it doesn’t take a lot to make
your job postings visible as position postings are written and placed where active candidates can
easily find them. This can be in Print or electronic media. On the other hand, non-active prospects
are not in job search mode, they are unlikely to read any job postings or to visit an organization’s
corporate career site. Instead, recruiters will have to identify them, contact them, build a
relationship, and eventually convince them to apply through direct sourcing.
The job application process: After jobs have been advertised, potential candidates file in their
application for the position. It is therefore important as an organization to tailor the application
process to be less or non-tedious. The whole idea is to have a large percentage of the qualified
individuals who access the application complete the application process.
Sorting applications by job: Once applications are received, the next step is to ensure that the
highest quality applications are sorted relevant to the most appropriate jobs. These are the
applications that are shortlisted for interviews
The initial screening of applications and resumes: At this step application are screened to see
if they meet minimum qualifications for the job. The aim is to successfully qualify the applicants
so that qualified applicants are not “sorted out” and that only a small percentage of unqualified
candidates make it to the next step.
Interviewing and selling qualified applicants: In this step the most qualified candidates
advance to formal interviews and other assessment activities. The primary goal is to rank order
the candidates by level of desirability, with a secondary goal of providing a positive candidate
experience” that effectively sells the best candidates on this job.
The final interview: The desirable candidates shortlisted from the Preceding interview session
in some organization have to undergo another interview. This is not necessary for a small
business entity as it consumes more resources. The goal of this step is to confirm your initial
desirability ranking and set expectations among those most likely to receive an offer.
The reference checking process: with your short list vetted and expectations for an offer set, the
next step validates the perception of your assessment team using references. The objective is to
gather additional information on the finalist(s) and ensure information provided is not erroneous.
The offer process — once the candidate fully suitable for the job is selected, the next step is
designing an offer for the finalist(s). The main objective of this step is to put together an offer
that is within the company’s boundaries and that meets as many of the candidates “job acceptance
criteria” as possible. The process should have the sales and influence component that work to
improve the likelihood of top candidates accepting.
The post-offer acceptance process: Once an offer is accepted, it doesn’t ensure the candidate
will actually show up for work! Therefore, the objective of this step is to ensure those that accept
our offers don’t back out (as a result of a counteroffer or second thoughts). That often means
continuous communications with the new hire and providing more ties that closely link the
individual to the firm prior to their start date.
The on boarding process — contrary to popular belief, the primary goal of onboarding is not to
get employees enrolled in benefits, but rather to provide resources and information that enable
new hires to become productive as fast as possible.
Feedback and new hire monitoring: if the ultimate goal is continuous improvement of the
recruiting process, then this step is the most important of all. The goal of this step is to assess the
performance of new hires and to use that performance information to “validate” or prove that the
overall recruiting process is producing quality hires. If a high percentage new hires fail, quit, or
are poor performers, you will know that the hiring process needs significant improvement. A
secondary goal is using new hires to determine what elements of the recruiting process were and
were not effective. Some organizations also consider it a goal for recruiters to work individually
with new hires to improve retention.
The diagram below is a summary of the recruitment process.
There are popular approaches to recruitment, i.e. internal and external recruitment.
Internal Recruitment: This refers to the filling of job vacancies from within the business where
existing employees are selected rather than employing someone from outside.
A business might decide that it already has the right people with the right skills to do the job,
particularly if its training and development program has been effective.
Usually Internal vacancies are usually advertised within the business via a variety of media i.e.
Staff notice boards, Intranets, In-house magazines / newsletters.
 Gives existing employees greater opportunity to advance their careers in the business
 May help to retain staff who might otherwise leave
 Requires a short induction training period
 Employer should know more about the internal candidate's abilities (= a reduced risk of
selecting an inappropriate candidate)
 Usually quicker and less expensive than recruiting from outside
 Limits the number of potential applicants for a job
 External candidates might be better suited / qualified for the job
 Another vacancy will be created that has to be filled
 Existing staff may feel they have the automatic right to be promoted, whether or not they
are competent
 Business may become resistant to change; by recruiting from outside, new perspectives
and attitudes are brought in.
External Recruitment: This refers to the filling of job vacancies from outside the business
(contrast with internal recruitment). Most businesses engage in external recruitment fairly
frequently, particularly those that are growing strongly, or that operate in industries with high
staff turnover.
There are several ways of looking for staff outside the business. This can be done through
recruitment agencies, Recruitment Consultancies job centers, Advertising and many more. The
most popular probably being advertising.
Advantages of external recruitment
 A wider audience can be reached which increases the chance that the business will be
able to recruit the skills it needs.
 Brings in new ideas/talents in the organization and new competence skills.
 Brings cross-industry insights
 Provides the organization with needed competencies.
 Helps organization meet equal employment opportunities/affirmative goal.
No employee can walk into a new job and be fully effective from the first day - effectiveness
grows with understanding of the organization and the details of its operation. But overall,
employees perform better, and are more likely to stay in the job longer, when they are clear about
what is expected of them from the beginning. It is important to ensure that every employee
receives appropriate induction training.
For example employers in the hotel setup or a safari setting will need to allow adequate time for
themselves or a supervisor/manager to ensure new employees receive appropriate induction
training and support. Including all aspects of an occupational health and safety induction in
relation to all the safety issues on the hotel or Safari respectively.
Staff induction activities are designed to provide employees with the information they need to do
their job effectively, enjoyably and safely. Staff induction often focuses on policies such as
safety, security and anti-discrimination.
Apart from policies, staff induction should also cover practicalities, such as:
 how to do common administrative tasks;
 who to contact in an emergency situation; and
 The layout and security at the organization.
New employees are unfamiliar with the environment and processes of the organization business
and have not had the chance to fall into bad habits! So induction is an ideal time to set them on
the ways you want them to work, including:
 observing occupational health and safety requirements on the farm and the location of
safety equipment;
 being aware of, and following, operating manuals;
 asking questions if there is any uncertainty; and
 Having an appreciation of the whole farm business, not just the part that he or she is
involved in.
In order to effectively carry out a successful induction process, an induction program checklist
becomes inevitable. The use of an induction program checklist ensures that all necessary areas
are covered, and by getting the new employee to sign the checklist after the induction program,
and preferably before they start work, both parties will then have an acknowledgement that the
employee has been shown the basics of the position. Note that Induction continues until the
probationary period is finished.
Benefits of an induction program
An induction program is an important process for bringing staff into an organization. It provides
an introduction to the working environment and the set-up of the employee within the
organization. The process will cover the employer and employee rights and the terms and
any legal and compliance requirements for working at the company and pay attention to
the health and safety of the new employee.
An induction program is part of an organizations knowledge management process and is intended
to enable the new starter to become a useful, integrated member of the team, rather than being
"thrown in at the deep end" without understanding how to do their job, or how their role fits in
with the rest of the company.
Good induction programs can increase productivity and reduce short-term turnover of staff.
These programs can also play a critical role under the socialization to the organization in terms of
performance, attitudes and organizational commitment.
1. Discuss the following concepts of Human resource management
a. Induction
b. Recruitment
c. Personnel specifications
2. Explain and give advantages and disadvantages of the two popular recruitment methods.
3. What are the benefits of an induction process?
A needs assessment is a systematic process for determining and addressing needs, or "gaps"
between current conditions and desired conditions or "wants".
The discrepancy between the current condition and wanted condition must be measured to
appropriately identify the need. The need can be a desire to improve current performance or to
correct a deficiency.
A training need is a shortage of skills or abilities, which could be reduced or eliminated by means
of training and development. Training needs hinder employees in the fulfillment of their job
responsibilities or prevent an organization from achieving its objectives. They may be caused by
a lack of skills, knowledge or understanding, or arise from a change in the workplace.
Training needs assessments
Training needs assessment is a systematic inquiry of training needs within an organization for the
purposes of identifying priorities and making decisions, and allocating finite resources in a
manner consistent with identified program goals and objectives.
There are three levels of a training needs assessment:
Organizational assessment: This level evaluates the level of organizational performance. An
assessment of this type will determine the skills, knowledge, and ability needs of an agency. It
also identifies what is required to alleviate the problems and weaknesses of the agency as well as
to enhance strengths and competencies. Organizational assessment takes into consideration
factors such as changing demographics, political trends, technology, and the economy.
Occupational assessment: This stage examines the skills, knowledge, and abilities required for
affected occupational groups. Occupational assessment identifies how and which occupational
discrepancies or gaps exist, as well as examining new ways to do work that could fix those
discrepancies or gaps.
Individual assessment: the third and last level analyzes how well an individual employee is
doing a job and determines the individual's capacity to do new or different work. Individual
assessment provides information on which employees need training and what kind.
 Puts training needs in context of organizational needs (business drivers)
 Validates and/or augments sponsor’s ideas about the need for training
 Ensures training design will respond to need
 Identifies non-training issues influencing performance
 Ensures survival of training function
 Establishes foundation for post-training evaluation
Conducting a training needs analysis
Conducting a training needs analysis is usually done to gauge what training is needed for new
employees or to identify and find solutions to:
1. Problems with performance
2. New system, task or technology
3. An organizational need to benefit from an opportunity.
Organizational training needs
There are many tools to gather information about employee performance; however, these tools
work best in different circumstances.
Observation: First hand observation and analysis in a setting in which the observer is not
interfering with normal productivity. Used to gather first hand data about an employee's
strengths and weaknesses.
Interviews: Using a series of predetermined questions to gauge opinions and perceptions.
This tool allows the employee to comment on their performance, and allows the
interviewer to ask in depth questions about performance.
Questionnaires: Allows for a big picture of the environment by asking respondents
identical questions. Allows for more respondents than individual interviews, and takes
less time. The data collected can be analyzed in a more quantitative way than with
Job Descriptions: Study of all responsibilities of a certain job to define an employee’s
expectations and responsibilities, allowing for more thorough training and supervision.
The Difficulty Analysis: identification of an employee's duties that cause them the most
difficulty, and allowing for more training in those areas.
Problem Solving Conference: A conference setting that allows employees and other staff
to identify a plan for a new task or technology and mold the training to it.
Appraisal Reviews: Within a performance review, questioning the employee about their
duties and training. Allows supervisor to uncover reasons for poor performance.
Analysis of Organizational Policy: reviewing the organization's policy on training, and the
amount and type of training offered to employees.
When using any of these methods, these three the following things should be kept in mind:
1. These tools should be used in combination, never rely on just one
2. They may be used to identify training needs in different groups or types of employees
3. They should be applied to individual employees because of variation in training between
Training Methods
On-The-Job Training (In-house Training)
On-the-job methods are usually preferred in management development program. The training is
far more likely than off-the-job training to be tailored to the individual, to be job-related, and to
be conveniently located. There are four major formal on-the-job development methods:
1. Coaching – the training of an employee by his or her immediate supervisor – is by far the most
effective management development technique. To be meaningful, on-the-job coaching must be
tempered with considerable restraint I employees cannot develop unless they are allowed to work
out problems in their own way.
2. Job rotation – involves shifting managers from position to position so they can broaden their
experience and familiarize themselves with various aspects of the firm’s operations.
3. Training positions – are a third method of developing managers. Trainees are given staff posts
immediately under a manager, often with the title of “assistant to.” Such assignments give
trainees a chance to work with and model themselves after outstanding managers who might
otherwise have little contact with them.
4. Finally, planned work activities – involve giving trainees important work assignments to
develop their experience and ability. Trainees may be asked to head a task force or participate in
an important committee meeting. Such experiences help them gain insight into how organizations
operate and also improve their human relation skills.
Off-The-Job Training
Off-the-job development techniques remove individuals from the stresses and ongoing demands
of the workplace, enabling them to focus fully on the learning experience. In addition, they
provide opportunities for meeting people from other departments or organizations. Thus,
employees are exposed to useful new ideas and experiences while they make potentially useful
contacts. The most common off-the-job development methods are in-house classroom instruction
and management development program sponsored by reputable institutions. Classroom
instruction is often supplemented with case studies, role playing, and business games or
simulations. For example, managers may be asked to play roles on both sides in a simulated
labor-management dispute.
Once training needs are identified and a training program is successfully developed, an
organization embarks on the training program. One of the popular and effective approaches to
employee training is in-house training. In-house training provides that the trainers in the training
program are from within the organization. The approach makes use of the company’s human
resources and these include in-house trainers, managers, supervisors and team leaders. The
advantage of conducting your own in-house training is the incorporation of your organizations
vision, mission and values being delivered consistently to ensure greater ownership by the
management and staff as a whole.
Cost Effective: Since training takes place at your location and with your own trainers, there is no
travel, no professional fees, no days away, and no unrelated expenses. Staff can be trained at an
extremely low per person cost.
Flexibility: Roll out the training around your organization’s timetables and resources with
options like two-hour segments, half-day lessons, or full two day workshop.
Special Focus: Every business organization has strengths and weaknesses, threats and
opportunities. Public training course must be, by definition, generic. In-house trainers are able to
know how to focus on the issues critical to your business and industry. Your time will not be
wasted on topics that have no relevance to your business. The focus is on you and your
Participant Interaction: Having only your own people on the course will create focus and
discussion on the issues that are important to your organization. Everyone must agree on the
issues and what is needed to solve them. Getting a good start on this agreement is important to
provide the momentum needed to implement strategy for change. This momentum can only be
provided if a large percentage of your employees share the training experience.
Impact: By having more people attend the training together, its impact throughout your
organization will be immediate. It enhances leadership and teamwork amongst your management
and staff.
Benefits: The in-house trainers having to deliver the training content will feel even more
compelled to walk the talk. The in-house trainers will evidently have the opportunity to practice,
improve and acquire public speaking and presentations skills. These are invaluable skills required
by any organization today.
Empowerment: In-House training is a solid investment in the development of your managers,
staff and organization. You will have the ability to address specific staff issues, needs or
challenges in a non-threatening setting. Most trainers developed a sense of ownership and be well
respected by the other subordinates.
The Disadvantages and Costs of In-House Training include:
Extra administration: Although you save money by lessening the organization needed by the
training company, you do take on this burden yourself. Requirements of In-House training
courses could include a training room, parking for the trainer, equipment such as projectors,
laptops and tablets amongst other things. These need to be sorted out and in advance to ensure
the training works.
Delegates stay onsite: As much as this is a benefit, it is also a disadvantage to In-House
training. The pure fact the candidates could be pulled out of the classroom in order to help with
other activities suggests they probably will be. This makes it hard to actually get a candidate
through an entire session without interruption.
Dedication: It could be argued that by not moving the training course out the building, it might
not be viewed as such a serious event by your employees than if you were to take them to an
external location. It might just be seen as a break from their usual job and days may well be
skipped by some if they know they are running again the next day. Again, the convenience
factor means it is easier to duck in and out.
Lack of innovation: If you are using all of your own equipment in the same environment that
your staffs are used to there is a danger of the training course going stale. Familiarity could
mean a lack of improvement on the training that could hold you back.
Networking: Your staff will not meet anyone from other companies if the training course is
done In-House. This is missing out on an excellent networking opportunity as well as the fact
different ethics and styles brought by employees from other companies can give a different
perspective to your employees – again helping them develop.
Another approach to training is outsourcing. This is an approach where a company or
organization rather than using internal resources or trainers to conduct a staff training, they
instead opt to use external trainers or facilitators to conduct the training.
There are several reasons why an organization would rather outsource than use internal trainers.
These include;
 Training is Not Core to the Business - For many companies, training is a necessity. But
the development, management and delivery of training is a distraction. For companies that
manage training every day, it IS core to their business. And they are much better at it!
Thus the reason for outsourcing.
 Improve Scalability of Resources - Running an internal training organization requires
people of various levels of skills and talent. Full-time internal staff is a fixed resource. But
training is a variable activity. Using an external supplier allows you to flex the number of
resources to deliver the training you need - when you need them. It allows your company
to scale up and down based on the demand of training you need.
 Leverage Channel Relationships - If your organization is into hospitality, it may be a
good idea to source the marketing and delivery of your training to an established
Hospitality or general human resource training company. The hospitality training industry
is a mature channel market. For example, HTTIT conducts trains people in the hospitality
and tourism industry, therefore if an organization needed its staff members to train, it
would be a very good idea to use HTTIT to conduct the training. Not only does sourcing
a channel partner make sense, it also may help drive new revenues.
 Access to Talent – It is very true that no company has all the knowledge they need
internally to be successful. Sometimes it’s necessary to hire an expert to teach internal
employees how to do something that is new to their company. That is hiring an outside
consultant to deliver a training course.
 Reduce Costs - The number one reason why companies outsource training is to save
money. It's the bottom line. It's the common denominator and culminating reason for all
the other reasons mentioned above. It is important to remember that how you manage
training is always about how we manage costs.
Benefits of outsourcing training
The benefits of Outsourcing training in your organization can accrue in a variety of
ways. For many organizations outsourcing the training function is not only the key to
meeting the objective of organizational learning and training, but also to overcome the
administrative and structural barriers with in-house training. In Outsourcing, it is the
onus of the vendor to provide training material, invest in infrastructure, maintain and
upgrade technology & content, reduce costs and improve processes.
Lower training costs: These savings accrue from lower capital expenditure, lower idle time per
employee, process improvement and higher employee productivity. This comes
about due to a higher level of and more consistent training across the organization.
Organizational Effort is focused on core competencies: Administrative tasks follow
the 80-20 rule for your training department; they take up almost 80% of your training
teams time but impact their productivity to the organization by only 20%. In many
cases, a disproportionately large focus on these activities also becomes a cause of
attrition of your key training talent. Outsourcing the non-key activities for your training
department helps it to focus on performance related training and coaching for your
key talent when it is needed. Few, if any training teams have the time, resources or
energy to focus on this “classroom of one”.
Eliminating redundancies from legacy systems: As decentralized, disaggregated and
fragmented. While key functions get their due during the process of Organizational Evolution,
more often than not, functions like training and administration end up being burdened by
inefficient legacy practices and systems. Training Programs, Infrastructure and positions get
duplicated many times over. This is costly and inefficient and results in inconsistent levels of
serving, works against sharing of services and stalls the implementation of a consistent strategic
vision for learning. It is more efficient to have centralization via a proxy like a training partner.
Training Content at the speed of thought: As Businesses, your clients and especially
your competition move at the “speed of Thought” How can your organization, your
employees and their skills and learning not move at the same pace. Training departments need
now more than ever to keep abreast of the latest regulatory environment, technical skills and
competencies that your organization needs to operate in now, and in the future. Outsourcing to
training experts not only helps you operate in the “now” environment but also lets you operate in
a predictive manner in the training space. Experts keep up to speed on the latest in their
operational domain, much like you and many times are at the cutting edge of research. Not to
mention the eagles’ eye view
they have of the marketplace and a frontline experience across your and other industry verticals.
Depending on the situation, it might cost more to hire an external supplier than to conduct inhouse training. For example, if the business owner is willing to learn effective training methods
and design a customized program for her employees, she can save significantly. The DIY
approach can be time-intensive, so business owners must weigh the costs of an external supplier’s
training courses with the costs of developing and implementing their own programs.
The focus of a generalized training program provided by an external supplier won't exactly match
any one company's needs. For example, suppose a software manufacturer offers a training
program for a business's employees. The training program will teach multiple aspects of using the
software, but some businesses might be interested in training their employees only in one specific
aspect. In this case, an in-house training program might be a better choice, because it would allow
the business owner to narrow the focus of the training to the essential elements.
If the training involves information the business doesn’t want made public, trusting an external
supplier might be risky. For example, if a company is training its employees to implement a
competitive strategy, a leak from the external supplier could be devastating. An in-house training
program, in contrast, can be monitored and controlled by the business owner to ensure
confidentiality is maintained.
If travel is required for employees to attend external training, the business will have to pay for
hotels, transportation and other related costs. Also, any time employees spend traveling and at the
training seminar is time they aren't working. Some external suppliers offer training seminars on
location, so this might not be a problem in all situations.
One thing to consider about outsourced training is that the business will not develop its own
permanent training program. If the business creates an in-house training program, all new
employees have a ready resource for training. Also, having an in-house program allows a
business to continually modify the focus and scope of employee training to match evolving
business needs.
At the end of every training program, it is expected that the results of it is all success and
positive. It is therefore, important to evaluate the training program. This is to determine as to
whether the training program was a success or a flop.
Hamblin (1970) defined evaluation in a training context as “Any attempt to obtain information
(feedback) on the effects of a training program, and to assess the value of the training in the light
of that information.” By calculating the cost of training and comparing it with the financial
benefits to the company from the improved performance of the trainees, validation may be
extended to become evaluation. The ease and accuracy of evaluation vary a great deal.
(a) The cost of off-job training is much easier to ascertain than that of on-job training.
(b) The financial benefits of training are easier to estimate for manual than for non-manual
(c) The costs of inadequate training can often be fairly easily measured, e.g. scrap metal, spoiled
work, customer complaints, overtime working to remedy mistakes.
(d) The benefits of training often go beyond an improvement in job performance. It is, however,
difficult to estimate to what extent relaxation of supervision and reductions in accidents and labor
turnover are due to improved training. Expressing these benefits in financial terms is even more
Four levels of training evaluation have been suggested by Kirkpatrick (1994) as follows:
Level 1 – Reaction: at this level, evaluation measures how those who participated in the training
have reacted to it. In a sense, it is a measure of immediate customer satisfaction.
Level 2 – Evaluating learning: this level obtains information on the extent to which learning
objectives have been attained. It is the measure of the intellectual ability in comparison to on the
It will aim to find how much knowledge was acquired, what skills were developed or improved,
and, as appropriate, the extent to which attitudes have changed in the desired direction. So far as
possible, the evaluation of learning should involve the use of tests before and after the program –
paper and pencil or performance tests.
Level 3 – Evaluating behavior: this level evaluates the extent to which behavior has changed as
required when people attending the program have returned to their jobs. To the question to be
asked is the extent to which knowledge, skills and attitudes have been transferred from the
classroom to the workplace. The evaluation needs to assess the extent to which specific learning
objectives relating to changes in behavior and the application of knowledge and skills have been
Level 4 – Evaluating results: this is the ultimate level of evaluation and provides the basis for
assessing the benefits of the training against its costs. The evaluation has to be based on before
and after measures and has to determine the extent to which the fundamental objectives of the
training have been achieved in areas such as increasing sales, productivity, reducing accidents or
increasing customer satisfaction.
Methods of evaluation
 Questionnaires: These are a common way of eliciting trainee response to course and
 Test or Examination: are common on formal courses which provide a certificate at the
end of the program.
 Projects: These are initially seen as learning methods but they can also provide valuable
information to instructors.
 Structured exercise and case studies: they are an opportunity to apply learned skills and
techniques under observation of tutors and evaluators.
 Tutor Repots: It is important to have the opinions of those who deliver training. This
gives assessment from different perspectives.
 Interviews: interviews of trainees post course or instruction period. These can be formal
or informal or individual or group.
 Observation: observation of courses and training by those devising training strategies in
the training department in very useful and information from these observations can be
compared with trainee responses.
 Participation and discussion: participation and discussion during training needs people who are
adept at interpreting responses as this can be highly subjective.
Career Development is the accumulation and cultivation of skills and knowledge that enable a
professional to advance or grow in the field of his or her choice. This can take the form of
educational or academic courses, professional certification and training, or practical, on-the-job
In other words, career development is the series of activities or the on-going/lifelong process of
developing one’s career. It usually refers to managing one’s career in an intra-organizational or
inter-organizational scenario. It involves training on new skills, moving to higher job
responsibilities, making a career change within the same organization, moving to a different
organization or starting one’s own business.
Career development therefore, is directly linked to the goals and objectives set by an individual.
It starts with self-actualization and self-assessment of one’s interests and capabilities. The
interests are then matched with the available options. The individual needs to train him/herself to
acquire the skills needed for the option or career path chosen by him. Finally, after acquiring the
desired competency, he has to perform to achieve the goals and targets set by him/herself.
Iris Granton (2008) states, It is granted that the career development of employee chains the
development of an organization. And the development of individual will bring return for
him/herself and the organization employed him/her.
But, in different companies, the career development method is different. What's more, career
development is not in the same way with skill training/knowledge impartation.
The Role Of Organizations In Career Development
People are the most important resource an organization can have. So, it becomes prime responsibility
of the organizations to take care of their employees and give them an opportunity to grow especially to
those who are career conscious and deliver performance. Career in 21st century is measured by
continuous learning of the employees and identity changes in due course of time rather than changes in
age and life stages. Career development of employees is not a mere responsibility of organizations,
rather it is their obligation to address the ambitions of employees and create such job positions where
they can accommodate their growing ambitions.
Employees are career conscious and they’ll stick to an organization where they feel that they have an
opportunity to showcase their talent, grow to the maximum possible level and achieve their objectives.
When we talk about growth, it can have different meanings to different people. Some may look at it as
a fat package, some may want to climb up the ladder in the hierarchy and reach the topmost position
while some want to acquire higher skills and competencies along with their growth as a human being.
Some people may take it as an opportunity to avail some exclusive perks and benefits. Depending upon
one’s own thinking, different people take different actions in order achieve their objectives.
Given the present situations, if employees want their organization to give them an opportunity to
grow and achieve their ambitions, they need to be prepared for the future jobs. The main focus of
organizations is on the employability of their people. Therefore, individuals should make sure
that they have skills and competencies plus willingness to perform a specific job efficiently.
Although the organizations can hire employees from outside but they require portable
competencies in order to get the job done. For this, they will need to impart training to them and
develop skills and competencies according to the job profile. But this is a troublesome process
and takes hell lot of time to prepare the employees for a specific job. In order to avoid this
situation to the maximum possible extent, organizations take control of the careers of their
already existing employees and foster succession planning to fill the topmost positions.
Individuals need to develop new and better skills so that they are fit for promotion and reach to a
higher level in the organization. Organizations likewise need to become proactive in designing
and implementing career development programs for their employees. It is the best thing they can
do to decrease employee turnover. Although it is employees responsibility to plan their career but
in today’s turbulent and terrifically ambiguous world of work it is the employers’ responsibility
to provide them with opportunities achieve their ambitions. They need to create that environment
and culture for continuous learning and support their employees by motivating and rewarding
Career development is a continuous process where both employees as well as employers have to
put efforts in order to create conducive environment so that they can achieve their objectives at
the same time
Importance of Career Development
Although the business environment has been endlessly experiencing negative changes such as economic
downsizing and restructuring resulting in fewer hierarchical positions but at the same time the need for
improving productivity while keeping a pace with continuously changing technology has also increased.
Organizations, therefore, instead of hiring a new individual from the market prefer to promote their
already existing employee to a specific position as he or she is already aware of the organizational
culture and does not need to be trained. This requires a careful succession planning of employees and
developing and preparing them continuously for filling topmost designations in future.
The process of organizational career development is important for both employees and employers. There
may be several unintended and undesired changes as well as consequences that can change the entire
scenario. In such a situation both employees and employers must be ready to keep with the changing
environment and act accordingly. Employees continuously need to upgrade their skills and competencies
to meet the current demands where as organizations must be ready with those employees who can handle
the pressure efficiently and cease the risk of falling prey to the changed scenario. Therefore,
understanding the importance of career development is very necessary for both the parties.
Business Environment Factors that can Bring Undesired Changes
Margaret Foot ‘et al’ (1999), describe four business environment factors that affect both the
organization and employees.
Economic Downsizing: The biggest of all the factors that has badly affected the
careers of millions of individuals is economic downsizing. The jobs are cut from the
organizations and the fittest of all employees survive. If employees continuously learn
new and better skills, chances are that economic conditions won’t hurt them that
badly as compared to other individuals.
De-layering: De-layering means reclassification of jobs. This is an organizational
change initiative where a company decides to reclassify the jobs more broadly.
However, old reporting lines do exist in order to maintain managerial control but
some jobs may be removed or cut down during the process. Again, those individuals
have to leave the organization that are not competent enough to be shifted to other job
with different nature.
Cost Reduction Strategies of the Organization: Cost-reduction strategies of the
organizations are again very dangerous for those individuals who are not prepared to
move on to the next level. If organizations have to cut down their operating costs, the
employment of those individuals is at stake who are not employable or who have not
performed up to the mark in past. Employees continuously need to upgrade
themselves and show their talent in order to remain in the organizations till long.
IT Innovations: Continuous changes and upgradation in the technology is also one of
the major factors that bring change. Some individuals can keep a pace with the
changing technology and are always ready to learn and adopt new IT applications
while some show immense resistance which is not acceptable to the organizations.
Employees need to keep themselves updated and show willingness to accept changes
as and when they occur and mould themselves accordingly.
The business changes affect both organizations and employees. The need is to understand them
and find a way to cope with them effectively and adapt to the changing trends.
Employees have their own personal desires and aspirations and need to effectively utilize their
personal skills to attain their career goals and objectives. On the other hand, organizations have
needs for staffing and meeting present and future human resource requirements. A career
development system is a mechanism that takes both the parties in to consideration and helps them
meet their requirements as well as objectives.
Objectives of Career Development Systems
Fostering Better Communication in Organization: The main objective of designing
a career development system is to foster better communication within the organization
as a whole. It promotes communication at all levels of organizations for example
manager and employee and managers and top management. Proper effective
communication is the lifeblood of any organization and helps in solving several big
Assisting with Career Decisions: A career development system provides employees
as well as managers with helpful assistance with career decisions. They get an
opportunity to assess their skills and competencies and know their goals and future
aspirations. It helps them give a direction so that they can focus on achieving their
long term career goals.
Better Use of Employee Skills: A career development system helps organization make
better use of employee skills. Since managers know their skills and competencies and
therefore, can put them at a job where they will be able to produce maximum output.
Setting Realistic Goals: Setting realistic goals and expectations is another main
objective of a career development system. It helps both employees and organization to
understand what is feasible for them and how they can achieve their goals.
Creating a Pool of Talented Employees: Creating a pool of talented employees is the
main objective of organizations. After all, they need to meet their staffing needs in
present and future and a career development system helps them fulfill their
Enhancing the Career Satisfaction: Organizations especially design career
development systems for enhancing the career satisfaction of their employees. Since
they have to retain their valuable assets and prepare them for top notch positions in
future, they need to understand their career requirements and expectations from their
Feedback: Giving feedback on every step is also required within an organization to
measure the success rate of a specific policy implemented and initiatives taken by the
organization. In addition to this, it also helps managers to give feedback for
employees’ performance so that they can understand what is expected of them.
A career development system can be very effective in creating a supportive culture in the
organization and help employees grow and utilize their skills to achieve their desires and
aspirations related to their career. Both organization and employees can meet their goals
Staff or Management Development
Not only is development important and a necessity to employee, it is also of paramount
importance to managers. Management development contributes to business success by helping
the organization to grow the managers it requires to meet its present and future needs. It improves
managers’ performance, gives them development opportunities, and provides for management
Development processes may be anticipatory (so that managers can contribute to long-term
objectives), reactive (intended to resolve or pre-empt performance difficulties) or motivational
(geared to individual career aspirations). The particular aims of management development are to:
Ensure that managers understand what is expected of them; agreeing with them objectives
against which their performance will be measured and the level of competence required in
their roles;
Identify managers with potential, encouraging them to prepare and implement personal
development plans and ensuring that they receive the required development, training and
experience to equip them for more demanding responsibilities within their own locations
and elsewhere in the organization;
Provide for management succession, creating a system to keep this under review.
Role of the Human Resource Development Specialist
Management or staff development is not a separate activity to be handed over to a specialist and
forgotten or ignored. The success of management development depends upon the degree to which
it is recognized as an important aspect of the business strategy – a key organizational process
aimed at delivering results. All levels of management must therefore be committed to it. The
development of their staff must be recognized as a natural and essential part of any manager’s job
and one of the key criteria upon which their performance as managers will be judged. But the
lead must come from the top.
However, human resource development specialists still have a number of important roles. They:
Interpret the needs of the business and advise on how management development
strategies can play their part in meeting these needs;
Act as advocates of the significance of management development as a business-led
Make proposals on formal and informal approaches to management development, such as
coaching, counseling, monitoring and feedback for formal approaches and use of the
learning experiences that managers meet during the course of their everyday work for
informal approaches;
Develop in conjunction with line management competency frameworks which can be
used as the basis for management development;
Provide guidance to managers on how to carry out their developmental activities;
Provide help and encouragement to managers in preparing and pursuing their personal
development plans – including advice on acquiring professional or academic
Provide the learning material managers need to achieve their learning objectives;
Act as tutors or mentors to individual managers or groups of managers as required;
Advise on the use and choice of external management education programs;
Facilitate action learning projects;
Plan and conduct development centers;
Plan and conduct other formal learning events with the help of external providers as
Self Test
1. Explain the key concepts encompassing Employee Training.
2. Describe the Employee development process
Job description is a statement of overall purpose and scope of a job, together with details of its
tasks and duties; the description is a product of job analysis.
A job description sets out the purpose of a job, where it fits in the organization structure, the
context within which the job holder functions and the principal accountabilities of job holders, or
the main tasks they have to carry out.
Job descriptions provide basic information about the job under the headings of the job title,
reporting relationships, overall purpose and principal accountabilities or main tasks or duties.
Use of job descriptions for organizational, recruitment and performance management purposes
are outlined below.
The basic job description can be used to:
Define the place of the job in the organization and to clarify for job holders and others the
contribution the job makes to achieving organizational or departmental objectives;
Provide the information required to produce person specifications for recruitment and to
inform applicants about the job;
Be the basis for the contract of employment;
Provide the framework for setting objectives for performance management;
Be the basis for job evaluation and grading jobs e.g. ZRA 1, G 7 etc.
Content and format
Job descriptions should not go into too much detail. What needs to be clarified is the contribution
job holders are expected to make, expressed as the results to be achieved (expressed as principal
accountabilities, key areas or main tasks, activities or duties) and their positions in the
organization (reporting relationships).
There are two factors to take into account when preparing this type of job description:
Flexibility – operational flexibility and multi-skilling are becoming increasingly
significant. It is therefore necessary to build flexibility into the job descriptions. This is
achieved by concentrating on results rather than spelling out what has to be done – job
descriptions should not become straitjackets by spelling out in detail the tasks to be
carried out.
The emphasis should be on the role job holders have to play in using their skills and
competences in specified broad areas of responsibility to achieve results. The aim is to
ensure that job holders who are expected to work flexibly cannot say, ‘No, it’s not in my
job description.’
Teamwork – flatter organizations rely more on good teamwork and this 4requirement
needs to be stressed.
The format of a job description for organizational recruitment or contractual purposes comprises
The job title;
A definition of the overall purpose or objectives of the job;
A list of principal accountabilities, key areas, tasks, activities, or duties (what these are called
does not matter too much, although the terms ‘principal accountabilities’ and ‘key result areas’ do
emphasize the end results the job holder is expected to achieve).
Writing a job description
Job descriptions should be based on a detailed job analysis and should be as brief and factual as
possible. The headings under which the job description should be written and notes for guidance
on completing each section are set out below.
Job Title – the existing or proposed job title should indicate as clearly as possible the function in
which the job is carried out and the level of the job within that function. The use of terms such as
‘director’, ‘manager’, ‘assistant manager’ or ‘senior’ to describe job levels should be reasonably
consistent between functions with regard to gradings of the jobs.
Reporting to – the job title of the director, manager or supervisor to whom the job holder is
directly responsible should be given under this heading. No attempt should be made to indicate
here any functional relationships the job holder might have to other managers.
Reporting to job holder – the job titles of all posts directly reporting to the job holder should be
given under this heading. Again, no attempt should be made here to indicate any functional
relationships that might exist between the job holder and other employees.
Overall purpose – this section should describe as concisely as possible the overall purpose of the
job. The aim should be to convey in one sentence a broad picture of the job which will clearly
distinguish it from other jobs and establish the role of the job holders and the contribution they
should make towards achieving the objectives of the company and their function or unit. No
attempt should be made to describe the activities carried out under this heading, but the overall
summary should lead naturally to the analysis of activities in the next section.
When preparing the job description, it is often best to defer writing down the definition of overall
responsibilities until the activities have been analyzed and described.
Principal accountabilities or main tasks – the steps required to define principal accountabilities
or main tasks are:
Identify and produce an initial list of the main activities or tasks carried out by the job
Analyze the initial list of tasks and group them together so that no more than about 10
main activity areas remain – most jobs can be analyzed into seven or eight areas and if
the number is extended much beyond that, the job description will become over-complex
and it will be difficult to be specific about accountabilities or tasks.
Define each activity as in effect a statement of accountability (although it need not be
called that) – an accountability statement expresses what the job holder is expected to
achieve (outputs) and will therefore be held responsible (accountable) for.
Define the accountability in one sentence which should:
Start with a verb in the active voice that provides a positive indication of what has to be
done and eliminates unnecessary wording; for example: plans, prepares, produces,
implements, processes, provides, schedules, completes, dispatches, maintains, liaises
with, collaborates with;
Describe the object of the verb (what is done) as succinctly as possible; for example: tests
new systems, posts cash to the nominal and sales ledgers, dispatches packets to the
warehouse output, schedules production, ensures that management accounts are
produced, prepares marketing plans;
State briefly the purpose of the activity in terms of outputs or standards to be achieved;
for example: tests new systems to ensure they meet agreed systems specifications; posts
cash to the nominal and sales ledgers in order to provide up-to-date and accurate financial
information, dispatches planned output to the warehouse so that all items are removed by
carriers on the same day they are packed, schedules production in order to meet laiddown output and delivery targets, ensures that management accounts are produced that
provide the required level of information to management and individual managers on
financial performance against budget and on any variances, prepares marketing plans that
support the achievement of the marketing strategies of the enterprise, are realistic, and
provide clear guidance on the actions to be taken by the development, production,
marketing and sales departments.
Writing up the principal duties can be helped by making use of lists of appropriate verbs
to describe the nature of what the job holder is expected to do or achieve. As shown
below, verbs vary in their relevance to particular levels of jobs. Senior specialist jobs are
expected to ‘advise’, ‘propose’, etc., whereas clerical jobs are expected to ‘produce’,
‘maintain’, etc.
Below is an example of a Job description
Overall purpose
To advise on HR strategies and policies and ensure that HR function provides the support
required implementing them and that ‘world class’ personnel processes are functioning
Principal accountabilities
1. Participate as a member of the Board in formulating corporate strategies, policies, plans and
budgets and in monitoring the company’s performance so as to ensure the corporate mission and
goals are achieved.
2. Advise the Chief Executive and colleagues on the HR and employee relations policies required
by the company in all areas of HR management in order to uphold core values and fulfill social
3. Formulate and implement HR strategies that are fully integrated with business strategies and
cohere over all aspects of personnel management and develop plans to implement the strategies.
4. Plan and direct human resource development, performance management and career
management processes and program designed to improve individual and organizational
effectiveness and to give employees the best opportunities to develop their abilities and careers in
the company.
5. Develop reward management and remuneration (including pensions) policies, processes and
procedures that attract, retain and motivate employees, are internally equitable as well as
externally competitive, and operate cost-effectively.
6. Advice on employee relations and communication strategies and policies designed to
maximized involvement and commitment while minimizing conflict.
7. Direct and control the operations of the HR function to ensure that it provides cost-effective
services throughout the organization.
8. Ensure through advice and monitoring that HR policies are implemented consistently, and that
the core values of the company concerning people are upheld, especially those concerned with
fairness, equality and firmness.
Work Study
Work study was developed in American industry in the 1920s. The first known attempts to make
a rational assessment of work and tasks were made by F.W. Taylor and the other ‘Scientific
Managers’. Since their time work study has become an established part of the industrial scene.
Work study has been defined in a British Standard (B.S. 3138) as follows:
‘A generic term for those techniques, particularly method study and work measurement,
which are used in the examination of human work in all its contexts, and which lead
systematically to the investigation of all factors which affect the efficiency and economy of
the situation being reviewed, in order to effect improvement.’
Work Study is therefore a systematic study of methods of work in order to improve effective use
of its resources and set standards of performance. It can be applied where a set of processes is
It introduces the most effective method of working. It is the most efficient tool in the hands of
management to improve efficiency at all levels of the organization. Work study helps to reduce
waste through standardization of element of the job.
Work study is conducted in order to identify the current situation in the organization and to find
the opportunities of improvement. This will help organizations become more systematic and
The objective of work study is to assist management to obtain the optimum use of the human and
material resources available to the organization for the accomplishment of the work for which, it
is engaged.
The reasons why Work Study techniques are utilized in production include the following:
To eliminate wasteful work.
To improve working methods
To increase production
To achieve cost savings
To improve productivity of workers and machines
Work Study has many benefits including;
1) Increase in Productivity
2) Increase in efficiency
3) Improved work flow
4) Improved work layout
5) Improved standards
There are two basic techniques, Method Study and Work Measurement, the two are
complementary to each other, and are rarely utilized in isolation from each other. The usual
practice is for a method study of some kind to precede a work measurement activity.
Method Study
The first step in carrying out a work study is the method study of the work under consideration.
This technique is itself composed of a collection of techniques, all of which systematically
examine and record all the methods, existing and proposed, utilized in an operation or process,
with a view to increasing efficiency. It could be said that Method Study attempts to answer the
questions What? When? How? Who? And Where? in contrast to Work Measurement’s emphasis,
which asks How long? and When? The scope of Method Study, therefore, is considerably wider
than that of Work Measurement.
Method Study is used to aid solutions to a variety of production problems. These problems
include those of workplace layout, materials handlings, tool design, product design and process
design for example.
Method Study is thus, the systematic recording, analysis, and critical examination of the methods
and movements involved in the performance of existing or proposed ways of doing work, as a
means of developing easier and more productive methods.
Method study is essentially concerned with finding better ways of doing things, and it contributes
to improved efficiency by getting rid of unnecessary work, avoidable delays and other forms of
waste. This is achieved through:
(a) Improved layout and design of factory, plant and work place.
(b) Improved working procedures.
(c) Improved use of material, plant and equipment and manpower.
(d) Improved working environment.
(e) Improved design or specification of the end product.
The techniques of method study aim at doing three things:
(I) To reveal and analyze the true facts concerning the situation
(ii) To examine those facts critically
(iii) To develop from the examination of the facts the best answer possible under the
The value of methods study is due to the flexibility with which the technique may be used in
different situations.
The Function of Method Study
Method study does not replace the ability to make the best use of available information, the
inventive genius or the organizing ability necessary to develop new methods. What the analytical
approach of method study does, by its carefully planned sequence of analysis, is to show where
change is likely to be most effective by highlighting unnecessary activities and showing where
improvements are possible.
In this way thoughts are directed into channels likely to be profitable, and any inherent flair for
improvements the members of the work study team may possess stands the best chance of finding
full expression. Thus, method study enables the ordinary man to improve methods and at the
same time avoid the dangers of taking short cuts.
Basic Procedure
There is a simple framework for application in any circumstances.
SELECT: The work to be studied.
RECORD: All the relevant facts of the present or proposed method.
EXAMINE: Those facts critically and in sequence systematically.
DEVELOP: The most practical, economic and effective method having due regard to all
contingent circumstances.
INSTALL: That method as standard practice.
MAINTAIN: That standard practice by regular routine checks.
The basic approach to a method is illustrated in the simplified diagram below.
Method Study
Aim: To improve
working methods
SELECT work to be studied
RECORD all relevant facts relating to current or
proposed methods
EXAMINE the facts critically, especially in relation
to purpose, sequence, place, person and means
DEVELOP best methods in the circumstances
1. Improved workplace layout
2. Improved equipment design
3. Reduction in worker fatigue, etc.
All leading to increased efficiency (cost
effectiveness) and productivity (more output per
unit of input)
Much of the data collected for a method study is presented in flowchart form, which utilizes a
standard set of symbols for all the basic activities and operations. The symbols are as shown here:
Operation (i.e. doing something)
Transport (i.e. moving something)
Storage (permanent)
Delay (or temporary storage)
Flowchart symbols
A simple flowchart records the activities in the order in which they occur, assigns the appropriate
symbol to each activity, notes the elapsed time taken for each activity and adds any comments
that may be useful. The other step in the procedure is to examine critically the data obtained, even
to an extent of questioning the very purpose of an activity. ‘Is this activity necessary?’ ‘Is this the
most economical sequence of events in the process?’ ‘What are the alternative ways of
conducting this operation?’ These are other questions can help the person conducting the study to
eventually produce a best method of working, taking all the circumstances into account.
If this new method is approved, the final stages are implementation and subsequent maintenance
and review.
It has been mentioned above that much of the data for a method study is present in flowchart for.
Other charts and diagrams used in method study are as follows:
Multiple activity charts – these are charts where the activities of more than one subject
(e.g. workers, machines, etc) can be recorded against a common time-scale, and where
Time is registered on the vertical axis, and Subjects on the horizontal;
Flow diagrams – these are scale drawings of the workplace which indicate where each
activity takes place;
String diagrams – these are similar to flow diagrams, but where movements between
activities are recorded by means of string, or thread, connecting pins inserted into all the
activity points on the diagram; they enable the paths of all movements taking place to be
recorded with clarity, and can highlight short-cuts;
Chrono-cycle graph – this is photographic record, which traces the path of movement
onto a photographic plate; in principle, it is similar to the string diagram, and is most
effective when recording short, rapid movements;
Therbligs – these are the basic units of work activity, originated by Frank Gilbreth in the United
States; they are used in so-called micro-motion studies, which are detailed studies of repetitive
Work Measurement
This is a collection of techniques, particularly Time Study, aimed at establishing the time taken
by a qualified worker to complete a specified job at a defined level of performance. Work
Measurement techniques set out to answer the questions How long? and When? They usually
flow or overlap with a method study, and are employed not only to improve methods of working,
but also to develop costing systems, production schedules and incentive schemes, as well as to
establish machine capacities and manning levels.
Like Method Study, Work Measurement has a systematic set of procedures to be followed, and
these are set out below. The basic steps in work measurement are as follows:
Work Measurement
Aim: To measure
human performance
DESCRIBE method to be measured
MEASURE performance of operator
1. Reliable data for planning and control
2. More efficient manning levels
3. Reliable basis for incentive payment
schemes, etc
Leading to increased efficiency and higher
From the diagram above, it can be seen that the aim of Work Measurement is significantly
different from that of Method of Study. The latter aims to improve working methods; the former
aims to measure, or assess, the performance of people. In pursuing its aim, Work Measurement
has to rely on the exercise of a great degree of subjective judgment than is required for Method
Study. In particular, the rating of performance and the determination of the standard time rely
heavily on the judgment of the person conducting the measurement.
The procedure of work measurement involves:
Describing the job or method of operation clearly and logically from beginning to end, then it is
broken down into very small elements based on time taken. Having broken down the job in this
way, the person conducting the study then measures the performance of the employee concerned,
generally using a stop-watch for the purpose. Once sufficient numbers of elements have been
timed, we can arrive at the elapsed or observed time, for the job.
The next step in the procedure – rating – is the one which is the most vulnerable to mistakes or
errors on the part of the investigator. The latter is required to ‘rate’ the employee, i.e. to decide
how quickly (or slowly!) the employee is working compared with a standard. This is usually the
standard rate of 100 which is equivalent to the ‘average rate at which qualified workers will
naturally work a job, provided they know and adhere to the specified method and provided they
are motivated to apply themselves to their work.’
If the person conducting the measurement is relatively inexperienced in Work Study and is
unfamiliar with the job being rated, the probability of reaching a mistaken rating is quite high.
Rating the job enables a Basic Time to be established, using the following formula:
Basic Time = Observed Time x Rating
Standard Rating
For example, if an employee’s time for a particular element is observed to be 0.30 minutes, and
he is rated as 115, then his Basic Time will be as follows:
Basic Time = 0.30 x 115 minutes
In order to reach a Standard Time for the job, a number of allowances are added to the Basic
Time. These allowances are designed to accommodate such contingencies as relaxation,
collection of materials or tools, and unavoidable delays, for example. This is another area of
Work Measurement where subjective judgments have to be made, and where the person
conducting the study may come under strong pressure from employees to allow more, rather than
less, time for these allowances.
Self Test
1. Discuss in detail and in your own words the Importance of a Method Study and
Work Measurement.
Employee performance appraisal is one of the techniques used to encourage, motivate and help
employees improve their performance. Only a minority of activities in personnel management are
concerned with evaluating employees as individuals. These activities are primarily selection and
appraisal, but also include grievance and disciplinary matters. In all other cases, the focus of
attention is not on individuals but on jobs, structures, procedures or people in groups. Thus, for
example, job evaluation focuses on jobs, not on job holders; job design and organization
development focus on job/task structures; wage and salary administration focus on procedures;
whilst human resource planning and collective bargaining focus on people in groups.
This unit/topic considers the evaluation of individuals in terms of their job performance. This is a
task requiring a quality of managerial judgment which places consideration responsibility on the
managers involved. It is a task that is delicate as well as complex. The key features of
performance appraisal are included herein.
Performance Appraisal
Appraisal is the judgment of an employee’s performance in a job, based on considerations other
than productivity alone. It is sometimes called merit rating, more frequently when its sole object
is to discriminate between employees in granting increases in wages or salaries. The term
appraisal is applied to a formal and systematic assessment made in a prescribed and uniform
manner at a certain time.
Employee performance appraisal is carried out within a practical context, which is essentially the
day-to-day business of the enterprise. What is being assessed in the first instance is the
employee’s performance in carrying out the general duties of his or her role, together with any
specific targets that have been set. Secondarily, appraisal may be used to assess a person’s
suitability for promotion, either generally or with specific job in mind.
In the appraisal situation, individuals are entitled to ask what aspects of their job are being
assessed and against what criteria. An individual will also want to know how the process of
appraisal will be carried out, and what opportunities they themselves will have to contribute to it.
In most cases the appraisal is conducted by the employee’s immediate manager, but for some
management posts the appraisal may involve the manager’s own staff and colleagues, where socalled 360 degrees appraisal is employed.
Work Role
Possible mentoring
Further Training
Specific objectives &
Assessment of Performance
Discussion with superior
Actual performance against criteria
Performance with criteria agreed
The context of performance appraisal
At its simplest, the appraisal process – in terms of assessing individual performance against
targets – can be depicted as shown below:
Appraisal Form
Appraisal Interview
Action agreed
Job Improvement Plan
Promotion or Transfer
Salary Review
The appraisal process
Any systematic approach to performance appraisal will commence with the completion of an
appropriate form. This preparatory stage will be followed by an interview, in which the manager
discusses progress with the member of staff. The result of the interview is some form of agreed
action, either by the staff member alone or jointly with his or her manager. The action generally
materializes in the shape of a job improvement plan, promotion to another job or to a salary
increase, for example.
The expression ‘performance appraisal’ usually relates to the assessment of staff or managerial
performance, and not to that of manual workers. There are two main categories of appraisal:
Informal, and
Informal appraisal is the continuing assessment of an individual’s performance by his manager in
the normal course of work. This kind of assessment is of an ad hoc nature and is as much
determined by intuitive feelings as by factual evidence of results. It is a natural product of the
day-to-day relationship between manager and subordinate. Formal appraisal is altogether more
rational and orderly than informal appraisal. It refers to an assessment of employee performance
in some systematic and planned way.
Reasons for Appraisal
There are several reasons why appraisals are carried out in organizations. These may be
summarized as follows:
To identify an individual’s current level of job performance
To identify employee strengths and weaknesses
To enable employees to improve their performance
To provide a basis for rewarding employees in relation to their contribution to
organization goals
To motivate individuals
To identify training and development needs
To identify potential performance
To provide information for succession planning
The most likely reason for the adoption of staff appraisal is to draw attention to present
performance in the job in order to (a) reward people fairly, and (b) to identify those with potential
for promotion or transfer.
Appraisal Forms/Methods
There are various ways in which appraisal forms can be devised. The key elements, however, are
the following:
The focus of the appraisal, i.e. the job or the person
The performance criteria selected
The performance ratings used
Where the appraisal focuses on the job, the appraisal for is more likely to ask the appraiser to
look success in achieving job targets or objectives than to comment on the job holder’s personal
attributes. Where the focus is on the person rather than on the job, the reverse is true, i.e. the
appraiser is expected to give an account of the job holder’s qualities and attitudes rather than of
his or her relative success in achieving results. Thus, the focus of the appraisal will determine the
nature of the criteria against which individual performance will be judged, as well as of the
ratings or measures to be used.
The first difficulty with the approach in which a form used seeks information about the person
rather than about his performance in the job is that of measurement. How can a manager fairly
assess qualities of leadership or judgment, for example? The second difficulty is that of
relevance. How central to success are diligence and cost consciousness, for example? Hard work
is not synonymous with effective work; awareness of costs may be disadvantageous if it
discourages initiative or decision making. The third difficulty is that managers completing the
form have to rely on subjective impressions instead of concrete evidence.
The way forward to reality for many organizations is to take the job duties and responsibilities as
the focal point of appraisal. In this approach the emphasis is placed on results achieved against
standards set, after taking circumstances into account.
In any situation what is ‘real’ depends partly on the perceptions of those concerned, i.e. how they
‘see’ things, and partly on objective evidence, i.e. information that can be verified by a third
In a results-oriented appraisal form, it is possible to identify the relevant aspects of the job and to
set measurable targets against which to assess the individual job holder’s performance in a fair
and accurate manner. Hmble (1967) saw a performance standard as ‘a statement of the conditions
which exist when the required result is being satisfactorily achieved.’ He suggested then that in
setting standards it may help to look for standards which relate to:
Quantity (how much?)
Quality (how well?)
Time (by what time?)
Cost (at what cost?)
The current approach is to make criteria SMART, as follows:
Relevant or realistic
Timed or time bound
Simple acronyms, such as the above, help managers and their staff to remember the basic
essentials of performance appraisal.
Rating Scales in Performance Appraisal
We have just seen that appraisal criteria are generally either person-oriented or results oriented.
Within each of the orientations appraisers still have to ‘measure’ individual performance. They
do so by using one or more scales for rating performance. The principal options available are:
Linear or Graphic Rating Scales, in which the appraiser is faced with a list of
characteristics or job duties and is required to tick or circle an appropriate point on a
numerical, alphabetical or other simple scale. Examples are:
Excellent ……………… Good …………. Average …………Poor
Behavioural Scales, in which the appraiser has a list of key job items against which are
ranged a number of descriptors, or just two extreme statements of anticipated behavior.
Another scale, for example, dealing with customer relations, could demonstrate a range of
possible behavior from the best, e.g. ‘Deals politely and efficiently with customers at all
times’, to the worst, e.g. ‘Is barely civil to customers, is inefficient’.
Results/Targets Set, as in the figure above.
Free Written Reports, in which appraisers write essay-type answers to a number of
questions set on the appraisal document.
One other approach, which has not been mentioned so far , is that of self-appraisal, where the
employees concerned either write an ‘annual report’ on their work or answer questions set out in
an appraisal document.
Appraisal Interviews
The appraisal interview is the formal face-to-face meeting between the job holder and his or her
manager at which the information on the appraisal form is discussed, after which certain key
decisions are made concerning salary, promotion and training, for example.
Rowe (1964) in a major British study of six firms found out that:
1. Appraisers were reluctant to conduct appraisals, finding ways of evading full completion
of the appraisal forms
2. Appraisers were extremely reluctant to carry out face-to-face interviews
3. There was inadequate follow-up to the appraisals, in terms of their effect on transfers, etc.
The manner in which a manager approaches an appraisal interview will be strongly influenced by
his or her understanding of the purpose of the interview. Appraisal interviews can serve several
To evaluate the subordinate’s recent performance
To formulate job improvement plans
To identify problems and/or examine possible opportunities related to the job
To improve communication between superior and subordinate
To provide feedback on job performance to the employee
To provide a rationale for salary reviews
To identify potential performance/possibilities for promotion or transfer
To identify training and development needs.
Appraisal Styles
Maier (1958) identified three basic approaches to the appraisal interview. These were as follows:
1. TELL and SELL approach in which the manager tells his/her subordinate how he/she is
doing, and endeavors to persuade him/her to accept what has been decided for him/her in
terms of improvement.
2. TELL and LISTEN approach where the manager tells his/her subordinate how he/she is
doing, but then sits back and listens to the individual’s point of view both about the
appraisal and about any follow-up action required.
3. PROBLEM SOLVING approach, in which the manager effectively puts aside the role of
judge in order to join the subordinate in mutual reflection on progress and mutual
discussion about required action.
The likely success of the varying styles, judging from research into appraisals, can be
summarized as follows:
1. TELL approach – could be counter-productive. Meyer et al (1965) found in General
Electric that praise had little effect one way or the other on appraises. Criticism, however,
had a negative effect on subsequent achievement. At least this approach does not give the
employee some idea of his/her progress.
2. TELL and SELL approach – unless the manager is very persuasive, it is unlikely that the
employee will accept his version of what is required to be done.
3. TELL and LISTEN approach – this approach has the merit of informing the employee of
his/her progress, but then goes further by actively involving him/her in the process of
deciding what ought to be done, which is much more likely to produce a positive
4. SHARING approach – this is generally considered to provide the best basis for an
appraisal owing to its joint problem solving approach, in which managers and their
subordinates work together more or less as equals. This approach is closer to coaching
than anything else.
The importance of Maier’s appraisal model lies in its use as a device for enabling managers to
identify their preferred approach and consider how they could improve upon it.
Employee performance appraisal is an important means by which organizations improve their
chances of attaining their key operational goals. Employees who know what, and how much, is
expected of them are likely to be more effective than those who are unclear about their role. The
process of appraisal itself is an important way for managers and their team members to work
together on the issues that really matter. If the process encourages a joint problem solving
approach, in which other team members may be involved, it can contribute to individual’s
maturing in experience and obtaining greater job satisfaction.
Self Test
1. Performance appraisal is an important factor in motivating employees. Justify this
Employee Relations refers to the interrelationships, both formal and informal, between managers
and those whom they manage. Thus, employee relations has a wider scope than ‘industrial
relations’, for example, because the former is concerned with all aspects of the interrelationship
between management and employees, whereas the latter is confined to the regulation of the
relationship principally by means of collective bargaining. ‘Employee Relations’ embraces most,
if not all, of the following issues:
The contractual obligations between employer and employed
Communications policy and practice
Joint decision making
Joint problem solving
Collective bargaining
Individual grievance and disciplinary policy and practice
Social responsibility
Employee development
Employee welfare
In practice, however, ‘Employee Relations’ is usually confined to the first six issues. In most of
these issues, trade unions play an important part, they are not a prerequisite, for employee
relations is as important for non-union organizations as it is for unionized organizations.
The major parties to employee relations are primarily individual employees and their managers.
However, there are other important stakeholders in management – employee relationships. Each
of these parties has a particular perspective to bear on the interrelationship between management
and managed.
Managers tend to see employee relations in terms of the following activities:
1. Creating and maintaining employee motivation
2. Obtaining commitment from the workforce
3. Establishing mutually beneficial channels of communication throughout the organization
4. Achieving high levels of efficiency
5. Negotiating terms and conditions of employment with employee representatives
6. Sharing decision making with employees
7. Engaging in a power struggle with trade unions
Trade unionists tend to see employee relations as:
1. Collective bargaining about terms and conditions of employment
2. Representing individuals and groups of individuals in conflict with their management
3. Improving the ability of employees to influence events in the workplace
4. Regulating relations with other trade unions
Individual employees tend to see employee relations in terms of the opportunity to:
1. Improve their conditions of employment
2. Voice any grievances
3. Exchange views and ideas with management
4. Share decision making
Third parties, such as Government ministers, arbitrators, judges and civil servants may see
employee relations more in terms of:
1. Creating and maintaining harmonious relationships at work
2. Creating a framework of rules of fair conduct in employer – employee relations
3. Representing the community as a whole in dealing with the repercussions of internal
conflicts or decisions made within individual organizations
4. Establishing peace-making arrangements to deal with breakdowns in employer –
employee relations
5. Achieving a prosperous society with justice
With differing perspectives such as the above, it is not surprising that some degree of conflict is
inherent in employee relations. Nevertheless, there can also be a substantial amount of common
interest, and much of employee relations is concerned with finding out what are these areas and
how they can be turned to mutual advantage.
What is a trade union?
Essentially, it is an organization of employees which aims to protect and promote their interests
in the workplace, mainly by means of collective bargaining and consultation with employers. The
principal legislation on trade unions is contained in the Trade Union and Labor Relations
(Consolidation) Act, 1992. The legal definition of a ‘trade union’ is stated in the 1992 Act, as
…an organization (whether permanent or temporary) which either –
(a) consists wholly or mainly of workers of one or more descriptions and is an organization
whose principal purposes include the regulation of relations between workers …and employers or
employers’ associations; or
(b) consist wholly or mainly of –
(I) constituent or affiliated organizations …or
(ii) representatives of such …organizations;
and in either case is an organization whose principal purposes include the regulation of
relationships between workers and employers or between workers and employers’ associations…
The same Act defines what an independent trade union is, as follows:
…a trade union which –
(a) is not under domination or control of an employer or group of employers or one or more
employers’ associations; and
(b) is not liable to interference by an employer…
A trade union is an organization consisting wholly or mainly of workers, whose principal
purposes include the regulation of relations between workers and employers or employers’
associations. It is not a corporate body but has the power to make contracts and to sue or be sued
in its own name.
Types of Trade Union
Trade unions have typically been placed into four categories, as follows:
Manual workers’ union – nowadays these are principally the large general workers’
unions, although there are still a few craft-based and industrial unions.
White collar unions – these are mostly general unions for clerical, administrative and
technical workers, although there are still some specific to certain occupational groups,
especially in the public sector.
Managerial/professional unions – these tend to recruit from those employed in middle
management and professional occupations.
Staff associations – these are unions which were originally formed from amongst the
employees of a single employer, usually in the white collar sector.
A trade union, as mentioned above, is an association of workers formed to protect their interests
in employment situations. Unions have very specific objectives: they seek better wages and
working conditions for their members, greater job security, and improved welfare benefits. Hence
unions wish to negotiate with management on many issues, and may also have wider social aims
such as higher social security provisions, employment protection legislation, more employee
participation in management, and so on.
Reasons for joining trade unions
Employees join a union for the following reasons:
(a) To try to improve their working conditions
(b) To gain some control over working environments
(c) In some cases, because of pressure from present union members, an employee is likely to
join a union if he or she is an isolated worker, feels his or her status is high, or has a
conscientious or religious objection.
Effects of unions on management
When substantial number of its employers are members of trade unions the effects on the
management of a company are that:
(a) Decisions and policies are subject to challenge and negotiation;
(b) Management powers are limited, and they may be used more cautiously;
(c) Decision making may become centralized so that a unified company industrial relations
policy can be formulated and practiced;
(d) The management may be required to give certain information about the company to union
Trade Union Congress (TUC)
The role of the TUC today is primarily to represent the interests of employed people in debates
and policy discussions on employment and social security matters at national levels. The TUC is
a voluntary association in which most unions are affiliated. Its policy is decided by its constituent
unions at the annual congress, usually lasting a week, when debates on industrial relations
matters take place and the general council of 38 or more members is elected.
The TUC has very few powers over its constituent unions, its chief functions being:
(a) To agree and express a policy for the trade union movement;
(b) To promote legislation to protect and benefit its members;
(c) To be consulted by the government;
(d) To deal with inter-union disputes
Employers’ Association
Employers within a certain industry usually form an association, partly for trade and information
purposes and partly to negotiate on industrial relations matters for the industry.
Employers’ associations, as defined by the 1992 Act, are primarily intended to handle employee
relations issues on behalf of a group or groups of employers. Their main objectives are as
To represent employers in collective bargaining
To develop industry-wide procedures for the avoidance of disputes
To provide information and advice to members on employee relations matters
To represent members on national employee relations issues
Disputes procedures
National procedures
Besides making agreements about conditions of employment, employers’ associations and trade
unions also negotiate a program or procedure to be followed in an industry for settling a dispute
at a place of work without resort to industrial action such as a strike. Procedures differ in detail,
but the following is fairly typical.
(a) The aggrieved employee asks his or her shop steward to take up the case with the middle
management (next level) of the company.
(b) Meeting between the district officer and senior management
(c) Meeting between union officials and the regional committee of the employers’ association
(d) Meeting between national officials of the trade union and of the employers’ association
(e) In some industries, an independent arbitrator gives a final decision which both sides have
agreed in advance to accept, although it is not legally binding.
Each stage of the procedure is used until agreement is reached; if the dispute is settled at stage
(b), for example, the subsequent stages will not be used. The procedural agreement states that no
industrial action shall take place until all stages have been used.
Grievances and Discipline
A grievance is an individual dispute between an employee and his or her employer. However,
since individuals and their problems are as much a part of employee relations as collective issues,
then it is in the interests of both management and trade unions to have a written procedure for
dealing with grievances. There is also the point, that individual disputes, if left to fester, may
themselves lead to a collective dispute. The main objective of a grievance procedure is to settle
the issue at the earliest possible stage. A feature of effective grievance procedures is that they
include time-limits at each stage. The inclusion of time-limit helps to speed the entire process,
particularly from the management’s point of view.
Grievance procedures spell out the policy on handling grievances and the approach to dealing
with them. An example of a grievance procedure is given below.
Grievance Procedure
It is the policy of the company that employees should:
Be given a fair hearing by their immediate supervisor or manager concerning any
grievances they may wish to raise;
Have the right to appeal to a more senior manager against a decision made by their
immediate supervisor or manager;
Have the right to be accompanied by a fellow employee of their own choice, when raising
a grievance or appealing against a decision.
The aim of the procedure is to settle the grievance as nearly as possible to its point of origin.
The main stages through which a grievance may be raised are as follows:
1. The employee raises the matter with his or her immediate team leader or manager and may be
accompanied by a fellow employee of his or her own choice.
2. If the employee is not satisfied with the decision, the employee requests a meeting with a
member of management who is more senior than the team leader or manager who initially heard
the grievance. This meeting takes places within five working days of the request and is attended
by the manager, the manager responsible for personnel, the employee appealing against the
decision, and, if desired, his or her representative. The manager responsible for personnel records
the result of the meeting in writing and issues copies to all concerned.
3. If the matter is still not resolved, it is taken to a senior management level, and the employee
may take a representative as before.
4. If the employee is still not satisfied with the decision, he or she may appeal to the appropriate
director. The meeting to hear this appeal is held within five working days of the request and is
attended by the director, the manager responsible for personnel, the employee making the appeal,
and, if desired, his or her representative. The manager responsible for personnel records that
result of this meeting in writing and issues copies to all concerned.
These are the stages of a typical grievance procedure.
Disciplinary matters
Whereas grievances are initiated by the employee, disciplinary matters are initiated by
management. At work, discipline is a question of
(a) devising appropriate rules of behavior for employees and
(b) of providing fair and consistent means of enforcing them.
Since discipline is as much a matter of general behavior as of specific behavior, few
organizations specify every rule. Whether or not an offence is the cause of disciplinary action
also depends on the nature of the circumstances, on management’s previous attitudes and on the
culture of the organization generally. What in one firm would be a dismissable offence, could be
far less serious in another firm. For example, smoking in certain manufacturing operations is so
dangerous that breach of this rule will lead to instant dismissal. In another situation a ‘nosmoking’ rule, based on the general possibility of a fire hazard would probably be dealt with on
the basis of warnings.
A key issue in any disciplinary procedure is that of authority to act. In order to achieve fairness
and consistency, individual managers and supervisors need to know what the limits of their
authority are when it comes to disciplinary action. The options available to organizations are as
Oral warning to employee
First written warning
Second or final written warning
Suspension of employee with pay
Suspension of employee without pay
It’s important that the procedure makes clear who is empowered to do what. Usually, oral
warnings are left to the immediate supervisor or manager; written warnings usually involve the
section or department manager, with a copy to the manager responsible for personnel; second or
final warnings are usually agreed by the human resources manager before being issued;
suspension (with or without pay) and dismissal are usually authorized by a senior manager or
director. As in the case of grievances, an individual who is going through the disciplinary
procedure may take a colleague or union representative with him or her.
Disciplinary procedures set out the stages through which any disciplinary action should proceed.
Here is an example.
Disciplinary procedure (part 1)
It is the policy of the company that if disciplinary action has to be taken against employees it
Be undertaken only in cases where good reason and clear evidence exists;
Be appropriate to the nature of the offence that has been committed;
Be demonstrably fair and consistent with previous action in similar circumstances;
Take place only when employees are aware of the standards that are expected of them or
the rules with which they are required to conform;
Allow employees the right to be represented by a representative or colleague during any
formal proceedings;
Allow employees the right to know exactly what charges are being made against them and
to respond to those charges;
Allow employees the right of appeal against any disciplinary action
The company is responsible for ensuring that up-to-date rules are published and available to all
The procedure is carried out in the following stages:
1. Informal warning. A verbal or informal warning is given to employee in the first instance or
instances of minor offences. The warning is administered by the employee’s immediate team
leader or manager.
2. Formal warning. A written formal warning is given to the employee in the first instance of
more serious offences or after repeated instances of minor offences. The warning is administered
by the employee’s immediate team leader or manager – it states the exact nature of the offence
and indicates any future disciplinary action which will be taken against the employee if the
offence is repeated within a specified time limit. A copy of the written warning is placed in the
employee’s personal record file but is destroyed 12 months after the date on which it was given,
if the intervening service has been satisfactory. The employee is required to read and sign the
formal warning and has the right to appeal to higher management if he or she thinks the warning
is unjustified. The HR manager should be asked to advise on the text of the written warning.
3. Further disciplinary action. If, despite previous warnings, an employee still fails to reach the
required standard in a reasonable period of time, it may become necessary to consider further
disciplinary action. The action taken may be up to three days’ suspension without pay, or
dismissal. In either case the departmental manager should discuss the matter with the personnel
manager before taking action. Staff below the rank of departmental manager may only
recommend disciplinary action to higher management, except when their manager is not present
(for example, on night-shift), when they may suspend the employee for up to one day pending an
inquiry on the following day. Disciplinary action should not be confirmed until appeal procedure
has been carried out.
Disciplinary procedure (part 2)
An employee may be summarily dismissed (i.e. given instant dismissal without notice) only in
the event of gross misconduct, as defined in company rules. Only departmental managers and
above can recommend summary dismissal, and the action should not be finalized until the case
has been discussed with the HR manager and the appeal procedure has been carried out. To
enable this review to take place, employees should be suspended pending further investigations,
which must take place within 24 hours.
In all circumstances, an employee may appeal against suspension, dismissal with notice, or
summary dismissal. The appeal is conducted by a member of management who is more senior
than the manager who initially administered the disciplinary action. The HR manager should also
be present at the hearing. If he or she wishes, the employee may be represented at the appeal by a
fellow employee of his or her own choice. Appeals against summary dismissal or suspension
should be heard immediately. Appeals against dismissal with notice should be held within two
days. No disciplinary action that is subject to appeal is confirmed until the outcome of the appeal.
If an appeal against dismissal (but not suspension) is rejected at this level, the employee has the
right to appeal to the chief executive. The head or HR and, if required, the employee’s
representative should be present at this appeal.
Managing Employee Relations
Literally speaking employee relations consists of all those areas in Human resource
Management that involves general relationship with the workforce. This may be in the form of
collective or mutual agreements that leads to the formation of trade unions or through policies
and procedures for employee engagement and communication.
The increased growth of workforce diversity has led to a need for continuous changes in HR
practices and policies. Managing human relations has become the most difficult challenge that
the managers are facing today. Conflicts within the organization, small or large have become
inevitable. This can be overcome by developing sound interpersonal and conflict management
skills within you.
Furthermore employee relations strategies are made in order to overcome these problems. These
strategies define the objectives of the organization to manage its relationships with employee
and all other organizations. These strategies are aimed at enhancing the overall quality of
employee management and ensuring their participation and continuous improvement.
Establishing and maintaining harmonious relationships with employees, managers need to
develop skills that focus on interpersonal communication and conflict management. In addition to
this, they need to define and establish such policies and procedures that go well with the diversity
of workforce. It is evident that maintaining diverse workforce and understand their psychology
has been emerged as one of the biggest challenges for managers. The impact of globalization can
be seen on every organization and in every part of the world.
In today’s times, it is really the toughest business for managers to deal efficiently with
employees. Failing to do so can result in high attrition rate. To retain and get the maximum
output from them, managers need to improve their skills such as active listening, effective
communication, acceptability, adaptability, decision-making and conflict management.
These are the core skills that supervisors and managers can use tactfully to resolve conflicts
among employees or between employees and organization.
However developing or improving above mentioned skills does not guarantee a smooth and
conflict-free working environment because conflict is the hard core truth that cannot avoided
It is but natural to have conflicts and clashes where different people from different backgrounds
and cultures come together and work. Still, we can focus on developing these skills in order to
manage employee relations to the extent possible:
Interpersonal Skills: Effective communication is an art as well science to mend spoiled
relationships among employees as well as between employee and employer. This is the
foundation for all the actions taken by a manager to establish and manage human relations
in an organization. Working with diverse workforce, understanding their psychologies,
needs and requirements requires tremendous amount of effort as well as interaction. It is
the first step to break the ice and move ahead in a positive direction. It helps managers
create a peaceful working environment in the organization.
Conflict Management: Learning to manage conflicts can help managers resolve employee
relations issues quickly and effectively. Listening patiently both the sides and arriving
upon a decision that can satisfy both parties can help greatly. A manager should avoid
jumping straight to the conclusion, making hasty decisions and boosting the ego of one
party. This can lead to bigger or never ending conflict. Effective communication, efforts
to reach to the truth and making right decisions are some of the qualities that a manager
needs to possess to resolve the conflicts among employees forever.
Employees are the most important assets of any organization-big or small. Managing employee
relations effectively can help organizations achieve their goals faster.
Self Test
1. Discuss the Procedures of Handling grievances in an organization
2. Describe the Employee management procedure.
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