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PM202 Human Resources Management- Implementation of Strategies

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1. Critically discuss the ways in which organisations could implement strategies that would increase their employees’ engagement. Your answers should provide examples of best practice from relevant industries and professional bodies such as the Chartered Insitute Personnel and  Development (CIPD).  

2. Critically discuss how conflict can arise when implementing the strategies that you have identified in question one. In your answers, you should outline ways in which conflict could be avoided or reduced. Relevant examples must be provided to support arguments.

Answers

Introduction

Human Resource Management (HRM) is an important function which focuses on recruitment selection, training and development of employees. They manage human capital and make sure that all the policies and processes are implemented in the organisation. Employee engagement is an essential element in HRM. It improves the productivity and efficiency of the workers (Becoming Irresistible: Employee Engagement, 2016). They become more committed and satisfied towards their work. Employee engagement has direct impact on the performance of an organisation. As a result, it has been a top priority for many companies. They have understood the importance of highly engaged workforce which increases innovation creativity and reduces the cost (Arrowsmith and Parker, 2013). The present report focuses on the importance of HRM and employee engagement strategies. Apart from this, the methods to reduce or avoid conflicts in the workplace are also included in the report.


1. Strategies to increase employee engagement

Employee engagement focuses on building long-term relationships between the organisation and its employees. Many companies have shifted to people oriented policies to make sure that employees fell empowered in the workplace (Impact of Employee Engagement on Performance, 2013). It reduces absenteeism and give loyal workers who stay with the organisation for a long period. The three strategies which are used by companies to increase their employee participation and involvement are:

Affinity: Enthusiasm and satisfaction of work improves the moral of the employees. They tend to perform to the best of their abilities. Affinity plays a vital role in this respect. Many companies such as Google has developed a unique culture in their workplace (Boxall, Guthrie and Paauwe, 2016). They have given freedom to their staff members to perform their tasks. They have maintained transparency which promotes creativity and team work. It has been very beneficial for thew company as it has reduced their employee turnover. Google is among the best place to work and it has been possible because they have focused on individual rather than numbers. Similarly, Harrods Company conducts regular surveys to create strategic plans (Anitha, 2014). It helps them to manage employee relationships in the company.

Affiliation strategy: John Lewis Company uses affiliation strategy in their organisation. They call their employee as partners which creates a sense of belonging (6 companies that get Employee Engagement, 2015). They are given responsibilities and they also take part in decision making process.

Autonomy: Traditional carrot and stick strategy has been ineffective in many companies. As a result autonomy strategy has been adopted. Top level managers delegate their responsibilities and tasks. They allow the workers to show their potential and understand the work. This strategy has allowed the management to design training and improvement programs for their staff members (Ferreira and Real de Oliveira, 2014). For example, Hyatt group of hotels focuses on employee development. They empower their employee and give them opportunity to solve problems. Their main agenda is to serve the needs of their customer and provide them with excellent services (Creating Engaged Workforce, 2010). This strategy has been effective for them as their workers are highly motivated and satisfied in the organisation.

Implementation of strategies

Creating a common objective (ScienceCo): Regular communication can facilitate in creating a common framework. It will allow the employees to understand the goals and vision of the company. Senior managers design meaningful jobs so as to accomplish the goals of the organisation (Sparrow, 2013). For example, ScienceCo which is a supplier of scientific information has created a positive atmosphere in their workplace. They have loyal staff members who are with the company for a long period. It has reduced their cost because they retain most of their workers. ScienceCo value their employees and they have made work very interesting. It has been beneficial for the company as it has improved their efficiency. ScienceCo has adopted Person-Job fit approach in their company (Alfes, Shantz, Truss and Soane, 2013). It has been useful for them because they have maintained very low employee turnover rate. Staff members are also satisfied with the management style. Furthermore, they have shown good organizational advocacy. More than 90% of the workers are happy to recommend ScienceCo to their friends and family. Apart from this, regular training and development programs are also organized. It has improved the skills and competencies of the employees. All these factors are important for employee engagement and ScienceCo has taken all of them into consideration (Truss and Soane, 2013).

Involvement oriented culture: Plastic Co is a leading plastic bottles manufacturing company in UK. They have used participative approach in their organisation (Boxall, Guthrie and Paauwe, 2016). They use open leadership style which promotes team work communication and development. They have created a group known as ' Employee Engagement Steering Group'. This group helps in increasing the engagement of employees in the organisation (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014). They make sure that the needs and preferences of the workers are taken into consideration by the management. Engagement survey are conducted at regular intervals to make changes in the existing policies and procedures of the company. Plastic Co has made many efforts to improve the relationships with the workers. They have used individual motivators to increase the satisfaction level of the employees (Impact of Employee Engagement on Performance, 2013). Moreover they have also introduced performance review process. It has given them an opportunity to talk to their staff members and understand their problems. It has been beneficial for the company as they have been able to understand the career aspirations and personal objectives of their employees. They have also amended their HR policies and strategies to focus on employee engagement. Key aspects such as reward, recognition, participation and development of workforce are included in the new HR policy (Jiang and Volpone, 2015).

Flexibility and freedom: Environment Co is a waste management company in UK which has more than 12,500 employees. They have made substantial efforts to become a flexible company who looks after their employees. They have made sure that their workers are aware about the strategic goals and objectives on the organisation (Guest, 2014). Their management encourages staff members to take initiatives and participate in the decision making process. They are allowed to share their opinions and views irrespective of their position. It has created a positive environment in the workplace. Environment Co is trying to develop a communicative and democratic culture. It reduces conflicts and disputes in the organisation (Safi and Kolahi, 2016). Environment Co focuses on three aspects of employee engagement which includes employee voice clarity of objectives and corporate social responsibility. It has helped them to improve their employee satisfaction level. Highly dedicated workers perform their tasks efficiently which ultimately befits the company. It is for this reason only that Environment Co has reviewed their HR practices. Earlier they were using Top down approach but created many problems for the organisation (Becoming Irresistible: Employee Engagement, 2016). So, they shifted to flexible style of management and open culture. Apart from this, the company also promotes innovation and expertise which provides lot of learning opportunities to the staff members.

2. Methods to avoid conflict

Conflicts are inevitable which affects the working of an organisation. It can take place due to differentiation, improper communication, misunderstanding, differences and unrealistic expectations  (Ferreira and Real de Oliveira, 2014). Employee engagement process requires lot of changes in the organisation. It may not be acceptable for all the staff members. Conflict management and leadership helps a company to avoid such unnecessary  problems. The main problems in employee engagement for are:

Science Co: Employee's perception towards their line managers is not positive. They are not satisfied with the communication process of the company (6 companies that get Employee Engagement, 2015). They feel that their line managers do not value their opinions. Science Co should make sure that there is effective two way communication process in the company. Line managers play an important role as they interfere between senior managers and employees. High employee participation and engagement is not possible if there is improper communication in the organisation (Alfes, Shantz, Truss and Soane, 2013). It is a big problem in the implementation of the strategy and it should be resolved by Science Co as soon as possible.

Plastic Co: Plastic Co has participative style of management in the organisation. But they have not been able to understand the expectations of lower level workers. Employee engagement and performance has direct relation to each other (Rane, Sunnapwar and Rane, 2016). In Plastic Co the lower level employees perform well but their participation in the decision making is very low.  It has created a negative atmosphere among them. They believe that the company is only investing in physical assets and not in people (Becoming Irresistible: Employee Engagement, 2016). They lack job satisfaction and have negative views about the managers. It is a matter of concern for the company because it can affect their performance (Arrowsmith and Parker, 2013).

Environment Co: Environment Co has given freedom to their workers. But the biggest problem for them is training and development of employees. Their staff members are not satisfied with the HR policies and strategies (Rane, Sunnapwar and Rane, 2016). They have also expressed their dissatisfaction about the career opportunities and performance appraisal scheme of the organisation. It is essential for the company to review their system and make changes in it. It has given rise to conflict between HR management and staff members.

Methods to avoid conflict

Competing: Competition is essential for growth and development of all the companies (Alfes, Shantz, Truss and Soane, 2013). Employee engagement processes and strategies should be reviewed and changes should be made in it.  Plastic Co changed their management style to participative management (Safi and Kolahi, 2016). It has helped them to reduce conflicts and improve the moral of the workers.

Avoiding and Compromising: If there in any conflict which requires no intervention of the management. Then such conflicts should be avoided (Creating Engaged Workforce, 2010). Management has to decide on these matters and actions are taken according to it.

Collaborating: Employees of Science Co had problems with their line managers. Their lack of communication and support has affected their satisfaction level (Rane, Sunnapwar and Rane, 2016). It is beneficial for the company to improve the communication process so that there is lack of misunderstanding in the workplace (Boxall, Guthrie and Paauwe, 2016).

Accommodating: The employees of Environment Co are not satisfied with their HR policies and plans. They should be given more benefits and their needs should be fulfilled. It will help the company to properly implement employee engagement strategy in the organisation (Impact of Employee Engagement on Performance, 2013). Accommodating involves providing all the benefits to the workers.

Conclusion

Human Resource Management (HRM) plays a vital role in the growth and development of an organisation. It is not only limited to recruitment selection training and performance appraisal. Companies should take care of their employees and make sure that they are satisfied with their job. Employee engagement programs and surveys can be used to find out the needs and preferences of the workers. They should be given more opportunities to take part in the decision making of the company. It is important for all the companies to value their employees and their contribution. It will build strong relations between the workers and the organisation. It will also improve the moral of their workers and they will perform their tasks in an efficient manner. High level of employee engagement reduces employee turnover and absenteeism which is useful for the company. Apart from this, management should ensure that there in no conflict or dispute in the implementation of  strategies in the organisation. It will be beneficial for them in long run. Many organizations such as Google, Environment Co, Plastic Co, John Lewis, etc. are promoting participation and engagement of employees. They allow their workers to put forth their views and share their opinion. The performance of these companies have shown the positive effects of human resource management and its potential.

References

Books and journal 

6 companies that get Employee Engagement. 2015. [Online]. Available through: <https://www.managers.org.uk/insights/news/2015/december/six-companies-that-get-employee-engagement-and-what-they-do-right> [Accessed on 24th March 2017]

Alfes, K., Shantz, A.D., Truss, C. and Soane, E.C., 2013. The link between perceived human resource management practices, engagement and employee behaviour: a moderated mediation model. The international journal of human resource management. 24(2). pp.330-351. 

Anitha, J., 2014. Determinants of employee engagement and their impact on employee performance. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management. 

Armstrong, M. and Taylor, S., 2014. Armstrong's handbook of human resource management practice. Kogan Page Publishers. 

Arrowsmith, J. and Parker, J., 2013. The meaning of ‘employee engagement’for the values and roles of the HRM function. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. 24(14). pp.2692-2712. 

Becoming Irresistible: Employee Engagement. 2016. [Online]. Available through: <https://dupress.deloitte.com/dup-us-en/deloitte-review/issue-16/employee-engagement-strategies.html> [Accessed on 24th March 2017]

Boxall, P., Guthrie, J.P. and Paauwe, J., 2016. Editorial introduction: progressing our understanding of the mediating variables linking HRM, employee well?being and organisational performance. Human Resource Management Journal. 26(2). pp.103-111. 

Creating Engaged Workforce. 2010. [Online]. Available through: <https://www2.cipd.co.uk/NR/rdonlyres/6D7D52C8-6E51-4539-A189-1E2D6EBEF01F/0/employee_engagement_context.pdf> [Accessed on 24th March 2017]

Ferreira, P. and Real de Oliveira, E., 2014. Does corporate social responsibility impact on employee engagement?. Journal of Workplace Learning. 26(3/4).  pp.232-247. 

Guest, D., 2014. Employee engagement: a sceptical analysis. Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance. 1(2). pp.141-156. 

Impact of Employee Engagement on Performance. 2013. [Online]. Available through: <https://hbr.org/resources/pdfs/comm/achievers/hbr_achievers_report_sep13.pdf> [Accessed on 24th March 2017]

Jiang, K. and Volpone, S.D., 2015. Retaining employees through anti–sexual harassment practices: Exploring the mediating role of psychological distress and employee engagement. Human Resource Management. 54(1). pp.1-21. 

Rane, A.B., Sunnapwar, V.K. and Rane, S., 2016. Strategies to overcome the HR barriers in successful lean implementation. International Journal of Procurement Management. 9(2). pp.223-247. 

Safi, M.H. and Kolahi, A.A., 2016. The Relationship between Job Satisfaction with Burnout and Conflict Management Styles in Employees.Community Health. 2(4). pp.266-274. 

Sparrow, P., 2013. Strategic HRM and employee engagement. Employee engagement in theory and practice.  pp.99-115. 

Sparrow, P., 2013. Strategic HRM and employee engagement. Employee engagement in theory and practice. pp.99-115. 

Truss, C. and Soane, E., 2013.Employee engagement in theory and practice. Routledge.

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