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Sample Undergraduate HRM Coursework

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Strategic Human Resource Management

Understanding the Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Human Resource Management in an Organisation

Introduction

Al Mahra Computer and Business Training Centre is an institute of small size that employees less than 50 employees. The company is a client to a business consultancy firm looking to formulate a strategic human resource plan. As the consultancy firm’s Junior Consultant, the following report was devised to ensure that all aspects of human resource management have been considered for the company’s best interest in question.

The report provides various strategic plans for different aspects of HR planning. By implementing this plan, Al Mahra Computer and Business Training Centre will decrease their high turnover rate, cold cultural climate, and productivity.

Task 1

Explain the Importance of Strategic Human Resource Management to the Institute’s Success. Highlight the Need for Medium and Long Term Planning.

Strategic Human Resources Management (SHRM) is a systematic method of connecting people with organizations, specifically integrating human resource strategies (HRM) into corporate strategies. In this way, SHRM strategies are imperative for the institute in question.

They will enable it to implement well-planned and thoroughly developed strategic human resource ideas that will allow the institute to coordinate with and drive human capital into necessary strategies to increase productivity. By developing a strong human resource strategy, the institute can develop good relationships with its various trainers and other employees and existing among its host community in a beneficial manner.

SHRM will aid the institute with long-term and medium planning to ensure that correct staffing is taking place and employees’ development. Using long-term and medium planning, the institute will develop at a pace to match its competitors.

Assess the Purpose of Strategic Human Resource Management Activities in and Institute

The purpose of SHRM activities in an institute like Al Mahra will allow the company to grow and develop in a highly competitive industry. Human capital plays an integral and strategic role in an organisation’s success and provides a major source of competitive advantage.

Training institutes such as Al Mahra are service organizations that depend mainly on employees to ensure success. HRM strategies within an institute must be integrated with its business plans and become linked to support, typically seen as vertical and horizontal integration. SHRM activities serve the purpose of attaining market growth and effective competition.

Evaluate how Human Resource Management Contributes to the Institute’s Objectives by Aligning with Corporate Strategy

By employing SHRM, an institute such as Al Mahra plans can differentiate itself from other competitors in the training industry by providing superior customer services, highly qualified trainers, comprehensive content and resources, and a high production rate of individuals pass certification exams.

Through the mixture of innovation, technology, and HRM, institutes can experience competitive advantage, contributing to its market growth, revenue expansion, expansion, and organizational development.

Through market growth, Al Mahra can muster the ability to expand and improve through training programs and workshops to increase employee motivation and development. Doing so will lead to decreased labour turnover, and employees will be quite loyal to the company.

The increased motivation leads to employees putting more effort to reach time frames and targets as they are enthusiastic, resulting in expansion of the company by opening more training institutes, eventually becoming a brand. By developing employee-friendly policies, Al Mahra will experience a low turnover rate, which will result in increased productivity, which raises revenues.

The institute will eventually experience investment opportunities such as training equipment like smartboards in addition to high revenues.

Lastly, organizational development (OD) has the ability to increase the employee’s effectiveness, which will result in the improvement of the various process in the institute, such as development and implementation of the strategy. Such strategies will facilitate the institute’s transformation to become recognized in the industry and become a leading institute.

Task 2

Analyse the Business Factors, Including the Institute’s Internal Requirement and External Environmental Factors that would Influence Human Resource Planning

Numerous external and internal environmental factors will impact an institute’s HR plans, particularly competition in the market, government regulations, economic conditions, employee relations, and compensation. The extent of competition in the professional training industry affects an institute’s ability to recruit qualified workers and interested customers.

Small institutes do not have industry giants’ branding power, which results in HR actively seeking qualified candidates. Also, there is the constant introduction of new workplace compliance standards and other government regulations, which puts pressure on HR to stay within the law.

As discussed further in the report, various regulations influence numerous processes in the HR department in components of hiring, training, compensation, termination, and other matters engraved within the company’s strategic plans.

One of the most influential external factors shaping HR’s plans and the entire institute is economic conditions. Economic conditions impact the entire available talent pool and the ability of the company to hire qualified individuals. Internal factors such as employee relations are influential to the HR plans as various policies and procedures impact HR activities.

The impact of policies and procedures will be discussed in sections 3.1 & 3.2. Lastly, compensation is a significant factor as it attracts future employees. However, compensation in itself is influenced by labour supply drivers. For example, in an oversaturated market, when the unemployment rate is high and there are more qualified candidates than job opportunities, the compensation that a company provides is less than when a shortage of candidates occurs.

In such a situation, a company is competing with others to recruit the most qualified individuals. Therefore, it is essential that HR continuously evaluate its compensation structure by conducting surveys based on industry and location to ensure that the institute’s wages are competitive enough to attract and retain essential talent.

Assess how can the Institute Prepare for a  Rise in Student Enrolments in the Summer Months of July and August?

Summer months (i.e., July & August) are a key time period for institutes such as Al Mahra as enrolment increases due to vacations and closure of higher education institutes. Institutes such as Al Mahra can prepare for the increasing flow of customers by ensuring enough staff to handle the influx.

It will be necessary to prepare staff and the institute’s infrastructure to cater to a higher percentage of active students. Additionally, training schedules need to incorporate the extra time of daylight provided by summer months to accommodate three shifts; morning, afternoon, and evening.

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Develop a Human Resource Plan For the Institute Using Smart Targets

A human resources plan for Al Mahra was developed using various stages in workforce planning, which connects strategic and human resources planning process based on SMART (Specific-Achievable-Measurable-Realistic-Time Base) targets.

Type of Work Duration # of people Total hours
Recruitment and Selection of 15 trainers for July/August 3 months 10 624 hours
Training and development of recruits 1 month 5 208 hours
Growth opportunities and employee communication On-going 20 On-going

For the July/August season of training classes, it is essential to formulate a plan that considers increased students. The SMART targets have been set in the table above. Each of the targets has been categorized to develop specific strategies to achieve the goals.

Recruitment and Selection

The following are SMART targets.

To recruit 15 new professional trainers for the July & August season for regular and temporary positions.

Chosen trainers should be able to take on challenges within the dynamic working environment and perform based on each certification of IT and business courses.

These targets can be achieved by:

  • Recruit trainers from top universities and are associated with professional bodies.
  • Offer internship programs that will prepare future trainers for future posts in the institute.
  • Candidates for the trainer position should take aptitude tests with basic skills and course-specific skills.
  • The written aptitude tests should be graded and followed with interviews.
  • Lastly, candidates that pass both phases will be asked to provide a teaching demonstration.
  • It is necessary for candidates to go through a background check.
  • After all these stages are complete and pass successfully, they are provided with employment at the institute.
  • Through the SMART objectives, this target can be achieved by;

o Accelerating the screening processes.
o Reducing the processing time by 50 percent.
o, Allow HR staff to focus on tasks and processes such as background checks, references, and follow-ups to fulfill such HR procedures.

Training and Development

Since the SMART target for recruitment is 15 employees for the July/August season, the following SMART targets are set.

  • Train professional teachers to successfully fit into the needed skills based on the institute’s working environment.
    o New employees go through an orientation process that educates them about the institute’s philosophies, policies, and procedures.
    o Then training programs for their job specification.
    o Based on the training given to new instructors, they will be put into actual teaching scenarios.
    o Afterwards, tests should be taken on job skills
    o Trainee instructors should score at least an 80 on these tests
  • o All the recommendations provide contribute to
    o Ensuring that employees can meld the ability to perform accurately and in full capacity.
    o Decrease the chance of employees making mistakes, which will minimize the risk of student-clients portraying complaints.

Growth Opportunities and Employee Communication

The SMART target for this stage is to ensure increased participation with the Survey-Feedback-Action (SFA) by each of the institute’s staff members by 50 percent.

Reduce the turnover rate to reach 2 percent

The targets can be achieved through developing a SFA. This SFA will be developed by dividing employees into groups based on their job specifications. Groups will be allotted representatives that will be responsible for administrating and responding to a questionnaire.

  • The results of the survey will be graphically depicted and given to the workgroup representatives.
  • The representatives will conduct feedback sessions with employees to discuss the survey and identify any issues within them.
  • After each of these sessions, the representative will develop an action plan to solve the recognized problems in collaboration with the employees.
  • The plan will be reviewed frequently to remain up to date with the action plan process.
  • Development of an online internal job posting system that will encourage temporary employees to gain regular employment.

Critically Evaluate how a Human Resources Plan can Contribute to Meeting the Institute’s Objectives

Training institutes are exclusively service organizations, and their success depends on how their employees can allot their services. An HR plan that is based on the People-Service-Profit (PSP) philosophy can aid the institute in achieving its main objective, which is to provide quality training in IT and business subjects to equip its customers with practical knowledge which can be implemented in a business environment while also ensuring that they obtain certification.

The PSP plan ensures that the company takes care of its employees so that they can provide efficient services to the customer who, as a result, will benefit the company by producing more profits. McGregor (1960) argues that because employees are taken care of and are given more authority, they reciprocate this by taking care of the company by delivering excellent quality of service to customers. Institutes should apply this philosophy as the common core foundation within all management decisions.

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Task 3

Explain with Examples the Purpose of Human Resource Management Policies in the Institute

The purpose of HRM policies in an organization is to (adapted from Anthony 2008);

  1. Communicate to employees the values and expectations of various functions in an organization.
  2. Ensure that the company is compliant with laws and protects against employment claims.
  3. Ensure that staff is treated in a fair manner, which is transparent.
  4. Aid higher management in making consistent decisions.

Such HRM policies are imperative to the organization as it supports it to define individual roles and rules. HRM policies are developed when there are regulatory requirements that express the need for an organization to have such policies.

For example, the Equality Act 2010 is an Act of the UK Parliament to outline anti-discrimination laws, equal pay, race relations, and disability discrimination. Such statutes make it necessary that a company’s HRM seeks to ensure equality and fair treatment of all organization employees.

Analyse the Impact of Complying with Regulatory Requirements on Human Resource Management Policies

HR policies discussed above and others covered by employment standards must provide what is offered legally through legislation and other regulatory acts. The regulatory requirements of HRM policies in an organization impact how employers such as an institute can interpret and implement the minimum standards of employment set by legislation.

The institute must develop practices and regulations within the company to provide its employees with better standards than what is outlined in the law. Regulatory requirements cannot all be imposed by the company.

Still, the organization such as the institute must be aware of the legislation that applies to them based on industry and geographical jurisdiction. At the most, the institute needs to comply with the following regulatory and legislative requirements;

  1. Equality
    2. Working time directive
    3. Race relations
    4. Human rights
    5. Workers Compensation
    6. Discrimination
    7. Employment rights and responsibilities
    8. Disability discrimination
    9. Occupational health and safety
    10. Employment and Labour standards
    11. Legal and regulatory considerations in regards to wages
    12. Contractual terms and conditions

Regulations also periodically impact the organization, and therefore companies must be aware of the applicability of regulations on their workplace. Institutes need to consider the legal implication of developing a policy because although a specific policy may not be expressively required for a specific situation, once the policy is developed and not followed by HR, it can put the organization at risk.

Task 4

Analyse the Impact of an Institute’s Structure and Culture on the Management of Human Resources

SHRM plays a vital role in optimizing and improving the organizational structure of a company. According to Erickson and Gratton (2007), most organizations fall into four types of structures: hierarchies, committees, matrix organizations, and ecologies. The structure of an organization influences its culture, which impacts the HRM strategies.

Organizational culture plays an influential role in organizations, especially in institutes. A strong cultural presence in an institute can allow its core values to be intensely held and widely shared amongst its employees. Robbins and Judge (2010) argued that organizational culture has the ability to increase cohesiveness within a firm and produces low employee turnover.

With a strong organizational culture, every employee in the company clearly understands their role and responsibilities, allowing them to work with great effort towards completing their work and duties assigned to time.

Organizational culture and HRM are interconnected as they both influence each other. According to Watkins (2013), culture is influenced by incentives, which HRM is responsible for developing and providing to employees. Based on this, it acts as a predictor of what employees will do based on their incentive to perform the tasks.

Examine how the Effectiveness of Human Resource Strategies is Monitored in an Institute? Identify Performance Indicators that can be used in Monitoring the Efficacy of Human Resource Strategies in Achieving Organizational Goals

The effectiveness of HRM strategies is monitored in institutes by assessing each employee’s performance, particularly trainers’ performance. The common method of monitoring effectiveness has always been through performance management, which turns employees into assets of the company.

Through the skill and competency programs of trainers, institutes can integrate such employees into their comprehensive development strategy. In line with the performance management methods, institutes must implement tools such as the balanced scorecard to monitor their HRM strategies’ effectiveness in parallel to other metrics. Lipe et al.

(2000) states that the balanced scorecard aids companies in determining and project the company’s current and future success. Huerta and Villanueva (2004) assert that the balanced scorecard is a multi-dimensional performance management system that combines fiscal and non-fiscal measures.

Atkinson (2006) recommends the tool as a means of managing and strategically implementing HRM strategies by providing short-term goals, which can deliver results to long-term goals.

AL Mahra Computer and Business Training Center have a Rigid and Formal Organizational Structure. The Cultural Climate is Cold. There is a High Turnover of Staff. Make Justified Recommendations to Improve Human Resource Management in AL Mahra

The current situation of Al Mahra Computer and Business Training Centre is disastrous to the company’s productivity and profitability. Therefore, the following recommendations need to be implemented to aid the company in its various SHRM flaws.

  1. Mullins (2013, p. 45) explains that there are four main approaches to organization, structure, and management (i.e., classical, human relations, systems, and contingency; see figure). Based on Al Mahra’s situation, it is recommended that the company adopt the human relations approach as it emphasizes social factors that are present in a work environment and the behavior of employees within such an environment. Human relations focuses on increasing production by humanizing the workplace by making the organizational structure informal. Using such a structure allows employees to be motivated and view the company through their peers’ values and attitudes (Mullins 2013, p. 56).

Sample Undergraduate HRM Coursework

  1. Al Mahra should adopt a non-cultural corporate culture, which is Girard (2009) defines as being an open culture that involves employing diverse individuals who can relate to markets on a global scale using open communication pathways between the employees and the company’s top executives. This cultural method will encourage interactions between team members in the institute and across various teams in each of the company’s department.
  2. Al Mahra must implement five approaches to strengthen the organizational culture using SHRM; providing consistent rewards, maintain a stable workforce, manage the cultural network, select fresh employees, and socialize with new employees.

Conclusion

The report devised above provides Al Mahra Computer and Business Training Centre with strategic HRM approaches to benefit the company. The report has targeted all the essential details important for training institutes to implement based on their industry standard. The report also provides Al Mahra Computer and Business Training Centre recommendations that need to be implemented to increase productivity by decreasing employee turnover rate.

References

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Atkinson, Helen. (2006): “Strategy implementation: a role for the balanced scorecard?” Journal of Management History 44, no. 10 1441-1460.
Brauns, M. (2012) “Aligning strategic human resource management to human resources, performance, and reward. International Business and Economics Research Journal, 12(11), pp. 1405-1410.Budhwar, P. and Sparrow, P. (2002) An Integrative Framework for Determining Cross-national Human Resource Management Practices. Human Resource Management Review, 12: 377–403.

Christensen Hughes, J.M. (2002) HRM and Universalism: Is there one best way? International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality, 14: 221–228.
Erickson, T. J. and Gratton, L. (2007) “What it means to work here.” Harvard Business Review, 2007 Issue. [Online] Accessed from < https://hbr.org/2007/03/what-it-means-to-work-here?cm_sp=Topics-_-Links-_-Read%20These%20First> [Access on 29 April 2016].

Genc, K. Y. (2014) “Environmental factors affecting Turkish large firms’ human resource management activities. International Journal of Business and Management, 9 (11), pp. 102-122.

Girard, B. (2009) The Google Way. Paris, France: M21 Editions.

Katou, A. and Budhwar, P. (2007) The Effect of Human Resource Management Policies on Organizational Performance in Greek Manufacturing Firms. Thunderbird International Business Review, 49(1): 1–36.

Lipe and Salterio, Marlys Gascho Lipe, Steven E. Salterio. 2000 “The Balanced Scorecard: Judgmental Effects of Common and Unique Performance Measures.” The Accounting Review, pp. 283-298.

Vaivio, Juhani. (2008) “Qualitative management accounting research: rationale, pitfalls, and potential.” Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management 5, pp. 4-86.

McGregor, D. (1960) The Human Side of Enterprise. New York: McGraw Hill.

Mullins, L. J. (2013) Management & Organisational Behaviour (10th ed.). England: Pearson Education Limited.

Schermerhorn, J. R. (2012) Organisational Behaviour (12th ed.). Danvers, MA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Schmidt, C. T. (2003) “Organizational culture.” The University of Rhode Island. [Online] Accessed from < http://www.uri.edu/research/lrc/scholl/webnotes/Culture.htm> [Accessed on 28 April 2016].

Schuler, R.S. and Jackson, S.E. (2005) A Quarter-century Review of Human Resource Management in the U.S.: The growth in importance of the international perspective. Management Revue, 16: 11–35