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EMBA Office July 24, 2012 7 Organisational Behaviour and HRM Individual Assignment Adenike Alabi - EMBA2012 - 003

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Organizational Behaviour and HRM

Case Study - Strategic human resource management at Halcrow Group Limited

QUESTION 1 Increasing awareness of the change in the business environment and the need to restructure to meet future challenges, Halcrow Group Limited seeks to consolidate and retain its reputation for technical excellence, reliability, reputation for being a safe pair of hands, amongst others. It strives to become a commercially successful company by continuing to develop in a dynamic and sustainable way; incorporating qualities such as innovation, greater commercial edge, customer focused and being performance driven. The strategy is driven by four business groups - water, property, consulting and transport spread across the eight regions in which they operate. The business groups and regional offices are in turn, supported by Corporate Support Services. QUESTION 2 The company seeks to retain its reputation for technical excellence and reliability while becoming increasingly commercially aware, flexible and, above all, more responsive to customer needs. There is therefore a need to change the organisation 's culture from being (technically) detailed to looking at the bigger picture and therefore, becoming more responsive in the light of a more competitive industry. The end result of this change in culture will be increased commercial success. The thrust of the company's strategic human resource management to achieving its strategy is outlined below: Change from being technically detailed to becoming commercially aware by developing a core competence programme. This moves the emphasis away from professional qualifications i.e. what they know to that which they have the ability or capability to do. By putting in place structures that will enable the company to know the views of stakeholders, especially customers, there will be a greater awareness of the needs and

requirements of customers. By being responsive to the customers, lessons from past mistakes are learnt and procedures are introduced to enable things to be better in the future. By setting clear targets for increases in company's group profit performance, a link has been made to work performance by introducing the company profit bonus scheme. Making the employees direct recipients of the positive effect of improvements in company ensures that employees in the performance of duties, will for instance, look beyond technical excellence, but will also be looking at cost saving measures as this will result in a higher profit. The end result therefore, will be commercial viability of the organisation and a higher bonus for the employee. The establishment of the ideas lab provides the company with the opportunity of providing their customers with cutting edge innovations and takes it beyond the technical excellence for which it is known for. This therefore provides an added value and opportunity to respond to customers' growing needs. The introduction of the 360 degree appraisal affords the opportunity of providing feedback to employees not only from their superiors, but also from those that work under them as well as from other important stakeholders such as the customers. This will assist in providing fresh perspectives to the work of the employee, thereby ensuring that not only the (technical) detail is considered, but also the needs of the stakeholder in future projects handled.

QUESTION 3 To ensure that Halcrow increases the retention of young professional graduates, the company should consider the following measures:

There must be a clearly defined career path or structure for all new graduates from the time they are recruited. As a major determinant of whether young graduates remain with the company is pay, there must be an attempt to structure the salary and benefits package to match those of entrants to other industries such as the financial sector. For instance, there might be the offer of stock options, with stepped increases tied to their continued employment in the company.

Development of a trainee scheme in place which is structured to expose the young graduates to the different facets of the business. The scheme allows the graduates to work within the four business units and different regions over a specified period. Areas of interest are identified and the graduates are subsequently assigned to these areas within the group. Their strengths are therefore matched to the areas where their potential can best be developed and maximised.

Introduction of a mentorship scheme. Young graduates are paired up with more experienced professional in the same field who are able to provide career guidance, advice and assistance from a real world perspective. There must be genuine commitment on the path of the mentors to the programme and the programme must be continuously evaluated to ensure that it serves the purpose for which it was set up.

A well defined training scheme that incorporates the existing professional development programme. Training will be geared towards the young graduates acquiring commercial skills set in addition to the technical professional qualification training which is provided for at the moment. This ensures that young graduates are equipped with skills in which the company is deficient in at the moment as well as the technical engineering skills.

Young graduates are likely to be familiar to be familiar with the latest technologies. It is therefore beneficial to ensure that cutting edge technological tools are provided for

these graduates to work with. For instance, the use of the latest engineering software will ensure that graduates remain competitive and innovative in their approach to their work.

QUESTION 4 The data collected from the employee survey has been beneficial in evaluating how the HR initiatives introduced under the Act Now programme are supporting the group's strategic direction. From the employee surveys, the company was able to identify those areas of the SHRM highlighted by employees as being areas of concern and thereby, requiring the company's immediate attention. The areas of concern included feedback, recognition and involvement of employees. This will provide focal points for the HR department to focus on. This will lead to either adapting the existing initiatives in these areas or introducing new ones to bring about positive improvements in these areas. Furthermore, by establishing 2002 as the base year and bench marking subsequent years' results to this, the company is able to measure the variances in the results and therefore establish the extent to which these issues are being addressed or resolved through the initiatives embarked upon. For example, a positive variance (i.e. improvement in the rating over the 2000 result) will give a clear indication that the initiatives are working and should therefore be continued, or the vice versa which will require a change in the introduced initiative. The data analysis also provides a good indication of overall satisfaction by employees of the introduced initiatives. This serves as pointers to areas where there is lack of employees'

satisfaction and where there needs to be improvements made by the HR department. This is a very good source of how the employees rate the performance of the department in general. Finally, the employee survey provides data that is used to calculate an HR Enablement Index for the Group. The index provides an overall indication of the extent to which employees are engaged with the work they do within the Group. Pre-determined averages allow the HR department to determine the aspects of the ten key areas assessed where employees' satisfaction is low and where remedial action is required. As a result, answers and therefore, solutions to pertinent questions raised are sought.