To review a given case study based on an organisation and review the nature of their work in relation to organisational theory and analyse how changes in economic, political, social, and technological environments have altered the working relationships between the employees and employer. Assessment brief The case study provides an outline scenario which highlights several problems, dilemmas and/or opportunities facing the HR manager of the specified organisation. Taking the role of the HR manager you are required to evaluate these circumstances and put forward recommendations as to how they should be addressed. Your evaluation and commentary will be expected to reflect your knowledge of appropriate theories, concepts and techniques, demonstrating your awareness of both operational and strategic HRM interventions. WEST LANC CARE HOME – An Insight Driven Approach BACKGROUND ‘WEST LANC Care Home Association’ manages 20 units spread over North West England. This comprises 10 ex-local authority council housing estates, three ex-local authority old people’s homes and seven new, purpose built special needs housing developments, mostly sheltered housing for the disabled. You have been appointed by the board to act as a ‘Strategic Business Partner’ to help them to deal with the issues faced by the organisation. Over the last 12 years, the association has grown from a small voluntary group running two new housing developments for the elderly to an organisation employing around 600 people. 40% of the workforce is male and 60% female. Women are concentrated in certain roles and departments, particularly in the Auxiliary, Nursing and Office Staff groups Public service, unpaid service, trust and openness have ensured that there is a strong philanthropic element permeating the organisation. No redundancies have ever been made when contracts were taken over and a great deal of local autonomy is given to managers. At the present time the workforce is made up of: Head office based Units based Total Board 5 – 5 Manager 10 20 30 Supervisors 15 50 65 Maintenance – 80 80 Operational – 80 80 Auxiliary – 100 100 Nursing – 80 80 Office staff 80 90 170 Total 110 500 610 – As a result of this rapid growth, terms and conditions are inconsistent. Head office staffs are paid spot rates with a cost of living increase every April. Some employees in the units come under transfer of undertakings regulations inherited from local authorities so there is variation in levels of pay, hours of work, shift payments and holidays. Head office staff work a 37-hour week. Working hours in the units vary from 37 to 42. Holiday entitlements range from 20 – 27 days, some relating to long service shift payments vary from zero for some nursing and auxiliary staff in some units to 60% in the ex-London Borough ones. Most employees who have worked for the association since the early days are generally well-motivated and they like and respect the management style. Some of the contracts recently won from London Boroughs however have brought with them a high penetration of unionised workers and they are persuading others to join. 30% of the staff now belongs to this union that has been holding regular meetings. The managers in some of these sites have complained that while they agree changes to working arrangements with union representatives, other staff who are not union members are refusing to comply, and this is causing problems. Many of the units taken over more recently have regular staff briefings, but some of the older units have no method of communication with staff. The managers of these units frequently complain that they are bogged down with minor staff grumbles such as providing lockers or kitchen facilities. Over the last two years the level of employee turnover has been increasing particularly amongst the Auxiliary and Office staff. Recruitment in these areas has begun to prove difficult, with falling levels of applications for advertised posts, and managers have complained that the quality of applicants has been poor. Some posts have had to be advertised repeatedly before suitable candidates have been found. One manager decided to investigate why staff were leaving and spoke to 6 staff members who left in a 3-month period. The manager found that staff were moving to other local employers whose rates of pay were very slightly better (about 30pence per hour, but with a lower holiday entitlement), or where there was a training programme to lead to management positions. It is not known if this is a problem in other areas. Cost of living awards have been given in some areas on a regular basis, usually of about 3% per annum. Other sites, particularly those which have been transferred from local authority ownership have mirrored the awards given by those local authorities to their staff. In a few cases managers have simply decided to uplift staff pay across the board by a given %, based on the budgets for each year, and at various times, sometimes skipping years. The introduction of an integrated payment structure or indeed the determination of a reward strategy has never been considered but it is clear that all these anomalies in reward will soon need to be addressed. In your first week you have been advised of several recent issues which need dealing with. A member of staff has just written to the chief executive to complain that ‘it isn’t fair that manager’s favourite staff get all the perks, and because I don’t just go along with what she wants I can’t have a pay rise and get all the bad shifts’. The manager of this site has justified her actions by stating that it was trying to hold on to ‘good’ staff by offering incentives such as preferential shift patterns, pay increases and extra time off. It is not clear if this has worked. In an attempt to raise the profile of the organisation a company ‘Facebook’ page has been set up. Every week this is updated with photos and news stories about the company. This has been successful to some extent, with several new clients coming to the organisation because of information contained, but recent incidents have backfired. Recent news coverage of problems with abuse in care homes has sparked some heated debate on the Facebook page, and several staff members have joined in the discussion. A family member of one of the residents of one home was browsing the page and clicked on the profile of one of the staff members who regularly looked after their family member. They found the staff member was a member of several right wing anti-semetic groups and have requested that the staff member is not allowed to work with their family member as they are Jewish. They then looked at other staff profiles and found that the manager of the home had posted several derogatory comments about the senior management of the organisation, complaining about corner cutting in some of the care standards. In another unit a complaint has been received from the family of one resident that small sums of money have been going missing and they have blamed the units cleaning staff. The manager of the unit wants to act quickly as the family have threatened to post their allegations on Facebook. Furthermore, a recent Care Quality Commission inspection has highlighted several areas where the organisation is not meeting the essential standards. These included improving the level of skill of many of the staff in a range of areas, and a warning that staff supervision processes aren’t clear or effective, and that individual development plans are not in place. This is despite WEST LANC Care Home having policies to meet these requirements. Whilst some of these have been comprehensively put into effect in some of the care homes, in others little has been done. When asked by the Quality Manager why this was the case, some of the managers suggested that they didn’t know why it was important or that they had told the staff to do it, but they hadn’t carried it out, or that new staff hadn’t been told about it yet. TASK You have been recently appointed by the board to act as a ‘Strategic Business Partner’ to help them to deal with the issues faced by the organization. You are required to write a report of the HR issues currently facing WEST LANC Care Home. 1) Identify and investigate in detail all of the key HR issues currently faced by WEST LANC Care Home including any potential links between them. 2) Recommend strategic options available for addressing the issues identified in task 1 and what recommendations you would make from an Insight Driven HR perspective? 3) Identify and evaluate the change(s) that is/are required in the organisation and how the change could impact upon people management in the organisation. 4) Your analysis should cover appropriate model(s) of post bureaucratic organisation from employee perspectives. : Report should include in text citations in the body of the report.
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