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Written Report – HR Strategies and Practices to Gain Competitive Advantage

Free «Written Report – HR Strategies and Practices to Gain Competitive Advantage» Essay Sample

Introduction

The organization chosen for this report is Advanced Military Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Center (AMMROC), which specializes in the provision of diverse aircraft support and maintenance services to the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates as well as other military agencies in the North Africa and the Middle East region. The company is a joint venture under the ownership of Sikorsky Aerospace Services and the Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT), which is a wholly owned subsidiary company of the Mubadala Development Company. AMMROC has its headquarters at Abu Dhabi (AMMROC, 2016). The core values that guide the company include teamwork, integrity, performance excellence, and innovation. Regarding teamwork, the company strives to create an environment whereby the views and individuality of each person is respected in a supportive manner through open communication and cooperation. The company also places significant value on its reputation; thus, focuses on ensuring that its business is conducted honestly and sincerely. In terms of performance excellence, AMMROC values efficiency and quality, and it exceeds the expectations of its customers (AMMROC, 2016). Lastly, the company is continually striving for improvement through the adoption of pioneering technologies and processes to thrust the company into the global leadership position in the military aviation overhaul, repair, and maintenance sector. The Ultimate Business Goals (UBGs) and business objectives are outlined in company’s mission and vision. Its core UBG is delivering the best practices in the overhaul, repair, and maintenance of military aviation and to ensure the highest possible levels of military operators’ safety, deployability of fleet, and readiness of aircrafts (AMMROC, 2016). The company makes use of innovative technologies and processes aimed at positioning it as the global leader in the military aviation overhaul, repair and maintenance sector and delivering the particular requirements of the UAE military. Since its establishment in 2010, the company has witnessed considerable growth through leveraging its top-class capabilities, relying on innovative technologies, and skilled employees (AMMROC, 2016). The HR manager also articulated other business of AMMROC, which included customer service to the UAE air force, ensuring profitability, achieving nationalization, and acquiring innovative solutions for a highly technical aviation field.

Identification and Analyses of HR Strategies and Practices

An analysis of the findings from the interview provided important insights into the HR strategies and practiced used at AMMROC. The first HR practice revealed by the HR manager is linking the company objectives to the recruitment process. The HR manager of AMMROC highlighted that during recruitment, the objectives of the company are taken into consideration. This is a key aspect of strategic HRM, which is characterized by aligning employees to the business objectives of an organization. Therefore, it can be inferred that AMMROC used strategic recruitment and selection, which is typified by integrating the long-term business objectives into these processes to ensure that organization’s strategic demands are translated into suitable specifications for selection and recruitment. The use of strategic selection and recruitment plays a key role in attracting talented professionals and it is crucial to the success of the organization (McKenna & Beech, 2013). The interviewee stated that this approach to recruitment ensures that the objectives of the company are cascaded down to employees and achieved. Besides linking the recruitment to the objectives, AMMROC makes use of a comprehensive recruitment and selection process. The key features of the recruitment process adopted by the company last 4-6 months; they involve internal and external approvals; and use of psychometric tests and specific technical tests to evaluate the competence of the prospective employee. The use of internal and external approvals during the recruitment process ensures that the HR process achieves internal fit, organizational fit, strategic fit, and institutional fit. HR practices and the environment are entangled (McKenna & Beech, 2013); hence, it is imperative to make sure that a certain HR practice pays attention to the contextual factors, which AMMROC achieves by using external and internal approvals. The context comprises both types of approvals. The internal context denotes the distinctive history of the organization including its culture and structure (Rees & Smith, 2014). By contrast, the external context denotes the outside mechanisms that have an impact on the organization, which influences the strategy adopted by an organization. Thus, by adopting external and internal approvals and linking the recruitment process to the business objectives, the HR system at the company creates a strategic fit characterized by an alignment between the recruitment practices and strategic goals and objectives (McKenna & Beech, 2013). Moreover, the use of technical and psychometric tests ensures that the right employee is hired with respect to the position. Overall, it can be stated that the recruitment system used at AMMROC is effective in ensuring the achievement of its business objectives.

The second HR practice at AMMROC relates to performance management and appraisal. From the interview findings, it was discovered that various departments within the company have established their own objectives which are tied to the overall objectives of the organizations. The departments apply these objectives by setting targets and key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring performance. The company also utilized an integrated master scheduler (IMS) for tracking performance, which sets the actions, milestones, and assigns individuals responsible for each action. Performance assessment also involves the use of external and internal evaluation, whereby engagement surveys are used for internal employees whereas customer satisfaction surveys are used for external customers. Performance evaluation is done twice a year with the relevant supervisors. An analysis of the performance management system at AMMROC shows that it has the attibutes of an effective performance management system such as alignment with the strategic objectives of the company; provision of feedbacks to employees; everything is performed in a timely manner (McKenna & Beech, 2013).

The third HR practice revealed by the manager is employee participation. Specific practices used by the company to ensure employee participation involve engagement surveys for gathering employees’ opinions; gauging their level of satisfaction with the management (supervisory) style, policies, benefits, and services. Another way AMMROC uses to ensure employee participation is receiving feedbacks from employees. Other tools and approaches used to achieve employee participation in the company include open communication, training needs analysis, and performance evaluation. Employee participation has been an important HR practice; however, the approaches adopted to achieve employee participation have a number of limitations. The task of employee participation is to make sure that employees take part in the decision-making processes, which means that the power is decentralized (Rees & Smith, 2014). Nevertheless, employee participation practices at AMMROC focus significantly on assessing their opinions rather than providing them with an opportunity to be involved in decision-making. Providing a feedback is the only way for an employee to participate the decision-making process, while the management has the ultimate decision-making authority.

The HR strategy used at AMMROC is organizational development and manpower planning, which underpins all the HR strategies used at the company. The employee development approach to HR at AMMROC serves to ensure that employees’ expectations are handled in order to motivate them and make sure their needs are taken care of. This is an indication that HR strategies and practices at AMMROC are employee-focused. The company also uses employee development, training, and mentoring to motivate their personnel. This approach is instrumental in helping employees at the company to attain their professional goals. HR strategies are reviewed annually and changes are adopted to reflect alterations in the business needs. The significance of manpower planning in HRM has been emphasized in the literature (McKenna & Beech, 2013). At AMMROC, HR development and planning lacks strategic orientation as it is not linked directly to company’s business objectives.

Effects of HR Practices on the HR Outcomes and Ultimate Business Goals

The effect of the HR practices on the HR outcomes and the ultimate business goals were identified from the interview. First, it was discovered that the recruitment process played a key role in ensuring the achievement of company’s business objectives, which can be attributed to strategic orientation of the recruitment process. For instance, by using technical and competence tests, the company is able to make sure that it hires employees who are fit with the job position being filled. This leads to more successful recruitments, which can be affirmed in the superior impact that the employee will have on the organization (McKenna & Beech, 2013). Successful recruits – those having competencies that aligned with the culture and goals of the company – have a higher likelihood of staying longer with the company, contributing more to the firm, and enhancing the overall organizational performance. In addition, internal and external approvals plays an instrumental role in ensuring that the person hired fits with the organizational culture, norms and values as well as the external environment (Rees & Smith, 2014). The recruitment strategy is an important tool that the company can use in the battle for top talents. Companies having a defined recruitment strategy are at a more advantageous position with respect to delivering top talents (Rees & Smith, 2014). Hence, in the case of AMMROC, the recruitment approach ensures that the company hires employees who have the competencies and skills needed to fill an identified position. Hiring the right employees implies that the company can be innovative due to the fit achieved between employees and their respective positions.

The second impact associated with the HR practices at AMMROC is high levels of employee motivation and productivity. This can be attributed to the fact that the HR strategy and practices at the company are employee-focused. The company has adopted numerous practices to achieve high levels of employee motivation. For instance, AMMROC used the business support strategy, which is geared towards ensuring that the expectations of employees are handled; hence, translating to higher levels of employee motivation and productivity, which are directly tied to the achievement of business goals and objectives set by the company. Other HR practices that have been linked to high levels of employee motivation and engagement include providing them with professional development and training opportunities, feedbacks, and performance management. Highly motivated and productive employees contribute significantly to the performance of the organization; hence, the achievement of its business objectives (McKenna & Beech, 2013; Rees & Smith, 2014).

Another impact of the HR practices at the company is low employee turnover. The manager of AMMROC reported that the average employment duration at the company is 4-5 years. Such a low turnover can be attributed to the HR practices used at the company, including employee participation and performance management. Reducing employee turnover is a key challenge for many contemporary organizations (McKenna & Beech, 2013). However, HR practices at AMMROC have played an instrumental role in keeping the employee turnover numbers low. Hiring right people through a rigorous recruitment process is one of the ways for the company to achieve a low turnover. The best approach to guarantee that employees do not leave is to hired right people from the outset (Rees & Smith, 2014). In this respect, the recruitment process at AMMROC ensures that only employees with the required technical competence are hired. The company also uses psychometric tests to make sure it hires employees with a good fit to the culture andd values of the organization. Another approach that the company uses to retain its employees is by providing them with the opportunities for growth and development as well as conducting frequent performance reviews. Training and mentoring – all of which are provided to AMMROC employees – are effective in helping employees achieve their professional goals (McKenna & Beech, 2013). Satisfied employees will not look for employment opportunities in other organizations.

Ethical Implications of HRM Practices in the Organizations

The company has the moral obligation to ensure equity justice and equality. This requires the HR department to be comply with the harassment and anti-discrimination laws, maintain confidentiality of the personal information, treat employees in a fair manner regardless of their background, and address any hazardous conditions that are likely to affect the safety of employees at the work place (McKenna & Beech, 2013). Ethical issues are inherent in HRM processes.

The first ethical implication is in selection and recruitment. In this respect, AMMROC must ensure that it makes use of fair and just assessment measures. This is a concern because of the rigorous tests that prospective employees at AMMROC are subjected to prior to being selected (McKenna & Beech, 2013). In addition, the company must make sure that it observes the principle of equal employment opportunities in its selection, recruitment advertisements, transfers and promotion (McKenna & Beech, 2013). Equally important is avoiding nepotism in selection and recruitment.

The reward management function has inherent ethical implications. In this regard, AMMROC must ensure that the CEO receives reasonable compensation. Employees should also be provided with fair and equitable compensation (Rees & Smith, 2014). The company should also comply with the regulations concerning minimum wage and the prevailing labour laws including setting the working hours as required by law.

Ethical issues are also inherent in employee training and development. This requires the company to ensure physical and psychological safety when providing training to employees. Ethical training is an important consideration for the company (McKenna & Beech, 2013). Ethics is also important for HRM when distributing performance appraisals. In this respect, appraisals should be fair, objective and transparent. Also, feedbacks should be provided to employees. Other crucial ethical consideration for HR at the company include ensuring equal access and opportunities to promotions and development; making sure that third party contractors uphold fairness when dealing with customers, clients, and employees; encouraging whistleblowing (Rees & Smith, 2014).

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Based on these ethical implications, it is crucial for the company to have a code of conduct outlining the expectations the organization has. This code should detail the employment practices (McKenna & Beech, 2013). Providing ethics training to employees to enhance their ethical reasoning and increase their sensitivity to ethical dilemmas is similarly important.

Recommendations to Improve HR Systems to Attain Competitive Advantage

A number of areas in the HR practices and strategy at AMMROC have been identified as those that need improvement. The first recommendation for the improvement is based on ensuring that the focus of the recruitment strategy is not only on selecting applicants but also attracting top performing employees. At the moment, the recruitment strategy adopted at AMMROC places considerable emphasis on assessing potential employees (assessing their skills and competencies to get the right employee) with little emphasis on how the company can increase the key pipes for delivering top talent to the company (attracting top talent). The recruitment function of HR requires a comprehensive knowledge of the rival firms competing for these professionals (McKenna & Beech, 2013). This would require AMMROC to develop a clear vision regarding its position in the labour market and make use of specialized recruitment firms for delivering top candidates. The company needs to develop several recruitment sources. Therefore, it is recommended that AMMROC expands the scope of its recruitment to include its positioning in the job market to attract the best talent available.

The second area that needs improvement with respect to the HRM practices at AMMROC relates to employee participation. While the current practices acknowledge the need for employee participation, they are ineffective since employees are not involved in the decision-making processes, which are the hallmark of employee participation (Rees & Smith, 2014). In result, the level of employee participation at the company is minimal because the company only focuses on surveying their opinions rather than providing them with an opportunity to make their own decisions. Effective employee participation requires both upward and downward communication. At AMMROC, there are both upward and downward communication, but employees are not permitted to be engaged in decision-making processes (McKenna & Beech, 2013). Therefore, a recommendation for AMMROC is to empower its employees through the decentralization. For instance, teams can be allowed to make their own decisions. At the same time, employees at the company should be encouraged to take responsibility for their actions (Rees & Smith, 2014). The specific activities that AMMROC can adopt to enhance employee participation include suggestion schemes, consultation meetings and exercises, delegating responsibility, and multi-channel processes for making decisions.

Lastly, it is recommended for AMMROC to incorporate a strategic orientation into its HR planning and development. Presently, employee training and development at the company is not tied to the company objectives, which hints the possibility of the company wasting its resources on training and development activities that do not make any contribution to achieving the objectives of the company (McKenna & Beech, 2013). This poses the need for the HR department at the company to ensure that training needs are aligned with the goals and objectives.

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