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04/23/2012

DISSERTATION CHAPTER 4 - HRM POLICIES AND PRACTICES: CASE STUDY OF THREE SMALL MEDIUM ENTERPRISES (SMEs)


Chapter 4 PRESENTATION, INTERPRETATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA

           

 This chapter presents the data gathered from the questionnaire conducted by the researcher. HR personnel on the three SMEs are surveyed regarding their HR policies and practices. The discussion starts with the HR approaches of the three SMEs.

            Further, the study explored the growing importance of HRM for SMEs in the UK. There are three fundamental functions that are investigated: learning and development, people resourcing and reward management. There are also specific objectives that are addressed; how these objectives are addressed is discussed in this chapter.

1st Objective: Decisively compare the core similarities and differences of the HR policies and practices of Enfield Asian Carers Consortium, Prospects Staff Bureau Ltd and Northampton Golf Club

2nd Objective: Critically evaluate the implementation of HR policies within SMEs using the case of Enfield Asian Carers Consortium, Prospects Staff Bureau Ltd and Northampton Golf Club

3rd Objective: Strategically determine the perceptions of Enfield Asian Carers Consortium, Prospects Staff Bureau Ltd and Northampton Golf Club about the effectiveness of their HR practices

HR Approaches

How Enfield Asian Carers Consortium approached HR

The basic HR role is apparent of practices of recruitment of all staff and carers for the consortium. They organize all the necessary training needs of the company and hire trainers for the basic training such as team building, leadership and customer service training. Induction and refresher courses are done by an internal trainer. Training is available to all members of staff both on employment and those contracted.

For the company’s recruitment and selection they hire an external agency to recruit for the registered manager role and for the carers they advertise on the local paper.

Concerning their employee’s appraisals they are all done yearly. The manager appraises the senior staff and care coordinators and assistant managers appraise the carers. Their appraisals are no way related to their pay.

As regards to the employees issues especially lack of trade union representation the company did not seem to have any negative implications because the size of the company is small and so it’s easy for them do deal with issues at a supervisor level.

Concerning changes in the company and how they are communicated to all the staff, the company tries to consult the staff in order to make the transition smooth and easy.

When it comes to staff job satisfaction, the company believes that all members of staff are happy and comfortable with the work place and they find it evident in low absenteeism and a small number of staff leaving the job.

How Prospects Staff Bureau Ltd approached HR

The key responsibility of the HR is the recruitment of all staff. They also arrange for all the training needs of the company and hire trainers for mandatory training. The company offers a lot of training to all their staff, for development purposes and also because of the sensitivity of the job. Their internal trainers are involved in conducting all the inductions and refresher courses.

The recruitment consultant’s places staff for full time vacancies and the agency gets a commission out of the placement. The method they use in getting employees varies depending on what role is available. For senior employees e.g. the registered manager the company hires an external agency to do the recruitment. For the carers appointments they advertise in the local paper and also do a bill board on the streets advertising currents jobs.

The company’s appraisals are done annually by the manager for all the senior staff and the care coordinators and assistant manager appraise all the carers. Their appraisals do not link to their pay.

Lack of employee representation (i.e. trade union) does not pose any issues as regards to employees voicing their concerns this is because all issues are dealt with on the supervisory level.

Also, the company has a policy where all staffs are consulted as regards to work place changes especially if they are changes that affect the staff directly.

As far as the manager is concerned low absenteeism and staff leaving their jobs indicates that staffs are satisfied on their job.

How Northampton Golf Club approached HR

The Head of House in these different departments are responsible for all the staff related issues. However when it comes to recruitment and selection some committee members have to be present during the interview process and selection. The final decision for the right candidate is then between the committee members and head of house.

When it comes to training and development the company offers mandatory training to staff depending on the department or job they carry out. Examples include training for all the kitchen staff in food and hygiene or the Control of substance Hazardous to Health (COSHH) for the green keepers. All this training is carried out internally by the relevant Head of House.

All staff is appraised annually and all the appraisals are carried out by the Head of Houses. These appraisals are no way linked to pay. They are carried out for employee development purposes only.

For any grievances or issues concerning work all the Heads of House are responsible with dealing them. If the issues are not solved or one is not satisfied by the results the Chairman of the house takes on the issue.

Demographic Profile

            The profile of the respondents is looked upon in terms of gender and age. There are two female respondents and one male respondent. The male respondent is working in Northampton Golf Club. When asked about their age, two of the respondents claimed to belong in the 55 and above age bracket while the Enfield Asian Carers Consortium representative belongs to the 46-55 age bracket.

            Further, the respondents were also asked about the length of their services in that SME and the position that best describe their current role. Representative of Prospects Staff Bureau responded that she is working for less than 1 year while the other two respondents are working for 1 to 5 years in their respective SMEs. The three representatives answered that their current position is best described by the title HR manager/staff.

 

Demographics

Enfield Asian Carers Consortium

Prospects Staff Bureau Ltd

Northampton Golf Club

Gender

Male

 

 

ü

Female

ü

ü

 

Age

18-25 years

 

 

 

26-35 years

 

 

 

36-45 years

 

 

 

46-55 years

ü

 

 

55 and above

 

ü

ü

Working years in the SME

Less than 1 year

 

ü

 

1 to 5 years

ü

 

ü

6 to 10 years

 

 

 

11 to 15 years

 

 

 

More than 15 years

 

 

 

Best describes the position

HR manager/staff

ü

ü

ü

HR personnel

 

 

 

Employee relations manager/staff

 

 

 

Table  SEQ Table \* ARABIC 1 Demographic Profile of the Respondents

 

HR Policies-related

            There are three HR policies-related questions that are asked to the HR manager/staff, pertaining to the basic HR functions of learning and development, reward management and people resourcing. The three SMEs differ in the implementation of HR policies about learning and development. All the three SMEs have established HR policy on employee training and development. Enfield Asian Carers Consortium also has an established policy on career development. Among the three, however, only the Northampton Golf Club is implementing separate policies on workshops and seminars.  

            Further, when it comes to reward management policies, all the three SMEs also have established HR policies on performance planning and evaluation. Nevertheless, only Enfield Asian Carers Consortium has the separate HR policy on performance correction and feedbacking. Northampton Golf Club appears to have established, separate policies on recognition and pay adjustments.  

            When asked about people resourcing, all the three SMEs have no established HR policy on nepotism, unique hiring situations and candidate testing. There are established, separate policies on equal employment opportunity, hiring, types of employment/classification of jobs, temporary and casual appointments, interviewing and recruitment advertising. When it comes to HR policy on rates of pay for new employees, Enfield Asian Carers Consortium and Prospects Staff Bureau have established policy for this. 

HR Policies-related

Enfield Asian Carers Consortium

Prospects Staff Bureau Ltd

Northampton Golf Club

HR policies about learning and development

Employee training and development

ü

ü

ü

Educational assistance

 

 

 

Educational leave

 

 

 

Education leave of absence with pay

 

 

 

Career development

ü

 

ü

Workshops and seminars

 

 

ü

HR policies about reward management

Performance planning and evaluation

ü

ü

ü

Performance correction/feedbacking

ü

 

 

Compensation

 

 

 

Compensatory leave

 

 

 

Overtime

 

 

 

Recognition

 

 

ü

Pay adjustments

 

 

ü

Flexible benefits plan

 

 

 

Continuous service

 

 

 

HR policies about people resourcing

Equal employment opportunity

ü

ü

ü

Hiring (vacancy, length of time applications, who can apply, prioritisation of applicants)

ü

ü

ü

Types of employment/classification of jobs

ü

ü

ü

Nepotism

 

 

 

Temporary and casual appointments

ü

ü

ü

Rates of pay for new employees

ü

ü

 

Unique hiring situations

 

 

 

Interviewing

ü

ü

ü

Candidate testing

 

 

 

Recruitment advertising

ü

ü

ü

Table  SEQ Table \* ARABIC 2 HR Policies-related Responses

 

HR Practices-related

            HR manager/staff of the three SMEs are asked to determine their levels of agreeableness or disagreeableness on specific statements about their different learning and development, reward management and people resourcing practices.

In the first set, SMEs’ representatives are asked about their learning and development practices. Enfield Asian Carers Consortium and Prospects Staff Bureau Ltd appear to have implemented HR practices in similar fashion. They only differ in monitoring and evaluation of the results of training. Nevertheless, there are established processes of assessing employee training needs and their individual development needs. They also strongly consider legal requirements in training needs analysis. Apparently, the two SMEs also address employee development plans in their performance appraisals.

            Moreover, employees of both SMEs are availing themselves of the training opportunities provided by the organizations. In training needs analysis, the job skills, knowledge and ability are considered. For both these SMEs, cost of learning and development is an issue. For instance, training resources are coordinated, cost is considered in the choice of training programmes and learning and development needs are reflected in the corporate budget.

            Responses of the Northampton Golf Club are concentrated on the lower range where the HR manager/staff strongly disagrees that legal requirements are considered in the training needs. Of most of the practices, the HR manager/staff also disagrees of implementing assessment of employee training needs and individual development needs. This also shows with implementation of addressing employee development plans in performance appraisal; considering job skills, knowledge and ability in training needs and monitoring and evaluating training results.

            In terms of training finance, Northampton Golf Club also disagree in considering cost of the chosen training programme and reflecting learning and development needs in the corporate budget. This is consistent with the uncertainty whether training resources are coordinated and whether return on investment on training is measured. Another uncertain area is whether employees are availing themselves of the training opportunities that the organization provides them.

 

HR Practices-related

                    1     -     Strongly Agree

                    2     -     Agree

                    3     -     Uncertain

                    4     -     Disagree

                    5     -     Strongly Disagree

Learning and development practices

Enfield Asian Carers Consortium

Prospects Staff Bureau Ltd

Northampton Golf Club

There is a process to assess employee training needs

1

1

4

There is a process to assess individual development needs

1

1

4

Employees are availing themselves of the training opportunities

2

2

3

Learning and development needs are reflected in the corporate budget

2

2

4

Legal requirements are considered in the training needs

1

1

5

Employee development plans are addressed in performance appraisals

1

1

4

Job skills, knowledge and ability are considered in training needs

2

2

4

Training resources are coordinated

2

2

3

Results of trainings are monitored and evaluated

2

1

4

Cost is considered in choosing training programmes

2

2

4

Return on investment on training is measured

3

3

3

Table  SEQ Table \* ARABIC 3 HR Practices-related (Learning and Development Practices) Responses

            In the second set, SMEs’ representatives are asked about their reward management practices. Enfield Asian Carers Consortium and Prospects Staff Bureau are identical with their answers but there are specific practices that Northampton Golf Club firmly implements. For instance, Northampton Golf Club strongly agrees with the need to provision for health care benefits as well as life and disability insurances. While Enfield Asian Carers Consortium and Prospects Staff Bureau agree with the former, they both disagree with the latter. Further, they either disagree or strongly disagree with offering a retirement plan for all the employees.

            All three SMEs agree of determining the number of days of leave on the extent of service to the organization. While this is non-financial, when it comes to financial rewards such as variable pay compensation or additional pay other than the salary base, all three SMEs either disagree or strongly disagree that these are offered to the employees. Nonetheless, Enfield Asian Carers Consortium and Prospects Staff Bureau retain different types of employee arrangement while Northampton Golf Club is uncertain of this. Same goes with reviewing employee performance and evaluating performance based on job description and objectives, Enfield Asian Carers Consortium and Prospects Staff Bureau. Northampton Golf Club disagrees with both practices.

 

HR Practices-related

                    1          -     Strongly Agree

                    2          -     Agree

                    3          -     Uncertain

                    4          -     Disagree

                    5          -     Strongly Disagree

Reward management practices

Enfield Asian Carers Consortium

Prospects Staff Bureau Ltd

Northampton Golf Club

There is a provision for health care benefits and the organisation pays for it

2

2

1

Life and disability insurances are provided to the employees

4

4

1

A retirement plan for all employees is offered

5

5

4

Number of days of leaves is determined based on extent of service

2

2

2

Variable cash compensation are offered to the employees

5

5

4

Different types of arrangement are retained

2

2

3

Performance of all employees are reviewed

2

2

4

Evaluation of performance is based on job description and objectives

1

1

4

Table  SEQ Table \* ARABIC 4 HR Practices-related (Reward Management Practices) Responses

In the third set, SMEs’ representatives are asked about their people resourcing practices. Having said that Northampton Golf Club disagrees in reviewing performance specifically based on job description and objectives, this is also consistent with disagreeing on initially formulating job description. Same goes with designing competency profiles individually. This is in direct contrast to Enfield Asian Carers Consortium and Prospects Staff Bureau which strongly agree and agree with designing competency profiles and formulating job description, respectively.

            Aside from formulating job description, Enfield and Prospects Staff Bureau also agree in reviewing job descriptions and specifications. This is done prior to hiring new members of the organization. However, Northampton Golf Club disagrees with this.

            In terms of advertising for new posts, all of the three SMEs disagree with the use of Internet and intranet as recruiting tools. What could possibly explain this is that they agree on practicing internal promotion. Northampton Golf Club strongly agrees while Enfield Asian Carers Consortium and Prospects Staff Bureau agree with the practice. On the other hand, Northampton Golf Club disagrees that referrals are important to which the other two SMEs oppose by saying these are important.

            Additionally, Northampton Golf Club also widely employs applicant testing and assessment. Enfield Asian Carers Consortium and Prospects Staff Bureau are uncertain whether these are being used in their organization. While these two SMEs noted that the use of behavior-based interviews is critical, Northampton Golf Club is uncertain of its criticality.

 

HR Practices-related

                    1          -     Strongly Agree

                    2          -     Agree

                    3          -     Uncertain

                    4          -     Disagree

                    5          -     Strongly Disagree

People resourcing practices

Enfield Asian Carers Consortium

Prospects Staff Bureau Ltd

Northampton Golf Club

Competency profiles are designed individually

2

2

3

Job description are initially formulated

1

1

4

Prior to hiring new employees, job descriptions and specifications are reviewed

2

2

4

Internet and intranet recruiting tools are utilised

4

4

4

Referrals are important 

2

2

4

Internal candidates are prioritised than external candidates

2

2

1

Applicant testing and assessment is widely used

3

3

1

Behaviour-based interviews are critical

2

2

3

Table  SEQ Table \* ARABIC 5 HR Practices-related (People Resourcing Practices) Responses

 

Implementation of HR Policies and Practices

            Follow-up interviews that include both general and organisation-specific questions were conducted. Discussion on the answers to the specific questions is considered separately.

            HR managers/staff were asked whether the implemented HR policies and procedures are effective and in what particular way. Enfield and Northampton answered yes for HR policies and HR practices. Enfield noted that the company runs smoothly because of these policies and practices especially the former that works well for the organisation. For Northampton, the effectiveness of HR practices is evident on enabling the workforce in “having confidence in handling situations”. While HR policies help in developing smooth recruitment processes, Prospects noted that not all HR practices are effective especially that some HR policies are not maximised.

 

Questions

Enfield Asian Carers Consortium

Prospects Staff Bureau Ltd

Northampton Golf Club

Do you think the HR policies are implemented effectively? How?

YES

YES

YES

Do you think the HR practices are implemented effectively? How?

YES

SOME

YES

Table 6 Effectiveness of HR Policies and Practices

            HR managers/staff were also asked on their perceptions on whether the implemented HR policies and practices could possibly bring success to the organisation and in what specific way. Again, Enfield and Northampton answered yes to both questions. Of the two SME, Northampton elaborated that the success that HR policies could bring is apparent on the level of motivation of the workforce, encouraging the people to be passionate about the quality of service they produce within their fields of work. About HR practices, the success could stem from prioritising internal candidates, giving them the chance of career growth.

            On the other hand, Prospects offered another perspective by which success will be based and this is “a good HR department”. As such, the implementation of HR policies would be difficult to be followed without this. Such a department is also instrumental in making the staff understand HR practices and the importance of these practices. 

Questions

Enfield Asian Carers Consortium

Prospects Staff Bureau Ltd

Northampton Golf Club

Do you think the HR policies implemented could bring success to the SME? How?

YES

NO

YES

Do you think the HR practices implemented could bring success to the SME? How?

YES

MAYBE

YES

Table 7 Could HR Policies and Practices Bring Success

            HR managers/staff are asked about how they perceive HR policies and practices as means of empowerment. For the HR policies and practices questions, Enfield and Northampton answered yes. In terms of HR policies, Enfield noted that the policies are precise and easy to follow hence “the staff are confident to use them” Northampton puts emphasis on the policies that gives confidence to the employees in handling tasks and solving problems, striving to better themselves and keeping them motivated to do better. When it comes to HR practices, Enfield cited that practices are easy to follow and used on a daily basis. In this way, these practices became part of the daily routine of the employees. For Northampton, HR practices, provides security at work and learning in a top-down fashion.

            For Prospects, empowerment could be likely created when an effective reward method is established as this can help get staff motivated. Prospects also noted that HR practices should reflect the fact that “if staff are trained well and rewarded, this would help empower the staff.”

Questions

Enfield Asian Carers Consortium

Prospects Staff Bureau Ltd

Northampton Golf Club

Do you think the HR policies implemented could bring empowerment in the workplace? How?

YES

MAYBE

YES

Do you think the HR practices implemented could bring empowerment in the workplace? How?

YES

SOME OF THEM

YES

Table 8 Could HR Policies and Practices Bring Empowerment in the Workplace

            HR managers/staff were asked about the adequacy of their HR practices as well as what needs to be improved or established. Although Enfield did not elaborate the specific HR policies that need to be improved, the SME noted that “as the company grows, more policies will be needed”.

            Prospects responded that the inadequacy is evident on reward management. Prospects admitted that there should be a policy on performance feedbacking, noting that there should be an established career development planning for the employees. Aside from this, Prospects claimed that there should be an additional HR policy on continuous service sine it recognises long-serving staff and then reward them. Further, although Prospects believed that HR practices are adequate, some have to be improved especially the reward management. Practices of recognising staff is also deemed critical since it “help staff realise that they are an important part of the company”.

            Northampton exclaimed that the organisation’s HR policies are adequate since they have always worked for the company. Nevertheless, an HR policy that is perceived to be needing of improvement is the educational assistance policy. For Northampton, the organisation should give the staff the opportunity to study part-time thereby benefiting the company from the knowledge gained. Aside from the equal opportunities policy, educational leave is perceived to be another HR policy that must be established. However, the company wants to retain its right to choose when the leave will be taken.

            When it comes to HR practices, Northampton perceived that these are inadequate since there are specific practices that need to be improved. For one, in the area of employee training and development, the HR manager/staff stated that “having a weekly or monthly training exercise done by each head of house training staff in areas they do not excel in or find difficult” would be plausible. In recruiting also, Northampton could make use of the Internet for the purpose of getting a diverse pool of talents for positions within the company.    

Questions

Enfield Asian Carers Consortium

Prospects Staff Bureau Ltd

Northampton Golf Club

Do you think the HR policies are adequate? Are there policies that need to be improved?

At the moment YES

NO

YES

If there are HR policies that must be established, what are those? Why?

NONE at the moment

Continuous service

Educational leave

Do you think the HR practices are adequate? Are there policies that need to be improved?

NO

YES

NO

If there are HR practices that must be established, what are those? Why?

NONE

Staff recognition

NONE

Table 9 Adequacy of HR Policies and Practices

 

Implementation of HR Policies and Practices in Enfield

            First three questions are devoted on the prioritisation of HR policies. Enfield prioritises employee training and development, career development, performance planning and evaluation and performance correction/feedbacking. There are two reasons why Enfield prioritises these areas: as required by the operation of the SME and importance of customer satisfaction. First, Enfield is a domiciliary care agency which is not a traditional corporate setting. Training therefore is perceived as vital to the operation. Staffs need to be properly trained in order to carry their duties effectively. They are minimally supervised and carry most of their works in the communities.  

            Second, Enfield values customer satisfaction which is directly related to the amount and quality of work done by the staffs. Feedbacking therefore is important since it also give staffs the confidence to carry out their work well and improve where needed.

            When asked why Enfield does not prioritise nepotism, unique hiring situations and candidate testing, the answer is simple: because Enfield is an equal opportunities employer.

            As mentioned earlier, Enfield prioritises training and development but is uncertain of measuring return on investment on training. The reason behind this is that the process is too costly for Enfield and that the company is still small. Nevertheless, Enfield ensures that return on investment on training could be considered in the future.

            Considering that Enfield is a charity organisation, retirement plan for the employees is not currently considered although it may be considered in the future as the company grows. To wit, Enfield is also dependent on local grant for the salaries of the employees. Same goes with providing variable cash compensation and life and disability insurances to these employees.   

            Enfield does not make use of Internet and intranet as recruiting tools. Instead, Enfield’s main recruitment is through local newspaper. The company considers itself as linguistic and culturally-specific. Further, this is also the cited reason why the company is uncertain of using applicant testing and assessment. Behaviour-based interviews, nonetheless, are considered critical. 

Implementation of HR Policies and Practices in Prospects

            Prospects prioritises employee training and development and performance planning and evaluation. For the former, with the line of business, Prospects stated that most of the trainings provided are mandatory by law. For the latter, Prospects aimed at continuous motivation of the workforce hence assisting them to plan their targets, helping them achieve these targets and constantly evaluating them. Prospects perceives this as a psychological contract wherein the purpose is for the staff to recognise that the organisation wants them to do better.

            Prospects is not also considering nepotism, unique hiring conditions and candidate testing. Nevertheless, there are specified rules on bullying and discrimination. Problems are also quickly resolved especially since every employee basically knew each other. For the other two, Prospects is not constantly recruiting and when the company does, normal hiring methods are implemented.

            Same with Enfield, Prospects is also uncertain whether to measure return on investment on training or not. For Prospects, this is a time consuming activity but also acknowledge that this is crucial for the business. Another hindrance is that the company’s resources of measuring are limited due to funds especially since there is the need to hire a consultant to do the job.

            When asked about retirement plan, variable cash compensation and life and death insurances, the answer is consistent. Prospects is a small company and cannot afford to provide for these. Prospects also mentioned that their employees are rewarded in other ways particularly the performance-based incentives.

            As discussed earlier, Prospects is also keen on referrals and claimed that this had always worked for the company. Because of this, Internet and intranet are not considered as recruiting tools. Cost reduction, nonetheless, also contributes why some practices are not considered.       Further, applicant testing and assessment is not considered as well due to implementation of formal, behaviour-based interviews. Since Prospects is dealing with vulnerable people, it is important for the organisation to see what kind of person the company is employing. For Prospects, this had provided the best candidates for the jobs.

Implementation of HR Policies and Practices in Northampton

            Firstly, Northampton prioritises employee training and development, career development and workshops and seminars. For this SME, these policies had increased the quality of service provided not just for the staffs but also for the clients and members. In particular, the staffs are provided with encouragement and confidence and better understanding of their roles and job titles, creating a better working environment.

            Secondly, Northampton also prioritises performance planning and evaluation, recognition and pay adjustments. The first policy helped Northampton to inform the staff on what is expected of them, tapping opportunities for growth in the process. The second and third coincides whereby Northampton stipulated that pay adjustments are there to recognise commitment, dedication and improvement of service.

            Aside from nepotism, unique hiring situations and candidate testing, Northampton does not prioritise rates of pay for new employees as well. Candidate testing is not a normal practice at Northampton and would be carried out for an external applicant. Criteria for pay only changes when classification of employment also changes. Any candidate applying for a position goes through the same process as everyone else.

            When considering learning and development practices, Northampton mentioned that there is no need to exclusively assess individual development needs. For the company, these factors are covered in employee annual appraisals.

            There are no retirement plan and variable cash compensation provided for Northampton employees. However, there are definitive underpinnings for this such that there are not so many full-time employees in the organisation and there are not that many funds. Also, the economic downturn is also causing Northampton to freeze bonus schemes such as Christmas bonus.

            Northampton, moreover, disagrees with evaluating performance based on job description and objectives. When asked why, Northampton responded that there are many casual employees in the organisation apart from the high turnover from them. Performance evaluations are conducted for full time members of staff.

            Internal recruitment and applicant testing and assessment are critical processes for Northampton. This is conducted to ensure that junior staff members are given the opportunity to progress career-wise. Succession therefore would not be difficult as members are kept motivated to strive for higher rankings. To continue, Northampton is not using the Internet for recruitment since the response rate from advertising on local newspapers is satisfactory. This is also the reason why referrals are not considered as important. All candidates pooled from local advertisements and referrals will go through the same process.   

Applying Three Function Model for the SMEs

            Based on the responses on the self-administered questionnaire and interview schedule of the representatives of Enfield, Prospects and Northampton who identified themselves as HR managers/staff, the following themes emerged:

For HR policies:

1) HR policy-making is more critical on people resourcing function compared to learning and development and reward management functions

2) Employee training and development and performance planning and evaluation are two critical HR policies for SMEs

3) HR policies are precursor in building employee confidence and security in the workplace

4) Employee motivation and de-motivation is directly related to effective HR policies

5) Provisions for organisational learning and career progress are two important HR policies for employee empowerment

6) Requirement for HR policies moves along with the changes in SMEs

7) Prioritisation of HR policies is highly dependent on the nature of operation of the SME

8) HR policies aim at creating better working environment

9) As SMEs prefer internal promotion, separate HR policies apply for external candidates

For HR practices:

1) Prior to the implementation of training and development programmes, the financial resources is seriously considered

2) While SMEs are relatively particular on training needs analysis (pre-training), they tend to overlook the requirement to monitor and evaluate results of training (post-training)

3) SMEs tend to offer single-use, non-monetary benefits than multi-beneficial, long-term rewards

4) SMEs employ more objective employee performance appraisal processes

5) Important for SMEs is to formulate and review job description since this is the basis for performance evaluation

6) Effectiveness of HR practices is measured by the extent of empowerment within the organisation

7) An established HR department which is the central authority for people management is critical

8) Reward methods are critical in employee empowerment

9) SMEs consider the role of the Internet as a communication tool and not necessarily as a new hiring method

10) HR practices are precursor in building employee confidence and security in the workplace

11) Employee motivation and de-motivation is directly related to effective HR practices

12) Prioritisation of HR practices is highly dependent on the nature of operation of the SME

13) Improvement of employees is both a felt need and an expressed need within SMEs

14) SMEs are hindered not just by its size in implementing specific HR practices but also time and finances

15) SMEs engage in more traditional recruitment strategies since character, attitude and behaviour are considered

16) SMEs prefer the conduct of behaviour-based recruitment

17) SMEs compensate non-allocation variable rewards with other forms of reward such as recognition

18) SMEs move along with the changes in the market/business environment such as the economic downturn

References

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Commonwealth of Learning. (2000). Manual for Educational Media Researchers: Knowing your Audience. Vancouver, Canada: Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA).

Deb, T. (2005). A Conceptual Approach to Strategic Talent Management. Indus Publishing.

Easterby-Smith, M., Burgoyne, J. and Araujo, L. (eds.) 1999, Organizational Learning and the Learning Organization, Sage, London.

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