Introduction: HRM‘s role and importance within an organization has increased rapidly in the modern business world as the individuals’ inputs are becoming increasingly important to the organization’s performance. Hence HRM is becoming more important as it plays an important role in the people-aspect and social-aspect of the organization. This paper will briefly explain the definition of HRM and its history.
Then this paper will list and explain the important functions of HRM. Furthermore, this paper will explain why HRM is becoming increasingly important in 21st century in which the performance of organizations is subject to the performance of individual employees. In addition, this paper will talk about Bentley Motors and its HRM as one of Britain’s TOP Employer in 2012 by Britain’s Top Employers Research. This paper will discuss the strength of Bentley Motors’ HRM and lastly it will provide three further suggestions on BM’s HRM to help it accommodate to possible challenges. What is HRM?
HRM is an organizational function that deals with people-related issues, such as recruitment, training and learning programs, performance management, health and safety, compensation programs, wellness and benefits of the work force and employee motivation and communications. (Heathfield, nd) HRM was carried out in the 20th century and the first HRM specialist was a social worker hired by Rowntree in the UK in York in 1896 and was hired to ensure the safety and health of child and women in the operational facilities. (Foot and Hook, 2011) What does HRM do? (The functions of HRM)
Nowadays HRM is becoming way more important and plays an important role in many aspects of the organization. First of all, HRM’s most basic function is to make and ensure fair employment. The UK employment law clearly states that any discrimination against a person’s gender, race, culture, disability, sex orientation and religions are strictly banned in the UK that the HRM must ensure employments are down without discrimination and everyone has an equal opportunity. (Foot and Hook, 2011) Furthermore, HRM should also strive to select the most appropriate talents with a potential to grow from the job market in order to benefit the organization and makes it more competitive.
In addition, once employment is made, HRM is also responsible for the provision of an adequate and appropriate training program for the employees. In the 21st century, the intellectual capital and individual inputs of the employees are becoming very important to an organization’s sustained success that an appropriate and effective training program is extremely important for the workforce when the new techniques required for the production is missing in the workforce. (Foot and Hook, 2011) Moreover, HRM is responsible for the payments, rewards and even punishment for the workforce. The Equal Pay Act published in 1970 in the UK ensures that any organization in UK could never pay differently based on gender difference for the same work.
Therefore, HRM must make sure the workforce is paid equally for the same work, especially in the 21st Century where the topic of discrimination against gender, race, religion or sex orientation is extremely important and sensitive. In addition, HRM is also responsible for the provision of effective counseling programs for the workforce. (Foot and Hook, 2011)
A effective counseling system is extremely important for employees in a big, complex and bureaucratic organization in which the employees are subjective to regulations made by the senior managers at the top and the communication between the lower level staff and the senior managers in bureaucratic organizations are usually poor that an effective counseling system could make sure the ideas and complaints from staffs at lower level are heard; and staffs of lower level are those who are close to the organization’s daily operation that the provision of an effective counseling system could also contribute to the decision-making process of senior managers by listening to ideas from staffs at the bottom. Furthermore, HRM is also in charge of providing plans or programs to ensure the health and safety of the workforce.
By ensuring the health and safety of the workforce, it enables the employees would be more capable of focusing their job and thus improve the performance of the workforce. Most importantly, it is an effective way to attract talents from the job market as every of the organization’s competitors are doing it to attract the best workforce.
Moreover, HRM is also responsible of dealing with grievances and protests. HRM is responsible to stop or reduce the damage done by arguments between the workforce and the employers. (Foot and Hook, 2011) Lastly, HRM is in charge of the dismissal of staffs. Most legally bound employment contracts states that arbitrary dismissals are banned based on the employment law. Therefore, HRM must ensure the dismissal of staffs are legal and are fairly made. (Foot and Hook, 2011) Why HRM is becoming increasingly important?
With the development of technologies and changes of current production process, there are no longer any repeated jobs and the outcome of every job or position required by the organization’s operation could vary based on individual difference and difference in personal inputs. Therefore, the performance of the workforce now decide the quality of the products and services provided by the organization and thus the organization’s performance, reputation and level of competitiveness is subject to the job done by the HRM.
Now the top HRM specialists are involved in board meetings about setting the organization’s strategies as the human resources is now recognized as one of the most important resources for the organization’s operation and is often treated as the key to the organization’s success. Therefore, the input and knowledge of HRM specialists now plays an important role in strategy setting as the organization wants to ensure the strategies made could provide good working conditions for the work force and they wish the strategies set could improve the performance of the workforce. Overview of Bentley Motors:
Bentley Motors is a British company that founded in 1919 by Walter Own Bentley. (Britain’s Top Employers Research, 2012) Before it converts into a manufacture of cars, it produced chassis and engine for vehicles. (Britain’s Top Employers Research, 2012) In 1998, it was purchased by Volkswagen AG after which the company invested more than one billion pounds in the improvement of operational facilities and in supporting product development initiatives. Nowadays, it has stable sales of 10,000 cars every cars and the number is increasing as its global sales have been increased by 37% since 2011 according to its annual report. (Britain’s Top Employers Research, 2012)
It is an international corporation that operates in developed countries or developing countries which have a market for luxury cars, such as UK, USA, Germany, Japan, China, Singapore, Australia, Korea and Dubai. (Britain’s Top Employers Research, 2012) According to Britain’s Top Employers Research in 2012, Bentley Motors now has employed over four thousands employees in the UK and it has been certified as one of Britain’s Top Employers in 2012. (Britain’s Top Employers Research, 2012) Bentley Motors’ HRM and its strengths:
“The Top Employers Certification is only awarded to organizations that meet the highest standard in HR.” Bentley Motors is certificated as one of Britain’s Top Employers in 2012 as Bentley Motors has showed it has outstanding working conditions. The outstanding working conditions described by the Britain’s Top Employers Research in 2012 are listed and explained as following: 1. “Constant reinforcement of its heritage, and creating a culture where staffs are proud to uphold its values and work for the company.” (Britain’s Top Employers Research, 2012)
Bentley Motors is committed to constant development of skills for its work force that manage all aspects of Bentley Motor’s business, including designing, engineering and building of luxury cars. (Bentley Motors Website, nd) Furthermore, one of Bentley Motors fundamental principles is that the work force share a passion for high quality in their work and for this principle, Bentley Motors HRM is passionate to provide the most effective training program for the work force to maximize their performance. (Bentley Motors Website, nd)
2. “Promoting the engineering and manufacturing sector to school children and college students.” (Britain’s Top Employers Research, 2012) Activities relate to selection and employment of the new generation of employees is one of the most important functions of HRM. Bentley Motors runs and has designed a number of apprenticeship programs and professional development programs to attract graduates or young men who has a passion in designing, engineering or building or high quality cars.
The selection of the new generation of employees is essential to the Bentley Motors’ sustained success as the future of the Bentley Motors will rely on the performance of the new generation of employees. By promoting engineering and manufacturing sector to college students and young people, Bentley Motors could help young people discover their interests, talents, potentials and passion in designing or building high quality cars and thus it could attract the new generation to work for Bentley Motors in the future. 3. “Having a well-established graduate and apprenticeship programme.”
(Britain’s Top Employers Research, 2012) Bentley Motors is proud of its well-established graduate and apprenticeship programme in which the young bloods in this industry receive significant help and is able to unleash their potential and provide helpful service for the organization within a short time. Furthermore, these well-established programmes could also stimulate loyalty among the apprentices as the apprentices would grow fond of Bentley’s culture during the apprenticeship programme and would be willing to contribute and devote themselves towards Bentley’s objectives to return the help the apprentice received during the programme.
4. “Allowing room for creativity in an outwardly traditional company.” Britain’s Top Employers Research, 2012) Intellectual capital is essential to a company’s success in 21st century, especially in areas relating to designing. It’s the HRM’s job to maximize the employees’ performance by stimulating creativities and creating good working conditions to unleash the potentials of the workforce. Furthermore, when an employee’s inputs is gratefully appreciated by his or her managers, that employee would be motivated to work harder for the organization.
Bentley Motors has a successful HRM because it is a successful designer and manufacture of luxury and high quality cars that its success is based on the high level of performance, creativity and efforts of its workforce which are ensured by its successful HRM. As Bentley Motors has been certified as one of the Top Employers in the UK in 2012, there are very little flaws in its HRM. However, the next section of this paper will provide three further suggestions on Bentley Motors’ HRM to help it accommodate to the possible challenges or drawbacks of its current HRM. Three suggestions on Bentley Motors’ HRM:
Firstly, the majority of Bentley Motors’ work forces are native English people that the HRM of Bentley Motors could consider improve the diversity of its workforce to align with the UK employment law and to improve the work team’s performance by adding hard-working attitudes from Asian culture or inputs from other cultures. A number of UK employment laws, such as Fair Employment and Treatment Order published in 1998 and Equal Pay Act published in 1970 and others have been carried out to ensure the diversity in the workplace and to avoid discriminate against race, gender, religions, disability and sexual orientation in the workplace. (Foot and Hook, 2011)
Therefore Bentley Motors must ensure its HRM provides equal opportunities for people of different genders, races, religions or sex orientation during the selection process and daily operation and payment. Furthermore, having a diverse work team and work with people who have different values or from different nations could be helpful to the performance of the work force as staffs could learn from different ideologies from different nations and could be inspired by employees from different nations brining different positive social-norms into the workplace.
Secondly, although Bentley Motors has committed to developing the most effective training programs, its HRM should also consider provide particular training programs based on individual needs of learning. For example, when a female employee is pregnant, she must take eight months off work to give birth to her baby. When the female staff comes back to work, she might have a difficult time coping with the changes happened when she was absent and she would need particular learning from the HRM to help her get back on track and keep contributing to the organization.
Thirdly, the HRM of Bentley Motors could motivate its workforce extrinsically by giving material rewards based on performance of the employees to improve efficiency of the work force and encourage inputs from the employees. However, it is important to be careful about the use of performance appraisal, because sometimes the performances of employees are hard to measure and inappropriate performance appraisal might cause disagreement and hospitality among the workplace. Conclusion:
This paper has explained the definition of HRM and its history and the difference between HRM in the past and the HRM today. In addition, this paper has listed and discussed the pivotal functions of the HRM today. Moreover, this paper has explained the importance of the HRM today. Next, this paper has introduced Bentley Motors as one of Britain’s TOP Employer in 2012 by Britain’s Top Employers Research. Furthermore, this paper has listed the strength of Bentley Motors’ HRM according to the Britain’s Top Employers Research.
Lastly, this paper has provided three suggestions on Bentley Motors’ HRM. Firstly, Bentley Motors’ HRM must ensure everyone is provided with an equal opportunity and there is no discrimination against race, religion, gender, sex orientation and disabilities to align with the English Employment Law. Furthermore, a diverse workplace could increase the performance of the workforce by stimulating creativities of the work team. Secondly, Bentley Motors HRM must ensure there is particular learning programs provided for individual needs of learning. Lastly, Bentley Motors HRM could increase the extrinsic motivation of its employees by providing material rewards based on performance of the employees.
Reference: Bentley Motors Website, nd. Bentley Careers. [Online] Available at: http://www.bentleymotors.com/careers/overview/ (Accessed on 13th December) Britain’s Top Employers Research, 2012. Bentley Motors. [Online] Available at: http://www.britainstopemployers.co.uk/BritainsTopEmployers/BritainsTopEmployers2012/C/tabid/5862/C/1250/BentleyMotors.aspx#results-research (Accessed on 13th December)
Foot M & Hook C (2011) Introducing Human Resource Management 6th Edition, FT Prentice Hall Heathfield, Susan M., nd. What is Human Resource Management? [Online] Available at: http://humanresources.about.com/od/glossaryh/f/hr_management.htm (Accessed on 13th December)