Human Resource Management Report
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Can HR make a strategic contribution to this organisation?
With the headquarters located in London having been founded in 1896, Barclays has set out to be the prominent “go-to” bank. To ensure this happens, it currently employs 139,200 just within Europe but the number increases as it has established more branches totaling up to 4,750 branches worldwide with its customer base being 42 million (Reuters, 2008, pp. 1). Such figures show that this is among the main players within the banking sector and thus the need to have strategic contribution from HR towards keeping the organization going. The human resource department is a vital part of any organisation. This is because it is usually deals with people who are considered as a valuable asset to the organization. Typically, the human resource helps to keep the employees motivated towards achieving the goals and objectives of the company and also helps the employees in maintaining the culture of the organisation. There are many issues that face the human resource department especially within the Barclays PLC. The three main issues that will be looked at include why training leads to better outcome, international employee resourcing and negative behaviour within the organization.
Within the issue of training and its contribution towards better outcome, it should be understood that training no longer refers to the old age form it used to be but it has gained a new face. The new face of training involves the incorporation of information technology within it. Technology is quickly becoming the way forward for many companies and organizations and to keep up with the trend, the HR has to ensure that its employees are adapt with the ever increasing changes in technology. Research by Antonio Arago´n-Sa´nchez et al (2005, pp. 956–980) shows that there is need to have training as an important tool to help organizations and companies with the competitive edge within the market. Capabilities and the available resources are quickly becoming the main advantages that any organization has. Technology thus plays a vital role especially within the banking industry such as Barclays. According to Marios and Schahram (1997, pp.135), Barclays has always had a multimedia department since 1986 through which it was able to give internal training. Working with their motto “our objective it to have information available when and where the customer wants it”, it is clear to see that Barclays has always had a lead in the use of technology within its structure. However, the technology has evolved over time and thus the form of training given has also changed. This is evident as Barclays has gone about as to supply its employees with over 8,500 ipads as a means of providing them with training as well as keeping up with the day-to-day services in an efficient manner (Arthur, 2012).
The other main issue being looked at is negative behaviour with the Barclays organization. Negative behaviour should not be condoned within the working environment as it brings about negative effects. Majority of all employees at one time have negative attitude and thus a negative behaviour at one point or another within their place of work. The downfall of having such negative attitude is that it starts to eat away at the performance of the employee. According to Gary Topchik (2001, pp. 3-5) in his book “Managing workplace negativity” negative behavior is contagious and thus needs to be dealt with the very moment it starts to take place. Furthermore the bureau of labor statistics revealed that the companies lose close to three billion dollars annually due to negative behavior within the work place (Gary, 2001, pp. 5). Debra, Nelson and Carl (2007, pp. 5) show that positive behavior and attitude goes a long way into helping the organization prosper in various great ways. Beatson (2008, pp. 214) further enforces the fact that positive habits should be adhered to at the work place since it ensures that there is customer satisfaction which brings about customer retention. The satisfaction also goes both ways as employees who show positive habits and behavior bring about job satisfaction and high retention of the employees.
The organization also gains from this positive behavior as it gains value and business profitability. According to the The Times (2012), Barclays has had its share of negative behavior within its organization with reports stating that it evaded paying taxes in a case known as Libor scandal. In effect to this, the chief executive Bob Diamond gave some recommendtions whereby Barclays is to establish zero tolerance to any act or behavior that would put the organization in harms way or destroy its reputation. Furthermore, among the recommendations was to ensure that there was a form of governance that was to ensure that all employees comply with the given standards. These recommendations were effected as a means of ensuring that Barclays was able to clear the negativity around it that came about due to negative behavior (Guardian, 2012).
Within the three main issues being looked also includes international employee resourcing, expatriates and expatriation. According to Anna Scott (CIPD, 2008), Barclays UK currently employs close to 32,000 employees since 2008. This has been achievable due to the use of outsourcing firms such as Alexander Mann Solutions. This firm utilizes the use of an e-recruiting system that helps reduce the time it takes to recruit new staff. Barclays has also taken it upon itself to ensure that it helps the young get good working opportunities by giving them the experience that they need (Guardian, 2012). By the fact that Barclays UK is situated in an environment whereby there is a mix in race and gender, it becomes important that the organization embraces cultural diversity. HR therefore has a vital role to play in ensuring that it is able to manage cultural differences as a means of ensuring knowledge transfer among its cross-cultural employees.
Human resource department plays a vital role in ensuring that such cases as discussed are covered and that the organization leaps the most benefits. In this case human resource provides vital strategic guidance into ensuring that Barclays becomes and remains as a brand that many can look up to. In the means of training with the hope of bringing about positive outcomes, human resource is accredited with the responsibility of bringing about additional competency and skills for an employee. This in turn is bound to increase the productivity and performance of the employees as a whole. The three issues discussed which include why training leads to better outcome, international employee resourcing and negative behaviour within the organization all tie up together under the human resource. According to Universal Declaration of Human Rights article 26 on the right to education, it states “…Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.” This is usually translated by majority of people to mean that the employer in any business, company or organization bears the responsibility of giving training to his or her employees.
According to Edward L. Gubman (1996), the main objectives of human resource includes the acquisition, development, retaining of talent while at the same time aligning human work force along with the business goals and objectives. Human resource management within Barclays faces a set of unique challenges mainly because of the diversity in terms of roles played as well as the number of employees within the international company. The diversity of the company ensures that the human resource work extra hard to keep the company ahead of its competition by means of getting the right employees, giving the right training and ensuring that the company retains its employees. Wanberg et al supports the fact that constant feedback from human resource works efficiently at improving the employees’ motivation and productivity. The training and feedback that the employees get goes towards creating better quality in terms of the process they perform. However, training according to Ellis et al (2005) should be aimed at the weak ends of the employees as well as any areas that are of hindrances towards positive outcome. Training as part of providing positive outcome gives employees the skills and competency needed towards handling new changes within the workplace as technical equipments.
Barclays has been at the front of the competitive edge in ensuring that its employees are well equipped with state of the art technology (Arthur, 2012). If employees are not fully trained to use the technology, then they are in no position to deliver the deadlines and objectives of the organization (Robert, 2006). The input of the human resource into training the employees ensures that there are positive benefits for the Barclays Company, the employees and the customers. Among the benefits include creating the right atmosphere for work, improving communication within the workplace, helps to identify and work towards the goals of the company, helps to build a better and posiitive image for the company, gives a sense of responsibility to the company over its employees and eliminates suboptimal or negative behavior. These are just but a few of the benefits that a company can achieve from training its employees.
Negative behavior within the work place yields negative outcomes. According to Silz on the Libor scandal, Barclays share on negative habits which in his words were “…arrogance, selfishness, lack of humility and generosity” brought about the negative image that Barclays had to go through (The Newyorker, 2013). Human resource also plays a vital role in ensuring that it combats and eliminates negative behavior within a company. There are many instances that may bring about negative behavior within the work place such as late arrival at the work place, committing petty theft, spreading rumors, lack of respect towards workmates, vandalism, and sexual harassment among other cases. According to Henle et al (2005), there is a rate of 95% of companies that report negative behavior within the work place which leads to a loss of 50 billion annually. Research shows that employees who have negative behavior usually are under some sort of stress-related problems. Human resource is very crucial in handling such instances as lack of proper management on negativity can bring about the downfall of the organization. To handle this, there is need to employ the right form of training whereby managers among other officials are required to attend. This form of training helps to identify the areas of contention while at the same time learning how to handle negative workers and to communicate effectively. The benefits of this mainly helps the affected party learn of ways through which they can communicate their misgivings and complaints, helps to ensure that both parties develop better listening skills, and also works towards turning the negative situations into positive ones. By ensuring that negativity is well handled, the company or organization is therefore able to propel towards its main goals and objectives.
International employee resourcing expatriates and expatriation is another area whereby human resource is of great importance. Human resource has to cater for the diversity as it ensures that it maintains local responsiveness and global integration, fostering organizational culture, hire and retain high end professional within the areas of their job description (Paul, 2011, pp. 17). Human resource also helps in recruiting from the young generation such as seen during the Barclays partnership with UNICEF whereby the apprenticeship program was started. This is a positive way through which Barclays is able to invest in the right talent within the retail banking. By allowing the company to take in people from different walks of life, it increases its diversity as well as its reputation worldwide (Guardian, 2012). Helium (2008) depicts the many advantages of having a cultural diverse work place which include the ability to have better creative ideas among the employees. Furthermore, as people of difference cultures come together, it brings about a feeling of ownership and togetherness towards the goals and objectives of the company. Barclays is bound to profit from a cultural diverse work force since there are unique perspectives and experiences which are merged together. Considering that Barclays is an international company, it helps in its image as it gives a better reflection of the current business trend. The human resource therefore ensures that it works towards recruiting the best there is among the many cultures, people and talents that there is.
It is evident that human resource plays a very vital role within any organization and especially Barclays PLC. Considering the many scandals that the bank has undergone, it has been the human resource department that has been able to handle and implement the many changes within the company. According to the Guardian (2012), the human resource department was utilized to handle most of the cases such as the Libor and Euribor scandals. The issues that were highlighted could only be handled if the human resource department utilized the available resources to ensure that it took the needed measures towards protecting its culture. The human resource department keeps track of the changes that are implemented within the organization in order to ensure that it only keeps what is productive and eliminates what does not work. With the evidence provided, it goes without saying that no organization, whether big or small, can survive without the integral part of the human resource department.