Human resource of an organization help in building an excellent team of working professionals. major functions of Human Resource Management (HRM) in a company are hiring employees, giving them training, assessing their performance, motivating them with right motivational strategies, improving relation between employees and employers, ensuring workplace safety, etc. (Mayhew, 2016). Main aim of HRM is to meet the organizational objectives. For this, it mobilizes the existing resources by using productive activities. Human Resource Management is an important part of a firm because it links business strategies to its operational events. It focuses on effective utilization of human resources by shaping the organizational structure. This also works for the satisfaction of personnel so that their performance level would improve over the time (Significance Or Importance Of Human Resource Planning, 2016).
The present study is based on Human Resource Management and to understand this, a case study of High Flyers is taken into consideration. As per the given case scenario, in 1990, the Singapore Government had prepared Two Airline Policy for two airline organizations i.e. Singapore Airline which was government owned and another one was Silvertail Airline that was national competitor of government airline. The purpose of following contract was to ensure about the comfortable arrangement of airline services at airline terminals for public. In this context, Silvertail had emerged as an airline with a new image in marketplace. But the issue was of despite seemingly generous redundancy offers. Cabin crew and ground crew denied to accept them. By considering the following case study, some objectives will be covered. Implications for Silvertail in case of adopting the plan to deal with older workers, evaluation of downsizing tactics along with their implications and preparation of HR plan to address the future HR needs will be discussed in this research.
1. Critical analysis of the current implications if Silvertail were adopted the plan suggested by Sam and Bobbi
As per the given case study, it has been found that one of the employees of Silvertail i.e. Bobbi was suggested to change eligibility of the employees for promotions. Under this, every staff member should know a second language and must have a degree. The reason of doing this is that most of the team members at cabin crew and ground crew became old. To establish a good and new, young and innovative image in Airline Industry, it has become important to increase the number of young personnel at the workplace. If Silvertail adopted the plan suggested by Sam and Bobbi then there were some implications may raise in front of company which are as follows:
Technology challenges: Old professionals of Silvertail were not having the knowledge about current trends as well as they were not willing to learn new technologies. Along with this, they were unable to cope up with new chances in organization. In case of implementing suggested plan, it might affect the daily work routine of existing cabin and ground crew members because they needed time to learn new things and it might be created an additional expenses for cited organization (McQuerrey, 2016). Implication of this was also on the productivity of personnel which might be reduced over the time to learn new knowledge and skills.
Loss of expertise: If Silvertail was imposing proposed plan at the workplace then loss of expertise was an implication for company. It is well known that when the personnel is old, it is having plenty of knowledge and experience. This thing can give advantage to employers and employees to learn various things and attain the business objectives. So, if cited firm executed the prepared plan then most of the old employees would have left the organization (Arulrajah and et.al., 2015). Due to this, there were no experience staff members in the organization who could guide younger and newly join personnel in the right direction.
Increase retention ratio: If Silvertail had imposed the developed plan within organization then it might be possible that workers could be retained in the long run. For example, if a younger employee guides the existing and more experience people then it cannot be annoyed. Same thing could happen in Silvertail as for getting promotion, older and existing staff members needed knowledge of second language and one more degree. This thing de-motivated the existing workers but attracted new employees in the firm (Cardona and et.al., 2013). The impact of this implication over cited organization was that number of experience personnel got increased and that was not too good for the growth of company in complex situations.
Increase probability of discrimination on the basis of age and experience: Another implication of suggested plan of Silvertail was increased probability of discrimination on the basis of age and experience. As per the given case study, it has been clear that new plan for promotion required sufficient knowledge of second language and one more degree. In case of older cabin and ground crew members, to learn a new language was impossible. Along with this, to complete a degree, it might took five years to complete. But for newly recruited personnel, it was an opportunity to attain enough growth in career (Mathis and et.al., 2016). This situation might increase discrimination issue with old employees in terms of age, education and experience in against of new younger employees. It put a negative impact on the productivity of workforce and might lead to enhance the dissatisfaction level of management.
2. Critical evaluation of downsizing tactics and their implications
Downsizing is a business strategy which aims to improve the financial position of company by minimizing and changing workforce structure. It brings the overall improvement in business of organization (DUMINICĂ, 2010). This is known with some other names such as compressing, de-hiring, restructuring, reduction in force, resizing, slimming, etc. According to the given case study of Silvertail Airline, it has been determined that company was planning to promote the younger employees within organization. For this, it was planning to make changes in qualifications for promotion where it was compulsory to have the knowledge of second language along with one more degree. It was easy for the new hires because the only ones who apply for jobs knew that they had to be bilingual and have a degree. But for old ones, it was not easy to have both of them. If an existing employee would like to learn a language and pursue a degree then they have to pay for it and degree must be completed within five years. It would be pretty hard to complete a degree for cabin crew members and if they would not able to do it then they would have to leave the job or shift to other department (Kearns, 2010). In this context, there were two downsizing tactics adopted by Silvertail which were old workforce reduction and workforce redesign. Their evaluations and implications are as follows:
Workforce reduction: It is one of the popular downsizing strategies that is followed by many companies with an aim to fulfil critical positions at the workplace. The actions involved in this method are laying off, firing employees, mandating early retirement, transferring individuals, etc. The aim of this technique is reduction in workforce that are working at unnecessary positions and this will reduce the overall head counts of firm. In context of Silvertail Airline, purpose of workforce reduction downsizing tactic was to reduce the number of old employees who were currently working at cabin and ground crew and to promote the younger ones. The reason of adopting this method was that old cabin crew and ground crew was less comfortable with long haul flights and also, they were having their family concerns (Newton and et.al., 2015). But the younger employees would not mind to take long haul flights as they do not have major family concerns.
From evaluation of workforce reduction, it has been found that it helps the cited company to gain immediate profits, reorganize cabin and ground crew along with taking competitive advantage in an effective manner. Along with this, it reduced the manpower from important job positions as they were not very much enthusiastic as well as they do not take the initiatives. The overall impact on workforce reduction downsizing strategy was that it saved job positions and maintained a positive reputation with creating a new, young and innovative image in airline industry (Holland, Burnett and Millington, 2015). But the implication of this tactic over Silvertail Airline and its existing employees was that they were feeling de-motivated. Old personnel started leaving company with time and the result of same was that firm had lost its expertise that could guide newly hired young employees. From this discussion, it can be said that workforce reduction strategy of Silvertail Airline brought negative implications on business that could affect other operational activities of firm.
Workforce redesign: Apart from reduction of employees, company has adopted workforce redesign downsizing strategy. This type of tactic helps the organization to restructure its personnel in terms of modify job description and job specifications. It assists in developing and maintaining coordination between the existing and new staff members. It promotes newly hired young employees within organization that leads to enhance the overall productivity of business. In context of Silvertail Airline, it has been determined that company was planning to hire new and young staff members for cabin and ground crew because they would not mind to take long haul fights and would not too much concern about their family responsibilities (Kim and et.al., 2015). The reason of this is that old employees were not comfortable with long haul flights.
From the evaluation of workforce redesign downsizing strategy, Silvertail was able to attract new and skilled employees towards organization by redesigning job description and position description. But the implication of this was that old and well experienced workforce was unable to complete internal competency requirements. Along with this, it was making the tasks challenging for forty or fifty year old employees. Result of this was that most of them were not able to meet the standards and they could not work as cabin crew for too long time (Prince, 2011).
3. Providing suggestions on various alternatives downsizing
As per the given case study, it has been clearly demonstrated that Silvertail Airline was planning to attract new and young employees for cabin and ground crew by replacing old and well experience personnel. For this, management was planning to change promotion method and in this, there would require a degree and knowledge of second language (Petty, Manroop and Linton, 2015). This tactic might decrease the number of experienced employees and could affect the overall productivity of organization. To reduce the negative impacts of existing downsizing strategies, cited company should adopt some other alternatives which are as follows:
Early retirement and buyouts: It means encouraging senior and experienced staff to leave the organization early. Under this, employer may give an additional amount to staff members so that they will not penalize from economic side until their social security and pension benefits are safe and enough for survival. With the help of following alternative, Silvertail should organize some voluntary termination programs or buyouts so that experienced old age cabin and ground crew members would quit from company with financial incentives (Robertson, 2011). It would be an effective way that will assist in hiring new and young staff members without resorting to layoffs in the existing ones. Along with this, buyouts will allow management of Silvertail Airline to reduce payroll costing at significant level with the time such as booking three star hotels instead of five star for staying cabin crew members at the time of long haul flights. The early retirement buyouts would reduce old age staffs rather than terminating them who were loyal and working since a long time for company. Further, it would reduce the issue and probability of discrimination with existing employees.
Systemic Approach: Although, it is a less popular downsizing strategy but effective. Under this, to bring reduction in personnel number, management change culture and working environment of workplace. The positive impact of this reduces costing and expenses of company that are spent by a firm on educating the existing staff members for new positions. In case of Silvertail, this strategy will be helpful for the management to attract new and young employees for cabin and ground crew and replacing the old employees at other management job positions. It will increase the productivity and business along with motivating new personnel in the right direction to complete the assigned job duties. The short term benefits of systemic approach of downsizing will not be recognizable but long-term results will be positive (Watt, 2016). This will improve the flight service of Silvertail that would lead to meet the satisfaction level of customers. Ultimately, it will raise the profit level of firm without increasing the probability of discrimination with old personnel during promotion and other job activities.
Work Redesign: By work redesign downsizing approach, an organization can eliminate unnecessary work at the workplace. It does not focus on reducing number of staffs rather than eliminating job positions. Due to this, vacant positions because of elimination can be easily redesigned. In the context of Silvertail, management of organization should adopt the following downsizing strategy. It will allow removing unnecessary work from the jobs which will vacant the job positions. Along with this, job description and job specifications will be redesigned so that new and young employees for vacant positions can be easily attracted (Wright, Guest and Paauwe, 2015). Further, this will transfer the old and experienced personnel of cabin and ground crew to management and other job positions with other roles and responsibilities.
4. Providing HR plan to address the future HR needs including employer brand for Silvertail, training, career management etc of cabin crew etc
As per the given case study, it has been clear that in 1990, the Singapore Government had prepared Two Airline Policies for two airline organizations i.e. Singapore Airline which was government owned and another one was Silvertail Airline which was national competitor of government airline. The purpose of following contract was to make sure about the comfortable arrangement of airline services at airline terminals for public well. In this context, Silvertail had emerged as an airline with a new image in the marketplace. But the issue was of despite seemingly generous redundancy offers. Cabin crew and ground crew was declined to accept them. Further, different kinds of downsizing strategies were adopted by the management to deal with the situation. It brought reduction in the number of old staff members by promoting the younger ones at the workplace on cabin and ground crew. The following tactics lead to put negative implications over the working practices of cited company along with affecting the overall productivity. On the basis of negative impacts of downsizing strategies, there is the need of HR plan that can significantly address the future HR needs including employer brand for Silvertail, training, career management, etc. of cabin crew (Paauwe, 2004). Here, five critical steps in preparing HR plan to meet cited company’s employer requirements are as follows:
Assessing current workforce: Under this, HR manager will determine the current skill, abilities and knowledge of existing employees of cabin crew. On the basis of getting information, strengths, education levels and additional training or certification needs will be evaluated. Along with this, at the time of assessment, existing talent in the personnel will also be considered during evaluation process. By considering this, talent and skills of existing staff members will be easily monitored (Chand, 2016). In addition to this, performance review will assist the HR manager of Silvertail to determine when workers will willing and able to take additional responsibilities than management can give them challenging work.
Creating employee development plans: To create a long term wining workforce for Silvertail, HR manager will require considering the needs of employer because it will provide a clear direction related to the way of developing and modifying skills along with bringing advancement in their career so that business can move ahead. In order to develop employee development plans, HR manager of cited company should consider some points such as business goals, communicating with the personnel, finding out the skills that current cabin crew employees need, etc. With the help of all of these points, HR manager will prepare an action plan (Dusablon, 2016)
Creating a succession plan: In order to bring a shift in the executive team or a reorganization of departments, HR manager of Silvertail will require developing a succession plan. This will help in minimizing disturbances or issues by identifying critical roles of cabin crew members in the organization. Under this, personnel will directly involve at the time of creation of succession plan (Vanhala and Ritala, 2016). The aim of this stage in HR plan is to establish a communication with all cabin crew employees to find out their career goals and development that they feel they need to attain the aim, position where they want see themselves in the future and skills and capabilities that they require to reach at that position.
Performing a gap analysis: To conduct the following process, HR manager of Silvertail will take a look of current job description, employee handbook information, training programs, health benefits offered by management to cabin crew members and present business performance. All these points will assist in determining the performance gap of existing staff so that a new and effective plan can be developed in the future (Oke, 2016).
Taking course of actions: On the basis of above outcomes, HR Manager of Silvertail Airline will take some actions to meet the gaps. For this, company will either hire new employees or train existing ones to manage the organizational expectations.
From the above research, it can be concluded that human resource management has an important functional department of organizations. In case of High Flyers Case study, it has been found that management was planning to create a new and innovative image in public. For this, they were planning to change the job descriptions for promotion such as require a degree and additional knowledge of second language. This was attracting new and young employees for cabin and ground crew positions by replacing old and existing ones. Following plan made several implications on the business of cited organization. Along with this, different downsizing strategies were followed by Silvertail Airline to attain major objective. Further, by adopting other suggested alterative tactics, negative impacts of current downsizing strategies have been reduced. In addition to this, by following a systematic HR Plan, future HR needs including requirement of employers have been accomplished.
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