Report on ProServices company

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1 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION Chapter One – Introduction ProService Co is a professional services (consulting engineers and project management) firm with five offices in the Asia Pacific region. The Head Office is located in Melbourne, Australia, with satellite offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Wellington (NZ) and Hong Kong. The 420 employees are distributed throughout the offices (see attached workforce profile) with most based in Australia. The organisation has grown significantly over the past ten years, having been founded by its current Managing Director (Shona Smith) and several current board members. An aggressive growth strategy has increased employee numbers from a small team of 25 in 2002 to 420 today. This has been managed through organic growth (recruitment of employees to the firm) and targeted acquisitions of smaller firms in strategic geographical regions in order to acquire specific skill sets and market position (e.g. project management & consulting in Hong Kong). Such an aggressive approach has brought with it challenges as well as achievements. Challenges include issues of sourcing and keeping professional staff with high quality skills in thin labour markets, dealing with cross-cultural interpersonal differences, managing inter-office teams in a high functioning environment while managing high risk and time critical projects (e.g. design, build and commissioning of high tech factories in China) and managing cultural integration of disparate organisations during acquisitions. Achievements include being recognised as an innovative, smart and contemporary provider of high quality builds and project management services. ProService Co is recognised as a leader in its field and is conscious that with growth comes greater levels of managerial complexity. The Board of Directors is keen to ensure its prime asset – its workforce – is managed well to ensure that the business has the capacity to meet its future challenges. Shona Smith is keen to leverage further growth from the resources boom in Western Australia and exploit opportunities in the Middle East. She is currently negotiating with a small consulting engineering firm in Perth that specialises in mining and environmental services as well as a project management firm in Abu Dhabi. If these mergers are achieved, further growth is likely for ProService Co taking the headcount from 420 to 490 in a very short period of time. As part of the strategic planning process, the HR Manager, Alaine Jones, has called a two-day meeting of the HR team across all offices. Each office HR representative has been asked to discuss a topical issue that they are dealing with at the meeting and to identify risks, opportunities and threats for the business and the management of its people going forward for the next three years. Head Office (Melbourne) identified the increasing trend of occupational health and safety incidents being reported from the Sydney office. Over the last three years, lost time injuries (LTIs) have increased from 8 to 22 and near missed had risen from 26 to 58. Most of the injuries had occurred out of the office on sites where engineers are required to work while undertaking design, commissioning or build, supervisory work. Representatives from other offices indicated that OH&S and injury management was on their ‘watch list’ as an issue for continual review. 2 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION Shelly North from the Melbourne office reported that the Brisbane office had recently been challenged over a possible unfair dismissal case. They suggested that the matter had been dropped and the individual had moved onto another role at a competitor company. The facts of the matter briefly indicated that it had come to light that the individual had been approached by a competitor and was being courted for a senior role in that company. The individual was suspected of sharing client lists and other commercial in confidence material with staff from the other company and was therefore summarily dismissed and escorted from the building. While no firm evidence was found to support the claims the individual’s line manager had lost faith in him and convinced the office manager that dismissal was the only course of action. The HR representative in Head Office was not consulted prior to the dismissal and she found later that company codes of conduct had not been provided to any new staff member at the Brisbane office since the acquisition with ProService Co two years ago. Managers from the Brisbane office had also been involved in three formal sexual harassment cases. Two female and one male employee had taken action against three managers in three separate incidents. All had been taken straight to the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission and Anti-Discrimination Tribunal rather than seeking resolution by internal mechanisms (i.e. contact officers and complaints procedures). None were considered serious by the office manager who said that the incidents “were only harmless fun that had got out of hand”. One was an incident at a Christmas party, one occurred on a client’s work site and one was “just a misunderstanding” between a female manager and a male team member. All three were still being investigated. Another issue put on the ‘watch list’ was the informal bullying complaint made about the Melbourne office manager in the recent past. It is alleged that a team member had consistently been left out of social events, had been targeted for greater than normal workloads outside of operating hours (oncall work) and had been subject to aggressive behaviour by the office manager. This is being investigated and the team member is currently off work on sick leave until further notice. Questions to consider: Imagine you’ve been hired as a consultant by Proservice to advise them on the HR issues. From your perspective: • What specific challenges do you believe the HR team currently face? • What do you predict might be emerging HRM issues for consideration? • Why does the Board believe people are its prime asset in this organisation? 3 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION Chapter Two – Strategic Priority Areas for ProServices Co While ProService Co weathered the global financial crisis relatively well, strong, unabated growth in the company resulted in a number of identified HRM issues that need to be addressed in the coming period of more considered business growth and consolidation. As noted previously acquisitions of a number of smaller organisations has added to the organic growth of the organisation. This has allowed the company to diversify further into project management and to add a greater scope of ‘cutting edge’, best practice engineering services to its portfolio. However, the systems and structures that served a small, growing organisation are failing to accommodate a culturally diverse and multidisciplinary business. Over the last two years the Board has been concerned that although the business has been highly successful in building a strong client base and a reputation for excellence, there have been a number of staff related issues (mentioned in Chapter One) that have the capacity to damage the corporate brand. Rather than address each one of those issues symptomatically the Board has directed that a holistic review of the HR structures be undertaken to investigate underlying structural issues. At the last Board meeting Shona Smith (CEO) and Alaine Jones (HR Manager) were charged with identifying a consolidated approach to addressing the emerging issues identified as priority areas for the business. These priority areas include: • Investigating structures and processes that unify the behaviour and outlook of staff with strategic intent and operations of the organisation to minimise dissonance; • Development of a single approach to management and leadership across all offices to forge a single approach to the way in which the organisation interacts with its people; • Development of a consistent suite of role statements/job descriptions for the organisation as a whole rather than a collection of disparate entities under the ProService Co corporate umbrella; • Implementation of a robust method of assessing performance and skilling individuals to achieve strategic business objectives as well as ensuring that current capabilities meet required project outcomes. Shona and Alaine have a number of concerns with regards to the ability of ProService to rise to the above challenges. This is due to: • Past inability to develop the structures to support growth; • Ability to communicate strategic intent to all parts of the business and its people; • Ethical considerations of progressing a unitarist paradigm; • Ability to undertake job analysis, design and a consistent approach to role identification in a business with diverse objectives, people and locations… is this even possible, desirable, or consistent with business objectives? • Unknown performance management methodology appropriate in a global business; how can we manage the process? • Whether performance management should be the sole basis for remuneration determination; 4 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION • The impact culture and context will have in determining relevance of motivational approaches. Due to these challenges and concerns Shona and Alaine have requested the assistance of a strategic HR management consultant in developing a suite of preliminary project plans to meet the Board’s directives. Questions to consider: • If you were engaged as the consultant to develop a suite of initiatives to meet the priority HR areas what would you do? Where would you start? What questions would you be asking of Shona, Alaine, and the staff? What initiatives would you recommend for each of the considerations? • Consider prevailing theory regarding issues such as job design, business ethics, leadership and performance management in the current business context. How might your recommendations serve to minimise the challenges and concerns raised? 5 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION Chapter Three – The Need for a Structural Reform of the HR Function As part of the board’s move toward reviewing business practices as they relate to the management of people at ProService Co, a broadening of the investigation into appropriate structures and processes has been suggested. While Shona Smith and Alaine Jones have, in consultation with a consultant in strategic HR, identified a suite of initiatives to address underlying issues, the investigation has identified several other areas for review. During the consultation process with staff, several issues have been brought to light. These include the following: • The ad hoc and disjointed means of setting, reviewing and managing remuneration and salary packaging is creating dissent among the staff. This is illustrated by one example of an engineer in the Sydney office being paid $12,000 more than her colleague in the Hong Kong office for the same work. Her manager defended this by suggesting that she puts in a greater level of work hours and achieves better results than her Hong Kong counterpart. However, when the manager was pressed to provide evidence of this, he suggested that it was his opinion and that’s all that mattered. • Salary packaging has been dependent on the individual manager when recruiting for new staff and through informal performance appraisals during the year. This practice has been defended by suggesting that talented individuals need encouragement to leave other employers to join or to remain loyal to ProService Co. • In an effort to be considered an ‘employer of choice’ and to attract and retain the most talented engineers, project managers and technical experts, a broadening gap has emerged between those in technical and consulting roles and support staff (e.g. IT and administration). While technical staff have access to a range of benefits such as cars, laptops, health insurance and purchased leave, support staff have had access only to cashbased remuneration. • Managers argue that retention is all about the money and to keep talented individuals the business needs to constantly ‘up the ante,’ in order to remain competitive in a global market and retain key people in the business that can replace those about to retire. • People with caring responsibilities for older parents and young children have left the business due to an unspoken managerial pressure to be at work from early morning till late afternoon, Monday to Friday. In light of this emerging picture of the business at its grass-roots Shona Smith and the HR Manager have resolved to undertake a full structural ‘overhaul’ of the HR function. Their key objectives include: • developing an integrated suite of HR processes and practices that tie strategic recruitment practices and employer brand to performance management and remuneration across all offices ; • identifying an appropriate value proposition to engage and retain skilled and high performing individuals, especially those with caring and family responsibilities; • implementing a means of addressing contemporary issues such as an ageing workforce, global business expansion and changing work practices. Again, the strategic HR consultant is brought in to provide an external view of potential initiatives to achieve appropriate outcomes for the business. 6 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION Questions to consider: • Given that there is a desire to see an integrated and holistic approach to the ‘overhaul’ of the HR function, what issues do you see as being important to address first? • What structures, processes or activities do you believe are necessary to provide ProService Co with the capability to achieve its desired HR objectives? What factors are important to consider? 7 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION ProService Co – Workforce Profile Office Headcount Skills Profile Approx. Gender Profile % M / F Approx. Age Profile 20- 30 31-45 46- 60 Average Annual Labour Turnover by Office Melbourne (head office) 120 Engineers 81 80 20 30 40 11 14% Project Managers 21 60 40 10 4 7 Admin 11 10 90 5 5 1 IT 4 100 2 2 HR 3 100 1 1 1 Sydney 85 Engineers 47 90 10 10 13 24 19% Project Managers 34 80 20 2 12 20 Admin 3 100 2 1 IT 1 100 1 HR 0 Brisbane 86 Engineers 58 85 15 14 11 33 10% Project Managers 23 60 40 5 15 3 Admin 3 33 67 1 1 1 IT 2 100 1 1 HR 0 Wellington 92 Engineers 41 60 40 14 6 21 26% Project Managers 42 65 35 20 12 10 Admin 5 20 80 2 2 1 8 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION IT 3 66 33 1 2 HR 1 100 1 Hong Kong 37 Engineers 15 85 15 2 10 3 8% Project Managers 17 90 10 4 12 1 Admin 3 100 2 1 IT 1 100 1 HR 1 100 1 Shanghai 38 Abu Dhabi 32

1 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION Chapter One – Introduction ProService Co is a professional services (consulting engineers and project management) firm with five offices in the Asia Pacific region. The Head Office is located in Melbourne, Australia, with satellite offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Wellington (NZ) and Hong Kong. The 420 employees are distributed throughout the offices (see attached workforce profile) with most based in Australia. The organisation has grown significantly over the past ten years, having been founded by its current Managing Director (Shona Smith) and several current board members. An aggressive growth strategy has increased employee numbers from a small team of 25 in 2002 to 420 today. This has been managed through organic growth (recruitment of employees to the firm) and targeted acquisitions of smaller firms in strategic geographical regions in order to acquire specific skill sets and market position (e.g. project management & consulting in Hong Kong). Such an aggressive approach has brought with it challenges as well as achievements. Challenges include issues of sourcing and keeping professional staff with high quality skills in thin labour markets, dealing with cross-cultural interpersonal differences, managing inter-office teams in a high functioning environment while managing high risk and time critical projects (e.g. design, build and commissioning of high tech factories in China) and managing cultural integration of disparate organisations during acquisitions. Achievements include being recognised as an innovative, smart and contemporary provider of high quality builds and project management services. ProService Co is recognised as a leader in its field and is conscious that with growth comes greater levels of managerial complexity. The Board of Directors is keen to ensure its prime asset – its workforce – is managed well to ensure that the business has the capacity to meet its future challenges. Shona Smith is keen to leverage further growth from the resources boom in Western Australia and exploit opportunities in the Middle East. She is currently negotiating with a small consulting engineering firm in Perth that specialises in mining and environmental services as well as a project management firm in Abu Dhabi. If these mergers are achieved, further growth is likely for ProService Co taking the headcount from 420 to 490 in a very short period of time. As part of the strategic planning process, the HR Manager, Alaine Jones, has called a two-day meeting of the HR team across all offices. Each office HR representative has been asked to discuss a topical issue that they are dealing with at the meeting and to identify risks, opportunities and threats for the business and the management of its people going forward for the next three years. Head Office (Melbourne) identified the increasing trend of occupational health and safety incidents being reported from the Sydney office. Over the last three years, lost time injuries (LTIs) have increased from 8 to 22 and near missed had risen from 26 to 58. Most of the injuries had occurred out of the office on sites where engineers are required to work while undertaking design, commissioning or build, supervisory work. Representatives from other offices indicated that OH&S and injury management was on their ‘watch list’ as an issue for continual review. 2 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION Shelly North from the Melbourne office reported that the Brisbane office had recently been challenged over a possible unfair dismissal case. They suggested that the matter had been dropped and the individual had moved onto another role at a competitor company. The facts of the matter briefly indicated that it had come to light that the individual had been approached by a competitor and was being courted for a senior role in that company. The individual was suspected of sharing client lists and other commercial in confidence material with staff from the other company and was therefore summarily dismissed and escorted from the building. While no firm evidence was found to support the claims the individual’s line manager had lost faith in him and convinced the office manager that dismissal was the only course of action. The HR representative in Head Office was not consulted prior to the dismissal and she found later that company codes of conduct had not been provided to any new staff member at the Brisbane office since the acquisition with ProService Co two years ago. Managers from the Brisbane office had also been involved in three formal sexual harassment cases. Two female and one male employee had taken action against three managers in three separate incidents. All had been taken straight to the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission and Anti-Discrimination Tribunal rather than seeking resolution by internal mechanisms (i.e. contact officers and complaints procedures). None were considered serious by the office manager who said that the incidents “were only harmless fun that had got out of hand”. One was an incident at a Christmas party, one occurred on a client’s work site and one was “just a misunderstanding” between a female manager and a male team member. All three were still being investigated. Another issue put on the ‘watch list’ was the informal bullying complaint made about the Melbourne office manager in the recent past. It is alleged that a team member had consistently been left out of social events, had been targeted for greater than normal workloads outside of operating hours (oncall work) and had been subject to aggressive behaviour by the office manager. This is being investigated and the team member is currently off work on sick leave until further notice. Questions to consider: Imagine you’ve been hired as a consultant by Proservice to advise them on the HR issues. From your perspective: • What specific challenges do you believe the HR team currently face? • What do you predict might be emerging HRM issues for consideration? • Why does the Board believe people are its prime asset in this organisation? 3 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION Chapter Two – Strategic Priority Areas for ProServices Co While ProService Co weathered the global financial crisis relatively well, strong, unabated growth in the company resulted in a number of identified HRM issues that need to be addressed in the coming period of more considered business growth and consolidation. As noted previously acquisitions of a number of smaller organisations has added to the organic growth of the organisation. This has allowed the company to diversify further into project management and to add a greater scope of ‘cutting edge’, best practice engineering services to its portfolio. However, the systems and structures that served a small, growing organisation are failing to accommodate a culturally diverse and multidisciplinary business. Over the last two years the Board has been concerned that although the business has been highly successful in building a strong client base and a reputation for excellence, there have been a number of staff related issues (mentioned in Chapter One) that have the capacity to damage the corporate brand. Rather than address each one of those issues symptomatically the Board has directed that a holistic review of the HR structures be undertaken to investigate underlying structural issues. At the last Board meeting Shona Smith (CEO) and Alaine Jones (HR Manager) were charged with identifying a consolidated approach to addressing the emerging issues identified as priority areas for the business. These priority areas include: • Investigating structures and processes that unify the behaviour and outlook of staff with strategic intent and operations of the organisation to minimise dissonance; • Development of a single approach to management and leadership across all offices to forge a single approach to the way in which the organisation interacts with its people; • Development of a consistent suite of role statements/job descriptions for the organisation as a whole rather than a collection of disparate entities under the ProService Co corporate umbrella; • Implementation of a robust method of assessing performance and skilling individuals to achieve strategic business objectives as well as ensuring that current capabilities meet required project outcomes. Shona and Alaine have a number of concerns with regards to the ability of ProService to rise to the above challenges. This is due to: • Past inability to develop the structures to support growth; • Ability to communicate strategic intent to all parts of the business and its people; • Ethical considerations of progressing a unitarist paradigm; • Ability to undertake job analysis, design and a consistent approach to role identification in a business with diverse objectives, people and locations… is this even possible, desirable, or consistent with business objectives? • Unknown performance management methodology appropriate in a global business; how can we manage the process? • Whether performance management should be the sole basis for remuneration determination; 4 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION • The impact culture and context will have in determining relevance of motivational approaches. Due to these challenges and concerns Shona and Alaine have requested the assistance of a strategic HR management consultant in developing a suite of preliminary project plans to meet the Board’s directives. Questions to consider: • If you were engaged as the consultant to develop a suite of initiatives to meet the priority HR areas what would you do? Where would you start? What questions would you be asking of Shona, Alaine, and the staff? What initiatives would you recommend for each of the considerations? • Consider prevailing theory regarding issues such as job design, business ethics, leadership and performance management in the current business context. How might your recommendations serve to minimise the challenges and concerns raised? 5 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION Chapter Three – The Need for a Structural Reform of the HR Function As part of the board’s move toward reviewing business practices as they relate to the management of people at ProService Co, a broadening of the investigation into appropriate structures and processes has been suggested. While Shona Smith and Alaine Jones have, in consultation with a consultant in strategic HR, identified a suite of initiatives to address underlying issues, the investigation has identified several other areas for review. During the consultation process with staff, several issues have been brought to light. These include the following: • The ad hoc and disjointed means of setting, reviewing and managing remuneration and salary packaging is creating dissent among the staff. This is illustrated by one example of an engineer in the Sydney office being paid $12,000 more than her colleague in the Hong Kong office for the same work. Her manager defended this by suggesting that she puts in a greater level of work hours and achieves better results than her Hong Kong counterpart. However, when the manager was pressed to provide evidence of this, he suggested that it was his opinion and that’s all that mattered. • Salary packaging has been dependent on the individual manager when recruiting for new staff and through informal performance appraisals during the year. This practice has been defended by suggesting that talented individuals need encouragement to leave other employers to join or to remain loyal to ProService Co. • In an effort to be considered an ‘employer of choice’ and to attract and retain the most talented engineers, project managers and technical experts, a broadening gap has emerged between those in technical and consulting roles and support staff (e.g. IT and administration). While technical staff have access to a range of benefits such as cars, laptops, health insurance and purchased leave, support staff have had access only to cashbased remuneration. • Managers argue that retention is all about the money and to keep talented individuals the business needs to constantly ‘up the ante,’ in order to remain competitive in a global market and retain key people in the business that can replace those about to retire. • People with caring responsibilities for older parents and young children have left the business due to an unspoken managerial pressure to be at work from early morning till late afternoon, Monday to Friday. In light of this emerging picture of the business at its grass-roots Shona Smith and the HR Manager have resolved to undertake a full structural ‘overhaul’ of the HR function. Their key objectives include: • developing an integrated suite of HR processes and practices that tie strategic recruitment practices and employer brand to performance management and remuneration across all offices ; • identifying an appropriate value proposition to engage and retain skilled and high performing individuals, especially those with caring and family responsibilities; • implementing a means of addressing contemporary issues such as an ageing workforce, global business expansion and changing work practices. Again, the strategic HR consultant is brought in to provide an external view of potential initiatives to achieve appropriate outcomes for the business. 6 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION Questions to consider: • Given that there is a desire to see an integrated and holistic approach to the ‘overhaul’ of the HR function, what issues do you see as being important to address first? • What structures, processes or activities do you believe are necessary to provide ProService Co with the capability to achieve its desired HR objectives? What factors are important to consider? 7 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION ProService Co – Workforce Profile Office Headcount Skills Profile Approx. Gender Profile % M / F Approx. Age Profile 20- 30 31-45 46- 60 Average Annual Labour Turnover by Office Melbourne (head office) 120 Engineers 81 80 20 30 40 11 14% Project Managers 21 60 40 10 4 7 Admin 11 10 90 5 5 1 IT 4 100 2 2 HR 3 100 1 1 1 Sydney 85 Engineers 47 90 10 10 13 24 19% Project Managers 34 80 20 2 12 20 Admin 3 100 2 1 IT 1 100 1 HR 0 Brisbane 86 Engineers 58 85 15 14 11 33 10% Project Managers 23 60 40 5 15 3 Admin 3 33 67 1 1 1 IT 2 100 1 1 HR 0 Wellington 92 Engineers 41 60 40 14 6 21 26% Project Managers 42 65 35 20 12 10 Admin 5 20 80 2 2 1 8 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION IT 3 66 33 1 2 HR 1 100 1 Hong Kong 37 Engineers 15 85 15 2 10 3 8% Project Managers 17 90 10 4 12 1 Admin 3 100 2 1 IT 1 100 1 HR 1 100 1 Shanghai 38 Abu Dhabi 32

1 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION Chapter One – Introduction ProService Co is a professional services (consulting engineers and project management) firm with five offices in the Asia Pacific region. The Head Office is located in Melbourne, Australia, with satellite offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Wellington (NZ) and Hong Kong. The 420 employees are distributed throughout the offices (see attached workforce profile) with most based in Australia. The organisation has grown significantly over the past ten years, having been founded by its current Managing Director (Shona Smith) and several current board members. An aggressive growth strategy has increased employee numbers from a small team of 25 in 2002 to 420 today. This has been managed through organic growth (recruitment of employees to the firm) and targeted acquisitions of smaller firms in strategic geographical regions in order to acquire specific skill sets and market position (e.g. project management & consulting in Hong Kong). Such an aggressive approach has brought with it challenges as well as achievements. Challenges include issues of sourcing and keeping professional staff with high quality skills in thin labour markets, dealing with cross-cultural interpersonal differences, managing inter-office teams in a high functioning environment while managing high risk and time critical projects (e.g. design, build and commissioning of high tech factories in China) and managing cultural integration of disparate organisations during acquisitions. Achievements include being recognised as an innovative, smart and contemporary provider of high quality builds and project management services. ProService Co is recognised as a leader in its field and is conscious that with growth comes greater levels of managerial complexity. The Board of Directors is keen to ensure its prime asset – its workforce – is managed well to ensure that the business has the capacity to meet its future challenges. Shona Smith is keen to leverage further growth from the resources boom in Western Australia and exploit opportunities in the Middle East. She is currently negotiating with a small consulting engineering firm in Perth that specialises in mining and environmental services as well as a project management firm in Abu Dhabi. If these mergers are achieved, further growth is likely for ProService Co taking the headcount from 420 to 490 in a very short period of time. As part of the strategic planning process, the HR Manager, Alaine Jones, has called a two-day meeting of the HR team across all offices. Each office HR representative has been asked to discuss a topical issue that they are dealing with at the meeting and to identify risks, opportunities and threats for the business and the management of its people going forward for the next three years. Head Office (Melbourne) identified the increasing trend of occupational health and safety incidents being reported from the Sydney office. Over the last three years, lost time injuries (LTIs) have increased from 8 to 22 and near missed had risen from 26 to 58. Most of the injuries had occurred out of the office on sites where engineers are required to work while undertaking design, commissioning or build, supervisory work. Representatives from other offices indicated that OH&S and injury management was on their ‘watch list’ as an issue for continual review. 2 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION Shelly North from the Melbourne office reported that the Brisbane office had recently been challenged over a possible unfair dismissal case. They suggested that the matter had been dropped and the individual had moved onto another role at a competitor company. The facts of the matter briefly indicated that it had come to light that the individual had been approached by a competitor and was being courted for a senior role in that company. The individual was suspected of sharing client lists and other commercial in confidence material with staff from the other company and was therefore summarily dismissed and escorted from the building. While no firm evidence was found to support the claims the individual’s line manager had lost faith in him and convinced the office manager that dismissal was the only course of action. The HR representative in Head Office was not consulted prior to the dismissal and she found later that company codes of conduct had not been provided to any new staff member at the Brisbane office since the acquisition with ProService Co two years ago. Managers from the Brisbane office had also been involved in three formal sexual harassment cases. Two female and one male employee had taken action against three managers in three separate incidents. All had been taken straight to the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission and Anti-Discrimination Tribunal rather than seeking resolution by internal mechanisms (i.e. contact officers and complaints procedures). None were considered serious by the office manager who said that the incidents “were only harmless fun that had got out of hand”. One was an incident at a Christmas party, one occurred on a client’s work site and one was “just a misunderstanding” between a female manager and a male team member. All three were still being investigated. Another issue put on the ‘watch list’ was the informal bullying complaint made about the Melbourne office manager in the recent past. It is alleged that a team member had consistently been left out of social events, had been targeted for greater than normal workloads outside of operating hours (oncall work) and had been subject to aggressive behaviour by the office manager. This is being investigated and the team member is currently off work on sick leave until further notice. Questions to consider: Imagine you’ve been hired as a consultant by Proservice to advise them on the HR issues. From your perspective: • What specific challenges do you believe the HR team currently face? • What do you predict might be emerging HRM issues for consideration? • Why does the Board believe people are its prime asset in this organisation? 3 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION Chapter Two – Strategic Priority Areas for ProServices Co While ProService Co weathered the global financial crisis relatively well, strong, unabated growth in the company resulted in a number of identified HRM issues that need to be addressed in the coming period of more considered business growth and consolidation. As noted previously acquisitions of a number of smaller organisations has added to the organic growth of the organisation. This has allowed the company to diversify further into project management and to add a greater scope of ‘cutting edge’, best practice engineering services to its portfolio. However, the systems and structures that served a small, growing organisation are failing to accommodate a culturally diverse and multidisciplinary business. Over the last two years the Board has been concerned that although the business has been highly successful in building a strong client base and a reputation for excellence, there have been a number of staff related issues (mentioned in Chapter One) that have the capacity to damage the corporate brand. Rather than address each one of those issues symptomatically the Board has directed that a holistic review of the HR structures be undertaken to investigate underlying structural issues. At the last Board meeting Shona Smith (CEO) and Alaine Jones (HR Manager) were charged with identifying a consolidated approach to addressing the emerging issues identified as priority areas for the business. These priority areas include: • Investigating structures and processes that unify the behaviour and outlook of staff with strategic intent and operations of the organisation to minimise dissonance; • Development of a single approach to management and leadership across all offices to forge a single approach to the way in which the organisation interacts with its people; • Development of a consistent suite of role statements/job descriptions for the organisation as a whole rather than a collection of disparate entities under the ProService Co corporate umbrella; • Implementation of a robust method of assessing performance and skilling individuals to achieve strategic business objectives as well as ensuring that current capabilities meet required project outcomes. Shona and Alaine have a number of concerns with regards to the ability of ProService to rise to the above challenges. This is due to: • Past inability to develop the structures to support growth; • Ability to communicate strategic intent to all parts of the business and its people; • Ethical considerations of progressing a unitarist paradigm; • Ability to undertake job analysis, design and a consistent approach to role identification in a business with diverse objectives, people and locations… is this even possible, desirable, or consistent with business objectives? • Unknown performance management methodology appropriate in a global business; how can we manage the process? • Whether performance management should be the sole basis for remuneration determination; 4 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION • The impact culture and context will have in determining relevance of motivational approaches. Due to these challenges and concerns Shona and Alaine have requested the assistance of a strategic HR management consultant in developing a suite of preliminary project plans to meet the Board’s directives. Questions to consider: • If you were engaged as the consultant to develop a suite of initiatives to meet the priority HR areas what would you do? Where would you start? What questions would you be asking of Shona, Alaine, and the staff? What initiatives would you recommend for each of the considerations? • Consider prevailing theory regarding issues such as job design, business ethics, leadership and performance management in the current business context. How might your recommendations serve to minimise the challenges and concerns raised? 5 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION Chapter Three – The Need for a Structural Reform of the HR Function As part of the board’s move toward reviewing business practices as they relate to the management of people at ProService Co, a broadening of the investigation into appropriate structures and processes has been suggested. While Shona Smith and Alaine Jones have, in consultation with a consultant in strategic HR, identified a suite of initiatives to address underlying issues, the investigation has identified several other areas for review. During the consultation process with staff, several issues have been brought to light. These include the following: • The ad hoc and disjointed means of setting, reviewing and managing remuneration and salary packaging is creating dissent among the staff. This is illustrated by one example of an engineer in the Sydney office being paid $12,000 more than her colleague in the Hong Kong office for the same work. Her manager defended this by suggesting that she puts in a greater level of work hours and achieves better results than her Hong Kong counterpart. However, when the manager was pressed to provide evidence of this, he suggested that it was his opinion and that’s all that mattered. • Salary packaging has been dependent on the individual manager when recruiting for new staff and through informal performance appraisals during the year. This practice has been defended by suggesting that talented individuals need encouragement to leave other employers to join or to remain loyal to ProService Co. • In an effort to be considered an ‘employer of choice’ and to attract and retain the most talented engineers, project managers and technical experts, a broadening gap has emerged between those in technical and consulting roles and support staff (e.g. IT and administration). While technical staff have access to a range of benefits such as cars, laptops, health insurance and purchased leave, support staff have had access only to cashbased remuneration. • Managers argue that retention is all about the money and to keep talented individuals the business needs to constantly ‘up the ante,’ in order to remain competitive in a global market and retain key people in the business that can replace those about to retire. • People with caring responsibilities for older parents and young children have left the business due to an unspoken managerial pressure to be at work from early morning till late afternoon, Monday to Friday. In light of this emerging picture of the business at its grass-roots Shona Smith and the HR Manager have resolved to undertake a full structural ‘overhaul’ of the HR function. Their key objectives include: • developing an integrated suite of HR processes and practices that tie strategic recruitment practices and employer brand to performance management and remuneration across all offices ; • identifying an appropriate value proposition to engage and retain skilled and high performing individuals, especially those with caring and family responsibilities; • implementing a means of addressing contemporary issues such as an ageing workforce, global business expansion and changing work practices. Again, the strategic HR consultant is brought in to provide an external view of potential initiatives to achieve appropriate outcomes for the business. 6 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION Questions to consider: • Given that there is a desire to see an integrated and holistic approach to the ‘overhaul’ of the HR function, what issues do you see as being important to address first? • What structures, processes or activities do you believe are necessary to provide ProService Co with the capability to achieve its desired HR objectives? What factors are important to consider? 7 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION ProService Co – Workforce Profile Office Headcount Skills Profile Approx. Gender Profile % M / F Approx. Age Profile 20- 30 31-45 46- 60 Average Annual Labour Turnover by Office Melbourne (head office) 120 Engineers 81 80 20 30 40 11 14% Project Managers 21 60 40 10 4 7 Admin 11 10 90 5 5 1 IT 4 100 2 2 HR 3 100 1 1 1 Sydney 85 Engineers 47 90 10 10 13 24 19% Project Managers 34 80 20 2 12 20 Admin 3 100 2 1 IT 1 100 1 HR 0 Brisbane 86 Engineers 58 85 15 14 11 33 10% Project Managers 23 60 40 5 15 3 Admin 3 33 67 1 1 1 IT 2 100 1 1 HR 0 Wellington 92 Engineers 41 60 40 14 6 21 26% Project Managers 42 65 35 20 12 10 Admin 5 20 80 2 2 1 8 BMA583 – Individual Capstone Case Analysis CASE INFORMATION IT 3 66 33 1 2 HR 1 100 1 Hong Kong 37 Engineers 15 85 15 2 10 3 8% Project Managers 17 90 10 4 12 1 Admin 3 100 2 1 IT 1 100 1 HR 1 100 1 Shanghai 38 Abu Dhabi 32

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