Case Study Analysis

A North Carolina Case Study Analysis

Introduction

Human resource planning is very important in every organization since it helps to identify the skills of the work force that helps the organization achieve its objectives. In order to ensure that organizational goals are achieved, several strategic measures are applied. This paper will focus on the topics Human Resource Management Planning and Strategic Human Resource Management and how they are involved in driving the workforce in any organization resulting in motivating employees toward achieving excellence for the organization.

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Summary of the Case Study

There’s a likelihood of workforce crisis in North Carolina in the near future. The government is likely to feel the heavy impact due to the high number of aged employees in the municipal government. The competition for skilled workforce is set to increase between the government and the private sector as well as non-profit organizations. It is only practical that the government should resources which will help in achieving its objectives that are stated in the strategic plan. Work force planning can be described as the process that ensures that an organization is ready for its present and future needs by having the right people for the right tasks. Workforce planning is important in evaluating the composition of the government workforce and determining the necessary actions towards the future organizational demands. The key contributors towards the workforce planning process are governing boards, administrators as well as Human resource staff.

It is very important to determine how to replace retiring workers with younger employees since there have been a rapid increase of the ‘age bubble’. Demographic changes are taking place countrywide and they seem to challenge the public sector since the average of public employees is quite high, levels of skills great yet the access to available resources is more constrained. Workforce planning is not the remedy for demographic changes, but it enables governments to be more responsive and also ensures that current and future workforce needs align with the organizations objectives. The engagement in workforce planning has increased at the state level, from only five states in 1998 to more than half of the states in 2005. Many cities and counties had not employed the workforce planning reported to have employed the workforce planning between 1999 and 2001.

A workforce model should have four basic phases; reviewing firm organizational goals, evaluating current and future workforce needs, Design and employ human resource plan and strategies, and Assess, monitor and adjust the plan. An organization should analyze its current workforce profile. In this step, leaders should consider factors such as the skills and competences of the employees, demographic data on the workforce, salary data, supervisory ratios and management/employee ratios. It is important to have data about employees before conducting a workforce planning. An organization should design responses and strategies to enable it have unified strategic workforce plan to ensure that the services are efficient. The North Carolina survey showed that there was no uniformity across municipalities especially in training and development of employees. It is important that workforce plans are regularly evaluated, monitored and if necessary, adjusted. The key factors to consider in this case is; whether the goals have been achieved, whether the employed strategies have yielded the expected results. In this case study, the respondents were asked about the barriers and challenges they encountered in considering a workforce planning. The barriers identified included administration changes, agency uncertainty and economic limitations in supporting new projects. These barriers might be a sign that North Carolina municipalities does not perceive human resource departments as important strategic players. Despite the fact that the government has failed to include Human Resource in their Strategic Planning process, it has acknowledged Human Resource as a business partner. It is very important that top administrators are involved in the workforce planning process in any organization.

Strategic Human Resource Management

Tompkins (2002) identifies that the basic requirement of Strategic Human Resource Management is the alignment of personnel policies with the organization’s objectives. This can be achieved through workforce and succession planning as proposed by Pynes (2004). It refers to application of human resource activities and practices to make adjustments that improve the organization’s operations and help in achieving its strategic objectives. The case study is connected to the topic in that strategic management of personnel has been employed in organizations to yield their smooth learning. Workforce planning enables the government to invest in employee training, career counselling, retraining and productivity enhancement. It also avails opportunities for high-potential employees for promotion and career enhancement. The Government Performance and Result Act has set requirements for the federal agencies to undertake human-capital planning. A good workforce plan incorporates training activities to enable a continued flow of well-trained, highly experienced personnel who can step up to the required gaps in the organization.

Strategic Human Resource Management has been employed in providing leadership opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction, designing a plan to increase staff retention and improving the image of the organization. When the organization familiarizes itself with the present and future needs in terms of the work force and the gap between them, it can devise strategies that provide it with a unified workforce plan. The strategies of workforce planning are aimed at influencing the entire process that involves employees right from selection, to training and finally to turnover. In North Carolina, human resource directors playa strategic role in the planning process. The survey revealed that despite the fact that almost all respondents steered supervisory training and even allocated monetary resources for external training, about 50% introduced more strategies such as cross-training and leadership development programs. This is a very important aspect as far as Human Resource Strategic Management is concerned. Effective management of employees or what is called human resource results in a good working environment, efficient employer-employee relationships which translates to achievement of organizational goal.

Human Resource Planning

It is the process of evaluating the available human resources in order to determine if they align with the objectives of the organization. This topic relates to the case study in the application of the Personnel Management Workforce Planning Model. It involves a series of steps all which aim at evaluating the capabilities the workforce and fitting them into the objectives of an organization. This case study conducted a survey on North Carolina Municipalities and the results were used to determine how effective the workforce planning model was and how various phases of the model were employed and the results yielded. The workforce planning model in the case study involved four phases which are; reviewing organizational objectives, Analyzing present and future workforce needs to identify gaps or excesses, Developing and implementing a plan as well as human resource strategies and evaluating the plan.

When reviewing the organizational objectives, it is important to consider if the workforce plan addresses the future as stated by the goals and objectives. It is also necessary to consider if the organization has a workforce that is skilled enough to achieve the objectives over some period in the future, whether the organizational needs in the present and in the future need to note the demographics, goals and workloads of the workforce, whether the skills of the workforce match the organizational requirements and whether there are optional workforce strategies that can be applied in the achievement of goals and objectives. All these factors constitute strategic human resource planning. Many municipalities in North Carolina engage in strategic planning but only 41.4% includes human resource in strategic planning. Even as planning is done on other assets in the organizations, human resource is not considered an active player in the planning process. A strategic perspective views human capital as government’s valuable asset.

It is also important to identify the gaps and surplus in the workforce when evaluating the current and future workforce requirements. The government should take play the role of understanding the present workforce, their composition and also their characteristics. This helps in noting the areas that could require more planning to meet the future requirements. This phase is further broken into three steps i.e. evaluating the profile of the current workforce, evaluating the profile of the future workforce and determining the gaps and surpluses in between. It is important to evaluate the current position of the organization. The leaders should consider several factors at this level such as the age, gender, race and education of the workforce. During the process of Human Resource Planning, having the data about the workforce is crucial since it enables human resource administrators allocate human capital efficiently. Other than the basic data about the workforce, it is also necessary to collect additional information such as the skills and competences of the employees, the salary data among others. During the survey, it was revealed that most municipalities only collected demographic data of the workforce such as age and gender. Many municipalities identified workforce competences as complicated measures. Without this data however, it would be difficult to analyze the future workforce needs and the gaps.

Leaders must also note future workforce needs, the skills and the composition so that they can easily state the job requirements. At this level, the leaders should consider factors such as; the skills needed to achieve the future objectives, the skills require in urgent situations, the implications of economic and social trends among others. In the survey, the activities at this stage were rarely carried out and in many municipalities they were not considered necessary. After analyzing the present and future workforce needs, it is important to carry out a gap analysis which helps in coming up with strategies and solutions for the present and the future. Only 7.1% of the respondents undertook the gap analysis and 35.7% considered it unnecessary. As part of Human Resource Planning, it is important that workforce plans undergo evaluation and adjustments at regular basis. It is important to examine the efficiency of a workforce plan and where social and economic trends call for change, the plan should be adjusted

The relevance of the key ideas from the case study for practicing Public Personnel Management.

Public personnel management has changed over years. Professionals have devised various methods which help in development of human resources. This field has grown as organizations highlight the role of the employees the performance of the organization. From the term Public Personnel management, “public” depicts the services are public. “Personnel” depicts human resources while “management” refers to the undertakings related to handling human resources. Public Personnel Management has its focus on employees of an organization. This case study has greatly contributed to effective management of public personnel. The study helps to recognize human resource as an active player in human resource planning. Administrators and human resource managers should consider the interests of the employees when creating a workforce plan. This results in uniformity and satisfaction in the organization and hence the employees are able to work efficiently.

The study also emphasizes on collecting data about the workforce. Human resource managers should look forward toward identifying the professional weaknesses and strengths of each employee, which as a result help them in acquiring knowledge on how to handle each employee by assigning tasks which best suit their competences. As a result the organizational goals are effectively achieved since every employee specializes in their areas of competence. By developing workforce strategies, the organization improves on their general service delivery since regular changes are made on recruitment, training and development, and retention methods. The administrators are able to device strategies to replace aged employees with a pool of younger employees and retain them a long period of time. Human resource managers can also give platforms for employees for career enhancements. These opportunities should be availed with equal measures to the employees.

Contribution to Student’s Understanding of Public Personnel Management

During the interview of a new human resource professional employee, the interviewer evaluates the candidate against some personal characters and skills required for the job. Every organization considers their employees as a valuable asset. It is for this reason that students need to understand that public personnel management is very important. It is important to understand that human resources are the heart of every successful business. By studying this case analysis, students will be able to nurture their skills as upcoming professional human resource managers. This case study helps learners to practice public personnel management in the following ways; the learner is able to learn effective ways of resolving conflicts. The study helps to understand how to maintain a healthy working environment by avoiding conflicts with employees. Respect is key in any working environment and it should be two way. This study also help in understanding budget control in an organization. So many projects involves expenditure, be it training of employees, or introduction of a new program. As a good public personnel manager, it is important reduce excessive spending through developing strategies that trim down the workforce management expenses.

The case study also helps a student to understand how to device strategic method of recruiting, training, and developing the human resources in an organization. One is also able to understand how of handle staff members with different characters, such as arrogant and difficult employees. Learners ought to understand that Human Resource Managers and especially in the public sector are obliged to handling the employees with diligence to maintain a good working environment and to avoid unnecessary conflicts.

Conclusion

Work force changes will remain part of all organizations. However, it is important to note that these changes can be made in a strategic way by developing workforce plans which are unified ensuring that all employees are satisfied. Top managers and administrators must be involved in Human Resource Planning and specifically in the development of a workforce plan. During this process, it is important to maintain communication and promote transparency in all steps.