Human resource management

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BCO213 HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT Task brief & rubrics Assignment # 3

This course will have 3 assignments. Please find below task brief & rubrics for Assignments #3.

Task for Assignment # III – Please answer the 2 questions of the case and 2 out of 4 of the open section. Each question is worth 25% of the

Part 1 – Case

Introducing a New Performance Management System

A large organisation, which traditionally had a paternalistic approach and low levels of unionisation, decided to introduce a performance management

system incorporating performance-related pay.

This changed the nature of the previous incremental salary scales and led to the abolition of the annual cost of living-related increase.

The new system incorporated an annual objective setting process, ongoing review and annual assessment with a reward link.

The annual assessment determined two things.

a) Firstly, whether the individual could move up on the salary scale:

• one increment

• two increments

• would remain put or

• would move down one increment.

There were careful descriptions related to performance which indicated which action should be taken in respect of each individual.

This replaced the previous system where increments were automatic and there was no possibility of moving down an increment.

b) Secondly, the assessment was translated into a grade (A–E) and each grade was linked to an amount of performance-related pay, expressed as

a percentage of current salary.

There were however limits on the number of people in any department who could be put into each category.

So, for example, A grade, which represented outstanding performance, was only available to 5% of the staff in any department.

The system was introduced very quickly using a consulting firm. However, 2 years after implementation there are high levels of dissatisfaction from

employees, and some line managers have also expressed serious concerns about their role in the system and the system itself.


To tackle the problem a different consulting firm was used as the previous one had disbanded.

They carried out some research and established the following:

• Objectives were not always agreed at the beginning of the period, sometimes they were agreed at the end or not at all

• Reviews were not generally carried out during the year

• Those departments that did set objectives found high levels of competitiveness between staff and an unwillingness to support others

• Changes to the incremental system were widely resented, except for a few highfliers

• Many felt the system was not used fairly or consistently

• Many employees, including line managers, did not understand why the system was introduced, others thought it was to do with cost cutting

• All felt the grade limits were unfair

• Employees did not feel line managers were objective in their assessments

• Some line managers expressed discomfort with the process

• Most employees felt their development needs were ignored

• The reward levels were too small to motivate employees.

Case Questions (each question is worth 25% of the exam grade)

1. What do you see as being the primary weaknesses of the new performance management system at this company? Why? How do they affect
the employees? Organize and explain how they affect other HR functions.

2. As an external HR consultant to the company, list and rank by priority the recommendations you would make to the Director of HR as to how

the system should be modified and relaunched? Establish a timeline for the recommendations.

Open Questions (each question is worth 25% of the exam grade)

Answer two of the following questions:

1. From afar, the best prize that life offers is the opportunity to work on something worthwhile. (Theodore Roosevelt). Explain how this phrase

impacts the HR corporate strategy and suggest what actions that should be implemented in a company in order to be consistent with its


2. Steven Covey’s Top 7 Habits of Highly Effective People are: (1) Be proactive (2) Begin with the end in mind (3) Put first things first (4) Think win-

win (5) Seek first to understand, and then to be understood (6) Synergize (7) Sharpen the saw. How do these principles relate to the HR

function? Explain precisely and justify.


3. Operational managers sometimes complain that the HR function is more restrictive than helpful. What can HR managers do to demonstrate their

value to operational departments? What are the 5 most common errors that an HR executive can make? Explain and justify. Apply to your

personal experience.

4. Outline a ‘best practice’ process for developing an HR strategy at the organizational level. What kind of measurements (KPIs) would provide

effective monitoring and evaluative insights for such a strategy?


• Format: Word document

• Word count: 2.500 words minimum

• Cover, Table of Contents, References and Appendix are excluded from the total wordcount.

• Font: Arial 12,5 pts.

• Text alignment: Double Justified.

• The in-text References and the Bibliography must be in Harvard citation style.

• Please apply Professor’s top tips to produce a great report.

• Similarity scores over 20% will not be accepted.

Submission: Via Moodle (Turnitin). Deadline 17th Jan. 2022 at 23:59 CEST

Weighting: 40% of the course grade

Learning Outcomes: It assesses the following learning outcomes:

• understand the Human Resources function inside the enterprise, describe and analyze responsibilities and tasks.
• interpret job analysis and apply job design.
• understand different stages of human resources planning.
• asses strategies for recruitment, selection and training;
• asses retention strategies: performance management systems, compensation strategies and career development plans.



Exceptional 90-100 Good 80-89 Fair 70-79 Marginal fail 60-69

Knowledge &


Student demonstrates
excellent understanding of
key concepts and uses
vocabulary in an entirely
appropriate manner.

Student demonstrates
good understanding of the
task and mentions some
relevant concepts and
demonstrates use of the
relevant vocabulary.

Student understands the
task and provides minimum
theory and/or some use of

Student understands the task
and attempts to answer the
question but does not
mention key concepts or uses
minimum amount of relevant

Application (30%) Student applies fully
relevant knowledge from
the topics delivered in

Student applies mostly
relevant knowledge from
the topics delivered in

Student applies some
relevant knowledge from
the topics delivered in
class. Misunderstanding
may be evident.

Student applies little relevant
knowledge from the topics
delivered in class.
Misunderstands are evident.

Critical Thinking

Student critically assesses
in excellent ways, drawing
outstanding conclusions
from relevant authors.

Student critically assesses
in good ways, drawing
conclusions from relevant
authors and references.

Student provides some
insights but stays on the
surface of the topic.
References may not be

Student makes little or none
critical thinking insights, does
not quote appropriate
authors, and does not
provide valid sources.


Student communicates
their ideas extremely
clearly and concisely,
respecting word count,
grammar and spell check

Student communicates
their ideas clearly and
concisely, respecting word
count, grammar and spell

Student communicates
their ideas with some
clarity and concision. It
may be slightly over or
under the word count limit.
Some misspelling errors
may be evident.

Student communicates their
ideas in a somewhat unclear
and unconcise way. Does not
reach or does exceed word
count excessively and
misspelling errors are


Marbella Residential Homes

Marbella Residential, located in southern Spain, was originally founded in 1972 to provide skilled and caring support to the elderly. Over the years it became very
successful, gaining a number of prestigious awards, especially due its focus on beautiful premises, onsite medical services and comprehensive facilities. It
expanded gradually to five residencies with space for 250 patients until 2015. At that point, the company was acquired by a venture capitalist who made a
substantial investment in securing 4 further residencies with a total capacity of nearly 1,000 patients.

The focus changed significantly from highly personalized care to ensuring that the residencies were continuously filled to capacity, with profitability being the prime
objective. This change has meant that many of the experienced staff have decided to retire or seek work in other places, leaving many staff gaps to be filled,
mostly by young, inexperienced and sometimes untrained staff.

The market for skilled care of the elderly is growing apace as baby boomers from northern Europe decide to spend their final years in the sun of the Mediterranean
and there is no shortage of people seeking a place at one of the Marbella residencies.

However, the rapid expansion of the company has created a number of problems and now, as a newly hired HR Director for the company, you are interviewing
some of the 50 ‘core’ staff to assess the extent of the challenges you are facing:

1. Gerda, a 35-year old licensed nurse from Germany says: “I’ve been here for 5 years and I’ve seen management do what it can to fill positions, but I don’t
always agree with who they recruit. Some of the basic skills can taught, of course, but you can’t teach someone to care. So I find myself really stressed
out, looking after so many patients who often just want more attention”

2. Phillipe, a Belgian carer with a BA degree in Psychology tells you: “I came here a year ago thinking that it would be fun to work in southern Spain – you
know, sun, sea and sangria …But it isn’t like that at all. There are constant crises to deal with and I’m the one everyone turns to first it seems, so I’m
constantly running from situation to situation dealing with outbursts, arguments and even fights! And this goes on every day, including weekends, so I
hardly have any time to myself at all. I’m already applying for other jobs…”

3. Peter, a German doctor: “Well I’ve been living in this area for over 10 years, and I spend most of my time divided either at my surgery in Estepona or one
of the Marbella residencies. I visit each residence once a week to check on patients and prescribe medicines and so on. If there’s a medical emergency,
then I get called out to that as well. That worked fine until 2015 but now, it’s just impossible to get around all the residencies and see all the patients that
need me. It’s totally ridiculous to think that only one doctor can deal with everything! We did have a second doctor, but he left almost as soon as he
realized what the workload consisted of and frankly, I’m thinking of doing the same .. “

4. Laura, a 17-year-old recent hire says: “I just started three months ago straight out of school. I’d really like the job if only I had more time to spend with each
person. But there are so many patients, I can only clean them up, make the bed, and tidy the room and then I have to run off to the next patient. We’re
supposed to be ‘carers’ but we’re just maids on the lowest minimum pay. The conditions are pretty bad and until now, we’ve had nobody to go to – I’m so
glad you’re here now. Perhaps you can increase our pay and give us more time to look after the patients properly rather than just chase around until we’re

5. Charles, Director of Marbella Residential: “Welcome to your new role and I’m very happy you’re here! I’ve spent most of my time interviewing people for
vacant jobs and I told the owner it’s about time we had a professional HR person to help me out… Yes, we have 50 full-time nurses and carers spread
around the various residencies and sometimes we have to shift them from one to the other to fill gaps. We outsource things like the cleaning and the


catering because the owner wants to keep the organization as lean as possible. He only comes every now and again to check on things .. he expects us to
keep the company going on the minimum possible cost base and he really isn’t interested in how we do it, because there’s a waiting list of over 50 people
at the moment and it gets longer and longer every month … we just don’t have the places available. Enough staff, you ask? Well, frankly, there’s always
people who want to come and work in this part of Europe and unemployment is high in the area, so we always have lots of applicants for any jobs that
come up. Unfortunately, very few of them are qualified or interested in the job itself, so they don’t stay long. Our turnover is 30% a year, which keeps us
busy recruiting… and the ratio of carers is 1: 25 patients or so, which is standard for the industry in Spain ….”

In addition, the 2020-2021 COVID pandemic has complicated Marbella’s HR situation, implementing new ways of managing its employees to effectively serve the


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