• Internal Code :
  • Subject Code :
  • University : Australian Maritime College
  • Subject Name : Human Resource Management

Human resource management

Answer to question 1:

Need for avoiding downsizing

In the times of recession, organizations look for alternative ways through which the overall monetary costs can be reduced. Even in the healthy financial times, businesses often look for downsizing for saving money and reducing the overall costs so that a lean structure is created and only the efficient workforce is retained (Iwai 2017). However, the degree of viability of this organizational practice is quite diminished as in the short-term; it may lead to the probability of bankruptcy. Many businesses believe that downsizing is an effective strategy for increasing the sales and performance; however, it is also associated with many negative consequences in that can result in productivity decline and poor performances and can also be twinned with deflation in customer satisfaction and increased stress in the workplace. If businesses look for downsizing for reducing the financial costs; they must rethink as its consequences are effectively severe.

Firms that downsize are not able to attend better results in terms of investment returns and sales. The employees who survived downsizing may face unfavourable effects as they may have doubts regarding the altered work, team changes and the adaptation in career paths. As a result of downsizing, the firms lose valuable knowledge and also the remaining employees are burdened with the workload and are left with less time to learn new tasks and skills (Iwai 2017). Also, they lose trust in management which further, hinders their loyalty and engagement with the organisation. Employees have to struggle with increased workload and are constantly pushed by the management to fulfil the gaps created as a result of the termination of different employees. It is responsible for destroying the overall organisational culture in the workplace.

Most of the employees after downsizing have concerns regarding job security. Downsizing creates an atmosphere of uncertainty among the employees which makes the employees more vulnerable to leaving the organisation on their own. Most of the employees look for organisations that are employee-friendly and tend to have virtuous relationships with the employees (Iwai 2018). However, the course of downsizing destroys job opportunities. It has a long-term impact on the reduced workforce as they have fear of losing their jobs which is also a key reason for increased absenteeism and high turnover in the organisations which further costs organisation for new recruitment, induction programs and training sessions. Downsizing also imparts a negative image of the business on the employees. it is also known to disturb the formal and informal communication channels with the employees as the employees do not feel strong ties with the firm and henceforth, the destabilization in the business is promoted. The communication loss in the left employees; hampers the flow of information and the exchange of ideas and decision-making process.

Instead of downsizing, organisations can look for other alternatives for reducing the cost. One of the most common methods of reducing costs is to ensure that voluntary overtime is eliminated. HR must communicate with the employees to make sure that only the mandatory cases need to be entertained for overtime so the regular salary is disseminated (Zorn et al. 2017). Another step that organisations can adopt is dispensing the discretionary benefits, organisations must ensure that the benefits of the employees are re-evaluated so that top employees are attracted in the necessary departments and long-term relationships are established. In tough times or in times of financial crisis, organisations can ensure to reshuffle the employees in the departments there the workload is high so that the total headcount is controlled. Extra opportunities can be provided to employees for availing leaves and sacrifice salary on a pro-rata basis. This will not only cut down the costs but will also elevate the satisfaction of the employees to maintain their work-life balance (Zorn et al. 2017).

Answer to question 2:

(a) Interview questions:

  1. Tell us a few examples in which the Australian Logistics Council enforces advocacy in the national economy? What is the possible freight challenges that the country may face? 

  2. During your academic course in Maritime Law, how did you handle meeting a tight deadline? What implications drawn from that scenario will you apply while assigning deadlines on assignments? 

  3. In your opinion, in the Logistics division, what Occupational and Health Safety procedures may be required?

  4. Do you think one should maintain the confidentiality of the sensitive information? As a lecturer, how significant it is?

  5. What strengths can you add to your position in terms of facilitating teamwork among the students?  Do you think group projects are helpful in it? 

(b) Providing cross-cultural training

The need to get acquainted with the subtle cultural nuances is cardinal in today’s organizations. Since an overseas candidate is selected for the post from Taiwan, it is crucial that the on-the-job training is coupled with the cross-cultural training program. The sole reason behind the same is to comprehend the socio-cultural differences between the two countries. The training program needs to be framed in such a way that cross-cultural communication and sensitivity is comprehended and the training session is driven by the need to prevent any sort of misunderstanding and hence, boost corporate competitiveness in the marketplace (Chen and Chiu 2018). The two key requirements of the training session are as follows:

  • The new employee will be communicated about the organisational commitment and having the external as well as internal cross-cultural communication (Cutler 2018). It will lay prominence on the company’s culture for everyone to be treated equally from the CEO to the workers.

  • Secondly, the training session is mandatory to be twinned with etiquette training so that all employees will acknowledge each others' need to be respected and facilitate clear communication. 

The training program needs to be conducted in such a way that the technical skills of the employee are elevated and competency in terms of collaboration is also improved. Training needs to be provided in terms of interacting with the senior units and management to convey the necessary information and also participate in strategic planning for establishing the goal and vision and keep a robust check of the resource allocation involving intermediate goals, human, financial resources and contingencies. Apart from stressing on the competencies, attributes and skills, the program needs to be highly compliant with the cross-cultural training. The training will be done by using a mixed approach (Cutler 2018). As a part of this approach, the new employee needs to be trained regarding the incorporation of multi delivery models. It will emphasize on quality learning. Since not everyone can acknowledge information and absorb the skills at the same time, henceforth, different discussion teams of the lecturers will be formed so that the employees are engaged with each other and demonstrate teamwork which is hence, reflected in their way of teaching and is also cultivated among the students.

The official language of Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese and that spoken in Australia is prominently English. Therefore, the training session must also lay prominence on the eradication of linguistic barriers. The employee must be informed about the need to use the language which is comprehensible by the students as well as other co-workers (Chen and Chiu 2018). Also, official training involves the linguistic training skills so that any sort of linguistic barriers are also identified and corrective actions are taken. Since there is difference between education system of Australia and Taiwan, hence, the employee will be provided training regarding the aesthetics, law, social organisations, religion, politics, values, attitudes and material culture of Australia so that any sort of socio-cultural barriers are diminished.

Answer to question 3:

Unique aspects of diversity in Royal Caribbean Cruise (RCC)

The RCC is developing its self-identity towards becoming a diverse and inclusive place to work. The firm has also retained its position in Forbes' list as America's one of the best employers in terms of diversity in the year 2019 (Royal Caribbean International 2020). In the organization, diversity is boosted through different initiatives; it makes use of the global recruitment strategy for making sure that a diverse pool of employees is recruited. It is laying prominence on worldwide learning and development platform for its different groups. The preliminary unique aspect of the organization is the fact that it has introduced different foundation courses and programs for developing the core competencies across the different employment sectors of the company. The Vice President People and Performance, Angela Howard is for the looking forward to protecting the brand culture of the organisation and safeguarding that investment is done in learning and development and performance of the rivals (Carnival Australia 2019).

The organization’s strategy is to ensure that the retention rates are increased so that the competitive edge is sustained in the marketplace. The robust training and mentoring programs are accountable for the efficacious performance of the employees. This is so because the employees are motivated to perform in an effectual custom through the training curriculums. Howard is looking forward to the more effective ways to ensure that the training requirements of the employees are met efficaciously. The key competitors of RCC are Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) and Carnival Corporation (CCL). The power share of RCC is inflating and in comparison with its competitors, the firm is gaining recognition in terms of its elevating power share in the leisure and entertainment industry. Its share in the entertainment portfolio is around 5.5 per cent and the same in the cases of the other two competitors is 2.8 per cent and 5 per cent respectively. This has been possible due to the fact that the reinvigorating of the carnival is done by laying prominence on the diversity of the firm and emphasizing in the inclusion strategies. Furthermore, the business as compared to its competitors has a more flexible environment which has allowed it to ensure that the motivation of the employees is elevated. Also, in the firm, it is made sure that the continuous interaction is facilitated between the HRM and the employees so that the proper guidance is provided in a timely manner (Royal Caribbean International 2020). Also, the organizational diversity is fostered as the employees on the board are managed by the captain and also it is safeguarded that the strong coordination is depicted with the shore-based head offices and the efficacious interaction is facilitated.

Additionally, RCC uses its diverse workforce as a competitive advantage in the market over its competitors. RCC makes sure that the potential crew members are properly educated ad trained before they start working on their profiles. This makes sure that any sort of glitches are avoided and confidence of the employees is elevated regarding their operations (Carnival Australia 2019). The unique aspect of the competitive advantage in the firm is that the living arrangements and the behavioural expectations of the employees are comprehended. It effectively stresses the practice of protecting its culture and hence, sustaining competitive advantage. Furthermore, the organization also ensures that the informal approach s followed while managing the employees and hence, delivering the eminent holiday cruise experiences.

Answer to question 4:

Measuring of success of Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM)

SHRM plays a vital role in businesses' performance and is also accountable for organisations’ large expenses and contributes to success in an efficient custom. SHRM is responsible for managing employees and also ensures that the maximum productivity is obtained (Han et al. 2019). It is cardinal to measure its success so that the businesses plans and objectives are attained. SHRM is responsible for conducting the key operations regarding the workforce such as recruiting, training, measuring and evaluating their performance against the key metrics and retaining them. The measurement of SHRM programs' success is essential to keep a record of the financial investments in the workforce. Through measuring success, businesses can make sure that the company is benefiting from a particular program and can strengthen the same if the program is yielding good results (Sareen 2018).

It is essential to measure the success of SHRM so that the effectiveness of the current is HRM practices such as compensation and retention training programs, engagement programs and the spanning payroll systems are evaluated. It is also crucial to ensure that the employees are performing with their optimal productivity. SHRM success measurement gives a better insight into the health of the organisation through the use of strategies. The success of SHRM can be assessed on the basis of key metrics, the preliminary metric is the Unscheduled Absence Rate (UAR) (Suh and Battaglio 2018). This rate can be useful for assessing the workers who are absent in a particular period; it is also a benchmark for assessing whether the SHRM is able to maintain stable presence rate of the employees or not. This is a key metric for measuring the success of SHRM because high absence rate can result in worsening work climate and can also be associated with stress in the workplace. It must be considered against standard 2 per cent which must be considered as a considerable figure. Another metric which can be used for measuring the SHRM performance is Employee Productivity Index (EPI) (Suh and Battaglio 2018). Other metrics involve benefit costs involving the benefit packages for the employees and compensation packages, turnover index; which directly related to the number of employees leaving the organisation which can be associated with dissatisfaction prevailing in the workplace environment.

Reporting to the stakeholders

Involvement of the stakeholders in the overall SHRM strategy is essential for all businesses so that the stakeholders are well-informed about the organisation procedures. It can be communicated to the stakeholders through organising quarterly meetings. It is a key way of sharing information and ensuring that an open discussion is fostered. The meeting can involve all the major stakeholders, the HRM team and the managerial team so that different viewpoints are considered (Martin et al. 2016). It can also be used for identifying the issues and determining the agreeable goals. Communication plan can be developed, the stakeholders must be communicated clearly stated objectives of SHRM and the associated potential risks also must be directed. The budgeting plans and analysis of the strategies for improving SHRM success can also be communicated to the stakeholders through a communication plan. Collaborative software can be used for creating reports and providing the same to them. The software must incorporate all the information regarding the SHRM procedures and the key metrics used for analysing the success and how the processes are being conducted. The stakeholders must also be provided with the opportunity to report the issue immediately through the issue-tracking services. Organisations can also make use of stakeholder report to communicate the status of the SHRM and its success on a monthly basis (Martin et al. 2016).

References

Carnival Australia. 2019. About us. Available at: https://www.carnivalaustralia.com/about-us/executive-members/angela-howard.aspx

Chen, K.C. and Chiu, Y.J. 2018. Development of the cross-cultural training on organizational commitment and work adjustment in the environmental services industry: the impact of relatedness. Ekoloji, 27, 106  pp.241-247.

Cutler, J., 2018. The Cross-Cultural Communication Trainer's Manual: Volume Two: Activities for Cross-Cultural Training. London: Routledge.

Han, J.H., Kang, S., Oh, I.S., Kehoe, R.R. and Lepak, D.P. 2019. The Goldilocks Effect of Strategic Human Resource Management? Optimizing the Benefits of a High-Performance Work System Through the Dual Alignment of Vertical and Horizontal Fit. Academy of Management Journal, 62,5 pp.1388-1412.

Iwai, H. 2017. End of the downsizing and world after that. In 2017 Fourth International Conference on Mathematics and Computers in Sciences and in Industry (MCSI), pp. 138-143.

Iwai, H. 2018. Impact of electron device miniaturization on computing and world after the end of miniaturization. International Journal of Internet of Things and Web Services, 3.

Martin, G., Farndale, E., Paauwe, J. and Stiles, P.G. 2016. Corporate governance and strategic human resource management: Four archetypes and proposals for a new approach to corporate sustainability. European Management Journal, 34,1 pp.22-35.

Royal Caribbean Internatonal. 2020. Diversity on board. Available at: https://www.royalcareersatsea.com/pages/diversity_onboard

Sareen, D. 2018. Relationship between strategic human resource management and job satisfaction. International Journal of Current Research in Life Sciences, 7,3 pp.1229-1233.

Suh, J. and Battaglio, P. 2018. Perceptions of strategic human resource management and performance: the mediating role of internal communication across the sectors. Organizational communication and performance in the public and nonprofit sector, p.56.

Zorn, M.L., Norman, P.M., Butler, F.C. and Bhussar, M.S. 2017. Cure or curse: Does downsizing increase the likelihood of bankruptcy?. Journal of Business Research, 76, pp.24-33.

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