Describe one selection method used in your organization and critically analyse how it affects diversity. Outline how the use of this method can be improved to support diversity and justify your recommendations with relevant evidence.
Selection process within an organisation refers to the process of shortlisting and selecting the most suitable candidate to fill the organisational vacancies. One of the recent developments in the organisational selection process is the emphasis on diversity and attracting talent from the wider society (Hamilton and Davidson 2018). This is so mainly since workforce diversity is not only an ethical issue but also contributes in enhancing the sustainability and competitiveness of the organisation by improving talent attraction, boosting innovation and creativity and increasing organisational flexibility (Roberson, Buonocore and Yearwood 2017). However, due to organisational and personal biases, it is not easy to ensure diversity in the organisation and one of the central challenges organisations face in enhancing diversity is the negative impact of their selection practices (Campion, Campionn and Campion 2019). For instance, it the organisation under consideration, cognitive ability tests are used to in the selection process which is highly prone to be culturally biased and therefore can adversely affect minority groups (Roberson, Buonocore and Yearwood 2017).
In the selection process, cognitive ability tests are used to assess the cognitive skills of the candidate, such as perception, verbal ability, reasoning, memory, problem solving and mathematical ability. Such tests include questions designed to ascertain the candidates' potential to use mental ability to solve problems related to work. (Paetzel and Sausgruber 2018) mentioned that even though such tests are a sound predictor of work outcomes such as training performance, job performance and knowledge acquisition, they have also shown significant group mean differences in terms of culture and race. This raises the concerns of test bias and lower selection rate of protected groups. Jackson, Kleitman, Howie and Stankov (2016) agreed with this assessment and stated that cognitive tests are associated with the lower representation of minority groups and that they contain cultural biases.
Based on the impact and implications of such biases in the selection process, the following key points are recommended to the organization to ensure that such tests are used in a diversity centric approach.
One of the key issues in such tests is of language availability. Most of the cognitive tests for selection are administered in English, even though applicants come from first- or second-generation immigrants (Cantarelli, Belle and Belardinelli 2020). Therefore, selection tests should be available in a range of different languages.
Another recommendation is of using English as a secondary language (ESL) norm groups. Recruiters are mainly interested in the candidate's performance relative to others, and by using ESL groups, not only they can reduce biases, but also provides an accurate assessment of candidate's ability as compared to similar individuals. (Roberson, Buonocore and Yearwood 2017) further mentioned that using such groups does not affect abstract or numerical reasoning, which means that it does not affect the outcome in favour of minority groups, and simply gives them a fairground to compete on.
In addition to this, organisational recruiters can also opt for abstract reasoning assessment, rather than cognitive ability tests, as abstract assessments are acultural and language free and do not discriminate on the basis of language. Performance on this test is also less likely to get influenced by educational circumstances socio-economic factors (Campion, Campionn and Campion 2019).
Drawing on your professional practice, outline the key performance targets that are set for your subordinates (or, if you currently do not have subordinates, your peers or yourself). Explain whether these targets fulfil the requirements for goal setting developed by goal-setting theory and research. Suggest how these performance targets could be improved consistent with the research evidence on effective goal setting.
One of the key aspects of performance management is of effective goal setting. Effective goals provide direction for the organizational efforts and ensure that efforts of the workforce are oriented towards the realization of organizational goals (Velasco Moreno 2019). In 1968, Edwin Locke proposed the effective goal-setting theory to develop well-defined goals. The theory suggests that goals and organizational performance are intricately linked with each other and that employees are motivated by clear goals and feedback. The key principles of effective goals setting according to this theory include clarity, challenge, commitment, feedback and task complexity (Diaz-Saenz and Padilla-Cano 2017). In my professional practice as a recruiting manager, some of the key performance targets include getting 20 qualified candidates per post, Time to fill metrics which includes an average of 43 days for filling a position and time to hire metrics of average 23 days.
The said goals are specific and include a proper feedback channel to direct recruiting efforts in case of any variance in performance. These goals are clear, challenging and have feedback channels that suggest whether we are meeting organisational goals or not. However, this does not mean that there is no room for improvement in the goal-setting process. For instance, the organization can improve the process by effectively communicating the goals to the team and making sure that everyone understands the way performance will be measured (Locke and Latham 2019). Moreover, Butkevica, Zandbergs, Namsone and Brike (2018) recommend that in respect of effective goal setting, especially for team goals, organizations should also take the rewarding mechanism under consideration to ensure commitment towards the goal. We can use this in our goal-setting approach by including extrinsic rewards for team members who achieve their goals.
Furthermore, another approach which can be used to improve the goal-setting process is of allowing team members to set their own goals, in order to improve their sense of empowerment and commitment and using management by objectives to ensure their alignment with organizational goals (Welsh, Baer, Sessions and Garud 2020). Training is another area which can be improved in the task complexity aspect of effective goal setting. Teo and Low (2016) mentioned that employees tend to be less motivated for goals that are too overwhelming and are highly complex. Since the aforementioned goals can get demanding, it will be better to provide additional training to team members before they strive towards the goals. Such training can include training in sourcing strategy and job advertising to attract qualified candidate (Shoaib and Kohil 2017), proactive recruitment approach for improving time to fill and training in applicant tracking systems for time to hire (Van der Hoek, Groeneveld and Kuipers 2018).
These suggestions will help to further improve the goal-setting process and will facilitate the effective realization of organizational and personal goals by providing clear and challenging goals for commitment and feedback for evaluation and by considering the complexity of the tasks.
Identify one job in your organization benefit from a work redesign. Explain why you consider work redesign for this job necessary, and briefly outline how you would redesign it to make it more motivating. Support your analysis and recommendations with relevant evidence.
Work redesign refers to the efforts of reviewing certain tasks and job responsibilities and restructuring them in order to make them more inspiring and encouraging (Siengthai and Pila-Ngam 2016). The process includes analysing, reforming, revising and altering job-related content to enhance the variety of functions and assignments to increase motivation and to make the organizational members feel like a significant part of the organization. Considering the influence of work redesign, it is not surprising that numerous authors have presented different approaches towards job redesign such as scientific management and job specialization, rotation, job enlargement and enrichment (Holman and Axtell 2016). The organization under consideration one of the most monotonous and repetitive job is of the recruitment specialist.
Considering that the job role requires following predefined rules of recruitment strategy, again and again, it is not surprising that recruitment specialists often lose motivation for their job. Therefore, the work of the recruitment specialist can be redesigned to make it more engaging and fulfilling. In order to do so, the organization can opt for enriching the job role under consideration and allowing recruitment specialist to take more control over the way they execute their tasks. Other approaches, like job rotation and job enlargement, are not appropriate for this role given the specialized nature of the job (Tafvelin, Stenling, Lundmark and Westerberg 2019).
This approach is suitable as it will allow the employee to take on more responsibility and facilitates positive outcomes in terms of improved motivation. This is so mainly due to the fact that employees who have the responsibility and authority over their work tend to eliminate unnecessary tasks, become more efficient and improve their overall performance (Daniels, Gedikli, Watson, Semkima and Vaughn 2017).
In term of enriching the work of recruitment specialists HR manager can allow them to design the selection approach, give them some authority over the plan for selecting the most suitable candidate and involving them in the decision-making process (Le Blanc, Demerouti and Bakker 2017). For this purpose, recruitment specialists can be given authority over job training and other functions which directly relate to recruitment and selection. Moreover, feedback from recruitment specialists, organizational stakeholders should also be taken into consideration which redesigning work as it directly affects them and business operations.
However, at the same time, it should also be taken into consideration that employees do not necessarily desire more control and can get frustrated with an enriched job (Siengthai and Pila-Ngam 2016). Thus, it is important to take the views of the recruitment specialists under consideration while enhancing the scope and nature of their job role (Pila-Ngarm and Siengthai 2017). It is also recommended to have a step-by-step implementation plan to manage the change effectively, along with using a pilot phase to ascertain whether recruitment specialists can effectively handle new tasks, and does it improve their motivation levels. This will help to reinforce and institutionalise the results (Tafvelin, Stenling, Lundmark and Westerberg 2019).
Think about the different types of messages found in organisations (e.g. information about job losses, feedback on individual work performance, notification of health and safety requirements). Informed by your professional experience, outline ONE example of an organisational message and explain how it should be communicated effectively.
Your answer should specify and justify the choice of an appropriate medium and, recognising good practise, explain how it should be used to achieve desired communication objectives.
Effective communication is regarded as the building block of successful organization and interactions between employees significantly influences the way organizational members work together (Buchanan and Huczunski 2019). Considering the various types of message that are circulated in organizations, business professionals need to know how different communication strategies should be used to communicate different types of information. For instance, feedback on individual work is something every organization engages in, yet because of ineffective communication practices, this is mostly fear-provoking and unnerving for employees.
It is important for managers to provide feedback on work performance in a constructive manner to ensure that it will result in an improvement in employee performance. In order to effectively communicate the feedback one of the very first steps to take is to check the motives behind the task (Lee, Idris and Tuckey 2019). Feedback provider, most likely the manager, needs to remember that the purpose of giving feedback is to improve the performance of the individual, not to be critical, offensive or harsh. This does not mean that feedback has to be positive, it simply means that there should be a balance and fairness. Moreover, tools like Losada ratio and Feedback matrix can be used to get such a balance (Ammari, Alkurdi, Alshurideh and Alrowwad 2017).
Another key consideration while giving feedback is to communicate it directly, that is in-person, because not only public scrutiny is not appreciated, but it also provides a safe place for honest communication where the relevant parties will not be overheard or interrupted (Ramani, Konings, Mann, Pisarski and van der Vleuten 2018). Furthermore, it will also allow the manager to assess the body language and emotions of the employee, which is not possible through emails or similar means of communication. Also, being timely is a good practice in terms of giving feedback. Here, being timely means that that feedback should be closer to the event that is being addressed. Feedback should not be surprising for anyone (Motro and Ellis 2017). However, at the same time, it is also recommended that in case of an emotional situation, managers should wait until everyone has calmed down before sharing his or her feedback.
In addition to this, feedback requires constant attention, which is why it should be regular, perhaps even every week depending on the situation. This does not have to be formal, simple informal feedback can be used more often (Buchanan and Huczunski 2019). Furthermore, to avoid labelling the recipient, it is recommended that “I” statements should be used to suggest that it is an opinion not a judgement on the individual. Feedback communication should also be specific and limited in focus. It is recommended that more than two issues should be addressed in a given feedback session and should only address behaviour which can be changed (Buchanan and Huczunski 2019). Follow up is another important aspect to ensure that the recipient properly received the message and understands the organization of the change expects in his or her behaviour (Ammari, Alkurdi, Alshurideh and Alrowwad 2017).
Consider your current (or previous organisation). Explain whether you think it has a “learning culture”. Identify the key factors that have created this culture and/or the barriers that obstruct it and suggest how the culture could be developed to further support workplace learning.
IT is one of the most dynamic sectors which even changing practices and process. Considering this, it is evident that a learning culture not only provides a competitive advantage to an organization operating in the sector but is more or less a necessity. Learning culture refers to a set of organisational processes, values, practices and conventions which encourage organization and its workforce to develop competence and knowledge (Wahda 2017). A learning culture encourages continuous learning which constantly elevates the organizational workforce and opens new avenues for continuous improvement in the organization. The organization in which I operate as a thriving learning culture as the organizational leadership encourages creative thinking, and experimentation on a small scale.
Moreover, the values of the organization are also reinforced flexibility and initiative, and the top management also supports such values. In addition to this, information and knowledge are disseminated to every member of the organization who needs them and can apply them to his or her tasks. Apart from this, employees are also empowered to find better ways of executive their tasks and innovatively resolve problems. This facilitates the growth and development of learning culture within the organization (Chanani and Wibowo 2019). However, the organization can also use some improvements in terms of formalized development and training plans, as even though the organization and its management support the learning culture, a lack of formal plans acts as a barrier for the same (Islam, Khan and Bukhari 2016).
Also, since information sharing is not a formal process in the organization, employees do not tend to take full advantage of knowledge development and information sharing. Formalizing such processes will also help the management to give proper and timely feedback regarding the same to evaluate the benefits of organizational training and development (Watkins and Kim 2018). Removing such barriers is important for further development of workplace learning and can support the learning culture which is already in place. For instance, the organization can formulate and implement formalized training and development plans to ingrain the learning culture by making such practices mandatory for all organizational members. This will also motivate employees by giving them formal recognition for learning new abilities and skills (Farhan 2018).
Furthermore, organizational members will be more encouraged to share information a knowledge if case they are required to do so with the help of formalized processes. Also, there is a lack of systems thinking approach within the organization which can inhibit the efforts towards enhancing the learning culture. Creating an environment in which employees view the culture as a system in which their work affects others is also important for long term sustainability of organizational learning culture (Wahda 2017).
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