5CO02 Assignment Example
- December 19, 2021
- Posted by: Harry King
- Category: CIPD Level 5
Task One: Briefing Paper
You have been asked to prepare a briefing paper that is to be given to people practitioners at a regional event, to share insights and good practice. The paper needs to provide understanding of approaches that can be taken to support effective critical thinking and decision-making within the HR remit.
Your Briefing Paper needs to:
- provide an evaluation of the concept of evidence-based practice and assess how evidence- based practice approaches can be used to support sound decision-making and judgments for people practitioners across a range of people practices and organisational issues. (1.1)
- evaluate two micro and two macro analysis tools or methods that can be used in people practice to explore an organisation’s micro and macro environment, and how those identified might be applied to diagnose future issues, challenges and opportunities. (1.2)
- explain the principles of critical thinking and give examples of how you apply these yourself when relating to your own and others’ ideas, to assist objective and rationale debate. (1.3)
- assess at least two different ethical theories and perspectives and explain how an understanding of these can be used to inform and influence effective decision-making. (1.4)
- explain a range of decision-making approaches that could be used to identify possible solutions to a specific issue relating to people practice. (2.3)
- as a worked example to illustrate the points made in 2.3, take this same people practice issue, explain the relevant evidence that you have reviewed, and use one or more decision- making tools to determine a recommended course of action, explaining the rationale for that decision and identifying the benefits, risks and financial implications of the suggested solution. (2.2 & 4)
- compare and contrast a range of different ways and approaches that are used to measure financial and non-financial performance within organisations. (3.1)
It is essential that you refer to academic concepts, theories and professional practice for the tasks to ensure that your work is supported by analysis. Please ensure that any references and sources drawn upon are acknowledged correctly and supported by a bibliography.
Task two: Data analysis and review
In preparing for the forthcoming department heads meeting your manager has asked you to prepare a range of information and interpretations for use at the meeting. Below are two sets of data that have been collected by a 360-degree review for Department ‘A’. Table 1, is the feedback that has been elicited from employees on their line-managers and table 2 is from the customers that use the services and goods from Department A.
Use one analytical tool to review the two data sets to reveal any themes, patterns and trends (2.1).
|Agreed that they were positively supported by their line manager in the role that they perform.||100||Disagreed that they were positively supported by their line manager in the role that they perform.||156|
|Agreed that performance targets set by their line manager were achievable.||45||Disagreed that performance targets set by their line manager were achievable.||211|
|Agreed that the amount of learning and development that they received helped them achieve current and future working practices.||95||Disagreed that the amount of learning and development that they received helped them achieve current and future working practices.||161|
|Agreed that their line manager was empathetic to my work/life balance.||112||Disagreed that their line manager was empathetic to my work/life balance.||144|
|Agreed that their line manager actively promotes their self- development and career progression.||68||Disagreed that their line manager actively promotes their self- development and career progression.||188|
|Agreed that the line manager is approachable.||37||Agreed that the line manager is approachable.||219|
|Agreed that their line manager avoids bias in attitude and treatment of people||86||Disagreed that their line manager avoids bias in attitude and treatment of people||170|
|Agrees that their line manager resolves conflict amongst team members.||102||Disagreed that their line manager resolves conflict amongst team members.||154|
|Agrees that their line manager delegates authority and independence.||6||Disagreed that their line manager delegates authority and independence.||250|
|Agrees that their line manager communicates reasons for changes and decisions.||11||Disagreed that their line manager communicates reasons for changes and decisions.||245|
|Agreed that the goods and services on offer were value for money||101||Disagreed that the goods and services on offer were value for money||44|
|Agreed that delivery of products and services were timely from point of sale to delivery.||45||Disagreed that delivery of products and services were timely from point of sale to delivery.||100|
|Agreed that the quality of goods and services were acceptable||114||Disagreed that the quality of goods and services were acceptable||31|
|Agreed that customer services were assessable and responsive to all calls.||34||Disagreed that customer services were assessable and responsive to all calls.||111|
|Agreed that all complaints were dealt with in. a timely and professional manner||54||Disagreed that all complaints were dealt with in. a timely and professional manner||91|
|Agreed that they the after sales services were good.||27||Disagreed that they the after sales services were good.||118|
|Agreed that their initial enquiry was handled in a timely and professional manner.||3||Disagreed that their initial enquiry was handled in a timely and professional manner.||142|
|Agreed that on receipt of goods that packaging was acceptable in protecting the goods.||143||Disagreed that on receipt of goods that packaging was acceptable in protecting the goods.||2|
|Agreed that they would recommend the company to a friend or business||98||Disagreed that they would recommend the company to a friend or business||47|
|Agreed that the range of products and services was sufficient to satisfy their requirements.||31||Disagreed that the range of products and services was sufficient to satisfy their requirements.||114|
- From this analysis, graphically present your findings using three or more different methods (3.3).
- Identify the key systems and data used within effective people practices, to give insights by measuring work and people performance (3.2)
- Explain how people practices add value in an organisation and identify methods that might be used to measure the impact of people practices (3.4)
The annual performance reviews for Department ‘A’ last year were scored using a ratings scale from 6 = high performer to 1= low performer.
Any employee scoring 4 and above received a £400.00 bonus in their monthly pay. The budget allocation per department for bonuses last year was £75,000.
Figures from Department ‘A’ for last year were:
- 112 employees received a score of 6
- 98 employees received a score of 5
- 35 employees received a score of 4
- 43 employees received a score of 3 or below
- Using a variety of measurement tools and techniques and the data provided in tables 1, 2 & 3, explain the likely impact and value of these aspects of people practice currently in place in Department ‘A’. What other people practice measures might usefully be employed in Department ‘A’? (3.4)
AC 1.1 provide an evaluation of the concept of evidence-based practice.
Evidence-based HR practice involves making a better decision and informing actions that have the desired outcome (Young, 2020). The concept of evidence-based practice entails finding solutions and approaches to dealing with people management practice based on a strong empirical basis. It is the process through which a decision is evaluated against data in an organisation. The evidence-based approach utilises critical thinking skills and the available evidence to decide on specific HR issues. According to Young (2020), a good decision-making process is based on critical thinking and drawing from the available evidence. Evidence-based decisions are more likely to result in the desired outcomes that will have a long-term impact on organisations practices.
Evidence-based practice also utilises different models of the decision-making process, such as the rational model. This model involves the use of factual information and step by step procedures to arrive at a decision (Uzonwanne, 2016). The figure below summarises the rational decision-making model.
How evidence-based approaches can be used to support sound decision-making and judgments
Evidence-based approaches are essential for supporting sound decision making because they reduce errors caused by judgements. Biased and unreliable management decisions are common in the absence of evidence. Managers are susceptible to bias and errors in their decision making when they base the decisions on previous experiences or popular management decisions. In an article published at the Center for Evidence-Based Management (CEBM), all individuals at all employment levels need to use the best available evidence when making decisions. Using evidence-based decisions is considered to be morally right (Rousseau et al., 2004).
An evidence-based approach can also be used to support sound decision making and judgement at an organisational level by increasing the accountability levels. Most of the decision made by managers have a positive or negative impact on the general organisational performance. Assessing the reliability and validity of evidence not only benefits individuals but also the organisation. This approach ensures that a manager takes the best available decision and can support the decisions with organisational data, professional expertise or insights from scientific research when called to justify the decision.
AC 1.2 Evaluate micro and macro analysis tools that can be used in people practice to explore an organisation’s micro and macro environment and how those identified might be applied to diagnose future issues, challenges and opportunities.
All organisations are affected by either internal or external factors. These factors are part of the general organisational environment, and they should be analysed to establish their impacts on the business. There is a range of tools used in people practice, and they include strategic reviews, future states analysis, SWOT analysis, Ansoff matrix, Fishbone analysis, among others. Analysis methods that can be used to assess an organisation’s micro and macro environments include observations, interviews, job analysis, work sampling and use of questionnaires.
An organisation’s micro-environment refers to the immediate factors or environment that comprises suppliers, customers, competitors and stakeholders (Summer, 2019). They are internal factors that are likely to impact an organisation. Micro-environments can be assessed using the microanalysis tools such as porter’s five forces analytical tool. Macro-environment, on the other side, refers to the more general factors influencing businesses (Summer, 2019). Macro- environments are external factors that impact an organisation’s activities and productivity, but that organisation has no control over it. The macro-environment factors include economic issues, political forces, technological advancements, natural and physical occurrences, and legal factors. An example of a tool used for the analysis of macro-environment factor is the PESTLE analysis tool.
The SWOT analysis tool evaluates both internal and external factors that can influence an organisation. SWOT stands for strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. While strengths and weaknesses focus on internal organisational aspects, threats and opportunities focus on external issues that can impact an organisation. The SWOT tool is simple to use and can be used in organisations making an entrance into new markets.
Porter’s five analysis tool was developed by Michael Porter to assess and evaluate the competitive strength of a business (Bruijl, 2018). The model is built on five principles that can be used to assess microenvironments within an organisation. Michael Porter described the five forces: Buyers bargaining power, the threat of entry, suppliers bargaining power, competition from rivalries, and threats by substitutes. Figure 1 below gives a summary of the five forces.
As the acronym suggests, the PESTLE analysis analyses the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors (Downey, 2007). Trade regulations and policies, and diplomatic tensions are some of the political factors likely to impact an organisation’s performance. It is essential to understand that organisations in the UK are governed by policies and regulations formulated by trade unions and other regulatory bodies. Therefore, the HR department must ensure that an organisation is compliant with all the regulations. HR should also be constantly updated on changes in regulations that are likely to impact an organisation.
One of the biggest external influences for any business is the state of the economy. HR should monitor the shifts in economic trends resulting from changes in global financial status. Economic factors such as inflation, demand and supply, interest rates and exchange rates have direct impacts on organisations. HR should notify the management of the existing economic trends to prepare them for any economic changes. Socially, an organisations performance can be affected by the availability of the workforce. It is HR’s responsibility to come up with a recruiting strategy that will attract the best talent to perform organisational duties. Technological factors include impacts of acquiring new technology, which may result in downsizing or recruiting a skilled workforce. HR is responsible for advising the management on the necessary changes that would make the technological changes beneficial to the organisation and retain a workforce that has adequate knowledge of the technological changes.
Legal factors comprise rules and regulations impacting people practice. HR practitioners should ensure that the organisation is compliant and the existing policies and procedures are compliant with the country’s regulatory standards (Friedman, 2013). The last ‘E’ of the PESTLE tool represents environmental factors, which refer to an all-natural occurring element that may influence people practice. The global market is stimulated to align with the sustainable development goals. It is the HR’s duty to ensure that the organisation is compliant and has environmental sustainability policies incorporated in its daily operations.
AC 1.3. Explain the principles of critical thinking and give examples of how you apply these yourself when relating to your own and others’ ideas to assist objective and rational debate.
Critical thinking is a skill that enables people to think well and reflect on ideas, opinions and arguments objectively (Howlett and Coburn, 2019). It involves objectively analysing and evaluating people practice issues to form a judgement. Based on the definition, various critical thinking principles are based on rational, unbiased analysis evaluation of factual information and sceptical analysis. Objective, rational thinking relates to being logically correct. This principle allows for the differentiation between issues and statements that are logically true or false. Walters adds that rational, objective thinking utilises logic and other cognitive acts such as imagination, creativity, and insights.
In people practice, various principles of critical thinking can be applied to different situations. When applying critical thinking to the decision-making process, HR practitioners must ensure that they understand the issue and differentiate between facts and opinions. Evidence-based decisions are based on the critical thinking principle of validity of evidence to eliminate bias.
AC 1.4 Assess at least two different ethical theories and perspectives.
Utilitarianism ethical theory is used to determine right from wrong by focusing on the outcome (Driver, 2009). It is one of the most commonly used persuasive methods to normative ethics. This theory is based on the consequence, and it suggests that the most ethical choice is the one that will produce the greatest good. This theory can be used to inform and influence effective decision making when the decision made will result in a positive outcome for most employees or organisation at large. To illustrate this, Covid 19 pandemic has impacted many organisations and thus necessitated cheap labour. HR practitioners are faced with the dilemma of laying off employees and employees new employees at a cheaper cost. While this may not be ethically right, it will benefit organisational sustainability, especially for businesses affected by the pandemic. This theory does not account for justice or any individual rights.
Kantianism or Kant’s moral theory, on the other hand, believes that certain actions are prohibited even if the consequence is happiness. It is an example of a deontological moral theory whose principle is not on the consequence of the action but on individual moral duty (Anscombe, 2005). The theory is based on an individual’s ability to act according to the categorical moral imperatives, which are universal. This theory suggests that decisions should be made based on the moral obligation to individuals and society. Thus the decision will be ethically correct (Chonko, 2012).
Use of Theories to inform and influence effective decision-making.
The decision making theories have a significant influence on the decision-making process. Sound ethical decisions need to be sensitive to good ethical practices. While the theories are divided into three frameworks, HR should be responsible for most ethical obligations in an organisation. The ethical frameworks built around ethical theories include the consequentialist framework, the duty framework and the virtue framework. Using the three frameworks to analyse a situation before making a decision allows the decision-maker to have a clearer perspective of the issue and thus come up with a sound decision sensitive to ethical implications and parties involved (Bonde and Firenze, 2011). The figure below gives a summary of different ethical theories, including their advantages and disadvantages.
AC 2.3 Explain a range of decision-making approaches that could be used to identify possible solutions to a specific issue relating to people practice
HR practitioners play a critical role in the decision-making process of an organisation. Based on HR practitioners’ different functions, different decision-making approaches could be used to find possible solutions for various problems. Some of the decision making processes used by HR include the best fit, future pacing, problem-outcome frame, action learning approaches and de Bono (Six Thinking hats). While one process can be used to solve various HR problems, different issues may require different decision-making approaches.
De Bono (six thinking hats) is a decision-making approach that Edward De Bono developed in 1985. It is a good decision-making approach for group discussions and personal thinking because it involves a combined parallel process. Each of the six hats is metaphors for six different ways of thinking. Mentally wearing different thinking hats results in people looking at problems differently and coming up with different solutions—the six different mind frames as elaborated by Edwards different shapes of the hat and different colours. The white colour represents decisions based on facts. The red colour represents decisions based on emotions. Black represents judgmental decisions, yellow positive view or decisions based on a positive perspective, green decisions based on creativity and blue are thinking decisions (Mulder, 2019). Managers and HR practitioners can switch from one hat to another during a decision making process. The thinking hats are essential for helping people think more deeply concerning specific issues and come up with informed decisions.
Framing problems and outcome is another decision-making approach that can be used to identify the various solution to people specific problems. Framing comprises a schema of interpretations that different individuals depend on to understand and respond to situations. Different diagnosis and framing of problems may result in difficulties when solving the problems. It is essential for HR practitioners to frame their organisational problems to achieve the desired outcome accurately. For example, turnover in an organisation may be framed as an individual problem, an HR problem or a management problem, depending on how it is evaluated.
AC 2.4 As a worked example to illustrate the points made in 2.3, take the same people to practice issues, explain the relevant evidence that you have reviewed and use one or more decision-making tools
Decision making in people practice is continuous throughout the employees’ lifecycle in an organisation. One issue in people practice that requires effective decision making is compensation. Increasing employee compensation is a decision that should be thought through because there are various factors that influence the decision. While performance analysis is essential for determining compensation, other factors such as minimum wage, external markets and industrial payment rates are other factors that should be considered.
Attracting and retaining talent is a people specific area that may face various challenges. Competition for the most talented and qualified employees is evident in both public and private industries. Recruiting a sustainable workforce is essential for effective organisational performance and sustainability. However, competitive wages and rewards may influence turnover and the loss of the best talent pool. The HR is tasked with tough decisions on the best approaches to enhance retention and attract the best talent pool during recruitment. The framing-outcome approach of decision making can be utilised to solve retention and recruitment challenges. The HR can identify specific issues causing turnover, ranging from salaries and wages, organisational culture to the need for career growth. Framing the cause of the problem will enable HR to develop a solution that will result in the desired outcome.
AC 3.1 Appraise different ways organisations measure financial and non-financial performance.
Good performance management is critical for an organisation’s success (Gifford, 2020). Performance management aims at monitoring, maintaining and improving employee performance and aligning them to organisational objectives. However, there are different ways through which organisations can measure their performance. Monitoring performance is essential for the decision-making process as it forms part of the evidence-based practice in people management.
Performance in an organisation can be measured by the use of financial and non-financial indicators. Financial indicators include revenues, gross and net profits, cash flows, return on investments, and productivity. Gross and net profit margins are profitability ratios used to identify a company’s profitability. The working capital is the measure of the available operating liquidity used to fund the daily operations. Cash flow is a financial indicator that indicates the amount of money a business has as a result of its operations. Operating cash flow is often found in the cash flow statements.
Non-financial performance indicators include customer feedback, legal compliance, sector ratings, employee feedback, among others. Customer feedback and customer retention are essential non-financial performance indicators because they directly impact customer retention. Customer retention is as necessary as customer attraction. Retention is essential for establishing the number of customers that are satisfied with a particular product or service, while feedback enables an organisation to identify areas for improvement. Human capital can also be used to measure organisational performance. Based on the employee survey, an organisation can establish its performance based on the skilled employees’ ratio against unskilled labour.
The primary advantage of using non-financial measures is that they result in better compliance with long-term corporate strategy. Non-financial measures take into account different intangible assets and provide adequate information on various operations’ effectiveness (Ahrens and Chapman, 2007). The disadvantages of no-financial measures are that they are expensive to conduct and can consume a lot of time. The advantages of using financial measures are that they are accurate and can be easily monitored. The disadvantage is that they are short –term in nature and are not effective for long term strategic planning.
TASK TWO: DATA ANALYSIS AND REVIEW
AC 2.1 Use one analytical tool to review the two data sets to reveal any themes, patterns and trends.
There are various HR analytical tools that can be used to assess and evaluate data. This section utilised Microsoft excel to conduct a data analysis of the provided information. Graph 1 below is a summary of feedback obtained from employees on their line managers. Of the 256 respondents 250 disagreed that line managers delegated authority, 245 were of the opinion that line managers do not communicate reasons for change and decisions. Two hundred nineteen respondents said that the line managers were not approachable. The three categories mentioned above had the highest numbers of respondents giving a negative review concerning their line managers. As indicated in graph 1 below, the highest number of respondents disagreed with the most positive attributes that were accorded to their line managers.
A pie chart representation of data is a circular graph, as shown above. The slices of the pie represent variables that, when combined, should produce the total number. For example, the total number of employees who responded to questions was 256. On the issue of support by line managers, 156 employees disagreed, and 100 agreed. The graph above provides a visual representation of this information in percentile. Pie charts are easy to read and understand. They also visually represent data as part a fractional part of the whole.
Analysis of Employee Feedback
Of the 145 responses from customers, 143 respondents agreed that the products’ packaging was good and acceptable in protecting the goods. One hundred forty-two customers had issues with how their initial enquiries were handled; 114 felt that the range of goods and products was insufficient to meet their needs
The general trend implied by the data collected indicates a performance gap between employees and their line managers. The gap impacts performance, as evidenced by customer feedback. Based on the findings, line managers need to incorporate employees in their decision-making process. Line managers should also promote a positive organisational culture where employees feel valued and appreciated.
AC 3.2 Identify the critical systems and data used within effective people practices to give insights by measuring work and people performance.
According to CIPD (2020), people data and analytics can help HR and other managers in an organisation to solve business problems and make decisions. There are different types of data that are effective for measuring and giving insight into people practice. Qualitative data contains information on the human observation of behaviours, habits, skills and other employee factors that may influence performance. This data offers an in-depth understanding of issues and descriptive information using words to express various issues. Qualitative data can be used to measure work and people performance by utilising tools such as brainstorming, surveys and interviews. Qualitative data on employee turnover can be obtained in brainstorming sessions or through exit interviews.
Quantitative data, on the other hand, uses numbers and figures to illustrate performance. While quantitative data may be more specific and dependable, it is short term in nature. Quantitative data can be used to establish and keep records of weekly work hours, retention rates, number of employees and their age. This data can be collected by various HR analytical software’s that analyse the information.
AC 3.4 Explain how people practices add value in an organisation and identify methods that might be used to measure the impact of people practices.
The creation of value in an organisation may be influenced by the need to grow and expand, return on investment, or satisfy customer’s needs (Payal Sondhi, 2018). Creating value can be achieved by effectively utilising human potential. The primary objective of good people management practices is to create value for the organisation and its employees as well as the surrounding community. Value creation can be based on income earned or the development of a sense of purpose for the employees. The value created for the society could be attained as sustainability and high-quality life. Organisations capture the value they would like to attain in the organisations mission and strategy. Real business value is captured in drivers that impact an organisation’s business objectives (Brugman and Dijk, 2020).
Other than 360 feedback, some other methods and tools can be used to measure the impact and value of people practice. Measuring value and impact is essential for ensuring that business objectives are being achieved. It can also ensure that there are people who practice contribution in an organisation, justify spending on various functions of HR, continuously improve people practice and identify organisational needs and gaps left to enable informed business decisions.
The cost-benefit analysis tool is essential for analysing the decision that should be implemented and should be foregone. It is the process that sums up potential rewards expected from an action then subtracts the total cost associated with that action (Hayes And Anderson, 2021). For example, all employees whose performance was considered high received a bonus of £400.00. According to the statistical data provided, a total of 245 employees are entitled to bonus payments. Therefore, the total amount of money that the company would spend on bonus is £ 98,000.00. However, the allocated budget was £75,000.00. If all employees received the bonus, the organisation would have spent £23,000.00 more than the intended amount.
Based on the cost-benefit analysis of the situation, the bonus amount should be reduced to fit the set budget. Alternatively, other reward packages, both intrinsic and extrinsic, can be used to reward high performing employees. The company can also enhance its performance by rewarding employees with a high five and six score. By doing so, employees with a score of five might enhance their performance, which influences organisational performance.
Return on investment is a measuring tool that can be used to measure the probability of gaining a return from a particular investment. ROI is a ratio that compares gains and losses in relation to cost. ROI is used for the evaluation of potential returns from an investment. In the case above, the return would be a loss because the allocated budget was exceeded. ROI is expressed as a percentage because it becomes easier to understand.
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