Human Resource management
Ch 1the role of HRM
1. What is “human resources management?” (HRM)
- Refers to the management of people in organization
- Activities, polices, and practices involved in obtaining, developing, utilizing, evaluating, maintaining, and retaining the appropriate number and
skill mix of employees to accomplish the organization’s objective
- To maximize an employee’s contribution in order to achieve optimal productivity
- Strategic HRM: linking of HRM with strategic goals and objectives in order to improve business performance
2. Who is responsible for HRM?
- In small organization, the line manager might also be responsible for it
- In bigger organization, there will be staff managers advising line manager what to do
o HR department managers
o They will be responsible for utilized HR effectively, managed in compliance with company policies and procedures, government
legislation and in unionized settings, collative agreement.
o The activities they are doing are: serving as consultant and strategic change agent, offering advice, formulating policies and procedures,
providing services, and monitoring to ensure compliance
- Consultant and strategic change agent
o In most case, HR professionals serves as a in house consultant to line managers
o Their jobs are: recruiting, job evaluation, selecting activities to be outsourced
o Outsourcing simple jobs to outside contractor is common so HRM profession can focus on more strategic management
o Also act as a change agent by updating senior managers with information on new methods of solving problems
- Offer advice
o Managers at all level turns to HR department for expert advice
o HR department are expected to be familiar with employment legislation, HR policies and procedures, collective agreement, etc
- Formulation policies and procedure
o The policies and procedures must be compatible with current econ conditions, collective bargaining trends, and employment legislation
o Policy is predetermined guide to thinking, established to provide direction in decision making
o Procedures is steps to be followed when implement HR policy
- Provide service
o Services such as maintenance of HR records, recruitment, selection, orientation, training,
- Monitoring to ensure legal compliance
3. What are the interests & objectives of employees and employers in the employment relationship?
- A “fair” wage and income security
- Job security
- Fair promotion procedures
- Reasonable work hours, benefits
- Participation and control
- Health and safety protections
- Employer funded training and development
- Cost containment - Reduce benefit and wages costs
• -Flexibility of the workforce (i.e. in scheduling etc.)
• Maximize employee productivity
• Maximize efficiency of operations
• Maintain or improve quality of product/service
• Attract investment
• Minimize third party (i.e. legislative)intervention
4. Explain the difference in role of “line” & “staff” managers.
- Line managers:
o implement policy
o Direct and control on employees
o Take action and conducting performance evaluation
- Staff managers: o Advising line managers
o They do not have direct control
o Formulating policy
5. What environmental conditions & developments affect HRM?
- Internal environmental influences
o Organization climate, culture, and management practices help shape HR policies and practice
o Organizational culture
The core value beliefs and assumption that are widely shared by members of an organization.
Communicating what the organization believes in and stands for
Providing employees with a sense of direction and expected behaviour
Foster employee loyalty
Culture is often convey through mission statement as well as through stories, myths, symbols, and ceremonies
o Organization climate
Prevailing atmosphere that exists in an organization and its impact on employee
Similar to organization’s personality. (friendly, open, unfriendly, etc)
Often determined by leadership style
o New management practice
Flatter organizational forms are replacing the traditional bureaucratic structure.
Empowerment to workers. Providing workers with skills and authority to make decision that would traditionally be made by
- External environment influence
o Labour market issues
When economy are good and more demand, org often hire more people
Therefore, ppl will have to fight for good workers
The increase of service sector requires more knowledge workers. New HRM systems and skills are required to select and
train such employee
Labour union: HR in company wishes to non unionized organizations and maintain union free.
o Demographic trends and increasing workforce diversity
Are there more workers entering workforce? More workers retired
How HRM attract those workers
The affect of baby boomers, gen X, gen Y
The diversity of these workers are the main problem for HR
Advancement of technology has allowed HR info system to take place
It helps store detailed info on employees, HR policies and procedures, government laws and regulations and collective
Enhance the HR function
HR function is to know how to locate employees in other country
How to recruit workers at a global workforce
6. Explain the key employment trends affecting HRM.
7. What is a “knowledge worker” and why is this type of worker so critical to the success of businesses in Canada?
- Knowledge workers are employee who can transform information into a product or services, whose responsibility include planning, problem
solving, and decision making
- They are important workers because they usually belong in the most dominate working sector in Canada.
8. How can HRM practices contribute to an organizational effort to gain a sustained competitive advantage?
- Study shows that increase of resource in HRM will help increase the value of the company, sales,
- Also HRM helps organization to survive, increase productivity,
- By recruitment, offering advice, providing services, consultant and change agent, formulate and implement HR policy and procedures
9. How does progressive HRM lead to business success? (Be ready to refer to studies discussed in class)
10. Other than offering job security, what other measures should businesses take to “boost profits through people’? For each measure cited,
explain how this will boost profits if implemented correctly.
- 7 importance of organization
- Employment security, selective hiring, comparative compensation, extensive training, sharing info, reduce status difference, decentralize and self
manage work team
11. You have been hired as a consultant by a biotechnology company, Genosys Ltd. which is about to go to an Initial Public Offering. What do you advise
Genosys Ltd. to do in order to have the greatest chance of success in implementing the measures you cite in #10?
- Take it slow. Result will not happen overnight. It takes more than a year or two for these practice to actually work
- Try to have more trust on the workers and allow more empowerment.
- To not be discourage by short term failures.
Ch2 putting ppl first
- Evidence shows that putting their people first will help substantial increase the company’s sales, stock market value, profit, and decrease turnover rate - 18000 increase in stock value per employee
- One standard deviation increase in HR system will lead to those increase
- Companies place workers at the core of their strategies produce higher long term return to shareholder than their peers
- Strong correlation between putting value in HR and IPO company surviving
- Responsibility, commitment, more control, build skill, involvement for the employees will lead to higher performance
Seven practices of successful organizations
1. Employment security
a. Employment security is an important dimension.
b. Productivity improvement are not likely to be sustained overtime when workers fear that by increasing productivity they will work
themselves out of their jobs
c. Firms lay off employees too quickly at the first sign of financial difficulties
d. Layoff put important asset on the street for competitor
e. Summary: employee will not perform well if they fear of layoff. Lay off too quickly will lead to lots of asset to the company
2. Selective hiring
a. Recruiting the right people in the first place.
i. Requires organization to have a large applicant pool from which to select
ii. Need to determine what they want from the applicant
iii. The skills and abilities sought need to be carefully considered and consistent with the particular job requirement and the
organization’s approach to its market
iv. Organization should screen primarily on important attributes that are difficult to change through training and should emphasize
qualities that actually differentiate among those in the applicant pool
b. Summary: organization should recruit the right ppl at the first place. They should have a large pool to choose from and narrow down to the
right applicant, find the right skills, and look for the ppl with the right attributes
3. Self managed teams and decentralization
a. Have employee manage their own work
b. Let the people in the firm feel accountable and responsible for the operation and success of the enterprise. Instead of having only few
c. Removal of hierarchy
d. Summary: let the employee be responsible for management decision and decentralize power
4. High compensation contingent on organizational performance
a. High pay produce high economic success
b. More incentive to work
c. Its often believe that high pay can only give to high educated employees or only in certain industry but is wrong
d. Encourage share of ownership
e. Summary: high pay r not only for high educated ppl. It should be offer to people with the ability and important to the organization. Higher
compensation would often lead to higher econ success for the org.
5. Extensive training a. Knowledge and skills are critical
b. Training is an essential component of high performance work systems
c. Summary: training is important to an organization especially for the front line workers because they r the one resolving problem for the
6. Reduction of status differences
a. Differences such as wages, use of language, labels, physical space and dress will cause inequality.
b. Those differences should be reduced in order to allow the organization to be in high performance
c. Summary: difference should be removed in order to achieve high success
7. Sharing information
a. Sharing information will create a high trust company
b. Sharing financial info and performance info
Reasons why 7 important factors are hard to implement
- Managers are enslaved by short term pressures
o It often takes more than a year or two just to change the organization culture
o But often managers are pressure for immediate changes
o Some are trying to increase shareholder value and managers are pressures to give immediate result
- Organization tend to destroy competence
o Organization culture stop wisdom knowledge from other employees to benefit firms
o Expert in certain field often have the experience of knowing what to do but doesn’t have evidence to prove they are right
- Managers don’t delegate enough
o Power of org r not decentralized or not enough
o Limited by hierarchy system
o Also, workers who are used to supervising will have faith in supervision, which means they think the greater the supervisor, the better the
o Other reason is people often view themselves are better than others (peers)
- Preserve norms about what constitutes good management
o Norms: good managers are mean or tough
o Management often believe being mean or tough to the employee will result good performance
o Second norm: good management is mostly a matter of good analysis
o Often see math analysis of company too importantly and didn’t see other importance
Ch3 Legal Regulation of the Employment Relationship
1. What are the various “legal authorities” affecting the employment relationship?
- The various legal authorities are:
o Employment standard act: fair minimum standards, such as wages, hours, holidays, parental leave, notice required on dismissal, etc. and its
govern by the employment standards branch and tribunal
o Common law: principle of wrongful dismissal. Employer’s duty to give reasonable notice or pay in lieu. Govern in court
o Human right code: fair employment practices. No discrimination against race, sex, visible minorities, political belief. Adjudicator is the
human right tribunal o Privacy law: organizational accountability for the collection, use and disclosure of personal info. Adjudicator: information and privacy
commissioner of Canada
o Workers’ compensation, occupational health and safety acts: protection from occupational injury and illness plus compensation for the injury
and illness. Adjudicator: occupational health and safety branch, ministry of labour and worksafe bc
o Labour relations code: right to collective bargaining, regulation of union. Adjudicator: Labour relations boards
o Collective bargaining agreement: bilateral determination of working conditions. Arbitration board
o Employment equity act: removal of barriers in employment for 4 designated groups. Canadian human rights commission)
2. What are the variations in “jurisdiction” or coverage of the different legal authorities?
- Federal vs provincial
- Common law is regulated by the court
- Some employees working for federal government or working in bank and airline will be governed by federal jurisdiction/ employment equity act
- Other authorities such as, employment standard act, & human right code have their own administration agencies.
3. Which agencies or “adjudicators” are responsible for applying & resolving disputes in each of these areas?
- Employment standard act: employment standard tribunal
- Common law: court
- Human right code: human right tribunal
- Work compensation occupational health and safety: workers compensation occupational health and safety branch, worksafe BC
- Privacy laws: information privacy commissioner
- Collective bargaining agreement: arbitration board
- Employment equity act: Canadian human right commission, department of HR and skills development
- Labour relations code: labour relations board
4. What are the underlying public policy objectives of each of the legal authorities?
- Employment standard act: fair employment practices, such as fair wages, fair working hours, leave work, notice on dismissal
- Common law: regulating wrongful dismissal, making sure dismissal is given reasonable notice or pay in lieu
- Human right code: make sure no discrimination while recruiting and during employment.
- Privacy law: organization accountability on collecting, use, disclosure of information.
- Labour relations: regulating the union and rights to collective bargaining
- Workers’ compensational health and safety act: making sure workers are safe from injury and illness at work and compensate those who were injured
- Collective bargaining agreement: bilateral determination of working condition.
- Employment equity act: removal barriers of the 4 groups
5. What are the fundamental elements of the Employment Standards Act?
- It sets the minimum of wages, paid holiday, working hours, leave for maternity parenting adoption bereavement, termination notice and overtime pay.
Also set maximum number of hours of work per day or week
6. Differentiate between employment standards legislation, and the impact of the common law on the employment relationship.
- Employment standard legislation’s adjudicator is employment standard branch and tribunal. Common law is court
- Common law is determining is dismissal is wrongful or not given reasonable notice. ESL makes sure notices r given.
7. What does “discrimination” mean and what are the “protected” categories or groups of employees under the Human Rights Code?
- Distinction, exclusion, or preference, based on one of the prohibited grounds, that has the effect of impairing the rights of a person to full and equal
recognition and exercise of his human rights and freedom.
- Acing in unfair manner which prevent others from exercising their human rights
- Intentional and unintentional
- Women, visible minorities, disabilities, aboriginal people
8. What is the only circumstance under human rights legislation that an employer would be permitted to discriminate?
- Under BFOR. Bona Fide occupational requirements
- Justifiable discrimination based on business necessity (required for the safe and efficient operation of the organization)
- Reasonable accommodation: to accommodate individual who was hired to fully carry out their job. Eg: redesign workstation in order for disabilities to
- Undue hardship: financial reason or health and safety reason which cause accommodation impossible
9. Explain the difference between Pay Equity and Employment Equity.
- Pay equity: equal pay for equal work
- Employment equity: requires goals and timetable to achieve better representation for designated groups at all levels of organization.
- Employment equity act: federal legislation intended to remove employment barriers for the 4 groups
- It requires employers under federal jurisdiction having more than 100 employers wishing to bid on federal contracts of 200,000 or more to develop a
employment equity program
10. Define what is meant by “diversity management” and explain the strategic business reasons for implementing diversity management initiatives.
- Diversity management: activities designed to integrate all members of an organization’s multicultural workforce and use their diversity to enhance the
- Use all multicultural workforce in an organization and fully enhance firm’s effectiveness
- It’s important to apply diversity management because spending power of visible minorities are high, knowledge of different background will help firm’s
gain competitive advantage, it increase competitiveness and international savvy in the global business arena
11. What should be the aim(s) of all diversity management programs?
12. Cite and explain the 7 characteristics shared by businesses which have successfully implemented diversity management programs.
- Top management commitment - Diversity training programs: educate employees about specific gender and cultural differences and ways to handle them
- Inclusive and representative communications: using gender neutral terms and non discriminating words
- Activities to celebrate diversity:
- Supporting group or mentoring program: make sure no one experience alienation or separation in an organization
- Diversity audits: audits to assess the effectiveness of an organization’s diversity.
- Management responsibility and accountability
13. What are the main privacy law principles applying in the workplace?
- Identify purposes for collection of personal information
- Obtaining consents
- Limiting collection
- Limiting use, disclosure and retention
- Ensuring accuracy
- Safe guarding info
- Communicating policies/ practices
- Giving individuals access
- Establishing process for challenging compliance
Ch4. The Nature & Role of Trade Unions
1. Explain the differences between a local, a national and an international union and a labour federation.
- Union: an organization of employee that has the objective of improving the compensation and working condition of employees
- Union’s objectives: improving terms and conditions of work, protecting against arbitrary management action, providing a process for conflict resolution
and employee input, pursuing economic and social change
- Local union: association of employees with its own officers and constitution. All union members belong to a local union
- Local union has its own bylaw and constitution.
- Functions of the local: negotiation of collective agreement, administration of collective agreement, collection and processing of union dues, education of
members, community service, political action, operation of a hiring hall, organizing workers.
- National union: refers to a union whose membership(local union) is confined to Canada,
- International union: union which have membership in both Canada and united states with head quarters located in US
- Their role is to authorization of strikes, set out penalties, fines suspension for certain offence
- Such as, violating the bylaw or rules of the union, unauthorized work during a labour dispute, participate in unauthorized strikes
- Functions of national and international unions: assisting locals with contract negotiation, assisting locals with grievances, providing education and
training for union members, providing strikes assistance to locals, engaging in political activity, organizing workers
2. What is the level of union presence (or “union density”) in the workforce and how does this vary by regions and industries in Canada?
- The level of union density in the workforce is quite high for education, public admin, health care (service industry). And for good producing industry,
utilities are highest.
- Overall level, service industry has the highest overall union density
- The % of union density in Quebec and Newfoundland are highest
- Lowest % is Ontario and Alberta
3. How does union density compare in Canada with US union density?
- Union density is much higher compare to US because the NDP party tends to favour the union and tries to pass more legislation which favours union.
- Despite both Canada and US’s union density are declining, US has a weaker union movement
- Also, legal environment favours Canada’s union
4. What key features of the Labour Relations Code affect the formation of unions?
- If an union wants to be form, they must go thru the certification process and proven by the LRB
- Once union has be certified, they have the right to represent employees until the board terminates the right
- LRB makes sure the union status, if application timely, appropriate bargaining unit, if union has support required.
- First union has to organize campaign, sign up employees as members, have over 45% of members in an organization, and then file application to LRB,
vote and decide
- The legislation make sure the organization is a trade union
5. Why do employees choose or seek out union representation?
- Improve working condition
- Fairness and equity
- Job security
- Work load
- Voice in policymaking
- Inadequate managers
- Complaint mechanism
- Employer policies
- Union cannot represent independent contractor, managerial position, employer, employees engaged in confidential capacity regarding labour relations
6. What is a collective bargaining agreement?
- process whereby workers organize together to meet, converse, and compromise upon the work environment with their employers
- to negotiate the agreement as a group 7. What are the advantages & disadvantages of having union representation from the employer’s perspective and from the employee’s
- Advantage for employees: more bargaining powers, better chance of getting higher compensation, will not be retaliate by employers
- Disadvantage: agreement might not be what we desire, losing bargaining right, union dues, lost of economic while strikes
- Adv. For employers:
- Disadv. : econ loss when strikes, restraint by agreement, have to give raise
8. In what ways may employers respond to unionization?
- Employer May Not Discriminate on Basis of Union Membership
- Cannot Refuse to Hire Someone Because They support unions
- Cannot Threaten Dismissal
- Cannot Discriminate in Employment Terms
- Cannot Punish for Participating in Labour Relations Board Proceeding
- Participate or “interfere” in union formation
- Discipline for union activity
- Coerce or induce – i.e. “threats” or “promises”
- Change conditions of employment while application for certification pending, or during collective bargaining (“statutory freeze” rule)
- Statutory freeze: no alteration of regular practice
- Employers are allowed to:
o Prohibiting entry into workplace who are not employees
o Prohibit entry into workplace during off hours
o Establishing rules that prevent solicitation of union members during working hours
o Communicating with employees regarding unionization (but cannot threaten or induce)
o Changing working conditions prior to statutory freeze
o Only allow to change working condition if business requires
o Responding to union claims
- Union must not intimidate threats or coercion a person to become a member of trade union
- Solicitation of union support during work hours
- Remedies for unfair labour practice
o Payment of Compensation for any losses suffered as a result of an unfair labour practice (i.e.. compensate employees dismissed b/c of union
o Cease and desist orders (injunctions)
o Reinstatements of employees dismissed b/c of union support/activity
o Publishing of notice to employees of unfair labour practices
o New representation vote
o Most far – reaching: automatic certification of a union without a vote - this is allowed under the B.C. Labour Relations Code
o File complain to labour relation legislation
o Certification without a vote
Recruiting & Selecting Employees
1. Explain the essential elements of human resource planning.
- HRP is the process of an organization use to ensure that it has the right number of employees and skills to meet future business objectives
- The essential elements are:
o Develop the HR objectives (must define organization goals both long and short term, finding out where the organization is going and what
likely changes in the external and internal environment will have to accommodate.
o Forecast demand: forecast the human resource needs require for the future objective
o Forecast supply: determine what resource we currently have available. Both internal and external. Looking at what employee the organization
have and what employees are available on the market
o Develop HR plan: developing a plan to meet the supply and demand for human resource. Develop as an idea before implementing
o Implement the HR plan: actual carrying out the plan. Involves 4 steps: supply, use, development and policy
Appraise and control the HR plan: setting up both human resource information and control systems as part of the forecasting human resource.
Provide methods to analyze the process.
2. How is a human resource plan used, and explain the potential contribution to business success? - HRP is being use to forecast demand and supply for employee and how it can help meet the future objectives. Failure to planning will result lack of
workers or layoff which lead to financial loss.
3. Explain the connection between recruitment & selection and organizational performance.
- Recruiting and selecting the right candidate will affect how an organization perform
- The level of service you would get in a organization all depends on the workers
- Poor hiring decision can cause huge problem: they will require additional training, give customer inaccurate info which cost the firm’s financially
- Recruitment: the process of generating pool of candidates for a particular job
o Write a accurate job description
o Placing the ads into the right place
o No discrimination while recruiting and selecting
4. How can an employer “get behind the resume” in reviewing employment applications?
- Computerized selection interview
- Aptitude and IQ tests
- Personality tests (i.e.. Myers Briggs)
- Background checks (i.e.. criminal record or credit history check)
- Candidate presentations
- Trial work periods
- Most popular method: series of in person interviews coupled with Reference checks
5. What are the key features of a job applicant’s background & experience that should be evaluated?
6. What is the connection between job profiles & candidate characteristics?
- The candidate’s characteristic can affect their performance for the job
- If candidate is out-going, they will most likely fit for a sales job compare to a introvert
7. Explain some of the common employer failings in the recruitment & selection process. What steps should employers take to avoid these
- They didn’t have a set of reliable and valid questions to ask the candidate
- Are the questions the same for every applicant? So there is a comparison
- Ask candidates questions below
- Situational: ask candidates how they would respond to a hypothetical situation
- Behavioral: ask for specific examples of past behavior (i.e.. “Explain a difficult situation you encountered with a client, and how you solved the
- Technical or “job knowledge” questions: deal with knowledge needed to perform the job
- Willingness/Motivational questions: assess the willingness to perform under certain conditions (i.e. travel associated with the job, or work at irregular
- Failure to find the right candidate
- Lack of a plan
- Lack of an understanding as to the knowledge, skills, abilities, and personality traits the position requires (should be in the job profile)
- Acting on “gut reactions”
- Not asking questions to accurately assess knowledge, skills (including social skills), abilities, personality traits, and motivation
- Remember perception errors from OB course- stereotyping, halo effect, contrast effect (same as Text p. 179 ”comparison with other candidates”)
- Being rushed during the interview and not listening analytically to candidates answers
- Failure to check references following interview
- Be prepare, plan your interviewing strategy, and have a structured interview
8. How does human rights legislation regulate the hiring & selection process?
- Human rights legislation make sure the question being ask are not discriminative and not illegal
- Question doesn’t invade the candidate’s privacy
o Done ask if they have children, age, disability, height and weight, marital status, citizenship, arrest record, sickness or illness o Ethical and legal issue involve, penalties for violating the law,
- Interview format (one on one or panel?)
- Who should be involved? (Peers, more than 1 supervisor etc.)
- Interview structure (pre-determined questions asked vs. unstructured.)
- How to guide interviewers in their evaluation of candidates (i.e. provide evaluation criteria, a scoring mechanism, specific questions to ask etc.)
- Benefits of hiring internal candidates
o Less costly to go thru the whole recruit process
o Provide a clear signal to current workforce there are advancement
o Internal candidates are already familiar with org
o Disad; reduces the likelihood of innovation and new perspective
o New promoted workers might undercut their authority due to familiar with subordinate
- Benefits for external: giving firms new blood and fresh perspective
o Sometimes more economical to search for external specialist rather than training current workers
o Disadv: need time to become familiar with police, practices and culture of new employer
o Costly to the org’s effectiveness and productivity
o Clashing with current work unit
Employee Compensation & Benefits
1. Explain the importance of a “compensation policy” and how it influences business strategy.
- Attracting talent
- Retention of talent
- Motivation, commitment, productivity
- Harmonious Labour Relations – avoidance of work disruptions
- It’s important to develop a compensation policy because it helps improve performance, contribute to achievement of an org’s strategic goal, attract and
2. What are the basic components of compensation?
- Direct payment, including fixed wages, salary, bonuses or variable payment base on performance
- Indirect payment, including benefits, medical plan, sick leaves, elder care
- Compensation will be a key part of bargaining
- Management must follow any provisions in the Collective Agr