- This Assignment comprises of a short Case.
- Assignments are to be submitted by each student individually.
Assignment Purposes/Learning Outcomes:
After completion of Assignment two, students will be able to understand the following LOs
LO3: To demonstrate a thorough understanding of HR Strategic planning which includes effective job analysis, recruitment, and selection strategies.
LO4: To have the ability to deliver and communicate HR policies messages in a coherent and professional manner.
LO5: To have the ability to carry out objective and scientific analysis of employees performance management.
LO6: To be able to identify and describe the needs of the parties involved in labor relations, and how these needs are balanced.
Read the case given below and answer the questions:
Celtic Packaging who had introduced several the initiatives that were advocated in the previous year. Celtic is a consumer packaging manufacturer based in South Wales which employs approximately 450 staff in a manufacturing plant producing rigid plaster containers for the food manufacturing industry. Most of its workforce is employed on its 24-hour, 7-days-a-week production line, working 12-hour shifts in four shift teams. In the first half of 2007, Celtic had undertaken a workplace health audit, funded by a partnership between the local authority and a local university, to assess both the reported and actual health of its workforce and its link to workplace productivity. The local authority was keen for Celtic to be involved because it represented a sizeable employer in the area. Celtic was similarly keen to become involved in the project because senior management felt it might provide some solutions to a range of employment problems it was experiencing at the time, including unacceptable levels of employee sickness absence and turnover which were impacting on productivity, product quality and the company finances. Whilst the work that much of the workforce does is largely repetitive and routine, training employees to work a particular piece of machinery can be time-consuming and costly. Subsequently, absence and turnover have sizeable financial implications. Moreover, the hiring of inexperienced temps at short notice to work on the production line often has a negative impact on both productivity and quality. Senior management at Celtic also saw their involvement in the initiative as an opportunity to develop its focus on corporate social responsibility, as part of a wider marketing strategy, and to improve relations with the local community and position Celtic as an employer of choice in the area.
Celtic draws many of its semi-skilled and unskilled workers from an area of relative deprivation with high levels of unemployment and poor health. The workplace health audit found that most of the workforce displayed low levels of physical health, even among younger workers.
Following analysis of the audit and staff survey findings, Celtic decided to fund a series of staff seminars, presented by health care experts and academics from the university, on health issues ranging from smoking to heart disease. Surprised by the level of staff interest in the seminars, senior management, with the assistance of local authority occupational health practitioners, decided to introduce a wider range of workplace initiatives with the following objectives:
- to improve employee quality of life both inside and outside of the workplace
- to raise staff awareness of health and well-being issues
- to improve the health and physical fitness of its employees
- to reduce the incidence of work-related injury and illness
- to improve productivity, employee attendance and staff morale.
These broad objectives continue to inform Celtics approach to workplace well-being. the company has invested heavily in its program, not least in building an on-site gymnasium for use by both staff and their families. Several long-term sickness absentees have successfully used the facility, with the guidance of a workplace well-being advisor, to rehabilitate themselves and return to work. The company now employs a full-time well-being advisor with whom workers can discuss health problems and who undertakes risk assessments, supports workers in stopping smoking and ensures early intervention in alleviating workplace injury and illness. For example, a number of workers had been to see the advisor whilst suffering from repetitive strain injuries and she was able to offer advice on how to minimize pain and reduce strain in carrying out their work. The advisor also carries out routine health checks, offers counselling to deal with workplace stress or other mental health concerns and runs a slimming club and regular seminars advising on healthy eating. The staff canteen now offers only healthy options, and all employees are entitled to two free meals per shift. Outside of the workplace, the company has developed a relationship with a nearby leisure center who provides a range of regular activities and classes which staff can undertake at reduced prices, including tennis, badminton, tai chi, yoga and climbing. The company advisor runs a few staff sports leagues, for example five-a-side football and badminton, to promote healthy competition among employees. The company has also set up a cycle to work scheme to allow employees to take advantage of tax and NI savings on bike purchases to commute to work.
Importantly, the well-being initiatives have been put in place as part of a wider set of HR policies and practices designed to engage staff, for example, the establishment of a company council, an employee suggestion scheme and more formal performance management practices.
To monitor the impact of the well-being initiatives, Celtic conducts an annual health audit and employee attitude survey. Senior management has been very pleased with the results of the well-being program and cites the following outcomes as an indication of its continued success:
- employee absenteeism well below the sector average
- reduced cost of hiring temporary workers
- increase in reported employee satisfaction.
- increased productivity
- reduced employee turnover and intention to quit.
- Identify the well-being initiatives discussed in this case study and indicate their role in an effective HR environment. (4 Marks)
- What are the notable areas that Celtic appears to have failed to address? (4Marks)
- What are the potential long-term implications of the approach to employee well-being that Celtic has adopted? (3.5Marks)
- What according to you should organizations consider while they want happy employees at the workplace? (3.5Marks)