SRST ( CIPD ) ASSESMENT ESSAY.
SRST ( CIPD ) ASSESMENT
organisation is based in two different countries (the UK and another country of
your choice). Write a short account which briefly assesses the labour market
trends in each country. In your account, briefly explain the significance of
tight and loose labour market conditions and how organisations position
themselves strategically in competitive labour markets.
Give a brief description of the role of government, employers and trade unions in ensuring future skills needs are met.
Briefly describe the main principles of effective workforce planning and give some examples of any tools that may be used for this.
Give a brief account of HR’s role in each of the following:
– developing basic succession and career development plans
SRST ( CIPD ) ASSESMENT
CIPD is a professional HR body that champions the development of people. It is a non-profit that looks out for better-working conditions for the workers.
In this question, we are going to compare the labor market conditions in America and the U.K. We will look at unemployment levels as well as tight and loose markets.
Tight and Loose Job Markets, Unemployment Levels
The unemployment level in this country stands at 5.1%, but the process towards full employment will be slower (Weldon, 2016). The Living Wage Commission used estimates, such as the cost of living, to come up with a suitable pay package for all workers. During the 2015 budget, the chancellor announced the national living wage, which was higher than the minimum wage but still lesser than the living wage. Certain sectors of the economy, like the retail industry, have experienced an increase in living wages. Outlets like Morrisons were the first to start paying workers a wage that is by the standards of living (Weldon, 2016). It is evident that there has been wage growth in the U.K, but it is worth to note that most of it have been happening at the low-skilled end of the service industry. From these occurrences, one may deduce that the jobs market in the U.K is getting tighter.
Wage growth has remained weak despite an increase in employment figures. There are several pointers alluding to a tight job market in the U.K such as the high rates of employment. It has caused the ratio of unemployed workers to job vacancies to fall as the number of available workers diminishes. This situation has resulted in a tight labor market. The living wage in the U.K is £8.45 per hour.
Underemployed workers are those who are willing to work on a full-time basis but lack the opportunity. The number of part-time workers has been increasing since 2008, and in some cases, massive rises in self-employment have covered up the unemployment or under-employment. The details present a clear picture of slack or free labor market. However, the increased wages in the service sector tend to depict a tight job market as companies try to attract more workers by offering better pay packages (Forbes, 2016). Other parts of the industry like manufacture and construction are experiencing shortages of skilled personnel causing them to use higher wages to attract workers. It implies that the job market is only going to get tighter.
Inequalities in Wage Levels
Disparities in wage levels end up creating the gap between the rich and the have-nots. The top 1%earn incomes that are substantially higher than all the other people in the top 10%. In 2012, individuals in the top 1% earned an average salary of £253,927 while the top 0.1% earned an average of £919,882. It is clear that the income inequality is quite high. Households found in the bottom 10% of the pay scale average an income of £9,277 while the top 10% make more than nine times that amount at £83,897 (“The Scale of Economic Inequality in the UK | The Equality Trust,” 2016).
U.K law has systems in place to ensure that employment is a right for the employees. Employers cannot just terminate someone’s employment without giving sufficient reasons to back this course of action.
Full-time employees are entitled to a paid holiday of 28 days in every year. Part-time employees are also entitled to holidays proportionate with those of full-time employees.
There is statutory sick pay, and the doctor is not required to prove the sickness.
Tight and Loose Job Markets, Unemployment Levels
The labor market is slowly inching towards achieving full employment as the creation of jobs has been on the rise. Unemployment levels are quite low at 4.7%, down from 5%, with almost 192,000 new jobs being created every month. This figure was lower than the highs of 229,000 new opportunities set up in 2015 (Soergel, 2016). There were fewer jobs being created than before, yet the population was continually increasing. Unemployment levels rose back to 5% since the number of people seeking jobs was higher than the available jobs. It points towards a looseness in the job market during this period preceding the presidential elections.
According to, Justin Wolfers, an economist at the University of Michigan, there is more slack and more excess capacity as more people are willing and able to work. The influx of workers, some returning from periods of being laid-off, means that there are more job candidates in the market hence employers are under no pressure to raise wages (Soergel, 2016). The workers who are not skilled have found themselves at a disadvantage of low wages or lack of employment.
Growth in the job market has been uneven, but the general trend shows that the market is starting to lose the slackness and is getting tighter. Companies have been competing for workers to fill the available slots. Minimum wages have been increased, and it has resulted in wages going up even at the low-skill end. CEO of Avadim Technologies, Steve Woody, suggested that competition for workers was heating up even as his company increased entry-level wages from $9 to $11 per hour (Mitchell, 2016). Companies will raise wages so as to attract new workers and it will cause the job market to become even tighter, especially for the skilled workers.
Inequalities in Wage Levels
Income inequality has been growing markedly by every main statistical measure for some 30 years. The earners in the top 10% bracket earn an average income that is almost nine times higher than the rest of the population in the bottom 90%. The Americans who occupy the top 1% earn even more at an average of 38 times than those in the bottom 90%. These numbers seem to pale in comparison when we look at the wider disparity between the top 0.1% and the rest of the people. Those in the 0.1% bracket earn income that is 184 times higher than those in the bottom 90%. If a Gini number is closer to 1, the chances of inequality will be greater (“Income Inequality | Inequality.org,” 2016).
Employers can just dismiss employees at any time they decide to. Employees in the U.S are employed at will and hence either party can get out of the contract whenever they feel like it.
Employees are not entitled to a paid leave. Most companies do not give paid holidays to their employees
Sick patients are not entitled to any payments if they are not present for work save for some few places like Washington DC.
Skills are very vital for the future of the labor market and hence it is important to ensure that they are well developed for sustained growth. A skilled workforce is a valuable asset to any economy as it helps stimulate growth in the private sector.
The government has a role to play in ensuring that the labor force in the economy is highly skilled. According to state economic policy, the state must act to boost the economic well-being of the population. Most of the growth in employment opportunities has been in the middle-wage jobs such as in the hotel industry. The increase in mid-wage jobs signifies that an economy is in recovery and showing strong signs of growth. The government should take advantage of the situation to make some investments in the workforce to fill these job opportunities efficiently. One method that they could use to help workers learn their craft is an apprenticeship. It is a strategy that combines classroom studies with on-the-job training to give employees a complete set of skills (Hanks, 2016). This training approach enables employees to learn skills that are in high demand, and hence their marketability becomes higher. Investing in centers to provide this apprenticeship is a good way for the government to improve the worker’s skills.
The employer has a role to play too in ensuring that the workforce stays competitive at all times. They can come up with a system to train and equip the workers with the essential job skills. A good system should provide maximum learning before and after job instructions so as to create as lasting impact. Some effective programs that employers could offer are on-the-job training, classroom instructions, and job orientation. Internet-based learning will also go a long way to increasing the flexibility of workers to learn at their pace. After learning, the employers should ensure that the employees adhere to a particular code of professionalism. If high standards and values are demanded, the workers are likely to respond in kind (Snell & Bohlander, 2013).
Unions are inseparable from workers in any economy. They are involved in lobbying for the employees’ rights and making their opinions and grievances heard. Unions are supposed to make sure that their members are provided with sufficient information concerning the rights and privileges of workers in that particular economy (Stredwick, 2005). Unions can also tell their members about programs that are available for them to improve their skills. They should help their members to participate in various career building programs by guiding them as they navigate through all the procedures. They should make sure the workers are educated on the importance of setting high-quality standards while continuously seeking ways to enhance their crafts.
Workforce planning involves setting up certain principles and procedures to help an organization in maintaining an efficient workforce while maximizing profits at the same time (“Workforce Planning – Strategic Direction,” 2016). Companies must ensure that they have the right people, with the right skills performing their jobs at the right time. Setting up such a system to work seamlessly is the essential point of workforce planning. Every stage of the process should be overseen by the people who are qualified to do so. The importance of workforce planning is that it helps management to create a team that is motivated and geared toward a common goal with a particular code of values.
Another principle used in workforce planning is setting the effective strategy. For the staff to work in unison as a team, there must be a set of conditions that govern how they achieve that. Every workforce plan needs to have a strategic direction which is made only after learning the future objectives and goals set by the leadership of an organization. The strategic direction also describes how the workforce should be established so as to maximize the chances of achieving the intended targets. The strategic direction will enable workers to know what to do and not realize the goals of the organization. Some of the questions leadership might consider include:
- What is the organizational strategy in the short term and long term?
- What challenges are present in the emerging markets and political environment?
Capacity building is also called capacity development, and it is a concept used in personal and social development. It identifies all the barriers that inhibit workers, employers, governments and other groups from realizing their full potential. Capacity building allows for the abilities of the employees to be enhanced and thus help the work towards achievable and sustainable results. Once the obstacles that stop a company from achieving their target are identified, it can come up with proper strategies to circumvent the barriers. Workplace training is one method of ensuring capacity building takes place (Berger & Fisher, 2016). Training workers like this will enable them to keep up to date with all the changes and trends within the industry and hence they can execute their duties more efficiently. It is a process that requires careful planning so as to ensure that all the procedures are aimed at making the worker better so that it can create a healthy return on investment.
Gap analysis is a tool that companies might use to determine the shape and size of the strategic tasks that ought to be undertaken to ensure the business achieves their intended target (“Gap analysis,” 2016). The planning team uses this tool to guide them as they analyze for gaps and come up with corporate strategies to help them improve their performance. It is a simple yet useful tool for improving the workforce efficiency, but it requires certain things to be in place:
- The indicators of corporate performance should be well defined and understood. It is better if the indicators could be determined via business performance metrics that are set by the organization. Cause and effect relationships is a sure way to go about it.
- Gap analysis requires the organization to use the past and current data so as to create a good picture of the intended results.
- There should be a well-defined time-span for the implementation of the strategic plan, and it should be followed.
- The team involved in strategic planning must ensure that they set targets before performing any analysis. Every member of the organization should know the outcome that is expected of them.
- The planning team must have techniques to help them in forecasting so as to determine the outcome of their processes under various scenarios (“Gap analysis,” 2016).
One critical question in gap analysis is: Where do we aim to be in a certain number of years? This item allows the organization to have a clear plan with a clear target in mind (Freifeld, 2016). The another issue is: Where will the company be in future if we fail to do anything differently? It is a business forecasting question that allows the leadership to see the importance of the course of action. The difference that exists between the results of the two issues is the gap that companies intend to close by employing various strategies (“Gap analysis,” 2016).
Career development implies that the organization takes the necessary initiatives to improve the skills of the workers over time. Human Resource professionals have a crucial role to play in creating a culture where employee training and other development activities are given top priority. They gather all the workers and sensitize them about the importance of training programs and how they could help the employees to grow personally and professionally. Human resource professionals must strive to create a healthy relationship between them and the workers. One way to ensure it happens is by reducing the bureaucracy and ensuring that the HR managers interact with the employees directly with no intermediaries (Smith, 2012). The HR team is in charge of the workforce within any given organization and hence they are responsible for ensuring continuity of employment. They must make sure that they come up with sound strategies to ensure that all the positions in a company are filled by the qualified personnel.
Succession planning ensures that each vital role is covered by the organization. The HR team must make sure that they are aware of the positions that need succession beforehand. When they identify the critical areas, they are able come up with a list of possible successors and then proceed to pick the one that is best qualified. In this way, the HR team ensures business continuity and helps to avoid disruptions in the workforce (U.K Commission for Employment and Skills, 2016). Human Resource managers should be proactive so as to identify future trends and job requirements that may arise in the market. Development is taking place in most sectors, and even companies are changing the way they conduct their business. The changing economic landscape could imply that certain positions will become obsolete while other new ones are likely to develop. These changes must be noted and accommodated within the strategic planning process of the HR officials.
Human Resources officials have a role to play in helping the employees to become all-rounded (Freifeld, 2016). Apart from training them about the requirements of the various jobs, HR should also take a keen interest in finding other effective ways of developing their skills and careers in the long-term. Coaching is one of the means to achieve that outcome. Mentoring and coaching are effective means of helping the workers to be comfortable and create more value in their jobs. There should be forums where workers can get someone to mentor them in the process of executing their duties. The coaching should be taken seriously as it might help the workers in gaining skills quickly and easily.
HR must contribute towards the development of
job descriptions and overall competency of the employees. There are laws
governing the employment relationship in organizations. HR officials are
responsible for ensuring that the company complies with them so as to avoid
penalties as well as damaging the reputation of the enterprise. Officials might
create a handbook to be used by the employees, and it should be updated on a
regular basis. A manual is a communication tool that will let the workers know
how business should be conducted in a suitable manner. In the book, the policies
of the organization are clearly articulated, and there are clear procedures on
how the employees need to perform themselves. The book should be developed with
the help of a legal team so as to cover the laws that govern the workforce.
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