HR+

Case Study No. 1 – HR Audit

Background

An Australian, privately owned company that designs and manufactures heavy industrial & general engineering activities operates from owner occupied premises, located in a large industrial precinct on the NSW Central Coast.

The Problem

The company has good human resource management policies, procedures and practices in place, together with well established wage and employment arrangements with the workforce. However, these existing arrangements are based on previous industrial relations laws and management now seek a thorough understanding of the new industrial relations requirements and to establish new and effective workplace arrangements.

With the emergence of new IR laws, the business needed to bring its employment arrangements in-line with these new requirements, as well as to explore other innovative ways to reward their employees, create a better working environment and drive higher productivity for the organisation.

Their research led them to Wentworth Advantage.

The Solution

A comprehensive review, in the form of an HR Systems & Workforce Audit, was conducted of the company’s HR systems, specifically:

  • employment contracts
  • HR policies and procedures
  • job descriptions
  • performance appraisal system, and
  • payroll systems
The review identified potential weaknesses in their systems from a legal compliance point of view and also recommended HR system improvements, if there was a resulting, commercial benefit. For example, it was recommended that the company develop quantifiable performance standards (KPI’s) within the Job Descriptions – allowing for higher levels of accountability.

The Outcome

The HR audit was successful in reviewing the following factors:

  • the adequacy of the company’s human resources management functions such as recruitment and selection, performance management, training and development and legal compliance.
  • Identified and addressed low levels of accountability within jobs
  • strengths and weaknesses of managers and supervisors at evaluating their employees and ultimately of lifting their performance.

Case Study No. 2 - Culture and job satisfaction survey

Background

A leading industry body representing the business and advocacy needs of 4,000 members in Australia has recently expanded their in-house capacity to service members by increasing their staffing by 25%.

The Problem

Growth in staff numbers had led to a range of HR problems, resulting in concern among many staff members. In particular, the CEO was concerned about poor alignment in values with a number of staff who were threatened by the changes. Morale was clearly affected and absenteeism was starting to become a problem.

They really needed to gain a better understanding of what was going on in the hearts and minds of their employees. Their research led them to Wentworth Advantage.

The Solution

It was recommended that an employee survey of management and employee opinions be conducted. The information that was to be collected would be valuable in assessing organisational strengths and weaknesses.

Wentworth HR recommended the distribution of two surveys:

1. Job satisfaction survey – addresses overall levels of staff satisfaction/ dissatisfaction in the following areas:

  • Internal communications
  • Quality of work environment
  • Performance management
  • Recognition & reward
  • Training & development
  • Freedom of control
  • Colleagues & co-workers
  • Personal & family
  • Other issues

2. Team cohesion survey

The team cohesion survey addressed the issue of team spirit – from both the perspective of inter and intra teams. Our experience demonstrates that it is imperative for the successful achievement of organisational objectives / goals, that the organisation carefully monitors levels of team cohesion, to ensure the best possible integration of services and team effort.

The Outcome

The goal of any organisation is to work hard and to work smart. The results of the surveys were able to specifically show the client where they were “spinning their wheels”.

A comprehensive Report was presented to the client, covering each of the above identified areas – including recommendations to improve the problems. In addition, a PowerPoint presentation was provided to all staff with a summarised outline of the results.

The surveys have now become a regular, scheduled event in the calendar of the operations of this association.

Case Study No. 3 - HR systems implementation

Background

An IT consultancy with skills and expertise across multiple platforms and businesses including project management, application development, IT security, system administration, migration, infrastructure planning and business continuity planning – were keen to update their staff manuals.

The Problem

Having experienced significant growth over the last five years, and now with over 120 staff, the company was concerned that their original HR systems, developed over five years ago, no longer met their operational requirements or their legal obligations. In particular, they were concerned that the Employee Manual and their Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Manual were significantly out-of-date. They really needed to ensure employment legal compliance in these critical areas. Their research led them to Wentworth Advantage.

The Solution

A two-part methodology was developed, comprising of:

Step 1: HR audit

A comprehensive analysis was conducted of:

    a. The organisation, and
    b. Existing policies, procedures & protocols

in order to fully determine what HR/IR and OHS policies and procedures currently exist.
The HR audit provided Wentworth Advantage with a more detailed understanding of what was required, given both the current and future needs of the IT consultancy.
The results of the audit also provided valuable information on other areas of legal and/or operational exposure relating to the HR function of the business.

Step 2 - Development of the Human Resource Policies & Procedures Manual and an OHS Manual

Wentworth Advantage developed a comprehensive Human Resource Policies & Procedures Manual & an OHS Manual that:
  • Met the needs of the organisation as determined by the HR Audit conducted in Step 1
  • Ensured that the IT consultancy were legally compliant in relation to all relevant HR/IR & OHS legislative requirements, so that appropriate policies and procedures are incorporated
  • Incorporated all such policies and procedures that an organisation of the type and size of the IT consultancy would be normally expected to include
  • Incorporated a number of contemporary policies and procedures that encourage higher levels of engagement and job satisfaction of staff.
  • Also included all required forms

The Outcome

The Manuals were developed and rolled-out to staff after a four week pilot period with a cross-section of staff around the country. Interestingly, the development of the Manuals required that due thought and consideration be given to many functional areas of the business. For example, remuneration strategy. In this instance, the following issues needed to be addressed:

  • How does the IT consultancy intend to remuneration benchmark its staff?
  • Where on the market rate scale do they want to position their staff – ie. lower quartile, average, median or upper quartile?
  • What other benefits, if any, do they want to provide staff?
  • Is it worth considering the implementation of a pay-for-performance incentive program?
  • Is it worth considering the implementation of a non-financial Recognition & Reward program?

Also, for the OHS Manual – it necessarily required that due thought and consideration be given to other legally-required OHS obligations, such as:

a. The development & implementation of a Risk Management process, incorporating the three important elements of:
    i. Hazard identification
    ii. Risk Assessment, and
    iii. Risk Control
b. The development and roll-out of an OHS training program

Key benefits of HR+
  • Tailored solutions.
  • People management.
  • Employment legal compliance.
  • Business management.
  • Strategy.
  • Governance.
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