HR goes ‘back to the floor’. HR would benefit from working directly with the operational areas of the business to have a better understanding of procedures and standards. This will then equip the department to become proactive rather than reactive. It is recommended that HR Officers are split cross-functionally, becoming dedicated to specific departments. This would make them experts in a department, for example, F&B (Food and Beverage), and would better equip them to diagnose business problems.
Having reviewed how strategic the HR department is within the hotel, this report will now review the extent to which HR policies are integrated both vertically and horizontally within Hilton. It will also include recommendations for action in these areas. In his book A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, Michael Armstrong writes that “members of HR can give guidance, but it is line managers who are on the spot and have to make decisions about people.The role of HR is to communicate and interpret the policies, convince line managers that they are necessary, and provide training and support that will equip managers to implement them. As Purcell et al (2003) emphasize, it is line managers who bring HR policies to life.
“6 Is the ideal role of HR approached or acknowledged by Hilton? To gather feedback on policy integration within Hilton’s day-to-day running, interviews were carried out with key senior personnel. In an interview with Clare Price, Regional HR Director, she explains that “The majority of HR policies are driven through Esprit and our people standards.New HR policies, when agreed, through consultation, are cascaded through the hotel manager. The company relies heavily on the individual hotel managers, with the support of the regional HR Director to integrate these policies. The average HR audit score on the south region, where HR policy integration is measured to date, is 84%. ” (See Appendix 5) The opinion of Clare Price is echoed by her colleague, Lizzy Robertson – HR Director for the Brighton hotels. She explains that “HR policies are integrated vertically through ongoing training and communication.However, from a horizontal perspective, whilst all managers are aware of and trained in HR policies the extent to which these are effectively delivered varies depending on the skills and leadership style of the individual department manager.
” She continues by adding that “it is very difficult to get all areas of the business thinking and doing the same. There are barriers, some of which that are historical, to breakdown before advances can be made. I think that there are some great tools, such as the HR evaluation, to drive policies.
However, it is something that takes time, respect and trust to build up. ” Having identified the role of HR in policy integration and identified how Hilton integrates policy both vertically and horizontally, this report now makes the following recommendations for improvement. In his book ‘People Resourcing7’, Stephen Taylor defines ‘adding value’ as “..
. three separate types of contribution: delivering business objectives, providing an excellent administrative service and acting as a champion for effective people management”.He continues by stating that “value is only added if P&D professionals are able to remind other managers of the potential impact their actions can have on employee satisfaction, staff turnover rates, performance levels, the incidence of absence and organisation’s reputation in its key labour markets. ” To evaluate how the HR department at the Brighton Metropole, ‘adds value’, interviews were held. During an interview with Lizzy Robertson she stated “I believe HR is responsible for driving the people strategy of the business.By ensuring colleagues at all levels are effectively recruited, appraised and developed we help maximise every individual’s potential. We therefore ‘add value’ by encouraging maximum productivity from each colleague.
” She added that “by working in this way we improve efficiency, thereby making a direct impact on the bottom line. ” If HR is seen to be adding value then one clear advantage would be the business’s willingness to invest further resources into this area. Ultimately employees will benefit from improved training and development, and welfare facilities. However it depends on what the organisation sees as ‘adding value’.Some organisations have demonstrated cost savings and improved efficiency through the use of ‘E-HR’. However this takes away the human contact and makes HR far less accessible to general colleagues. Another advantage for employees is job satisfaction and security. The disadvantage is that long term poor performance is not tolerated, ultimately leading to resignation or dismissal.
If HR is perceived to be adding value, one advantage for the organisation is that a well-balanced business grows. A disadvantage is that success has its own problems such as the poaching of high performers and an expectation that success will happen.