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Master of Business Administration-MBA Semester I Subject Code – MB0043

Subject Name –Human Resource Management

4 Credits

(Book ID: B1132) Assignment Set- 1 (60 Marks)

Note: Each question carries 10 Marks.Answer all the questions.


The historical background to the management techniques of human resources are in vogue since ancient times. It’s only in the past 100 odd years that the techniques and study of human behaviour at work has become formal and structured with certain basic practices established as core and a host of other practices left to each organization to design and implement as per their individual business driven practices. As per Fisher, Schonfeldt and Shaw, in their book titled Human Resources Management, they have characterised the history of HRM as having evolved through four broad phases, the Craft system, the scientific system, the human relations approach and the prevalent organizational science-human resources approach.

Trace the phases of evolution of human resource management.

The Craft system refers to early trends noticed in Egypt and Babylon, where skills based training was provided to people to ensure a steady flow of craftsmen required to build huge monuments. By the 13 th century, subsequently the trend was noticed in Europe and later craft guilds evolved to ensure not only the skill acquisition but regulate the conditions of employment, level of skill and improved production techniques. Most relevant in the domestic industry where generations of skilled workers trained and became experts in a particular skill.

The Scientific Management approach was a key part of the industrial revolution typical of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. It was instilled in the principles of mass production and organization of work – simple work skills and supervisory/managerial skills. This rapidly emerged as the assembly line approach to managing workflow, which later Fredrick Taylor (1856-1915) pioneered based on the philosophy that employees wanted to be used efficiently and money being the primary motivator. Over a period of time this was proved wrong as employee dissent grew and union issues surfaced. It was during this phase that employee welfare as a key HR practice emerged which redressed employee issues like recreational facilities, medical program and employee grievance systems.

The Human Relations approach was an outcome of the famous studies undertaken by US social scientist Elton Mayo and Fritz Roethlisberger at the Western Electric’s Hawthorne plant in Chicago.

The Hawthorne Studies: As described in virtually every book written about management, the human relations or behavioral school of management began in 1927 with a group of studies conducted at the Hawthorne plant of Western Electric, an AT&T subsidiary. Curiously, these studies were prompted by an experiment carried out by the company’s engineers between 1924 and 1932. Following the scientific management tradition, these engineers were applying research methods to answer job-related problems.

Two groups were studied to determine the effects of different levels of illumination on worker performance. One group received increased illumination, while the other did not. A preliminary finding was that, when illumination was increased, the level of performance also increased. Surprisingly to the engineers, productivity also increased when the level of illumination was decreased almost to moonlight levels. One interpretation made of these results was that the employees involved in the experiment enjoyed being the centre of attention; they reacted positively because management cared about them. The reason for the increase in the production was not the physical but the psychological impact of the employee’s attitude towards the job and towards the company. Such a phenomenon taking place in any research setting is now called the Hawthorne effect.

As a result of these preliminary investigations, a team of researchers headed by Elton Mayo and F.J. Roethlisberger from Harvard conducted a lengthy series of experiments extending over a six year period. The conclusions they reached served as the bedrock of later developments in the human relations approach to management. Among their key findings were the following:

· Economic incentives are less potent than generally believed in influencing employees to achieve high levels of output.

· Leadership practices and work-group pressures profoundly influence employee satisfaction and performance.

· Any factor influencing employee behaviour is embedded in a social

system. For instance, to understand the impact of pay on performance, you also have to understand the climate that exists in the work group and the leadership style of the superior.

Leadership Style and Practices: As a consequence of the Hawthorne Studies, worker attitudes, morale, and group influences became a concern of researchers. A notable development of the nature occurred shortly after World War II at the University of Michigan. A group of social scientists formed an organization, later to be called the Institute for Social Research, to study those principles of leadership that were associated with highest productivity.

Finally the Organizational Sciences approach to human resources management has brought the focus to the scientific process within organizations that can impact employee experience, and less on just the individual. Today’s organizations focus on building their processes and policies and compete to emerge as ‘preferred employers’ (best employer). It is not uncommon for competing organizations to woo the employees through advertising more and better employee-friendly initiatives like work-from-home jobs, careers for married couples, global work assignments and internal job postings and world class workplace infrastructures from in-campus cricket grounds to gymnasiums for employee wellbeing. This is the HR that we now see around us.


Explain the various techniques and methods used in selecting employees.

There is no shortcut to fair and accurate evaluation of a candidate. As mentioned earlier, the hiring procedures are therefore, generally long and multiple. Organizations are constantly evaluating the selections tools they use to hire and keep innovating to ensure they hire quality candidates.

The following are popular methods commonly used:

1 Initial or preliminary interview

2 Application blank or blanks.

3 Check of references.

4 Skill / Psychological tests.

5 Employment interview

6 Approval by the manager.

7 Medical examination.

8 Induction or orientation.

1. Preliminary Interview: The more non-selective the recruitment programme, the more likely it is that a preliminary interview will be required. This initial interview is usually quite short and has as its object the elimination of the obviously unqualified. In many instances it is a over-telephone / short face-to-face interview conducted at a desk. The facts and impressions collected are of the type generally obtained in an initial interview. Many firms do not bother to initiate any paperwork at this early stage. If the applicant appears to have some chance of qualifying for existing job openings, he or she is given the application blank to complete.

2 Application Blank: An application blank is a traditional, widely accepted template for

getting information from a prospective applicant. This enables the recruiter to qualify the candidate to the next level in the selection process and is used extensively subsequently during the selection process. The blank aids in the interview by indicating areas of interest and discussion. It is a good means of quickly collecting verifiable basic historical data from the candidate. It also is a excellent document to share with the manager and with the interviewers and is a useful device for storing information for, later reference. These templates generally carry information on biographical data, educational attainment, work

experience, salary, personal items, and other items such as names and addresses of previous employers, references etc.

3 Check of References: The use of references is common in most selection procedures. It

involves minimum of effort and time/money. The objective is to obtain evaluation of prior employers and professional colleagues, who have known the candidate in a professional

capacity. Checks on references are made by mail or telephone, and occasionally in person, and by using a reference form.

4 Skill & Psychological Tests: The next step in the procedures outlined above is that of

testing. The use of tests is common and most popular in the lower levels in an organization. It

serves as a excellent qualifying criteria and in jobs that are dependent on a skill or a specific competency it is very useful. The objectivity of the test results make it especially popular and

a fair assessment of the individual.

Most organizations do not use psychological tests. However, there is a direct relationship between the size and firm and the use of such tests in hiring. Most of the larger companies that can afford to have a more detailed and accurate selection procedure do utilize some form of employment testing. It is the smaller company that frequently does not bother with tests, but places greater reliance upon the interview.

5 Interviewing: Interviewing is probably the most widely used single method of selection. A substantial amount of subjectivity, and therefore, unreliability, is to be expected from interviewing when used as a tool of evaluation.

The interview consists of interaction between interviewer and applicant. If handled properly,

it can be a powerful technique in achieving accurate information and getting access to

material otherwise unavailable. Organizations aware of the challenges of using interviews have come up with a variety of ways to overcome the subjectivity. The use of multiple rounds of interview (even upto 8-10 rounds) and use of panel interviews are some common work- around.

Four kinds of interviews for selection have been identified. These are:

1. Preliminary interview: These interviews are preliminary screening of applicants to decide

whether a more detailed interview will be worthwhile. The applicant is given job details during the interview to afford him freedom to decide whether the job will suit him. This method saves the company’s time and money.

2. Stress interview: Stress interviews are deliberate attempts to create pressure to observe

how an applicant performs under stress. Methods used to induce stress range from frequent interruptions and criticism of an applicant’s opinion, to keeping silent for an extended period of time. The most important advantage of the stress interview is that helps to demonstrate important personality characteristics which would be difficult to observe in tension-free situations. However, stress-inducing must be done carefully by trained and skilled interviewers.


Depth interview: Depth interviews cover the complete life history of the applicant and

include such areas as the candidate’s work experience, academic qualifications, health interest, and hobbies. It is an excellent method for executive selection, performed by qualified human resources.

4. Patterned interview: Patterned interviews are a combination of direct and indirect

questioning of the applicant. The interviewer has certain clues and guidelines to areas which should be probed deeply and the interview also encourages the candidate to express the

relevant information freely.

After the patterned interview is complete, the interviewer should evaluate the candidate on the basis of practical experience. According to R.N. McCurry and others, certain factors lead to accurate predictions of the candidate’s suitability for a particular position. The factors are:

(1) basic character traits, (2) motivation, and (3) emotional maturity. One advantage of a patterned interview is that systematic and chronological information is obtained, and hence this yields to statistical analysis.

6. Approval by the Manager: Following the outlined procedure, we should now be of the

opinion that a candidate who has successfully completed all steps so far should be hired. In executing the recruitment unit screening functions, the emphasis tends to be more on formal qualifications and general suitability. When the manager takes over, the emphasis tends to switch toward more specifically job oriented worker characteristics such as training and relevant past experience.

7. Medical Examination: The medical examination is an employment step found in most

businesses. It can vary from a very comprehensive examination and matching of an applicant’s physical capabilities to job requirements to a simple check of general physical appearance and well-being. In the selection procedure the physical examination has at least three basic objectives. First, it serves to ascertain the applicant’s physical capabilities.

The second objective of the examination is to protect the company against unwarranted claims under workers’ compensation laws, or against lawsuits for damages. And the final objective is to prevent communicable diseases from entering the organization.

8 Induction: Induction is concerned with introducing or orienting a new employee to the organization. Organizations could have induction programs of duration of 1-3 days and even up to 1/3/6 months. Common objectives of an Induction program can be listed as covering:

1. Overview of the organization, its history, its hero’s and important stories in the life of the

firm so far like mergers, acquisitions, JV’s, expansion in new countries etc…


Organization Vision / Mission and Objectives statement, its structure, hierarchy of the top

and the senior management, structure of the teams/divisions, focus on the division the employee/s is/are joining

3. Overview of the HR policies and processes and introduction to the Facilities team, IT team

and other relevant teams per the location of joining.

4. Handover to the manager and induction at a team level on specificities related to the job

and its responsibilities.

Organizations also build processes by which the new employee provides feedback on the on boarding experience and use this information to improve the Induction process. In as much as various firms report that over half of their voluntary resignations occur within the first 6 months, proper orientation can do much to reduce this problem and its accompanying costs.


is to sell mobile phones of a Chinese company which has come up with an inexpensive range of handset ranging from Rs.1200 to Rs.7000. They need to submit a human

resource plan to their investors. Explain the process of Human Resource Planning system for this company, which covers all important steps needed for HRP.

A company is being set up by a group of 3 professionals. The business objective

A company is being set p by a group of 3 professionals. The business objective is to sell

mobile phones. Range of handset = 1200 Range of handset = 7000 Human Resource planning is the predetermination of the future course of actioin chosen from a number of alternatives. HR planning is the processes including forecasting, developing and controlling by which a

firm course that it has the right number of people and right kind of people at the right places

at the right time doing work for which they are economically most useful.

The characteristic of according to this company is that (HRP): They are:

1. Human resource plan most incorporate the human resource needs in the light of organisational goals.

2. H.R. plan must be directed towards well defined objectives

3. H.R.P must ensure that it has the right number of people and the the right kind of people at the right time, doing work for which they are economically most useful.

4. H.R.P should have the way for an effective motivational process.

5. A human resource plan should take into account the principle of periodical

reconsideration of new development and extending the plan to cover the charges during the given long period. HR planning is a highly important and useful activity without clear cut planning, an

estimation of the organsation’s human resource needs is reduced to more success work.

1. Planning defines future manpower needs and this becomes the basis or recreating and developing personal

2. Employees can be trained, motivated and developed in advance and this helps in meeting future needs for high quality employee

3. change in technology has attached more importance to knowledge and skills resulting in surplus manpower in some areas and shortage in other areas. HR planning helps in creating balance in such a situation.

profile of H.R because of increased emphasis on knowledge, recruitment costs have also increased.

Human Resource Planning is not only done by organizations and corporate bodies. It is a prevalent practice at different levels:

i) At the country’s national level, it is generally done by the Government and covers items like population projections, programme for economic development, basic and advanced educational infrastructure and opportunities, occupational distribution across urban and rural areas, industrial and geographical mobility of employable people.

ii) At the state level, it may be done by the state government and would include manpower planning for the needs of the agricultural, industrial and service sector.

iii) At the specific industry level, it would include manpower needs forecast for specific

industries, such as engineering, heavy industries, consumer goods industries, public utility industries, etc.

iv) At the level of the individual organization/ unit, it would relate to the planning of

manpower needs for each department and for various types of personnel.

Human Resource Planning System

The steps in the HRP process is a systematic set of activities carried out in a chronological manner. Each step needs to be evaluated and debated with all possible information gathered from the external as well as internal environment.

A. Purpose of Human Resource Planning: Human Resource Planning fulfils individual as

well as organizational goals. What it essentially amounts to is “striking a balance” between the future human resources needs and the future enterprise needs. And this is done with the clear objective of maximizing the future return on investment in human resources. And this objective may be laid down for a short-term (i.e. for one year).

B. Estimating/Forecasting the future Manpower Requirements: the first step in the process is

to arrive at the desired organizational structure at a given point in time. Mapping this structure with the existing structure helps in identifying the gap in resources requirement. The number and type of employees needed have to be determined. In addition to the structure there are a number of external factors that affect this determination. They include business forecasts, competitor strategy, expansion plans, product/skills mix changes, profit/revenue growth projections, in addition to management philosophy and government policies. This step also includes an analysis of the external labour/talent environment, its demographics, demand/supply of the required talent, and cost considerations.

Forecasting provides the basic premises on which manpower planning is done. Forecasting is necessary for various reasons, such as:

a) The challenges of the general economic business cycles have an influence on the short-

range and long-run plans of all organizations. These are inflation, wages, prices, costs and raw material supplies.

b) An expansion / growth initiative might need the business to use additional machinery and

personnel, and a re-allocation of facilities, all of which call for adequate advance planning of

human resources.

c) Changes in management philosophies and top management leadership styles.

d) The use of new technology (such as the introduction of automatic controls, or the

mechanization of materials handling functions) requiring a change in the skills of workers, as

well as a change in the number of employees needed.

e) Very often, changes in the quantity or quality of products or services require a change in

the organization structure. Plans have to be made for this purpose as well.

C. Auditing Human Resources: Once the future human resource needs are estimated, the next

step is to determine the present supply of manpower resources. This is done through what is called "Skills Inventory". A skills inventory contains data about each employee’s skills, abilities, work preferences and other items of information which indicate his worth to the company. Skills inventory are also referred to as competency dictionaries. This information is usually retained as part of the performance management system with the HR department.

This step in the HRP system helps identify the existing profile of the manpower and its efficiency. It helps highlight where the organization is vs. where it ought to be. The step concludes with identifying clear gaps in the skills / manpower mix required to meet the upcoming business objectives.

D. Job Analysis: After having decided how many persons would be needed, it is necessary to

prepare a job analysis. The recorded details of training, skills, qualification, abilities, experience and responsibilities, etc. as needed for a job are studied. Job analysis includes the preparation of job descriptions and job specifications.

E. Developing a Human Resource Plan: This step refers to the development and

implementation of the human resource plan, which consists in finding out the sources of

labour supply with a view to making an effective use of these sources. Some important considerations at this point are:

F: Specific roles/disciplines being hired for, of them which roles are pivotal for the business

Competencies and capabilities needed

Manager vs. employee hiring

Hire internally vs. External sourcing

Planning for new skills through training existing staff vs. hiring new teams

In case of surpluses, planning for redeployment / reduction in workforce as required

Succession planning for key positions in the company

Q.4 Explain Thayer and McGhee ‘Assessment of training requirement’ model.

Assessment of Training Requirement: Given the investment that organizations make in training it is critical for organizations to ensure that the money is rightly spent. Training needs consider both the organization’s demands and that of the individual’s. Diversification of product lines, new technology, and hence a new kind of job, or a shift in organizational culture or ways of conducting business are common organizational needs that cover most employees in the company. On the other hand demands that pertain to individual’s growth and development, including induction training for new hire’s, or training necessitated by job rotation due to an organization’s internal mobility policies are examples of individual need based training.

The model we shall examine here is the Thayer and McGhee model. It is based on the following three factors:

1. Organization analysis

2. Task analysis

3. Individual analysis

1 Organization Analysis: Total Organization Analysis is a systematic effort to understand exactly where training effort needs to be emphasized in an organization. It involves a detailed analysis of the organization structure, objectives, human resources and future business plans, and an understanding of its culture.

The first step in organization analysis is establishing a clear understanding of both short-run and long-run business and people goals. Long-term objectives are the broad directions in which the organizations would move over a long duration. These long-term objectives are then broken down into specific strategies and short-term goals for each of the units/departments. In an organization, the cumulative effect of all these would ultimately lead to the long-term goal. Short-term goals are constantly in need of adaptation to the changing environment, both external and internal.

For an organization analysis, there are three essential requirements: (1) an adequate number of employees available to ensure fulfilment of the business operation; (2) that employee performance is up to the required standard; and (3) that the working environment in their units/departments is conducive to fulfilment of tasks.

In order to ensure the first two requirements a human resource inventory needs to be made. Data regarding positions, qualifications, vacancies, replacements and training time required for replacements have to be worked out. Job standards must also be worked out.

Various efficiency and productivity indexes, or ratios such a productivity ratios, cost per unit etc, can be worked out to determine not only efficiency but also adequacy, in terms of under- manning or over-manning, of the workforce.

An important dimension of organizational need-based analysis, is the diagnosis of the state of the organization "climate" or “culture”. While rules, procedures, systems and methods all contribute to the making of the environment, much of it is also determined by the attitude that

the "people" have in the organization-for instance, the attitude that top management has towards its subordinate staff and the attitudes that members have towards work, Managers and company procedures. These attitudes are learnt, they result from the person’s experience both within and outside the organization, and training inputs could be used to effect changes of attitude and consequently of the organizational climate.

In analyzing the organization climate, both direct and indirect methods could be used. Direct methods are observation, use of questionnaires, and interviews. Reliance or indirect methods would not give a clear understanding of the attitudes and predispositions of employees. In fact, factors such as low absenteeism and low turnover are not by themselves indicators of positive or negative attitudes, and high or low morale. It would be better to make a careful analysis and study each indicator in a particular situation in conjunction with more direct methods like attitude surveys. Analysis and interpretation of the data may give clear clues not only to attitudinal training needs but possibly also to kill training needs.

2. Task Analysis: This activity entails a detailed examination of each job, its components,

its various operations and the conditions under which it has to be performed. The focus here is on the "task" itself and the training required to perform it, rather than on the individual. Analysis of the job and its various components will indicate the skills and training required to perform the job at the required standard.

Standard of Performance: Every job has an expected standard of performance (SOP). Unless such standards are attained, not only will inter-related jobs suffer, but organizational viability will be affected, and so will the expectations that have been set for that particular job itself. If the standards set for the performance of a job are known, then it is possible to know whether the job is being performed at the desired level of output or not. Knowledge of the "task" will help in understanding what skills, knowledge and attitudes an employee should have.

Methods: If an employee is asked to perform a job, the exact components of the job and the standard of performance must be known. Task analysis entails not merely a simple listing of the various job components, but also of the various sub-tasks. Conventional methods of job analysis are usually suitable for task analysis. They are:

1. Literature review regarding the job.

2. Job performance.

3. Job observation,

4. Data Collection regarding job interviews.

For blue-collar employees, more precise industrial-engineering techniques, like time and motion studies, could be used, and for white-collar employees, work sampling observation, interviews, and job performance data analysis could be employed. The focus in task analysis approach to identifying training needs is with the clear objective of enhancing the performance standard of a given task. This information is then utilised to establish the

training programme for the employee. It helps identify the skill required, either in terms of education or training, to perform the job, knowledge, and finally attitudinal pre-dispositions such as the attitudes, towards safety, or interpersonal competence that will ensure that the job is performed optimally.

3 Individual Analysis: Individual analysis is the third component in identifying training needs. The focus of individual analysis is on the individual employee, his abilities, and the inputs required for job performance, or individual growth and development in terms of career planning.

The common source for this needs analysis usually forms parts of the performance assessment process. Clues to training needs can also come from an analysis of an individual’s or a group’s typical behaviour. The primary sources of such information are:

(1) Observation at place or work, examination of job schedules, quantum of spoilage, wastage, and clues about interpersonal relations of the employees; (2) interviews with superiors and employees; (3) comparative studies of good vs. poor employees, to identify differences, skills and training gaps; (4) personnel records; (5) production reports; and (6) review of literature regarding the job and machines used. Job-knowledge tests, work sampling and diagnostic psychological tests also provide information about employees.

Q.5 Write short notes on:

Succession Planning

Career Planning

Succession Planning: Succession planning involves having senior executives periodically review their top executives and those in the next-lower level to determine several backups for each senior or key position in the firm. It takes years of grooming to develop effective senior managers and this is a talent challenge that all organizations face today. Traditionally succession planning was restricted to senior-level management positions and this was either an informal or formal process.

Over the years succession planning has established itself as a key HR activity in most organizations with formal processes that ensure it is reviewed regularly and scientifically. In smaller organizations it is yet an informal succession planning process where the individual manager identifies and grooms his or her own successor.

Succession planning involves an examination of strategic (long-range) plans and HR forecasts for all identified key positions in an organizations. It includes positions that are critical for the business and for its continuity and not just the senior level positions. It includes a review of the data on all potential candidates who might be able to move to these positions either right-away or in the near future. The objective is to identify employees with potential and increase managerial depth as well as promoting from within the company. This is usually an exercise undertaken one a year and usually runs parallel to the performance appraisal process. This exercise is carried out by the senior management team of the unit/subsidiary and facilitated by the HR team. Usually, committees of top managers’ work

together to identify high potential candidates within their team and then out-line developmental activities for them. They may also include a formal assessment of the performance and potential of candidates and written individual development plans for candidates.

All member’s voice opinions about the potential candidates that are proposed and disagreements are openly debated, before the final document is signed off. The succession planning process includes determining and clarifying the requirements of the managerial position and development plans for how these potential candidates can be groomed to occupy these positions in the eventuality they fall vacant. These development plans then translate into the individual’s development plan and HR along with the immediate manager work with the individual to execute the same.

A succession planning exercise concludes with an organization chart of all key positions with listing of possible potential candidates and the readiness rating for each potential candidate. For example a position that can immediately be filled is rated higher than a position which does not have a ready-now candidate. Other components include performance appraisal of these employees, and individual development plans and management development programs. Additionally, the factors rated as most important in selecting specific internal/external potential candidates for grooming includes: past job performance, past positions or prior employment, perceived credibility, area of expertise and career paths and values and attitudes.

Benefits: There are many benefits of having a formal Succession Planning System:

1. Provides a clear context to strategic business planning as the key positions for the

business’s success are what are being planned for.

2. Provides a more systematic basis to judge the risk of making particular succession and

developmental moves.

3. Bring focus to systematized succession a plan that scientifically identifies potential

candidates to ensure business continuity.

4. Enables the identification of high potential and future leaders, whereby the thereafter the

manager/HR can engage with them for leadership development initiatives.

5. Reduces randomness of managerial movements.

6. Helps anticipate problems before they get started – and thereby avoid dysfunctional


7. Provides scientific approach for arriving at succession decisions as part of the overall

human resource planning exercise – connecting formats (data, timing) with process (judgement, discussions, analyses)

8. Helps plan for internal promotion opportunity

9. Provides early warning if succession does not exist for a position allowing for lateral hiring

from the market.

Regardless of what type of succession planning program is used (formal or informal); most successful programs obtain the support of top management.

Career Planning: A broad view of career is defined as an “individually perceived sequence

of attitudes and behaviour work-related activities and experiences over the span of a person’s

life.” In normal parlance the term career has both an internal and an external focus. An internal focus and refers to the way an individual views his/her career and the external or objective focus and refers to the actual series of job positions held by the individual. The

dynamics of career development in an organizational context has two dimensions:

· How individuals plan and implement their own career goals (career planning), and

· How organizations design and implement their career development programs (career management).

Career planning is a deliberate attempt by an individual to become more aware of their skills, interests, values, opportunities and constraints. It requires an individual thinking to identify career-related goals and establishing plans towards achieving those goals. Often it is a self- driven process, which every professional (irrespective of the nature of employment) spends some time to dwell on and discuss it with peers or superiors and frame it. It is also viewed from time to time that the individual looks for possible new career options. Having a career plan builds a commitment towards achieving it and is viewed as an excellent personal goal- setting exercise for self motivation.

Career management is considered to be an organizational process that involves preparing, implementing and monitoring career plans undertaken by an individual alone or within the organizations career systems. Organizations establish policies that provide for multiple career path options that an employee can choose from and pursue. This is supported with a lot of training and development activities that are agreed to with the manager and planned carefully and executed.

A variety of career development activities and tools exists for use in organizations. HR

managers should be familiar with these components because the managers often serve as internal consultants responsible for designing the career development systems. Some of the activities described are individual career planning tools and others are commonly used for organizational career management. In general the most effective career development programs will use both types of activities.

A variety of career development activates are available for use. Some of the more popular

ones include:

1. Self assessment tools:- these are usually technology enabled on-line (on the corporate intranet) tools that form part of the performance appraisal system and allow the individual to identify areas of strengths and parallelly identify career paths that would leverage these strengths the best. E.g. Career Planning Workbooks, Career Workshops hosted by the organizations from time to time.


Individual Counselling:- formally the process allows for individuals to discuss this as part

of the performance management process with their immediate managers and share and take feedback on the appropriateness of the choices and how to go about pursuing it. Often managers recommend relevant other managers and leaders who the employee can link with to seek advice and support. Organizations also provide for formal ‘mentoring programs’ to which an employee can enrol and sign up a mentor who can then provide the support and counselling on the best career option and how to go about it achieving it.

3. Information Services: organizations have established policies on what skills and

experiences that each job in the organization requires. Jobs with similar skills and

experiences are clubbed together to create parallel career paths.

4. Initial employment Programs Organizations also run internship and apprenticeship

programs wherein the individuals aspiring to do a particular job can spend some time as a temporary employee to explore interest and skill fitment for the job/role. (e. g. Anticipatory socialization programs, realistic recruitment, and employee orientation program);

5. Organizational Assessment programs : organizations can proactively establish formal

processes wherein an employee can volunteer to participate and understand himself/herself and his/her strengths. Through the use of Assessment Centres organizations can help an employee identify areas for improvement and means of building those skills. So he can achieve his career plans. Certain organizations offer Psychological Testing instruments which

profile the employee’s strengths and roles and responsibilities he / she will best fit into.

6. Developmental programs focus the effort of the employee towards helping the employee to

achieve his career goals. The Assessment Centres, Job rotation programs, in-house training, tuition refund plans, and mentoring, all prove effective tools to help the individual along.

No matter what tools are used for career development, it is important that employees develop and individualised career plan. For example Raychem requires every person to have a learning or development plan.

Q.6. Discuss Individual evaluation methods used for performance appraisal.

Individual evaluation Methods: There exists five ways to evaluate an employee individually. Here the employee is evaluated one at a time without directly comparing him/her with other employees.

Graphic rating scale: The most widely used performance rating technique is a graphic rating scale (eg. a 3, 4 or 5 or even 10 point rating scale). In this technique, the evaluator is presented with a list of assessment characteristics and asked to assign a number rating to the employee on each of the characteristics listed. The number of characteristics might vary from a few to several dozen. It aims to measure the quality of performance and ability to do the present job.

The ratings can be in a series of boxes, or they can be on a continuous scale (0-9) or so. In the latter case, the evaluator places a check above descriptive words ranging from none to

maximum. Typically, these ratings are then assigned points. For example, outstanding may be assigned a score of 4 and unsatisfactory a score of 0. Total scores are then computed. In some plans, greater weights may be assigned to more important traits. Evaluators are often asked to provide supporting comments for each rating in a sentence or two.

Forced choice: The forced-choice method of evaluation was developed because other methods used at the time led to a preponderance of higher ratings, which made promotion decisions difficult. In forced choice, the evaluator must choose from a set of descriptive statements about the employee. The two-, three-, or four-statement items are grouped in a way that the evaluator cannot easily judge which statements apply to the most effective employee.

Typically, HR specialists/consultants prepare the items for the form, and Managers or other HR specialists rate the items for applicability; that is, they determine which statements describe effective and ineffective behaviour. The Manager then evaluates the employee. The HR Department adds up the number of statements in each category (for example, effective behaviour), and they are summed into an effectiveness index. Forced choice can be used by superiors, peers, subordinates, or a combination of these in evaluating employees.

Essay evaluation: In the essay technique of evaluation, the evaluator is asked to describe the strong and weak aspects of the employee’s behaviour. In very few organizations, the essay technique is the only one used; in others, the essay is combined with another form, such as a graphic rating scale. The essay summarizes and elaborates on some of the ratings, or discusses added dimensions which are not captured by the scale. Wherever it is used the essay, the can either be open ended or as in most cases there are guidelines on the topics to be covered, the purpose of the essay, and so on. The essay method can be used by evaluators who are superiors, peers, or subordinates of the employee to be evaluated. It is not a very popular method in the industry.

Management by objectives: one of the most popular individual evaluation methods in use today is Management by Objectives (MBO). In this system, the Manager and employee to be evaluated jointly set objectives/targets in advance for the employee to try to achieve during a specified period. And usually the objectives framed are of quantitative nature. MBO is a very common industry practice. At the beginning of the year clear objectives are laid down for achievement during the course of the year. These objectives are popularly called by the following names:

1. KRA-key result areas

2. KPA -key performance areas

3. Targets

These objectives are designed using the SMART framework as in… Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results oriented and Time bound. All objectives must conform to this framework. Thereafter the objectives are broken up into half yearly, quarterly and maybe monthly objectives, again keeping in mind the SMART framework. All along the process both the employee and the manger are in consensus of the objectives and the timelines as well as the deliverables.

MBO is one of the most effective methods for performance review primarily because it is identified at the beginning of the review period and is regularly reviewed for achievements and modified on-going again in consensus between the employee and the manager.

At the end of the review year, the MBO’s are reviewed for completion with the SMART framework.

In case of a new employee or someone moving jobs/assignments between teams; after about 6-8 weeks of being in the job this process is undertaken and the objectives are set.

The evaluation too is a joint review of the degree of achievement of the objectives. This approach combines the manager and self-evaluation systems.

Critical incident technique: In this technique, HR specialists and operating managers prepare lists of statements of very effective and very ineffective behaviour for an employee. These are the critical incidents. The HR specialists combine these statements into categories, which vary with the job. Once the categories are developed the statements of effective and ineffective behaviour are provided to the managers. The manager maintains a log for each

the scores (weights) on the items checked. Checklists and weighted checklists can be used by evaluators who are superiors, peers, or subordinates, or by a combination.

Behaviourally anchored rating scales: the most prevalent technique which is a variation of the critical incident approach is the behaviourally anchored rating scale (BARS). This technique is also called the behavioural expectation scale (BES).

Managers give descriptions of actually good and bad performance, and HR specialists/consultants group these into categories (five to ten is typical). The items are once again evaluated by managers (often other than those who submitted the items). A procedure similar to that for weighted checklists is used to verify the evaluations (outstandingly good, for example) with the smallest standard deviation, hopefully around 1.5 on a 7-point scale. These items are then used to construct the BARS. The final output is a set of statements for each item from among which the manager chooses the most appropriate one for the employee based on his/her performance.