1. What could be done to provide more job variety, and to reduce exhaustion and stress?

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ASSESSMENT INSTRUCTIONS

 

Course Name:                                   ADVANCED DIPLOMA IN  BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

Subject & Class Name:                    Human Resource Management

Method:                                              Case Study with Questions

Assessment No.:                              Task 1  -   An individual assessment
Weighting:                                         50%                                                       Marked out of:   50

Competency Title:                            BSBHRM602   Manage HR Strategic planning

Purpose of Assessment and provide evidence on:

  • Knowledge on human resource practices and functions
  • An understanding of the relevant legislation (laws) regulatory and industrial requirements
  • Common options for source labour and market knowledge
  • Knowing the impact of technology on job roles
  • A well researched and developed HRM strategic plan
  • Deliver the strategic plan with details of the implementation of the plan

Your MS Word document must:

  1. Be of a professional standard (spelling, grammar, punctuation)
  2. Size 12, Arial or Calibri Font
  3. 1.5 Spacing as in this case study
  4. Add a Title page with your name, student number, subject, class number, date and submitted to (the trainer’s name).  If you wish you can add a graphic or picture.
  5. All pages must have a Footer with the page number (use Insert, Page number, Bottom of the page and use Bold no 3
  6. References list and in text citations as per the Harvard Referencing System (see Moodle under Student Resources)
  7. Check the layout of each page by using Print Preview on the task bar to ensure that the pages are  centred and balanced   
  8. At the end of each page insert a page break (however you need to click on the Show/Hide button on the task bar to see of remove them).       

Assessment Instructions:

Please read this carefully then answer the questions on page 4 and the marking form on page 5.

Case Study -Strategic Human Resource Planning

CALL CENTRE PERFORMANCE AT WHITE KNIGHT UK

The case

White Knight is a well-established mail order catalogue company with its headquarters and main distribution centre in Crawley UK.  There is a call centre in Brighton, where there is a relatively good pool of labour, especially out of season when the call centre has to recruit large quantities of temporary staff to handle the pre-Christmas peak.  The function of the call centre is to receive and process customer orders and to deal with customer enquiries and complaints.  Order fulfilment activities take place in Crawley.  The approach adopted by the company to customer service is named ‘QED’ – ie Quality and Efficiency Driven.

Business is good and, on the whole, getting better.  There have, however, been some problems with the performance of the call centre.  Call office performance is measured by a range of metrics, the most important ones being service levels in terms of the time within which calls are answered, the duration of calls (‘average talk time’) and the proportion of customers who hang up because they are tired of waiting for a response.  In addition, some calls were monitored by quality assurance, and interactive voice response (IVR) software was used to obtain customer feedback at the end of a sample of calls. Standards were set for the three main metrics, namely 80 per cent of calls to be answered within 20 seconds, average talk time no more that 2 minutes, no more that 3 per cent of customers hanging up. However, the call centre was not meeting these targets – on average service levels were running at less than 70 per cent, average talk time was nearly 3 minutes and about 5 per cent of customers were hanging up. Customer satisfaction levels were declining. Something had to be done.

The Director of Operations asked the recently appointed Head of HR for her advice. The latter briefed the HR Business Partner, who had also just joined the organization and was responsible for the call centre and distribution (previously without specific HR support), to look into the problem and suggest solutions.

 

 

 

The HR Business Partner established the following facts:

 

●    The call centre employed 250 permanent full-time agents, working shifts, 60 permanent part-time agents, also on shifts, and, in the busy seasons such as pre-Christmas, up to 200 temporary agents, most of them part-time.

●    The centre relied on the permanent staff to maintain the standards and in an informal and largely unstructured way to mentor the temporary staff.

●    Rates of pay were average compared to similar jobs inBrighton.

●    All employees were on a flat rate; there were no provisions for relating pay to service, performance or skill.

●    Although there were outline job descriptions for agents, no attempt had been made to produce a specification of the competencies and personal characteristics that would be most suited to the work.

●    The interviewing process was crude and superficial to say the least.

●    New agents were given half a day’s training by a team leader and then sat with an experienced agent for two days before starting on the job.

●    Attempts were made to encourage temporary agents to return in following years but without a great deal of success – no special inducements were given.

●    Permanent agents with more than three years’ experience or temporary agents who had returned in three consecutive years had significantly higher levels of performance on average than those with less service – they were hitting the targets.  This meant an improvement of 22 per cent in service levels over the results obtained by staff with less than one year’s service and 9 per cent over those with from one to two years’ service.  Their scores on the customer service index were 17 per cent above year one staff and 6 per cent above year two staff (similar improvements in performance were noted for returning temporary staff).

●    The labour turnover figures for permanent staff in the last three years were 21, 24 and 27 per cent respectively.

●    A cohort analysis showed that 40 per cent of permanent staff left in their first year, 25 per cent in their second year and 15 per cent in their third year.

●    An analysis of returning temporary staff showed that no more than about 20 per cent of them returned in the following year.

●    A rough estimate of the cost of labour turnover suggested that it amounted to nearly £3,200 for every permanent staff leaver, allowing for recruiting and training costs and the costs of reduced efficiency and productivity – on this basis the total cost of the losses of permanent staff last year was £224,000.(approximately $360k Australian – AUD)

●    Agents were employed on the same job continuously – there was no job rotation.

●    Absenteeism was high and interviews conducted by the HR Business Partner indicated that stress and tiredness were probably major contributory factors.

 

It was evident from conversations with managers and team leaders and an employee engagement survey conducted by the HR Business Partner that the quality of leadership was inadequate. All in all, a sorry picture.

The task

Carry out a diagnosis of the problem based on the above analysis and outline the steps the HR Business Partner might recommend and how they could be justified in the form of a business case.

(Generally, there is a need to improve engagement and commitment, bearing in mind, however, that the nature of the work in a call centre can be very routine and at the same time demanding)

Questions

  1. What could be done to provide more job variety, and to reduce exhaustion and stress? (5 marks)
  2. What should be done about the quality of leadership? (5 marks)
  3. What are the major “Strategic Choices” the company “White Knight” is facing concerning staffing?  (10 marks)
  4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative? (5 marks)
  5. What are the Critical Factors to consider in the design of Work-Systems? (5 marks)
  6. What Particular role does technology play in the design of work-systems? (5 marks)
  7. Compare and Contrast job - enlargement, rotation and enrichment and how are they similar to and different from each other? (5 marks)

 

Research Source: (i.e. Reference)

Holman, D (2002) Employee well-being in call centres, Human Resource Management Journal, 12 (4), pp 35–50

Assessment Marking Form

Case Study Task 1

 

Student  Name:

Student ID Number:

 

 

 

 

Question Answers and Criteria:

Mark available:

Mark given:

Comments:

  1. What could be done to provide more job variety, and to reduce exhaustion and stress?

 

5

 

 

 

  1. What should be done about the quality of leadership?

 

5

 

 

  1. What are the major “Strategic Choices” the company “White Knight” is facing concerning staffing?

 

10

 

 

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative?

 

5

 

 

  1. What are the Critical Factors to consider in the design of Work-Systems?

 

5

 

 

  1. What Particular role does technology play in the design of work-systems?

 

5

 

 

  1. Compare and Contrast job - enlargement, rotation and enrichment and how are they similar to and different from each other?

 

5

 

 

Indicates a good understanding of the case study and the issues

 

5

 

 

A well structured and designed document and complied with the MS Word document requirements and Assessment Instructions

 

5

 

 

 

Total Marks

 

50

 

 

 

Trainer:                                                                                        Date:

Price: £79

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