Essay on HRM Individual Report final

Submitted By justinmartin81
Words: 1938
Pages: 8

Cover Page

MEMBA 2014
Human Resource Management – Individual Report

November 15, 2014

Justin K. Martin
Student # 130042330


The Human Resource Management course allowed me to take a deep look into my organization’s HRM practices, and presented an opportunity to recognize its positives and “lesser strengths.” As a background, I work in a large Scandinavian bank (XYZ Bank) as a relationship manager servicing major global shipping, offshore, and oil service clients. The bank’s general HRM practice has elements of a high commitment management approach, which fits the Scandinavian culture given its policy on selective hiring, team-work, small status differences, and employment security.i I believe this approach works well on a departmental level for back and middle office functions, however is not ideal for front office employees in key revenue generating roles, or A-positions.

Given the equalitarian culture, and lethargic employee performance measures within my organization, I believe XYZ Bank could significantly enhance employee value by changing its HRM practice for front office employees to a resource-based view approach, targeting A-players and positions.

The Scandinavian Management Culture

The Scandinavian management style has become popular over the last ten years given its typically flat organizational structure, which is said to promote a more creative workplace, and breaks down borders between management and staff. The style is network-oriented and motivating, and managers strive to empower employees to a greater degree than with other management styles. In Scandinavia, companies manage with goals and values rather than control and strict chains of command.ii

The Scandinavian working culture provides employees very attractive benefits, which include mandatory 5 to 7 weeks of paid holiday leave per year, flexible working hours, and generous maternity/paternity leave policies. Salary and remuneration is below market standards and extremely transparent as there is little variation amongst employees performing a similar job function. In Norway, working culture evolves around such transparency that the tax returns of citizens are published online and in a searchable database, along with town and date of birth.iii

XYZ Bank

XYZ is a global bank, but the Scandinavian culture prevails in its offices inside and outside the Nordic countries. XYZ Bank has traditionally offered expatriate contracts to star junior managers in “A-player” roles, which center around business development and relationship management. Many organizations seek to use international assignments for individual and organizational development, often with the assistance of a centralized human resource function, which can plan and track the career of staff on a global basis.iv After the financial crisis struck in 2008, XYZ bank implemented a global hiring freeze, which is still in effect to this day. When “A-player” roles need to be filled within departments, department heads are forced to re-locate talent to best serve key clients in non-Nordic offices. These actions were necessary, however extremely expensive to the departments given they have to shoulder each expatriate’s moving and housing expenses through the contractual period. More importantly, senior management now perceives the expatriate contract as a tool to fill employment gaps rather than provide A-player junior managers an opportunity for further advancement. This in turn has demotivated most “A-position” employees given there is no longer a benchmark to determine A-players within departments.

Implementing an – “A-player / A-position” Approach

What is an A-Player / A-position?

An “A-position” is defined primarily by its impact on strategy and by the range in the performance level of the people in the position.v When deciding to engage in an A-player / A-position approach, management is essentially searching for who and where in