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Solution to Work-related stress

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MBA (Health Executive) Programme 2001 Human Resource Management Assignment: Following the introduction of new technology within your department and subsequent changes to traditional structures and patterns of working a number of staff have approached you on separate occasions complaining of work-related stress. Further investigation has uncovered low morale within the department and higher than average absenteeism. You have been asked by your line manager to review the factors which may have contributed to this situation (drawing on the literature regarding organisational design and the workforce) and develop proposals to address the existing situation. Student Number: 020109477 Report to: Director of Human Resources From: Student Number 020109477 Title: One year review of implementation of Human Resource and Payroll System Status Strictly Confidential 1. Introduction This report assesses the impact of the implementation of a Human Resource Information and Payroll Management System (CHRIPS) on the Human Resources Directorate from an organisational development perspective. The system was introduced into the Trust a year ago. This report was commissioned following concerns raised within the HR Directorate regarding stress and poor morale caused by the introduction of the CHRIPS. 2. Background to CHRIPS implementation The new CHRIPS went live in the trust 12 months ago, following a full procurement process and a significant development phase, which included training for all HR and payroll staff. During the test phase a comprehensive risk assessment and contingency plan was developed. As part of this process it was agreed to "double-run" the new processes, whereby HR staff input data onto the computer system, whilst maintaining the paper forms which were sent to payroll for checking and re-entry if necessary. The reporting lines, roles and responsibilities within the HR Directorate have changed to reflect the utilisation of the CHRIPS. It was agreed by the CHRIPS Project Board that "double-running" should stop three months ago, but that the position would be kept under review over the next 15 months. ...read more.


An initial assessment during this review indicates task significance; autonomy and feedback have decreased as a direct result of the implementation of the CHRIPS. Hackman and Oldham (1976) developed a Job Diagnostic Survey system to assess people's perceptions of their jobs with a Motivating Potential Score being derived across the five dimensions. A low overall score or low scores on individual dimensions indicates where the job should be re-designed to increase the appropriate intrinsic motivation. This tool should be used to assess the current position within the HR Directorate as a more thorough review. Dawson (1996) reports that Hackman and Oldham in 1980 identified two possible "paths" for the design of jobs. The first involves "fitting jobs to people" and designing work so that people can be motivated to better perform. The second involves "fitting people to jobs" where work systems maximise efficiency, but risk generating negative responses from staff. This results in what Hackman and Oldham (1980) define as a "spiral of increasing control and resistance" between the management and the workforce. Following the introduction of CHRIPS there is evidence of this "spiral" beginning to take effect and the management need to consider the job design for the HR staff, to maximise the potential for a motivated workforce, whilst ensuring the work is completed. 5.1.3 Career The nature of careers can impact on individual's reaction to change. The HR managers and a number of the HR officers are what George and Jones (1999) defined as "midcareer stage", where the chances of further progression are small. They require additional support to maintain their perceived status and to support career development. The introduction of the CHRIPS has reduced their role in their view from HR professionals to data clerks. There is a need to clarify their status, moreover, there may be a need to allow older staff more time to become familiar with generic Information management and technology (IM&T) ...read more.


It was noted that in discussion with service directors and managers there is no change in the perceived status of the HR and payroll staff across the organisation. 6. Action Plan Following this review there is clear evidence of problems associated with the implementation and use of CHRIPS within the HR Directorate. Therefore, a series of actions are set out below as recommendations for the Director of HR to consider. The HR staff need to see that their views have been considered and that action takes place in the near future. A first stage could be to share this report with them and the payroll section. There is a need to support the HR staff in order to improve their views of the CHRIPS and to ensure staff are retained, whilst morale and absence rates are improved. The recommended actions are: * To hold further in-depth one-to-one meetings with individual members of the HR Directorate to assess their level of motivation. A motivation tool, such as the Hackman and Oldham job diagnostic survey should be used for all HR staff. * To use the job diagnostic survey tool to identify areas for job redesign and the delegation of tasks to ensure the workload is appropriate for individual members of staff and the Directorate as a whole. * To revisit the skills, knowledge and understanding of all HR staff in using IM&T and CHRIPS. The Directorate should use the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) as the computer-training package, as it provides an excellent model of accredited training. * To include HR staff in a review of the system design and discussions to consider the introduction of further modules of the system. * To establish regular formal meetings between members of staff in two sections to resolve queries, errors and to improve communication between the two sections. A senior manager from outside the two sections should chair the meetings. * To carry out a repeat of this review in six months time to assess progress and identify further actions if necessary. ...read more.

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