Hard model targets people as resources while soft model treats employees as valued assets with an aim of offering a competitive advantage[i]. After Kim had been appointed as the HR manager, the approach towards human resource was transformed from perceiving employees as equipments for attaining company’s goals to a treasured asset to be invested in. Prior to the new arrangement, staffs performance was highly valued compared to commitment and communication, their job was directly linked to the attainment of company objectives and the HR director was in charge of recruitment, handling many administrative tasks[ii]. Upon implementation of the new policies, the HR director became a board member and the post was now referred to as Human resource partners. Development as well as retention of staff was critical and leaflets which had workshops and values were circulated.
HR changed to be an advisory within the organization, line managers became responsible for human resource activities along with activities which were considered to add to the general development and achievement of success in the organization. She advocated for above minimum compensation for baristas[iii]. Encouragement and commitment of was highly emphasized so that the organization could retain most of its employees[iv]. The previous approach could be linked to the Storey’s hard model of HRM since human resource is a basis of controlled, rational capital which is utilized as equipment for achieving goals and being successful. The well-being, development and satisfaction of persons make the business better off[v]. The outcomes of the new model will offer motivation to work, augment passion and moral.
The HR director becomes a board member. The HR moves from being a policy function and is directly concerned with managing other individual’s areas to an advisory function that provides support; advice and guidance to the line managers HR responsibilities become critical to the achievement of the organizational goals. Kim is majorly involved in focusing on business strategy[vi]. Kim’s job of recruitment and selection of new employees was given to the line managers.
Change of responsibility in that the line managers were the ones who responsible for the recruitment and selection of employees was essential since they knew pretty well what they expected from the applicants. For instance, they considered one’s qualification relative to the job he is applying. A case in mind is the baristas. A barista was expected to be experienced in the service sector, youthful age, good education, and a presentable resume and have an ardent interest in food and beverages[vii].
There are various issues which occur when HR work is devolved to line managers. For instance, some line managers may find it difficult to handle the new responsibility of recruitment and selection[viii]. Some of the line managers may also disregard the new job and concentrate on their original responsibilities. Line managers find the HR work problematic since they are not trained in that field. They may find it hard since they are used to their original jobs.
HR and line managers can work effectively by ensuring that HR is a member of the board of managers so that she can give her opinions regarding various human resource issues in the firm. They can also work effectively by the line managers and HR participating in the recruitment and selection process because line managers have more information regarding what is required in the selection of new employees.
a) Employee advocate
HR directors spend about 19% of their time dealing with employee issues[ix]. For instance, listening, caring, and responding to their issues. Since most of the employees in the coffee sector do not get adequate compensation from their job it has resulted in most of them being employed on contract basis and it is difficult for them to be retained because they get little pay[x]. In this case, Kim would have advocated for an increase in the pay of the workers and increase in their benefits. The employees ought to have been offered more incentives so that they can be motivated to work diligently for the organization. Without these workers motivation decline since they are ones who ensure the organization runs smoothly therefore leading to decline in an organization’s performance.
b) Functional expert
The HR has a wealth of knowledge regarding various organizational issues. They help togive insight to several organizational-related issues. They also help to improve decisions along with delivering results in an organization. In the case of Café co., the HR would have developed an insight regarding issues that dogged the firm that eventually led to decline in its sales. This would involve understanding the organizational structure and possible methods that can be instituted to solve the problem they are facing. For instance, it could involve changing the organization’s vision and mission statements. It could also involve the introduction of innovation and competitive products. In order to improve the employee performance the HR could have introduced promotions and demotions of hardworking and lazy employees respectively.
c) Human capital developer
It is quite evident that individuals are regarded as crucial assets[xi]. The HR director should participate in the development of workforce; emphasize more on individual employees compared to organizational processes. The HR would have ensured innovative and competitive technologies are introduced in the organization and she is was also supposed to ensure that the employees are well versed with the new technology which has not been adapted yet by any other company. The HR would have ensured that the new technology which has been introduced helps the organization to deliver results.
d) Strategic partner
When the HR acts as a strategic partner he helps to bring knowledge about business, consulting, change along with learning to their relationships with the line managers. Kim ought to partner with the line managers on various issues so that she can help to bring about the desired change in the firm. To help solve the firm’s problems she should ask tough questions regarding strategies that need to be implemented, therefore she would find faults in the strategy as well as be able to determine if the strategy will be effective[xii].
e) HR leader
Kim ought to exhibit leadership characteristics so that she can develop leadership among other individuals. She ought to perceive herself as a leader who is central in the decision-making process of the organization since she posses several attributes such as a strategic partner and a functional expert among others.