STAFF ADMINISTRATION AND PEOPLE IN THE OFFICE
Staff administration is one of the personnel management functions that has to do with management of existing and incoming/potential staff in the organization.
Staff administration as an aspect of personnel management cannot be treated in isolation without basic, knowledge of what personnel management entails. It is worth noting that no organization survive without human factor, that is, personnel. Also, hardly any organization even succeed with weak or poor personnel or ill-motivated workforce.
The importance of personnel or human resource cannot be over-emphasized except at the organization’s risk. For i an organization to be relevant among its contemporaries, it should be able to combine effectively, and enhance considerably its workforce otherwise they will migrate to elsewhere for greener pasture.
Staff administration simply mean the process by which an organization, firm or company manage the members of staff in most efficient and effective manner in order to achieve set objectives for the organization, firm or company concerned.
PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT DEFINED
Aromolaran (1998): Personnel management is the process of supporting the organizational goals through the continuous acquisition of human resources, proper integration of the employees into the business organization; development of the employee’s potential, and effective and efficient maintenance of the labour force.
Appleby (1982): Personnel management is that part of the process of management that is concerned with the maintenance of human relationships and ensuring the physical well-being of employees so that they give maximum contribution to efficient working.
Crane (1980): Personnel administration is the process of supporting the attainment of organizational objectives by continually acquiring, developing, and effectively utilizing the human resources in the organization.
Musselman and Hughes (1984): Personnel management has the responsibility of planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and controlling all activities that concern employees; selecting, developing and compensating them, and meeting their needs in a number of other respects.
Institute of Personnel Management (London) see personnel management as that part of management which is concern with people at work and with their relationship within an organization.
However, personnel management is the branch of management that attract potential staff, maintain existing ones and motivate them for productive purposes for the benefit of the organization and is stakeholders.
Personnel management has been inter-changeably used with the terms like manpower management, human resource management, personnel administration etc all characterized human factors in the organization i.e. is; how to recruit, manage, compensate, develop and if need be, separate them in the organization.
From all the definitions above, four things that can not be ignored in various definitions are:
Integrating of people in the
FUNCTIONS OF HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT (PERSONNEL MGT)
These will be viewed in the light of traditional and contemporary practice these are:
Staffing activities: This has to do with recruitment, selection and placement of qualified personnel in an organization.
Wages and salaries administration: This has to do with paying compensation to workers in return for their contributions towards achieving organizational goals and objectives. Wages and salaries paid to workers are functions of many factors such as: qualifications, experiences, skills, risks involved etc.
Training and development: There must be rooms for every worker to reach the peak of their career in the organization. This call for proper training right from the entry point with orientation or induction training, on the job training, off the job, training etc. Also, opportunities to develop themselves professionally must not be hindered.
Discipline: This is very essential for an organization to be successful and maintain orderliness. It is the duty of personnel management to ensure total compliance with rules, regulations and code of conduct within the organization.
Employee welfare: The personnel management department is charged with the responsibility of seeing to the welfare of the workers. Provisions of convenience, health care facilities, staff canteen etc. Performance appraisal: This is regularly conducted to know when a worker need to be on training and the type of training as well as for promotion etc.
Industrial/labour relations: This is a linkage services with labour union, staff representative, government officials and other stakeholder in order foster unity, peace and tranquility in the organization.
Promotion, transfer and separation.
Health and safety functions.
Human resources forecasting and planning.
HUMAN RESOURCES PLANNING IN AN ORGANIZATION
Since human beings are complex in nature and quite unpredictable, it is necessary that they must be properly planned for in order to accommodate any possible change that may occur. Appleby (1982), human resources planning seek to maintain and improve an organization’s ability to achieve corporate objectives by developing strategies which are designed to increase the present and future contribution of manpower.
Pattern (1971), Manpower is the process by which an organization ensures that it has the right number of people and the right kind of people, at the right place, at the right time doing things for which they are economically most useful.
However, human resources planning is the systematic approach to staffing. It is process which deals with the future human needs with the aid of a detailed staff strategy, that is to say human resources planning is a strategy for the acquisition, utilization improvement and retention of the organization’s human resources.
Human resources planning as its objective the followings: The recruitment of sufficient and suitable staff. Optimum utilization of staff. Improvement of staff performance. Retention of sufficient and qualified employees in the organization Disengagement of staffs.
BENEFITS (IMPORTANCE) OF HUMAN RESOURCES PLANNING
i. It helps to determine appropriate skills and flexible workforce.
ii. It enables an organization to adopt and respond to change,
iii. It improves the quality of product or output of the organization.
iv. It crates stability of core of the workforce,
v. It increases the level of productivity (total output),
vi. It helps to solve staffing problems,
vii. It provides the basis for training and development,
viii. It improves employee’s morale and relationship with the management.
Limitations/Problems of H.R.P.
Problems of forecasting change especially technological.
inconsistent economical and political policy.
Inaccurate records and data
Forecasting period, the longer the period predicted, the less accurate the prediction will be.
Poor management attitude
Bias, opposition and skeptism to planning etc.
Costs and time factors.
Human Resources Planning Process
Define goal/objective of the organization (short, medium or long run).
Determine manpower needs and requirements.
Take audit of the existing manpower in the organization,
Identify the vacuum (i.e. expected needs minus existing staff).
Propose alternative action on manpower (e.g. transfer, upgrading, promotion, training, causal etc.)
Select the best option (cost, benefit, urgency analysis).
Evaluate action plan.
HUMAN RESOURCES POLICY
This is also known as personnel policy or manpower policy. According to Flippo (1980), policy is a man-made rule of pre-determined course “of action that is established to guide the performance of work towards organization’s objectives. Personnel policy is a guide to all actions that must be taken about the people of an organization.
Ibekwe (1984) defined personnel policy as the statement of the personnel climate desired and the provisions for achieving that climate. It is the standing plan that serves as guidelines with respect to recruitment, training, development, appraisal, compensation, motivation, welfare benefits and all general conditions of employment.
Personnel policies refer to those principles and codes of conduct which are formulated, defined, redefined and broken into details for better understanding and implementation.
Recruitment of Human Resources
Onibonoje (1975) defined staff recruitment as means of getting the kind of staff that is needed and where it could be found. Organizations or firms employ people because they bet meet the requirements of their vacant job description.
Akubuiro (1998) is the process and the various stages of searching for suitable candidates to fill vacancies in the workplace. Recruitment can be defined as the process of reaching out, searching for and attracting a large pool of interested and qualified applicants among which the organization can choose.
Furthermore, it is a process of obtaining sufficient number of applicants in order to select the most qualified candidate to occupy the vacant positions. The essence of recruitment is to fill vacant positions in an organization.
To determine vacancies:
Manpower needs – No of existing staff (in organization already in operation).
Manpower needs – No of available staff (newly established company).
Sources of Recruitment
There are two major sources of recruitments: Internal sources and external sources
Promotion and upgrading of staff
Recalling those on leave
Ex-employees retained on contract
Staff notice board
Advantages of internal sources
It boosts morale of workers in the organization
It enhances better performance since this earn them promotion or upgrading.
It enables management to evaluate their workers closely.
It is economical and cost effective.
It promotes loyalty among employees
It saves precious time that would have spent on
Advertisement, selection etc.
Disadvantages of Internal Sources
It may breed ill-feeling among the staff especially when one of their colleagues promoted to senior level.
Favourism and nepotism may be introduced into the system.
It may be used as vendetta or reprisal punishment on staff by superior office (i.e. failure to consider junior who had offended or cross tier paths).
New motivation and ideas are not allowed into the organization.
Bet candidate may be frustrated and pushed out of the organization.
External Sources of Recruitment
Educational institutions (such as universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, technical schools etc).
Government/public agencies (e.g. ministry of labour and productivity, NDE etc.
Referral (on recommendation of ex-staff.
Private consultants (employee bureaux owned by individual)
Professional bodies/associations such as ICAN, NIM, CIBN, IPM.
Through newspapers, journals and magazines.
Un-solicited applications or files.
Advantages of External Sources
Large numbers of qualified applicants thereby enable the organization to choose the best.
New ideas and innovations would be introduced into the organization.
It eliminates favourism and unfair judgment.
It bred good competitive for the available jobs.
Disadvantages of External Sources
It gives the existing staff a feeling of insecurity and
Lack of interest in the organization.
Lack of commitment may leads to labour turnover.
It lower the morale of existing stability.
It is time consuming.
It is a bit costly in monetary terms.
STAFF SELECTION PROCESS
According to Crane (1984) the selection process is a series of steps starting with preliminary screening and culminating in the induction of newly hired employees.
Akubuiro (1998) selection is majorly that of identifying the suitable applicants and persuading them to join the organization. It involves the securing of relevant information about applicants and deciding on which one to choose.
However, selection can be defined as the evaluation of applicants so that the job is offered to the candidate whose capacity and aptitude bet fit the job description.
Also, selection is concerned with all activities employed to determine candidate who have the highest probability of success on the job. Therefore, selection as a process of choosing people for the available job in an organization at a particular point in time with the aim of gathering necessary information about the candidates or job applicants. The essence of this are:
To evaluate the candidates
Screening the applicants and
Deciding who among them possess the best qualities for successful job performance.
Steps in Selection Process
Recognizing future manpower requirements is the starting point in selection on process. The department manager who actually needs the employee request candidates.
In filling openings, most companies first search for qualified candidates within the organization by checking promotion list, request for transfer, management recommendations and performance appraisal data. When it becomes necessary to find outside candidate, then, the recruiting program take over.
Advertisement for the vacant posts will be placed in media whatever medium management decided. The next stage is for applicants to respond to the advertisement for the vacant positions, there and then, selection comes up.
The steps involved
Shortlisting or preliminary screening
Series of tests
Reference checks or background verification
Physical and medical examination
Offer of employment
Appleby (1982) summarized the procedure for recruitment and selection of staff thus:
A staff requisition form is required to be completed by the head of the department where vacancy arise, noting full details of the vacancy e.g. job title, date of commencement. This can be checked against the company’s establishment by the personnel department who would arrange to insert the advertisement.
Advertisement is placed: It is important to word the advertisement correctly so that applicants who are not really suitable to not apply. A vaguely worded advertisement will bring in more unsuitable applications. Also, the media used for advertising should be checked periodically to ensure if it is effective.
Short list: Of suitably qualified applicants drawn up and interview arranged, this is also called preliminary screening.
Tests: For specific skills are usually left to the time of interview. Professional qualifications claimed should be checked.
Interviews: Themselves can take many forms (different types to be discussed later).
References: Can be done to determine the ‘final selection.
Medical and physical examination: May be essential and appointment are often made conditional upon passing. The health and safety at work act, emphasized the need for this.
Unsuccessful candidates are informed of the decision.
Successful candidates are informed and company records up dated.
Types of Interviews
Interviewing perhaps the most widely used tool for the selection, placement, and transfer of personnel. The higher the position, the greater the need to interview to interview. In the more important areas, organizations do not make decisions on candidates until after a series of interviews.
Interviewers want to make personal qualifications with job requirements, to find the right person for the job. There are different types of interviews, among others are:
a. Direct or minor interview
b. Structured interview
c. Unstructured interview
d. Group discussion
e. Stress interview.
Direct interview: This is also known as minor interview. It is usually conducted by having direct questions all out the applicants; name, age, marital status, home town, previous working experiences and other minor questions. It is mainly for junior or low level jobs, e.g. drivers, house helps, gardeners etc.
Structured interview: In the structured approach, interviews determine in advance the questions and their sequence, using an analysis of the job requirements, they sometimes ask additional questional or develop an aspect of applicant’s background. The main purpose of this interview is to elicit information on similar topics, which facilitates comparison of applicants. Structured interviews are more appropriate middle-level officers than executive positions. Structured interviews are most useful when very similar information is required of all applicants.
Unstructured interview: This is also known as non-directive interviews. In this type of interview, the interviewers have no pre-planned strategy or rather, they have in mind broad categories such as employment, education, interests and motivation, as they proceed along the lines which appear, during the interview, most likely to produce useful information. However, applicants have considerable lee way in determining the course of the discussion and in expressing themselves in their “own way, emphasizing the aspects they feel are most important. It is used for senior and executive positions. Interviewers must be experienced in interviewing methods to glean sufficient data for an evaluation of the applicants’ acceptability.
Akubuiro (1998): Group or discussion interview as a situation where groups of applicants are interview. Here, the groups are presented with certain problem and are asked to reach a specific decision within a particular time limit. Under this type of interview, some of the qualities sought for include those who would take a lead, influence others, clarify issues or speak effectively and fluently. The interviewers always come from different units.
Stress interview: This is interview normally used to test the perseverance level of applicants. In this, the applicant can be criticized, humiliated, frightened, and even castigated, all in an attempt and temperamental level. The interviewers put the candidate and defensive by being aggressive or belligerent to see how the latter reacts to stress.
Importance of Interviews
In interviewing, organization observe and talk with applicants to evaluate their potential value.
It allows the interviewers to appraise applicants mental, physical, emotional and social qualities.
It allows both the applicants and the organization to agree on terms of employments.
To provide candidate with more information about the organizations in order to enable them evaluate the company.
To select the best suitable candidates for the vacant positions.
It allows interviewer to make a subjective assessment based upon actual information and general impression.
Assessment Method During Interview
Prof Alex Roger (1950s) propounded 7-points plan of assessing candidates during interview. The 7 point plan was accepted and utilized by British Institute of Industrial Psychology.
a. Physical make up
b. Attainment (educational background, experience).
c. Special attitude (any outstanding qualities).
d. General intelligence
e. Interest (social, artistic, practical, sport)
f. disposition (with other colleagues, superior, influence on others etc.)
g. Circumstance (domestic affairs as it will affect the job.
Testing as a Means of Selection
Crane (1984) emphasized that the proper development and application of testing devise facilitate more effective manpower selection. Tests are only part of tools in the selection process, and it will be great significant if they are used to supplement other selection devices.
Guion (1965) in crane (1984) highlighted six basic steps that apply to test program in general.
1. Establish policies and get the support of management, supervision and employees: Testing policies are established when management becomes convinced, usually from other companies favourable experiences, that testing prorgammes are desirable. Then a bridget is approved, guidelines written and disseminated supports of all right from management, supervisors, employees must be sought for the success of test programmes.
2. Identify problem areas: There is no practical benefit in test programmes unless management has a selection problem that be solved by them.
Companies are usually stimulated to develop a program by a specific problem, such as absenteeism, turnover, low production and bad morale.
3. Select or develop a trial test battery: Once job requirement and criteria are determined, test developers can choose or develop tests to measure the characteristics essential for job performance.
Validate the tests: validation can be accomplished in one of two ways the most common method is to use present employees as the research group. The test battery is administered to current employees. Then, the test is validated by correlating test result of the two (successful and unsuccessful according to an established criterion). This procedure is called CONCURRENT VALIDATION.
Incorporate the test into the selection process:
Once the tests are .properly validated, they can be used as a selection tools by either designating specific cut-off scores, by using expectancy tables, which associate probability of success with specific scope ranges.
Make periodic checks on the validity of test:
Tests should be periodically reviewed, since they do not maintain their validity year after year. With adequate records on criteria data, organization can regularly assess test usefulness.
Classification of Tests
Tests can be classified by function or purpose namely:
Mental ability test: mental ability tests are widely used in selection as a measure of general learning ability. They have proven useful in producing training potential, as well as, success in managerial, supervisory and skilled job. It is also known as intelligence tests.
Aptitude test: Aptitude refers to any test that is useful in predicting job or training success. Aptitude can be either MULTI-APTITUDE OR SPECIAL APTITUDE. (The former measure the individual’s standing in a number of traits while the latter is trying to match hob requirement to specific pattern of abilities i.e. clerical, mechanical, dexterity, sensory etc.)
Achievement: This is also called proficiency test. It is used to test what the applies claimed to have already known or leaned e.g. SRA typing skills, purdue tests machinists etc.
Interest test: These tests are mainly used in vocational counseling. Although, the test results may Indicate if a person likes a particular job, the results are not necessarily related to his success on the job. It is susceptible to faking of interest which the applicants think- is the accepted pattern in the company.
Personality inventories: The tests measure motivational, emotional, interpersonal and attitudinaL characteristics.
Improved accuracy of selection
It serves as objective means of judging applicants
iii. It has multiple uses for promotion, selection and training of employees, iv. Information from tests can be used to counsel employee on career development,
They can be used to compare the expected with actual job performance,
They provide a general reference information on employees.
The Controversies for Problems of Tests
Test are inaccurate, they are npt infallible and often incorrectly indicate the probability of success. Some may score low marks but perform excellently and vice-versa.
Tests results are given too much weight in selection process, yet tests alone cannot measure all factors which companies must consider in selecting employee.
Tests may discriminate against ministries.
Particular tests instrument may not be related to success on the job.
They are costly both in financial and time value.
Test may end producing no. candidate in some instance.
Placement and Induction
Aromolaran (1998), staff placement is a system whereby candidates offered employment are posted to specific department and their duties and functions specified in their appointment letters, duplicate of which to be signed by the successful applicants to indicate.
Akubuiro (1998) adequate placement increases employee interest commitment, raises his morale, lowers absenteeism labour turnover and accident rates. Placement is the final stage of procurement of labour or employment exercises. It comprises of recruitment, selection and placement.
Also, placement is the decision or outcome of selection process. It commence once the letter of employment is sent to the successful candidates. The unsuccessful candidate must also be notified that their application did not succeed and being thanked for their interests in the organization.
Letter of Employment
Having completed the selection process, a formal letter of offer of appointment is mailed out to the successful applicants informing them of their success with congratulations letter of appointment contain the followings:
Terms of employment
Date of resumption
Annual casual sick leave
Notice of resignation/termination required
Other fringe benefits
Right to accept or reject the offer
Roger (1995); induction is an introduction to the organization for new employees. It is designed to familiarize new appointees with the organization, its rules, facilities, policies and key staff.
Aromolaran (1998); induction training is organized to introduced the newly employed staff to the new work environment, no matter his previous work experience.
Akubuiro (1998); this is a technique by which a new employee is rehabilitated into his new surroundings. He is introduced to the practices, policies and procedures of his new place.
However, induction is a carefully planned and systematic introduction of a„ new employee to his job and work environment so that he can begin with minimum delay, error or misunderstanding on the job. Also, induction training is a process of introducing and bringing newly employed workers into contact with organization with a view of adapting them properly in the environment of work.
Induction training is also called orientation by many scholars. It is normally last for one or two days in some firms while in others with more technical needs, it may last much longer (i.e. 3 days- 2 weeks).
IMPORTANCE OF INDUCTION IN AN ORGANIZATION (OBJECTIVES)
It is designed to modify entry behaviour of new employees into the organization by learning first hand information.
To familiarize the employee with the job, departments and the organization.
To ensure and facilitate easy transition from being outsider to insider.
To clarify the job information available to the new employees as regards specific duties and responsibilities.
To put right and correct the un-realistic expectation the new employee might hold about the job.
To boost new employees moral and give them good senses of belonging.
To enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the newly employed workers.
Induction training allows and affords new employees to know about the history of the organization.
It informs new employees about the organizational hierarchy, span of control and communication channel within the organization.
It will reduce the rate of supervision of the newly employed workers.
DEFINITION OF INDUCTION
The term ‘induction’ is generally used to describe the whole process whereby employees adjust or acclimatize to their jobs and working environment. As part of this process, ”orientation’ can be used to refer to a specific course or training event that new strafers attend, and ‘socialization’ can be used to describe the way in which new employees build up working relationship and find roles for themselves within their new teams.
Every organization, large or small, should have a well-considered induction programme. However, designing an appropriate and cost effective induction package is a complex task. The induction programme has to provide all the information that new employees and others need, and are able to assimilate, without being overwhelming or diverting them from the essential process of integration into a team.
The purpose of induction is to ensure the effective information of staff into or across the organization for the benefit of both parties. Research has shown that tailor-made induction programmes increases staff retention.
Induction on the other hand helps on provides workers with the initial information, instruction, training and supervision needed to function safely and effectively on the job.
Inductions are an opportunity to instil a positive attitude to workplace health and safety, especially when reinforced by the positive attitudes of management and other workers.
Induction provide the business operator with an opportunity to positively influence existing workers and people new to the business through the provision of information, instruction, training and supervision. This
will assist in creating an efficient, productive and safe workforce.
Induction programme(s) also educate and/or inform young workers that under the act, they should not expose themselves to risk. Therefore, workers who believes there is risk of death, injury or illness if they continue to work, should refuse to perform work until exposure to the risk has been managed.
The structure of an induction course depends not only on the size and nature of an organization but also on the type of recruit. The process begins at the recruitment stage and continues into employment. New recruits needs to know the organization, the culture and the people, and their role. Ideally, all new employees should receive an individual induction programme that reflects their specific needs. For a large company, this programme would be a combination of one-to-one discussion and more formal group presentations, which may be given within an induction course.
Line manager/supervisor: Explain the departmental organization, the requirements of the job, the purpose and operation of any probationary period and the appraisal system.
HR: Cover the housekeeping aspects for a new starter (possibly on arrival certainly on day 1) such as completing employee forms, taking bank details, explaining the induction programme.
Safety officer: Explain health and safety issues.
Section supervisor: Provide an escorted tour of the department and introduce fellow workers, then give day-today guidance in local procedures for the first couple of weeks.
Senior manager(s) and/or HR: Give an overview of the organization, its history, products and services, quality, system and culture.
Training officer (or line manager): Describe available training services, then help to develop a personalized training plan. Provide details of other sources of information during induction such as the company intranet or interactive learning facilities. Company representatives from trades unions, sports and social clubs, etc give details of membership and its benefits. Mentor or “buddy”: Sometimes inductees are allocated a colleague, not their immediate line manager or anyone from the personnel function, to help speed up the setting in period.
AREAS COVERED IN INDUCTION PROGRAMMES
The induction should cover a variety of topics including:
A general overview of workplace health and safety law, including obligations.
Regardless of whether there is formal induction programme coordinated by HR or a less formal programme run by managers, it is important to keep a checklist of the areas of induction training received, ideally countersigned by the individual. This helps to ensure all employees receive all the information they need. This checklist can be a vital source of reference later in employment for example to check an employee has been briefed on policies, or to produce evidence of training in the event of a health and safety inspection.
Pre-employment Joining instruction
Proof of the right to work if in the UK
Conditions of employment Company literature
Health and safety Emergency exists
First aid facilities
Health and safety policy
Policy on smoking Safety boots.
Organization Site map-canteen, first aid post etc.
Company products and services
Security/car park pass
Official secrets act
Data protection act/freedom of information act
Terms and Conditions Absence/sickness procedure
Working time, including hours, flexitime, etc
Arrangements for breaks Holidays/special leave Probation period
Performance management system
Grievance procedure Internet and e-mail policy.
Financial Pay-payment data and method
Tax and national insurance
Expenses and expense claims
Training Agree training plan
Training opportunities and in-house courses
CPD and personal development plan
Culture and Values Background Mission statement
Customer care policy
WHAT TO AVOID DURING INDUCTION PROGRAMME
Providing too much, too soon; the inductee must not be overwhelmed by a mass of information on the first day. Keep it simple and relevant.
Pitching presentations at an inappropriate level–they should be suitable for everyone in the audience and for their roles within the organization.
HR rather than local personnel providing all the information it should be a shared process. Creating an induction programme which generates unreasonable expectations by overselling the job.
PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH INDUCTION PROGRAMME
New employees get off to a bad start and never really understand the organization itself or their role in it. This may lead to:
Poor integration into the team
Low morale, particularly for the new employee
Loss of productivity
Failure to work to .their highest potential
In extreme cases, the new employees leaves, either through resignation or dismissal. Early leaving results in:
Additional cost for recruiting a replacement
Wasted time for the inductor
Lowering of morale of the remaining staff
Detriment to the leaver’s employment record
Having to repeat the unproductive learning curve of the leaver
Damage to the company’s reputation.