Performance Of Human Resource Management : Emerging Issue And Possible Solutions

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Question :


Analyse the performance of human resource management and how it could have contributed to avoid the complexities faced by these organisations?

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Answer :


This paper focuses on the HRM issues faced by the three organizations of Australia. The “wage theft” of 7- Eleven enterprise of convenience store, sexual misconduct and bullying allegation in Channel 7 media house, Australia and the insurance policy trick of the Commonwealth Bank have been taken under consideration in order to focus upon the report question regarding the performance analysis of human resource management and its contribution in order to avoid the issues faced by these organizations. Based on the cases the HRM issues have been identified and possible solutions in order to prevent such issues in future have also been discussed in the report.

Case study 1 

According to the reports of Fairfax Media, in August, 2015 the investigations found that the employees of 7- Eleven organization were being unpaid for a long period of time. The underpaid rates have been around A$10 to A$14 per hour before tax and it is under the legally required minimum award rate of A$24.69 per hour. The situation further worsened after the legal investigation of the complete issue and 7- Eleven subsequently announced a fully funded enquiry against the wage fraud. After the reports came into the light of awareness the employees alleged Fairfax media that they had begun to be paid accordingly.

Identified issue:

In this case, it is evident that the employees of the organizations have not been accordingly and hence it affected the employee satisfaction of the organization (). Labor Relations is an important contemporary issue in the arena of Human Resource Management and this particular case brings forth the complications of employee satisfaction associated with wage and other economic benefits.

Case study 2 

Recently Channel 7 came under the light of negative publicity as several media reports identified the issue related the mishandling of the sexual harassment complaints and bullying allegations in the organization. As the Sydney Morning Herald reported the cadet Amy Taeuber was suspended by a senior HR executive of the organization because of the allegations of being involved with t5wo offensive Facebook pages that mock and ridicule the organization, its employees and contestants. Amy has also been accused of bullying a fellow worker who remained unnamed. This case also shares certain similarities with the case which was previously brought against Harrison who was subjected to the accusation of financial fraud as soon as he lodged a complaint against the conduct of the CEO of the company. Channel 7 eventually denied the accusations brought against the organization and it evidently portrays their message of not even attempting to against the senior male staff and even if someone does so they will not be supported by the HR. according to the Australian Human Right Commission the organizations are obligated legally to have an internal assessment procedure in order to deal with the sexual harassment complaints supported by the senior manager and the HR. evidently the attitude of the senior executive and the HR manager shows their reluctance and lack of compassion towards the subordinates. Such behavior can definitely affect the employee retention of the organization.

Identified issue:

This case study brings forth the emerging issue of employee safety and the arising problem regarding the relationship among subordinated and the higher authority in the organization. It is important for any organizations to have ethical concern while handling the staff related issues (). This particular organization failed to prove themselves considerate and sensible enough in coping with the incidents and that originated the issue of sex discrimination as well.

Case study 3 

The Commonwealth Bank has been under the accusation that they have been tricking the citizens to invest their earnings in their insurance policy which eventually causes the customers of the bank financial issues. These high cost insurance policies had become the source of major profit of this particular bank. The customers also complained that their financial plans are manipulated by the bank just for the sake of organizational profit. As per the report three subsequent families faced severe problems due to their insurance investment in the bank. The financial planners of the bank were also charged against the accusation of forging signatures of the customers and according to the customers they had been subjected to certain high risk investments of which they were completely unaware. After such accusations it was suggested that the bank needs to hire a handwriting expert in order to investigate the case and bring parity to the question of forgery but the bank refused to do so. In spite of the reluctance on the part of the bank an acute investigation took place that consequently proved the charges to be correct and the financial planner Don Nguyen was proved guilty against the charges of forgery.

Identified issues:

This particular case highlights the problem of public relations from an organizational context. It is an example of breaching the ethical and corporate social responsibility on the part of Commonwealth Bank. This particular bank being one of the renowned banks of the country serves millions of customer. Such trust issues which have been developed in the minds of the customers have affected not only the reputation of the organization but it has also created a negative idea against the workers of the organization especially the financial planners of the bank. The customer trust has been harmed and for the organizational profit the employees have been encouraged in the conjunction of such works that are against their employee ethics (Sivaraman & Turner, 2016).

Issues faced by the organization 

Workers of the contemporary times expect something more than salary from their workplaces. It is important to have the salary that they deserve and along with that it is significant to have job security and organizational benefits in order to enrich their lives (Zirar, Radnor & Charlwood, 2015). Over the period of time the importance of employee role in the organization has grown. The HR department of any organization has the potential duty to look after the merit based recruitment and maintaining a healthy employee and employer relationship (Sivaraman & Turner, 2016). The relationship apart from the financial aspect also talks about the safety in the workplace, security, duties and rights.

Issue 1: labor relations

The term labor relations indicates the process between the employers and employees regarding the decision of wages, working condition, working hours, security and grievances. In 7 Eleven the workers have been paid less than their deserved minimal wages. Evidently this organization failed to provide appropriate economic benefit to their employees (Pawlik & Neumann, 2015). The wage and the financial benefit acquired from the company indicate the potential economic growth and their ability to live a comfortable life. Wage is considered as an important economic variable that indicates competitiveness (Zirar, Radnor & Charlwood, 2015). Several economic crises have shown the importance wages in sustaining demand.

Wages and benefits which are received by the employees represent the compensation paid by the employers for their services. Specifically it is important to understand that the work is realized under agreement between employee and the employer and it also proposes the commitment of the workers (Zirar, Radnor & Charlwood, 2015). As per this perspective wage can not be differentiated from the employee satisfaction. Employee satisfaction of any organization depends largely on the financial benefits if not entirely. As it is important for the employers to get quality work from the employees, it is also important that the employees are paid accordingly for their work. 

The wage systems and institutions regarding this issue are linked deeply by the market, legislation and industrial relations (Sivaraman & Turner, 2016). Evidently, setting the minimum wage is an important objective of the policy of the government.

Performance analysis in the light of the case study

The case study regarding the wage issue faced by the employees of 7- Eleven clearly indicates that the implementation of the employer employee contract has not been applied accordingly. It can be considered as an organizational fault on the part of the human resource department of the said organization. The employees of the organization were not paid accordingly and along with that the working hours had been extended. The complaint that the employees brought against the organization is authentic and it is the primary responsibility of any organization to pay the employees accordingly. In this case the productive value of the employees have not been awarded accordingly (Fletcher,Alfes & Robinson, 2016). It can also be considered as breaching of the employer employee contract. 

The human resource manager of the company failed to meet the needs of the employees. Employee satisfaction and employee retention is important for the organizational development. Employee satisfaction leads to employee retention (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). This particular organizational behavior had an adverse effect on the employee satisfaction and wage issue is the major issue that influences the employees to leave the organization.

Issue 2: employee safety and relationship between the subordinate and the 

higher authority

It is an important duty of the human resource manager of a company to ensure employee safety in the workplace and also to develop a healthy workplace culture. It is important to grow a workplace culture in which the subordinates can freely convey their needs and problems to the higher authority of the organization. It is important for the human resource manager to:

  • Understand the safety responsibilities of the managers, employers, supervisors and most importantly the employees of the organization.
  • Implement necessary management policies to aware every one of their responsibilities in the workplace.
  • Ensure that the employees without hesitation can convey their problems and organizational issues freely (Zirar, Radnor & Charlwood, 2015).
  • Establish a working culture that does not encourage any kind of discrimination including gender and sexual discrimination, bullying etc.
  • Implement effective policies to prevent sexual harassment or any kind of physical or mental harassment of the employees.

Performance analysis in the light of the case study

In the light of the case study it is evident that the employee has not provided with required support from the managerial end and also the higher personnel of the organization has had advantage and accused the employees (Zirar, Radnor & Charlwood, 2015). The two principles of HR are no bias and procedural fairness or natural justice. In this case both of the principles have been infringed. The conduct of the HR manager is subject to ethical question (De Prins et al, 2014). When an allegation of sexual harassment arises, as the Sex discrimination Act suggests:

  • The complaints need to be addressed in a timely, confidential and fair manner by the trained personnel.
  • It is important to ensure that the complainant is not disadvantaged or victimized because of making the complaint and their well being is reviewed regularly (Jiang et al, 2015). Any otherwise action can lead to adverse action against the organization.

Even the termination of employment can be considered to be breach of the employer employee contract. The complaint in this case has been manipulated several times and the complainant has not been treated accordingly. This kind of workplace behavior is against the principles of HRD and it is obvious that the HR management of this organization lacks required management skills as the situation has not been dealt ideally or acutely (Voegtlin & Greenwood, 2013).

Issue 3: Breaching the ethical and corporate social responsibility 

There is no particular definition of corporate social responsibility but it CSR is considered by the experts as the duty of the enterprises regarding their impact on the society. It is important to understand that a responsible workplace focuses both on the workplace impact on the employees and the impact of the employees (Zirar, Radnor & Charlwood, 2015). In the third case study the mentioned bank not only breached the CSR by manipulating the customers in high risk investments against their will, it also encouraged its financial planner to forge the signatures of the customers for organizational benefit. It is the primary responsibility of the HR manager to have a positive approach towards employee rights and human rights (Fletcher,Alfes & Robinson, 2016). As a bank it is one of the foremost ethical duties of the organization to support their customers but the identified behavior led to the generation of trust issues among the customers. The financial planners of the Bank manipulated and cheated the customers in order to earn high profit rate and it is evidently against the rules and primary ethical principles of CSR. It is important for any HR manager to pay attention to the business ethics (Sivaraman & Turner, 2016). Breaches of ethics in human resource indicates organizational pitfalls and in the world of business legal trouble tends to be additional challenges that can have adverse effect on the development of any business unit.

Performance analysis in the light of the case study

It is prominent from this particular case study that the human resource management of the organization failed to perform their duty. The frauds and breaches of employee duty in the organization had not been handled in the proper manner (Pawlik & Neumann, 2015). The human resource manager of the bank required to be more cautious in order to make right recruitment choices. In this case it is evident that the HR management of the organization is not socially responsible.

Suggested solutions to the issues faced by the organization

In the light of the provided case study several HRM issues have been analyzed and it is evident that the HR manager of the organization requires concentrating on improvising the company policies of employee retention and customer satisfaction in order to ensure organizational success. The HRM requires to focus on the following aspects.

  • Legal considerations:

As prominent from case study 2 and 3, breaches of ethics in the arena of Human resource management can lead the companies towards legal trouble (Van De Voorde, Veld & Van Veldhoven, 2016). It is important for the HR management force of any organization to have enough knowledge of the existing legislation associated with employment and employee rights because the HR department is likely to be reported at first by the victims who have been subjected to the breaches of business ethics or organizational issue related to discrimination or harassment.

  • Employee loyalty:

As prominent from case study 1 it is important for the HR management of a company to garner longtime employee loyalty which indicates distinct benefits from the employers (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). Therefore, it is important to implement proper policies associated with right wage, salary, working hours and working condition.

  • Promoting ethics:

From the discussion of the third case study it can be stated that the HR management needs to aware the employees of the business ethics and the corporate social responsibilities of the employees so that they do not get associated with any breaches or illegal criminal activities (Jamali, D. & El Dirani, 2013). The second case study also proves that it is important for the HR management personnel to treat every employee equally and implement effective policies in order to avoid any kind of discrimination in the workplace.


From the above study it is evident that the function of the Human Resources deals with various ethical issues and challenges. This department is of prior importance as it deals with employment. Therefore, HR includes several ethical pitfalls that can damage the financial sustainability and the reputation of any company. From the discussion and analysis of the case study it is evident that maintaining several ethical aspects is of prior importance in the arena of HR management.