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THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES

ST. AUGUSTINE, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, WEST INDIES


FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
DEPARTMENT OF MANAGEMENT STUDIES

University Student Career Enrichment Program (USCEP) Report

Done by: Joanna Davis ID number: 811004815 Course Code and Title: MGMT 3017: Human Resource Management

Introduction
This report was requested by the instructors of Mgmt 3017: Human Resource Management. It would therefore illustrate the objectives of the organization and the HR Department in which I was assigned to, my University Student Career Enrichment Program (USCEP) experience at the Ministry of Food Production for the period of nine (9) weeks, the comparison of the practical application of at least one HR function to which I was exposed to during the internship, with the theoretical aspect of the same, as well as recommendations for any areas where I think improvements can be made within the companys HR system.

Flow Chart of the Human Resource Management Department

Human Resource Department

Training & Development

Contracts

Performance Appraisals/ Increments

Succession Planning

Employee Relations

Pensions & Leave

Figure 2.

Flow Chart of the Performance Appraisal Management System

Planning Performance
-(Definition of Job Responsibilities/ Job Clarification)

Reviewing Performance
-Performance Results vs. Expectations

Supporting Performance
-Monitoring Progress -Problem Solving -Coaching/ Feedback

Figure 3.

Objectives of the organization: Ministry of Food Production Vision:


To be a client oriented, performance driven, environmentally responsible organization delivering integrated services aligned to a changing food and agriculture system.

Mission:
To work as an innovative team championing the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development of food and non food systems, supported by sound public policy.

Objectives of the Human Resource Department:


The objective of a Human Resource Management employee or personnel is to achieve the strategic objectives of an organization or Ministry. It entails: HR Work and Design HR Planning Employee Training and Development Industrial Relations Recruitment and Selection Compensation Management Performance Management 5

Experience

For the past nine (9) weeks, I worked as an intern at the Ministry of Food Production one day a week through the University Student Career Enrichment Program (USCEP). It was an interesting experience for me seeing that it was my second working experience. I previously worked at the Industrial Plant Services Limited, in Point Lisas Industrial Estate in the Finance Department; however, at the Ministry of Food Production I was able to enhance my knowledge by being placed in the Human Resource Department. It was a learning experience for me because I got exposure of both private and public working sectors, as well as I was able to gain knowledge and on the job training from employees in the Human Resource Department from the number of different sections showed in Figure 2. As the weeks progressed I learnt something new, by being placed in a different section of the HR department. The employees were willing to take time off from their busy schedules to inform me of the roles they play as well as the function of their sections.

Comparison

A standard of performance is that point of measurement by which the supervisor determines whether or not the employee is performing satisfactory in that job duty. According to Stephen Pilbeam and Marjorie Corbridge, performance appraisal is a critical element in the performance management process but it is not the performance management process itself. Performance appraisal is a sub- set of performance management and relates to the formal process of accessing and measuring employee performance against agreed objectives. Formal appraisal takes place regularly, usually annually, although it can occur more often. Performance appraisal invokes a variety of employee responses, from a feeling that it is a waste of time to feelings that I want to know how well I am doing. A primary aim of the performance appraisal dimension of performance management is to assess or measure the achievement of the individual or the team against the agreed objectives. This requires the exercise of managerial judgment in the review of quantitative and qualitative objectives and with judgment comes the potential for subjectivity and bias. Appraisal schemes take different forms and include top- down, self, peer, upward and multi- rater/ 360 degree. At the Ministry of Food Production, performance appraisals in the Human Resource department are done periodically, therefore four (4) are to be completed at the end of the year along with the performance appraisal reports which are completed by the employees supervisor.

At the beginning of the review period in the Performance Planning segment (figure 3.), the position description of each officer is established and reviewed. Secondly, there is a discussion with the officer to list his/ her objectives or targets to be achieved during the period. During the year 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters, continuous assessment is necessary during this period. The officers performance at regular intervals is monitored and observed, giving guidance and support as required. This is referred to as Supporting Performance, which involves creative problem solving, giving and receiving supportive feedback among the leaderships and other team members and placing emphasis on the development of the employee. The employees supervisor should take written notes of outstandingly good or bad performance during the period. A discussion should be held with the officer about his/ her performance and difficulties being experienced. An Appraisal Discussion Record Form is then completed which is given to the Human Resource Unit. The employees supervisor should continue to monitor and guide the performance of the officer. At the 4th quarter, which is the final stage in the appraisal process, the officers overall performance is appraised and discussed with the officer for the period and an agreement is made on final development and a training plan. This is done through the completion of the Performance Appraisal Report. Appraisal reports or the appraisal process at the Ministry of Food Production is related to the productivity requirements of an organization. An appraisal report thus shows whether or not an employee is being productive or not. It therefore draws attention to the areas where improvement can take place. Employers motivate their employees through a reward system by using the performance appraisal and rewarding productive employees through upward salary adjustments. 8

Whereas under productive employees may be addressed through targeted development activities such as training and development and on the job coaching. Employees are even bonuses according to their performance appraisal results. This motivates employees to maintain or to continue working harder to achieve their targets as well as the targets of the organization. Therefore performance appraisal is an important continuous role of the HR Department.

Recommendations

In my opinion, having spent nine (9) weeks at the Human Resource Department at the Ministry of Food Production, one of the recommendations I would suggest is better databases or proper information systems to be put in place. This will ensure efficiency throughout the entire HR department. The filing system that is currently in place is inefficient, as the employees are dealing with a number of different individuals. To find one persons file, employees have to search amongst hundreds of other files. Some files are misplaced by other employees who have not returned it to the correct place. Therefore this causes problems for the person involved, such as, queries cannot be made in terms of payments. With an accurate and proper information system installed in the HR department, individuals information would be stored on the system and can be accessed at the touch of a button by entering the individuals name, address, position etc. An advantage of introducing proper information systems is that it saves time as well as it is effective and efficient. Another recommendation is placing employees in areas of expertise. For example, an employee who studied Information Technology at University is placed in the Performance Appraisal section of the Human Resource Department. This employee would be better suited in his field of study, which would be the information technology aspects of the Human Resource Department. Placing employees in functional areas allows them to specialize in a particular field. Instead of being good at a variety of tasks, specialized employees can excel at tasks in their field of focus. 10

By placing an employee away from his specialized area can be de-motivating and can cause employees to leave the organization in search for something better. Another recommendation is for employees to be more customer-focused. Employees who interact with customers on a daily basis or from time to time, about queries etc, should be patient, have a good attitude and should be willing to help a customer to the best of their abilities. A satisfied customer is the best customer. A satisfied customer is guaranteed to come back to the organization or share a few words of good service, which can serve as a competitive advantage for the organization. According to Legge, 2005, customer aspirations and power are influencing the way organizations are structured and managed and have significant implications for workers who have to contend with the increased emphasis on satisfying customer needs through being more responsive and more flexible. Therefore being customer focused is of great importance. Lastly, employees should have adequate office space and good working conditions, better known as ergonomics. Unhappy employees wont perform as well as happy employees; which means that productivity is lower. Employees need to feel stimulated by their roles and happy in the environment that they are in. Motivation is an easy one to master with the implementation of goals and a happy working environment. For example, in the Ministry of Food Production, the air conditioning unit was not working, which made employees irritable and uncomfortable which in turn decreases the productivity of work. The spacing in the office is also crammed and can be a hazard for employees. Therefore it is important to have sufficient office space as well as a good working environment for employees.

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References

Grolier Business Library, 1980: Human Resource Planning, McGraw- Hill Limited The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.1995. Shaping Performance- A Manual for Performance Management in the Public Service. Public Administration. The Ministry of Food Production. 2013. Organizational Structure.
http://www.agriculture.gov.tt/about/executives/organizational-structure.html

Stephen Pilbeam and Marjorie Corbridge. 2010. People Resourcing and Talent PlanningHRM in Practice. England. Winston & Creamer, 2008, Performance Appraisals,
http://www.staffingpractices.soe.vt.edu/perfappraisal.htm

Worcester Polytechnic Institute. 2013. Performance Reviews.


http://www.wpi.edu/offices/hr/performance.html

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Table of Contents

Introduction Organizational Structure Flow Chart of the Human Resource Management Department Flow Chart of the Performance Appraisal Management System Objectives of the organization and the Human Resource Department Experience Comparison Recommendations References

1 2 3 4 5 6 7-9 10-11 12