I currently serve as one of the human resource managers in the Barclays Bank. Barclays is a UK-based financial services operating majorly in Europe, United States, Africa and Asia (Monteith, 2008). We majorly provide services in the line of banking, investment and management. For a long time, the strength of our bank has always been the domestic banking (Monteith, 2008). However, we have been facing increasing competition from the increasing number of the local banks in our countries of operation. An example of such banks is the Building Societies which majors in offering high interest on saving to their customers. As a bank we therefore have a reason to be worried and to consider putting new structures in place to ensure that we remain a major player in the international banking sector (Monteith, 2008).
Our British Banks which were our financial pillars have also been facing competition from the new American and Japanese Banks which are increasingly joining the commercial lending market (Monteith, 2008). The various measures that the bank has taken such as the introduction of our mercantile credit and the Barclay card which initially seemed to work well has failed to match the new innovation by other players in the market. The bank future has therefore been very uncertain especially with the deteriorating African market where the bank had invested heavily (Monteith, 2008). Other steps have been to offer specialized services in the United States in an attempt to improve our financial base. The Bank has therefore been experiencing a lot of challenges in its struggle to compete in the global market (Monteith, 2008).
The Proposed Structural change
The above challenges have therefore left us with no option but to change our management structure with a major aim of controlling costs while also ensuring that all the resulting risks are managed (Hildebrandndt, 2007). The bank has therefore selected on offshoring as the preferred strategy for the implementation of the organization’s structure change. The company believes that the new strategy and the resulting changes in the structure will help it minimize its costs while improving its services to the customers (OECD, 2007). We are therefore planning to offshore back-back office activities to lower-cost some countries of our operation. We also believe that the new developments will allow our company to increase in its flexibility and quality of the services we offer to the customers (OECD, 2007).
Changes in management approach and recommended action steps
In implementing such change the company must be keen to identify and prepare the mitigation measures for the risks that come with the resulting changes in operational structures. As a Human Resource specialist, I made the management aware of the possible effects the process will have on the operation of our human resource department. A section of the personnel may have to loose their jobs while the company will also loose it’s long term serving expertise. The company would loose some of its key skills and knowledge (OECD, 2007).
As a mitigation measure, I noticed the need of a relevant policy to support the employees who would be affected by the management’s decision to restructure and offshore (McCalman, & Paton, 2008). The bank therefore tasked my team to formulate and present an appropriate policy to the management team. I recommended to the management to consider redeployment and retraining of the staff that would be affected by the restructuring process. I noticed that for our company’s profile to remain intact, the management had to maximize on the training and deployment of staff. This required the help of external resources (OECD, 2007).
My second recommendation to the management was that it was necessary to avoid compulsory redundancies (McCalman, & Paton, 2008). I therefore proposed that necessary measures had to be put in place for the redeployment of the affected employees. Another option was for the company to consider providing voluntary redundancy as well as trying to create more employment opportunities by expanding our services in the most successful countries (OECD, 2007).
We have also formulated a policy which will enable us to support the affected employees. The company would also exploit the possibility of retraining its staff to enable it maximize on the benefit of redeployment (McCalman, & Paton, 2008). I also strongly recommended for the company to allow job matching. This would enable those who have volunteered for redundancy to swap jobs within the same grade as those who have lost their jobs and do not want to be made redundant. The company should also consider providing funding for external retraining in cases where no redeployment option can be found (OECD, 2007).
I also recommended that it was necessary for the management to communicate the restructuring plan to our stakeholders early enough. In line with this recommendation, it is necessary for the company to also seek to listen to the issues raised by various unions and staff members. Such views must then be incorporated in the offshoring agreement (McCalman, & Paton, 2008). Various consultative meetings should be organized to bring together all the bank’s stakeholders. This will enable our company to have full knowledge of the kind of reactions they would expect from the public and partners. The wider team consultation will enable us to have the insight of what is going on in the market (McCalman, & Paton, 2008).
We will also seek the governments’ approval before executing any agreement in their respective countries. This means that our bank must endeavor to secure the minimum labor standards worldwide and adhere to specific country requirements (McCalman, & Paton, 2008).
I also gave the management an option of considering the possibility of outsourcing parts of the business to lower cost countries. This measure will enable our company to reduce costs and improve its customer relations and satisfaction through increased flexibility (McCalman, & Paton, 2008). I also saw the possibility of the company offering a 24 hour services to its customers as a competition strategy. I also informed the management that the change in structure would possibly result in a high turn over of customer service which may cause problems to the company. However, I made them understand that this would be addressed by the proposed offshoring. I believed that by operating in different countries, it would be possible for our company to control the ability to switch between them in terms of their contingency plans (McCalman, & Paton, 2008).
Effect on the stakeholders
It was also obvious to us that the proposed restructuring strategy would have a great impact on the employees, the company’s industrial relations and even the raise concern in the political arena (Rothwel, 2010). I also noted that the strategy would have a great impact on both the productivity and the morale of our employees. It was also possible for it to strain our industrial relations with other companies especially those companies which are against this strategy. Being a multilateral company, the strategy was most likely going to raise political concerns because of its possible effect of their citizens (Rothwel, 2010).
Effect on Human Resource
The Human Resource department will play a major role in the preparation of our staff for the change as well as effecting the change itself. The department will redirect its energies to communicating the change to our employees and all the stakeholders. These will require holding of several meetings aimed at preparing the employees for the impacts that the change will have on them. The department will therefore have to carry out an assessment of the impact the strategy would have on the personnel (Rothwel, 2010). These will allow us the prepare the staff to accept the change and adapt to their new status, positions and roles. The HR will also have to negotiating with any other authorities like the governments on behalf of the company (Rothwel, 2010).
These measures will require the HR to develop a people approach, and ensure the appropriate application of the principle of the offshore framework agreement. The HR must also ensure that the resulting change especially those which affect the employees are managed in a socially responsible way (Rothwel, 2010). The HR will also seek to continuously contact the staff and the redeployment team as well as coach line managers whenever there is a necessity. HR will also help prepare the line managers to understand the requirements and skills needed by the affected employees. Overall, our work will be to ensure that all the stakeholders are kept informed and updated regularly on the proceedings and prepared for change (Rothwel, 2010).
Effects on the Line managers
The line managers will be required to arrange support meetings for the staff and coordinate collaboration with other possible bank’s external partner. The line managers will also be trained to enable them prepare themselves and their departments for the restructuring process. They have been encouraged to allow the employees in their departments to gain new experience with the other departments. This would mean that they must prepare the employees to do totally different roles under the new set up (EFILWC, 2006).
The company will also have to set up a redeployment team to manage all the issues of redeployment. The team will also provide the necessary support for those who are developing new careers. They will identify the staff to be redeployed into the vacant posts while devising proper tools for their training to enable them remain relevant and competitive in the new fields (Rothwel, 2010). The department will also be expected to set up and manage a voluntary redundancy register to help in cases where some employees would loose their jobs. They would then go through the register to carry out a job matching exercise (EFILWC, 2006). This newly established team will in consideration of all the activities seek to create a stronger sense of awareness of employment opportunities among those affected by the strategy. The team has therefore been tasked to have a better overview of how all departments are developing for easy balancing of the deployed employees to various departments (Rothwel, 2010).
Change in the organizational culture
Because of the possibility of increase in the redeployment rate, the organizational culture has to change. The perception of our organization had been that displaced employees were not as likely to perform in their new positions just as fresh candidates (EFILWC, 2006). Such a police would appear bias and lock out potential employees from redeployment.
To ensure the success of this process the company will try to identify the relevant skills of its employees that may not have been utilized in their current jobs but may be useful in other positions. The company will conduct interviews as well a review of the records of the employees’ skills and qualification through its HR department. This will help us in matching the employees to certain jobs (Rothwel, 2010). We also noted the importance of considering the personal preference of our employees. We realized that in the past certain employees would work best in their countries of origin. Some employees also had special skills to perform certain roles. In redeploying our employees the company will ensure that the skills and experience profiles and grade structure of the job opportunity available are matched with such qualities identified (EFILWC, 2006).
In conclusion, transition is therefore clearly a relevant but critical issue to manage the changes that are inherent in the business today. Organizations must see restructuring as the positive change in the configuration of the organization that serves as the backbone to the achievement of its goals. During this process, the organization management must seek to incorporate the employees and all the stake holders to enable them effectively adapt to the changes. The management must therefore understand the impact of change on the employees, their role in the transition and how to manage the employees during the change process. They must be able to understand the current structure plan and the preferred organizational structure to enable them implement the most appropriate change.