Type of problem
The automotive industry has presented humanity with a wide range of beneficiaries. However, it is pointed at as a major source of air pollution resulting in climate change, green house gases, human diseases and many other problems. In fact, the industry is among the biggest consumers of fossil fuels.
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The development of green technology towards mitigating the effects of air pollution is contemporarily critical in realizing sustainable development. The development of innovative systems and technologies possess the capacity to improve performance if appropriate resource management is put in place.
In order to attain sustainable development in the automotive industry, the management of resources is crucial. Human resource management (HRM) is particularly important. HRM draws out the incentive of employees and assists in the development of expertise (Shatouri, Omar & Igusa, 2012).
An organization cannot perform at optimal level until every employee is dedicated to the organizational goals and function as an efficient team member. The input of the human resource function is therefore essential for an automotive company to produce automotives that will ensure not only sustainability development but also contribute towards the profitability of the company.
Proposed business solution
Strategic human resource management is the main means through which a company can mold the skills, behavior and attitudes of the employees to support the company’s strategic goals. In a company such as Bavarian Motor Works, the implementation of sound HRM strategy in view of employee will be beneficial to the company in moving towards the green technology in operation and production of automotives.
The engagement of employees in decision-making is critical in individual and organizational performance. This study will address the importance of implementing a set of human resource management strategies that will elicit workforce’s motivation in developing expertise and innovativeness. The strategic practices proposed will allow BMW to realize and employ knowledge and skills in its employees. This will in turn accelerate innovativeness with sustainable environment practices in the mind of the employees.
The proposed project portfolio-management method
Project portfolio management is an assortment of methodologies and strategies that are intended to assist in managing a multiplicity of projects efficiently and successfully. BMW has been successful in managing other projects considering the financial endowment of the company. In fact, the company has the capacity to employ expertise in appropriate fields. However, this is usually costly as those engaged in specific projects disengage once the contract is over.
The company then engages others to continue with the project. In order to minimize the costs incurred by the company in its efforts to develop green technologies, the HRM approach is the most feasible approach. The introduction of HRM to the company will ensure that a culture is developed. The culture will ensure that the company does not require engaging outsiders for growth, profitability and development of the company (Lopez-Nicolas & Mero-Cerdian, 2011).
The company will depend on the established employee loyalty, dedication, innovativeness and commitment to the endeavors of the company. This is only achievable if sound human resource management is put in place as a continuous process for the current and prospective employees.
The approach will ensure that the employees will actively contribute towards innovativeness in the company. The proposal comprise of three HRM practices that hold up an innovation-based HR system. These include training, performance-based rewarding and team development.
The quick rates of technological changes require regular training of the workforce in order to remain relevant in their respective roles. The acquisition of skills requires being continuous. Training the workforce enhances skills and knowledge essential in the development of new products. Organizations that are high performers invest time and financial resources in educating and training the workforce. The training will be aligned to the needs of BMW.
Trained employees are typically competent based on the training they receive. However, different individuals employ the acquired knowledge differently. Learning behaviors that make individuals to improve their performance necessitate rewarding to sustain competitiveness.
The approach will ensure that BMW benefits from the training mediated by the workforce’s skills, behavior and attitudes. In this proposal, performance rewarding will be primarily based on product development. This does not translate to doing away with other rewards.
Technology-oriented researches indicate that teamwork plays a fundamental role in eliciting innovation (Shatouri, Omar & Igusa, 2012). Organizational development and performance significantly depends on team development planning. It influences organizational performance, improves productivity, innovativeness as well as workforce morale.
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BMW requires implementing professional team development initiatives under the HRM function in order to encourage the teams to contemplate as a unit. It will also assist individuals in developing a range of interpersonal expertise including motivational, leadership and communication skills.
BMW’s overall plan to conducting business begins with the idea that an organizational competitive edge should be anchored on the value for individuals. BMW has a basic supposition that has been cautiously chosen and grown on employees for quite some time. The company assumes that the more people it has the more the production and consequently the profitability of the company.
The proposed project aspires to diminish this aspect by introducing the ‘engaged, motivated and satisfied employee’. Instead of having a massive workforce that is not engaged in research and development, innovativeness and engagement, the project will seek to develop a workforce based on the aforementioned perspectives. This will lead the company in attaining competitive advantage and shared prosperity.
Strategic efforts of BMW
BMW is globally renowned for quality world-class automotives and technology initiatives. The company maintains an outstanding profile in its human resource policies and standards. The company believes that investing in human resources is the key to success in the production and manufacturing-oriented companies.
The company in the past has made investments in the human resources by poaching professionals from other automotive companies (Zapata & Nieuwenhuis, 2010). However, this approach regardless of being successful has not been sustainable. Other companies also poach employees from the company.
BMW consequently has had to repeat the process thus making it a costly process. The programs that have previously been employed by the company were based on the belief that when the right tools are applied to particular problems through highly skilled personnel, the organizational performance will spectacularly improve in a considerably short duration. Such a program is targeted at labor cost and inventory reduction while minimizing quality challenges (Lopez-Nicolas & Mero-Cerdian, 2011).
This project will create a large pool of knowledge and motivated workers that will guarantee a stable flow of competent and innovative human resources to handle BMW’s global business. This will focus wider than the current practice in which the company believes in expertise in the production line only.
This project seeks to establish an organizational culture that will assist the company in developing the skills and competence of the employees. The employees will require being motivated to contribute in attaining the objectives of the company. By having a dedicated workforce, the success of the company will be guaranteed in case other areas outside the human resource function will be well attended to by those concerned.
This goal is specific in that it seeks to have a committed and satisfied workforce. It is measurable considering that the contribution of the employees can be assessed and compared to performance prior to the implementation of the program. The goal is attainable since it involves human interaction, employee satisfaction, creation of commitment and consequent innovativeness.
HRM is currently the approach employed by many successful companies and it promises a worthy future for companies that will implement it. In fact, it is realistic since it has been done before while the approach is timely for BMW. The company needs to reduce recruitment costs, gain competitive advantage and ensure environmental sustainability (Zapata & Nieuwenhuis, 2010).
This is the primary deliverable of the project. This will be at personal and corporate level. The teams will be subordinate to the company objectives. The teams will be composed of individuals hence a relationship between the individual and the company will be established.
This is an outcome of the initiative. Once the employees are engaged with the company at all levels, loyalty will be created.
Adaptability and Flexibility
There will be no single authority holding powers over teams. The team leader will only act as the link with other teams. The teams will be restructured according to the situation. Job rotation will be an aspect of the initiative to develop skills fully in all employees.
The training of the teams means that the individuals can assess their own performances, their peers and the entire team. This will be coupled with benchmarking and continuous process improvement.
This approach will bring with it significant changes. The HR function will ensure that the changes positively influence the individuals and the company to maximize performance and motivate the employees.
Timeframe for solution delivery
- January to February 2014 – Putting the necessary infrastructure in place
- March to June 2014 – Training of staff
- August 2014 – Assessment of the change in attitude
- September 2014 – Performance appraisal
- January 2015 onwards – Quarterly training and performance appraisal
Table of resources
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Total Budget for the project
Currently, BMW has programs that are designed to find the most skilled personnel for respective departments particularly the production division. The company will require purchasing equipment that will facilitate training and evaluation of performance. The total budget is estimated at $50,000.
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Key success criteria
The success of the proposed initiative will be assessed according to the improvement in performance and the company. Using performance appraisal tools, the level of improvement will reflect whether the initiative is successful or not. The rationale in this is that the company already has a HR program. However, the proposed approach presents the company with a significant departure from the current practice.
Stakeholders’ satisfactory levels
- There will be evident change of attitude in interactions.
- Company performance will increase
- New products will be produced
Training, performance-based rewarding and team development present companies with the opportunity for innovation, gain competitive advantage and move towards sustainable development. The move helps an organization to reduce costs while ensuring environmental sustainability through innovative workforce.
Lopez-Nicolas, C., & Mero-Cerdian, L. (2011). Strategic knowledge management, innovation and performance. International Journal of Information Management, 31(6), 502–509.
Shatouri, R., Omar, R., & Igusa, K. (2012). Towards a new era of sustainability in the automotive industry: Strategic human resource management and green technology innovation. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 69(2), 217-222.
Zapata, C., & Nieuwenhuis, P. (2010). Exploring innovation in the automotive industry: New technologies for cleaner cars. Journal of Cleaner Production, 18(1), 14– 20.