Term Paper: Human Resource Development Initiatives

Pages: 13 (3683 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 18  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Careers  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] 1.

Organizational partners. Employee unions.

2.

Organizational resources. Wellness programs could be developed in-house drawing on VA healthcare professionals' expertise or the initiative could be outsourced depending on the facilities that are available.

3.

HRDV program outcomes. Employee wellness programs have been shown to provide a number of valuable outcomes, including reduced stress levels and healthcare costs, reduced absenteeism levels, and improved employee morale and job satisfaction (Benavides & David, 2010).

C.

Identify 3rd issue within organization: Facilitate transition for returning combat veterans through improved coordination of healthcare services between the VA and the Department of Defense.

Identify HRDV concepts pertinent to the issue

Active duty personnel are the responsibility of the Department of Defense, but once discharged (other than dishonorably), eligible veterans become the responsibility of the VA. Rather than wait for veterans to come to the VA, a superior alternative would be to provide active duty personnel with imminent discharge dates access to information concerning available VA services and allow them to enroll in these programs prior to their discharge. This approach would streamline the transition from active duty to veteran status and ensure that veterans in need of ongoing medical care were given high priority. This approach is congruent with the guidance provided by Brown, Brice and McGraith (2000) who report, "Creative partnering in the federal human resources (HR) community as a means of improving HR service delivery. Emerging models of partnering permit more efficient use of resources and in many cases make it possible to do things that HR could not do alone" (p. p. 13).

This approach is also congruent with recent initiatives used by the VA to partner with various Department of Defense (DoD) organizations for this purpose. For example, the VA developed a strategic partnership with the First Army at Camp Shelby, Mississippi to provide active duty personnel returning from overseas deployment and due for discharge with a modified version of its online application for VA health benefits (VA Form 1010EZ). According to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, "The VA will introduce it at demobilization sites nationwide by early spring 2012. This online application demonstrates VA's commitment to work with the Department of Defense to make it easier for Servicemembers to get the care they earned by their service" (New Online Enrollment Application Available for Servicemembers February 3, 2012, para. 3). Offered as part of the demobilization process, the pilot program for the streamlined application process has reduced the amount of time required to process applications from 10 to 3 days and the outcome suggests that this program would be beneficial at other demobilization sites as well (New Online Enrollment Application Available for Servicemembers February 3, 2012).

Describe HRDV activities that would address the issue. Close collaboration with the Department of Defense would be required to implement this initiative at the other 61 demobilization stations nation-wide.

Design HRDV program concerning the issue

1.

Organizational partners. The sole organizational partner for this initiative would be the Department of Defense, the other cabinet-level department with authority and responsibility for the care of returning military personnel scheduled for discharge (Caress, 2001).

2.

Organizational resources. Because this program is administered by the DoD as part of the demobilization process, the only VA resources required would be the streamlined version of the online application.

3.

HRDV program outcomes. Facilitating program enrollment for returning military personnel scheduled for discharge will help ensure a smooth transition from active duty medical care to VA medical care and reduce the number of man-hours needed to complete the enrollment process post-discharge.

D.

Identify 4th issue within organization: Improved recruiting function for administrative and support services personnel.

Identify HRDV concepts pertinent to the issue

The following administrative and support employees are currently reported to be in high demand at the VA:

Cemetery Caretaker

Veterans Service Representative

Human Resources Management

Police Officer

Information Technology

Budget Analysts

Contract Specialists

Finance Officers

Healthcare Management Specialists

Human Resources Specialists

Contracting

Medical Records Technicians (VA occupations, 2012)

The need for these administrative and support services employees has become particularly acute in recent years; for example:

1. The Veterans Benefits Administration has a new claims processing system to handle a backlog of compensation cases that legislative changes and the veteran enrollment initiatives helped to create.

2. The National Cemetery Administration has an increasing workload, averaging 1,200 memorial services a day (Kowalski et al., 2003).

Describe HRDV activities that would address the issue

As the competition for high quality employees continues to exert increased pressure on the traditional recruiting function, an issue that is likely to become highly significant is the decision whether the VA should provide prospective employees with realistic job information (i.e., accurate information that includes the negative as well as the positive elements of a new job), or rely on traditional recruiting methods that emphasize the positive aspects of a job (Meglino, Ravlin & Denisi, 1997). Studies have shown, though, that providing prospective candidates with realistic information concerning the negative aspects of jobs improves the recruiting function and retention of hired employees (Meglino et al., 1997).

Therefore, similar to the approach used for professional healthcare positions described above, human resource recruiters from each of the 22 regional service networks would also personally visit colleges, universities and trade schools in their service areas that specialize in these professions to conduct job fairs that emphasize current and projected position openings as well as the numerous benefits offered by the VA as also described above.

iii

Design HRDV program concerning the issue

1.

Organizational partners. Colleges, universities, trade schools.

2.

Organizational resources. The organizational resources provided must be sufficient to conduct regional job fairs and conduct requisite research.

3.

HRDV program outcomes. Improved recruiting function for administrative and support positions within the VA.

E.

Identify 5th issue within organization: Improving VA employee satisfaction.

Identify HRDV concepts pertinent to the issue

The final initiative, employee satisfaction is a traditional HRDV issue. In this regard, Anderson (1984) provides a succinct definition of this term: "Job satisfaction refers to both general and specific work satisfactions. The specific satisfactions included both intrinsic and extrinsic satisfactions, as well as satisfaction with pay, job security, peers and co-workers, supervision, and opportunities for personal growth on the job" (p. 9). Diminished levels of employee satisfaction have been associated with increased employee turnover levels, absenteeism, and reduced productivity (Chaudron, 2008).

Describe HRDV activities that would address the issue.

One of the most straightforward ways to find out what is bothering people is to ask them. According to Chaudron (2008), though, it is vitally important that any organization that uses an employee satisfaction survey to inform employees about the survey planning, data collection, and implementation plans. In this regard, Chaudron warns that "Without this communication, employees who would otherwise support the survey become confused, frustrated, and eventually complacent. Loss of this critical mass of support may eventually doom whatever changes the company implements" (p. 3).

In addition, it is also important that organizations be prepared to act on the findings that emerge from employee satisfaction surveys or they risk being perceived as just so much management "fluff" (Chaudron, 2008). This point is also made by Dibble (1999) who recommends that organizational managers should follow some guidelines when they administer surveys to their employees to assess their level of satisfaction:

1. Do not ask about a topic unless the organization is prepared to respond to what it learns. It is not absolutely necessary to change something simply because employees do not like it; however, it is necessary to tell them why the organization cannot or will not do so.

2. Maintain confidentiality in data collection.

3. Maintain confidentiality in reports.

These are important considerations that might be overlooked unless they are given special attention by the VA human resources conducting the surveys. In this regard, Chaudron adds that, "Organizations often keep survey information anonymous and confidential to increase the accuracy of the data received. This rule of thumb is usually a good idea, but also can have its drawbacks. Among these drawbacks is the uncertainty of what to do with allegations of illegal actions. Additionally, confidentiality can lead to nonaction by those who need change the most" (2008, p. 5).

Design HRDV program concerning the issue

1.

Organizational partners. None required for this initiative.

2.

Organizational resources. There are a number of proprietary employee satisfaction surveys available for purchase from academic and commercial vendors in online and hard copy form that have known reliability and validity; however, ample guidance is also available concerning the design and administration of employee satisfaction surveys. A representative sampling (the top three listings on Google at the time of search) of proprietary employee satisfaction surveys is provided in Table 1 below.

Table 1

Representative Sampling of Proprietary Employee Satisfaction Surveys

Survey/Vendor

Description

NBRI Employee Satisfaction Surveys (http://www.nbrii.com)

Specific survey topics include:… [END OF PREVIEW]

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