People Management In Social Work Services Essay

I intend to reflect critically upon my function in set abouting human resource direction ( HRM ) within my ain bureau. First, I will analyze what HRM is and how it has developed within Social Work Service ( SWS ) and specifically within my ain administration. I will analyze and reflect upon specific HRM undertakings in which I have been involved relation to myself, the staff I supervise, the administration and the profession. In making so I will see to what extent the alterations in the direction of SWS have been positive.

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Human Resource Management

Since the 1980s, there have been efforts to put in a civilization of direction in local councils, which has continued to the current twenty-four hours. Previous patterns were criticised for being inefficient, self-seeking and neglecting to react to the demands of clients. Some observers suggested that societal services were ‘aˆ¦a metaphor for all that was considered to be incorrect with the public assistance province ‘ ( Harris and McDonald, 2000, p57 ). It was argued societal work needed to follow the patterns and the precedences of commercial houses.

HRM is the staffing map of the administration. It includes the activities of human resources planning, enlisting, choice, orientation, preparation, public presentation assessment and clear employment processs. Previously many big administrations saw people direction as the primary duty of the forces subdivision.

Beaumont ( 1993, p10 ) states that, “ The construct and pattern of human resource direction are widely held to hold evolved out of the anterior country of forces disposal ”. He goes on to reason that HRM came into manner due to the competitory market, the successes of the Nipponese system and the high public presentation of single companies which accord human resource direction a comparatively high precedence, the worsening brotherhood member Numberss, the growing of white sector employment and the demand for forces sections to hold more involvement with direction thought ( p.11 ). To turn to these alterations human resource techniques have been applied.

PersonnelA managementA can be seen as administrative in nature, covering withA paysheet, employment jurisprudence, and related undertakings. Whereas HRM focuses on pull offing the work force as a resources necessary to the success of the administration.

Torrington and Hall cited in Mullins “ see the nature and grade of difference between forces direction and HRM as staying ‘largely affairs of sentiment instead than fact and the similarities are much greater than the differences ” ( 1996, p18 ). What is of import to me as a director of people is that it stresses the function of line directors in modulating their ain staff.

Beaumont ( 1995, pp18-19 ) argues that it makes usage of the techniques of strategic direction for the operation of human resources. Within commercial houses, HRM policies strive to acquire the best out of the work force by maintaining morale high and furthering good working relationships with nice working conditions:

“ The director needs to understand how to do the best usage of human resources of the organisation. The publicity of good human dealingss is an built-in portion of the procedure of direction and improved organisational public presentation ” ( 1996, p625 ). CHECK REF DATES HERE AND MATCH ON BIBL.

Social Work Services are required to constantly respond and adapt to the altering societal, economic and political influences prevalent at any given clip. In recent old ages, a figure of of import legislative and policy enterprises have resulted in increased demand on societal work services. Within my bureau, a bundle of steps to help in the keeping and enlisting of qualified fieldwork staff was approved.

The Staffing Constitution: Reappraisal of Fieldwork Staff Report ( GCC 2003 ) highlighted that ; the organizational theoretical account prior to the reappraisal was thought to be outmoded. There was seen to be a demand to alter the theoretical account of frontline service bringing to reflect the alterations in the external environment.

In reexamining the current deployment of staff, a figure of decisions were reached. It was found that experient and qualified staff were in a system, which did non suitably recognize their nucleus professionalism and capacity for decision-making. There was a deficiency of uninterrupted professional development and limited calling development chances for support staff. To turn to the above a new theoretical account of service bringing was implemented. It was a extremist displacement from the position quo in acknowledgment of the demand for an effectual solution to the long-standing and complex troubles in recruiting and retaining a skilled motivated workforce able to supply quality societal work service.

This introduced a new model for the direction and bringing of nucleus societal work services. These alterations have created important chances for new professional development and leading. Action was required to do staff feel valued, to better internal communications, manage alteration better and to better the engagement and support of staff. The bureau has aimed to undertake the cardinal issues of enlisting, basic wage, larning and development chances, internal communicating and staff engagement in decision-making. One illustration is that Team Leaders got the chance to set about the Social Work Management Course to enable them to go better directors of people.

Wages were increased and there is more career patterned advance. The administration has bought into the commercial theoretical account that the most effectual administrations make the best usage of their human resources. “ An organisation ‘s employees are a major plus, non merely in themselves, but besides because the organisation ‘s whole repute and future success depends on them ” Coulshed and Mullender ( 2006, p161 ).Similarly Beaumont argues ( 1993 ) that HRM patterns value employee engagement, are founded on robust enlisting schemes and that should be considered as portion of the concern program.

There is now a farther review-taking topographic point aimed at salvaging several million lbs while protecting front-line services. This is ongoing.


Recruitment lays the basis for obtaining appropriately qualified employees in order to lend to accomplishing corporate ends in an efficient and cost-efficient mode, ( Foot & A ; Hook, 1999 ). The enlisting procedure has significantly improved in Glasgow. Glossy brochures, DVD ‘s, Cadmium ‘s and recruitment carnivals are all schemes employed to pull the best campaigners. Factors adversely impacting enlisting include the professions hapless image, nerve-racking and hard work, hapless wage and conditions. Salary graduated tables were well increased, a committedness to uninterrupted acquisition, and the chance to work more flexibly were introduced. It will be interesting to see if this can be sustained in the current fiscal clime and under a changed authorities.

I am acutely cognizant of the increased force per unit areas that can originate for the squad pull offing the excess jobs, which come because of staff deficits. I spent a period pull offing a squad, which had a 60 % vacancy rate. I was involved in deriving the appropriate authorization for enrolling replacings to my squad ( evidence-see Arndale stuff-David McCrae or Liz Frew ). Ward discusses how it is a cardinal activity for directors to enroll the best people. He explains that how this is done is of import to whether a new employee feels portion of the squad or non. Harmonizing to Ward the direction squad have to be clear about the occupation specification so it is clear what tasks the possible employee requires to be able to finish ( Ward in Seden and Reynolds 2003 ). However, staff recruited as portion of a larger enlisting run and interviewed in another portion of the metropolis filled some of the squad ‘s vacancies. I have been involved in questioning on several occasions, but this has ne’er been straight to my ain squad. ( Witness statement rhenium questioning? )

I work in a big bureau and the HRM section continues to organize most of the enlisting undertakings. I feel it is critical that we have a system that allows directors to feed into the procedure. With respect to enlisting, it may be desirable to devolve HMR activities to a local fieldwork direction degree. Directors should be more involved with the enlisting procedure lending straight to the choice of a prospective squad employee/successful campaigner. In order to promote happening the right individual I web at events. If person has a good repute, I am proactive in promoting him or her to use to us. Collins ( 2009, p181 ) states, “ Those who build great organisations make certain they have the right people on the coach, the incorrect people off the coach, and the right people in the cardinal seats before they figure out where to drive the coach. ” Through networking, I have been able to act upon this with respect to internal transportations. ( EVIDENCE )

However, I can besides see the defects in being so straight involved in enrolling for your ain squad. I was asked onto an interview panel for Health co-workers and it was clear that one of the campaigners being a close relation of the service director influenced the two Health directors, who were enrolling straight to their squad. This type of pattern can be hazardous:

“ Choosing the incorrect individual for the station has deductions… for that individualaˆ¦service usersaˆ¦colleaguesaˆ¦damaging to the organisationaˆ¦.upsets valued staffaˆ¦complaintsaˆ¦even judicial proceeding, make improved choice processs look cheap at the monetary value ”. ( Coulshed and Mullender 2006, p131 ).


Coulshed & A ; Mullender ( 2006, pp158-159 ) argue that the orienting of new members of staff is sometimes ignored in direction literature. This deficiency of attending to staff initiation has been apparent in my scene. I have worked for my employers for about 15 old ages and have ne’er received formal initiation preparation. However, over recent old ages at that place has been a gradual procedure to better this. Initially some forces subdivisions developed a brief initiation bundle to explicate issues like absence coverage, usage of flexi leave and on the job hours. Whether you received this would depend on which geographic country you worked in. More late, this has been formalised with a general initiation bundle developed by our preparation subdivision and provided yearly.

This still focuses on conditions of service and is non routinely offered to new workers, but has to be applied for at appropriate times during its turn overing programme. Initiation to the existent station is dependent upon your line director and there is no formal criterion or monitoring of this. Before being a director, I was a pattern instructor. I used to give new pupils Learning Styles Questionnaires. I found that most pupils tended to fall someplace between being pragmatists and militants. I have tried to maintain utilizing these and happen it a utile tool for making treatment with new workers. I recognise that this is still non adequate to assist new employees develop their functions and I hope to spread out on it. Not adequate action is being taken by my squad to better the quality of new members and although I do contribute, there should be a more holistic, systematic attack. EVIDENCE.

Consequently, I did non ever set up for pupils to see different resources and do the criterion initiation circuit. Alternatively, I gave them casework, which involved contacting and sing assorted bureaus. I found that frequently pupils learned most successfully when actively take parting in a defined undertaking. I recognised the demand for a pre undertaking meeting to enable treatment the techniques and grounds for finishing the undertaking. After the undertaking, we would utilize supervising to supply feedback and enable contemplation. I have continued to utilize this method as a director when back uping new workers. ( EVIDENCE ) Over the old ages, I have had chances to reflect on this during Effective Learning for Social Work Management Module of this class. This encouraged me to look at the work of Kolb ( 1984 ) and Honey and Mumford ( 1982 ). Much of this contemplation and acquisition has reinforced my technique. However, it has besides encouraged me to oppugn if I am being negligent by non developing a formal initiation bundle. I have raised this at direction squad meetings and aˆ¦. Evidence?

Following initiation, it is of import to supply uninterrupted professional development chances including on-going supervising and assessment.


The employment relationship plays a critical function in keeping skilled and motivated work forces, ( Clark, 2004 ). Hawkynss and Shohet province,

“ Supervision, like assisting, is non a straightforward procedure and is even more complex than working with clients. ” ( 2005, p5 )

Good directors understand their people and work with them. They want to see a satisfied staff and back up them in developing their functions.

Humphries ( 1995, p38 ) states, “ A common myth is that everybody is motivated by money ”. He argues that the greatest incentive is acknowledgment and regard. Clark ( 2004 ) besides points out that the relationship between employees and direction squads non merely affects the public presentation of the corporation but besides influences the keeping of employees. Geting across to them that you are interested in them as a individual is of import as is listening to them.

Evaluation is indispensable to the bureau ‘s map, the person ‘s professional growing & A ; development while safeguarding clients and others. My bureau has developed a Personal Action and Development Plan ( PDP ) tool that is used to supply staff assessment and support uninterrupted professional development. PDPS allow the administration to acquire ‘best value ‘ whilst investment in the person, by developing their competency. This is a utile tool for guaranting that these undertakings are completed although it can experience that the supervisor and the supervisee are seeking to suit into a format. Coulshed and Mullender, ( 2006, pp 171-172 ) discuss the negative facets of assessment strategies foregrounding the top down attack taken. This may incur feelings of anxiousness and misgiving devising staff experience defensive.

It is of import to be clear whether PDPs are mensurating behaviors, the public presentation of proficient undertakings, attitudes and interaction, pattern cognition and accomplishments, quality of work, bringing of results, run intoing organizational demands or a combination of these. However, I am concerned at the deficiency of liberty now afforded to societal work professionals. Cardinal authorities and employers are now more able to order the procedure and content of societal work instruction and preparation ( Orme, 2001 ). Tightly drawn statute law and counsel was besides introduced. As a consequence, over the past decennary societal work has become a more accountable and procedurally regulated activity.

I recognise that there are many signifiers of rating and that most contact I have with my supervisees contributes to the rating procedure. Harmonizing to Kadushin & A ; Harkness, “ ratings are as omnipresent and necessary as they are inevitable. There is no manner of non pass oning an appraising message. ” ( 2002, p329 ).

The chief tool I use to measure is formal supervising. Having been a pattern instructor has helped me to make this in a structured mode.

Richards and Payne ( 1991 ) depict four chief maps of supervising:





If we are to take one component so the procedure becomes potentially less fulfilling to both the immediate parties – and less effectual. This is similar to the maps highlighted in my bureaus ain supervising processs.

I have been given authorization by the bureau to supervise the work of the supervisee. This carries the duty:

“ … both to guarantee that bureau policy is implemented – which implies a commanding map – and a parallel duty to enable supervisees to work to the best of their ability ”. ( Brown and Bourne 1995, p10 )

It is besides important to retrieve the map of the bureau to supply the best possible service to authorise users.

Initially I found struggle in this function. As a pattern instructor I found it honoring to help, others develop their societal work accomplishments. This has continued to be a major function of supervising as a director, but combined with this there is more force per unit area to guarantee workers are accountable and that we as an administration are acquiring every bit much from workers as possible, which can make tenseness.

( Witness statements re supervising? ? )

As Salaman ( 1995, p63 ) argues, directors must hold a concern for both public presentation and acquisition:

“ The basically managerial facets of directors ‘ work is their duty for monitoring and bettering the work of others ; their managerial effectivity is determined by their capacity to better the work of others. If directors are non able to do this part, so what value are they adding? The lone ultimate justification of directors ‘ being is the betterment of the work of their subsidiaries. If directors fail in this manner, they fail as directors ”.

However how does this tantrum with societal work values?


As the HRM function of the director has increased, I have been involved in taking on extra undertakings.

Over the past twelvemonth, I have been asked to chair absence disciplinary hearings. As a societal worker, you learn to authorise people through edifice on their positive actions and understating the response to negative behaviors. Increasingly as a director, I am called into a punitory function. Although I have been involved in chairing these absence disciplinary hearings, there is no existent chairing involved- the determination has already been made and is enshrined in processs. ( Witness statements etc re absence hearings ). These state of affairss can be hard. Staff may hold old ages of good service with no absence but so hit trigger points in the current twelvemonth and have to travel through disciplinary hearings and there is no discretion allowed. This can be irrespective of medical advice, unless you employee has an implicit in wellness job. In such fortunes, sensible accommodations must be made but they are still capable to same processs and if you continue to be off deficiency of capableness processs can be considered taking to employee losing occupation.

Another potentially punitory undertaking I have been involved in is Fact Finding and the subsequent disciplinary hearing of a staff member ( witness statements etc re fact-finding and disciplinary ). Coulshed and Mullender ( 2006, p111 ) depict how early theoreticians such as Weber and Taylor viewed struggle as unwanted and believed it destroyed morale. Normally as a director I am seeking to promote staff to work towards a common end as a squad, but so I find myself in the uncomfortable place of questioning squad members separately, promoting them to uncover hapless pattern by a co-worker and to seek for incompatibilities.


Social Workers ‘ professional preparation includes cognition and accomplishments in work with laden populations. The bureau I am employed in declares itself “ Inclusive, Supportive, Protective ”. It advertises that it has a policy to supply equal chances in all countries of its employment. A However Coulshed and Mullender ( 2006, pp200-205 ) suggest there is still a long manner to travel. They add that it is all excessively easy for employers to tout that they have equal opportunities when in world there may be no attendant resources and merely limited committedness… On this class, a participant radius openly about how the absence direction processs of her employer consequence in her taking one-year leave instead than sick leave when her epilepsy affects her. Fundamentally, equal chance is a statute law that prevents favoritism on the evidences of race, sex, age, disablement, faith etc. Yet, presently, favoritism can take more complex signifiers than can be merely identified by the groups covered in the equal chances statute law. Because of the defects of the statute law, a more sophisticated and comparatively new attack has been developed. The nucleus subject of this attack is to recognize and appreciate the differences in the work force and utilise those differences to accomplish maximal result and net income. This new attack is known as ‘managing diverseness ‘.

One of the nucleus differences between pull offing diverseness and equal chance is associated with the force for alteration. Whereas external forces, such as authorities statute laws, societal equity, ethical and human rights etc, tend to drive equal chances, pull offing diverseness tends to be driven by internal forces within the organizational construction and is instantly connected with the bottom line.

Another difference between these two attacks is their ends. The end of equal chance has been mentioned as societal justness and rectifying mistakes that have been made antecedently in the yesteryear: “ to rectify an instability, an unfairness, a error ” ( Thomas, 1990, p108 ). On the other manus the chief end of pull offing diverseness is discussed in much broader footings ; that is to handle employees as persons, acknowledge that each of them has alone demands and therefore will necessitate different kinds of aid in order to win. The nucleus motive behind the equal chance model at governmental degree and the equal chance schemes and patterns at organizational degree has been identified as an effort to set up equality. For illustration, the creative activity of such a community or administration, where work forces and adult females are dealt with in the same mode and no advantage or disadvantage is given to them based on their sex. In contrast, the term ‘managing diverseness ‘ is at that place to indicate out the significance of difference and set frontward a point of view where difference is welcomed and is considered as an advantage instead than a disadvantage to the administration. Hence, a batch of ambiguity and struggle still surround the two contrasting ideals.


Torrington, Hall and Taylor ( 2005 ) suggest that human resource direction is about acquiring the right people to work in the most productive manner in the places most suited to their abilities. A psychological position has become progressively of import in HRM literature every bit good as in organizational behavioral research. This is because of the correlativity between person ‘s psychological status and his or her work public presentation, ( Bradburn, 1969 ; David and Smeeding, 1985 ; Wright and Cropanzano, 2004 ). Human resource is considered an of import strategic resource and its public presentation straight influences organizational competitory capablenesss.

I believe my employers are utilizing a assortment of methods including this CSWM class, Ready to Lead class and e-Learning to help directors to develop a strong leading manner in order to promote an organizational civilization, which will in bend guarantee that employee motive, can be raised during the current hard transformational phases. Financial wages is non the lone attack to actuate employees and consideration is given to the proviso of comfy working environments, increased occupation satisfaction through effectual communicating and a strong inclusive organizational civilization. Staff keeping demands to be a cardinal portion of organizational schemes as satisfied employees are more productive and lend more to creative and innovatory procedures, ( Wright and Cropanzano, 2004 ). I would propose that what is more of import about staff keeping is continuity for clients.

New systems of line direction integrating HRM have perchance reduced the hazard of malpractice ( Whipp et al., 2004 ). I suggest that seeking to do societal work tantrum into and vie with the commercial sector has possibly come at a monetary value. There is now mounting grounds ( e.g. Green 2006 ) of lifting degrees of emphasis and demoralization in the societal attention work force with record degrees of illness and absenteeism. The LGA conference on Lord Laming ‘s reappraisal heard:

“ The morale, position and preparation of child societal workers besides need to be improved. The latest polling has reinforced the LGA ‘s fright that the radioactive dust from Baby P will take to a diminution in regard for frontline workers and trouble in pulling new recruits ”

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There besides appears to be less squad spirit and more agnosticism between basic class workers and direction. In the long term, this province of personal businesss may hold a detrimental impact on the nature and quality of services provided by societal work services. I would reason that the addition in HRM has resulted in more discourse, which separates the function of director and societal worker instead than combines it. Power ( 1997 ) has warned of the dangers of the ‘audit society ‘. Premises of misgiving prolonging audit procedures may be self-fulfilling as auditees adapt their behavior strategically in response to the audit procedure thereby going less trusty. He points out that the really quality of service or end product, which the audit procedure is intended to heighten, is itself damaged even though ends of efficiency and cost effectivity are achieved. Social Work has ever been dependent on a sense of professional career and a willingness to work supra and beyond your contracted hours.

The hazard today is that direction reforms are sabotaging this ethos and will ‘weaken still farther the local and moral economic system that still prevails and, arguably, still sustains the best societal work pattern ‘ ( Langan 2000, p167 ). As Taylor-Gooby puts it, “ Trust takes clip to set up, but it is easy to destruct ”. ( 1999, p.101 ) Reviewing the consequences of studies conducted by economic psychologists, he notes that reverse to the anticipations of rational pick theory, people ‘s determinations in public assistance markets are strongly influenced by a normative model in which trust plays a cardinal function. It appears that markets in public assistance depend more on trust because of the importance of professional determinations and because of the trouble of measuring future hazards. Taylor-Gooby admirations to what extent current public assistance markets are sustained by the moral bequest of the public assistance province and how the eroding of this bequest might compromise efficiency. Basically, it can look that this manner of direction is concentrating on weaknesss, which puts farther force per unit area on staff and can forestall them from covering with their chief concern to back up service users.

In December 2005, Seddon produced a paper entitled ‘Adult Social Care: a systems analysis and a better manner frontward ‘. In it, he argued that there was a important sum of clip and attempt being wasted on public presentation steps, which did non really supply what service users required. He argued that activity steps, budget direction, people direction and IT systems are shown to be portion of the job. In kernel, waste is a semisynthetic phenomenon and it comes as a daze when directors realise the unintended effects of their actions and insisting upon public presentation indexs as a step of how good a service is making.

Social workers and our clients are non machines. HRM does non recognize that societal work relies on professional discretion and this needs reflected throughout all our procedures for staff and clients.


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