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Gulf Oil Company – Restructuring Human Resources

Gulf Oil Company – Restructuring Human Resources

Human Resources Management 1st Semester, 1st Half 2011/2012 “Restructuring Human Resources Management at Gulf Oil Company” Kuwait Gulf Oil Company, in order to quickly respond to the increasing demand on oil and to the increasingly strict stipulations this market imposes, saw an opportunity to expand its refining capacity and introduce the latest technology in the oil refining industry. To reach this goal it developed long and medium strategic plans.

As part of the long-term strategies, managers were required to clearly express the Mission, Vision and Strategic objectives of the company and the individual departments combining them into a final, comprehensive plan. One of these departments was the Human Resources Department, which was required to become more in tune, and more focused with the whole company, in order to increase its efficiency. But GOC didn’t have the expected results, which caused them to initiate the “Business & Practices Re-Engineering Study”, which revealed the company’s strengths and weaknesses.

This Study assumes that ineffectiveness is the main reason for a department’s poor performance. Considering that GOC also believes that its HR department is ineffective, and that is, in fact, the cause of its unexpected results, we consider that, in order to correct what is wrong, and highlight what is right, the Study was, in fact, the best approach. The Study shows that the HR is not aligned with the company and has an insufficient communication system, so each department works individually instead of sharing their information, knowledge and resources.

The solution for this HR Strategy issue could be to correctly implement the mission and vision strategies, and communicate them successfully among the different departments. Furthermore, they should be communicated to all employees through direct and concrete tasks and goals, which they need to achieve to allow the company to reach its competitive advantage. Since GOC is expanding and seeks to increase the national manpower while providing stable job opportunities, the Study reveals the company’s poor performance in the recruitment process.

Whether the company actually lacks the competence or resources needed to hire new employees remains uncertain, it might prove beneficiary to outsource the recruitment process to a recruitment specialist agency. Allowing the employees to be more involved in the decision-making process is another adjustment that might improve the contentment. Making room for suggestions, and rewarding the most important and feasible ones, could solve the problems GOC has with unhappy and frustrated staff, as well as the ones related with absence.

Furthermore, by involving each employee in the process and letting them see how their own goals are aligned with the ones of the company, we can expect much more motivation and dedication from the staff, which ultimately leads to a higher performance associated with competitive advantage, and thus power in the market place. Lisbon, 1st Semester 2011/2012 Regarding the organization of the HR departments, we believe that the majority of them are not fulfilling the tasks they are named after, and that there are also too many departments dealing with the same kind of issues.

In addition, the hierarchical structure of the company is too leveled. As such, we recommend that a fusion of departments is made, clearly defining the proper functions, as well as fixing the hierarchical structure in order for the information to flow horizontally in an easier and more efficient way, hopefully improving the time management issue. As for what concerns the HR processes, we believe that having a well-established goal system should allow the employees to perform their tasks, and be correctly and fairly evaluated based on their performance.

Also, with defined and strict timelines, we believe that it might increase productivity since employees are able to see what they need to accomplish concerning a certain matter and a specific time period. Finally, taking into account recent years innovations, we are certain that technology plays a fundamental role in any company’s everyday activities. So, by not using the potential of the existing software to the fullest, GOC suffers an efficiency loss.

Considering this, GOC should either train its employees to use the existing software, or develop new software more focused on the company’s necessities and use it to its fullest. We believe there are two main aspects that can enhance the implementation process: Training and Awarding. Training is an important procedure that allows an increase in performance. In other words, employees will not only do their jobs better, but they will be able to do it more effectively.

An increase in competence will allow employees to make contributions in areas which previously were outside of their knowledge. A new training strategy would therefore level up the overall performance of the employees, reducing the burdens and delays, catalyzing competitiveness. The achievement of the above mentioned performance goals is strongly dependent on whether or not a company can keep their employees motivated, and to a certain extent, strongly committed.

Thus, the company could create an award system to reward commitment and effectiveness, which most certainly would keep employees focused and goal oriented. Nevertheless, we think that without improvements in coordination at a macro level, this award-based motivation strategy might well become obsolete. Therefore, there are structural – not only contingent – changes to be made, capable of increase not only the employees’ average performance but also the company’s performance as a whole.