HRM Skills Portfolio

  1. Briefly outline the legal responsibilities that employers have to ensure a safe workplace
  2. Define the term ‘safety culture’ (drawing on appropriate academic literature)
  3. Explain how a safety culture can improve safety behaviours of employees (drawing on appropriate academic literature)
  4. Identifyfive recommendations that Sopranos should implement to improve the safety culture within the organisation.  These recommendations may incorporate multiple HRM functions, including performance management, rewards, training and development, recruitment and job design.  For each recommendation, a clear explanation about how this will lead to improved safety behaviours should be provided.

All references material must be appropriately cited in the text of your Report. Include a separate reference section that includes the full citation information. Follow the style guidelines for the Academy of Management Journal. Note that Wikipedia and similar websites are NOT acceptable sources for this assignment.

Part 1: Annotated Bibliography

Christian, M.S. Bradley, J.C., Wallace, J.C. and Burke, M.J. (2009). Workplace Safety: A Meta-  Analysis of the Roles of Person and Situation Factors. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(5), 1103-1127.

Christian et al’s article uses theoretical frameworks of worker performance and workplace climate to examine the situational and person factors that cause safety outcomes and safety performance behaviours at the workplace. Some of the situational and person safety outcomes include injuries and accidents. According to Christian et al (2009), safety motivation and safety knowledge have a strong relationship with safety performance behaviours and safety climate. Safety climate is divided into group safety climate and psychological safety climate. The study also found out that injuries and accidents have a strong relationship with group safety culture.

Meta-analytic path model was also utilized by this study to enhance findings that can be used to enhance the study of workplace safety management. This research also developed a model of workplace safety which suggests that situational related factors include safety climate and leadership. Safety climate factors include management commitment, HRH practices, Job risk, work pressure, safety systems, and supervisory support. The model also indicates that safety performance behaviours are influenced by person-related factors such as personalities (Conscientiousness, extraversion, locus of control, and neuroticism), job attitudes and safety attitudes. The study also found out that safety climate is highly influenced by safety participation compared to safety compliance.

Daugherty, E.L., Paine, L.A., Maragakis, L.L. Sexton, J.B. and Rand, C.S. (2012). Safety            Culture and Hand Hygiene: Linking Attitudes to Behavior. Infection Control and          Hospital Epidemiology, 33(12), 1280-1282.

This study utilized a multi-method approach to find out the relationship between safety culture and adherence to hand hygiene in John Hopkins Hospital. It applies the concept of safety culture to a hospital setting whereby doctors and nurses are expected to develop hand hygiene in order to enhance the safety of patients. This article defines safety culture as a collection of safety related norms and behaviours at the workplace. Without a proper safety culture at the workplace, diseases or infections can cause safety problems to stakeholders. In hospitals, safety culture influences the levels of HAIs including bloodstream infections. Daugherty et al (2012) suggest that safety culture can be improved at the workplace (e.g. hospitals) through a specific unit-based safety program and comprehensive safety interventions. This article suggests that hand hygiene is an important aspect of safety interventions in hospitals.

Daugherty et al (2012) provide useful information in brief prose paragraphs which give the main points of the study clearly. The article is reliable because it has relevant information backed by evidence from research. The main points of the study are also highlighted in an understandable manner with some references to support them. The study can be used in all workplaces of hospital nature to promote safety culture and minimize accidents and injuries.

Part 2: Reflection

I have had an experience working in teams in my working life. I used to work in our family business as a customer care attendant. Our business was involved in a lot of teamwork activities which enabled us to accomplish duties easily by pooling efforts together, sharing ideas and discussing crucial issues affecting the business. As a team member and a team leader, I played key roles in ensuring that all the activities of my team were done successfully. I realized from the experience that working together in groups is one of the most important human resource activities that enable workers and managers to achieve their highest potential while at the same time helping their organisations to achieve their objectives. From what I learnt, it was clear that effective teamwork has certain key characteristics which make it successfully effective.

One of the main characteristics of an effective teamwork is that the team has common goals and objectives that all members must focus on. All members should have a common direction so that they can always understand each other when carrying out group activities (Keen, 2003). In the team which I belonged to, one of our main objective was to satisfy customers. So, we set common goals that all members of the team were required to attain. One of the goals was to reduce customer queues and wait time. This goal enabled us to work together more effectively as a team in order to serve customers within the shortest time possible. I realized that effective teamwork should have a purpose, goals and objectives that will bind members more strongly.

The second characteristic of an effective team is involvement, participation and commitment. Effective teamwork brings committed members together (Larson & LaFasto, 1989). All members participate in various forums, workshops, and other activities that strengthen the bond of the team and improve its performance. From my experience working as a team member, I realized that effective teams never fail to attend meetings, and if they do they apologize and give their contributions in one way or another. Whenever all team members participated in our team activities, we performed better than when some members failed to participate.

Effective teams are also characterized by open communication, motivation and good decision making. Open communication enhances transparency, trust and strong relationships among members of a team. Conflicts can also be resolved through effective communication. Face-to-face communication ensures that team members agree with each other and work together more effectively. Decisions are also made more easily in effective teams. Members give positive ideas and appreciate each other’s opinions.

On the other hand, ineffective teams are characterized by unresolved conflicts, low participation, lack of motivation, misunderstandings, poor decision making and lack of commitment. When problems and conflicts are not resolved effectively in teams, the team will fail to accomplish its tasks on time; hence team goals and objectives are not likely to be achieved (Larson & LaFasto, 1989). Misunderstanding and lack of motivation also demoralizes members and undermines sharing of ideas and decision making in the team. When disagreements arise in the team, the team fails to make positive decisions regarding its activities and strategies.

I will take key steps to ensure that my team operates effectively in completing MGT2HRM Group Report. One of the steps is to ensure that all members understand the objectives of working on the group report – to get a good grade in the report, to encourage diversity, to build social relationships, and to improve teamwork skills. Secondly, I will ensure that all members are committed to these objectives. Each member will be given a specific role to play. I will also identify the strengths and weaknesses of each member in order to give each member a role that best suits his/her abilities. Furthermore, it will be important for me to communicate effectively with team members in order to improve out team performance.

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