EFFECT OF HUMAN RESOURCE POLICIES ON EMPLOYEES PERFORMANCE (A CASE STUDY OF CO-OPERATIVE BANK)
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of human resource policies on employees’ performance in the banking sector with a specific reference to the Co-operative bank of Kenya. In an effort to fulfill this, the study attempted to answer three research questions starting with; effect of recruitment policy on employees’ achievement of set targets? Effect of appraisal policy on employees’ performance? Lastly, effect of compensation policy on employees’ performance?
Descriptive research design was employed in the study. This allowed the use of a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques in the form of a questionnaire. Research questions looked to establish employees’ attitude towards policies rather than just focusing on the policies alone. Population included employees at both management and non- management levels of employment in Co-operative bank of Kenya. The bank had 3,000 permanent employees. However, for an effective and efficient data collection process and analysis, a sample frame of 175 permanent staff based in the bank’s 7 Nairobi CBD branches was used. Selection was done through stratified random sampling. Data collected was then entered into excel and then transferred to the IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 24.0 for analysis.
Results and findings of the study showed over half of the respondents (52%) agreed that, HR recruitment policy had helped in new role adjustment. In addition, majority of respondents whose data had the highest mean of 2.7, felt the policy had also provided opportunities for development and career progression as a motivation for achievement of targets.
Moreover, findings showed 72.2% of the respondents agreed that, HR appraisal policy supported employees’ performance. Based on the respondents’ data with the highest mean of 3.30, there was a general agreement that HR appraisal policy had helped particularly in personal growth leading to better performance. Furthermore, data analysis specific to the non-management staff revealed that, the policy had developed a learning organizational culture to enable performance improvement.
HR compensation policy findings showed majority (85%) agreed that, the policy enhanced an organization’s competitive edge in the labour market. In addition, respondents’ data with the highest mean of 2.93 showed that, they felt transparency in compensation processes was crucial to building trust and commitment in the organization.
The study concluded that recruitment policy influenced employees’ achievement of set targets through recruitment of top talents who perform. The study also concluded that appraisal and compensation policies affected employees’ performance. This was attributed to having an objective appraisal system in place and strengthening of organization’s learning culture. In addition, maintaining a transparent and fair compensation packages which not only attracted talented individuals but also built trust and commitment among the employees leading to great performance.
In order to ensure continued great performance the organization should create more awareness on HR recruitment policy by educating new recruits on the same and also confirm that those tasked with orientation of new job roles follow the policy’s guidelines in totality. Appraisal policy in place should be highly objective to ensure fair assessment of employees. Lastly, it should maintain a compensation policy which is transparent and fair to all staff
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF TABLES x
LIST OF FIGURES xi
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS xii
CHAPTER ONE 1
1.0 INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Background of the Problem 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem 6
1.3 Purpose of the Study 8
1.4 Research Questions 8
1.5 Scope of the Study 8
1.6 Significance of the Study 8
1.7 Definition of Terms 9
1.8 Chapter Summary 10
CHAPTER TWO 12
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW 12
2.1 Introduction 12
2.2 Effect of Recruitment Policy on Employees’ Achievement of Set Targets 12
2.3 Effect of Appraisal Policy on Employees’ Performance 19
2.4 Effect of Compensation Policies on Employees’ Performance 25
2.5 Chapter Summary 29
CHAPTER THREE 30
3.0 METHODOLOGY 30
3.1 Introduction 30
3.2 Research Design 30
3.3 Population and Sampling Design 30
3.4 Data Collection Methods 34
3.5 Research Procedures 34
3.6 Data Analysis Methods 34
3.7 Chapter Summary 35
CHAPTER FOUR 36
4.0 RESULTS AND FINDINGS 36
4.1 Introduction 36
4.2 General Information 36
4.3 Effect of Recruitment Policy on Employees’ Achievement of Set targets 41
4.4 Effect of Appraisal Policy On Employees’ Performance 44
4.5 Effect of Compensation Policy On Employees’ Performance 48
4.6 Chapter Summary 51
CHAPTER FIVE 52
5.0 DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 52
5.1 Introduction 52
5.2 Summary 52
5.3 Discussion 53
5.4 Conclusions 60
5.5 Recommendations 61
LIST OF TABLES
Table 3.1 Permanent Staff Population 31
Table 3.2 Sampling Frame 31
Table 3.3 Sample Size Determination 33
Table 3.4 Sample Size per Stratum 33
Table 3.5 Reliability Test 35
Table 4.1 Response Rate 36
Table 4.2 List of Mentioned HR Policies 40
Table 4.3 Mean and Standard Deviation Recruitment Policy 43
Table 4.4 Recruitment Policy Analysis Based on Employee Clusters 44
Table 4.5 Mean and Standard Deviation Appraisal Policy 46
Table 4.6 Appraisal Policy Analysis Based On Employee Clusters 47
Table 4.7 Mean and Standard Deviation Compensation Policy 50
Table 4.8 Compensation Policy Analysis Based on Employee Clusters 51
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 4.1 Gender Distribution 37
Figure 4.2 Age Groups 37
Figure 4.3 Education Level 38
Figure 4.4 Years of Service 38
Figure 4.5 Employee Clusters 39
Figure 4.6 HR Policies Affects Performance 39
Figure 4.7 Effectiveness of HR Policies 40
Figure 4.8 Recruitment Policy Affects New Role Adjustment 41
Figure 4.9 Appraisal Policy Affects Individual performance 45
Figure 4.10 HR Compensation Policy Affects Organization’s Competitive Edge 48
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
HR Human Resource
HRM Human Resource Management
KShs Kenya Shillings
SHRM Strategic Human Resource Management
HPWS High Performance Work Systems
BSC Balance Score Card
SPSS Statistical Package for Social Sciences
1.1 Background of the Problem
Guest (2007), described Human Resource Management (HRM) as a set of policies designed to enhance organization’s integration, employee commitment, flexibility and quality work. HRM in general covers three aspects of employees’ performance. First is planning; at this stage identification of company’s goals and recruiting personnel with the right skills to achieve these goals is crucial. Secondly, monitoring; which involves training where need be, surveying, appraising and providing feedback. Last but not least, compensation. Appreciation for work well done is very important in any organization. It motivates employees which in turn increases productivity and consequently enables the company achieve its goals.
Effectiveness and efficiency of HRM in any organization is dependent on the HR policies set in place. Some of the benefits of these guidelines are: it gives an overview of an organization’s culture, it is an official means of communication between an organization and a recruit, it provides details on terms of employment, it forms a basis from which staff is oriented and trained, and it also acts as a reference point for managers and staff in future engagements.
A recurring issue in HRM however, is the idea that a certain bundle or combination of HR policies, properly applied, is required for the achievement of high performance (Wright and Boswell, 2002). This bundle, first identified by McDuffie (1995), has proved difficult to confirm as different research groups have different lists. What these approaches have in common nonetheless, is that they identify a distinctive set of HR policies that can be applied successfully to all organizations irrespective of their setting (Redman and Wilkinson, 2009). Pfeffer (1994, 1998), is perhaps the best known for this, developing initially a list of 16 best practices which were subsequently narrowed down to seven (1998) typically referred to as ‘best practice.’ The seven practices include: - employment security, selective hiring, self- managed team(s) working, high compensation contingent on organizational performance, extensive training, reduction of status differentials and sharing information.
According to Marchington and Wilkinson (2005), the approach assumes that the set of policies adopted would have the same effect on all employees; improved attitudes and behaviours, lower levels of absenteeism and labour turnover, increased high levels of productivity, quality and customer service which would in turn lead to increased profits for organization. This research has been extensively discussed, with a variety of authors identifying methodological and theoretical problems. For instance, even when an agreed list could be created, there is the problem of whether an organization needs all the policies on the list or just some, and the question of whether one policy is only effective when linked to another. Reference is often made to ‘deadly combinations’ where one policy, say, individual performance related pay, clashes with another, like team work (Delery 1998; Boxall and Purcell, 2000). Marchington and Grugulis (2000), have also challenged this view pointing out that organizations are complex with many different types of employees who may be managed successfully through diverse sets of HR practices within a single organization.
As a response to this school of thought, various authors drew attention to the importance of analyzing the wider context within which organizations operated. One such perspective is the ‘best fit’ approach by Schuler and Jackson, (1987) which argues that performance is maximized when the HR policies adopted are consistent with the business strategy. The same argument was later reviewed by Boxall and Purcell, (2003) and a number of issues have been raised concerning the impact of the outer and the inner context. Perhaps the most basic point of all is the assumption that firms have a competitive strategy with which HR policies can fit (Ramsay, et al., 2000). Even if the firm does have a strategy this view assumes that the one they have is the most appropriate for them. This may not be the case if firms do not have sufficient knowledge of their external environment or if they have misinterpreted the information that they have gathered.
Wright and Snell (1998) also argued for the need to have both fit and flexibility (Boxall and Purcell, 2003). This is the ability to move from one best fit to another, and be able to adapt to the situation where the need to change is virtually continuous. According to Wright and Snell (1998), flexibility provides organizations with the ability to modify current practices in response to non-transient changes in the environment. In particular there is a need to achieve fit between the HR system and the existing competitive strategy while at the same time
achieving flexibility in a range of skills and behaviors needed to cope with changing competitive environments.
The Lepak and Snell model of HR Architecture expresses these ideas in a more accessible form. They argued that ‘To date most strategic HRM researchers have tended to take a holistic view of employment and human capital, focusing on the extent to which a set of practices is used across all employees of a firm as well as the consistency of these practices across firms’ (Lepak and Snell, 1999, 2002). There was a belief that the most appropriate mode of investment in human capital varies for different types of capital. Their model distinguishes between employees on the basis of the value they create for the organization (the extent they contribute towards the creation of competitive advantage) and the extent to which their knowledge and skills are specific to that organization (uniqueness). This approach also raises various questions. In particular there is the issue of consistency: if an employer wishes to pursue an inclusive culture based approach why should they treat employees differently? If certain activities are externalized there is a danger that the core competences of organization would be lost. There is also a moral question too – why should different groups be treated differently? Lepak and Snell (1999, 2002) played a very vital role in identifying the possible heterogeneity of policy between internal and external groups, but they did not address one of this study’s major concerns over the previous research: the relatively limited attention which is given to studying employee attitudes. Indeed, it is ironic that very few studies actually collected data directly from the very employees who are seen as central to organizational performance. A discussion pointed out by McKenna and Beech (2014) who attributed the success of HRM strategies on communication and involvement of employees in the on goings in an organization. As it is though, most of the previous studies have relied on the implied or assumed effect of HR policies on employee attitudes and behavior.
To get a better insight on the effects of HR policies on employees performance; the study focused on the banking sector namely Co-operative Bank of Kenya. The bank is one of the largest commercial banks in Kenya. Licensed and regulated by the Central bank of Kenya; the national bank regulator. Its history dates back to 1931 when the first legislation to specifically govern the registration of Co-operatives - Co-operative Societies Ordinance was enacted. Notably at the time the ordinance did not allow Africans to participate in co-
operatives. In 1966, previously enacted Ordinance(s) was replaced with the Co-operative Societies Act. This was done in order to increase oversight of the Co-operative movement by the government having noted the importance of Co-operatives as tools of development in the country. As a result of the initiative and advice of Kenya National Federation Co-operatives (KNFC), a group of people from the Department of Co-operative Development visited Israel to study ways and means of establishing a viable Co-operative bank. In the same year, a joint paper by the Ministry of Finance and Marketing & Co-operatives Development recommending the establishment of the bank was issued (Co-operative Bank of Kenya, 2017a).
The Co-operative Bank was officially granted its banking license and became operational on 10th January 1968. On 16TH December 1977 the bank registered a finance company; the Co- operative Finance Limited (its first subsidiary). This was to enable it to conduct the business of a financial institution for long-term financial requirements. This was later actualized on 8th March 1993. In the following year 1994, Co-operative bank converted to become a fully- fledged commercial bank offering the complete range of financial services beyond the captive Co-operative sector to include; personal, corporate and institutional customers (Co- operative Bank of Kenya, 2017a).
Over the years the bank has grown within and beyond Kenyan financial markets. For instance, in October 1998; the bank signed a contract with MoneyGram International and became one of the agents for the company's international funds remittance business (Co- operative Bank of Kenya, 2017a).
The bank has sustained its recovery and growth path. In 2009 the Bank undertook the most rapid expansion of service outlets by opening an additional 22 branches within one year to close 2009 with 74 branches up from 52 as at the close of 2008.The expansion has continued over the years with the bank currently boasting of 114 branches. The expansion has also influenced a large workforce population presently estimated at 3,600 (Co-operative Bank of Kenya, 2017b).
It is important to note that the Bank was initially registered under the Co-operative Societies Act at the point of founding in 1966. This status was retained up to and until June 27th 2008
when the Bank's Special General Meeting resolved to incorporate under the Companies Act with a view to complying with the requirements for listing on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).The bank went public and was listed on December 22nd 2008. Shares previously held by the 3,805 Co-operatives Societies and unions were ring-fenced under Coop Holdings Co-operative Society Limited which became the strategic investor in the Bank with a 64.56% stake (Co-operative Bank of Kenya, 2017c).
Figure 1.1 Co-operative Bank’s Three Main Subsidiary Companies
Whilst my research focused on one case study; the importance of banking and financial services in the world service industry cannot be understated (Mishkin, 2001). The industry today constantly wrestles with revolutionary trends: accelerating product and technological changes, global competition, deregulation, demographic changes, work force diversity, and at the same time, they must strive to implement trends towards a service and information age society. Increasingly, banks are competing for the high performing employees. New paradigm companies recognize that an important element in business management practices is the need to successfully motivate and retain high talent employees who survive organizational restructuring, downsizing, consolidation, reorganizing and re-engineering initiatives.
Due to this tumultuous business environment, one of the challenges facing the banking industry is the effective human resource (HR) policies geared towards retention of critical (core) employees and aligned organizations core business goals to achieve high performance. This has made Human Resource Management (HRM) to become more strategic in its focus
and operation (Heys and Kearney, 2001) within current organizational set-up. HRM is being viewed as a strategic staff enterprise aligned with organizational values, mission and vision.
This study tried to fill this gap in knowledge by exploring the strategic perspective between the bank’s HR policies and its bottom line employees. Noting policies was a wide area to cover; the research looked at the motivational factors in Human resource policies. Those were specific to, recruitment, appraisal and compensation. In essence, recruitment process enabled organizations to achieve strategic objectives through employment and optimization of skilled individuals (O’Meara and Petzall, 2013).While appraisals as summarized by Demo, Neiva, Nunes, and Rozzett (2012, p. 400), are organizationally articulated proposal, with theoretical and practical constructions, to evaluate employee’s performance and competence, supporting decisions about promotions, career planning and development. Lastly, compensation involved rewards employees receive in exchange for their performance. Generally, the value employees give to the compensation and benefit package have an influence on human resources outcomes namely, performance, productivity, satisfaction, retention, and attraction (Kelil, 2013). Therefore, the study examined the existing HR policies specific to the above mentioned variables, the bank managers’ perspective, why they made the decisions they did and crucially the attitudes of non-management staff towards these policies.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
According to Deb (2009), the banking sector like many other sectors has over the years placed its competitiveness on traditional sources of success such as product, technology, and protected markets amongst others. However, the emergence of globalization; where local businesses have gone worldwide has completely disrupted the traditional business landscape. With different market forces in play, business selling patterns are no longer as predictable. Globalization has provided alternative markets for buyers and sellers in turn increasing more pressure on the bottom line of the organization, making natural resources no longer a “default” source of business success. In addition, technological and financial products have become increasingly prone to duplication hence ruling them out as sources of competitive edge. Organization’s quest to differentiate themselves from their competitors has finally been placed on the employees of the organization (Wagner III & Hollenbeck, 2014).
Human Resource as the new competitive advantage has led to an eminent shift in the organization’s view of HRM. Organizations have no choice but to move away from the traditional practice of personnel management whose duties were restricted to administrative roles such as salary payments. Human resources management and the banking sector (2004), states that growing realization of the importance of proper HRM in the corporate sector has led to head of HRM being included in the senior teams of thriving businesses.
The banking sector has made great strides over the years. Deb, (2009) further notes that the industry has grown from a few institutions that just accept deposits and provide credit facilities to complex multi-player participants in the financial market. Kenya for instance, currently has 42 commercial banks and as at mid-June of 2015 its overall bank sheet reached KSh. 3.6 trillion up from KSh 3 trillion in the previous year (Central Bank of Kenya, 2016). Like many other progressive sectors, banking requires multi-layers of qualified manpower. To create a robust talent pool, an organization has to employ the right management tools and techniques and this is where the right HR policies come into play. For many years though, banks have managed human resources like other physical assets. Recruitment processes have been done in a mechanical way; hiring people with specific educational background irrespective of their real value to the institution (Deb, 2009).
The case study confirmed the above mentioned HR sentiments to a great extent. For starters, a big percentage of employees were graduates with a business administration background who had a little or no experience in banking at point of recruitment. Secondly, at the recruitment stages general information on the company’s policies was provided mostly covering the organization’s culture, training and compensation. Although the document came with a disclaimer that the policies would be added or amended at any time dependent on legal regulations and company policy, very little had been changed over the years (Co-operative Staff Handbook, 2009).
The process of strategic placement and transformation of HRM in organization continues to be implemented by progressive organizations. However, as pointed out by Wright and Boswell (2003) when examining HRM it is important to distinguish between policies and practice. This is because while many organizations may have the policies in writing, their actual application may not be what is experienced on the ground. Co-operative bank for
instance, has over the years attracted and employed talented individuals with high academic qualifications. A general observation of the bank has shown a number of highly skilled individual ends up leaving the bank after a short period of time. On the other hand, the performance of those that opt to stay, have been observed to be high at the beginning of employment but later tends plateau or decrease all together. Which begs the question, which variables affect performance? Can these performance variables be enhanced if HR policies are in place? It is with this in mind that the study explored the effect of HR policies from Co- operative bank employees’ perspective.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of Human resource policies on employees’ performance.
1.4 Research Questions
1.4.1 Effect of recruitment policy on employees’ achievement of set targets?
1.4.2 Effect of appraisal policy on employees’ performance?
1.4.3 Effect of compensation policy on employees’ performance?
1.5 Scope of the Study
Presently in Kenya there are 42 registered commercial banks. The study however was restricted to Co-operative bank of Kenya which is one of the largest commercial banks in the country. The bank currently operates 114 branches throughout the country. In addition, it boasts of a staff establishment of 3,000 permanent employees. However, the study concentrated on 175 permanent employees from the bank’s 7 CBD branches. They included; Aga Khan walk, City hall, Co-operative house, Moi Avenue, Parliament road, Ukulima and University way branches.
1.6 Significance of the Study
From the research, its findings established the need for policies that are relevant and sensitive to the decision making process and consequently success of the organization. The benefactors of the research include:-
1.6.1 Co-operative Bank Managers
The management will get an understanding of the effect of current policies and which or how to adjust or eliminate to suit its organization business strategy. In addition, with improved policies managerial effectiveness will be enhanced in decision making process.
1.6.2 Co-operative Bank Employees
The employees particularly non-management staff will learn the different policies in place and its benefits to both the staff and the organization as a whole.
1.6.3 Other Commercial Banks in Kenya
They will be able to draw comparisons and similarities of their policies and practices as compared to Co-operative bank. Consequently improve their human resource management.
Through the study, researchers will gain more insight into human resources policies in the banking industry. Moreover, the study from its recommendations will provide areas for further research.
1.7 Definition of Terms
1.7.1 Personnel Management
This is the recognition of human personality of an employee and how he or she can become an asset in an organization. It mainly involves the administrative aspects of employees’ management such salary payment (Reddy, 2004).
1.7.2 Human Resource Management
It is the improved version of personnel management which looks at employees as a resource. This is the process of employing, training, developing, utilizing, and compensating employees’ services as guided by the organization’s rules and regulations (Simons, 2011).
These are guidelines formulated by an organization to govern its actions, which helps the organization achieve its long and short term goals (Deb, 2006).
1.7.4 Human Resource Policy
These are specific employment guidelines, which are used by an organization to manage its people (Deb, 2006).
1.7.5 Employee Performance
This is how well a person executes their duties and responsibilities; based on expectation or set standards (Randhawa, 2007).
1.7.6 Learning Organization
According to Senge (1990, p.3), ‘these are organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together’.
1.7.7 Job Analysis
It is a detailed study of the essential factors of a particular job. It includes job description, skills, attributes and equipment required (Dessler, 2015).
1.7.8 Banking Sector
This is a sub- section of the financial sector that accepts deposits from the public and creates credit facilities for lending. It also uses the same as leverage to create more wealth through investments (Ronald, 2007).
1.7.9 Commercial Banks
According to Gup (2016, p.68), ‘these are national banks, state-chartered and or other financial institutions that operate under general banking codes authorized by law to accept deposits and, in practice do so, or the obligation of which are regarded as deposits for deposit insurance’.
1.8 Chapter Summary
Chapter one has detailed the background of the problem, statement of the problem along with the purpose of the study. In addition, the study has listed the three research questions that looked at recruitment, appraisal and compensation policies, their relevance and their effect on
organization’s and employees’ performance. The research was focused on co-operative bank of Kenya. With its outcomes considered to be beneficial to the bank itself, its employees, other commercial banks, as well as other researchers.
The next chapter has documented literature review which sought to look at information previously researched on the subject by other researchers and their take on the subject. The third chapter on the other hand elaborated on research design, data collection methods and analysis. The fourth chapter thereafter presented results and findings of the study. Lastly, chapter five discussed conclusions, findings and recommendations based on the case study..