BUSM1137-Human Resource Development
Case Study: HRD at SunTech
SunTech is a start-up company that specialises in providing computer servers to medium and large corporates. They were founded 5 years ago by the owner Mathew Horton. Mathew has a background in selling IT solutions and is very technically focused. He acknowledges that his leadership and people skills could be enhanced. SunTech is bracing for expansion and they have recently increased the HR team to include a new Learning & Development (L&D) manager.
Last financial year SunTech recorded revenue of $15 million and profit of $8 million. There is a projected figure of 20 new hires over the next 12 months. Most projects completed by SunTech are usually delivered at high quality, on time and on budget. There are a few projects which go over budget and time and this could be due to managers with limited people management skills.
SunTech initially started as a team of 7 staff and has been through immense growth over the last 3 years. They have 60 staff all based in Victoria. Turnover of staff is very low at 4%. The industry average is 12%. SunTech is made up of the following departments: Finance, Marketing, Operations (HR, Facilities & IT), Sales and Network Engineering. The two key departments are the Sales department (total 15 staff) and Network Engineering department (total 25 staff). Both teams have a flat structure with only a few senior managers for each department. The Sales team are client facing and are good at managing stakeholder relationships but at times lack a basic understanding of the technical specifications of the products. The Network engineering department is technically focused and highly skilled in IT knowledge but are not confident in communicating clearly between themselves and with other departments. Sometimes there is miscommunication between departments which can cause stress.
Managers in the organisation have mainly been promoted on their technical abilities and not their people management skills. There is no training provided for new managers or staff wanting to enhance their management and leadership skills. SunTech’s culture is described as one of working hard, achieving goals, and celebrating successes. They value teamwork and providing quality products. The senior management team would like to further boost the culture to include knowledge sharing amongst departments and better communication between team members and managers
There are eight members of the Senior Executive team. Two of which understand the importance of lifelong learning and developing staff to perform and grow. The remaining six members understand the Tech sector well but not necessarily the importance of developing staff and having good HRD practices.
Due to the growth of the organisation, SunTech staff has not have much formal training. Training has been at best ad hoc and when training is provided there is no evaluation that takes place. The organisation does not know if the training is suitable or if it meets the needs of their staff. One staff member who attended training commented that “The workshop was fun, and I enjoyed meeting and connecting with new team members across the organisation. But I don’t know if I will remember all this content and how I can apply it effectively in my work for the long term.”
You have noticed that training activities are inconsistent across the organisation. Some departments (i.e. Sales) have development opportunities such as workshops and online courses, while others (e.g. Network engineering and Operations) do not have any training provided.
Staff survey results indicated that staff would like more development opportunities for both their technical skills and soft skills such as communication, influencing and leadership skills.
There is a generous budget allocation ($50,000) for training and development and over the last 12 months only a quarter of the budget has been utilised. This is largely due to major projects taking up significant time so staff are unable to attend or complete any training.
As the new L&D manager you have been asked to provide a report which includes your analysis of current L&D activities, a proposed plan moving forward and example learning activities to the SunTech Senior Executive team.
Your report/submission will include the following elements:
• Explain the importance of HRD for the organisation
• Analyse and explain the HRD issues that you have identified - this is your overall analysis based on the information provided
• Explain and present a solution in the form of an HRD design and implementation plan that includes the following elements:
1. Needs assessment (i.e. how will you carry this out to provide more detailed information on the key areas you have identified)
2. Design & Implementation (i.e. possible learning programs/activities based on the issues you have identified)
3. Evaluation (i.e. how you will evaluate the HRD program you have proposed)
• Provide a conclusion and recommendations