How HR contributes to the organisational strategy;

How HR contributes to the organisational strategy; formulation and links between organisational and HR strategy

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Essay Brief – Case Study

 Managing the HR Function 



The Emerald Hotel Group is situated in the United Kingdom, and after an extensive expansion programme, has recently taken over a number of independent hotels; and the number of hotels in the Group has now reached 65. The Head Office is based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.


All the hotels are luxury four or five star, and are based in cities or large towns mainly in the north of England, with some in the Midlands.  The Group was started by the current CEO’s grandfather in the 1920s, so there is a long history of family ownership.  The current CEO, Angela Deakin, took over the reins in 2013; and has embarked on an ambitious programme of expansion by acquisition. 


Each hotel’s HR function is usually managed by an Assistant Manager, who does not necessarily have expertise in this area.  Often, these managers are brought in to a generalist role, and then, after some training, are given the specialist role of HR Officer.  In the newly acquired hotels, this role sits in different areas, for example, Reception Manager, Banqueting Manager, etc.  In addition, external recruitment consultants are often used when vacancies occur.   This has resulted in a mis-match of different HR approaches, policies, practices and procedures across the business, often different from hotel to hotel, which is not only costly, but is open to question from a strategic, operational, and  legislative  perspective. 


An HR Director was recently recruited at Head Office (a role recently undertaken by the finance and administration manager); and a small HR team is now also in place.  After considerable analysis of the current HR practices across the Group, it has been recognised that a more efficient and effective HR operation is required as a matter of urgency, which will standardise the management of the HR function across the Group. 


The Senior Management team have agreed that the following will be implemented:


  • The creation of 6 regional and area HR Managers, who will be responsible for the HR function in each of the hotels within their area.  These managers will be HR qualified, CIPD members, with the appropriate and relevant experience.
  • Each area manager will provide HR advice to a designated Assistant Manager at each of the hotels. 
  • An Assistant Managers in each of the hotels, will undertake the role of managing the HR function in their hotel; the learning and development issues, and recruitment processes for these roles, will be decided at a later time.
  • A key objective is to formalise all the systems, processes, policies and procedures to ensure a cohesive, cost effective and transparent HR function across the Group.
  • There is a tight time-frame – the CEO wants to begin planning the operation as soon as possible; and implementation to take place in 6-9 months’ time (before the Christmas season).




You have been seconded for a year to work on this project at Head Office, where you initially spent a year of your degree at a placement at one of the hotels; and on completion of your degree, became part of the administration team at Head Office.   Before taking on the role at Emerald Hotels, you successfully attained a BA (Hon) in Business Studies and HRM at Sheffield Business School, and are also now working towards Chartered Membership of the CIPD. 


You have been tasked by the Director of HR to produce a discussion document, which will generate specific proposals on how this initiative should be approached and developed.  This will include:


  • The role and function of HR in this context;
  • How HR contributes to the organisational strategy; formulation and links between organisational and HR strategy;
  • How to help manage change during this initiative, with an emphasis on improving and maintaining  organisational performance;
  • The implementation of policies and procedures with an emphasis on equality, diversity, CSR and ethics, and `green` HRM.
  • Working with line managers before, during and after the transition period.
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