The Best Approach to Human Resources Essay

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HR Shared Services

When it comes to the craft and practice of human resources, one of the unmistakable trends that is emerging and changing the face and shape of the work field is the use of a "shared services" framework. Something that is common and inherent to these shared services frameworks is a passionate mission and vision behind the department and how precisely their iteration of human resources will be used to assist and empower the organization via the effective utilization of human resources practices and procedures. This may come off as navel-gazing and self-aggrandizing corporate speak to many people. However, there are so many connections between the people and the company that they work for. These connections include making a living, benefits, the corporate culture of the company, the facilitating of a work/life balance and beyond. This report shall manifest with a hypothetical organization and how precisely their strategic plan and shared services framework could and should manifest.

Acme Financial Services

The hypothetical company that shall be used for this report is Acme Financial Services. To fill in some context as to what this hypothetical company does, a few questions need to answered. To put it concisely, the company has to define who they are, what they do, for whom they do their job and how Acme knows the job is getting done. In terms of "what" the firm does, that would be check cashing and sending of money from one party to another. The latter would be a Western Union-type place where money can be sent either within the United States or from one country to another, with some limitations and costs. The target market and customer base would obviously be people, in general, that need to send money from one party to another or that needs their checks cashed, if not both. As such, just a few of the core groups that would commonly be serviced by Acme Financial Services would be people with family in foreign countries (e.g. Mexico, Canada, etc.), students here on visas from other countries (for much the same reason), people that do not have banks (for whatever reason) and so forth. Acme could absolutely branch out and do pay cards (for those that cannot get banked and/or do not want to be part of a bank) and so forth, although there are drawbacks to those cards (Bell, 2013).

As for whether the job is being done well, this would boil down to customer satisfaction in most cases. Indeed, this would be in large part driven by how quickly money gets from person to person when it is sent, how much is charged for that money sending service and how much is spent on check cashing. So long as the costs are reasonable (especially compared to the wider market) and so long as money being sent reaches its destination quickly, customer satisfaction would tend to be high. If either of those is out of phase with what customers are expecting, customer satisfaction will tend to dip. Whether that leads to a revolt and customers being lost will depend a lot on what other competitors exist for the relative service and what their price structures happen to be. With all of that said, the purpose statement of the firm would come down to the following few sentences:

"Acme Financial Services understands that people want a low-cost way to receive and send money. As such, we offer competitively priced services that are intended to facilitate people sending money to other people or receiving money from those that are sending it to them. We also allow people to cash their work or government checks at a rate that is reasonable for everyone involved."

Executive Summary

Acme Financial Services is one of a number of firms within the money movement sphere. While the exact nature of each company's involvement and presence in the financial sphere is different, there are several niches that these firms exist within and Acme exists within two of them. Indeed, Acme helps people cash their checks if they are unable or unwilling to get a bank account. Of course, they collect a nominal and flat fee for this services. Concurrent to that, they also facilitate the sending and receiving money along the same lines of what Western Union does for clients every day. In doing so, they work to fill the void that is desired to be filled by a lot of people with financial needs and Acme does this without finding a way to bilk, nickel and dime people that are in need of the same. In spite of the fact that there are payday loan and other companies that make a mint off of overcharging and otherwise taking advantage of the disadvantaged and impoverished (or even people that are having a rough month), Acme will not lower themselves to that level and will not take advantage of the pain and dire need of those that need Acme's services.
Acme is more interested in business in bulk and creating trust with customers while only procuring a nominal profit when it comes to the percentage and proportion of fees that are levied (White, 2012).

Strategic Human Resources Plan

With the general summary and parameters out of the way, what follows next is the heart of the strategic plan that Acme Financial Services can and should use. What shall follow in this section, and in this order, will be strategic contributions, personal credibility, human resources delivery metrics, key performance metrics (KPM), an action plan for each functional area of the business, the human resources mission statement and the human resources vision statement. The last of those would include the associated objectives that go along with the vision statement.

Strategic Contribution

When it comes to the strategic contribution that is in place at a firm like Acme, it has to be recognized that while there absolutely has to be a power figure (or figures) in play, the contributions and feedback of all people within the firm matters greatly. A strictly top/down approach is not going to work as well as when all people are involved in the feedback chain and all reasonable suggestions are considered honestly and completely irrespective of who issues the piece of advice or in what manner they give the advice. Even with that, there have to be the people that are decision-makers and at least one person from each major and functional group of the organization should contribute to that. For example, there needs to be a seat of power for human resources, accounting, customer service, information technology and any other department that plays a major role in the firm (IBM, 2016).

Employees should feel empowered and enabled to offer their feedback and advice but those same employees should understand that they need to comply with the decisions made and the processes that are put in place. The other side of that coin is that management should not allow any sort of power vacuum to be created or subsist. They need to make it clear what is expected, why things are done the way they are and what will happen if there is any lack of compliance. Of course, there will always be situations and scenarios that are outliers. Using zero-tolerance rules or any sort of process that has no exception is less than wise but exceptions should be kept to a minimum and there need to be precise and specific reasons why a normal process is disregarded for any reason. One department in particular that needs to avoid exceptions and differences in practiced procedure whenever possible is the Human Resources Shared Services department and paradigm mentioned in this report. Like people in like situations should be treated the same way, and without fail, unless the situation does not allow for or call for it (Lavoie, 2016).

Personal Credibility

The topic just covered at the end of the prior section, that being consistency and treating similar situations the same way, blends nicely into what is about to be covered. Credibility and integrity needs to be at the heart of any business and its operations and this is especially true of the human resources function and the people that enforce and underpin that function. The reasons for that being the case are not hard to decipher. First, being honest, ethical and of sound judgement is part of good business. This is true of human resources and all other functions within a business. Of course, there are instances where being an information sieve can be illegal or at least a liability to a firm. However, absent some legal or ethical reason to not divulge something, being honest and complete with information that is mundane to a person or situation should be the norm. So long as a job is done properly, by the book and with the utmost attention to customer satisfaction and other related considerations, the idea of honesty being awkward or otherwise….....

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Bell, C. (2016). The problem with payroll cards - Retrieved 29 October 2016, from

CPS. (2016). 33 Human Capital KPIs & Scorecard Measures. Clearpoint Strategy. Retrieved 29 October 2016, from

IBM. (2016). How Human Resources keeps its seat at the table. International Business Machines. Retrieved 29 October 2016, from

Lavoie, A. (2016). 4 Ways to Get Truly Honest Feedback From Employees. Entrepreneur. Retrieved 29 October 2016, from

SHRM. (2016). Confidentiality: Liability: Why is confidentiality critical to human resources?. SHRM. Retrieved 29 October 2016, from

SHRM. (2016). Recordkeeping Policy: Record Maintenance, Retention and Destruction. SHRM. Retrieved 29 October 2016, from

White, M. (2016). Would You Pay $520 in Interest to Borrow $375? 12 Million Americans Did Last Year. Retrieved 29 October 2016, from

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