The mergers arguably are calculated quite promising, though invites unwanted and unexpected risks, that couldnt be foreseen, nonetheless of existing skills. This article is based on business case study on Lloyds TSB and addresses the issues ascended as a result of merger between TSB and Lloyds Bank in 1995, now known as Lloyds TSB- a synergy in domestic banking. It critically explores issues such as staff competencies, competency-based pay rise and risks and opportunities while designing new roles for workforce.
Conversely, the aforementioned issues primarily call for value addition of the available resources in terms of competencies and opportunities. Therefore an analysis and conclusion was further required for taking decisions on raising staff salaries and risks and or opportunities involved.
An analytical overview:
1- Current competencies of the employees- are they adding any value?
Contributing to success requires a competency-based framework to serve as a platform that cultivates performance as expected subsequently acknowledged as value addition.
Adding value to any given task would be empowering it with a set of ideas, line of action through learning. It would be appraising the principle, standard or quality of the task. This leads to unleashing the competencies possessed by the staff. Conclusively, competencies defined in simpler words would be focusing on how well one can perform the given job.
For the purpose of optimizing the existing competencies after the merger it would have been beneficial to:
- Design a new competency-based framework that takes in account new development and technologies in hand
- Coordinate and integrate workforce of the newly merged business and organizational cultures
- Communicate expectations so as to enhance performance of the staff, with a deep of understanding their previous roles and responsibilities
Taking in account the concept of competency-based frame work we categorically look upon:
Human Resource function
Once it’s functional and integrated with other business functions, it creates a much simplistic and sustainable organisational structure that supports Human Resource practices such as recruitment, training and development, succession planning of the staff. Subsequently it reduces the cost of duplication and lowers the ambiguities to the line managers.
Competencies possessed by current employees certainly add value to any business. Although the ROI couldn’t be measured or experienced, possibly as soon as expected, the gains are experienced in terms of expansive market share, increased competitive advantage, employee satisfaction, high motivational levels and so on. Competencies basically provides a common language to describe performance.
A competent behaviour affects the business positively and acts as driver for the business. A competent framework directs a competitive business. This necessitates an immense nurturing in terms of enhancement and reproduction of competencies whilst putting them in practice.
During the merger, a deliberate decision was taken not to address the issue of competence-based pay. Was it a missed opportunity?
It couldn’t be a missed opportunity, as it was too early to be decisive then, because merging the two organizational cultures create further problem such as employees being unsure of what ‘ being competent’ means and management from both sides of the merged organization was not realistically aware of the individual skills coming form the other end. As the previously developed ‘competent framework’ failed to replicate the current and anticipated changes in the business, similarly, there was a probability of missing out the most skilled individual(s) and failure to retain and utilize his previous performance and skills subsequently. The merger surely could’ve affected their performances in terms of de-motivational factor, lack of trust in new management and so forth.
In order to take decision to revise the pay scales according to currently possessed competencies, there could be many other factors to be considered such as:
- The lately developed business strategies and objectives that could only be anticipated and not really evaluated to be workable. Moreover, when the budget was yet to be allocated, revising the pay scale wouldn’t have been a wise decision.
- The roles of the employees were still to be defined. Even assuming, the pre-defined roles, (which is less likely to be possible) the functional credibility was still to be seen i.e. how well each employee fits into his new-defined role. Having said that it is important to be noted that it was a merger of two cultures which was yet to be ‘tried and tested’ for its integrity.
- The risk of over-promising the rewards unless, the credibility hasn’t been experienced.
What could be the risks and opportunities of conducting research with current role holders when developing a list of effective behaviours?
An effective behaviour would be the one that contributes, immensely at best and modestly at least, towards the productivity of the organisation, and subsequently to the business. Not to be forgotten at this point are the references made here to effective behaviours of the business functions, systems and technology such as Business Process Reengineering.
While assessing the risks involved during re-assessing the work-force for new roles, arguably, any individual’s past performance couldn’t necessarily lead us to his potential and prospect performance. Therefore, identifying his previous behaviour might not guide precisely to his capabilities as he might not had an ample room or a platform to prove his abilities then. He might be more capable of working better in under any other provided organizational structure, culture and circumstances. A poor assessment process could possibly result in loss of an asset. (An employee is an asset to the organization in terms of investments made in his training and development etc.)
An opportunity missed or gain could be drew through a thorough understanding of the workforce as a team and individually. Team functionality and productivity benefits could be seen as an opportunity gained where competencies possessed by each individual compliments the others and subsequently add value to the organizational success.
An opportunity missed would be a poor assessment of the entire situation, quick conclusions and missing out different factors that could have immensely contributed towards employees’ poor performance such as previous organizational structure, culture, motivational factors, performance levels, strategic approach and so on.