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HRM Assignment Examining Business Case Of Parkway Residential Homes


Case Study: Parkway Residential Homes

Parkway Residential, located in southern Spain, was originally founded in 1972 to provide skilled and caring support to the elderly. Over the years it became very successful, gaining a number of prestigious awards, especially due its focus on beautiful premises, onsite medical services and comprehensive facilities. It expanded gradually to five residencies with space for 250 patients until 2015. At that point, the company was acquired by a venture capitalist who made a substantial investment in securing 10 further residencies with a total capacity of nearly 1,000 patients.

The focus changed significantly from highly personalized care to ensuring that the residencies were continuously filled to capacity, with profitability being the prime objective. This change has meant that many of the experienced staff have decided to retire or seek work in other places, leaving many staff gaps to be filled, mostly by young, inexperienced and sometimes untrained staff. The market for skilled care of the elderly is growing apace as baby boomers from northern Europe decide to spend their final years in the sun of the Mediterranean and there is no shortage of people seeking a place at one of the Parkway residencies.

However, the rapid expansion of the company has created a number of problems and now, as a newly-hired HR Director for the company, you are interviewing some of the 50 ‘core’ staff to assess the extent of the challenges you are facing:

1. Lilly, a 35-year old licensed nurse from Germany says: “I’ve been here for 5 years and I’ve seen management do what it can to fill positions, but I don’t always agree with who they recruit. Some of the basic skills can taught, of course, but you can’t teach someone to care. So I find myself really stressed out, looking after so many patients who often just want more attention”

2. Daniel, a Belgian carer with a BA degree in Psychology tells you: “I came here a year ago thinking that it would be fun to work in southern Spain – you know, sun, sea and sangria …But it isn’t like that at all. There are constant crises to deal with and I’m the one everyone turns to first it seems, so I’m constantly running from situation to situation dealing with outbursts, arguments and even fights! And this goes on every day, including weekends, so I hardly have any time to myself at all. I’m already applying for other jobs…”

3. Nicola, a German doctor: “Well I’ve been living in this area for over 10 years and I spend most of my time divided either at my surgery in Estepona or one of the Parkway residencies. I visit each residence once a week to check on patients and prescribe medicines and so on. If there’s a medical emergency, then I get called out to that as well. That worked fine until 2015 but now, it’s just impossible to get around all the residencies and see all the patients that need me. It’s totally ridiculous to think that only one doctor can deal with everything! We did have a second doctor, but he left almost as soon as he realized what the workload consisted of and frankly, I’m thinking of doing the same .. “

4. Angela, a 17-year-old recent hire says: “I just started three months ago straight out of school. I’d really like the job if only I had more time to spend with each person. But there are so many patients, I can only clean them up, make the bed, and tidy the room and then I have to run off to the next patient. We’re supposed to be ‘carers’ but we’re just maids on the lowest minimum pay. The conditions are pretty bad and until now, we’ve had nobody to go to – I’m so glad you’re here now. Perhaps you can increase our pay and give us more time to look after the patients properly rather than just chase around until we’re exhausted?”

5. Charles, Director of Parkway Residential: “Welcome to your new role and I’m very happy you’re here! I’ve spent most of my time interviewing people for vacant jobs and I told the owner it’s about time we had a professional HR person to help me out… Yes, we have 50 full-time nurses and carers spread around the various residencies and sometimes we have to shift them from one to the other to fill gaps. We outsource things like the cleaning and the catering because the owner wants to keep the organization as lean as possible. He only comes every now and again to check on things .. he expects us to keep the company going on the minimum possible cost base and he really isn’t interested in how we do it, because there’s a waiting list of over 50 people at the moment and it gets longer and longer every month … we just don’t have the places available. Enough staff, you ask? Well, frankly, there’s always people who want to come and work in this part of Europe and unemployment is high in the area, so we always have lots of applicants for any jobs that come up. Our turnover is 20% a year, which keeps us busy recruiting… and the ratio of carers is 1: 20 patients or so, which is pretty standard for the industry….”

Prepare a HRM assignment answering these questions:

1. What do you see as being the primary issues in the way that human resources are managed at Parkway Residential Homes?

2. What theories, models and concepts might apply to this case? Ensure you provide specific examples to justify your selection.

3. What recommendations would you make to Charles the Director as to how improve the HR strategies and processes? What actions or changes would you implement as a matter of priority?


Answer 1
What do you see as being the primary issues in the way that human resources are managed at Parkway Residential Homes?
Primary Issues in way of managing Human Resources outlined in this HRM assignment

Human resources are important for any company to keep their workings fine and thus, the best use of them is true. A company expects from its HR to recruit people best of the given job title and then to look after their responsibilities and functioning. Well-managed and active employees are boon for any company and it can be seen in many businesses that the employees are often provided a healthy environment to work in. But these are just possibilities (Armstrong and Brown, 2019). Not every company follows this which results in the loss of revenue and yielding of it. In some cases, the company comes near the edge of closing it.

After understanding the scenario of Parkway Residential Homes, several things are clear. One thing is that the company started with a social objective which helped it with gaining success in its initial period. The company show its first expansion in 2015 when it moved to 5 more residents with 250+ patients being added (Mazur, 2014). Till their things were fine and were in control. But after its second expansion which was expanding the residential number to 10 times at a time. With this 1000+ more patients became part of it. There it started facing shortage problems.

Impulsive Expansion leads to the problem
So, the primary issue number one is how unnecessary expansion leads to the problem, not profit. After 2015, the major stakeholder of the company was a Venture capitalist who took the decision to expand the residential buildings. The primary objective of the company was to take care of the elder people especially those who were alone and couldn’t take care of themselves (Stone and Dulebohn, 2013). At that time, the company was not seeking profit. But later, it started gaining more money and they adopted the plan of expanding the residential homes which will invite more patients and capital to the business.

The mistake they made was that they didn’t calculate how the expenditure would affect their business? Do they have the workforce to manage the upcoming workload? Due to lack of planning the company faced a huge shortage of employees in major jobs.

Let’s look at an explanation of employees as an asset. There is a term called Human Asset Management (HAM) which defines that effective management of important assets of the company results in success. Management of the employees is taken as an important asset for the company and their management is as important as capital (Sulaiman, et al., 2020). Thus, Human Asset Management plays an important role in planning significant outcomes of a company’s action. When Parkway expanded, they required more skilled and dedicated employees which they didn’t receive.

When HR interviewed some of the employees, it was clearly visible that the people working there are facing a heavy workload.

Lack of employee retention
While interviewing the current employees, it was found that they have been given excess work which has resulted in the decreasing capability of human assets. But why there is an employee shortage despite keeping a fact that the location where the company stands is facing an unemployment crisis (Jiang, et al., 2012). One of the major reasons is that the company’s management lacks in employee retention. By looking at the company data and after interviewing other employees, it was found that many people left the job and moved to other services.

This is not new in the corporate sector. An employee always has the advantage of moving to a newer job with even more benefits than the previous one. Thus, it becomes important for the company to retain their employee by offering salary hikes or with a goof workload management. In Parkway Residentials, both the things were missing and thus employees decided to flee.

Workload Management
Human asset is key to a successful company and increasing capital but what leads to a decrease in human asset productivity? One of the major reasons is excessive workload. This causes inefficiency in the company. An employee said that she wants to take care of each and every patient she meets but since she has to deal with a huge amount of patients, she could hardly speak to them as her major time is spent doing certain things (Armstrong and Brown, 2019). A company always calculates a ratio of employees and their tasks. Companies like Parkway needs to keep this ratio efficient to increase the productivity of work which results in growth capital.

But here in the case of Parkway, no new recruitments are being made and old employees are feeling which has created a huge gap in that ratio. It ultimately resulted in an excessive workload on the existing employees. Almost every employee has shared their point regarding the over-work issue.

Healthy environment
This factor doesn’t match the importance of the factors mentioned above but still, it has its own weightage. An employee wants to work in an environment that is stress-free and healthy. Since there is a huge workload in the Parkway Company, employees often feel stressed about their duties. A tired and inactive worker can never be an asset. It becomes a liability.

Answer 2
What theories, models and concepts might apply to this case? Ensure you provide specific examples to justify your selection.
Theories related to Human Resources Management

Not every company becomes successful without making strategic mistakes. But such companies can improve from their past experiences or by applying better theories related to Human Resources. These theories or concepts can help the HRs to solve the issues of the problem through which the company is going through. In the case of Parkway Residentials, it was found that four major problems have resulted in the decline of the company (Nasir, 2017). They were Impulsive expansion, Lack of Employee retention, poor workload management, lack of a healthy environment. Let’s jump to theories given which can help the company grow.

To tackle the first issue,

Organization life cycle theory
Everything has to go through a certain kind of process which is also called a cycle. Organization Life cycle theories tell us about how a company should think, plan and react to the circumstances. According to this theory, formation, growth, maturity, decline, and death defines the growth story of the company (Sulaiman, et al., 2020). To pass each phase, a company requires a driving force which is the workforce in each phase.

Let’s see what happened to Parkway Residentials. They increase the number of buildings and number of patients but they didn’t get more workers or employees such as nurses, doctors, or caretakers to keep the expansion successful thus, the company faced a setback due to a shortage of trained employees which resulted in in the downfall of the company (Cetin, et al., 2016).

Now, let’s think of another scenario. If the HR and director of the company would have thought about increasing the number of trained employees by keeping in mind that an expansion is going to happen. They would not have faced this crisis. By this example, we can understand that workforce is very important for any company.

To tackle the second issue,

Managing Employee Retention theory
Let’s have a look at some key concepts before going further.

  1. Invest In Employees' Careers.
  2. Prioritize Work-Life Balance.
  3. Focus on Managers.
  4. Improve Organizational Culture.
  5. Recognize Employees' Contributions.
  6. Consider Your Benefits Package.
  7. Create Pathways for Growth.
  8. Reassess Compensation.

If we look at these points, there can be done a lot solve the issue of managing retention of the employees who want to flee. Now, let’s take an example. An employee name X works in a company called ABC.

He is working in that company for the last 5 years but he has been doing the same job since he joined. As an individual, he will feel like he is not learning anything new. Thus, as a company, the management should focus on developing new skills in its employees. Now, X has been doing new tasks as well. But, due to the addition of the new tasks, he feels a burden due to his work and can’t give much time to this home.

In this case, he will feel like quitting the job and joining a new job with less way so that he could at least spend time with his family. A company needs to be very careful in maintaining Work-Life balance so that its employees don’t feel any fatigue and can work better which ultimately results in increased productivity. Now, here comes the role of managers in different areas (Cooke, et al., 2020). A manager is one who stays connected to all the employees on the behalf of the company and directs the team to do a specific task. Thus, it becomes really important for the company to focus on the managers and manage their workloads. Suppose the manager of X employee is Y. Due to the rude behaviour of Y manager, X, and his teammates become demotivated and are feeling frustrated which results in poor performance. Thus, as an HR one should focus on the managers as well.

The fourth point under this strategy is creating an organized culture in the office. Works can be done more fluently and rapidly if they are done in an organized way. Hence, companies usually keep fixed timing, deadlines, or rules in their offices to keep the work going fluently and rapidly (Adriaenssen, et al., 2016). Added to this, little events should be organized on a frequent basis to keep the employees active and charged up.

Now let’s say, employee X has worked so well in a project through which the company gets benefitted but the whole credit was taken by the manager and another employee. It will make X disappointed and he will not make efforts next time. Thus, it's very important for the management to encourage employees’ effort and contribution. He or she should be rewarded for their credit in work which will push them to do better in future works or projects.

So, these are some major concepts that should be kept in mind while dealing with the employees. In the case of Parkway Residential, no salary hike or encouragement was given to existing employees. The workload management was poor which resulted in employees quitting Parkway. They can apply the above concepts.

To tackle the third issue,

Role behavior theory
Every person has their own skillset and role in any company. It becomes important for the management to detect the role of an employee and assign the work accordingly. Here, HR plays an important. At the time of recruitment, he or she needs to define the roles at the time of selection of the candidate (Bratton, et al., 2021). It helps in managing the work as well. For example, an employee X is good at managing sales of the company but he was given a task to do marketing. What will happen? He won’t be able to do the given task with all his capacity or strength even after his full efforts because he is an expert in managing sales.

In the same way, giving a single employee multitask can also decrease the productivity of the work. This is what happened in the case of Parkway Residentials. There was a shortage of employees in the company thus, another staff was doing multiple tasks which resulted in stress and decreased productivity.

To tackle the fourth issue,

Organizational change theory
Employees feel bored while working in the same environment for a long. They need something change which can charge them up. Here, comes the role of this theory. The concept is to the organization a move of employees from their present state to some desired future state to increase their effectiveness. This change can be decided by knowing their interests such as in technology, policies, laws, customer tests, fashions, and other choices (Zainal, et al., 2020).

This step increase effectiveness of the human resources and results in the higher production of the company. This is what the company Parkway was lacking in. They were not recruiting new employees and they were treating old ones with the same tactics and organization. A change in the environment can bring a lot of change in the outcomes of the companies.

Added to that, the company can organize some fun events to neutralize the working pressure through some quirky and funny activities. Another factor is that if an employee is facing any problem, it should be easier for him or her to share it with their manager (Boxall and Purcell, 2000).

In this way, Parkway Residential can solve the issues by applying these concepts and Theories. Another problem which Parkway is facing is of recruitment of new employees. Since new HR has joined the company, the management team and the director of the company can now expect the HR to hire some trained employees for the company which is an urgent need.

Answer 3
What recommendations would you make to Charles the Director as to how improve the HR strategies and processes? What actions or changes would you implement as a matter of priority?

In the case of Parkway Residential, it seems that the previous HR didn’t work well to solve the issue. While talking to the employee several problems come up to the HR which should be informed to the director of the company, Charles.

As an HR, the first suggestion which should be given is to organize a full-fledged hiring process to get some new employees for the company. Since there is an unemployment crisis in that area, the company can get skilled people cheaply. The second suggestion will be taking action for the residentials who are not in a good manner or are not fully used (Adriaenssen, et al., 2016). They can be removed as the workforce is low and resources are limited. It will be good to focus on the quality, not on the quantity. The third suggestion will be making the objective of the company the same as the past one which was to serve people. This will motivate employees and more people to join the company. Several awards and encouragements will also be provided by the government. One more benefit will be solving a problem which was acknowledged during interviewing one of the employees who said that it is easy to train basic skills but training someone how to care is tough. When the objective of the company will be widespread more helping people will try to join the company.

As an HR, I will quickly start the hiring process which is a matter of priority in this case. The workload is huge and the company needs more employees. There is a huge shortage of nurses, doctors, or caretakers. We need to keep the ratio of carers to 1: 20 patients or less up to the standard limit. Since the yearly turnover of the company is 20%. We need to work on increasing it (Zainal, et al., 2020). Besides this, it is important to manage the task and develop an organized way in the company which will in maintaining the discipline in the company. This will automatically result in increased productivity.

Some changes will be implemented. Managers will be appointed. The role of every employee will be defined and I will my best to stop multitasking which just increases the burden of the employees working. Actions will be taken to retain the employees. An experienced person who has been working in the company for a long can be proven as an asset. Salary hikes will be given and efforts will be made to bring back the workers who have left the company recently. Since major aspects have been mentioned above to tackle the situations I need to specify more. So, here the case study of Parkway Residentials is concluded.

Adriaenssen, D.J., Johannessen, J.A. and Sætersdal, H., 2016. How can we improve the effectiveness of HRM strategy? A model for future research.

Armstrong, M. and Brown, D., 2019. Strategic Human Resource Management: back to the future. Institute for Employment Studies reports, pp.1-36.

Boxall, P. and Purcell, J., 2000. Strategic human resource management: where have we come from and where should we be going?. International journal of management reviews, 2(2), pp.183-203.

Bratton, J., Gold, J., Bratton, A. and Steele, L., 2021. Human resource management. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Cetin, S., Gayipov, Y. and Akgemci, T., 2016. Problems and Solutions in Human Resources Management of Family Business: A Research in Konya City. Postmodern Openings/Deschideri Postmoderne, 7(1).

Cooke, F.L., Dickmann, M. and Parry, E., 2020. Important issues in human resource management: introduction to the 2020 review issue. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 31(1), pp.1-5.

Jiang, K., Lepak, D.P., Hu, J. and Baer, J.C., 2012. How does human resource management influence organizational outcomes? A meta-analytic investigation of mediating mechanisms. Academy of management Journal, 55(6), pp.1264-1294.

Mazur, B., 2014. Sustainable Human Resource Management in theory and practice. Ekonomia i Zarz?dzanie, 6(1).

Nasir, S.Z., 2017. Emerging challenges of HRM in 21st century: a theoretical analysis. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 7(3), pp.216-223.

Stone, D.L. and Dulebohn, J.H., 2013. Emerging issues in theory and research on electronic human resource management (eHRM). HRM assignment Human Resource Management Review, 23(1), pp.1-5.

Sulaiman, M.A.B.A., Ahmed, M.N. and Shabbir, M.S., 2020. Covid-19 challenges and human resource management in organized retail operations. Utopia y Praxis Latinoamericana, 25(Esp. 12), pp.81-92.

Zainal, H., Rakib, M., Ashar, A.I., Manda, D., Sose, A.T. and Setitir, I., 2020. Strategy of human resources development in improving performance Apparatus in the Bone Regency Regional Inspectorate. Pinisi Business Administration Review, 2(1), pp.35-44.


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